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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  October 4, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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and i've tried to seek a meaningful life. or i can actually change peoples lives, and that has been my objective. it i'm going to put this behind me. i need to put this nightmare behind this sunday, the deadlocked democrats. >> it doesn't matter whether it's in six minutes, six days or six weeks. we're going to get it done. >> president biden delays the vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill as progressive and moderate democrats fail to agree on social spending. >> i'm telling you, we're going to get this done. >> progressives hold firm on their social policy bill. >> i have consistently said that we need a vote in the senate. >> moderates push back on the price tag. >> i'm not asking them to change. i'm willing to come from zero to 1.5. >> even as they agree both bills must pass. >> we all have one common vision. failure is not an option. >> my guests this morning, senator bernie sanders of
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vermont and senior white house adviser cedric richmond. plus, facebook under fire. >> facebook knows that its services are actively harming young children. >> -- for reportedly hiding research showing its instagram platform is harmful to teenagers. i'll talk to tech journalist and co-host of the podcast sway, kara swisher and one of the leading reporters on the "wall street journal" series "the facebook files" jeff horowitz. also, afghanistan fallout. >> top military leaders say president biden rejected advice to leave some forces in afghanistan. >> did these officers' input get to the president? >> their input was received by the president. >> forcefully pushed back by republican demands that they resign. joining me for insight and analysis are "wall street journal's" peggy noonan, former homeland security secretary jeh johnson, susan page from "usa
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today" and jake sherman, founder of "punchbowl news." welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. at least congress made sure the government didn't shut down, but that's not all that didn't happen this past week. democrats with slim majorities and big differences of opinion did not manage to pass either of their two big priorities. moderate democrats wanted to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill and keep negotiating on the progressives' larger social spending wish list. that didn't happen. progressive democrats wanted more certainty on that social spending bill before voting for the infrastructure bill, and that didn't happen. here is what did happen. president biden traveled to capitol hill, told both sides their two priorities are now linked, which is just what progressives wanted to hear, and
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the infrastructure bill will have to wait for an agreement on the larger social spending bill. mr. biden's decision left moderates feeling betrayed and progressives feeling emboldened because their stay-strong approach had been validated at the highest level. it may still take weeks to get this done. the gamble now for democrats is by delaying a sure thing that everyone wants the bipartisan infrastructure bill. they risk getting nothing and having nothing to offer voters next year. >> it doesn't matter whether it's in six minutes, six days, or six weeks. we're going to get it done. >> president biden putting his popular bipartisan trillion dollar infrastructure bill on hold after rebellion by progressives. >> everyone wants these roads and bridges, but people aren't going to remember a road. the way they will remember if they wake up in the morning and they now have child care so they can go back to work.
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>> we need a vote. we need to be real. are we going to deliver universal pre-k to this country or not? >> house speaker nancy pelosi promised to call a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill on monday. >> bring the bill tomorrow for consideration. >> then again on thursday. >> there will be a vote today. there will be a vote today. >> but put it off on friday for a third time without the votes to pass it. >> speaker pelosi, will there be a vote today? >> when we have the vote. >> the decision was a blow to the party's moderate wing. >> is this a setback for the president's agenda and the democratic agenda? >> when we get it done, it wwhe it done. >> new jersey congressman josh gottheimer, a moderate, criticized pelosi saying she breached her firm public commitment to bring the bill up for a vote in september and lashed out at a small far left faction of the house. >> everybody is frustrated. it's part of being in government. >> the president told house democrats in a closed-door meeting on capitol hill to lower the price tag to between $1.9 and $2.3 trillion, closer to what senator manchin is proposing.
