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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  November 25, 2021 3:00am-6:00am PST

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the con project to take us off the air tonight and that is our broadcast for this wednesday evening with our thanks for being here with us. on behalf of all of our colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night and happy thanksgiving to it all. good morning and welcome to a special edition of "morning joe." we have plenty of great conversations and interviews -- >> thanksgiving was great, wasn't it? >> it was delicious. >> i love stuffing. >> let's dive right in. if. >> let's dive in. first up, the most highly anticipated book, a deep dive into the final days of the president trump presidency and
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the fraught transition to the biden administration. >> let's dive right into the moment. bob woodward and political reporter for "the washington post" robert costa join us now. their new book "peripet kwtsz is out today. there's some pieces of the book that have come out, but what was most striking to you that perhaps hasn't been released yet to the public? >> wow, i guess the overall that this it was a national security crisis that trump brought because countries like china, russia, iran, looked a at what was occurring in the united states. if you go back and look at what trump said before the election, it was scary to people abroad.
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then after the january 6th insurrection, it was frightening and china particularly ignited on this and the chairman of the joint chiefs had these calls with the leader of the chinese military and made it very clear we're going to stabilize things. let's not have a war. and in a period of miscommunication and high tension, that's when you have an incident or even a war. >> so bob, i read the milley part early on like everybody did and then read the entire book. i wasn't shocked by his actions. maybe that's because like you, you're in the middle of it, but i grew up reading about your
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books and other books a about how henry kissinger wouldn't let the prime minister talk to richard nixon during the '73 war and how for a year from the time he got out, you had nixon cabinet members doing everything they could to keep the world stable when richard nixon was not stable. >> that's exactly what happened here. if you look at it and milley was confronted with a practical problem. they had intelligence that it the chinese thought we were going to attack them. that is the most dangerous environment internationally. soed milley talked to his counterpart in china, and we have the dialogue and quite
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frankly, it's clear what he's trying to do it. he's trying to tamp things down. i'm sorry to take this literally from the book, but you have to do the literal moment when milley says to general lee, if we're going to attack, i'm going to call you ahead of time. people have misconstrued that to say, oh, that means i'm going to tip you off. what it means is there will be a build up. there will be tensions and they will be talking on this top secret back channel. >> that's what he says right there on page 129. if there's some kind of kinetic action, there's going to be a build up just like there's always been in history. but hearing your point about 1974, we have talked about this. with the final day its, president nixon talking to
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pictures, we have some echoes of that memt in our book. on january 5th, the eave of the insurrection and the riot at the capitol, we have the scene of president trump not only pressuring mike pence in the oval office, but opening the door to have the call there come into the oval office talking to aids saying can you hear my supporters outside. talking to these people as he hears them in the streets on a cold almost freezing night, hours before the rally that ultimately led to riot. that's the luxury of time, as bob calls it, they we had to dig into what actually happened. it was a domestic political crisis, a national security emergency as well. >> what's so potent about that scene with trump in the oval office, hearing the mob out there, he's just enthralled with the mob. we discuss this and it reminded me of nixon talking to the pictures of former presidents on
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the wall a at a moment as watergate was cracking open, and the equivalent is that trump isn't talking to george washington o'abraham lincoln. he's talking to this mob. this is his base this is what he gets. >> who is he talking to? he's telling steve bannon we need to kill the biden presidency in the crib. that was it the phrase, based on our reporting, in that conversation. >> tell us what you know about the pressure that was put on mike pence and on anyone else in the administration or members of the senate to try and help trump stay in the presidency, even after he lost. >> enormous pressure.
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our book documents how dan quayle as part of code talking to vice president pence as he navigates the decision, wants to probably run in 2024, wants to stay loyal to president trump, but what's most interesting to us is the new information we discovered on how the legal side of the trump team were trying to convince the vice president and his team to deserty biden's victory at the time in that transition period. offering all these legal arguments to have vice president pence walk from january 6th and that could have been a constitutional crisis. >> bob, it's willie, good morning. let's talk about how close this country came to overturning this election. you have in vivid detail, you have vice president pence sitting in oval office getting pressure from president trump. you have some around january
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6th. what was the general posture of people like kevin mccarthy, jim jordan, senator lindsey graham, toward president trump? were they accommodating? were they supportive of his big lie and what was going on on? what did we learn from those conversations? >> what's fascinating is it's politics and they are riding both horses. pence is the model of this. pence is really working hard to see if he can do something to stay on the good side of trump. at the same time, he calls him and reads him the constitution and the law and says you are not an actor in this. you simply mechanically count the votes. and pence is under lots of pressure from trump and his lawyers and confidants are just
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saying you cannot do this. in the end, pence stood up and did the constitutional right thing. at the same time, when he's there and they are voting to certify, if he just said, i'm confused and walked off, we would have had a worse than a constitutional crisis because it would have undermined the legitimacy of the presidency. >> he was fishing around for a reason to get this done calling former vice president dan quayle, who shut him down pretty quickly. as we lock ahead to that day and some of those phone calls, what were members of congress doing on that day? were they encouraging president trump to step forward and say, hey, stand down to the rioters
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who were attacking the capitol? or what were they saying to the president because there's been a lot of speculation about the cop tent of sosm of those phone calls. >> you see kevin mccarthy pleading with president trump unhappy with the situation, but what comes across in our reporting is that a lot of efforts were being made at the time to somewhat corral president trump and minutes of congress that were really not even talking to president trump, but what you see is the lack of power among the republican leadership in our reporting to do anything to constrain this president. this whole story of "peril" really raises the question about the power of the presidency. is there too much power inspect because your question is the right one. what are leaders doing to keep the executive on the straight and narrow. but there's not much that there seems to be able to do.
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>> as wow talk about the most dangerous transition in american history from trump to biden, there's a lot about president biden in here. some annoyance he displayed watching morning television, but also i want to hear about his friendship with lindsey graham and where that stands. >> senator graham, he was friendly with boyden in the obama administration ask in the senate from delaware for decades. but that it relationship was all but severed by the hunter biden scandal and senator graham's aggressive approach to the biden family. >> you could write a whole book about senator graham's ambivalence. he's the one who says to trump a at one point, you have fed up
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your presidency. and what trump does, he hangs up on him and then trump calls him back later and graham says, i would have hung up too. so there's this view of trump as somebody who is this force in the republican party, which indeed he's not going away. as "the new york times" reviewer pointed out, which the. log is a prologue to what's going to happen to the republican party. what's going to happen to the democratic party? who is going to be president and will trump resurface. i think in our reporting, it's pretty clear trump is going to run.
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. >> one top adviser during the 2020 campaign said privately had this summer to some other trump allies, if he runs again, it's going to be for vengeance. >> up next, we'll have more from woodward and costa's bomb shell reporting on the trump presidency is. the republican leadership had to navigate trump's denial. we'll hear what happened next. we're back in a moment. l. we'll hear what happened next. we're back in a moment knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ ray loves vacations. but his diabetes never seemed to take one. everything felt like a 'no'. everything. but then ray went from no to know. with freestyle libre 2, now he knows his glucose levels when he needs to. and... when he wants to. so ray... can be ray.
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welcome back. here's more from our conversation with bob woodward and robert costa and one of the year's most talked about books regarding the final days of the trump administration. >> more on the tense transition between trump and biden. you all write about how republican leadership had to balance dealing with former
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president trump's denial of the election results. quote, with trump brashly contesting the results, senator mitch mcconnell said he would give trump room to let off steam and not publicly recognize biden as president. he still needed to have a working relationship with trump. and more important, mcconnell worried trump might react negatively and up end the coming and hotly contested runoff senate elections in georgia. those seats were necessary to keep the republican majority and mcconnell as majority leader. you go on. he also said he did not want biden, a serial telephone user, to call him. he was sure to infuriate trump and set off unwanted calls from him asking if he believed biden had won the presidency. better to keep the line dead. >> this is just another example of someone trying to contain
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donald trump and in the end getting burned by donald trump. the two seats he was trying to protect and save ended up going for democrats any way. because donald trump's conspiracy theories and telling republicans that elections were rigged, donald trump giving rallies and talking about himself and not the candidates ended up blowing up in the republicans face any way. >> one of the things we wanted to do is really show a reader what it's actually like for people like mitch mcconnell, how do these people actually work. and you see loader mcconnell trying to avoid having a conversation with president-elect biden knowing it's going to enrage president trump. so he heard about senator coons of delaware will be to be there to talk to him and wave off biden for making a call. all to keep this situation with president trump from exploding.
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and that's how things work behind the scenes in washington. it can seem a bit much, all this phone tag is and things behind the scenes, but that's how power works. we have the transcript in the book. show what actually happens, her calling up the chairman saying let's make sure this process for nuclear weapons is under control. especially in the wake of the insurrection. >> so guys let's talk between us here. let's talk. nobody else. wez may be on the air. i don't know. bob costa, you and i exchanged notes in 2015 when we were talking to donald. we had known him before. bob, i saw you and we talked about it a little bit during the transition. talking to donald.
