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tv   Stephanie Ruhle Reports  MSNBC  November 9, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PST

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more about the numbers that matter, the numbers that are attached to human beings, not the numbers that are attached to an act. >> right. exactly right. rachael ray! you're so awesome! >> rachael, you're the best! >> i love you guys so much! so much love! >> the new book -- so much love! mwah! the new book is "this must be the place:dispatches and food from the home front." >> thanks, rachael. >> i've got something we've got to take care of right now. please come to me. so we're concerned about willie getting out of the studio -- >> i got you, baby. >> so mika is going to stand between stephanie ruhle and willie geist, because we saw what happened during the marathon, willie. >> i was going to do it the other way this morning. jump into your arms. >> i think i pulled a hammy on sunday jumping over that barrier. there's no chance it's going to happen today.
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>> come on, let's see this. >> i'm not going to jump, i promise. >> stephanie, the funniest part of the entire story is -- here we go. >> i tried to save it. >> willie geist. >> you know, willie said that the best part of that whole thing -- mika and i were just dying laughing -- i was in hysterics. but willie said, as he's running, jump and he's swinging you around, it's straight out of a movie. he looks over at your husband and your boys and they're like, this happens every day. >> it happened in a grocery store, it happened during a sale a few weeks ago. >> she runs up to somebody that puts out the turkey -- runs up, hey! but how about willie? he didn't break pace. he hugged you, put you down, kept running. >> under four. >> people kept saying, oh, my gosh, you delayed him, maybe cost him a few minutes. i argue, i supercharged him.
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without me, it would be four and a half hours. >> the cape was all of it. >> by the way, you joke, but at 17 miles, i needed something. i didn't know it was going to be that something. but you helped. credit to stephanie ruhle. i love you. >> that does it for us this morning. >> slow cap for stephanie ruhle! come on! good morning. i am stephanie ruhle live at msnbc headquarters here in new york city. it's tuesday, november 9th. and we have got all of the facts you need to know this morning, so let's get smarter. a new batch of subpoenas. the committee investigating january 6th requesting documents and testimony from six former trump officials. but here's the big question. what is taking so long and are they going to deliver. also on capitol hill, an uphill battle, as we await the president's signature on that bipartisan hard infrastructure bill.
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lawmakers are back to the negotiating table over the social spending plan. one lawmaker who has been a main broker, new jersey's josh gottheimer, will be here with the details. and we are pushing past the noise and getting to the facts. we keep hearing about this fight over critical race theory in schools. but what does it actually mean? and is it really present in classrooms across the country? but of course, we are going to start this morning with several dramatic new developments following the deadly crowd surge at the astroworld concert in houston, texas. the fbi has joined the investigation, trying to determine how something like this possibly could have happened, leaving eight people dead and hundreds more injured. as of this morning, more than a dozen lawsuits have been filed by victims' families. we are covering all angles of this story with morgan chesky in houston and joey guera. morgan, what's the latest?