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>> my top line has been 1.5 because i believe in my heart that what we can do, the needs we have right now, and what we can afford to do without basically changing our whole society to an entitlement mentality. >> arizona's kyrsten sinema, another wild card, has said she won't support corporate or income tax rate increases. on saturday she called the two-track process an ineffective stunt. >> we can bring the moderates and progressives together with two more votes, two. >> progressives say even a smaller bill must address their priorities, housing, climate change, elder care, and paid family leave, immigration, and a medicare expansion. >> we need to have a way to verify that whatever we agree to does not get delayed and does not get changed. >> biden campaigned on his ability to bring people together and deliver. contrasting his pragmatism with opponent bernie sanders in the primary. >> can you get it done? have you ever done anything big? have you ever been able to put
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together coalitions? >> now he is being challenged to make good on that promise. >> come on, man. unite the party. 50/50. i got it. >> joining me now is senator bernie sanders of haven't. he's, of course, the chair of the budget committee. senator sanders, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> my pleasure. >> let me start with what apparently the president said behind closed doors to the house democrats, and he floated the idea that, hey, this number is going to be a little lower, $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion. have you accepted the fact that it's not going to be $3.5 trillion. >> chuck, by the way, that is not my understanding of what he said. what he said is there's going to have to be give and take on both sides. i'm not clear that he did bring forth a specific number. but what the president also said, and what all of us are saying is that maybe the time is now for us to stand up to
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s powerful special interests who are currently spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to prevent us from doing what the american people want. we want to lower substantially prescription drug costs in this country so we're not paying ten times more for certain drugs than canada and other countries. the pharmaceutical industry has 1,400 lobbyists on capitol hill right now trying to stop us. we want to deal with the existential threat of climate change. we want to deal with child care. we want to expand medicare so elderly people can chew their food, can have hearing aids, can have eyeglassesing and we can pay for this by demanding that the wealthiest people and largest corporations finally start paying their fair share of taxes. that's what this struggle is about. do we do what the american people want? do we fulfill what democracy is supposed to be about or bow down
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to powerful special interests. >> what's your preference when writing this bill? i know what your initial preference was. you believe $3.5 trillion is compromise, you started at $6 trillion. whatever the number ends up being agreed upon, do you believe in these programs -- there's a large wish list and a set of needs the country has, but you might not be able to do all of them fully funded. do you believe in trying to do as many of them as you can and maybe some of them are smaller programs and you'll vote on them in a couple years to extend the funding, or do you think you've got to do three or four things really well? >> chuck, this is not a wish list. climate change and cutting carbon emissions has everything to do with whether or not we leave this planet to future generations that is healthy and is habitable. scientists tell us we've got a few years. you want more workers out in the work-force. we need to reform child care so a million women can come back to work and not have to pay as a
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family 20% to 30% of their income for child care. you have to have skilled work force. we can't have a skilled work force and do the jobs that are out there unless we train young people. that's why we want to make community college tuition-free. this is not a wish list. this is what the working families of this country want and hat the economy needs. the real question is -- the republicans, of course, are owned by the pharmaceutical industry and the fossil fuel industry. we don't expect them to do anything. but the question now is whether the democrats can come together, and i think that we can, to finally do what working families in this country desperately want us to do. >> you know, i'm curious. one of the things we've observed here in our news division is we know we're going to be closer to a deal when we see you and senator manchin in the same room with the president. i'm curious. senator schumer apparently had a memo that had the number that senator manchin -- basically his
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beginning negotiating number. was that news to you, or have you known this for a couple of months where senator manchin stood on his red lines? >> well, senator manchin has, in fact, been public about talking. i think his number was about $1.5 trillion. that's fine. that's a good negotiating start. manchin has also said he wants it paid for. i want it paid for. you can pay for it with the $3.5 trillion bill by finally demanding that the wealthiest people and the large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes. as you well know, chuck, there's a given year when jeff bezos and elon musk, the wealthiest people, don't pay a nickel in income taxes. large corporations don't pay a nickle. you can pay for a $6 trillion bill and pay for it completely. >> i understand that. a lot of people are wondering, hey, why are we waiting this week to start the negotiations
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when apparently some of these -- we knew senator manchin's starting number in july? it just feels like a lot of time was wasted. >> no, that's not accurate. there has been serious negotiations going on literally for months now. there is a frustration that it has taken this long. i think -- i voted for the infrastructure bill. i think it's important that we rebuild our roads and bridges and water systems. that's very, very good. but it is absolutely imperative that we have a strong and comprehensive reconciliation bill which finally addresses the needs of working families. our job right now is to rally the american people to continue the negotiations, and at the end of the day, i think we're going to pass both pieces of legislation. >> i want to talk about the issue of having then both linked together. arizona senator kyrsten sinema tweeted, everyday americans expect lawmakers to consider legislation on the merits rather
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than obstruct new jobs and critical infrastructure investments for no substantive reason. what americans have seen instead is an ineffective stunt to gain leverage over a separate proposal. she's referring to what happened in the house and the delay of that vote as a stunt. you were very supportive of the decision to hold off supporting that bill until everything was agreed upon. what do you say to senator sinema and other moderates who don't like the linking of these two bills, that it sends a message of dysfunction to the rest of the country? >> it's not a message of dysfunction. i'm sure you remember, from the very beginning of this process, the president of the united states, speaker pelosi, chuck schumer made it clear, we're going down this road in a dual way. both bills have to be linked together, because there is a strong feeling on the part of many of us that, if you just pass the infrastructure bill, which is a good bill -- i voted for it -- then we'll not get to the bill that working families really want, that finally demands that the wealthiest people in this country start paying their fair share of taxes.