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i'm just curious if, bob, i'll start with you, obviously, our conversations changed pretty radically soon, but i'm curious if the donald trump you have written about in this book lines up with the donald trump you were talking about and to and reporting on in 2015 if this were hints back then that you would have a guy that was as undemocratic and try to overturn presidential elections if there were a lot of hints that this guy actually was going to try to be an authoritarian president. >> it brings me back to a moment. march 31st, 2016. wood wrd and i were talking about this. it was the day we interviewed president trump together on the cup of the republican nomination down in washington, d.c. i don't want to speak too much about what we discussed behind the scenes.
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>> oh, go ahead. >> woodward pulls me aside in 2016 and we had interviewed president trump for 90 minutes. that it transcript is online. interesting. and woodward says to me five years ago, that was very important. this man could be president. take it seriously. and that's it the key that we recognized then. we have to recognize now. that these people maybe out of office, may seem like they can't win the presidency, but they very well could come back or at that time win in 2016. you have to take the questions of governing seriously. the questions of power. and this is not a game. this is american politics and american democracy. >> too many of us didn't think he could win. you look at election night, hillary clinton, when some of those stupid meters had a 93%
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winning. we got mocked for suggesting it was possible that donald trump could get 270 welcometorial electoral votes. i think back. you were exactly right in march of 2016. nobody else was thinking that even though they lie and said he was going to win. i go back to a conversation i had in 2015. you all are talking about him connecting with a mob. i just got chills listening to you talking about that. because i remember a conversation i had with him in 2015. and he said something along the lines of those people there, man, at those rallies, they love me. they would do anything for me. sometimes i think they would even kill for me. i just stared at him for a second. i was like, that's bad, donald. you know how he talks. yeah, that's bad. but there's so many things he
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said like that that suggested there was this really disturbing side to him and nobody thought he was going to get elected, but obviously he did. >> but the question is who is he and what does he care about? and we found from our reporting in the two earlier books i did, you know what he cares about? himself. and at one point sitting in the oval office for the second book, i asked what's the job of the president. he said to protect the people. and if you look at his performance, he has protected or tried to protect donald trump. not the people. he's disconnected from that overall arching constitutional and moral responsibility that a president has.
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and what this reporting, we used to always come on your show and you would kindly us ask and we'd say we're in a cave. we're writing a book. we're going back and really trying to find out what happened. and the discovery is this is the epic collapse of a presidency. you were talking about mcconnell. they all have disdain for trump. everyone knows but the only person who acted is general milley. he said, i'm not going to let this happen. and he was very dramatic moment when he calls in the people from the national military command center in the pentagon into his office. this is when pelosi said i'm
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worried about what trump might do with nuclear weapons. and milley calls these people in one star generals or admirals, colonels and he says, i'm going to be involved. you call me before there's any military action that comes from anyone, including the president. you involve me in this process. he literally goes around the room. got it? got it? yes, sir. and people say he's trying to take over some of the commander-in-chief's power. no, what he is doing is setting in motion sensible precautions. if you look at the procedures, which are top secret, he's supposed to be involved. and he's just saying we're going
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to adhere to that process to protect the country from the kind -- we have lost sight of what nuclear weapons can do. we have gone back and looked at a little bit what happened in the truman presidency when president truman twice used nuclear weapons on japan to end world war ii. these weapons, this is the end of the world if it happens. and we danced around that edge. i think when you look at all of this, mcconnell, mccarthy, they are all kind of looking out for their own position. general milley took action and put himself -- he was in this moment where he had practical
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responsibility. what are the calamiies that can befall the united states. a war particularly with china. the use of nuclear weapons, it's unthinkable he's going over routine procedures, but it's a national security emergency in his eyes around him. >> general milley responded to the book saying everything he did was perfectly within the realm of his responsibility. he did what he had to do to protect the relationships and the country. bob, i want to go back to something that bob woodward touched on a few minutes ago and that's the idea of president trump running again. nobody has looked a the this man more closely than the two of you over the last several months. it's a question that hangs over the country right now. will he run for president again. could we be in for four more years of what we just went
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through with a drift through authoritarianism. what will go into the former president's decision about whether he will run or not in 2024? >> it's to sit down with people for eight hours and bring them over and go over to their house and we have been sitting down with people close to president trump for many months now. and you start to hear a certain refrain from people who really know him. he wants back. he feels he has the political capital with his core supporters. he likes playing golf and jokes he's off twitter and has more time, but this is someone who wants back into the presidency. and he believes the republican party is still very much in his grip. that people aren't going to war with him at the highest ranks of the party. this time even though there are others out there with ambitious it's president trump who wants back based on our reporting.
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>> our conversation with bob woodward and robert costa for their book "peril." it wasn't the only book on the trump presidency. far from it. there's been some 150 volumes over the past 5 years that claim to explain what his presidency revealed about our nation. >> and our next guest read every single one of those books. poor guy. we're going to find out what he learned from it, just ahead on "morning joe." learned from it, just ahead on "morning joe."
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our book critic for "the washington post" carlos lozata read some 150 volumes that claim to diagnose why former president trump was elected president and what his presidency are reveals about our nation. his analysis of those books is entitled "what were we thinking". and it's now out in paperback. carlos joins us now. good to have you become on the show. >> it's great to have you here, carlos. i love the book. i want to read something that you write in there that i think explains the blind spots that we still have with trying to figure out what we were thinking. you say too many books of the trump era are knee jerk, more possessing than probing, more
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fixated on calling up the daily transgressions of the man in the oval office. this is not normal than on asserting their impact. they reveal how we are stuck. it seemed to me judging our own failures on this show during the trump presidency, we are stuck in a way that actually empowers him. more outrage, the more chest beating that we are, the more angry, the more we actually play into his strengths. >> i think that in a broad sense, a lot of these books reacted to trump by retrenching themselves into their political corn rs. trump's election was a very
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disorienting event. that's what people tend to do, to retreat to the familiar. the writer would say this what proves what i have been saying all along about class or inequality or the electoral system. i think some of the resistance books did this coming out with a lot of things about how awful they felt on election night. the same on the pro-trump side. what you had was a lot of entrenchment. and that simply puts the entire focus on this one man who served in the oval office. >> so who got it right? who has done the best job figuring out not only what we were thinking, but what tens of millions of americans are still thinking. >> i would point to three main take aways that emerged from this kind of reading. one that the guardrails of
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democracy, the institutions that are supposed to protect us, they don't protect themselves. they are upheld or eroded through a series of small, incremental decision. one book that helped me understand this it was called "unmaking the presidency." they walk through all the norms that were undone during this period and show where they came from and why they matter. another that i thought was help ful was "one person no vote" by carol anderson, who shows how the fight over voting suppression and voting rights is ever present in the american story. and finally, the book is about the trump voters. the white working class books became such a sensation during this period, and i think that
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some of them showed it's too easy to point to one or two reasons why someone would vote for donald trump. it had to be your economic struggles or cultural prejudice and those were the only two possible explanations and they couldn't overlap. and a book like "we're still here" shows how those things can come together and also how rather than pushing you toward one candidate or another, you can be left thinking there's no room in the political system for you at all. >> so speaking of, you write about the following about a genera that you refer to as the heartland books. the debates over the trump voter have produced a rush of such books examining debunking or channelling the white working class. they it include histories, memoirs, academic surveys and near fetishistic dispatches,
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pulling up to every chrome-counter diner and shuttered factory. the books' individual literary merits vary widely. some are delightful, others insufferable. they offer a mental anguish measure of insight and continue sengs with a generous helping of partisanship. >> i remember the day after the trump election, there were people in washington saying i shall go to the heartland and see why the white working class is aching the way they are and they drove it two hours to pennsylvania. but the thing that's always lost is that this great so-called great pop list that was going to answer to people that lives had been wrecked by a terrible economy, he got elected while the economy was stronger than
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ever. he got elected when board crossings were at a 50-year low under barack o'pam. he got elected at a time when crime was at such a low rate that in new york city they had to go back to the '50s and guess how many crimes were committed. this pretending that it was 1991 and all these jobs were leaving new hampshire and going overseas, it just didn't ring true and yet those were a lot of the books still being written. >> yo could see that often writers would interpret the white working class in manners that they will tell neatly with their larger world views why trump was elected. there was this extraordinary case where i ecountered two
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separate books written the same year that both profiled the same trump voter. this guy had been from a mining country, a long-time democrat, even a delegate to the '92 clinton convention and who switched to voting for donald trump. and one book he's a straight up economic pop list. the whole reason he et voted for trump was because he didn't like trade deals and he didn't like political dynasty its like the bushes or clintons. another book, the same guy, is a culture warrior. he's a 9/11 truther. he worries about bathrooms for transgender people and he's the same person. and what happened is that the two authors chose to interpret this same person through these widely different lenses. i'm not saying it was misleading, just in a way that
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really reflected, in system ways, their own views for why trump won. >> carlos, we all wear many hats. i want you to look forward here. you have written about the phenomenon about the trump era and lessons we should learn. he's still very much on the stage. to potentially set up another run, even if it he doesn't fall through the campaign, a lot of people would em lit him would. how can we as the media, how can the american populous handle this it, the return of trump to the stage. >> the media is such a broad category. my job is very different than what you are doing on a show like "morning joe." i think it that not getting
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caught up in some of the on going debates over what is the exact prop word choice that we need to use to describe this particular phenomenon is a distraction during some of the trump era. never underestimating. one of the things we were thinking is it was never going to happen. that trump would not be elected. not just the polls, but journalists and even both campaigns. and i think not feeling that we can anticipate or divine the preferences of the american electorate is one of them. perhaps less predicting and more reporting would be a good start. >> carlos, it's gene, congratulations on the book.
