tv Stephanie Ruhle Reports MSNBC August 24, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
hi there, chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. it is tuesday, august 24th. we start this morning with major breaking news in afghanistan. nbc news just confirmed that cia director welcome burns held a secret meeting with the taliban de facto leader in kabul. it comes as president biden faces growing pressure to extend our troop withdrawal deadline past august 31st. and he needs to decided to if he'll do that, otherwise the pentagon probably won't be able to get u.s. troops out on time.
but the taliban is warning the u.s. will face consequences if troops stick around past the 31st deadline, calling it a red line. and later this hour, the president will join an emergency meeting with world leaders to talk about all this. they're expected to put pressure on the president to extend with their own citizens as well as tens of thousands of americans and our afghan allies still scrambling to get out. and growing fears of more violence around the airport. 20 were killed in the past week. the u.s. evacuated 63,000 in july. geoff bennett is at the white house, courtney kube at the pentagon, we start with ken delanian. what do we know about the cia meeting? >> sources tell me that the cia director welcome burns met face to face with the taliban de
facto leader in what amounts to the highest level contact between the biden administration and the taliban. the irony is that he is a man the cia helped to capture and jail in 2010, he was kept in pakistan eight years. during that time, they refused to let the cia talk to him. intelligence sources say he was seen as a reasonable alternative to many taliban figures on the scene. now he is the leader. cia director burns, long time diplomat was likely negotiating all the issues around the exit, including access to the airport and status of americans and allies, and figuring out how to get there without being harmed by the taliban. there's a lot of frustration in the cia about the fact the united states left many afghan allies essentially stranded. it remains to be seen whether the burns meeting will help solve that problem. >> the question, what are we going to do about it. president biden, we understand
today if he will wrap up the calculation. what's the pentagon's point of view? >> there's nearly 6,000 u.s. troops, soldiers and marines at the kabul airport as part of the evacuation effort. you can't just get those people and equipment out in a couple hours. the estimate is anywhere in the neighborhood of three to four days to get all troops and any remaining embassy staff out of the airport safely. the big question, what happens to the equipment there. there's artillery, counter drone, m wraps, big vehicles, even aircraft there. the big question is what happens to that. will the u.s. take additional time it takes to get the equipment, and critically, the aircraft space it would take to get equipment out as well. if you back time where we are now, it is now tuesday, august 24th. the u.s., if they meet the deadline, they have to have everything out by august 31st. that's less than a week away.
if you back time that three to four days, talking end of the week the u.s. would have to start getting u.s. troops out of the aircraft and equipment out of the airfield. then you back time from there, the u.s. is in a critical race of only a couple days to get remaining americans, third country nationals, and afghans out of the country. now, i can say yesterday, monday, there were more u.s. military and charter aircraft as part of the evacuation effort than we have seen during the entire time since it started august 14th. if they maintain that pace the next couple days, they can get tens of thousands more people out of there, but if you talk about another 2 or 3 days, then that cuts the timeline. the president has to make his decision today over whether he will, about whether he will maintain, hold the august 31st deadline or whether he will extend it, chris. >> do you expect an announcement
from the president today, and what do we expect from his meeting with world leaders? >> reporter: we expect a meeting with world leaders, g7 emergency gathering to start sometime this hour. scheduled to start at 9:30. closed to the press. yesterday, white house press secretary jen psaki wouldn't predict announcements coming from the meeting, but we know president biden is set to deliver remarks on the afghanistan withdrawal at noon eastern. it is likely if we get an announcement, it would come from that meeting. to take you sort of inside the room, we know going into it, british prime minister boris johnson and the french want president biden to extend his self imposed august 31st deadline. the british defense secretary has said on the record the british position is we want to stay longer if it is possible to do so. the british and french have more personnel in country that they say they need more time to evacuate. but given that the taliban has said on the record that there's a red line of august 31st with
these unspecified consequences, we know that president biden has a hard decision to make whether it is possible to remain in country beyond then. meantime, the white house is touting a turnaround in pace of evacuations. 21,000 people evacuated in the last 24 hours, 59,000 since august 14th. not a single u.s. casualty. the president defending his decision to end this war and he has said that this would have been a chaotic process even in the best of circumstances. the president saying history will record that he made the logical, rational, right decision. >> there's a lot of folks in congress, including many that are veterans that have been critical of the way the evacuation has been handled and members of the intel committee got a briefing. i want to play what the chairman, adam schiff, had to say. take a listen. >> do you think it is possible for the evacuation to finish before august 31st?
