tv Alex Witt Reports MSNBC July 24, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
out there. so they're caught in this awful catch-22 of, you know, either staying at home or going. both pose immense risks for them. we have to bear in mind, alex, all of these people, many of these people that helped the u.s. didn't help the u.s. with the notion of, you know, trying to get themselves to america. they wanted to better their lives, the lives of their children or, most importantly, get the taliban out of the country. that obviously hasn't happened. so it is a very desperate situation for them. just to underscore how unsafe the country has become, even though the u.s. is now pulling out of afghanistan they were forced to launch some more airstrikes in that country just recently because they had seen that the taliban had stolen military equipment that was a direct threat to the afghan army. so if they're doing that right now while there's still a u.s. presence there, you can only imagine how badly the country is going to spiral out of control
when the u.s. quits the country all together. just anecdotally, alex, as you know i work in iran a lot, it shares a very porous border with afghanistan, so you see a lot of afghans pouring to iran. they have a terrible life there but it is still preferential to staying in afghanistan for them. >> i have to tell you, it is a heck of a story. allie arouzi, let me thank you for covering two big stories for us, from climate change to how to extricate our afghan partners. thank you, ali. ♪ ♪ and a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone, to ""alex witt reports"." here is what is happening just a bit past 2:00 p.m. eastern,. we begin with the president hitting the campaign trail for the first time since his
candidacy. he touted his vaccination push and efforts to pass an infrastructure deal and even calling out his predecessor by name. >> this is a big deal. terry and i share a lot in common. i ran against donald trump and so is terry. look, this is not a trump rally. let 'em holler. no one is paying attention. >> the president also calling out republicans on capitol hill over january 6th as hearings for the select committee's investigation into the attack are set to begin this tuesday. >> listen, i mean think about it. turn on the television every day and seeing a replay of what happened on january 6th and saying, i was told there were a lot of peaceful, wonderful people. god, no, i really mean it. think about it. it is bizarre. we have to keep cutting through the republican fog that government is the problem and
show that we, the people, are the solution. >> well, leading hoff this hour, nbc's shannon pettypiece covering the president in wilmington, delaware, and with the latest from capitol hill, is a hill kapur. shannon, you first here. you have president biden who is now looking ahead to the mid terms. what are we hearing now that he is back on the campaign trail? >> reporter: well, i mean i think it was notable there to hear him calling out his predecessor by name. of course, it is not the first time he has done that necessarily, but we are in a bit of uncharted territory where you have a sitting president, you know, directly attacking his predecessor. of course, we saw that a lot during the trump administration, but up until now you didn't really see the president, you know, attacking the presidents who came before him. but i suppose all sort of tradition around the presidency is a bit out the window. but aside from personally calling out president trump there, we kind of got a warm-up preview of what this message is going to look like going into
2022. a lot of that is going to be around saying that he put forward an agenda and he delivered it for the american people. here is a little bit more of what the president had to say friday night. >> in this election and in 2022 the question the american people are going to be asking is whether or not we are helping them and their families. as democrats, we have to show we do understand and we're delivering for them and we're keeping our promises. we just have to keep making the case, just as the republican party today offers nothing but fear, lies and broken promises. >> reporter: and this campaign stop also highlights a little bit of a challenge that's ahead for democrats going into 2022. virginia has become a pretty solidly blue state over the past few years, but in these off-year elections we know the party that controls the white house typically does worse in an off-year mid-term election.
