tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC October 13, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
the last word team has already posted our interview with jennifer jenkins, so you can send it to anyone who might have missed it. it's on twitter, and on our websites. that's "the last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. good evening once again. day 267 of the biden administration. the house committee investigating the january 6th riot and insurrection is intensifying its focus on the previous white house. with the new subpoena targeting a doj official under trump who was reportedly involved in the former president's robust attempt to overturn our
election, jeffrey clark reportedly played a key role in trump's campaign to amplify the big lies about voter fraud. trump and clark were said to have been in contact in the days before the january 6th attack. and he is said to have pushed trump's claims in the department of justice and clashed with higher-ups who resisted. the letter says, the select committee's investigation has revealed credible evidence, and the president considered installing you as acting attorney general. the man who was almost pushed out of that acting attorney general job, then acting attorney general jeff rosen gave his side of the story in a closed-door interview with the committee.
this was the 19th subpoena, as the biden white house said it would not assert executive privilege to keep them from seeing trump's documents. we're hours away from the first deadline. steve bannon has made it clear he won't cooperate on any level. his lawyer even sent another letter to the committee reiterating that fact. this afternoon, we learned more about how lawmakers plan to respond to this. >> we will move to hold them in criminal contempt. our committee will produce a report about the efforts that were made to get them to testify. we will submit that report, and we'll call for a vote on the house floor. that will send it to the justice department, and our expectation
is they will be prosecuted. >> that will likely be a topic for attorney general merrick garland when he testifies next week. meanwhile, the white house focused on trying to head off an economic crisis caused by supply chain disruptions. empty shelves and increased prices are a reality for so many americans. meanwhile, we may soon know more about boosters for people who received the moderna and johnson & johnson vaccines. an fda advisory committee will meet tomorrow on whether to recommend additional shots. one new study is getting attention, and deservedly so. showing j&j vaccine recipients may fare better with a second shot from a different brand. we have a doctor, a leading expert standing by to take our questions on this in a few minutes' time. but first, let's bring in our
starting line on this wednesday night. yamiche alcindor, claire mccaskill, and robert costa. his latest book, "peril," is currently at the top of "the new york times" best-seller list. claire, to channel your prior experience as a prosecutor and member of congress, tell us the scope of what this committee is likely looking for from a guy like clark, who was virtually unknown beyond family and friends heretofore, but may become very famous. >> he wasn't number two, three,
or four, he was down in the hierarchy. to try to learn how he would have catapulted to getting the nod from the president to take over is important for the committee to understand. and we need to take a pause, and realize this moment is way bigger than donald trump, maybe even bigger than what happened on january 6th. because if this committee cannot get people to testify in front of it, in an oversight capacity, then i believe we are on the verge of admitting to the country that there are no checks and balances. there are no separations of power. that the congressional branch is toothless. has absolutely no ability to get the facts that are important for them to do their job. this is why it's such a big deal for the department of justice to take a criminal referral seriously. i don't care if you're a republican or a democrat, if
you're an american, you want congress to be able to hold hearings and call witnesses. >> claire, that got our attention. let me stop you right there and ask, time is not on their side, nor is their history with this kind of thing. where are the guts going to come from? where is the motivation going to come from to do what you just warned of? >> well, i think there is an advantage that they have at this moment, because, one, it's a bipartisan committee. so a court looking at it cannot characterize it as a political witch hunt. because both parties are participating. two, you have a president who supports getting the facts out. which we didn't have for a number of years. and three, the department of justice appears to be amenable to supporting the power of congressional subpoenas.
i've said this before, when it took me two years to get a ceo before my committee. we need a docket in the courts to allow us to hear these cases quickly so they don't linger for years. sometimes it's just a matter of trying to run out the clock. this is it. this is when congress has to stand up collectively and say, we have some power. >> robert costa, based on your reporting, tell us what we should know about this person named clark. >> what is so important about these elements of the investigation right now, they're trying to understand the culture of obedience and loyalty inside the department of justice during the final days. the crucial period is after barr resigns in december. then it becomes this more free-form period where the white house, the executive branch, the president himself driving the action. and what this committee has to
figure out, beyond what we've reported in this book, what were the pressure points from the department of justice on different u.s. attorneys, on various state legislatures, on state officials? because we have a lot of reporting so far in our book and from other great newspapers about what was going on from the president. but what below the president was happening? this was a coordinated pressure campaign across the board. >> yamiche, the white house is not buying the privilege claims of a private citizen. that's clear, and it would also be correct. there's no national security involvement, they're not worrying about the unmasks of names. tell us if you can, more broadly, where this investigation fits into the biden and democratic world more broadly. >> let's remember that the biden administration and president biden have said that january 6th
and the lies about the 2020 election that former president trump lost are a stain on american democracy and they need to be really investigated in order to not be a continuing threat to our democracy. when you look at the way that president biden is acting, he's saying not only am i going to make sure whatever information this investigation needs, it will get, he's also in some ways saying the officials trying to claim executive privilege are likely part of the issue and part of the problem here. and jeffrey clark is an official who reportedly drafted a letter in december to georgia officials, claiming the doj had found some sort of irregularities, and that could lead to turning the election in georgia and nullifying the results there. where of course president biden won it fair and square.
