tv American Voices With Alicia Menendez MSNBC October 16, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
hour of politics nation. alicia picks up our coverage now. >> hello, everyone. it was a big story this past week and will be a big story next week. accountability on the attack on our democracy. it has been nine months since the unthinkable became reality. and yet trump still believes thely that the election was stolen from him, which was a lie. and now we go to his former senior adviser, steve bannon. congress gave him until yesterday to comply with a subpoena for records concerning january 6. he failed to comply. so it has been recommended he be held in criminal contempt. if approved by the panel, it has
the full house and if so a criminal approval on banno nrchl is headed for doj. predictions. >> i believe he will be held in criminal contempt. you cannot disobey congressional subpoenas. my fear is he will run out the clock. he is going to litigate this, appeal it, appeal to the supreme court. in one case we got him to come in, but more than two years later. >> here is the president responding to the news. >> -- congressional subpoenas on the january 6 committees. >> i hope the committee goes after them and holds them accountable. >> should they be prosecuted? >> yes. a doj spokesperson spoke
we know that because it is a favorite strategy of trump himself. bannon in saying he will not provide documents, because trump's lawyers put out a letter saying he was going to invoke privilege so until something is worked out with the president himself, bannon is not going to testify. bannon will sit tight and not comply until this is worked out. that is what the president himself would be doing if he were still in the white house. bannon was not in the white house on january 6 or for years before that. but this will go to court. i am glad that congress is working quickly to pass this contempt referral. i am sure doj will work quickly,
too. but there is rule of law. the conviction, he will be convicted because it is clear he is in contempt of congress. we don't know how long this will go on for. we don't know how many witnesses who were called by the january 6 committee will follow same suit. they are right to be concerned. congress's powers would be to send the sergeant of arms out to arrest steve bannon, but that hasn't been done in almost a century. there are a lot of moving parts to get him before the committee. >> take a listen to this said this week. >> i think what you are seeing with the potential criminal referral of steve bannon by the
committee. hopefully if people misinterpret anything else, we are serious about this. anybody who is subpoenaed or will be in the future, think twice before you reject a lawful order from congress. >> picking up on where hayes left off, talk about the delicate balance of enforcing the subpoena against claims of partisanship. >> i think it's important to have someone like representative kinsinger out there. that can be held up every time someone says democrats are coming after us in another trump style witch-hunt when this is a bipartisan selects committee. we should expect more of. you can expect to see liz cheney out there beating the same drum.
something else i want to emphasize representative kin zinger said. ip also looking at, hey, what if a republican member of congress is subpoenaed. how will they respond after seeing this muscular flex from the committee. they are saying we will see every tool available to us. deploying sergeant of arms hasn't happened in 100 years, but nothing to disrupt our elections has happened in the same time spain. that upgraded stance is another position that the committee could leverage to be clear not only with the witnesses not cooperating, but with the public when 60% of americans recognize what happened on january 6 was a terrorist attack. they see this and want that
accountability. >> you have connected a bunch of dots. you have the statement about future witnesses. there is a question with bannon whether or not this is a legal strategy or a political strategy. if this is about another iteration of his complete and total fidelity to donald trump. if we were talking about future witnesses, talking about current members of congress who could be called to testify who are watching what is happening and reading the tea leaves, could they be taking a page from bannon's playbook moving forward? >> they could. gop has undermined every effort to get to the truth of january 6 since it happened. we didn't have to be here. there was a point when the republicans had full veto power
when we were talking about a republican negotiated commission to investigate january 6. but trump makes a call, mcconnell says no and the whole gop and congress turns it down. they created this themselves and they will follow bannon's playbook. do they have pockets as deep or donors like bannon does, to put their end lives on the line, i am not sure. >> trump this week doubled down on pushing republicans to embrace his 2020 narrative going so far as saying republicans won't vote in 2022 or 2024 unless we solve voter fraud, which does not exist by saying -- saying -
that makes me think he doesn't understand the party around shared goals and views. but how worried are republicans that voters may stay home given they have one of the most persuasive parties in the party say sit it out. >> we have been speaking to republican voters about what they have been reacting to this statement, this threat that trump made. we have seen it both sides. on one side saying trump is going to ruin the party, tainting the waters. on the other side they are saying it will be a waste of our time to vote in this election process if it hasn't been corrected based off the
unfounded election fraud claims coming from trump last year. trump wants to remain at the center of gop. in order to stay there, he's challenging his constituents and other party leaders to pick a side. he said that, it's time to stick together, and by that he meant stick with me. so republicans are saying are we going to be pro-vote or pro-trump. it is a thin line to balance for republicans. we are seeing them take different sides on this. i don't think a lot of republicans are seeing this might be a win or lose situation. he made this threat in georgia, when the senate candidates were faced with a bad day as he called it if state election results weren't overturned. and they lost. there is some hope on the republican side that if they do