so that is also anticipated to be the case in 2022. democrats obviously have a very razor thin margin in the house and the senate. if tradition holds, the party that controls the white house usually loses control of congress come the mid-term elections. obviously democrats want to reverse that, but a lot of what the messaging that democrats and the president are going to have to work with going into those hard-fought races in 2022 is going to depend on what happens on the hill in the next couple of weeks, the next couple of months, and whether or not president biden can indeed deliver on this infrastructure and these big spending proposals that he has out there that democrats are hoping to sell themselves on next year. >> yeah. you know, you make a very good point and a very good lead into our next segment. thank you so much, shannon pettypiece, as we are going to capitol hill. that's where lawmakers are hammering out the final details of that infrastructure deal this weekend. joining me again, nbc news national political reporter
sahil kapur. what is the holdup here? >> reporter: alex, senators say they're close to finalizing this $579 billion infrastructure deal, but they're in a standoff over one specific issue, the issue of how much to spend on public transit. now, democrats want 20% of all transportation money to be spent on public transit. they say that is the historical norm going back to the 1980s, the so-called 80/20 rule. republicans want a little lets spent on public transit and more spent on highways. the two parties are kind of logjamed over that issue, and until that gets resolved they cannot proceed and move forward. that's the main issue. it is not the only final detail to be resolved heading into this weekend. there remain details to be hammered out over the issue of broadband, over the issue of what to do with unspent covid relief funds and over the question of labor provisions as it relates to the davis bacon act and construction of these projects. this package as well as the $3.5
trillion so-called reconciliation bill are at the core. president biden's agenda. he spoke about it yesterday. let's have a listen to what he said yesterday. >> we create good-paying jobs. a significant amount of the jobs will pay a prevailing wage of $30, $40, $50 an hour. 90% of the jobs in our infrastructure plan go to people without a college degree. folks, we are proposing a blue collar blueprint to rebuild america. a once-in-a-generation investment, it will position us to win the competition important the 21st century. but we have to get it done. >> reporter: now, this also ties into president biden's mid-term election strategy, alex, which is quite sim pi this theory. deliver economic benefits that improve people's lives and go on the campaign trail and brag about them, take credit for them, but first he has to deliver. senators hope to start moving this piece of legislation as early as monday, but they've not
been particularly good at sticking to their own deadlines lately. we will see if they end up finishing the bill as negotiations continue over the weekend. alex. >> thank you so much from capitol hill. so now to new questions today over the fbi's handling of the background investigation during the 2018 senate confirmation for supreme court justice brett kavanaugh after sexual assault allegations had been raised. the fbi is now admitting in a letter to senators it did not follow up on more than 4,500 tips related to kavanaugh, instead forwarding what it deemed relevant tips to the trump white house. my next guest calls the fbi investigation laughable. joining me now, ruth markus, "washington post" deputy editorial page editor. ruth, good to have you back on the broadcast. i'm curious what your understanding is of how the investigation went down. what do you know? >> well, it is not a surprise. we knew all along that this was a shoddy and constrained investigation that the fbi did,
that was evident at the time, but this is proof positive really of just how shoddy and constrained it was. i think it is important for viewers to understand that the alarming thing here is not that there were 4,500 tips, because we all know there's a lot of folks with time on their hands and maybe active imaginations. so i don't think there were 4,500 relevant tips. but what were the relevant tips? how many were there? what was the standard for sending them to the white house, and why -- and i'm absolutely confident that the white house did absolutely nothing with them. it was -- this tip line was a funnel to nowhere, and that's -- i did use the word laughable in the column that i wrote. it was a laughable investigation, but it is really tragic because it was unfair to the public, it was unfair to the senate that has an advise-and-consent role. in some sense perhaps it was