you see the investigators and lawmakers looking as robert just said, looking at the individuals in the department of justice who were doing the things that former president trump wanted them to do. because there's a big idea that because people, enough people didn't go along with president trump, that he somehow, the system worked and he somehow failed. when in fact, there were a number of people who wanted to stand up and give former president trump what he wanted. that includes former vice president pence, who ultimately did the right thing. but what we see from the biden administration is taking the investigation seriously, and saying it needs to be fully investigated. and the president wants to see everyone who was responsible for january 6th and the continuing election lies be held accountable.
>> claire, back to you and your comments. i think even some democrats note that their party in congress is being marked by right now in-fighting. the delay in the biden agenda is on them. and secondly, timidity, the subject of our first exchange tonight. you hear as an excuse from some democrats, well, we don't want to do "a," because if and when the republicans take over, they'll do that to us. what flies in the face of that argument is, this is unique. we mentioned don winslow tweeted a week ago, does anyone remember consequences? i miss consequences. we're talking about consequences for an attempt to overturn a presidential election. >> and we should remember, brian, what my former colleagues were saying on the day it happened. we had some remarkable speeches
given by the likes of mitch mcconnell and lindsey graham on the floor of the senate, saying we've had enough. now, i don't know what happened to their momentary insanity, i mean, they reverted back to cowering, you know, cowards of donald trump's power within their party. but there for a few hours, there was unanimity in congress. it was important to get to the bottom of it. it was important for there to be consequences. mcconnell called out for criminal prosecution of donald trump. so this is not a moment for timidity. and frankly, the saddest thing about this, to me, is that this is not more of a bipartisan effort to get to the bottom of it. i find that incredibly depressing that people i served with are now hiding behind the skirts of donald trump. >> yeah, we've never seen that
happen to a political party in the modern history of this country. robert, jeff rosen is behind closed doors for eight solid hours. i reckon we will someday get to read the transcript with any secrets blacked out. what do you reckon a guy like that can tell a committee like this? >> he can detail how the department of justice interacted with the states that were maybe in some republican circles trying to think about having an alternate slate of electors. he can give granular detail to the effort inside the department of justice in the final days of the trump administration. and democrats on capitol hill have to answer the question ahead of 2024, what are the stakes? what will they do? i just keep thinking about a scene in our book where jim clyburn says, behind the scenes, privately, democracy is on fire. and democrats have to break the
filibuster, he says to colleagues, even if joe manchin and others don't want to do it to pursue stricter laws to help all voters have access to the polls. and as rosen and perhaps clark testified, it's not about the past. it's about the future. if someone is in control of the department of justice, what can they do under the law? >> and yamiche, meantime, there's legislation backed up like jets over dulles airport. what is the level of frustration inside this west wing as they wait out democrat on democrat argument and discussion, day by day? >> my sense of the white house's frustration is that it's rising, and it's rising because the legacy of president biden is on the line.
his entire legislaive agenda when it comes to infrastructure and the promises he's made to americans are hanging in the balance. it's not because republicans are obstructing, which is part of this, because they can't get their support. but it's also that democrats can't get on the same page. you have joe manchin talking about vengeful taxing, and progressives saying the wealthy need to pay more, and there needs to be transformational change. and there's an economy where women are falling out of the workforce, and people are quitting jobs because they're not getting paid enough. and the last jobs report was frankly disappointing. president biden understands he's being seen as the closer by his party. it's why he's really, really aggressively involved in these negotiations. but this comes down to two senators, senator manchin and senator sinema. and it's unclear whether they will get on the same page. all of the reporting that i've
been doing indicates that sinema is seen as the more complicated one. she's the one negotiating directly with the white house. and manchin has put out $1.5 trillion, but progressives are balking at that. it's a quagmire with a deadline, with the holidays and debt limit inching closer and closer. white house officials continuously say president biden will be leaning on his experience over the next few weeks. >> i can't thank the members of our starting line enough for starting off our conversation tonight. yamiche, claire, robert, greatly appreciate it. coming up for us, eugene robinson and tim miller are standing by to talk about what
new polling on the president's agenda should mean for democrats and their messaging. also considering it's democrats who have stalled their own president's agenda. later, one of our nation's leading vaccine experts tells us everything we need to know about a new study on mixing and matching vaccine brands. which so many people have been asking about. all of it and more as "the 11th hour" is just getting under way on this wednesday night in view of the white house west wing.