>> i think it is possible but i think it is very unlikely. >> very unlikely, courtney. what's the worst case scenario, what's the warning coming from all sides to this president if they don't get everybody out? >> right now there has been a stepped up effort to get americans, that seems to be where the focus is, get as many americans out as possible. we have seen the past several days that the u.s. military is going outside the airport in certain cases to pick up americans and bring them safely in. they've also established what they're calling alternative routes. essentially they're telling americans to go to certain places, rallying points where they can get them safely from there into the airport through a gate and onto an evacuation flight. there is, i can tell you the last couple of days, there is a real push to get as many americans to the airport as quickly as possible. and then the question becomes what about the afghans, what about all of the special
immigrant visa candidates, people that supported the u.s. military and state department for two decades in afghanistan. if the push now is to get americans there, is there effort to get remaining afghans, potentially thousands of them, to the airport. will there even be time or ability to get them through the gates. we have seen this crush of people at the gates but because of the new effort, what they're doing is sending americans in intervals to the gates. there actually has been less of a crowd at the gates in the past 24 to 36 hours. and that's because of this new effort. they're sending them in small groups, small intervals, with coordination and assistance of the taliban. they're keeping the crowds down. a big part of the reason they had to do this is not just because they're trying to get people through but also because there was a new security threat as of saturday, an isis threat.
they're worried isis may try to infiltrate crowds, get to the gate, there are concerns about suicide bombers, potential vehicle borne ieds at some gates that would not only impact afghan civilians there but americans, people trying to get through the gate. in addition, as jeff pointed out to the increased number of people that have gotten out on evacuation flights, they have been able to control some crowds at the gates. the concern now is if the u.s. makes an announcement and says yes, we are definitely going to be out by august 31st, will that be a new -- will we see a new crush of people trying to get to the gates in effort to get out on potentially last remaining evacuation flights in the last few days. that's what u.s. officials are worried about. >> will panic set in. thanks to all of you. outside of the biden administration, we also see that there are efforts under way, american veteran groups, other organizations trying to evacuate
interpreters and other afghans. they have been using in one case of a veteran's group intelligence and satellite maps to find taliban check points and guide interpreters to the airport to escape. joining me, one of the people behind this, former cia analyst matt zeller. good to see you again. let me start with the breaking news that the cia director sat down with the taliban. does that give you any hope, what's your take on that? >> yeah. i mean, weird time to be in, guy was in a prison of ours, now we're talking to him. that's the end of a war you lose goes i guess. look, i hope they're making a deal. it is very clear that the devil's arithmetic doesn't have us being able to evacuate not just afghans but americans. the association of wartime allies puts out a daily tracker,
haven't updated yet today, as of yesterday, we were going to take until at least september 21st to complete the evacuation at the current pace of withdrawal. we want to take everybody. we don't want to leave a single person behind. i have to be honest, the fact that we're sending director of central intelligence agency to make a deal with the taliban shows that the biden administration hopefully finally understands that they're going to be judged by one number and one number alone for the rest of history, and that's how many people did we leave behind. how many people did we save, but how many did we leave behind. let's be clear, the president has to stop gaslighting the country. we could have done this in an orderly fashion. a plan existed all along. it is on a website, evacuate our allies.org. tried to give it to the administration as early as february. had they listened to us, we wouldn't be in this situation. if the trump administration hadn't purposely shut down the program for four years, we wouldn't have all these people that we needed to take at the