unfair to justice kavanaugh because there is this as asterisk around his nomination. >> the fbi sends relevant tips, the number we don't know according to your reporting, but they send it to the white house to investigate something that they are clearly wanting to see happen. doesn't that just at the very beginning of it smack as inappropriate on some level? >> well, yes, yes. i mean but here is the fbi's argument, and i'm not endorsing this argument but i'm just going to share it with you to put it into context. the fbi's argument is, look, we're not doing a criminal investigation here. we are doing a background investigation. when we do a background investigation, we are answering to the client. the client in this case is the white house counsel's office. we are investigating and interviewing who they asked us to interview, and we provide them back the relevant information. and if they want to follow up,
they tell us to do the follow-up. so i would say that the most appalling dereliction of duty here was by the white house and the counsel's office. they understood their duty to be let's get justice kavanaugh across the finish line with 50 votes. in fact, they have a duty to the country and the senate to do a fair background investigation. but the fbi allow edit self to be used as a pawn and a shield in this way by taking this hands-off, we just do what the client tells us view of investigations. i think it is incumbent on the senate to do a little bit more, and they want to. they've been really prodded by senator sheldon whitehouse, democrat from rhode island. but perhaps more important, how
can we make this a better, more accurate, more reliable process going forward. >> yeah. now senator whitehouse and senator coons, both of who wrote to the fbi in august of 2019. >> isn't that -- >> i mean come on, they're just now getting an answer? yeah, now let's do something. let me ask you, what could congress have done then? >> well, what congress could have done then is to get more senators, and that would have been at the time more republican senators, to insist on a full investigation. the white house did only what it was forced to do by, you remember, senator jeff flake to his credit insisted on having an fbi investigation after the second round of hearings. there were careful negotiations with other senators including senator susan collins. they came out and assured us that the fbi investigation was reliable and adequate. if they had insisted on more,
the white house would have done more. so i was pointing fingers at the fbi and the white house, but there were fingers to point as well at republican senators who as a whole were also not interested in getting the truth. they were interested, as i said earlier, with the white house and getting justice kavanaugh across the finish line. >> ruth, i'm out of time but i just have to ask. is anything going to come from this reporting, any fall-out? >> there is a tradition of in secret providing fbi background investigation information to a very, very limited number of senators and senior senate staff on the judiciary committee. so the senators did ask in this letter sent back to fbi director wray for the information about what was the content of these tips that you deemed relevant, and i think it is going to be an uphill battle but i think there
is some possibility of some limited set of senators and senate staff getting a peek at some -- at least some description of what these relevant tips were. >> yeah. >> but justice kavanaugh was confirmed. i think it is very, very likely that justice kavanaugh will remain on the supreme court for some many years to come. >> going to be interesting what comes from this, ruth marcus. thank you for sharing. >> thanks. forcing the former president to testify before the january 6th select committee. my next guest says it must happen. cancer. yep. the american cancer society recommends screening starting at age 45, instead of 50, since colon cancer is increasing in younger adults. i'm cologuard®. i'm convenient and find 92% of colon cancers... ...even in early stages. i'm for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur.
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in just a few hours donald trump will return to the rally stage in arizona. this will be the first time mr. trump has addressed arizonaans since losing the state in 2020. let's go to nbc's steve patterson once again in phoenix ahead of that rally. there were so many people lined up outside. tell me what all you are seeing there today. >> reporter: you know, alex, as
somebody who has covered a number of the trump rallies in the lead-up to the mid-terms, in the lead-up to the general election, you can't help but feel the wave of familiarity, the red hats, all of the enthusiasm, none of the masks it it is all here. it is a classic trump campaign stop, almost a throwback. that's essentially what it is for gop candidates running in their districts across the country. people are here that running for governor, for congress, for secretary of state. specifically, of course, in arizona but, again, across the country. all here to essentially pay fealty to donald trump but also have a platform them to be seen in his orbit making speeches on stage. of course, the theme here is the steal, this idea that there has been some sort of widespread, you know, campaign or voting fraud across the country, which we've seen no evidence of both here and, again, across the country. trump likely to speak heavily about that and to spread that message to other states that he
