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tv   American Voices With Alicia Menendez  MSNBC  August 8, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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that does it for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you back here next weekend at 5:00 p.m. eastern. my colleague aleash yu menendez picked up our news coverage now. >> thank you, reverend. hello, i'm alicia menendez. two pieces of breaking news as we come on air. the senate working to improve america. the chamber back at it this evening working through another sunday session, nearing the end
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of the road on a bipartisan infrastructure deal. majority leader chuck schumer with a progress report. >> i repeat, that democrats are ready and willing to vote on additional amendments to the bill before moving to final passage. once again, that will require the cooperation of our republican colleagues. i hope they will cooperate so we could move for quickly. other wise we'll proceed by the book. >> next, comes a vote expected within the next hour or so on an amendment to finalize the bill's language. if that happens on our watch, we will let you know. and the other big story this sunday. new testimony by trump's former acting a.g. revealing previously unknown efforts to subvert the 2020 election. "the new york times" first report that jeffrey rosen had a two hour meeting friday with the justice department's office of the inspector general. and then saturday gave closed
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door testimony to the senate judiciary committee in which he claimed one of his deputies, jeffrey clark, the acting head of the civil division, pushed top leaders to falsely and publicly assert that election fraud investigations cast doubt on the electoral college results. further proof that trump's big lie knew no bounds. according to richard blumenthal who appeared on msnbc a short time ago. >> the president of the united states then donald trump mounted a pressure campaign that was absolutely relentless, brutal, personally involved directly aimed at the department of justice seeking to break it and weaponize it so overthrow the election. >> our first get ben ray lujan. thank you for being with us. we'll start with infrastructure. your colleague senator hagerity
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of tennessee pushing what he called a robust debate. do you think this will have any effect on the timetable we're looking at here? >> well, good to be with you tonight. and with the work that we are doing in the united states senate, to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill, the question is will we pass it tonight, tomorrow, or tuesday. there is no question that this piece of legislation will be passed. it will be sent to the house. and once the house comes together to take action it will be sent to the president to be signed. so i understand what some of think colleagues may think they're doing here, but there is no question that this bill will pass for the good of the american people to make robust investment in roads, bridges, water, wastewater and broadband to connect the country. >> let's talk about your center that this will pass the house because some progressives won't vote on this unless the reconciliation bill will happen in tant em.
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how do you see that piece playing out? >> well after the united states senate takes action to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, we in the senate will be working to pass the budget resolution with the instructions to committees and sending that to the house as well. and we will begin work through the month of august to be able to get that put together as well. so i believe that both bills will be passed in both chambers and sent to the president. and here is why, alicia. the american people are expecting and demanding action to lower prescription drug prices to be able to expand benefits for medicare beneficiaries, to get those 65 and older vision and hearing and dental care. families across the country, because of the work of democratic leaders, now understand the full benefit of the child tax credit and in the budget resolution we will also be working to expand the child tax credit. this is providing relief to working class families across the country. so i think it is very important
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for the u.s. senate not to just pass the infrastructure bill but for us to pass the resolution and work with the house, get this to the president and get both bills signed by president biden. >> the timing on that is of course the question. we'll continue to watch for that because i also want to get your reaction to the news out of the doj, former acting a.g. jeffrey rosen testifying to the senate judiciary committee about the allegations that former president trump pressured rosen for his help in efforts to falsely undermine the 2020 election results. your reaction to his testimony about clark working with trump to subvert the 2020 election results? >> well this should be shocking to all that are paying attention to what is unraveling, alicia. now, more and more testimony that is coming forward showing how president trump firsthand was pushing, putting pressure, shaking down department of justice taf members to carry out his big lie which is that he won
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the election. nobody believes this. and so i think it is imperative to get to the bottom of this and i certainly hope that my colleagues, that we could all come together on a bipartisan basis and make sure that president trump understands that even he has to follow the law. and if he breaks the law, he's going to feel the full weight and pressure come down on him. >> i want to pivot to covid for a second because you've said that hispanic communities that receive vaccine information in spanish have seen increased vaccination rates. your sense of what more needs to be done to reach hispanic communities? >> alicia, this is very concerning to me and i've been working with my hispanic colleagues in the united states senate and in the u.s. house of representatives and many other colleagues who have join me in bringing attention to especially social media companies and others of our concern with the spread of misinformation, not just in english, but as we have learned it is worse with what is