last moment. if the visa program functioned as designed, many would have gotten out years ago. a lot of blame to go around both sides of the aisle and with leadership. what we need to focus, the president has to keep this open. these people are right there. they're at the gates. we can take them. we just need a little more time. >> tell us from your perspective what is the biden administration not doing, what does it need to do in order to get everybody out? >> first thing, commit to mission complete, not an arbitrary date set by the taliban in the future. we should not have been negotiating with these people. they're not a legitimate government. i get that they have militarily taken control and that's the reality on the ground, we're still the most powerful country on the planet and i fear if we commit to their date, what does that say to our ability to stand up to russia and china going forward? i really worry it might now be open season on the united states
if we let the taliban push us around. the other thing is that this entire time, the biden administration has been plagued with this problem called through put. we only have one runway in all of afghanistan to work with and at the very beginning of this didn't have a lot of other runways upon which to land, so very quickly the ability to bring people to qatar ended because we ran out of space to put people. then we had to go hat in hand all over the world asking any country, will you take our afghans, will you take our afghans. when this entire time the island of guam sits ready to welcome these people. they have tens of thousands of vacant hotel rooms because their economy is dependent on tourism and has been did he say mated. the government requested that the island be used for exactly this purpose and still not a single afghan has been evacuated to guam. i don't understand why the
administration has such a profound resistance to using what is clearly a major solution to a massive problem, that if they just took it, we could begin moving people quicker because we would have another place to bring them, we would have way more capacity to assist people, we could start flying more planes. this is just a matter of logistics and math. >> matt zeller, we thank you as always for taking time to talk to us as we continue to watch this developing situation. maybe some of the points you're making will be made by members of the g7 as the president is on the call with them today. thank you so much for that. up next, we are already seeing new vaccine mandates this morning after the fda fully approved the pfizer vaccine. the new pressure right now on republican led states. and moderate democrats threatening to derail president biden's agenda. what happened overnight on capitol hill and what now for infrastructure? capitol hill and what now for infrastructure
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there have been major moves by governments and businesses across the country we want to tell you about this morning with a growing number of new vaccination mandates being announced, now that the fda fully approved pfizer's covid vaccine. mandate announcements from cvs to the state university system in new york, some effecting unionized disney employees. in new york city, all education department employees will be required to get vaccinated. the pentagon mandating the 1.5 million active duty service members be vaccinated. and president biden calling on private companies to immediately begin issuing vaccine requirements. >> calling on more country, more companies i should say in the private sector to step up with vaccine requirements that will reach millions more people. >> this is putting increasing pressure on states with republican governors who signed executive orders banning vaccine
mandates specifically because the vaccine did not yet have full fda authorization. in the south, the covid surge and hospital staffing shortages are getting so bad, fema is sending 20 military medical personnel each to jackson and tupelo, mississippi, and to baton rouge, louisiana. they include nurses, respiratory therapists and doctors. to date, the u.s. has surpassed 38 million total covid cases, meaning the country has added a million new cases in just the last six days. morgan chesky, heidi pris balance a. morgan, you're in texas, one of the hardest-hit states, where the struggle to get people vaccinated is and has been real. what are you hearing about reaction to the fda giving full authorization for the pfizer vaccine, what are doctors telling you?