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>> reporter: steph, good morning. as the memorial for those eight victims grows, so does the scrutiny into figuring out what led to this horrific tragedy. police are being clear, calling this a criminal investigation, enlisting the help of the narcotics division and the homicide units to try to find some answers here, as some concertgoers fight to stay alive. this morning, every frame of astroworldfest video, painting a more disturbing picture of the deadly crowd surge. and scrutiny on the response to the massive crowd. houston police say more than 500 officers and more than 750 security guards were on site. even with two reported emergency plans, it wasn't enough. houston's police chief even visiting scott personally before the show, expressing concerns regarding public safety. somewhere in this crushing sea of fans, eight victims who lost their lives. one of them, 21-year-old axle
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acosta. the weight of the crowd literally suffocating him. >> axel died of a phenomenon known as crowd rush. >> reporter: his father, heartbroken. >> i lost my son. it could have been you. it could have been you. >> reporter: the family joining a growing number of lawsuits. what was happening inside that crowd? >> just a complete loss of control. like, even -- i'm a big guy and i couldn't control where i was going. >> reporter: while not accused of doing so friday, scott's no stranger to inciting crowds. in 2015, the rapper pled guilty to reckless conduct, after allegedly encouraging fans to rush the stage in chicago. and in 2017, similarly pled guilty to disorderly conduct, after allegedly urging fans to jump barricades at an arkansas concert. after friday's tragedy, scott said he was devastated. announcing he will cover all funeral costs and provide further aid. the blunt family praying for all the help they can get. 9-year-old ezra was on his father's shoulders before
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falling into the crowd. >> the crowd just starts going crazy and trystan goes, i can't breathe, i can't breathe. >> reporter: now ezra is in a coma. his hopeful family by his side. >> there's just a lot of things that could have prevented that. and it's really no excuse for it. >> reporter: and we are learning this morning that travis scott will not be performing at a las vegas concert set for this weekend. the performer saying he is too distraught to play. meanwhile, he has promised refunds for anyone who purchased a ticket to that friday night astroworld festival. steph? >> joey, you were there on friday. how in the world did this happen? >> i think, you know, i think what's important to understand, we see these videos and they look -- you know, we don't understand how this could have happened, but, you know, i was there. i was not in this rush of people that we see in the front. and i was kind of in the back,
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could see, you know, kind of this mass of people, but i had no idea any of this was happening. i mean, people around me were singing, dancing. there were people in line for food behind me. you know, i don't think everybody was even aware that this was going on. we saw security kind of cutting through the crowd, but again, you see things like this at a festival. if you're part of the festival culture, these things aren't uncommon. but how did this happen? i don't know. i don't know that any one person is to blame. i just think that there were systemic things that need to change, just in terms of putting festivals on outdoors in general. >> but aren't there regulations around how many humans can be in an open space like that? >> not -- no, there is not here, no. there isn't. they sold a certain number of ticket, but this area, whoever was on the ground could crowd into that area, if they wanted to. there was no real kind of sense of how many people were getting into that area.
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there was nobody kind of watching or taking count in any way, which you see sometimes at indoor concerts. so it's really -- >> so stay with me. this is a business decision. at an indoor concert, they sell as many tickets as there are seats. the way this operates, if all of the people who purchased tickets were standing in that space, could they survive? >> no, absolutely not. i mean, the other thing is -- but that's the other thing. all the people -- the 50,000 people at the festival were not at this stage, you know? yes, it was a huge crowd, way too many people, more than should have been. i think what really should have changed is, they should have sold a limited number of general admission tickets, because that's what this crowd represents. there should have been a cap on the number they were selling or they should have allowed a certain number of people into a certain area only at one time. there's way too many people in this area. >> they could have put a cap. they wanted to sell more tickets. joey, morgan, thank you.
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i want to bring in houston fire chief, samuel pena. let's start there. does that make sense to you? if the amount of people who purchased those tickets were in that designated area, it would be too many to survive. does that seem like something that should be allowed? >> well, look, first of all, stephanie, the number of tickets that were scanned from what we understand right now was about 34,000. we will have the final determination on that once we get the ticket manifest, because that doesn't include the vip tickets or the comp tickets. so we'll get a sense of how many people actually were at that venue. but it's not necessarily the presence of the number of people. because that venue was large enough to hold three to four times the amount of people. it's the concentration of people near that stage and the actions that occurred, where people began to surge towards the stage
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that caused those that were near the center to be crushed and unable to escape that environment. >> yes, but what it sounds like is, though, those 34,000 people had access to surge that area. when i think about an indoor concert, if i don't have floor seats, i don't even have access to get there. >> correct, yes. look, we've had larger venues. in 2017, we held the parade for the houstons a troes, and we had over 600,000 people downtown. the crowds behaved differently in that respect, so crowd management is really a key portion, especially in these open venues, general admission-type of events. >> your team did a walk-through before the concert. the police chief met with travis scott personally. did the chief and/or your team raise any specific concerns to
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him? >> i can't speak about the police chief. i do know that he's an honorable individual and he's leading the investigation, he has department. and we don't have all the specifics yet about what occurred, but i have full confidence in his ability to look into what occurred and bring forth those items for corrections. now, on our part, we did do a walk-through the day before of that venue. our focus was essentially on the fire code items that were permitted for that event. now, it's important to understand that this venue is in the county. it's a county-sanctioned event. the reason the houston fire department was present because there were certain functions that happened that required permits. namely propane, propane that was being used for the food trucks, the tents, the pyrotechnics that you saw there were permitted by the houston fire department. and we were responsible for the means of egress. the doors in and out of that
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venue, open and obstructed, which occurred. so listen, we still don't have all of the specifics. this investigation is still early in the process, but we have eight people that have died and we have others that are clinging to life. it's our responsibility to ensure that a full and comprehensive investigation is completed. so we can find out exactly what led to this issue and make those corrections. i think the community wants accountability and that's what we're focused on. >> let's talk about what led to it. because the chaos started on friday afternoon, when the crowds rushed through the gates. should that not have been a red flag to stop something before it got worse? that's hours before the crowd rush took place. >> i can't talk about that security aspect, i did see the crowds that rushed that entry.