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happening in spanish. and there is concern to me, because the social media companies where we've already identified 12 people that are spreading about 65% of the information in english, that the evidence is pointing that it is worse in spanish. and when social media companies are using algorithms to push content and using other algorithm tools to make recommendations on where people should click, this misinformation is continuing to spread. and it is critically important in english and spanish and in every other language that this misinformation is being spread whether it is by media or by social media companies, it has to stop. companies should not be profiting off of spreading misinformation that could cost people their lives. and in this case, we know it is happening and it needs to stop and that is why i and my colleagues are working to address this. >> senator, thank you so much for your time. for more on all of this, we're going to turn to our panel. white house reporter eugene
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daniels is the co-author of playbook and a msnbc contributor. sonam sheth and tia mitchell is from the atlanta journal constitution. friends it gs to see you. tia, every weekend i say this is the weekend it could happen and every sunday, we say will this happen before we get off air. so right now it is just after 6:00 p.m. eastern. where are we at getting this bill passed? >> well, it's more not if, but when. as you said. >> which, by the way, tia, i think maybe what you told me last weekend or the weekend before that so it feels like we're stuck in a little bit of a vortex. >> a little bit. you know, it is government runs slow. we talk about the sausage making. so that is what the senate has been in the thick of, the sausage making of governing and in some ways that is refreshing. they're doing what they're sent to washington to do. to sit out and work on amendments and compromise and
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get the bill to the finish line. because of the senate rules, one member could slow things down and that is what we've seen in the last few days. so as late as tuesday, but like you noted, there should be a final procedural vote later today. so they're getting there. they're almost there. >> i feel like we need a countdown clock that constantly re-sets. take a listen to what dick durbin said today about speaker pelosi. >> nancy pelosi has an extraordinary challenge, four vote margin. that isn't much when you really sit down and count votes. i don't want to really project a strategy. i want her to do it. she's accomplished as they come. >> could understand people want to see the infrastructure bill passed with no keys attached but she has to have enough votes for the infrastructure bill but the follow on budget resolution. so i give her all of the flexibility she needs to reach that goal. >> eugene, you could elaborate
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on that challenge and what we know about the strategies she plans to pursue? >> smart man, not to try to change the strategy for speaker pelosi. and she handles her own strategy and probably isn't taking advice from outside folks right now. the thing that we know about her strategy, is she is where she said at the very beginning. which i want to see both of these things at the same time. i wap to see both of these things early on. that is something that progressives have taken to heart and they continue to say that. so sometimes it sounds like reporters are thinking their progressives are pushing this two track and the bills have to be married but that's coming from speaker pelosi because that is what her caucus wants. so the senate has a lot of time here. the house isn't back until september 20th, i think is the date when they're back in session and the senate comes
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back september, right around a week before that. so they have some time to deal with this budget resolution on this reconciliation bill. so her focus is making sure that those things come to her at the same time. other than that, the progressives that we talk to, they say they're on board as long as they see them coming together because the concern is the rug being pulled out from under them. they think and they want this $3.5 trillion bill as soon as possible. and that is something that speaker pelosi is working in tandem with the senate majority leader and also the white house in making sure and letting them know, don't worry, i'm talking to my caucus all of the time, i'm working with progressives and moderates to make sure they're both on board with both of these bills. >> when i've had senators on the show and i ask whether or not the bills will show up in tandem, everyone seems to be hedging. and i wonder if you are getting the same response and to what you attribute that hedging? >> yeah, absolutely. so it is for a couple of
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reasons. first is the fact that democrats have such a slim majority in the house of representatives that really just one or two people could sway the direction of any package, especially one as big as this one. and in this case, we really are seeing a tug-of-war between moderate democrats who want to hold a vote on this as a stand alone measure to ensure that the infrastructure package passes quickly and then you have pelosi and house progressives saying that they want to vote on these two measures in tandem. so it is really, it is difficult to say how this is going in the house. we do know the chamber is in recess but it is very possible that the calculus from pelosi could change between now and when they reconvene next month. >> tia, the "new york times" reports that this deal is, quote, one of the most significant steps to date by lekked republicans to defy mr. trump, not only by the moderates who have broken with him but by a wider group that my signal his