>> i think health care personnel, time will tell to see how many people previously unvaccinated will see this full approval given by the fda to pfizer's vaccine as really the next step in convincing them to get the shot. we know it capital come soon enough approval. new cases of covid doubled in the last week. icus in incredibly short supply. what's concerning are pediatric cases. we know nationwide, 180,000 cases of pediatric covid have been reported, that's the highest number since last year's winter surge. it is hope now that we're 24 hours past full approval by the fda that unvaccinated people, millions of americans come forward. dr. fauci echoed that sentiment earlier today. take a listen to what he had to say. >> recent survey was shown about
30% of people that have not yet been vaccinated, now that 80 to 90 million people that are eligible to be vaccinated who have not been vaccinated have said that when they get and see the stamp of approval of the fda on the vaccine that they would seriously consider getting vaccinated. i think that's going to be an important group. >> reporter: let's look at the timing here. houston isd had their first day of school yesterday. 200,000 kids headed back to the classroom. the district here, one of the first to defy the governor's order, issuing their own mask mandate which was recently upheld by texas supreme court. however, there's concern going forward as we have seen other districts not just in texas but around the nation have to quarantine thousands of students in certain cases because of covid positivity rates that the worst may be yet to come in
texas. that's why full approval is reassuring, but at the same time there still needs to be things to play out before you get full reassurance on the health care staff. >> i wonder how you see it playing out. there's skepticism about the survey, 31% of people not vaccinated would consider it or do it because full approval, it was before the approval, said when it got approved, they would be willing to do it. are you skeptical of that number, is the real movement going to come in what we're starting to see, mandates by governments and companies? >> i think, chris, i heard that among some of my own patients that didn't want to take the vaccine because they didn't see the full fda approval. the skepticism is partly because the survey was of the people. people thought it was already fda approved. people didn't know emergency authorization of those who knew
it was not yet, those are folks that said one-third would consider it. in my mind, it is multi factors. there are a group of people it will effect their opinion getting the vaccine. i should stress we had the safety data, this is kind of a bureaucratic caution on the fda's part, which i'm glad they took it, but we had millions taking the vaccine. we had safety data. it was that six month waiting time of data that they passe' profl on. other things it may help, mandates, many said mandates if required to take it, they would take the vaccines but the other part, chris, is what's happening in our country. i am hearing about medicine shortages, something i didn't expect to see since last winter. medicines being used in covid patients across the country. people are seeing illnesses in the community, you're seeing that reflected in an increase in the number of vaccinations we
see across the country. i hope that number of vaccinations continues to be high. >> one of the things that we heard early in the pandemic was if you're hesitant, very early after the vaccine got emergency use authorization was talk to your health care provider. the fact of the matter is there are a significant number of health care providers who themselves are not vaccinated and where you are, they're standing firm. tell us what's going on in staten island? >> they are. and i think it is a combination of what the doctor was laying out. i think my reporting outside of staten island, folks said once this gets full authorization, they will get vaccinated. this morning as i have been talking to health care workers, reporting on staten island, folks have been standing strong with the fact they want to remain unvaccinated. they feel the science is not there. i should say we know the science is there. they feel like it is their own
personal choice, up to their own personal liberties. that's one of the reasons they don't want to be vaccinated. you have 53% of staten island fully vaccinated, 59% with one shot. highest infection and hospitalization rates in all five boroughs. the hospital behind me is owned by northwell health, a conglomerate. 80% of employees are vaccinated. "new york times" reports 60% of this time is vaccinated, the hospital not confirming that for me. then there are people like a nurse at the hospital behind me, she lost her husband to covid in the icu at the hospital that she works at very early on in the pandemic, march of 2020. having to see her colleagues, nurses, techs not getting vaccinated. here's what she had to say. >> i don't feel anything towards
them. i hope they can get to a place that's good for them so they feel comfortable and safe because that's what it is all about. it is true. you take a vaccine, could save your life or somebody else's life. >> august 16th, the hospital said get vaccinated or be subject to testing. then they had to have shots in arms by the 27th. as of yet, we don't have a clear pathway forward whether or not folks will be terminated if they don't get vaccinated by the september 27th deadline. the hospital is saying they are prepared to terminate if in fact that's guidance from the state level, chris. >> absolutely heartbreaking listening to her talk about her colleagues. doctor, you have so many things going on, fema sending medical personnel to hospitals in mississippi and louisiana because the situation is so bad, lots of hospitals reporting staffs are once again completely
exhausted. then you have those like a significant group looks like in staten island who say they don't want to get vaccinated. how do you view sort of your profession now, their role and your concerns? >> i'm going to start by saying the whole country has been in crisis but health care workers have been in a state of emergency for 18 months, chris. my heart goes out to the states where you're seeing field hospitals being set up. you can't create nurses and respiratory therapists on the spot. so the impact that this is going to not just be through this period but it is going to last for years. we have to think about the toll this will have on the profession, who will be available to help if there's crisis in the future when we are not able to protect health care workers now.