says are in question, but, also, what we've heard from people out in the crowd is that they want to hear more about what could be in 2024, the possibility that donald trump will run again. so since this is sort of this classic style trump campaign stop, we asked a very classic, traditional question. what do you like about donald trump, especially after the four years that we had. here is what people told us. listen to this. >> there's two reasons people like him. he's not a politician and he is a successful businessman. you can't take that away from him. for someone to put up with the hell that he has put up with and still stay fighting, you have to admire the man. >> reporter: now, we expect a train of speakers over the next few hours or so. donald trump speaking at the end of that. this is a max-capacity crowd, more than 5,000 people have packed into this arena, all to see donald trump speak. back to you. >> you know what, my friend, the next time someone gives you an
answer like that, say, i understand why you would admire him but why does it make him a good president, because i still don't know the answer to your original question. anyway, that's what we've got. steve, thank you. joining me california congressman ro khanna, a democratic member of the house armed services, agriculture and oversight committees. good to see you back on the broadcast. thanks for joining me. as donald trump is gearing up for the rally in phoenix, "the washington post" reports trump's political action committee raised about $75 million in the first half of this year, but the group has not devoted any of the funds to the ongoing ballot reviews in arizona or any other state for that matter. why is donald trump not putting his money where his mouth is? will this matter to his supporters? >> well, alex, i think he knows that there's no legal case. he is trying to demagogue the issue, but he knows that putting money there would be a waste of money and, instead, he is using this money to travel around the country. there ought to be more disclosure, where is he staying,
where is the money going, and how is it being used, because people are giving $5, $10, and there's not sufficient disclosure on actually the use of the money. >> so, okay, well, there's that. let's move on to the house 1/6 select committee which has its first hearing this week. you said that donald trump should be forced to testify before the committee. how does that happen? do you expect it will happen or do you think donald trump will find an excuse not to do it? >> i didn't realize why that was a controversial statement, if at all. i mean he was a critical person in those events. he, by his own admission, gave a speech right outside. he said that that speech wasn't inciting violence, so he should come before congress, explain what his intent was and take questions in terms of what happened. i think that's an obvious case that we would need to hear from the former president. now, it doesn't have to be a spectacle. we can do it behind closed doors. he can answer the questions in a
way that gives an opportunity for people to have substantive questions, but there has to be an examination. >> do you expect you will hear from donald trump in that select committee? >> no, i don't, though i think that if you really believes that he is innocent and if he really believes that he did not incite violence, then it would be an opportunity for him to make his case and have a hearing. so i think his participation would help his case as opposed to making him look defensive. >> is there any way that you, your democratic colleagues, perhaps some republicans who like you would like to hear what was going on from his perspective that day could make this happen? >> well, we could subpoena him, but you know how likely he is to comply with subpoenas. i mean his own attorney general didn't comply with congressional subpoenas. i think just think the best case is to make an argument that his perspective is needed. actually, it is offering him a
fair opportunity, if they're complaining about the bipartisan commission which has liz cheney not being fair enough. we're saying, look, we're going to give the president the opportunity to make his case. he can choose to do it behind closed doors, and one would hope he would take people up on it. >> yeah, okay. we will see. house minority leader kevin mccarthy pulled his appointments for the committee this week after speaker pelosi blocked two specifically of the five. in a new op-ed in "the washington post", it says that mccarthy's decision is boosting the integrity of the january 6th investigation. the call to say the less involved mccarthy is, the more likely it will be to undertake a genuine and comprehensive accounting, pointing out that mccarthy's picks were designed to prevent such an accounting. what do you think? do you agree? >> i do agree. one, i think he is elevating this commission that is actually counter to the purpose of what he wants to do, and i think it is bipartisan with liz cheney. she is respected, and it is going to get to the facts.