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i know that there were several attempts at various sites, different locations of that park earlier that people tried to get in. i know that the police department or the security force was able to arrest some of the individuals that were -- that had made entry into there, but i'm not prepared to say that that alone was the -- should have been the concert. again, there are a lot of unanswered questions. we still don't have all the specifics. . and i think that all of these items are going to be fleshed out and we're going to have a better response and a better sense of what occurred, what went wrong, and what that i think so need to be made. >> thank you for joining me this morning. i want to bring in ryan mcleod, the attorney representing one of the concertgoers injured in the chaos friday night. talk about the injuries your client sustained and the damages you're seeking.
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>> i represent numerous clients. it's from the spectrum of people who have obviously endured ptsd and endured the silent type of damages and also i have people who are clinging to their lives in the hospital. it's a horrific deal. people who have been trampled. people who will forever have a lasting memory with scars. >> why not let the criminal investigation play out first, so you can find out what happened. do you even know who to sue at this point? were there, because they have been jumping through the barricades and hopping over gates, jumping over fences. this wasn't about the crowd, it was about the person with the microphone. and really, at the end of the day, hpd concluded their investigation on the grounds on saturday and sunday. we had to go fight in a courtroom yesterday in houston
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to get access to that site. we now have, from 9:00 a.m. this morning until 6:00 p.m. on thursday to complete our investigation, because they need the space back. people need to know that they are about to tear this whole area down, simply because they need 25,000 parking spaces for the local football team. so it is -- >> hold on a second, hold on a second. this is obviously an important scene that needs to be investigated, exactly how this happened, and they need to get it back from you, because they want to tear the whole structure down? >> absolutely, they want to tear it down. >> but hold on a second, couldn't this end up being a crime scene? >> absolutely. and i would defer to obviously our fine police chief is going to do a great investigation.we absolutely could be a crime scene and treat it as such. >> tearing it down.