on the flip side i really think that health care workers have a special place where they're around people in hospitals. if we don't get vaccinated, if we don't make ourselves stop the transmission at us, we don't want to put patients at risk. it is responsibility of health care workers to keep patients safe, particularly with data coming out now about waning immunity in older patients. lot of times, that's who they are, older in age. we want to be sure -- i strongly believe health care workers should get vaccinated and i think hospitals that have taken a stance of mandating vaccines are moving the right direction. >> caught in the middle of this, as you well know, heidi, schools. tell us what's happening where you are. >> chris, american civil liberties union behind me says it is illegal to discriminate against kids with pre-existing
conditions and that's exactly what these mask mandate bans do in states because children who are at risk of more severe case of covid are not being protected, they're being discriminated against and segregated. you cannot provide equal education if you have to do it separately. you have to do it separately if a choice of making your child who will get a severe case of covid very sick. chris, what we are missing in all this is the human side of it. aclu is filing a lawsuit. we also caught up with parents of children with pre-existing conditions who are effected by this. this family is not part of this lawsuit, but they are in south carolina, and they show the human side of this, and the difficult choice that parents are facing with kids with pre-existing conditions.
two of them had diabetes and had to go back to classrooms with no masks. they're the only ones wearing them. here's what they said. >> were the kids wearing masks? >> not anyone in my class. >> actually, somebody said in my class covid is getting better, that's why they don't have to wear masks. but it is actually getting worse. >> one of the boys in my class at my desk said covid is not even here any more. >> and how did that make you feel? >> i am scared and upset. i know covid is still around and it is getting worse. >> so ella caught covid, the girl on the left. she's recovering. it was hard for their mother. she said her blood sugar spiked and there's all kinds of kids like her part of the lawsuit. they're being filed in state after state, children with asthma, with pre-existing
conditions that effect their heart and lungs and all over the country, you have parents like mary wilson facing a difficult choice of whether and how to send kids back to the classrooms. >> kids shouldn't have to put their lives at risk to go to school. thanks to you all. big setback for nancy pelosi from her own party. the latest negotiations on the hill this morning next. hill this morning next stressed? no stress. exercise. but no days off! easy, no? no. no. no. no. but with freestyle libre 14 day, you can take the mystery out of your diabetes. now you know. sir, do you know what you want to order? yes. freestyle libre 14 day. try it for free. age-related macular degeneration may lead to severe vision loss,
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got a lot going on right now on capitol hill. house speaker nancy pelosi walked into a closed door meeting with the democratic caucus, comes after negotiations between leadership and moderate members dragged on past midnight. they couldn't even agree on a procedural resolution to set up debate on the $3.5 trillion infrastructure. complicating matters, congresswoman was the tenth member to say she won't vote for it without passing a bipartisan bill first. let's go to ali vitale and john . when might we expect a vote? give us the latest. >> reporter: walking into a meeting of the democratic caucus, said the thing to expect is cooperation. that definitely wasn't the vibe
here yesterday and last night as lawmakers hashed it out for the first time behind the scenes at the same time they were already supposed to be voting on the procedural rules vote. really, what happened here, lawmakers walking into the caucus meeting now effectively waiting for marching orders. i am keeping an eye on text messages as we see and hear more. they're meeting behind closed doors with speaker pelosi, while clyburn uses words like cooperation and steny hoyer said expect positive news, at the same time, there's no finalized deal, at least not yet. the stunning thing about this is that nine moderates that added a tenth to ranks yesterday, stephanie murphy from florida, they're making demands to see the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the senate before the house contends with the budget resolution for the larger $3.5 trillion bill. these demands aren't new. the reality on the ground is
that leadership here didn't actually start negotiating with this group of moderates until last night, which has pushed the process far back in the timeline, further back than they thought they wanted it to go. the goal is to vote on the rule sometime today and finish up their business ideally by tonight. at the same time, they're up against a clock of their own making. if this thing continues to stretch on, that could be the reality. it is also not the only thing happening on the hill. lawmakers in d.c. are going to have a bipartisan in person classified briefing on afghanistan. that's also happening today. we're going to hear from republican and democratic lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. that could give us a sense of what we can expect and the kind of opposition the white house could face on this, and also don't forget in the policy pushes that they're trying to accomplish over the course of today, also voting rights. a lot on the agenda, chris. >> john, punch bowl this morning as always informative but also blunt.