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waning influence on capitol. so does this signal trump's influence on capitol hill and if so will it last? >> i do think it signals that on certain things senate and house republicans may be willing to defy president trump. for example, he's been calling out mitch mcconnell on this bipartisan infrastructure deal, calling out those republicans who voted with democrats to move the bill forward. he is not a fan of this bipartisan infrastructure package. and i think it is just because he's not a fan of seeing joe biden's platform being carried out. so on legislation on policy, you see republicans willing to say we're our own people, we're in washington, we're elected and this is the best thing this to do. but what you're still not saying is if they're willing to defy trump on the personal terms and
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distance themselves from trump completely. they're willing to disagree with him on this bill but not necessarily distance themselves from him and split from him in totality. and that is where i think his power remains, is that he's still is seen as the leader of the republican party and republican elected officials know that, so their hesitant to completely say i'm done with this guy, i don't want to hear anything he has to say on any topic. >> eugene, sonam, tia, we still have a lot of infrastructure summer ahead of us so i'm sure i'll see a lot of the three of us. thank you for your time. next, what this news could mean in terms of a criminal investigation of the former president and others. joyce vance will lay it all out for us. and when it comes to covid and america we're back to where we were in february with red states railing against mask mandates. what could be done and i'll ask the mayor of montgomery, alabama and in california where a fire spanning 700 miles now the
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grim news in america's fight against covid-19. we are losing ground. the united states now averages 100,000 new cases per day. and infection rate we haven't seen since february. rising cases including missouri where crowds in the ozarks gathered this weekend to party on the river. same in south dakota where the turj is bike rally kicked off this weekend. well johnson & johnson vaccines are available at the rally, officials are concerned about those who attend the ten-day event. to be clear, cases are rising everywhere, across all 50 states. look at that map. hospitalizations up 40%
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nationwide. thanks in part to the highly contagious delta variant. a variant that dr. fauci said we must gain control of to keep a dangerous mutation at bay. >> a virus will not mutate unless you allow it to replicate. so if you allow the virus to freely circulate, and not try and stop it, sooner or later there is a likelihood that you will get another variant that could, i'm not saying it will, that could be more problematic than the delta. that will impact not only the unvaccinated, that will impact the vaccinated. >> as of this weekend, just over half of all americans are currently vaccinated. prompting the cdc to recommend masks indoors in nearly every state. with me now, uch blackstock and founder of advancing health equity. i want to talk to you for a number of reasons.
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with you tweeted you're more concerned about sending your children under 12 to school this year than last year. talk to me about why. >> thank you so much for having me. and i wanted to convey to people as a physician and as a parent my thoughts about this coming school year. i know that there are a lot of parents out there that are concerned because most schools are returning to full in-person learning without remote or hybrid option. and we have a highly transmissible variant and classrooms will be even more crowded. and so it is just very important to share my concerns an make sure that parents could empower themselves to understand what to ask their schools about, to ensure that knowing what the mask policy is, knowing what the testing policy and vent lation and filtation and what is going on at their schools an other distancing guidelines. this is important to know about what is going on locally in terms of community transition
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levels so you could make decisions that are best for your family. >> part of what struck me about what you were going through is that there is data that is readily available and then there is some data not being collected which feels like we're in a loop on this thing that continues to be an issue. i also want to play some sound for you from nih director francis collins this morning pressing that masks and vaccines should be accepted by all regardless of political affiliation. take a listen. >> why is it that amandate about vaccine or about wearing a mask suddenly becomes a statement of your political party. we never should have let that happen. and come on, america, we could separate these. we're polarized about politics. we don't really need to be polarized about a virus that is killing people. we ought to be doing everything that we can to save lives and that means get the vaccine and that means wear the mask when you're indoors in a crowded space and if your unvaccinated. wear it all of the time. >> as a medical professional and very publicly speaking both as a
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medical profession and as a parent. your sense of what it is going to take to get past the politicization of masks of vaccines. >> right. what i will say is that it is political but it is politicized in a divisive day during this pandemic and it has exposed inequities that have already been there. so what we're seeing now is part of that. the response to sort of the culture and the undermining of public health messaging. i agree with francis collins that we need to understand what the basic benefits of masks an vaccines are. but it is important that we're not taking a vaccine only approach. the vaccines are not necessarily the only thing that is going to save us. what we need now as well as according to the map where masks are recommended throughout the whole country, we need a universal mask mandate at the most minimum. the vaccine mandates will get more people vaccinated over the next few weeks.