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what we said is, we all want the infrastructure bill, great, but we've also got to do the reconciliation bill, which addresses the long-neglected needs of working families and the elderly. expanding medicare to cover dental, hearing aids and eyeglasses, doing child care, community colleges, enormously important for working families. >> you made it clear -- and i think there is a path for you and senator manchin to find a path to meet somewhere, whether that's the middle -- and somebody can define the middle because you do agree on a philosophy on how to pay for this, on those taxes. are you close with senator sinema, or do you feel you're farther apart in getting her agreement on this? >> well, there are a lot of people who are negotiating with senator sinema. she has been in the white house, as i understand it, on numerous occasions. i think the people of arizona
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are beginning to stand up and show some impatience there and say, senator, join the team here, let's get something done on reconciliation. i think, look, sometimes, chuck, in all due respect, the media think this is the red sox playing the yankees. it is not. this is a long and complicated process which is dealing with the most consequential piece of legislation probably since the new deal and the great depression. it's a big deal. it's not going to happen overnight. the president is absolutely right. it doesn't matter whether it's next week or three weeks from now. what matters is that we finally address the problems facing working families. that's what matters. >> i was going to say, deadlines are all artificial in your mind right now? >> of course, they are. what matters is that we do it and we do it well. when we do both these pieces of legislation, i think the american people are going to say, thank you, mr. president, thank you democrats in the congress, and by the way, where the hell were the republicans in not having the guts to stand up
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to powerful special interests. >> senator bernie sanders, independent senator from vermont who caucuses with the democrats. appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective. >> thank you very much. joining me now is cedric richmond, senior advisor to president biden. mr. richmond, welcome back to "meet the press." i should note as a former member of congress, you obviously know quite a bit about what's going on in the democratic congress as well. welcome back to "meet the press." >> thanks for having me, chuck. >> let me just start with some basics here. where are we, and let me ask it this way. when the president acknowledged these bills have to be passed together, maybe it wasn't his initial preference, but he's acknowledging the reality now. he also seemed to indicate that the number -- the overall social spending number is going to come down to somewhere between 1.9 and 2.2 trillion. is that where we are? >> i'm not exactly sure in terms
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of the number. we don't talk about it in terms of the number. we talk about it in terms of the needs we need to meet for the people in terms of the child tax credit, in terms of making sure we bring health care costs down in terms of prescription drugs, making sure we make it more affordable. we'll continue to do what we did with the nair khan rescue plan, and that is to make sure we're meeting the needs of the american people. and then at the end of the day, we see what that adds up to here, and in this case we'll see how many of the needs we can build consensus around and meet. >> i'm curious about that philosophically. there is a bit of a divide. i heard somebody refer to it as the appetizer strategy, meaning this. you try to do a lot of programs, and maybe if you can't fund them as fully as you wanted to, maybe there's a shorter term, you create clips, and see what sticks. another philosophy says do three or four programs really well. what is the philosophy of the president?
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>> we will consult with congress. congress plays a big role in how this will ultimately look. we've been clear from the start that we wanted to cut taxes for over 50 million american families, that we wanted to bring down the cost of health care, and that we wanted to finally address the climate change and make sure that we're fighting for our future, and we're going to do that by making sure that the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share. working families have been doing it for a very long time. >> all right, but you're evading obviously specifics here. i get it. you don't want to negotiate in public. but is there some non-starters here? are there some programs that have to be included no matter whether it's $1.5 trillion or $3.5 trillion? >> no. i won't get into red lines on tv. the president made clear his red line, he was not willing to raise taxes on anyone who made less than $400,000. so that's our red line. we're going to work with congress to make sure we meet the challenges.