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in all your reading, you read all these books. number one, were there too many? did we do too much writing and not enough thinking about trump. and second, is there anything you learned about donald trump from all the writing about the trump era that you didn't know before? >> i read about 150 books and i'm still going. they are still coming out. and even that was a tiny fraction of what was published. someone did an estimate that during obama's first term there were some 400 or 500 books that covered the trump presidency. there were 1,200 in the period for donald trump. and so i'm never going to say there's too many books. a lot of them were terrific it books that helped me understand
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this period in a more significant way. some of the best books about trump were not really about trump at all. they were about the larger history and the larger questions that his presidency raised. so in that sense, i say keep them coming. >> the book is "what were we thinking." a now out in paperback, "the washington post" carlos lozada. thank you for coming back on the show. up next, a new look at why the american health care system is failing women, specifically women of color. how one author nearly became a maternal mortality statistic herself. we'll be right back. herself. we'll be right back.
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test. what plagues me most is why i stayed uncharacteristically quiet through it all. why, which i insisteded painkillers were not working oopd everyone waswe ignoring me did i not once raise my voice? why,y after i was in surgery w i so polite to the doctor who demanded i prove my pain by walking to the operating table on o my own? where was my voice? the hysteria i had used selecttively and to my advantage in t the past? having spent my entire career as a women's rights advocate, why didn't i stand up for myself? writer and political analyst joins usol now. a question i address at "know
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your value" every day. we are the best advocates for our children, our husbands be, for ourselves but when it comes to ourselves we melt. it, and for you, the most important moment in your life, youta couldn't say what w happening. >> you know, mika, i am still processing the trauma of my experience even after having written this book, know what it is? women have a hysteria complex. we don't want to be written off at't hysterical. our pain is not taken seriously. we are not believed. there's a knowledge and trust gap.a women are not believed about our bodies. the most important thing aboute this book isor it's not a doom d gloom book. i believe, i know, women's health in america right now is at the turning point. the t radical proposal i have i the book is, can we believe
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women?ev can we believe women of color? >> hmm. >> so the data backs up what you're saying. if you're a woman of color in the u.s., what's the difference for you in terms of the chances of dieing during childbirth? >> across the board, women of color are paying a much higher price. america was already in the middle of a health crisis before the pandemic hit and the pandemic made things worse, and the racial disparities are now undeniable. women are color, especially black women, are 243% more likely to die in childbirth than white counterparts. >> why is this? these numbers have been around for a while now. >> for a bit. before the pandemic we thought it was race. used to say racist stereotypes. welfare queens, or because black people are less educated, but now we know that the more
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educated you m are, black women who have college degrees, or masters d degrees, are five tim more likely to die than a white woman we a high school degree. now we know that it's racism. a lot of factors but now we know it'sow racism and not race that are driving these disparities, because the interesting thing is, i was born and raised in bangladesh and had seen america, youad know, advocate and irpmen safeimplement safe motherhood programs. bangladesh slashed 40%. what is happening in the richest country in the world? it's not that we're not capable. it's priority. women are not believed. a large part of this, it's not just maternal health. chronic pain, endometriosis, heart disease, goes on and on.
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women especially in their 50s. it's not just a male disease. women are a lota of times dismissed from the hospital mid-heart attacks. we don't have hollywood heart d attacks. we have pain in our necks. we feel nauseous. womenee have to advocate for ourselves, but, please, doctors and the health system have to be able to trust. >> such an important took. who shouldd read it and why? >> everybody should read it, but not i just woman. let me tell you, every woman has a story, a medical misogyny story and if they don't they know someone who does. men need to read it as well. often our partners, our witnesses, andrt we can't move forward in this conversation and in this revolution without our male allies. >> the new book is entitled "the pain gap: how sexism and racism in health care kill women."
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just think, he'll be driving for real soon. every new chevy equinox comes standard with chevy safety assist, including automatic emergency braking. find new peace of mind. find new roads. chevrolet. hey, welcome back to "morning joe." on this thanksgiving morning. to start the hour looking back with a conversation with our favorite "morning joe" guests. and a homage he wrote to america. >> joining us now nbc news sports, soccer of "men in blazers" roger bennett. new book from "reborn in the usa: an englishman's book pea ". >> roger, eich been wanting you to write this book for a long
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time. you know, we've discussed on there, i think people know. we've been watching for over a decade, we've been watching football matches together, and when you and joey scarborough and i and others would sometimes get together. >> you would talk about what it was like landing in america, and for americans, it's hard to realize this. you love britain. you love the country of your birth, but you say that every time you touch down at jfk, you just -- you feel something magical. you still, after all of these years. you feel the energy, and the belief that anything is possible. talk about that. >> i grew up in liverpool, the most magical city when the city was truly rotting away. north of england. coal mills, steel mills shut down, cotton mills, used to take
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products out when we had an empire that had fallenalities like baltimore so the city was falling apart. unemployment, hopelessness, a heroin epidemic and i survived this life, lived in black and white, joe, by inhaling everything from america i could get my hands on. the rolling stones, books, super bowl winning team, and they showed me there's a possibility to live a life different than my own, life could be lived with color, tenacity, with joy. i persuaded myself, even though i'd never been to america, conventioned i was trapped in a britishman's body and that journey from being a kid who had the statue of liberty painted on his bedroom wall and manhattan skyline to actually living mere, having an american family and ending up in a courtroom saying oath of allegiance and becoming
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an american, which is the greatest day of my life. >> can you talk about that moment? you describe it so movingly in the book, where everybody that's in there to be sworn in as american citizens that day, it happened to the first person who went up, and after it was done, people started applauding, and tears started rolling down the faces of all of these people from different parts of the world, understanding that something remarkable had just happened? >> joe, i wrote the book at a time of challenge. sports had stopped, lockdown had begun. city of my dreams, new york, was the world's pandemic capital, and when the challenge of the present is incred fwli dark or worse, black lives matter, pain of that, into toxicity of the election. when the present is full of challenge you humanly retrite back to times past in which you
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drew strength. so i did write this book, the american idea, and that idea, when you are in a courtroom as i was in the sudden tip of manhattan, with 62 -- 162 people from 43 nations. many had got through civil war, had escaped famines, had terrible journeys to get here, making mine, just escaping a few late-night beatings in a chip shop on a saturday night and detained to compare, but when you stand and say the pledge of allegiance in that company you look left and you look right and you see the idea of america is what drew each and every one of us, and tears throughout the room. the idea of america is full of challenge. but that idea of america, of hope, of courage, of tenacity, a belief there could be a life that's very different than yours around the world. one of those, expressing a
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feeling the peak gratitude, that i feel to this day, but also to, you know, 2017, a pew foundation report, which really shocked me, about western europe, only 47% of americans had a positive connection to america. i find that devastating as a boy born and raised on american power. >> so many immigrants. you talk to immigrants that have gone through the process you went through. if you want to be inspired as an american, that's a great place to start. because they do believe in the dream of america. for the most part. and i've heard it time and again. talk quickly about soft power. you know, we grow up in high school, and colleges, and we read about american soft power. our western soft power, whether it was beach boy albums or beatles albums, bootlegs smuggled behind the iron curtain
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and actually that and blue jeans having an impact. you talk about how american soft power drew you to this it country, and the list, it's great "love boat," "miami vice" chicago bears, run-dmc, beastie bears and of course, the incredible tracy chapman. >> the only queen of -- >> soft power had an impact on your life and pulled you to america? >> absolutely in every day. i was in liverpool, a dark and twisted time. tracy chapman took the stage on nelson mandela's birthday concert only on because stephen wonder's synthesizer blew up. on with her acoustic guitar. 72,000 drunken people they wanted to hear "i just called to
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say i love you" but tracy chapman led on to the stage, started opening chords of "fast car" and she silenced 72,000 english people, which is not easy to do and turned wembley stadium into the most intimate stadium ever. her message, do not stand for what you are currently grappling with, make bold changes and get out while you can. when you are a 16-year-old and you hear that message, it's because of tracy chapman, because of the chicago bears winning super bowl team said, yeah, been a terrible team 20 years, self-sabotage and failed but don't have to do what we are. we can flip the script, create a new narrative. seem funny on the surface. "miami vice" only about cops and drugs on the surface. animal farns only about animals
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and picks on the surface. below it, about being a singular human being, pastels, no socks, espadrilles, just being yourself and learn that it as kid, all the lessons of life are in that. sounds flip and ridiculous. when you watch this from a place of hopelessness, it brings you hope. bread crumbs luckily for me led me to live in new york city, and to a place where they allow bald men on television which is the ultimate liberating freedom. >> roger, congratulations on the book. as i listen to you, so refreshing to hear this in this particular news cycle but i'm reminded of a line from a poet by the name of yousif, an idea grafted to a shadow. you've lived in this place in a very dark moment. how do you square this understanding, this rendering are america, in light of what you've seen in this place over
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the last five, six years? >> my idea, the central idea of america, was born, which i had as a child, i am now an adult, and the idea is not the reality. and your lines of poetry are utterly beautiful. the epic of my book is possibly the most beautiful, not possibly it is. i chose a line that could absolutely destroy everything else i ruin. a line from langston hughes which is let america be america again and the land that never was and yet must be. and in that discordance, that what -- i released this book ahead of independence day and every independence day i think about those lines, and ultimately i feel i want to dedicate myself and i think millions of viewers do, too, at home, want to dedicate themselves between those two lines of the great lines of hughes. >> same question put differently, roger. for those who, we mentioned a poll, you know, people who are