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but we also need to use other nonpharmaceutical interventions to address this as well as paid sick leave to help people get vaccinated. we could still have to think about what are the risk factors they're putting certain segments of the population at risk for contracting covid-19. and address those systemic inequities as well. >> i have to say mom to mom, thank you so much for sort of walking us through your own thinking on this. both here and on twitter. i found it personally just invaluable so thank you. now, in alabama covid cases shot up 174% in the past two weeks. hospitals at a breaking poin. alabama state dr. scott harris said 93% of the state's beds are occupied. nearly all covid-19 deaths in alabama are among the unvaccinated. and as of now, alabama does not have a state wide mask mandate. and my next guest, the mayor of
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montgomery, alabama, is doing what he can to encourage masks in his community. mayor reed joins me tonight. sit does require masks in all city facilities and your mask advisory for montgomery recommends both vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks indoors when around people not from their household, why issue an advisory rather than a mandate? >> well first, thank you for having me. we wanted to issue a advisory really just to jar the collective member of our residents and try to encourage them to start wearing masks and to understand that we're not through this pandemic just yet. as much as we all would like to be on the other side of it, and we didn't think the mandate was the first step that we needed to take. now that was last week and we're looking at this on a day-to-day basis. our covid-19 numbers are up over 136%. we've seen a 210% increase in
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hospitalizations. and the icu capacity is at or above 98% which typically can happen, but not so much when we have -- we're seeing so many covid-19 patients. so we're concerned and i'll be meeting with the city council this week to discuss what some steps will be going forward. >> it is what we keep hearing from health providers, the percentage of patients that are in there with covid is what is so alarming. what is the reaction that you've gotten over your advisory in your city? >> the reaction is very -- oh, no, are we really going back through this again? and i think again people have got into a relaxed state over the summer and i think we have really not done everything that we could do as individuals. now i think from the city side as well as other mayors around the state, many of us have been trying to push vaccination efforts by doing everything by partnering from churches and
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houses of worship but grassroots organizations, trying to go door-to-door to reach our residents where they are and just trying to have some plain conversations with them. but there is a lot of hesitancy out there. there is a lot of misinformation that we're still trying to battle and unpack some of that and in terms of how to be more effective. but the advisory did serve as a collective call to our city and to our community that there was more for us to do and when you look at our rates, we have a lot of work to do statewide. we're at the bottom. and so we have to continue to educate our residents and we've got to continue to work with them and partner with our schools as well as our private employers to get them the assistance in this matter. >> i have to ask you, as a mayor, when you see other southern governors banning mask mandates, what is then the actual experience for someone who is running a municipality. does it make you feel like other mayors have their hands tied?
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>> well, absolutely. and i think it puts all of us who are running cities across this country in a bind because you don't know how far you could go and you can't really use all of the tools in your tool box if you will, to address this the way we did last year. look, no one wants to go back to 2020 for any reason. given all of the upheaval we had in our economy and our schools. just in our normal day-to-day life. so when governors do this in particular without consulting mayors and without thinking about things at the local level, it is problematic for us and so it forces mayors to try to get around some of those measures that the governors have installed to still protect the lives of our residents and ultimately that is what it comes down to. >> alabama, your state is among the seven states that account for half after you will u.s. covid cases. could we show that map because it is startling when you see the seven statesch you could look at it there and you could see they are clustered.