challenge this by trump, that still some people will turn out. on the other hand they have to strike this balance with trump. >> next, something has to give. the heart of biden's climate agenda facing the chopping block. why? joe manchin. later, she took a stance for herself and family. a school board member facing daily threats for supporting science. for supporting science. so i only pay for what i need. how about a throwback? you got it. ♪ liberty, liberty - liberty, liberty ♪ uh, i'll settle for something i can dance to. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ ♪ ♪
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the $150 billion is to transition away from fossil fuels. joe manchin says it is unnecessary and may be taken out to get him to support his own party's package. this was written -- >> manchin responding in part he will not vote for a reckless expansion. my panel is back. how did we get here with joe manchin? what is the sticking point? >> right now what we are seeing
is so many issues coming up against the plan that has been set forth, this aggressive progressive plan set forth by the biden administration and run into roadblock after roadblock, especially when it comes to progressives. this has always been an issue when it comes to policies and laws poe posed by democrats. especially among their own caucus, what can we meet halfway on. tacking on to this agenda is the pushback we have seen along the progress of this bill for any kind of reform around infrastructure which is not just the physical, but also the future. >> one of the questions we return to every weekend when the three of us spend time together,
what is a pressure point that actually works when it comes to senator manchin. who has his ear? what can make him move. what did you make of senator sanders running that op-ed in a west virginia paper. >> it meant that sanders telling them i am going to take the fight to you. i am going to snitch on you what you are holding up. because this is in their best interest. knowing virginia is a coal focused state, they will be looking to senator manchin after this, it's something he is trying to inform people of the negative impact of. we know climate is a major issue
that mobilizes young voters. we know it disproportionately impacts black and latino communities. they look to galvanize them. not all west virginia is behind senator manchin as much as he likes to position himself as though they are. this was a move to say i see you fighting in west virginia. you have a lot of support nationally. and it will also have national implications for the rest of us. >> removing the policy from the spending bill causes frustration for biden at home. but he is also set to attend a u.n. climate change summit.
ly will he feel the pressure there? >> yes. there are a lot of big promises and not a lot of action. if we are going to actually do something internationally, then having a situation where the president of the united states has to show up and say i am really sorry. i really wanted to move my country away from fossil fuels, but one guy said no so we can't do this. that doesn't lend itself to other countries getting on board and picking up the slack. and then china saying if we have to compete with the united states moving more to solar or clean energy technology, then i guess we will have to shift away from fossil fuels, too. this is the worst time for man chin to be pulling something this.
not just in politics, but climate itself. there are so many good safety nets for families and education. but how catastrophic it is to be trying to nickel and dime spending on mitigating and preventing further climate change. >> we are nickel and diming it. what is the other way this could play out? >> there is no real alternative here. the left has been pushing against this for a long time. especially when aoc came into the picture and the green new deal was proposed as heavily as possible and pushed back down. democrats figured out a way to implement this vision, not just for business, air, pollution,
but what it means for jobs, livelihoods, health. this has been proposed for a long time. there is no way to work around what democrats have been trying to get shoved through the door for sometime. >> this is a moment and opportunity. this moment will not come again. this will feel like a hard turn but you know it is not. the house majority leader said he would like to take legislation to remove the debt ceiling. how would that change the game? >> the debt ceiling is fake. it is extremely fake in that it doesn't matter. congress can lift it and nothing happens. the fact it has been raised or suspended for decades every time
we come up against it shows there are consequences for paying our bills and can be racked up politically if we have a situation where donald trump and the republican party racked up huge bills through tax cuts. now we are out of room and we have bills to pay and et cetera, they say, no, we don't want to raise the debt ceiling so we can get this done. getting rid of the debt ceiling frees up capital to actually get things done. make it harder to say -- the fact that democrats are afraid to be labeled as tax and spend democrats says a lot. people want the programs, want higher taxes on millionaires and
billionaires and corporations, and yet they are still frightened of being tax and spend democrats. this is one keyway they can help themselves politically and policy wise and getting things done to help out the american people. >> i said hard turn, and you thought i was going to talk about the debt ceiling. next, the 2021 race to watch, the battle for the virginia governor that is boiling down to a referendum on trump. and a tape about teachers offering opposing views. teache offering opposing views. all th. it can all add up. kesimpta is a once-monthly at-home injection... that may help you put these rms challenges in their place.