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i just went down the list of programs that are very important that we want to meet. we're going to continue to meet with people until we get it done. >> do you think relations with senator sinema are still good faith? i say that because here was her statement yesterday. good faith negotiations, however, require trust. over the course of this year, democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that that could not all be kept and have at times pretended that differences of opinion within our party did not exist even when those disagreements were repeatedly made clear directly and publicly. she has indicated there isn't enough trust in the democratic party. what do you say to her? >> there's an enormous amount of trust in the democratic party, but more importantly, there's a lot of focus on the american families. look, people will be disappointed. people will not get everything they want. that's the art of legislating. the goal is to get both bills. we're going to fight until we get both bills. that's the statement from the president. human infrastructure is
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important, and physical infrastructure is important. we're going to do both. >> there was -- it was news this week to the public that joe manchin's bottom line was $1.5 trillion. apparently he gave that number to senator schumer in july and apparently to president biden quite a while ago. a lot of progressives, that was news to them on wednesday or thursday. why is that? why did it seem as if they were complaining that, hey, tell us what you want, and it turned out manchin did? so did this unnecessarily delay negotiations? >> no. when you ask what do you want, remember, we're not talking about this in terms of a number. we're talking about this in terms of the programs that meet the needs of american people. so when we say what do you want, do you want child care? do you want elder care? do you want paid leave? do you want to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, expand medicaid? do you want to give tax breaks to working families in this
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country? when we say what do you want, that's what we mean. our job is to bring people together, shape this in terms of the needs that we're going to meet, and then we'll see what a price tag is. we'll see where we end up, see how long the programs will be in existence, until they have to be renewed. that's how we're going to approach it. this is not about a number because at the end of the day, here's what's important, chuck. the number is zero. we are paying for everything in this piece of legislation. it's very popular with the american people that the wealthy and big corporations finally pay their fair share. we're going to pay for everything we do. so it's not arbitrary numbers. the number is zero. >> all right. when is the new deadline? we know congress doesn't act without deadlines. are you going to do the debt ceiling and then get this done? is it by the end of october? is it thanksgiving? or is there no deadline?
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>> unfortunately, chuck, we both know that congress works better when there are hard deadlines. but with the debt ceiling, we're going to keep our head down and work, and we're going to work on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill all at the same time. we can do it. this administration has been counted out over and over. if we go back to the american rescue plan and others, you'll see it. here is what's important. the real question is why are republicans making us go at everything alone? we had to do the american rescue plan alone, which created more jobs than any administration in our history, which has increased our economic growth better than anybody in the last four years. we're going to have to be the mature party, responsible party to keep us from going off the debt cliff and ruining the economy and knocking everybody's retirement down, raising the cost of cars and interest and all of those things. why do we have to keep going at it alone?
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the good news is we do have a united democratic party. we're always going to put people and purpose first, not politics, and we're going to get it done. >> sounds like after a long september, it may be a long october. cedric richmond, senior adviser to president biden. appreciate you coming on and sharing the administration's perspective. >> thank you. when we come back, will democrats be rewarded if they deliver on both bills? will they lose their gamble and end up with nothing to offer voters. the panel is next. s? will they lose their gamble and
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it's another day. and anything could happen. it could be the day you welcome 1,200 guests and all their devices. or it could be the day there's a cyberthreat. only comcast business' secure network solutions give you the power of sd-wan and advanced security integrated on our activecore platform so you can control your network from anywhere, anytime. it's network management redefined. every day in business is a big day. we'll keep you ready for what's next. comcast business powering possibilities. welcome back. the panel welcome back. the panel is here. susan page, washington bureau chief for "usa today," jake sherman, founder of "punchbowl news," former homeland security secretary jeh johnson and "wall street journal" columnist peggy noonan. you're the creature of the hill as far as this panel is concerned. both bernie sanders and cedric richmond said this is not about a number. they said it multiple times.
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let me ask you, if this is not about a number, why don't we have a deal? >> it's about a number. i think everybody is trying to figure out what the number is, what can fit inside that number and what they can do. i think what you're seeing is this is a general piece of legislation. we're next to the pelosi-ologist here. she said everything she's been building up to for 30 years in public office, more than that, is in this legislation. people are taking it seriously. every side is doing what they can. this is like a great example of power politics. every side is doing what they can to gain as much leverage against the other side to achieve the end they're trying to chief. >> susan, speaker pelosi rarely blinks, and the progressives made her blink. >> they made her blink. when you go back to the affordable care act, a comparable big victory, the last victory where she faced seemingly really difficult odds, the liberals, the progressives blinked on things like the public option.