republicans are looking to capitalize on president biden's struggle to get his agenda through congress. and his own party. a new cnn poll shows biden's approal rating still hovering close to 50%. a group close to mitch mcconnell is launching a campaign to describe the democratic bill as a multitrillion-dollar spending spree that will lead to inflation. it will cost you, run the ads in the series. here to talk to us about that, eugene robinson and tim miller. gentlemen, welcome. you both have the best words. it's just that the pulitzer selection committee hasn't
settled on tim miller's work yet. but we're going to get there. tim, i'm going to quote from you. there's been no evidence to date that democrats have a coordinated or even uncoordinated plan to sell this legislation. if anything, they are playing into the republicans' hands by litigating the top-line spending number rather than the more popular particulars of the bill. what you're describing has a technical term for it, i believe it's piss-poor messaging. >> yeah, i wish it didn't have to say it, brian. but it's just the reality. and somebody has to shake them into reality. so maybe it will be up to us. i don't know. but here's the thing. the message coming from the republicans, if you look at that article in "the washington post" that you laid out, is very simple.
socialism, big government, and inflation. people don't need to know anything about the bill, it mate be bad faith, it might be b.s., but it doesn't matter. we're talking about trying to win elections here. you can quibble over the particulars of the bill later. the republicans' message is clear. the democrats' message is what? i just don't know. and i don't think that your viewers know. it's because they're arguing over should it be $3.5 trillion or $1.5 trillion. paid family leave doesn't get mentioned that much. child tax credits don't get mentioned that much. the democrats need a simple message to match inflation and socialism and say, we're passing this bill, and we're selling it. it's going to bring fairness, it's going to help working people. whatever it is, you know, the geniuses at the dscc need to come up with what it is.
but we need three points, and i'm just not seeing it. >> eugene, indeed, television viewers see a sound bite from jayapal that snipes at manchin, then manchin getting chased into an elevator, but they hear words like reconciliation, that means nothing. we haven't seen a bridge, a wi-fi connection, or an airport. do you reckon this will change by the new deadline of halloween to pass infrastructure? >> i think it had better change or they're not going to get it through, unless they sell it differently. what tim said, basically, they need to sell the particulars of the bill, which are outrageously popular. which people like. and they need to pick two or
three of them and just talk about those things. don't try to talk about 15 things. talk about 2 or 3 things. and guess what, you could even in subsidiary messages, you can even highlight different parts when you're talking to your home audience in your state that might like some other part. you know, in california, people might be more concerned about the climate change provisions. so when representatives from california go home, they can talk about that. but in terms of the national dialogue, they need to focus on particulars of the bill, keep it simple. keep it punchy, and talk about that. and this debate over 1.5 versus 3.5 or whatever, these are largely imaginary numbers that mean nothing to anybody except they're big numbers. and stop talking about the big numbers. we can argue about that behind
closed doors. talk about the bill. >> tim, indeed, the air campaign should be on the air in all 50 states with customized ads, as we've discussed on this broadcast. groups like the lincoln project are doing the tv ads democrats are incapable of making. they're on the air in the virginia governor's race. do you think, tim, that democrats will eventually get out of their own way? >> look, i hope so. and i think gene is right about the particulars of the bill. this is not about coming up with a fancy slogan and going to madison avenue or calling in rick wilson and coming up with a punchy one-liner. this is about identifying what the popular policies are, paid family leave, et cetera. look at obama care in 2009,
democrats are thinking they didn't do enough. and maybe that's one lesson. but pre-existing conditions is popular, staying on your parents' health care until you're 25 is popular. affordable care act is unpopular. obamacare is another unpopular term. but that was the reality, and they got crushed in 2010. so pick the particulars like the pre-existing condition provision, and sell that and sell it and sell it and sell it for the next 14 months. they have the time to do it. and i hope they can get out of their way and do it. but they're just not right now. >> the good news is, both gentlemen have agreed to stick around. i need to fit in a break. we're going to continue with the discussion that the democrats aren't the only party with trouble going on. is trump doing his best to hurt republican turnout? and who will explain how that