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ryan, thank you for joining us and we are thinking about your clients today. what an ordeal. coming up -- >> thank you so much. >> -- six former trump officials subpoenaed as the committee investigating january 6th makes its next move. but it has been months and months. what is taking so long? plus, all of the power now in the hands of a few centrist democrats, as lawmakers work to pass biden's social spending bill. we'll talk to the man at the center of the debate, congressman josh gottheimer. f t congressman josh gottheimer. ♪ ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark. but with our new multi-cloud experience, you have the flexibility you need to unveil them to the world. ♪
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this morning, the investigation into the january 6th riot is picking up after the house committee looking into it subpoenaed six top allies and advisers of former president trump. they say trump's campaign aides set up a war room to brainstorm how to overturn the election just days before the rioters stormed the capitol. let's go straight to leigh ann
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caldwell on capitol hill. also with with us, punch bowl news cofounder, john bresnahan. leigh ann, what should we know about who got subpoenaed and why should we believe those subpoenas are going to mean anything? these days, subpoenas serve nothing more than useful bird cage liners. >> well, steph, let's start with what these subpoenas mean and who these people are. these were six people who were extremely close to the former president and what their role is leading up to january 6th, they were actively in discussions and sometimes persuasion with local election officials to try to overturn the election results in those particular states and also trying to persuade the former vice president, mike pence, to overturn the election results on january 6th in a congressional proceeding. you have bill stepien, who's a former top trump campaign official all the way to john eastman, a conservative lawyer. whose the one who wrote that two-page, six-point memo on how mike pence can overturn the
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election results. you also have someone who we don't -- have never really heard about. angela mccallum, she's an executive assistant to the trump campaign. and there's a recording of her right to persuade election officials or an election official in michigan to overturn the results there. so this latest batch of subpoenas really gets at the persuasion campaign and the attempt to actually overturn the election results. the previous subpoenas, a lot of them, were focused on people who were coordinating and funding the stop the steal rally on january 5th and on january 6th. as far as if they're going to mean anything, well, we'll see. we know that steve bannon was -- the house voted him to be referred to the department of justice for criminal contempt. we know the department of justice haven't done anything
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with that. and the others are cooperation. as far as these six, they just went out yesterday. >> let's talk about those referrals. john, the justice department has not gone after steve bannon, they say it's urgent, but they're certainly not moving quickly. watch this. >> where is merrick garland and the department of justice in this? >> so far, they're holding back. the question i have as a reporter is, what about those at the top? those who stoked these movements to happen? >> john, the department of justice can move fast when they want to. they did it with jeffrey epstein, why aren't they now? >> i mean, this is a difficult issue. i mean, you know, this is -- this is -- they're there, having to run the traps here. you know, we just can't wave your hand and indict somebody. they have to, you know, you have to prepare a case, go to a grand jury, get an indictment. i mean, it's not as easy as --
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>> john, it's been ten months -- >> -- well, we got a criminal referral -- go ahead. i'm sorry. >> it's been ten months. >> well, no, but bannon was not -- the criminal referral against bannon was relatively recent. it was only a couple of -- i think it was only a couple of weeks ago. so they couldn't have done anything against bannon on the investigation side or on the subpoena issue, up to now. now, the justice department would also argue, we -- you know, the folks who were the rioters themselves, the folks who attacked the capitol, we have indicted hundreds of those people. we're sending those people to prison. but again, i think bob's point here is, the people at the top, you know, trump and, you know, his top aides, from mark meadows, and stepien was a major figure. he's a campaign manager, trump's campaign manager. they have not been indicted and, you know, it doesn't look like they're going to charge them
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with a crime at this point for that. i mean, that they're going to charge them with insurrection or some kind of act against the government. it doesn't appear as if that's going to happen. what they're going to charge them with if they do is blocking the investigation. >> in theory, it would be significant when and if we see members of congress get subpoenaed, but the reality is, there's a really small chance they're even going to show up. will it matter in the end? >> if they get subpoenaed, you know, this is an open question. i mean, this has happened in other congressional investigations. members don't have,, you know -- first of all, this is a congressional committee. they can't hide behind some of the -- some of the legal protections or the constitutional issues that they would if it was the executive branch, if it was the justice department, or a state or local agency subpoenas them. there's speech or debate privilege that they can't hide behind in this case.
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this is a congressional subcommittee. if they try to go after kevin mccarthy, the house minority leader for his conversations with trump on january 6th, he's going to fight that in court. he's got his lawyers. if they try to go after jim jordan or some of the other folks that spoke that day. mo brooks from alabama, the congressman running for senator from alabama, you know, they don't have some of the constitutional protections that they would against an executive branch agency, but they'll challenge this. the grounds, they're interfering with the first amendment protected right, that, you know -- or they're interfering with something that's a confidential conversation, that congress has no legitimate business knowing about. so, you know, this will all play out in the court. but this is the strategy for republicans and trump, drag this out in court for as long as you can and hope that republicans win the house and this all disappears. >> run the clock and we will be here, covering every single step of it.