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not necessarily seeing the american dream right now, in this present moment in time, at this time in our history, going through our democracy, going through a little challenge -- could be an understatement -- what do you think you're seeing those who polled differently are not seeing right now? what can you share? is it the hope of america? >> yeah. i can only say, being in that courtroom and then voting for the first time as an american on the upper west side of manhattan, that pandemic election, 5:30 in the morning. getting to that line to vote. mika, this is end of my book. the epilogue. i'd never been to before, never had that incredible joy, that incredible responsibility, and i turned up at 5:30, masks on, to vote in the darkness of a frigid manhattan early morning, and there was a line just in -- a line very much like the security
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line to my naturalization ceremony, and i stood in line behind a 93-year-old african-american woman in a wheelchair covered in, in american flags. never voted before, but she wanted to get up early with her caregiver to make sure she was first in line to vote, and the excitement and the sense of possible in that line. i draw strength from that. i also draw strength from the fact i called my friends in england i used to share the dream of america. i felt devastated. really what was the dream if this is the current reality? there were fireworks the night the election was called. what are you celebrating? dream we had in kids, what were we really believing in? last line, from my best friend, there's parties in london, across asia, even in paris, hard for anyone englishmen to believe, caribbeans are happy
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for anybody else. what are you celebrating? we know, like any dream it's not perfect, but we can dream again about america, and the last line of the book is the world is a better place when it can dream about america, and i absolutely believe that's true, mika. >> talking to a friend recently immigrated to america talking about america and other countries as far as how we are defined by our immigrants, and i was saying, i don't know my exact lineage but i know that my family has lived in america for hundreds and hundreds of years. i think on both sides. i mean, back into the 1700s. i don't know how far it goes, but been here for hundreds and hundreds of years, and what i love so much about this country is, that today on the southern tip of manhattan, somebody is going to raise their hand, they are going to make an oath to this constitution and to this
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country, and they're going to be every bit as much of an american as me. and i think that's extraordinarily beautiful. i think this is a beautiful country, and these words, roger, before we go, again, let america be america again. the land that never has been yet, and yet must be the land where every man is free. oh, yes, i say it plain. america never was america to me and yet i swear this oath. america will be. roger, america is a dream. isn't it? a dream that we all have to fight to fulfill? >> i dual that, j, like any relationship, love relationship. they're hard. you have to work at them and strengths and weaknesses and grind away. you've been here hundreds of years. in a couple of years my
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relatives might have their head shot on that nbc wall and point and say who's that bald bloke? can't remember his name, but he's the one in the family that brought us to america. >> oh, my god. the new book is "re-born in the usa: an englishman's love letter to his chosen home." roger bennett, thank you very much and congratulations. up next, this year marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and we spoke with a pulitzer prize winning book credit who reread a group of books about that day, the events that followed, and what they say about the country. he reveals what he learned, next on "morning joe." " it's another day. and anything could happen. it could be the day you welcome 1,200 guests
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with cameras to home security monitored by the pros. *laughs* learn more about home security or get our self-monitored solution starting at just $10 per month. our next guest says 9/11 was a test and the book shows how america failed. the book credit for the "washington post," carlos joins us now ahead of the 20th anniversary. he read and reread 21 books
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about 9/11, and america's response to the attacks, and carlos, what you wrote in summation was extraordinary. a lot of failings. i do, though, want you, if you could, recount on this day how you ended that article. something we brought up earlier this week. an extraordinary story about what the 9/11 commission said happened on flight 93. >> thank you, joe, for having me on today, as we approach this anniversary. there were moments of extraordinary heroism in the response to 9/11. inside the towers. at the pentagon. and, of course, we all know the story of flight 93, where the passengers resisted, rather than allowed the plane to be, to strike probably the capitol building. that story became or the of lionized in 9/11 lore, but one detail i encountered in my 9/11
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commission report is that the group of passengers that was considering rushing the cockpit paused to take a vote before they did so. they voted. they deliberated, and then they acted. and nothing struck me as quite so american as that. the notion of pausing in the midst of this unfathomable stress and fear to engage in sort of a deliberate, and deliberative consultation like that. that struck me as one of the most american moments of that early response. >> carlos, on this 20-year anniversary, it's so important that our leaders, whether in politics or whether they're thought leaders, reflect on the 20 years what we've gotten right and what we've gotten wrong. it's so important to look back and figure out as you said what parts of the test we failed.
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you reread these 21 books. some even so important. what was your great takeaway? your takeaways from what we got wrong over the past 20 years? >> the test of 9/11 that i write about in the essay you mention is whether we could respond to this horrifying assault on america and still be america. still uphold the values that we profess. the very values that our leaders told us were the reason behind the attacks. remember, president bush on the night of 9/11 said the reason we were targeted was because of our values. because we stand for freedom and openness and opportunity and democracy and the rule of law. yet in our prosecution of the war on terror, we didn't always display those highest values and sometimes revealed some of our lowest impulses whether it was
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deception, brutality, overreach, even delusion. we entered an unnecessary war in iraq, turned the war of liberation into the war of occupation. prolonged the war in afghanistan by being, you know, less than forthcoming about how that war was progressing, as my colleague craig whitlock chronicled in his book "the afghanistan papers". engaged in brutal terrorism of suspects in the senate report. the iron irony is after spendin many years attempting to spread democracy around the world, democracy at home feels weakened, and the same building that al qaeda attempted to strike on september 11th, 2001 and failed to, the u.s. capitol building, was assaulted by our own citizens 20 years later. >> david ignatius. >> i want to ask my colleague carlos about his essay, which is
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extraordinary. everyone should take a look. 9/11 was a test we failed, and in that, carlos, you're summing up the remove the country has 20 years later as we look back on not simply the tragedy of 9/11 but the ways we responded. yet, as you and i discussed, that's not the whole story. that there are lessons learned in this period. maybe you could speak just a little about what you think those lessons are that are valuable for us going ford? not a source of shame or embarrassment but something we can build on? >> i think one of the lessons we can probably draw from some of the documents that came out of this period, such as, even the u.s. army and marine corps counterinsurgency manual which essentially serves as a word of caution on, you know, what we're
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doing when we embark on these wars and try to remake the world wars, and end up being insurgency wars. and i think that in some ways, documents such as that one help u.s. military and help our elected officials be more cautious before entering these kinds of conflicts. i mean, the overarching test that we passed, that we did not fail is that there was not a second 9/11-scale terrorist attack in the united states, and that's an enormous success. the one note of, the one caveat i would add to that, though is that on 9/11, that evening, you know, andrew card just mentioned the president's speech that night. he didn't just say that the job of the united states was now to
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protect american citizens. he said it was to protect the american way of life, and those american values, and i think in that regard, perhaps we were somewhat less successful. >> carlos, of course, 9/11 happened after a decade in which america will been omnipotent after the end of the cold war. one of are the things that struck me happened just after those attacks was that america realized it wasn't in as much control of world events as it had thought it had been. and maybe some of those world events would have happened anyway. i mean, we were always going to see the rise of china. america may have been distracted what was happening in asia because it got involved in the middle east, but it was going to happen anyway. is there a sense in the world around us, 9/11 was a searing event for this country, but the events of the world around us, the rest of the world, happened as they were going to happen anyway? >> you know, i think that you're seeing some of that now, and it
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feels similar, perhaps, to that period before 9/11. and in many of the books that i read, you know, there's a sense that the bush administration was focused on great power politics. right? was thinking about, about china and perhaps russia, you know, mitchell defense, these sorts of issues, and the i think, you know, 20 years later, as 9/11 recedes more and more into history, more so than simply memory, you know, you're seeing a return of those concerns now. and this 20-year period, you know, created sort of a long pause in those issues that as you say were going to recur and emerge regardless. >> you know, carlos, you're so right. it is extraordinary what has
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been accomplished over the past 20 years as far as stopping another 9/11-type attack, scale attack on this country, and i want to go back to lessons we can learn. if somebody's watching today, and i know we have a lot of people in washington that watch this show, who's in power if god forbid, we have another attack like this. let's look back over the past 20 years. where we came up short on values. contextualize it, to, for instance, the sedition act of 1918 during world war i, where you actually had a law that said you could get arrested for saying anything disloyal to the government. internment camps of world war ii, 20 million lives from vietnam from leaders on all sides. what do we do if we're faced with another attack? phoo we're faced with another large-scale war to hopefully not keep repeating these same
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mistakes? >> i think one of the overriding lessons is that sometimes underestimating threats ahead of time leads to overreacting to them after the fact. and you know, on that evening of 9/11, president bush said, look, we're the brightest beacon for freedom in the world, and no one, no enemy can keep that light from shining, and he's right in the sense that al qaeda was not what dimmed america's promise. we in some ways did that to ourselves, and i think trying to get a handle on that kind of fervor and blood loss that comes in the initial aftermath of an attack, and trying to think through long term on the
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potential consequences of our response to the attack is vital. in the war in iraq, you know, we underestimated all the difficulties of, the potential difficulties that would come from that conflict. even as we vastly overestimated the rationale for even engaging in it. we assumed the worst of what saddam hussein was do or had done, and we assumed the best of what our intervention would achieve. and that, that misplaced calculus, i think, is part of what gets us into trouble. it's both inherent pessimism and overwhelming optimism about what we can achieve. >> carlos, it's willie geist. i'm at ground zero this morning and interested in your view on a question we were just discussing with joe and jeh johnson.