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what would you like to see, mayor, done at a tate level in your state to curb those cases? >> well, i think number one, there has to be more communication, more resources from the state in the municipalities. we also have to get more leaders at the state level to really push back on the misinformation that is out there. and listen, a lot of this is political as been stated by previous guests. so they bear some responsibility for this. we didn't just get here because we accidentally found out that a vaccines weren't as impactful as they could be. we got here because a lot of people were told they didn't need to get vaccinated and people have mistrust of the government and certainly of the health care system. so they didn't need to be tipped any longer. now we're starting to see some officials come back but it has to be stronger and more collectively done. and we're going to have to get partisan business, partisan nonprofits and other community grassroots leaders to help us
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get the word out or else we're going to suffer what i think is going to be a relapse of last year and that is not going to help anyone when school starts back here in alabama. >> thank you so much four your time. in our next hour, meet the arizona superintendent being sued for requiring students and teachers to mask up. but first, what happens if new york's governor is charged with a misdemeanor? former u.s. attorney joyce vance is going to tell us next. xt - water?! - hey you! catch! mio. thank you! water tastes like, well...water. so we fixed it. mio.
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back with today as bombshell allegations against the former president. "the new york times" first report former acting attorney general jeffrey rosen has told the doj and congressional investigators that one ever his deputies tried to help trump subvert the 2020 election results. senator dick durbin was in the room for that testimony. >> when you were listening to that testimony yesterday, what
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was the most shocking to you? >> just how directly personally involved the president was, the pressure he was putting on jeffrey rosen, it was real. very real. and it was very specific. this president is not subtle when he wants something, former president. he's not subtle when he wants something and i think it's a good thing for america that we had a american like rosen in that position who stood with -- with stood the pressure. >> the senator said the committee spoke with richard donahue and they plan to interview another witness this coming week. joining me now former u.s. attorney joyce vance, a professor at the university of alabama school of law. joyce, could this lead to criminal charges for trump? >> i suppose that is the ultimate question here, alicia and i'll answer it this way. i'll say it merits an investigation into whether or not criminal conduct occurred. i wouldn't want to prejudge that
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until the evidence is in. not because this doesn't give the appearance of being fully criminal, but because we are a rule of law country and charging someone with a crime requires the government to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt of all of the elements of a crime. some of which could be rather demanding and rather narrow. but in this situation, and i wrote a piece earlier this week with my colleague bash mcquade and with professor larry tribe at harvard where we laid out a road map to investigate because this gives an appearance to defraud the united states and an entire series of other crimes. >> it strikes me there have been a number of times that i've asked you the question about the former president because theresy cornucopia of legal cases to ask you about that and you were very judicious and give a version of
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that answer. it is easy to become jaded about all of the different legal inquiries. what about this one should make us sit up and take notice? >> you know, i don't feel jaded about this one at all. i thought senator blumenthal said something that was really remarkably accurate. he said that trump tried to break the justice department. and i would add to that that this evidence shows that trump also tried to break the country. he was willing to do anything to stay in power. we've heard a lot about this former president for four years, a lot of people wish he would just go away. but you know, if you compare this to -- if you heard this about a senator, that a senator had lost an election and went to someone at doj and asked them to perpetuate concern about the election and lies, so that they could stay in power, we all know that doj would immediately open an investigation and look into it.