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they didn't blink this time. i think there are two reasons. there are more of them, and they're willing to risk getting nothing as opposed to accepting half a loaf. that has changed the political landscape here. >> jeh johnson, i know people hate this phrase, the conventional wisdom. our friends at "the new york times" put it, okay, biden sided with the left. i said this to the white house and the white house would say it was just political reality of getting a bill passed. they don't accept the idea they sold the moderates out. some view it that way. >> well, let's not forget that the bill the progressives are pushing for is biden's bill. it's his domestic agenda. >> he wrote it, right. >> it's not as if it's some wild-eyed far left socialist piece of legislation. this is joe biden's build back better domestic agenda, and the progressives are carrying his water on capitol hill, and they appear to be doing it rather effectively right now, and so i
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personally believe that there's going to do be a deal at some point. >> they can not have a deal. i don't think how they get their deal. >> whether it's 3.5, 2.5, 2.75, who knows? there will be a deal because they can't walk -- none of them can walk away empty-handed. >> peggy, susan brought up health care. i've been thinking about health care. i remember when the deadline was the august recess. then the deadline was the end of september. then it was thanksgiving. then it was christmas eve. and then, you know, it was march. and we got to the point where the process so dominated that the legislation never had a chance to get sold to the american public. >> yeah. >> at what point do the democrats fall into that trap, with the process consuming the substance? >> i think this -- however long this struggle or disarray or whatever it is takes, the worse it looks. i think these two bills now squished into sort of one
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initiative, i think with the mess around it and the sense that the progressive caucus and the progressives are in charge, they're driving this, they're the face of this, i think in a broadly public way in america, that does not look good, and it becomes a little bit poisonous. i mean, i think when you move on something as big as 3.5, plus 1.2 for the infrastructure, you're talking about big things. you ought to have some sort of mandate behind you. they've got a 50/50 senate, a close house. joe biden was not elected in mandate territory. i don't understand what they're doing. it seems to me that a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, it's popular. pass it. take the win. beyond that, you have the separate bill. tease out the most popular things. take those wins. i don't get the maximalist attitude.
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>> i'm guessing like you may have been eaves dropping on terry mcauliffe's phone calls. i say that because earlier this week i asked him about the $3.5 trillion price tag. he took the opportunity to take after everybody in congress. take a listen. >> i think the 3.5 is too high. >> do you? >> sure. but here is my message to congress. i'm really sick and tired of all of them. they've got to stop their chitty-chat up there and time for them to pass it for america! let's get this infrastructure bill passed for america. >> wait a second. >> we tease this show about '22. the canary in the coal mine about the democratic party's position in america is in a month. >> i think, listen, it's an easy battering ram to just say congress is bad and everybody will agree with congress being bad and not being able to do this. but listen. i think this is -- this is what josh gottheimer and the moderates are saying. give this guy a victory.
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give this guy a victory. he needs it now. his poll numbers are down. he just had a really difficult withdrawal from afghanistan, to say the least. give this president, our president, the democratic president a victory. that's what the moderate democrats are saying. >> here is why they're not doing that, because they think this is the last train leaving the station. >> that's what i was wondering here. >> that's the risk. that's why everything has been piled into this reconciliation bill because it's entirely possible that it's the last chance to get a big piece of democratic legislation through before we're completely overtaken by the midterms. >> the psychology driving a lot of this that a fear of a four-year presidency or two-year congress is really only one year. >> oh, they're acting like it. >> it's not even a year. it's a month to get big stuff done. what happens is 95% of the people's business all gets done at the 12th hour. >> this is the issue. there is no second bite at the apple. and guess what? look back at the last 30 years. no one has gotten a second bite
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at the apple. george w. bush got to do one big thing. obama, i would argue there hasn't been a second bite. >> we're nine months into this administration. a series of smaller bills that you can pass one after another, start giving a sense of momentum. >> which congress can do that? >> i forget which one. they can do it. >> in our lifetime, how about that? >> jake, how does -- is there a new deadline? i heard bernie sanders, no deadline. we joked about what happened with health care. is the end of the year unreasonable at this point? >> no. i think that's the story we're looking at. i would also say the health care law was passed over ten months. what pelosi is trying to do is she's trying to pass this bill -- or what congress is trying do is a really compressed time period. they really didn't get started until the summer. they're trying to do it in four or five months. that's difficult. i do think it gets done. i think it's going to be messy. i would say october 30th or the end of the month is going to be a deadline because there's highway funding that needs to be
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refreshed. congress refreshed it on friday night. but they can refresh it again. >> there is a deadline. of course, they can also decide the day of the week never ends. >> yes. >> as they did. >> i don't buy that, but -- >> a day longer than 24 hours if necessary. when we come back, facebook under fire for everything on instagram on teens to january 6th. that's next. ext.