i mean what people keep forgetting is vice president pence and republicans were equally targeted, if not more targeted to the violence. this violence wasn't directed against democrats. for the life of me i can't understand why people who serve in congress wouldn't want to get answers so that this doesn't happen again. i'm not going to say who, but you have republican members whose families are still being threatened to this day. they should have an interest in making sure that our democracy is protected. >> can i ask you about republican adam kinzinger? we know nancy pelosi is considering appointing him to the select committee. would you like to see him on it, again, making it further bipartisan and thereby quelling the concerns afterwards that it was just a partisan hack job? >> i don't want to recommend him and then make his chances less. i guess i trust that the speaker's judgment, i do think if she can find a number of other republicans, that would be terrific. and i know from conversations
there are other republicans who are really concerned about what happened on january 6th. they may not come out on television to say that, but they share that privately. i think the speaker would have a number of other choices and i trust her judgment to pick wisely. >> let's talk about the wealth tax debate because it is now back in the spotlight after we saw billionaires jeff bezos and richard branson venturing into space the last couple of weeks. you posed a question on msnbc this week and it was, why are they using money that should have been used to pay taxes? so i want to get your thoughts on a new op-ed from "the washington post" editorial board, and it says, "the smartest way to make the rich pay is not a wealth tax." the board suggests significant broad-based taxes on capital gains coupled with similar efficient levies on transfers of wealth through gifts and inheritance, that would be the way to go about it. what do you think of that idea? >> well, we probably need an all-of-the-above approach. yes, we need to increase the step-up in bases which would
increase the tax on inheritance. i don't understand the argument against the 2% to 3% wealth tax. people say, oh, they're going to hide the wealth. really? are you going to have all of people putting money in art as opposed to buying google, apple, amazon stock? give me a break. 90% of the wealth still will be in the u.s. stock market. it is easy to tax. it is the only argument i have heard against the wealth tax, that it won't be 100% efficient. no tax is 100% efficient in collection. >> let's turn to afghanistan now. i know you and your house colleagues passed legislation boosting the number of visas for those who worked for u.s. personnel. will it get everyone out in time? we have the taliban seizing more territory, making a comeback. how worried are you about the situation there and getting these people that worked as our allies, side by side, out safely? >> i'm very worried. i have called for withdrawal. i support the president in
withdrawing, but we can't withdraw the way we withdrew in vietnam where many were left, frankly, for slaughter. we need to make sure that allies and those who are at risk have safe haven in the united states. this should be bipartisan. it is a bipartisan concern. i'm glad that we're raising the number of visas to 18,000, and i urge secretary blinken and the administration to continue to make this a priority of bringing these individuals who risked their lives to fight with us to safety. >> indeed. okay. california congressman ro khanna, always a pleasure. thank you for your time. >> thank you. president biden sending a clear message to those who aren't vaccinated, and that's next.
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the non-stick? incredible. the built-in spatula rest? genius? i just learned to cook and this pan makes it so easy. new this hour, clashes between police and anti-vaccine protesters in paris. police turned those water cannons on the crowd at a rally against a vaccine passport bill which got out of control.
so protesters say they're against the introduction of a health passport for restaurants and other public spaces. meanwhile, some growing frustration in this country over the latest rise in the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. patience is running thin as numbers rise sharply among vaccine holdouts. millions of americans are refusing shots as the delta variant rips through several states. president biden sending a clear message. >> this is the point. first of all, the covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations are today among the unvaccinated people. i know it has gotten a bit politicized, but i hope it is starting to change. it is not about red states or blue states or guys like that hollering. it is about life and it is about death. >> well, "the new york times" estimates the daily average of new cases at more than 49,000 with more than 28,000