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same thing should happen here. >> joyce, i want to turn to andrew cuomo. one accuser spoke to cbs. >> why can you file that criminal complaint with the sher's office? >> it was the right thing to do. the governor needs to be held accountable. >> and just so i'm clear again, being held accountable to you means seeing the governor charged with a crime? >> what he did to me was a crime. he broke the law. >> the lawyers have downplayed the sexual harassment saying the governor doesn't believe he touched anyone inappropriately. what do you think prosecutors will make of that argument? >> so, they'll engage in an investigation. they'll see if they could substantiate the claim and then under new york this sort of an unwanted touching could be a felony or a misdemeanor. here they could consider whether there was misdemeanor charges
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and albany said they will not move this case for more quickly or slowly than in any other situation that they'll investigate it fully. >> so let's talk about the investigation because the governor has five days left to submit evidence to the new york legislature. what kind of materials is cuomo allowed to share and what are his chances of avoiding impeachment? >> so, it's an interesting situation because in his initial defense he submitted a written brief or rather his lawyer submitted a written brief laying out the case for him. but it largely consisted of a series of pictures of the governor kissing and hugging with a variety of people ranging from the famous to average citizens as though that somehow canceled out the allegations that are made by these 11 women. he'll have to do a little bit better than that if he wants to have a real response to the compelling detailed evidence presented in this narrative.
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and one of the very interesting things about impeachment in the state of new york is that if the governor is impeached, while those charges are pending trial, he's actually removed from office. it is different than a federal situation. so the consequences for him are very serious. >> joyce vance, as always, thank you. next, breaking news from california and the brutal fight to contain the second largest blaze in state history. and later, the dangerous mix of booze, delayed flights and cabin fever, that is playing out in airports and skies across the country. cross the country. subway®... has so much new they couldn't fit it in their last ad. so, we gonna have to go fast. ready? there's new steak, deli-style turkey, belgioioso® fresh mozzarella, hickory-smoked bacon, new hearty multigrain, and steph curry juggling avocados for some reason.
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there with the latest. >> reporter: fire conditions on ground here are very dynamic. it is starting to get hotter and starting to get more windy. but it was a good situation for firefighters over the weekend. they say because the temperatures cooled down, the winds died down significantly. and hopefully they were able to make some progress on containing this fire, though. as it keeps growing. almost no matter what they do. meanwhile, i'm standing in the worst case scenario. this is greenville, california, at least what is left of it. it seems that every day we find a new level, a new depth of a destruction here. at least 75% of all structures in town burned to the ground. the fire has claimed at least 400 in total. but remember there are 14,000 still in the threat of this fire. meanwhile, i spoke to the sheriff here. he has a home here and he grew up here and we spoke to him in front of the sheriff's department and he spoke about the heartbreak that residents must be going through. >> it is devastating. it is been a long few days to try to process all of this.
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i don't know that i still have processed it. i'm just trying to keep myself so busy that i guess i really can't. and i till have other communities have that threatened by this fire. >> reporter: meanwhile, if you spend any time on the ground, the air quality is terrible. you could feel it. it is bad here in the state and bad across the region and in fact colorado, denver, had some of the worst air quality in the world because of the fires that are burning in northern california. back to you. >> that was nbc's steve patterson reporting. next, what the faa is doing about those on going mid-air melt downs and an uptick in passengers and delays not helping smooth the turbulence. and later, bidding adieu to the 2021 games as team usa claims gold through the very end. we take you to tokyo. e you to to n caused by bad bacteria in food? try pepto® diarrhea. its concentrated formula coats and kills bacteria to relieve diarrhea.
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it's time to ask your doctor about kesimpta. >> tech: every customer has their own safelite story. ready for an at-home treatment with dramatic results? this couple was on a camping trip... ...when their windshield got a chip. they drove to safelite for a same-day repair. and with their insurance, it was no cost to them. >> woman: really? >> tech: that's service you can trust. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ you've seen the videos of the summer flight struggles and mid-air melt downs and passengers throwing punches and some duct ated to their seats an it is still happening. leading the faa to ask airports and airlines to monitor how much alcohol passengers throw back. but those aren't the only problems these days. alley vitale has more. >> reporter: it should have been a summer of deferred travel dreams come true. instead for thousands of across the country this week.