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john bresnahan, leigh ann caldwell, thank you both so much. coming up, less than 100 icu beds are left in the state of colorado. we need an answer, what is behind the covid surge there? as behind the covid surge there yop you reach for the really good stuff. new zzzquil ultra helps you sleep better and longer when you need it most. it's non habit forming and powered by the makers of nyquil. new zzzquil ultra. when you really really need to sleep. bogeys on your six, limu. they need customized car insurance from liberty mutual so they only pay for what they need. woooooooooooooo... we are not getting you a helicopter. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ feel stuck with student loan debt? move to sofi and feel what it's like to get your money right. (phone chimes) ♪ ♪ ♪ i jump up on the stage ♪
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now to the coronavirus pandemic. the justice department asked the courts to stop blocking
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president biden's vaccine mandate for large companies. it comes as misinformation about the vaccine keeps spreading nationwide, with some states still seeing outbreaks, including in colorado where they have less than 100 icu beds left and now they are back to where they were last year, before the vaccines. steve patterson is at a hospital in aurora, colorado. steve, what in the world is going on? >> reporter: that is the question, i think, health experts across the state are trying to answer, and it's particularly confounding, because for all intents and purposes, colorado was one of the good kids, low infection rate, higher vaccination rates, over 60% now, and that number is rising. so it's leaving health experts to wonder what in the world is going on. they're looking at a number of factors. maybe it's the seasonality of the virus. you know, it's much colder now. people are huddled into larger groups, indoors. maybe they're taking the virus a little less seriously, it's been going on for a while, the rules are relaxed, mask wearing may be a little bit more relaxed now. that may be a factor, as well
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as, obviously, the delta variant driving all of this, still raging across the country. it's a little more murky on that side. a little clearer on the hospital side, though. because what's happening in colorado is essentially a crisis of non-covid patients. as life has returned, car accidents are a very big factor, heart issues are a bigger factor, and people delaying care, as they have now several times, has created this ripple effect, because they're so worried about going to hospitals and seeing their doctor, because of covid. health experts worry that has to stop or this ripple effect will continue. so now we're at this place where we're at tier 3. hospitals at tier 3. the highest designation in the state, which basically allows more patient transfers, but they've never had to do that in this entire pandemic. some health systems now are saying, this could be the very worst surge we've seen. i spoke to a doctor with the colorado hospital association. here's what she said about what's happening. listen to this. >> this is a step we've never taken before in this pandemic. and it's a huge change, but we
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are at the point now where we need every single bed that we have available. and it's combined hospital transfer center structure is going throw us to use every available resource we have in our state. >> reporter: and of course, we have to say, obviously, breakthrough cases are a problem, but the majority of people in the hospital with covid are unvaccinated. stephanie? >> unvaccinated. steve patterson, thank you. now to a story you will be talking about at the dinner table tonight. this surveillance video shows a quick-thinking nashville pastor stopped a man who pulled a gun at church on sunday. you can see the suspect waving the gun near the altar and the pastor bravely tackling him to the ground. the 26-year-old suspect was not a member of the church, but had been there before. he has been charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault with more charges expected. coming up, after lawmakers passed the hard infrastructure bill, markets hit a new high yesterday, so why aren't
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democrats saying anything about it? we're going to ask congressman josh gottheimer, next. g to ask n josh gottheimer, next.