hospitalizations. 270 deaths and 49% are fully vaccinated. there is an upside. the up tick in new cases is driving vaccinations in states with the highest case rates according do nbc news data. the u.s. is now averaging 699 first doses per 100,000 residents. that is up from 590 the week before. pfizer and biotech say they've sold another 200 million doses of their covid-19 vaccine to the federal government, and that brings the total now to 500 million doses. let's go to massachusetts where the covid cases among vaccinated people are on the rise and nbc aesz antonia hylton is in province tone with the very latest numbers. another welcome back. give me a sense of the percentage of new cases there are with people who are fully vaccinated, because that's got to be causing alarm. >> reporter: that's right, alex. it is at about 69% right now of the 430 identified cases in this
area that stem from july 4th celebrations. 69% are people who were vaccinated, who had gone out and gotten their shots. you're right that it is causing some alarm here, and not so much because people are being hospitalized or really sick. all of those folks have mild or asymptomatic cases, but people here are concerned about the fact that officials are realizing unvaccinated individuals have been coming here, partying, not wearing masks, going inside small bars and putting the lives and the businesses of the people who live here at risk. it is starting to change for some folks. their behavior and their summer plans are changing. i want you to listen to a conversation i had with a man named emanuel jackson. he is a resident who will be here in provincetown for the rest of the summer and he is feeling pretty fearful. take a listen. >> with the current rise of the delta variant, it is just very concerning for me as a vaccinated person that, you
know, there's something out there that's, you know, causing people to be sick. like i thought that we had found the solution basically, and it just feels that we're going back to, you know, the start of the pandemic. >> reporter: so what you just heard emmanuel describe there, this realization that the vaccines don't make him invincible is really the greatest fear of people who live and work in this town that depends on tourist dollars. you know, they worked so hard to keep their businesses afloat over this really difficult year, and they all here went out and got vaccinated and now they're worried that even vaccinated people are going to be too afraid to come out to their restaurants, come out to their bars, all because of the behavior of people who have chosen to not get the vaccine. some of the business owners here have decided to take further action, and they're saying if you're not vaccinated you are not coming on their property, you can't book rooms at their hotels because they want their guests to know coming to provincetown is safe, and they're trying to do their best
to keep the summer feeling normal and feeling fun, alex. >> yeah, listen, i got a lot of respect for emmanuel because what he was doing is what he needs to do to take care of himself and everyone around him, he was wearing a mask. he also has been vaccinated. i hope he has a good summer despite the concerns he is clearly expressing to you. thank you, antonio hylto. in the wake of the billionaire space race, how to make the extreme rich pay their fair share in taxes. the president unloaded on them last night. you will hear what he said next. . and that's all thanks to this guy, ted. (ted) oh, just a matter of perspective, really. (brad) apartments-dot-com. the most popular place to find a place.
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new today, president biden floating the idea of taxing billionaires to help pay for his american families plan, which includes free preschool and community college education. here is what he said about it last night. >> 50 of the biggest corporations in america, of the fortune 500, 50 of them don't pay -- this is not an exaggeration, check it out. not a single, solitary penny in federal taxes. not one. they made over $40 billion. if they just paid a minimum tax of 15%, they would raise the dollars, all we need to do all of this education we are talking here. i'm not one of the guys that say you shouldn't be able to be a millionaire or billionaire, but just pay your fair share. >> and joining me now, jared bernstein, member of the white house counsel of economic advisers, a guy who i always
said i trust most with my economic questions and analysis. i'm clearly in good company. jared, thank you. tell me what this would look like for you? are you advising the president to add a wealth tax? >> first of all, great to be with you again. this is very much part of what the president long ago assigned his tax team to go out and try to close the loophole he's describing. he is talking about corporate taxation there and the many companies who through a variety of corporate loopholes end up reducing their tax bill. now, much of that has to do with the extent to which they offshore their production, the extent to which they book their incomes in low-tax countries and write off their expenses in higher tax countries. and working that out, closing those loopholes is a many pronged plan the president pushed us on. part of that, by the way, is the global minimum tax you see janet