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a travel nightmare. and one the country may not break up from soon. staffing shortages, computer problems and air crim crippling a strain. and spurring delays an cancellations across the board and angry passengers along with them. >> we we're just staying in lin for three hours waiting, and nothing is happening. >> spirit airlines canceling more than 2,000 flights this week alone. stranding hundreds of thousands of passengers. their ceo vowing to do better. >> today is going to be better than yesterday, and probably in hindsight should have done more earlier on to stem the breath of this particular disruption. how do we learn from this and what do we do to get better? >> american airlines slashing hundreds of flights this week. delta acknowledging its struggling to keep up with demand, as previously cooped up travelers spread their wings. >> what is going on with travel right now. >> simply put, travel is a hot
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mess. consumers are, you know, crowded on the planes. airports are packed. staffing levels are low, which is bringing us to some fights in the skies, unruly passengers and mass cancelations for certain airlines, so it's certainly a stressful time to be in the skies. >> that stress, sometimes boiling over, each week seeming to bring a new incident of bad behavior in the skies. like this one aboard a frontier airlines flight. a 42-year-old passenger duct taped to his seat after groping and punching attendants. just some of the more than 3,700 cases of unruly behavior by passengers so far if 2021. and a new survey showing more than 85% of flight attendants reported dealing with an unruly passenger this year, and 1 in 5
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saw physical altercations. >> a bad day you might be unlucky enough to face one time in your 30-year career, now it's every day when people are putting on their uniforms, they are thinking is today the day i get punched in the face. >> and on top of it all, covid still looming large. passengers must still wear masks to take to the skies. >> we have been saying for quite sometime get vaxxed, wear a mask and come and fly with us, and we have had to add, and be kind. >> coming up, to tokyo as the world closes out the 2021 games, a herculean feat pulled off despite the dangers of covid. back here at home, masks in florida. the governor is against mandating them, but what about the mayor of miami, a fellow republican? we'll ask him. and the story that could change
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just like that it's a wrap at the 2021 olympic games in tokyo, with a colorful closing ceremony performed for thousands of empty seats. in the end the united states took home the most gold medals and the most medals overall. president biden inviting team
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usa to the white house offering his congratulations on twitter. >> i know getting to the olympics is a long journey and the pandemic made it especially difficult and draining, it made the impossible even harder. but in you, the country saw itself, it saws what was possible. >> nbc's keir simmons is in tokyo tonight with more. what stood out to you in that closing ceremony? >> reporter: well, i think it depends on your perspective. the simple fact they were able to have the closing ceremony for many is a victory. when i sat down with the japanese prime minister a few weeks ago he told me we have to do this, and they did it successfully. goodness me, 50,000 people involved in staging the games and taking part and it's clear from the olympic organizers how delighted they are.
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in the stadium there were, once again, no spectators and fewer athletes because so many had to go home. there was a sense there of just the achievement, the ability of the human spirit to overcome even against this terrible virus. i think that was the messaging. there was also a message of hope, and a thought about the future with paris, and that perspective on how they will hold the games. you just couldn't help thinking as you watched, i hope things will be different in a few years time. >> one of my favorite moments that played out over and over again, is when somebody would cross the finish line and how all the competitors would embrace them, and you are reminded there are communities within the communities. what was the mood in tokyo as teams were saying their good-byes to one another? >> reporter: well, it's tricky,
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because, of course, teams left at different times in the past two weeks. i think there was a sense of relief, of achievement, and everybody always fills, you know, pleased to go home, but just think about how many questions there were over whether they games could even be staged safely. the fact that they were there, i think that was for everybody to celebrate and a message to take home when they get back to their families even though they couldn't be with their families while they were here. >> an element of relief for sure. keir simmons, thank you so much for taking the time to join us. this hour on the brink of bipartisanship on the hill, the senate expected to move forward on an infrastructure deal. just how close are we to the finish line? we will ask senator chris van hallen. also ahead, new depths of trump's big lie. new testimony from his former active ag revealing bombshell efforts to subvert america's
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vote. and this hour, two leaders that want people to mask up. how does the story end? we will ask the mayor of miami and a judge of dallas county, texas. it's a story bound to change minds about getting the shot. this is "american voices." first up this hour, new answers to the long-asked question of how far donald trump was willing to go to stay in power. through testimony before the senate judiciary committee and the doj this weekend, trump's former acting attorney general, jeffrey rosen, said one of his deputies, jeffrey clark, tried to help trump subvert the 2020 election results to subject doubt into the res

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