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now to capitol hill, where the focus is on a handful of moderate democrats holding up the president's $1.75 trillion human infrastructure bill. those five lawmakers say they want to see the cbo score, a detailed rundown of how much it will cost before agreeing to support the bill. i've got one of them with us right now. new jersey congressman, josh gottheimer, pro chair of the problem solver's caucus. first, i want to congratulate you. the bipartisan bill, huge, huge achievement. i know you've been working on it for months. but let's talk human infrastructure. why bring this cbo score up so late in the game. >> well, first, stephanie, thanks so much for having me and thanks for pointing out the big win for our country, bipartisan i might add. democrats and republicans came together, to fix our roads, our
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bridges, our -- obviously, the gateway tunnels in new york and new jersey, get that going, our water infrastructure, rails, transit systems, so much that's good for the country. 2 million jobs a year. and you bring up the other package, which also is very important. something that i've supported, the reconciliation package called build back better, that will help us reinstate salt, the state local tax deduction, get taxes down for people in my district. we got a bill, basically, final language on thursday night and there were new things added, so we have questions to make sure that we understood how it's paid for. to understand exactly what's in it, and we think the responsible thing to do to read that bill, it's 2,000 pages, the new bill, and to compare it to the old text, which was also 2,000 pages. we've had people working around the clock to make sure we know what's in there and make sure it's great for our districts. and i'm optimistic that will happen. and the numbers that we got, we
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hope, will match up with what we received yesterday from the white house and treasury with some of the data on the cost of the bill and see how they match up with the investments. so i'm optimistic that the data we will get next week, which we're expecting, will all match up and we will be able to move forward. >> let's talk about taking a victory lap on the hard infrastructure bill. the markets yesterday hitting new highs in large part because of the bill you passed. yet democrats say nothing. it's like you don't want to take credit for good news on wall street. because it alienates people. now, the markets and the economy are not the same thing, but when wall street wins, main street doesn't lose. half of american households have some form of investment in the market. i'm talking mentions, 401(k)s. by democrats continuing to say nothing, you seed the ground for republicans to continue to push a false narrative that they're the only party that looks at things like the markets. >> listen, stephanie, you know, where i live, this is a huge deal for everybody, right? fixing our roads and bridges and
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tunnels and making life easier to get to work and fighting climate change are all great things for the economy. and obviously, when you're talking about competing with china, which last year spent $3.7 trillion on infrastructure outside of china, it's just -- you know, this took us three decades to get this package together, and we did in the a bipartisan way. right? 69 in the senate and we got 13 republicans to vote for it and really come through strong on friday, on the bipartisan bill. but you're right, we should take a huge win. and the country should take a victory lap, as well. you know, there's other legislation, too, that we're working on. separate bills that you pointed out that also will be great for the country, in helping with child care and reinstall salt and get our taxes down. but you're right, stephanie, when the economy does well and the country does well, we should all take a victory lap. democrats and republicans. >> can you help me understand kind of a sticking point in the human infrastructure bill? why is it that more people can't
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get onboard for paid family leave, right? after someone has a baby, yet where it stands right now, if i bought a private plane, i could get 100% write off in year one. to me, it sure sounds like you don't want to do something that would help millions of people, but there's a free hook up on the top, top end for the richest of the rich. how do you square those two? >> i can't speak for my colleagues who don't support giving people time off for paid leave and you've got a loved. one or family member sick or you've just had a new baby, it doesn't make sense to me. and other key investments here, like helping people with child care and making sure that we have universal pre-k and our children have all the opportunity, that just makes sense to me. but listen, i -- what matters is talking about these issues and making sure that we explain to people when we're fighting for. and stephanie, sometimes, right, folks aren't always good at that and aren't willing to do it.