yellen, our treasury secretary, negotiating with over 100 countries so making progress there. it is an area that would not only raise key revenues but shutdown some of the offshoring of production and jobs. >> let me ask you about janet yellen urging congress to raise or suspend the debt limit by august 2nd, a couple of weeks from now, preparing to take extraordinary measures if the debt ceiling is not raised in the next seven days. gop senators, as you know, are already resisting. here is what jen psaki had to say yesterday. >> we certainly expect congress to act in a bipartisan manner as they did three times under the previous administration to raise the debt limit. >> what is this about? is it just more obstructionism from the gop? >> yeah, i mean jen couldn't have possibly been clearer about that. not only is this a matter of not allocating new spending, it is a
matter of spending -- it is a matter of meeting the spending obligations that congress has already agreed upon, that democrats and republicans have signed bills that spend public resources that take us above this debt limit. so they have to raise it in order to meet their own spending obligations that they've agreed to. this debt limit has been raised or suspended 80 times, including three times in a bipartisan manner as jen said under the trump administration. so, yes, that's nothing but obstructionism in an area where congress should come together because they've already obligated these funds. the analogy i like to use, alex, it is as if congress is sitting at a table, they finish their meal. now, maybe they're putting some stuff in doggy bags to take home, that's the outlays that haven't been spent out yet in this somewhat tortured analogy, and they get the check and say, "no thanks." that's what the debt limit debate is very much like. >> so then how are gop members
who are opposing doing anything, again somewhat obstructionist in their approach, how are they rationalizing? how are they justifying their positions? >> well, i really don't know. i mean i think there's no justification for this because, again, we are not obligating new spending when we raise or suspend the debt limit. i think that's probably not something people necessarily get off the bat. so let me just be very clear about this. this is not like saying, here is a new bill with new appropriations. we are either going to pay for it or put it on the deficit. this is not that. there's other legislation that fits into that category. this is simply saying, we are going to meet obligations that we as a congress have agreed to. now, this kind of back-and-forth squabbling has happened before, alex, as you know, and then eventually people typically at the last minute have agreed to raise the limit. but why fool around with this?
i mean the credit of the u.s. government is one of the most valuable things we have in the international economy. so i view this, you know, as something that -- as our treasury secretary said should be resolved as soon as possible. >> okay. let me ask you about how it hits people in their wallets in terms of the economy right now. we have inflation numbers, as you know, jared, showing higher prices in june on food, gas, transportation, cars, trucks. let's take a listen to what the president had to say about it. >> it relates to what, in fact, is now needed because we're growing. i don't know anybody including larry summers who is a friend of mine. >> yeah. >> who is worried about inflation, is suggesting that there's any long-term march here if we do the things we're going to do. >> should the average person who is right now paying more for basic needs, should that person be worried about this? >> i think my message to that person would be the following. if you look at the factors that
have been responsible for these high inflation prints in recent months, they all relate to the pandemic. so in june inflation went up almost a percent, which is a lot for one month. but if you take out the pandemic-related sectors, especially autos which is related to a global shortage of semiconductors but also hotels and airfares and some of the other things, kind of face-to-face services coming back online, that almost 1% goes down to 2%. so the lion share of the price pressures we are seeing are coming from temporary supply constraints, and the question is are they easing, when will they ease. take lumber. it is kind of a classic example. it feeds right into housing cost. that shot through the roof. it is now down 60%. so it is moving in the right direction. take semiconductors and auto production, intimately linked. we are starting to see perhaps a rollover at the top of that series as well. there's a used car index that
has ticked down a percent or so in the last month. now, it doesn't mean it is back to levels that are pre-pandemic, but it means that you are kind of seeing that turn in the right direction. that's precisely the kinds of easing of supply constraints that underscore this notion of temporary or transitory, what the president was talking about. >> okay. jared bernstein, open invitation to come back any time because i always learn something and feel better for understanding. >> always a pleasure. >> thank you. president biden's report card six months into the job and how he plans to approach the 2022 mid-terms.