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the race for governor. this week the former president took part in a rally where he voiced support, support as phoned it in. rallygoers pledged allegiance to a flag from january 6. it could be said it's weird and wrong to pledge allegiance to that flag. it is a tight race between youngkin and mcauliffe. tapping into the anger over school mandates. and another issue for the gop,
critical race theory. to be clear, youngkin is trump's man. >> glen youngkin is a greatgia. -- gentleman. >> i was honored to receive president trump's endorsement. >> talk about how the race changes when you look at the equation. >> this is a close contest. two portions play in this statewide election that is taking place the year after last year's presidential race. the first is that virginia has become more of a democratic state. they have won 13 out of 14 races
for governor. the other force at play is that the side that ends up winning the white house, controls the white house usually performs pretty poorly in this election. one of the reasons why, after you win a presidential race, your side isn't as motivated as the opposition. glen youngkin is doing better with independents. both of those forces at play, you still have terry mcauliffe as the slight favorite given virginia's democratic leaning nature, but it is a close race. the former president has appeared. that same fox news poll you showed where mcauliffe has a five-point lead, donald trump is one of the most unpopular
measure in that poll. anything about donald trump is not good news for glen youngkin. >> we want to show those polls. suburban voters will be critical of youngkin. give us a sense of what his message will be to them. >> he has a twofold message. he has tried to rile up base republican voters on issues like crime and education, critical race theory. but the other appeal is to moderates and independents saying we will get you a tax cut. groceries are taxed in virginia and should cost less. i am going to be a businessman and turn virginia around. he has had that message to moderates and independents in the states but also trying to win over republican and trump
voters. >> i know you at other points in your life have worked on political campaigns. when you do that you watch what happens in other states. i know you say what are the lessons i will learn. if you were running a race in 2022, what is it you are watching for in this virginia race? >> tie every republican to trump because he is toxic and will pull them down. it is the same fight for the suburban voters and independents that could be attracted to a seemingly palatable candidate. trump will turn them off. the second time in front of a flag that was apparently flown during the january 6 insurrection. we know that will be a turnoff
for urban voters. when you see mcauliffe repeating and returning that clip back and see him saying youngkin is going to bring texas abortion, bring the last covid restrictions that result in spikes in florida. he is trump aligned and we don't want that here. we know that will be effective. let's think back to not only california where they painted the same picture of larry elder, trump aligned. that's what we are seeing virginia democrats doing and that will be in the 2022 playbook for democrats. >> one question i wanted to ask. i think we are pretty clear how you rev up each respective party's base. if someone is not motivated by
donald trump or joe biden, what is the issue that is getting them to vote in a race like this? >> i think what we are seeing is this push to highlight what is happening in schools. no political candidate by saying think of the children which is what youngkin is doing. one of the things trump was popular for was saying the quiet part out loud. youngkin has a lot of the same stances when it comes to transgender rights, teaching critical race theory and how slavery still affects kids in school to this day. parents and grandparents are like they are indoctrinating children to think all america is bad. that resonates with them.
unfortunately, that is getting through to them. terry mcauliffe has a record to run on. he has been governor before. he wants to push forward biden's agenda and solidify the change that has come to the state. one is the message of i have done this before and i will be good at it again much the other is i am new here, but it will be like it was before, not before-before, but way before. >> it's an amazing bumper sticker, i'm new here. >> we want to look at these races and be able to extrapolate as much as possible. a word of caution. how much of what we are watching
here transposable to other races we will see in 2022, 2024. >> this gives us a measure of how the winds are blowing. is this a tough environment for democrats, easy environment for them. it also allows parties to really test the message we are seeing. you could end up seeing democratic strategists saying there are some head winds. the president has taken some headwind. his numbers aren't as strong as three or four months ago. we are seeing issues like education, crime and covid play out. and the parties get to test drive these to see what works and doesn't work much but the other caution, this is virginia that joe biden won by ten points. if terry mcauliffe wins by two or three points, democrats will see that as a good sign.
also if we see the democratic margins are shaved by 5 to 7 points from 2020, that doesn't shape up well for the mid terms. this is the race in 2 1/2 weeks from now and the mid terms are still a ways away. >> what is happening in texas classrooms. and later, how accountability is the true cost of hedge funds. it is a disturbing trend. s a did
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they are now in the middle of a firestorm after a top administrator was heard making these comments about the holocaust in a tape obtained by nbc news. >> make sure if you have a book on the holocaust, you have one -- >> holocaust -- >> believe me, that has come up. >> the administrator during a training session over which books teachers can have in classroom libraries which is a discussion required in texas after a ban on widely debated cultural issues. mike, thanks for being with us. first, get into this texas law that has educators going through their libraries.