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yours, your employees' and even your customers'. so you can stay ahead. get started with a great offer and ask how you can add comcast business securityedge. plus for a limited time, ask how to get a $500 prepaid card when you upgrade. call today. welcome back welcome back. facebook is under fire on a number of fronts right now. last week politicians from both parties condemned facebook, accusing it of hiding research that shows how harmful instagram, its platform, can be for teenager girls. the "wall street journal" reported one slide says we make body imagish image issues worse for one in three teen girls. facebook's problems go well beyond what's going on on instagram. "the new york times" reports the same whistle-blower who has been giving research to the "wall street journal" is accusing facebook of easing security
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safeguards shortly after the election, and it ended up helping to insight the january 6th riot. this whistle-blower will reveal her identity tonight. she's scheduled to testify before congress on tuesday. so joining me for more on all of this is jeff horowitz, one of the "wall street journal" reporters reporting on facebook, and kara swisher co-host of the podcast sway. welcome to both of you. i should mention, we asked facebook to provide us with a guest, and they declined. jeff, i want to start with this and what we're going to hear tonight and next week from this whistle-blower. but it seems as if, whether it's -- what you've been reporting on on what they did on research of instagram or the elite group, sort of the fact that elite facebook users get treated differently than normal facebook users, this is coming from inside of facebook. how under siege are they as a
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company right now? >> so we have heard they actually have taken pretty much all of their researchers and basically blamed them for this. it's a very weird mentality over there. they have been kind of throwing those people under the bus, the people that they asked to understand the platform's role in the world. that's a very kind of aggressive thing for them. i think the memo that nick clegg sent out internally is kind of remarkable. you're basically telling your own staff that your company can't be blamed for, as the primary cause -- that was the language -- for polarization in america and everyone should be proud to work there. nonetheless, this does feel like a pretty remarkable couple of weeks for them internally. >> let me put up a piece of that, kara. here is what nick clegg's statement said. the suggestion that is sometimes made that the violent insurrection on january 6 would not have occurred if it was not for social media is so misleading. mature democracies in which social media use is widespread hold elections all the time. for example, germany's election last week without the disfiguring presence of violence. i was jarred by the phrase mature democracies. are we not? >> yes, yes.
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>> what is facebook trying to do? >> i think they're trying word games. i think he's excellent at it. they should give him a raise. he's saying they're primary. look at the individual words they use. this is typical of facebook. they've done it for decades now -- or a decade now where they use tiny words. no one is accusing them of being the primary reason for polarization. humanity has been awful for centuries now, that kind of thing. what they're doing is saying, we didn't cause hate. i don't think they did. what they're doing is amplifying and weaponizing it to an unprecedented degree. >> jeff, you've been getting all this research from this whistle-blower. there's two ways to look at what facebook is doing. on one end, you can say they're doing the research, that's good. on the other hand, they're not telling us about it. they're going to argue, well, we're doing this research so we can make safer products. are they doing all this research after the fact? it does seem as if they launch a product first, see what the
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problem is, and then they do some research to see if they can fix it. is that the problem at facebook? they sort of have this all backwards? >> yeah, that has been for years the standard way, which is you roll it out, hope for the best. if it doesn't work out well, maybe you try to mitigate. at that point you study the product and perhaps see if you can make it better without harming the engagement and growth-related reasons you did it in the first place. if you can't, then you have a conflict. i think a big reason for why this information has made it to me is that even when facebook does discover problems and they are fixable, the company hasn't acted according to a lot of the people who have been assigned to fix these issues. >> how much of a divide do you think is inside of facebook? is this really the executives are out of touch and the rank and file are going, wait a minute, we've been proud of what we were doing, but even we didn't understand the power of it? >> they understand the power of it.