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i think we should be out there talking about how we're fighting for people. that's why i talk about how we've got to make life more affordable for families around here, which is why we need to reinstate salt and get that deduction and help people get that tax relief, but you've got to listen to folks and what they want is action, they want us to fight for them, and i think both of these bills do that. >> do you want the president to take action as it relates to gas? republicans who claim the president sets the price of gasoline are obviously wrong. however, he has levers. he can invest in gas reserves. that would at least in the short-term impact prices. do you want him to do something. >> yeah, i expect him to take action. i know he's tapping the strategic reserve already. you know, as you point out, it's a global market. that's why -- and frankly, we're dealing with huge supply chain issues, which the infrastructure bill, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, are going to help address, with our ports, making sure that we fix our rail systems, right, we've got to fix our roads so that we're not hitting potholes in jersey, we've got the third-worst roads in the country. that's very tough for truck
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drivers that are trying to move these goods. and huge backup issues from covid, as you know, in the global supply chain. these are issues that this infrastructure bill addresses and the president can obviously take additional measures. but people have to understand, we're trying to catch up from covid here. but i know that -- we've got to get these gas prices down. we've got to help people with prices in the grocery store. and that means getting the supply chain moving and taking step we can to do that. >> important to remember and put that in perspective. where we were a year ago in covid and where we are today. it has been tremendous. >> that's exactly right. >> congressman, thank you for joining us this morning. i appreciate it. ahead, we have seen fights over critical race theory play out in schools across the country, but has anything actually changed inside the classroom or is there just fearmongering. we'll cut through the noise and get to the facts, next. through get to the facts, next ♪ ♪
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it was one week ago that virginia republican glenn youngkin won the state's governor's race in large part thanks to the issue of education, which in virginia and a lot of other states means two things. covid restrictions and crt. but for facts sake, let's be clear on what we're talking about. crt, short for critical rate theory, is not being taught widely in k-12 schools in virginia or anywhere else. according to a teacher survey obtained by nbc news, more than 96% said it is not part of the
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required curriculum. critical race theory basically says that racism is embedded in the way this country runs and that history should be taught to reflect that. it is being talked about in colleges and in the media, but that's not the whole story. the fact is, while crt is not being taught by name or formally, a lot of the same issues it addresses, racism, diversity, inclusion, bias, they are being brought up in classrooms. sometimes by teachers, but oftentimes by students, particularly in the wake of george floyd's murder and last year's protests. we have seen the passion, the fury, the rage surrounding the issue translate into shouting matches at school board meetings, but also into big political momentum. eight states have already passed laws limiting how teachers can discuss race. and according to ballotpediabal out of 280 winning school board candidates across the u.s., more than a quarter did it by fighting crt, covid policies, or
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both. i want to bring in jeremy peters. he has been writing about this for "the new york times" and nbc's antonia hilton in colleyville, texas, she's the cohost of the south lake podcast. jeremy, explain to us what is actually being taught no schools and how that compares to what people are upset about and what the media says. >> i think you captured it pretty well, steph. that's the idea that this academic theory that is often taught in law schools and graduate schools isn't actually being injected into the curriculum word for word in schools, k-12, across the country. but its ideas have influenced the way that teachers talk about race in some schools, public and private. and so this concept of critical race theory has become a bogeyman, because it basically, it's a complicated, nuanced subject and it's been reduced to
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a right-wing bogeyman. and it can mean whatever parents want it to mean. and it can also mean whatever politicians want it to mean. and that's what you've seen in some of these states where republican legislature in places like texas, candidates like glenn youngkin in virginia have basically used it as a way to activate the -- you know, the anxieties and the anger of parents who are not just frustrated with some of the stuff they hear their kids coming home and saying they're being taught, but, this is coming after a year and a half of pandemic restrictions, and in some cases, frustration like we saw in virginia has boiled over in place like fairfax county, where the teachers resisted going back to school and the kids were forced to learn at home for far longer than many
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parents were comfortable with. and this, of course, is after teachers were given priority access to the vaccines. so it's -- it's a lot of issues. and it's really kind of bubbled up into this stew of resentment and anger that is really very powerful and crosses a lot of political lines. >> antonia, as we pointed out, crt specifically might not be in the curriculum, but elements of it are going to pop up in discussions naturally, about racism, diversity. our kids have questions. do democrats need to make a better argument than just saying, this is a bunch of lies, there's nothing to see here. there is something to see, and it's something constructive. >> well, steph, that is the major question right now. and what i can tell you is that over the last several months, democrats have not launched a robust response to disinformation around critical race theory and they haven't offered a clear message to parents who have expressed all of the concerns that we've just