let me read from it. monday was a bad day for speaker nancy pelosi. monday was a bad day for a group of moderate house democrats looking to flex their muscles over joe biden's agenda. monday was mostly a useless day for the house of representatives, and foreshadows some longer term problems for the democratic power centers in the institution. now that it is tuesday, now what? >> we're going to like ali set up, going to play it again today, see if they can get a deal. eventually they'll get an agreement, how far, what concessions does pelosi have to make to moderates. and remember, every concession to moderates, her left, progressives get pissed off. >> did she underestimate the resolve the moderates, john? >> i think so. i think a lot of leadership thought they would eventually fold. they have in the past. they didn't in this case. the big issue here is that this
is like ali said, it is a procedural vote. this is not the $3.5 trillion bill that's coming down the road in a couple weeks. that's going to be real hard. you think this is bad now, wait for a couple of weeks. >> thanks to you both for important updates. coming up. a new era for new york. andrew cuomo is out, challenges facing her now. list of bigger name democrats lining up to challenge her in 2022. that's next. her in 2022 that's next. i was uncertain... was another around the corner? or could things take a different turn? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot. almost 98 percent of patients on eliquis didn't experience another. ...and eliquis has significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding.
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bureau chief for the times. republican strategist and msnbc political analyst susan del percio who worked for governor cuomo. before taking the governor's oath, she announced she was naming two women to take high ringing positions in the executive branch in albany, setting a tone, giving reasons for which cuomo had to leave. what's the reaction on the ground, what's the mood entering a new administration? >> i would say if you sum it up in one phrase, chris, it would be a new day. two weeks in coming. plenty of notice. there's a palpable sense of relief that the scandals of andrew cuomo were moved aside, people can get on with the business of governing new york state. there's plenty to do, starting with covid and uncertain economy and getting kids back to school and back to school safely in the
middle of what seems to be an unending pandemic. kathy hochul takes the office of governor well prepared. she has been in local politics all her life. comes from buffalo area and says she is ready to lead. this afternoon, we will hear just exactly what her vision will be when she speaks to people of new york at 3:00 this afternoon. >> susan del percio, you worked for governor cuomo as a special adviser years ago, listened to his speech yesterday. he was nothing if not consistent, defiant, self congratulatory. leaves with more hanging over his head. state assembly working on a report to outline its investigation, a federal probe into how his administration tallied nursing home deaths continues. worth reminding folks, this is someone who talked about running for president during the covid crisis. what's your take on what you saw
from andrew cuomo and where we are now? >> you said it perfectly. he is consistent. he is defiant. in some ways came across desperate to keep restating his claims that he did nothing wrong when clearly that was not the case. there's one other thing looming over him that will take the biggest personal toll and that is the open investigation in albany county that was filed for sexual assault. that is something that follows him outside the governor's mansion now outside of albany. i know they're very concerned about that one open case on him that is outside of government's purview, if you will, from albany. the state legislature or ag's office. i think he'll lay low for awhile, but it is important to remember he has $18 million in his campaign war chest, so with
that kind of money and that kind of defiant attitude, i don't think we have seen the last of him. >> however, suzanne, from what we heard from top aide, he is not running in 2022. hochul has said she will be running for a full term but could be up against a list of better known democrats, some names that are out there include letitia james, juror gillibrand. >> those are names, what is exciting, you haven't seen a robust democratic primary in a very long time. i think this is going to open the door for a number of people to come in, even in albany, there's a lot of people that may be considering running. you have to imagine governor hochul has the advantage because she's the incumbent, she's a