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shingrix protects. now you can protect yourself from shingles with a vaccine proven to be over 90% effective. shingrix is a vaccine used to prevent shingles in adults 50 years and older. shingrix does not protect everyone and is not for those with severe allergic reactions to its ingredients or to a previous dose. an increased risk of guillain-barré syndrome was observed after vaccination with shingrix. the most common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, headache, shivering, fever, and upset stomach. talk to your pharmacist or doctor about protecting yourself with shingrix. shingles doesn't care. but we do. a new poll shows president biden with a 50% approval rating. it is the lowest of his presidency. in fact, a six point drop from last month. overall his approval rating has barely budged in the first six months, this compared to his predecessors. let's bring in reuters correspondent jeff mason. let's get into this. how do you interpret the latest
poll and what do you think is driving the numbers? >> well, it is a little longer in office, so voters have had always bit more time to digest what president biden is doing. it is -- 50% is still pretty darn high for a president. but, yes, there is a drop. that may be in part a reflection to concerns over immigration, concerns over guns, concerns over whether or not he will be able to produce what he has said he would. he has pressure obviously from the right but also from the left on issues including climate change and the other promises he has made in the infrastructure bill. >> let's get to that. in his first 100 days in office he signed dozens of executive actions, he also pursued sweeping legislation like his $1.9 trillion package. what so far has been the winning aspects of all of his endeavors? what are they still trying to get right? >> well, i think they're still
trying to get massive legislation passed, and you referred to that just now. i think that there is some discontent among the left that he is as committed as he is and has always been to bipartisanship, but he has signalled that though he wants bipartisanship on the infrastructure bill, he's willing to use and plans to use reconciliation for the families' plan, that other piece of legislation that he wants to get through. but i think, you know, there's some frustration about that. there's concern about whether he has given up too much on climate change with regard to the infrastructure bill. so there are competing forces, and that's something that a seasoned politician like joe biden knows he may have had a little bit of a honeymoon period and perhaps the -- the slight dip in polling is showing that that honeymoon period is over. >> yeah, in fact, but as you talk about the competing forces from both sides of the aisle for him, he was on the campaign trail last night. >> exactly. >> it seemed to fit him. what kind of message did he send
that you expect to be part of his approach to the mid-terms in 2022? >> yeah, i was out there with him last night. it was interesting to see him back on the trail already. obviously this is for an off-year election in virginia. i think what he said and did for terry mcauliffe, who is running again for governor, will be kind of a sign of what he will do out on the trail for the 2022 mid-term elections in terms of, a, tying mcauliffe's opponent very directly to donald trump. that i think they see as a winning argument to raise concern among democrats, to drive democrats to the polls in the way that it did in 2020. he also talked a lot about infrastructure and talked about the policy goals and the policy achievements that he has made. those are, from his point of view, from the white house's point of view, winning arguments for democrats. to say, hey, this is what we've done and this is what we're doing, give us a chance to keep doing it even more and even
longer. >> yeah. okay. jeff mason, we're sure the cool kids in town, you are at a biden/terry mcauliffe event on a friday night. i'm reading a book on a friday night at work. we have to figure out what to do on monday nights. >> work it. seriously. >> americans set a record in tokyo and that's next. you're l. icy hot. ice works fast. heat makes it last. feel the power of contrast therapy, so you can rise from pain. ♪ ♪ when technology is easier to use...
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by hydrogen for the very first time. medals are already being handed out as the 2020 summer games are officially under way, making it 2021, of course. under way after a nearly year-long delay because of the pandemic. right now first lady jill biden is on her way back to the u.s. from tokyo after leading the u.s. delegation to the olympics. the first lady will stop in hawaii to visit a vaccination clinic and join military families for a barbecue. before leaving mrs. biden watched the u.s. women's soccer team put on a defensive display against new zealand, beating them 6-1. they will try to keep up the momentum. u.s. women putting on a dominant displace in water polo, crushing the host team of japan 25-4. they set records for the largest win in most sculls scored. hours later the record was toppled by spain with a 29-4 win over south africa. good stuff going on. that's going to do it for me on
this edition of "alex wit reports." i will see you tomorrow at noon eastern. my friend alison yasmin vossoughian continues the coverage. >> good afternoon, everybody. i'm yasmin vossoughian. a lot to cover for you. new developments on capitol hill involving the up-and-down infrastructure talks as well as the start of the january 6th commission. new reporting on the man donald trump has repeatedly pushed as a potential georgia candidate. disturbing revelations about former nfl star her shell walker. i will talk to the reporter that broke the story. also, surging covid cases among the unvaccinated and even amongst some that are vaccinated. we will look at the big difference between the two. new signs of a republican split over messaging on vaccines. mitch mcconnell, marjorie taylor greene, telling people very different things. we will dive into who the gop faithful are really listening to. and then