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that is the country we live in today. many of those books you're reading and you write about so well, in some ways the story of a different country in terms of how divided we are. so if god forbid we ever encountered another moment like that, how different would the lessons be? how would we apply those lessons to a country reflexably so many people would object to whatever the president says or does, because of the party he's in, or whatever member of congress says or does, because of the party he or she is in? how different are we today than we were 20 years ago? >> i think that's a great point, and i think if you look at 9/11 at one point and 2021 in another, it certainly looks like a different place, but i think that in many ways, these things happened incrementally. there's some, there's some
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continuity, i think, as well as disruption. in many ways the legacy of the war on terror is the country that we've become today. you know, it's hard to imagine a, a political candidate coming to power on the strength of the birtherism lie, by denigrating the sitting president as foreign and illegitimate. you know, absent the war on terror. absent the war or terror, it's hard to imagine a travel ban against muslim majority countries. absent the war on terror it's hard to imagine domestic protesters being denigrated as terrorists. absent the war on terror it's hard to match dhs, which, of course, didn't exist. shifting from anti-terrorism organization to an anti-immigrant organization. so i think we have seen a lot of, a gradual encroachment and continuity in the world that
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9/11 brought into what we've become today. >> all right. pulitzer prize winning book, from the "washington post," carlos thank you so much. still ahead, return to the workplace continues nationwide, our next guest says women of color need frank talk and honest advice on how to get relief from an invisible workplace burden. the reaction straight ahead on "morning joe." "morning joe."
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author and ajunct assist author of the new book "right within: how to heal from racial trauma in the workplace." so great to see you again. thank you so much for writing this book. let's get right to it. first of all, define racial trauma in the workplace? what are we talking about? >> great question, mika. racial trauma tends to find those who are one of few or one of the onlies. for example, i spent 15 years in my previous career being the only one and realized i always felt i was walking on eggshells, always trying to assimilate, if you will, and after a while that starts to take a toll on your mental health, should you not feel like you're experiencing the workplace the same way some of our other colleagues are. so i think that stress tends to affect our mental wellness over time. >> what do companies as a whole do to work on this? from the top down. from employee to employer?
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>> i think it's really important first to acknowledge that harm may have been caused in the workplace. i think for so long we have kind of skirted around racial issues in the workplace, and i think rebuild trust between employers and employees is to say, hey, a few things can be true at the same time. harm may not have been intended but might have happened. in my former life a manager always saying racialisted jokes. might not have meant harm but it still caused me harm. when i had a hard conversation, this is how it landed on me he would dismiss. we need to not dismiss what's happening and being experienced in the workplace. >> how do you create a place for a safe conversation about that? i could see how everybody would be feeling like they're walking on eggshells, on this issue, but yet we need to talk, to get to a better place. >> we do, and it's my hope, mika, that we stop calls them
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courageous conversations and at some point they're normalized to regular conversations we just have in the workplace so we can create that equity. one of the things in my new book, i create a managing area. let's hear each other out. yes, you might not have been intimidated but if it felt that way and someone was exposed to that, let them be able to come to you and hear them out without being defensive. it's not about talking you. it's about making a safer place. create that place to have a dialogue, managers work for this because it makes the workplace work foreeverybody. >> i love the manager's pledge and i see managers could gain a lot tr this book. who is this book ultimately for? who should read it? >> i would actually say everybody should read it. i wrote it for women of color so they could be seen and validated and know they don't have to be, make it work. right? they can have these conversations, center their
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mental wellness, and then also for managers who felt like, oh, this is really hard conversations. so let me shy away from having it. no. let's dive in, because that's where the true magic happens and i feel everybody wants to do the best work of their career. in order to do that, read about each others experiences. >> thank you so much for your new book "right within: how to heal from racial trauma in the workplace" available now. up next, joe's conversation with bee gees front man barry gibb. wonderful conversation. >> love it. >> and also speaks with derek trucks on what's next for the tredeshi trucks band. we'll be right back. trucks bad we'll be right back.
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it is a great honor for us to have sir barry gibb with us and so much to talk about. >> excited. >> we may be in the middle of a pandemic, he's had a hell of a busy year. it's amazing. thank you so much for being with
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us. >> oh, thank you for having me on. it's an honor for me, because you -- you folks deal with very intense political information, if you like. so i'm sort of -- i don't know. i feel like i'm so -- i shouldn't be here. you know? got too much to talk about. >> oh, yes, you should. you have no idea. you are joe's sweet spot. he is obsessed, he has wanted to watch you for years. we watched the documentary and we were blown away. >> appreciate it. >> just the unbelievable span of your career and the songs you all have worked on. we were just transfixed by it. >> well, thank you. thank you. i did not see it. i saw a little bit of the first part. and then i thought better have seen -- i didn't see the final one, because i just didn't want to see my family pass on television one by one.
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you know? >> oh, i can understand that. >> you know -- well, what's so fascinating about this is, it's that i've -- i've been obsessed with the music for years. played in bands for years. and i saw this just by chance over the christmas holiday, and everybody that i used to play with, everybody i wrote songs with, everybody that i've talked obsessively about, they've all called me up and all the same thing. it's, the bee gees. oh, my god. who would have ever known? i'm sitting there going, well, they have sold really more albums, and written more number one songs than just about anybody ever, but this is, like, a renaissance of sorts. isn't it? >> yes. something happened. something happened that i think maybe memories. because you know, 40 years ago. i think people, some people don't remember that -- that that, there was a backlash after
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that's people don't seem to remember that so much anymore, and when that music comes on, wherever we are, people start dancing. so the music still has a contagious thing about it, and i don't understand that. i just -- it's such a long time ago, when we did it. but we've never stopped. >> unfortunately for joe, whenever he puts the bee gees on, i start dancing. >> it's terrible. >> i mean, like, all over the place. all over the house. >> sometimes, you know, my quick story is my daughter and her friend went to dinner one night, and in the car, on the radio, "night fever" came on, and -- >> uh-huh. >> on their way back from the restaurant, "stayin' alive" came on. so they dropped the windows down, and people across the street started dancing. if it's within ear shot it happens. you know? in restaurants, wherever we go.