what's the deal? >> well, the texas law was one of many that has been passed around the country over the past year in response to conservative backlash to the racial reckoning of 2020 in which states have throughout the south and in conservative red states have passed laws targeting what conservatives branded as critical race theory. anything that fall under that umbrella are teachings about the legacy of racism in america. and diversity and inclusion programs meant to try to improve teachers and students' understanding of cultures who go to the schools. the law in texas instructs that teachers should when doing a lesson or assignment on a currently controversial subject,
that they should present all sides of that potential debate. it also restricts if a teacher is going to teach about slavery, then they need to teach about it in the context that slavery is only a diversion or a failing of america's original promise, and nothing more than that. not indicative of the country's history. >> this is, spoke with the texa educators association who said this is nuts. talk about what the position this is putting teachers in. >> the bill is written and open to interpretation over what does any parent think is controversial. what you hear in that recording
is an administrator grappling with trying to understand the guidelines pushed down from the state and by her district which is under pressure from parents who are upset about books in libraries much it is not clear whether this texas law restricts libraries. this is not a class level. some are saying they are taking it a step beyond because there has been pressure over what books exist in classrooms. i think there is a lot of confusion amongst school administrators and teachers who are afraid over the implications who could be disciplined or punished or a book in the classroom. i can't find anybody who is loudly saying on the record we think the holocaust is
controversial. but you heard the administrator say it has come up. we know the world we live in. it is not widely held i wouldn't believe, but there are holocaust deniers so they are looking at how can we present this that will offend nobody. >> other than giving then an accurate rendering of history. be sure to check him out wherever you get your podcast. next, why is that and what is the cost? and later, the first pediatrician elected to congress will join us. to congress will join us
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hedge fund. which is a misnomer because it doesn't wound an animal under water. this is author of one of my favorite books "the wirnldness: deep inside republican party's combative quest to take back the white house." mckay, tell us about all den global and their reach. >> this is a hedge fund that owns over 200 newspapers in america today. it's actually the second largest newspaper owner by circulation in the country. by all indications, it's aiming to continue to expand its empire. what makes allden so strange is it's extremely secretive. if you go to its website, it has no information beyond its name. the cofounders of the hedge fund almost never talk to the press.
but while they've maintained this silence, they have overseen the decimation of a lot of the most storied and iconic newsrooms in the country. as you noted in your intro, it had a lot of downstream effects in the communities those papers serve. >> the cofounder said he wants to be the savior of local journalism. how does that square up with their actions? >> yeah. if you ask basically anybody in the local news business, they will say that claim is basically laughable. all den global capital, they have a model they follow. they immediately gut the staff, they sell any real estate that the newspaper owns. in some cases, they increase subscription prices. in other cases they will outsource layout design to the philippines.
basically everything they do is designed for short-term maximumization of profits with very little foresight or thought to what this is doing to the long-term sustainability of these newspapers. >> there are people who will watch us talk about this and think we care about it because we work in journalism or maybe they love their local newspaper and so they'll care. so i really want to drive home, this has big impacts for communities and it ties basically everything we have talked about throughout this show. there is in this moment a fundamental attack on democracy, and one of the things we know is that when local newspapers vanish, there's lower voter turnout, there's increased polarization, erosion of civil engagement, misinformation proliferates. you write about this. talk to me about the impact this has had on communities. >> a couple different things happen when a local newspaper vanishes or is at least reduced to a husk of its former self. one thing is that people in power basically have one fewer
check on them, right? without a busy newsroom of reporters kind of poking around everything that the city council is doing or the mayor is doing, they're able to get away with more, right? and so when a newspaper dies, the winners are the crooks and the corrupt politicians and the bad cops and all the people who would otherwise have reporters writing stories about what they're doing. the other thing that happens, this is also important, is that, you know, local newspapers -- one of the roles they play is that they bind communities together. >> yes. >> right? when you read a local newspaper, you're reading about your neighbors, you're reading about people in your school district. you know, a lot of those stories might not seem like hard-hitting journalism reading about the local spelling bee or the local basketball team or whatever, but it makes you feel like you're part of a town.
it makes you feel like you know the other people in your community. when the newspaper dies and there isn't that kind of binding agent, it makes it easier for demagogues and divisive figures to come in and tear people apart. one interesting finding that i came across when i was doing the reporting for this piece was that politico found that donald trump did best in counties in areas with limited access to local news. and i think that speaks to the national political ramifications of the gutting of these newspapers for profit that i write about in this piece. >> you're not just talking about demagogues at large, you're talking about in one specific. his book "the wilderness, deep inside the republican party's combative contentious chaotic quest to take back the white house." next, meet the woman who's now the second in history to command a u.s. orchestra. is this progress? at the top of the hour, donald trump's continued grip on government and the quest for accountability for those
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noteworthy on many levels. she's in the headlines because she will be the first woman to ever serve in the position in atlanta, but only the second woman ever to lead a major american orchestra. her debate on stage happened wednesday in a concert featuring new music by another woman. quote, it's unfortunate in 2021 gender in classical music is news, but it sends a message nonetheless. she tells "the new york times" she hopes her new title will inspire other orchestras to follow suit, just looking for equality that we will not be considered a minority but as musicians, conductors. with that final note, a new hour of "american voices." this hour, congressional power on the line. the january 6th commission demanding answers from trump world. trump world responds saying,