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it's just nonsense. i think what's happening is the employees are tossing documents over the wall to people like jeff. this is what's happening. it's not tenable for a company. this is a company whose employees didn't leak for a long time. you're seeing it all over tech. p it's not just here. it's people like, saying, just a second, what we're doing is damaging. i interviewed marc benioff and he called it cigarettes. it's not cigarettes. it might be gambling, might be opiates, other things. people inside facebook are recognizing this company doesn't anticipate consequences and then tries to clean it up later and not very well. >> jeff, they really hate the tobacco metaphor. trust me, i heard this myself. the idea that -- they just don't accept the premise that social media is harmful. cigarettes, no matter how you look at it is potentially harmful. we now all agree with that. they don't accept that single
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premise, although, some of us think maybe they should. >> look, the company is -- adam assari compared it to cars, not cigarettes. i actually think that's a perfectly good example. this is an industry -- it was a fantastic technology, remartial innovation, and it was not well designed initially. it was very poorly designed, and it took decades and decades of humanity figuring out how to live with it and how to incorporate it and how to include speed limits and seatbelts and all these other things that kind of make it safer and make it so it's just not a constant bloodbath. i think facebook is sort of resisting some of that. one of the things that the person who is going to be speaking tonight will likely be talking about is, they have had to impose break-the-glass measures, emergency safety measures three times in the course of basically six months. right after the election, right before -- right around january 6th -- by the way, in between
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those two times they lifted them, right? i think that's an indication that this company doesn't have full control of the product. literally within a month they had to reimpose them. and then again, with covid vaccine misinformation in the spring. this is kind of a -- it does feel like they're having a hard time keeping their product under control, and they seem to not want to slow down. >> kara, on the congress front, we saw richard blumenthal had this weird moment, didn't quite know what finsta meant, a fake instagram account. >> it's not fake. >> well, if you're impersonating someone else as my daughter would say, i have a finsta too. >> does congress have the ability to do this? >> there's a lot of legislators who understand the problem. amy klobuchar, ken bach, david cicilline, and even richard
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blumenthal understands. this is just a silly thing. this trope that congress can't legislate. richard blumenthal is not a car expert and can regulate, or a finance expert. everybody can be regulated. we need smart legislation to try to rein in some of this because clearly facebook is not going to do it, and they're going to get defensive, which is what they're doing. >> facebook has done something the rest of us have been wondering how do you do it, how do you unite both parties in washington? facebook has done it. care are swisher, jeff horowitz, thank you both. when we come back, how climate change has dangerously lowered water levels in the west and how it's already changing people's lives. that's next. ♪ 'cause it's the only thing i wanna do. ♪ turns out everyone does sound better in the shower. and it turns out the general is a quality insurance company that's been saving people money for nearly 60 years. ♪ 'cause it's the only thing i wanna do ♪
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welcome back. we are thrilled we are thrilled to announce our streaming show, "meet the press reports" is back for a third season. each week we take a deep dive into a single issue. here is a quick look at some of the topics we've already covered in the first two seasons. >> i did not think i was racist. i thought i saw a truth that no
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one else did. >> were you racist? >> absolutely. >> do you believe we're at war on the internet right now? >> we have serious infrastructure and water issues in this country. >> how many people are at risk of an encounter with i.c.e.? >> anybody that looks like this is at risk. >> anyone fears a long-term war. >> people that have not had the opportunity to use whatever tools they have to change things now see that, hey, it's an issue that i care about, i can do something about it. >> to kick off season three, we're focusing on climate change and the real ways americans' lives are already being changed. my pal cal perry took us along the colorado river where the federal government declared a water shortage for the first time ever, and waterways and power are at a real risk. here's a bit of his report. >> reporter: this is a visual representation of climate
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change. we're here at lake meade. just like lake powell, it's at its lowest level ever. as you can see, it's lost 140 feet of water in just 20 years, and the effect that it has on power is profound. the hoover dam, because of those water levels, is currently operating at a quarter reduced capacity. >> talk to me about the importance of power and how the dam is important in that way. >> as the lake goes down, less and less power is generated at the dam. for every foot that the elevation drops, the capacity drops by roughly 5.5 megawatts. >> that means each foot powers 4,000 to 6,000 american homes. kristen averyt is a nevada state climate policy coordinator. >> did you see this coming to this extent? >> this is precisely the kind of thing we've expected all along with respect to climate change. i will say it's visceral. for those of us who have worked on this kind of issue for decades, it's sad to see that it's already here. >> that's the point. it's already here. you can see the rest of cal's report on peacock.
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binge away. new episodes debut thursday at 9:00 p.m. eastern time on "nbc news now" and on peacock the next day. when we come back, top military brass say they advised president biden to keep 2,500 troops in afghanistan. would it have made a difference if the president had said yes to that? that's next. ep 2,500 troops in afghanistan.
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welcome back. the other big story this week was the very blunt -- i call it a blunt hearing we got from the pentagon leaders on capitol hill.