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if that music pops out at any point, it has that affect on you. i don't understand why. i just think that it's ingrained now. ingrained in our culture. somehow. somehow. but -- you know, that was the job we had, to get over that. >> let's talk about the album. you obviously, the opportunity to go to nashville. sometimes i don't understand the allure that nashville has for british artists or people from australia, because i was raised in the south. say, oh, yeah. just go up 65, there's nashville, but for you, and for the world, home of the everly brothers. where elvis recorded where roy orbison recorded. everybody. and so i'm wondering, despite all you accomplished, was there any hesitancy, any fear, any concern as sort of we say in the
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south, getting back on the horse and doing it with country music legends like dolly parton? >> yeah. a lot of intimidation. for me. but -- but i loved all of these artists and wanted these artists to sing our song. a bit of a labor of love. it was a mission. you know? if you go on listening to the bee gees, you never really hear beyond the bee gees version of any given song something else happens. and i wanted people that i loved to sing our songs, and this was the way to do this. and i hope there's another one. i hope there's more, because, of course, thsis volume one. so it was a big risk. my oldest son stephen came to me and played for me a chris stapleton song, and that blew me away. i thought, wow. people singing real songs. people playing real instruments. you know? and i've gotten fed up with
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that, programming nonsense. and that doesn't -- doesn't work for me anymore. i got to hear people playing and got to be singing while they're playing. >> wow. >> and there's nothing, there's no greater rush than that. there really isn't. well, there's a few things. >> one of the all-time great guitarists, here is my recent discussion with a wide ranging conversation from a special connection to an eric clapton song to producing music during the pandemic. i want to talk first about you do laila and other assorted love songs. it just seems like fate declared that you had to do this because, of course, you're named after the band, but i was doing a little research, and is it true that your wife, susan, was
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actually born on the release date of "laila"? >> it is. we found that out. i thought it was another cool nod to why we should be doing it. there's a lot of family history with that record. dwayne almond, who was in the band with my uncle, met clapton and tom dowd in south florida. i think when i was 12 or 13, one of the first was in criteria studio with tom dowd. a lot magic happened and it ended up being an incredible night and turned into a record. >> yeah, well, it's really
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incredible. you obviously grew up with music and said your dad would play it as you were going to bed, in your dna. that said, what was it like when you were -- even growing up with it when you're in front of the audience and hit the first riff on "layla" and every time it's just as magical. >> as you playing, the crowd figures out what's happening and you feel this energy and anticipation. that being the last song of the night, there was a lot of anticipation. the audience for the festival is pretty magical at times. when there's 10,000, 20,000 people tuned in to the same thing it's a good day.
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my dad got a seat. he had a goofy grin on his face, it was a good night. he won't blow smoke. if it's not so good -- he won't say it wasn't good, but you can feel it. he's a great judge. he keeps us honest. mika and i -- mika is my wife and co-host -- we felt so blessed during covid. we worked together, and so we got to be in the foxhole together during covid. i have so many friends, so many musician friends, whose worlds just blew apart. they were separated from their friends, from band members. how important was it to have your soul mate next to you who also happened to be your musical soul mate? >> we were so lucky. we built a studio behind our
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home in 2006 so we made all of our records here. we were able to stay busy. the first six months we didn't touch an instrument. between me and susan and our group we wrote 30 or 35 tunes. as soon as we got people tested we would have them holed up in the studio and had three or four records coming out of the lockout. mike madison a great singer and songwriter, he had this idea to dig in to a source material, the original poem and his thing about the original it was one note thee matcally. it's this guy in love with a woman he can't have. what does layla think about this psychopath? what was her take on it?
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so everybody wrote tunes after reading this 12th century poem. there's a lot of amazing material that came out of it. it was such a blessing being home with susan and our kids. we've been on the road 300 days a year, 200 days a year for 15, 20 years. we enjoyed it. it was a tough time in a lot of ways for everybody. but we felt fortunate to keep doing what we do and not lose our minds. >> for a band like yours it seems you get on the train and it never stops. you have to keep touring. that's the essence of who you are, who your band was. this past year, year and a half with all of the down side i would think it was a great opportunity to stop and re-assess where you were artistically, what you wanted to do and you could rest up and,
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man, i bet you're rearing to go now. >> i don't think -- i didn't hear anyone whine or moan on the bus. i haven't experienced that. a lot more just everyone is so grateful to be back at it. a lot more gratitude across the board. i think everyone realizes how fortunate we are to do what we do. it's a different sense. i think the world needed a soft, maybe hard, reset in a lot of ways. we think we learned something and fall back into old habits. i do think some of it, carry those lessons with us forward. >> no doubt about it. >> lucky to be doing it. ky to b.
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good morning and welcome to a special edition of "morning joe." we're on tape this thanksgiving but we have plenty of great conversations and interviews -- >> thanksgiving was great, wasn't it? >> i love stuffing. >> i love stuffing so much. >> mm-hmm. >> people get upset when we were joking around about that. >> i do. so let's dive right in. >> first up this year's most highly anticipated book, a deep dive into the final days of the trump presidency and the fraught
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transition to the biden administration. >> let's dive into the authors of the moment, pulitzer prize winning poet bob woodward and political reporter robert costa join us now. their new book "peril" is out today. good to have you both with us. there are some pieces of the book that have come out, but what was most striking to you that perhaps hasn't been released yet to the public? >> wow. i guess the overall that this was a national security crisis that trump brought because countries like china, russia, iran, looked at what was occurring in the united states. if you go back and look at what trump said before the election, it was scary to people abroad.
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and then after the january 6 insurrection it was frightening. china ignited on this and the chairman of the joint chiefs mark milley made it very clear we're going to stabilize things. let's not have a war in a period of miscommunication and high tension. as history shows, that's when you have an incident or even a war. >> so, bob, you -- i read the milley part and then read the entire book. i wasn't shocked by his actions. i grew up reading about in your
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books and other books about how henry kissinger basically wouldn't let the prime minister talk to a drunk richard nixon during the 1973 arab/israeli war and how from '73 until august of '74 you had nixon cabinet members doing everything they could to keep the world stable when richard nixon was not stable. >> that's exactly what happened here and if you look at it, milley was confronted with the practical problem. they had very sensitive intelligence that the chinese thought we were going to attack them. that is the most dangerous environment internationally, and so milley talked to his counterpart in china and we have the dialogue and, quite frankly,
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it's clear what he's trying to do. he's trying to tamp things down. i'm sorry to take this literally from the book, but you have to do the literal moment when milley says to general lee if we're going to attack, i'm going to call you ahead of time. people have misconstrued that to say, oh, that means i'm going to tip you off. what it means is there will be a buildup, there will be tensions, and they will be talking on this top secret back channel. >> that's what he says right there on page 129. if there's a war there will be a buildup just like in history. to your point 1974 and schlesinger, bob and nixon talking to pictures, we have some echoes of that moment in
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our book on january 5th, the eve of the insurrection, the riot at the capital, the scene of president trump not only pressuring vice president pence in the oval office but opening the door to have the cold air come in, talking to his aides, saying can you hear my supporters outside, talking to the people as he hears them in the streets on a cold, almost freezing night, hours before the rally that ultimately led to the riot. the luxury of time, bob calls it, we had to dig into what actually happened. it was a national secured emergency as well. >> what's so potent about that scene with trump in the oval office hearing the mop out there and he's just enthralled with the mob, and we've discussed this and it reminded me of nixon talking to the pictures of former presidents on the wall
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and the moment as watergate was cracking open and cracking his presidency and the equivalent is that trump isn't talking to george washington or abraham lincoln. he's talking to this mob. this is his base. this is what he gets -- >> and who is he talking to that night? steve bannon on the phone. telling steve bannon at the willard hotel, we need to kill the biden presidency in the crib. that was the phrase based on our reporting in the conversation. >> go ahead, mika. >> tell us, bob costa, what you know about the pressure put on mike pence and anyone else in the administration or members of the senate to try and help trump stay in the presidency even after he had lost. >> enormous pressure, mika.