strong fundraiser. only more so now that she's in office. it will be a very robust race we will see in the next year coming into this year where people start jockeying. >> susan, what are you hearing how the race for new york governor is shaping up, are there prominent republicans to get in the mix? one of the things we are hearing after cuomo's resignation, it is giving republicans hope. >> yeah. i think more republicans were hoping to run against a weakened andrew cuomo than a democrat that may not have any of the same baggage. there are three names out there. one is congressman lee zeldin from long island, second, rob as terino. ran against andrew cuomo in 2014, and then the name andrew
giuliani. he is running a primary campaign although it is not seen as very hopeful. >> suzanne craig, what's your thought, what are you hearing? have we seen the last of andrew cuomo in politics? we mentioned he has money in the bank. what do you think might be next for him? right now, he says he is taking a vacation, apparently wants to do fishing. >> i think in the short term that's what we're going to see. i imagine he will take time off. we haven't seen the last of him. i don't necessarily think he is going to re-enter politics. i wouldn't rule it out long term. you could see something on the line of something where he goes into media and tries to re-invent himself. it is not impossible to imagine it. we saw eliot spitzer after he resigned in disgrace as governor of new york mount a campaign to come back. ran for public office. but i think these things could happen, but more likely for andrew cuomo in the short to medium term, you'll see some other role where he has a voice
17 inches of rainle in humphries county. that breaks the state's single day record by more than three inches according to the national weather service. on monday, president biden approved their disaster declaration which will help deliver federal aid to assist in the recovery. joining me from waverly, tennessee, is priscilla thompson. good to see you, but what an awful situation there. what's the latest on the ground? >> yeah, chris, good morning. the search for the missing continues here again today. there are still more than a dozen people unaccounted for. and as you walk through a neighborhood like this, a lot of the houses are marked with xs showing they've been gone through. folks have been located. but now, crews are working to remove some of the large debris like this that have come near the creek and just been strewn in other areas to try to see if they can find any more of those people who are still unaccounted for. but officials here now saying this is becoming more of a
recovery effort than a rescue effort at this point. so we do expect that death toll will likely continue to tick up in the coming days. and to speak about the death toll and just the tremendous loss here, more than 20 people already have died in these floods, including many children. and we heard from the father of those two 7-month-old twins just a little while ago. i want to play a little bit of what he said. >> i had my children like this kind of grasping on to my 1-year-old. and when the water hit and the room filled up and that's when i lost them. i lost all of them. >> tales of just a harrowing event that happened here over the weekend, chris. and we know that in addition to the lives lost, many people are coming back to find that their homes are gone, their businesses are gone. we're talking about hundreds of businesses and homes.
so the president did approve that federal disaster relief. and so residents here can begin applying for that fema aid to help with grants for temporary housing and low cost loans so they can begin to rebuild their lives here. >> thank you for that report. that's going to wrap up this hour. i'm chris jansing in for ruhle. at the same time, the pentagon will be giving an update on the ongoing evacuation efforts. keep it here on msnbc. okay, it's an app that compares hundreds of travel sites for hotels and cars and vacation rentals like kayak does for flights. so it's kayak. yeah, like kayak. why don't you just call it kayak. i'm calling it...
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