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presidential election fraud of 2020, which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented, republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24. it's the single most important thing for republicans to do. thankfully still with us, eugene robinson and tim miller. tim, who is going to tell him? >> well, look, i'm really torn on this one, brian. because i want donald trump to go away more than anybody else, possibly. but, man, he's the best thing that the democrats have going right now, keeping him around, with statements like that, for the midterms. he's certifiably insane, he's lost his tenuous grip on reality that he had at any point. we saw the results in georgia. the republicans won in the first rounds in november, and lost in
january. you can only blame donald trump for those two seats being lost. you can only blame him for schumer being the majority leader right now. he's looking for a repeat, i guess. i think it's because he wants everyone to feel like they need him. and he just desires to be needed so badly, the best way to prove that you're needed is to point that they lose without you. >> eugene, i got one for you. i'm going to play part of adam schiff on this network earlier today. >> i do think as time goes by, it will become increasingly clear as we gain more perspective on the last four years, americans will come to realize what a disastrous presidency donald trump's was. how many people needlessly lost their lives during the pandemic because of his incompetence. and how he turned american
against american, and they won't want to go back to that. >> let's discuss, while exerting tough love as we like to do. he said americans will realize. these are times of consequences. that is wishful thinking, which donald trump makes a sport of eating for breakfast along with anything else nearby. what about consequences, eugene? >> well, there do have to be consequences for january 6th, for example. and there have to be consequences for the disastrous, a good word that adam schiff uses, for the four years under donald trump. but i do agree with tim that politically speaking, donald trump's reappearance is the best
thing the democrats could have happen at a time when they don't have their act quite together. because one thing that drives democrat turnout is making an election a referendum on donald trump. the other night, he had something nice to say about terry mcauliffe's opponent in the virginia gubernatorial race. i'm surprised i haven't already seen a mcauliffe ad featuring that endorsement. one thing that motivates people pro and con, but more con, is donald trump, the specter of donald trump. this is a devil's bargain that the republican party has made. and it may ultimately sink the ship. but we will have to see. >> that is so right.
eugene and tim, for the win tonight. great thanks to two friends of this broadcast. coming up for us, what to watch for as the fda in its methodical way makes key decisions on booster shots and mixing and matching vaccine brands, when we come back. otezla. it's a choice you can make. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection
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we estimate that over 7 million americans will have gotten their booster shot, including about 3 million just in the last week. we have the vaccine supply, and we'll be ready to hit the ground running as soon as any additional boosters are authorized. >> ahead of this week's fda advisory meetings on recommending booster shots, a new clinical study shows mixing and matching vaccine boosters by brand is safe and effective. turns out it's fine. back with us, dr. peter hotez, a vaccine scientist working on a low-cost vaccine for global distribution. dean of the national school of tropical medicine at baylor college of medicine. so a guy goes into a walgreens,
he says, do you have moderna boosters. the woman says, no, just pfizer. the guy walks out. so the new guidance is going to be, no, go ahead, any brand is better than no booster. am i correct about that? >> that's probably the case. but the truth is, as you heard in the united states, anyway, there's no limit to the amount of vaccine we have available. they all should be available in abundance. all things being equal, i would err on the side of sticking with the same vaccine. but if you have no other choices, yes, sure, go ahead with what they call the heterologous boost, mixing and matching. one of the studies published today showed that if you got the j&j vaccine, the amount of virus
neutralizing antibody with the second dose of j&j was lower than with either of the two mrna vaccines. i would push back on that a little bit. it was a small study, number one. and secondly, the way these vaccines like the j&j vaccine works, the amount of antibodies goes up over time. they stopped that study after 29 days. and in the other studies, it went up after 30, 40, even 70 days. so we need to correct the misunderstanding that is out there in the press. and with the j&j vaccine, you get a lot of really strong t-cell responses. which are important. so we need to make sure not to shut the door on the j&j vaccine.