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and there was some dispute between whether the military advisers, what advice did the military advisers give president biden and what did president biden say his military advisers gave. let's give you a little back-and-forth between what we heard from the president and what we heard from general mckenzie this week on capitol hill. >> your top military advisers withdrawing on this timeline. they wanted you to keep about 2,500. >> no, they didn't. it was split. that wasn't true. >> i recommended that we maintain 2,500 troops in afghanistan. >> the idea that the taliban would take over was premised on the notion that the -- somehow the 300,000 troops we had trained and equipped was going to collapse, was going to give up. i don't think anybody anticipated that. >> i stated consistently that my position was, if you go below 2,500, you're going to look at a collapse of the afghan military.
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>> jeh johnson, you worked in the pentagon before you were at dhs, worked for secretary gates, you were chief counsel. you know how this building operates. i think the surprising thing to me this week was how public the split -- not a personal split but clearly a policy split on this withdrawal between our military leaders, both civilian and in uniform and the president. >> well, the difference of opinion is not uncommon. i was a little surprised that in their testimony the generals made no attempt to try to reconcile what they believed versus what the president said. i kind of know where it comes from. when anyone is up for confirmation before the senate armed services committee, which includes all the military, there's a questionnaire that they send the witness beforehand, and one of the questions is do you promise that you will always tell us everything we want to know, and the three- and four-stars in the building take that very, very seriously. so they answered the questions very straightforward.
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you saw lloyd on the other hand, the civilian political appointee, say, well, i don't discuss my conversations with the president, which is what he's supposed to say. it's called executive privilege. the generals are like, no, i told him this. >> peggy, there's a part of this we should all view as very healthy, that we can see there's disagreement, civilian control, all of that stuff. the president made this decision. i'm surprised he didn't, in hindsight, own it more there. >> the president looked dodgy. he looked dodgy in the original interview when he said essentially, no, nobody told me otherwise. then he looked bad the other day with general milley. i think probably he should have simply owned it and said, look, i was warned this might be really hard. i decided we're going to go ahead anyway. short, though, i think the generals right now, after 20 years of war, after seeing it and whatever they've been through, they are really media savvy.
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they are really aware of press clippings, really aware of their big hunk of medals. i was looking at general milley and thought of omar bradley, general of the army, a great man that helped win world war ii. they had to remind him to put on his medals. he wanted to keep himself out of things, not in things. there's kind of a showbiz shift, i think, in the military that concerns me. >> i want to bring up something else general milley said, guys. there is also an admittance here that this was a failure. take a listen. >> although the neo was unprecedented and the largest evacuation in history, was a tactical, operational, and logistical success, evacuating 124,000 people, the war was a strategic failure. >> this to me -- you know, we're sitting here talking about
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president biden's credibility versus the military commanders. this undermines all the military commanders in the last 20 years, strategic failure. how many people in uniform went up to congress and said, no, it's working, please fund it, it's working. now you tell us it's a failure? >> you know, i thought that was chilling that four presidents, four administrations, a series of generals have told us, number one, they understood what was going on in afghanistan. clearly they didn't. and they lied to the american people about the real true assessment about how things were going. i thought that was the takeaway here. i was glad that they were candid about our failures in afghanistan. i wish they had been candid, the generals that came before them, the last 20 years. >> i was going to say, that's the accountability that's missing. >> it's never as clear when you're in the thick of it, i know from personal experience. it was inevitable that the taliban was going to overrun the country once we went down the path of a two-way deal versus a three-way deal that required the taliban and government to come to some terms in power sharing. the taliban used to say, you guys may have the watches, but
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we have the time. that's exactly what happened. >> jake, is this going to do any long-term damage for the military to get what they want out of congress? the military always gets what they want out of congress. is that going to change? >> no. the military says we need this and we're not going to be safe unless we get this. >> that happens to work, by the way. >> it does work. >> we've got a 20-year war in afghanistan to prove it that was fully funded. >> and a 760 billion defense budget. >> speakers of the house and senate majority leaders tend to defer to them. >> it's pretty clear. that's all i have for today. i know you have one more thing to say. i'm too tight on time. we'll read about it next week i bet. thank you for watching. we'll be back next week. because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
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the infrastructure bill has been delayed indefinitely, so i guess we'll just cross that bridge when it collapses on top of us. >> despite the buildup of last week, the house vote on infrastructure was delayed on friday. now house speaker nancy pelosi has set a new end-of-october deadline to get things done. the question is will democrats get on the same page before that. plus, a facebook whistle-blower comes forward after turning over thousands of pages of the company's internal research to "the wall street journal." the question is will the leaked information spur change for the social media

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