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vice president dan quayle as part of this qadry of friends and confidence as pence navigates the decision, probably wants to run in 2024, wants to stay loyal to president trump. what is most interesting to us is the new information on how the legal side of the trump team, john eastman and other lawyers, trying to convince the vice president and his team to decertify president-elect biden's victory at the time in that transition period offering all these legal argument to have vice president pence walk away from the lectern on january 6th. that could have been a constitutional crisis. >> bob woodward, it's willie. good morning. >> morning. >> let's talk about how close this country came to turning over this election. you have vice president biden -- excuse me, vice president pence getting pressure from president trump. you have phone calls from the my in order leader kevin mccarthy
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to president trump. what was the general posture of kevin mccarthy, senator lindsey graham toward president trump? were they accommodating? supportive of his big lie and what was going on? what have we learned from some of those conversations? >> what's fascinating it's politics and pence is the model of this. pence is working hard to stay on the good side of trump at the same time as bob was pointing out. dan quayle reads him the constitution and the law. you are not an actor in this. you simply, mechanically count the votes. and pence is under lots of pressure from trump and his lawyers and confidants saying you cannot do this and in the
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end pence stood up and did the constitutional right thing at the same time when he's there and they're voting to certify, if he said i'm confused and walked off, we would have had worse than a constitutional crisis because it would have undermined the legitimacy of the presidency. >> but, bob costas, as you report in the book, bob, you have -- he was fishing around, vice president pence, for a reason to get this done for president trump, calling former vice president dan quayle, who shut him down pretty quickly. so as we lock ahead to january 6th to that day and some of those phone calls, what were members of congress, prominent members of congress that we've talked about a lot on this show, what were they doing on at that day? were they encouraging president trump to step forward and say, hey, stand down to the rioters who were attacking the capitol,
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or what were they saying to the president? there's been a lot of speculation about the content of some of those phone calls. >> well, you see house minority leader kevin mccarthy pleading with president trump, unhappy with the situation. but what comes across in our reporting, willie, a lot of efforts were being made at the time to somewhat corral president trump, members of congress like leader mcconnell not even talking to president trump, but what you see is the lack of power among the republican leadership in our reporting to do anything to constrain this president and this reporting, this whole story of peril, a dangerous transition, really raises the question about the power of the presidency. is there too much power in the presidency? because, willie, your question is the right one. what are leaders in congress doing to keep the executive on the straight and narrow, but there's not much they seem to be able to do because this is a president who does not listen. president trump in those final days. >> so there's, as you talk about
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the most dangerous transition in american history from trump to biden, there's a lot about biden, annoyance he displayed watching morning television. you can tell us about that, i want to hear, bob costa, about his friendship with lindsey graham and where that stands. >> lindsey graham, senator graham of south carolina, he was friendly with vice president biden when he was in the obama administration, in the senate, of course, from delaware for decades. but that relationship was all but severed by the hunter biden scandal and senator graham's very aggressive approach to the biden family. bob, you may have some thoughts on senator graham. >> you could write a whole book about senator graham's ambivalence. he's the one who says to trump at one point you have effed up
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your presidency and trump hangs up. and then trump calls him back later and graham says i would have hung up, too, and so there's this view of trump as somebody who is this force in the republican party which, indeed, he is. as "the new york times" reviewer pointed outs end of our book, the epilogue is a prologue to what's going to happen to the republican party? what's going to happen to the democratic party? who is going to be president? and will trump resurface? i think we, in our reporting, talked about it. pretty clear trump is going to run and some polls show he could beat biden. >> and one quote president trump's top adviser during the
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2020 campaign said privately this summer to some other trump allies, if he runs again it will be for vengeance. >> up next, more from woodward and costa's bombshell reporting on the final months of the trump presidency. the republican leadership had to navigate trump's denial of the election results d. that include stopping president-elect biden from even calling them? we'll hear what happened next. . tradition in a cadillac. don't just put on a light show—be the light show. make your nights anything but silent. and ride in a sleigh that really slays. because in a cadillac, tradition is yours to define. so visit a cadillac showroom, and start celebrating today. ♪ ♪
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♪ sometimes i feel i've got to run away ♪ ♪ i've got to ♪ welcome back. here's more from our conversation with "washington post's" bob woodward and robert costa and one of the year's most-talked about books regarding the final days of the trump administration. so more on the tense transition between trump and biden. you write about how republican leadership had to balance dealing with former president
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trump's denial of the election results. quote, with trump brashly contesting the results, senator mitch mcconnell said he would give trump room to let off steam and not publicly recognize biden as president. he still needed to have a working relationship with trump and, more important, mcconnell worried trump might act negatively and up-end the coming and hotly contested senate runoff elections in georgia, seats necessary to keep the republican majority and mcconnell as majority leader. you go on, he also said he did not want biden, a serial telephone user, to call him. any call from biden was sure to infuriate trump and set off unwanted calls from him asking if he believed biden had won the presidency, better to keep the line dead. >> and bob costa, one more example of somebody doing their best to try to contain donald trump and in the end getting
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burned by dand trump. those two seats ended up going for democrats because donald trump's conspiracy theories, telling republicans elections were rigged, donald trump going and it ended up blowing up in his face. >> we wanted to show a reader what it's like for people like leader mcconnell or speaker pelosi behind the scenes, how do they work. you see leader mcconnell trying to avoid having a conversation so he goes, heard about senator koons and gets juror john cornyn to talk to koons and wave off biden to keep the situation with president trump from exploding and disrupting what's happening in georgia and that's how things
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work behind the scenes in washington t. can seem much, all this phone tag and machinations behind the scenes. that's how power work. you see speaker pelosi, too, the transcript in the book, show what actually happens, her calling up the chairman and saying let's make sure this process is under control in the wake of the insurrection. >> so, guys, let's talk between us her -- >> just us. >> nobody else. well, we may be on the air, i don't know. bob costa, you and i exchanged notes in 2015. we knew donald. he was on "the apprentice" and we saw him at events. bob, i talked to you about it before the transition, talking to donald.
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and i'm just curious if -- and bob costas, i'll start with you, our conversation changed radically. i'm curious if the donald trump that you've written about in this book lines up with the donald trump you were talking about and to and reporting on in 2015 if there were hints back then that you would have a guy as undemocratic, that would try to overturn presidential elections, if there were a lots of hints this guy was going to try to be an authoritarian president? >> march 31st, 2016, woodward and i were talking about this the other day. it was the day we interviewed president trump today when he was on the cusp down in washington, d.c., and i don't want to speak too much about what bob and i discussed behind the scenes. >> oh, go ahead.
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>> i'll remember for the rest of my life woodward pulls me aside on pennsylvania avenue on march 31, 2016, and we interviewed donald trump for a long time. woodward says to me, that was very important. this man could be president. take it seriously, and that's the key that we recognized then and have to now, that these people may be out of office, but they very well could come back or win and you have to take the questions of governing seriously, the question of power. this is not a game. this is american politics, american democracy. >> again, bob woodward, too many of us didn't think he could win. you look at election night, hillary clinton on some of those stupid meters 92% chance of winning. we got mocked and ridiculed for
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even thinking it was possible. nobody thought this guy was going to win. i think back -- so you were exactly right in march of 2016. i go back to a conversation i had with him in 2015, him connecting with the mob. a conversation in 2015 and he said something along the lines of those people there, out there, man, at those rallies, they love me. they would do anything for me. sometimes i think they would even kill for me. and i just stared at him for a second. that's bad, donald, right? you know how he talks. oh, yeah, yeah, that's bad. but there were so many things he said like that that suggested
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there was this really disturbing side to him. and nobody thought he was going to get elected but he did and his worst instincts came to play. >> the question is who is he? it's a big question. and what does he care about? and we found from our reporting in the two earlier books i did "fear" and "rage," he cares about himself. at one point sitting in the oval office for the second book i asked what is the job of the president? key question. and he said, oh, to protect the people. and if you look at his performance, he has protected or tried to protect donald trump not the people. he's disconnected from that overall arching constitutional and moral responsibility that a president has.
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and what this reporting -- we used to come on your show and you would kindly ask us and we would say we're in a cave. we're writing a book. we're going back and really trying to find out what happened. and the discovery is that this is the epic collapse of the presidency. you were talking about mcconnell, mccarthy, they all have disdain for trump. they know. everyone knows. but the only person who acted is general milley. he said i'm not going to let this happen, and he was very dramatic moment when he calls in the people from the national military command center in the pentagon, the war room, into his office. and this is when pelosi has said
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i'm worry about what trump might do with nuclear weapons. and milley calls these people in, you know, one star generals or admirals, colonels, and he says, i am going to be involved. you call me before there's any military action that comes from anyone including the president. you involve me in this process. and he literally goes around the room, got it? got it? yes, sir. got it? got it? got it? and people say he's trying to take over some of the commander in chief's power. no. what he is doing is setting in motion sensible precautions, and if you look at the procedures which are top secret, he's supposed to be involved. he's just saying we're going to
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adhere to that process to protect the country from the kind of -- we've lost sight of what nuclear weapons can do. we've gone back and looked at a little bit of what happened in the truman presidency when president truman twice used nuclear weapons on japan to end world war ii. these weapons, this is the end of the world if it happens. and we danced around that edge and i think when you look at all of this -- mcconnell, mccarthy, attorney general barr, they're all looking out for their own position. general milley took action and put himself -- he was in this
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moment he had practical responsibility. what are the calamities that can befall the united states? a war particularly with china. the use of nuclear weapons, i mean, it is unthinkable. >> he's going over routine procedures but it's an extraordinary moment, a national emergency in his eyes and to those around him. >> he did what he had to do, he thought, to protect those relationships and to protect the country. bob costa, i want to go back to something bob woodward touched on, the idea of president trump running again. no one has looked more closely at this man than you. it's a question that hangs over the country. could we be in for four more years of what we just went through with this drift to
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authoritarianism? what will go into the decision whether he will run or not in 2024? >> the woodward method of reporting is to sit down with people five, six, even eight hours, bring them over, go over to their house. and we've been sitting down to people close to president trump for many months now and you hear a refrain from people who know him that he wan back. that he feels he has the political capital. he likes playing golf and he jokes he's off twitter and has more time. this is someone who wants back into the presidency and he believes the republican party is still very much in his grip, that people aren't going to war with him at the highest ranks of the people. even though there are others out there with ambition like pence, ron desantis, it's president trump who really wants back based on our own reporting. >> our conversation with bob woodward and robert costa for
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their book "peril." of course "peril" wasn't the only book on the trump presidency. far from it. there have been some 150 volumes over the past five years that claim to explain what his presidency revealed about our nation. >> and our next guests read every single one of those books, poor guy. what he learned from it just ahead.