>> thank you for that. i want to play you some comments from the director of the cdc. we'll discuss on the other side. >> despite the recent decrease in cases, most communities across the country are still experiencing substantial to high levels of community transmission. and we're not in a place where cases are in a control area. >> doctor, you know how this works. people hear on the news that the news is good. that hospitalizations are down. that the daily death toll is stabilizing somewhat. though it's still outrageously high. it's her job to worry about community spread. how about a state like the state you're in now, texas. how about a region like the northeast, community spread is a scary term as we head into the winter season. >> yeah, brian, we're not out of this by any means. nationally, we're still at a pretty screaming high level of
transmission. if you said we had 90,000 new cases a day a year ago, i remember when dr. fauci first predicted we could get to 100,000 new cases a day, and everyone was horrified. that's about the level we're at right now. we're still at a significant level of transmission. yes, it's going down with a long tail. it's still going up across the northern border with canada, minnesota, parts of michigan, wyoming, and what i'm worried about is, you know, too many people are saying this is it, we're finally out of it. and mother nature told us last summer that she's going to hit us with another epidemic in the south the following summer and she did that. and we saw the big wave that came in october, november, december, into january. and i think that's still possible. i think a fifth peak is certainly quite possible. if it's going to happen, we're going to see it, we may be seeing the beginnings of that across the northern part of the
united states. so, you know, unfortunately, some people are high-fiving each other, saying that we vaccinated 57% of the u.s. population. i'm looking at this like, oh, my god, we only vaccinated 57% of the u.s. population, there's 43% of people who are unvaccinated. we're not even close to being out of this yet. >> a perfect way of putting it. there's also the cdc study out of arizona that found that schools without a mask requirement were 3 1/2 times likelier to have a covid outbreak. i don't know about yale educated doctors, but i hear something like that, and i respond by saying, duh. you, too? >> absolutely. we've been saying this all along. if we really want to get our kids through the school year, through in-person classes, which
everybody understands the importance of, you have to put the policies in place to make the students and teachers successful. it's not that complicated. everyone who walks into the school who is eligible has to be vaccinated, and everyone has to have a mask on, with the possible exception of some of the special needs kids who can't handle masks. but everyone has to be masked and vaccinated, then we can get kids through the school year. if you don't, we've seen what happened, we have to shut down schools because so many kids get covid. >> doctor, thank you so much for taking our questions tonight and every time you appear on our broadcast. our guest tonight, dr. peter hotez from texas. coming up, if your kids don't get what they're hoping for this holiday season, try telling them it's a supply chain issue. that should go over well. that sl
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as we mentioned earlier, the president is hoping to take the kinks out of the supply chain in time for holiday gift giving. the supply chain responded, good luck with that. the port of los angeles will now run 24/7. but there are real questions about whether it's enough to make a difference. we get our report tonight from los angeles. >> reporter: tonight, the l.a. traffic jam creating shipping gridlock across the nation. facing a crush of cargo backed up for miles and for months, the white house meeting today with some of the largest shipping carriers and authorities at the parts of los angeles and long beach. announcing operations will run 24/7 to ease the massive backlog.
>> today's announcement is a potential game changer. i say potential because these won't move by themselves. >> reporter: the ports accounting for 40% of the nation's consumer traffic. bins filled with products may not make it to shelves or front porches by the holiday. >> everything has been breaking down. we're trying to be resilient. but it's affecting us being able to do our job. >> reporter: inflation at a 13-year high. prices for beef and bacon, used cars, gas, even furniture, all up double digits. the social security administration announcing its largest cost of living adjustment in nearly 40 years.
have you ever seen a backlog like this? >> never. >> reporter: the white house says the longshoreman's union agreeing to work 24 hours. >> everything we're seeing was induced by the pandemic. right now, we're on track to handle 20 million units in northern california. we've never seen anything like that. >> reporter: commitments to move product must also be secured. fast-tracking the tangled web of trans-pacific and cross-country shipping. a monumental task. >> something like the python trying to swallow the alligator. that's the kind of volume we're trying to send through our ports right now. >> reporter: tonight, the promise of progress at some of the nation's busiest ports.
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last thing before we go tonight, earlier today, a bunch of people in the judgmental self-righteous corner of twitter said things like, if you spend any time covering a celebrity going into space on a billionaire's rocket, that's time you're not spending covering the attack on our democracy. first off, everybody calm down. also, have some respect for our audience. this is why newspapers have sections, why we have dessert. this is a story about a new era of space travel. today, a 90-year-old man, a household name and icon, was moved to tears by what he saw and experienced. only 597 humans have ever been
to space. there are ten of them orbiting the earth tonight. but until today, william shatner, who we will forever associate with space, hadn't been to space itself. and to say it changed him was an understatement. >> you're going 2,000 miles an hour. so at 250 miles, suddenly, you're through the blue and into black. and you're into, you know, it's mysterious, galaxies and things. but what you see is black. and what you see down there is light. >> welcome to space. >> so much larger than me, life, it hasn't got anything to do with a green planet, a blue orb. it has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death. the moment you see the
vulnerability of everything, it's so small. this air which is keeping us alive is thinner than your skin. it's a -- it's a sliver. it's -- it's immeasurably small when you think in terms of the universe. what you have given me is the most profound experience i can imagine. i'm so filled with emotion about what just happened. i just -- it's extraordinary. extraordinary. i hope i never recover from this. i hope that i can maintain what i feel now. i don't want to lose it. >> at the age of 90, captain kirk, to take us off the air tonight. and our coverage of the attack on our democracy will now continue. that's our broadcast for this