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laid out right there. and in the absence of them having a real stance on all of this, they've allowed republicans, conservatives, to really control the narrative around critical race theory. and to be clear, what you often hear is that people say that this is an academic study that teaches that all white people are evil oppressors or that america is an inherently evil place. that's not what critical race theory teaches. it's a framework, for example, to help you understand, why do we still see racial inequality, housing inequality, a massive wealth gap in this country, and academics sort of working with this framework to answer those questions. but the real trick for democrats, because of this is, is going to be that on the one hand, they have to make clear to their base, to others, that critical race theory is not taught in k-12. but on the other hand, in the other breath, they need to still be able to express some support for some of the access of that academic framework, that many democrats do believe that there
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is persistent racial inequality, that race has played a major historical role in the federal government and at the local levels, in communities all over the united states. so how do you in one breath support aspects of critical race theory, but also make clear that it's not in schools and that kids aren't being exposed or to indoctrinated. >> talk to us about the messaging. republicans would love for the education issue to become synonymous with crt, just as crt has now become this catch-all for a whole lot of things that people don't like. you don't like it, it's crt? >> right, well, i think there's something to be said for the fact that democrats don't really have a -- they didn't have a response for this in virginia. it cost terry mcauliffe, because there were an awful lot of parents angry about crt and other -- what they assume to be crt, because it's such an amorphous term. but also the other issues related to a year and a half of
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pandemic restrictions and kids being at home, but i think that this is a larger problem that democrats are realizing or some democrats are realizing that they have to confront is not having an answer on a number of issues. they have not really come up with a way to talk about the way inflation is hurting people in their pocketbooks. the response has kind of been, well, inflation is not really that big of a deal. well, you know, that may be true and a lot of economists feel that way. but if you're seeing the price of milk or bread go up significantly and that hits your weekly grocery budget, i think you're going to need a more persuasive answer than economists say that this isn't troublesome. you know, the same could be said for immigration, which the right has been pushing. there's a story that has been really catching fire in conservative media about the
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payments that the biden administration is planning to make to families who had their kids separated from them. and it's been spun way out of control, but the biden administration hasn't really sufficiently answered, so, you know, we'll see. >> all right. then i'm going to help our audience quickly. you want to know why we're experiencing inflation and shortages? one word. the pandemic. everything about the way we live, work, and shop has changed in the last year and a half. the way businesses keep prices consistent and supplies ample is planning. no one planned for a pandemic. look outside your front door. do you have a few boxes from amazon or walmart? probably. and a few years ago, you had none. so where did all of that cardboard come from? you have to supply it. that's why there's a shortage. you need a lot more boxes to ship all of this stuff. over and done with it. that's it. next, the latest on the kyl rittenhouse trial, one of the men who he shot during the 2020 racial justice protest in kenosha, wisconsin, protest taking the stand. live to wisconsin for the latest. the stand live to wisconsin for the latest
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developing this morning, dramatic new testimony in the trial of kyle rittenhouse, by the only person survived being shot by the teen. he travelled from illinois to wisconsin before shooting two people on the street of kenosha during a night of protest about racial injustice. bring us up to speed, gabe. what's going on? >> reporter: hi, there, stephanie. good morning, it was critical testimony yesterday, when that witness, the sole survivor of the shooting, went on the witness stand and told jurors that he thought that he was going to die during his confrontation with kyle rittenhouse. take a listen. >> i was never trying to kill the defendant. i was never string that i was trying to do. in that moment, i was trying to preserve my own life, but doing so, while also taking the life of another is not something that
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i'm capable or comfortable in doing. >> now, when pressed, the witness said that he pursued rittenhouse, and that's what the defense is trying to argue, stephanie. that it was his fault for pursuing rittenhouse and rittenhouse was only acting in self-defense. the prosecution is expected to wrap its case as early as today, stephanie. >> gabe, thank you. and thank you at home for watching. that wraps up this busy hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. jose diaz-balart picks up breaking news coverage right now. and good morning. it's 10:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. pacific. i'm jose diaz-balart. president biden has not signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill yet, but that isn't stopping him from hitting the road to sell it. over on capitol hill, the house panel investigating the january 6th insurrection subpoenas more people connected with efforts to overturn the 2020 election. and as the house nears a vote on a bill to reshape the social safety net and fight climate change, we'll talk


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