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our pulitzer prize winning book critic for "the washington post" has read some 150 volumes that claim to diagnose why former president trump was elected president and what his presidency reveals about our nation. his analysis of those books is entitled "what were we thinking: a brief intellectual history of the trump era," and it's now out in paper back. and carlos joins us now. >> great to have you, carlos. i love the book. >> thank you. >> i want to read something that you write in there that i think explains the blind spots that we still have when trying to figure out what we were thinking. you say books are nor knee jerk than incisive, more righteous
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than right, more fixated on calling out the daily transgressions of the man in the oval office. this is not normal. then on asserting their impact, individually the books try to show a way forward. collectively they reveal how we are stuck and, carlos, it seems to me judging our own failures on this show during the trump presidency that we are stuck in a way that actually empowers him, the more outraged, the more self-righteous, the more chest beating that we are, the more angry, the more we play into his strengths. >> i think that in a broad sense a lot of these books reacted to trump by retrenching themselves -- the authors retrenching themselves into their ideological and political corners. the trump election was a disorienting event and in moments of shock and
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disorientation, that's what people do. the writer responds by saying this just moves what i've been saying all along about class or inequality or the electoral system. i think some of the resistance books in particular did this. coming out with how awful they felt on election night. what you had was a lot of ideological retrenchment. >> so who got it right? who has done the best job in figuring out not only what we were thinking about what tens of millions of americans are thinking? >> one of the three main takeaways that emerge from this
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reading, the supposed guardrails of democracy, the institutions to protect us, they don't protect themselves. they are eroded to a series of small incremental decisions. one book that helped me understand this was unmaking the presidency they show where they came from and why they matter. another, "one person no vote" by carol anderson. shows how the fight over voting suppression and voting rights is ever-present in the american story. and, finally the book about the white working class books became such a sensation during this period and i think that some of
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them showed it's far too easy to point to one or two reasons why someone would vote for donald trump. it always had to be either your economic struggles or your cultural prejudice and those were the only two possible explanations and they couldn't possibly overlap and a book like "we're still here" by jennifer silva shows how those things can come together. and also how rather than pushing you to one candidate or another, you can be left thinking there's no room in the political system for you at all. >> speaking of, you write the following about a genre you referred to as the heartland books. the debates over the trump voter have produced a rush of such books examining, debunking or somehow channelling the white working class. histories, memoirs, polemics,
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near fetishistic dispatches and shuttered is an obligatory adjective in america. the books' individual literary merits vary widely. some are delightful, others insufferable. analytically they offer a mishmash of insight, data, blame, poignancy and con co th descension of partisanship. >> i remember after the trump election there were people saying i shall go to the heartland and see why the white working class is aching the way they are and they drove two hours to pennsylvania. this so-called great populist that was going to answer to people whose lives this been wrecked by a terrible economy.
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he was elected when border crossings on the southern border were at a 50-year low under obama, at a time when crime across america was at such a low rate that in new york city they had to go back to the '50s and guess how many crimes were committed. pretending it was 1991 and all these jobs were leaving new hampshire and going overseas just didn't ring true. those were a lot of the books still being written. >> you could see that often writers would interpret the white working class in manners that dove tailed very neatly with their larger world views for why trump was elected. there was this extraordinary case where i encountered two separate books written the same
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year that both profile the same trump voter and in pennsylvania, ed harry, who had been from a mining country, the '92 clinton convention and who switched to voting for donald trump. in one book he's a straight up economic populist. the whole reason he voted for trump he didn't like trade deals and political dynasties like the clintons and bushes. and then he's a culture warrior, a 9/11 truther. he worried about transgender people. and he's the same person. what happened is these two authors chose to interpret this one same person through these widely different lenses. i'm not saying in a way
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misleading but in a way that reflected in some ways their own views for trump. >> it's jonathan lemire. i guess we want to get you to look forward here. he is still very much on the stage. mechanisms moving behind the scenes to set up another run. even if he doesn't follow through with the campaign a lot of people who would emulate him would. how can we as the media, as the informed american populace, handle this, the return of trumpism to the stage? first off, i think the media is such a broad category. there's different people who do different things. my job is very different from what you all are doing on a show like "morning joe." i think that not getting caught up in some of the ongoing debate
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over what is the exact proper word choice that we need to use to describe this particular phenomenon is -- i think that was a distraction during a lot of the trump era. i think, you know, never underestimating -- one of the things we were thinking early on is it was never going to happen, that trump would not be elected. not just the polls but journalists and even both campaigns. and i think not feeling that we can anticipate or divine the preferences of the american electorate is one of them. perhaps less predicting and more reporting would be one. >> it's gene. >> hi, gene. >> congratulations on the book.
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in all of your reading, number one, were there too many? did we do too much writing and not enough thinking about trump? and, second, is there anything you learned from donald trump, all the writing of the trump era that you didn't know before? >> i read about 150 books, and i'm still going. they're still coming out. and even that was a tiny fraction of what was published. someone did an estimate that obama's first term there were 400 or 500 books in some ways covering the trump presidency there were about 1,200 in the equivalent period for donald trump. i'm never going to say there's too many books. a lot of them were terrific books that helped me understand
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this period in a more significant way. some were not about trump at all. they were the larger history and the larger questions that his presidency raised. in that sense, i say keep them coming. >> all right, the book is "what were we thinking: a brief intellectual history of the trump era." the thank you very much for coming back on the show. it's great to see you. up next, a look at why the american health care system is failing women, specifically women of color. how one author nearly became a maternal mortality statistic herself. stic herself.
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-- through it all. why when i insisted the painkillers were not working and everyone was ignoring me, did i -- not once raise my voice, why after i was in surgery was i so polite to the doctor who demanded that i prove my pain by walking to the operating table on my own? where was my voice? the hysteria i had used selectively and to my advantage in the past having spent my entire career as a woman's rights advocate, why didn't i stand up for myself? the writer and political analyst joins us now and this is a question i address at "know your value" every day. we are the best advocates for our children, for our husbands, for our bosses, for our colleagues. we are ferocious. >> yes. >> when it comes to ourselves, we literally, we -- we melt. we can't do it.
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and for you at the most important moment in your life, you couldn't say what was happening. >> you know, mika, i am still processing the trauma of my experience. even after having written this book. and you know what it is? women have a hysteria complex. we don't want to be written off as hysterical. our pain is not believed. our pain is not taken seriously, and as i delve into this book in addition to the pain gap, there's a knowledge and trust gap. women are not believed about our bodies. but the most important thing about this book is, it's not a doom and gloom book. i really believe, i know, women's health in america right now is at a turning point. the radical proposal i have in the book is, can we believe women? can we believe women of color? >> hmm. so the data backs up what you're saying, i mean, if you're a woman of color in the u.s., what's the difference for you in terms of the chances of dieing during childbirth? >> across the board, women are
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color are paying a much higher price. america was always in the middle of a maternal health crisis before the pandemic hit. and the pandemic has just made things worse, and the racial disparities are now undeniable. women of color especially black women are 243% more likely to die in childbirth in america than their white counter parts. >> why is that? these numbers have been around for a bit. >> yes. you know what? pre-pandemic we thought it was race, right? used to say really racist stereotypes, oh, welfare queens, or because black people are less educated, but now we know that the more educated you are, black women who have college degrees or masters degrees are five times more likely to die than a white woman with a high school degree. so now we know that it's racism. there's a lot of factors, but now we know that it's racism,
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and not race, that are driving these disparities, because the interesting thing is, i was born and raised in bangladesh and i had seen america, you know, advocate and implement safe motherhood, successfully, safe motherhood programs around the world. bangladesh went out to slash maternal mortality rates by 40%. what is happening in the richest country in the world? not that we don't know how to intervene. >> not that we're not capable. >> exactly. it's because women are not believed about our pain. not just ma personal health. chronic pain, endometriosis, heart disease, goes on and on. women especially in their 50s, because heart disease is so much thought of a male disease, women are a lot of times dismissed from the hospital mid-heart attack. we don't have those hollywood heart attacks. we pain in our neck, we feel nauseous. a lot of this is, yes, women, we have to advocate for ourselves,
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but, please, doctors in the health care system, they have to believe women. trust women. >> this is such an important book. who should read it and why? >> everybody should read it, but not only just women. i know that women are going to read this, because mika, let me tell you. every woman has a story. >> right. >> every woman has a medical misogyny story. if they don't have it they know someone who does, but men need to read it at well. men need to read it. oftentimes our partners or witnesses and we can't move forward in this conversation and this revolution without our male allies. >> the new book entitled "the pain gap: how sexism and racism in health care kill women." an important book. thank you so much for writing it and thank you for being on this morning.
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good morning. i'm chris jansing live at msnbc news headquarters in new york. it is thursday, november 25th. happy thanksgiving. we begin this morning with relief in georgia and around the country after three men travis mcmichael, his father gregory and their neighbor william bryan were all found guilty of the murder of ahmaud arbery. they were convicted on 23 of the 27 counts against them including all nine against travis. the man who pulled the trigger. all three will spend at least the next 30 years in prison, and that's before they face federal

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