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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  December 5, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST

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good day from msnbc world headquarters in new york. i'm joe fryer in for alex witt. breaking news, former republican senator and presidential candidate bob dole has died at the age of 98. the elizabeth dole foundation announcing a short time ago the former senator died early this morning in his sleep. senior white house correspondent kelly o'donnell now with a look back on his life. >> reporter: bob dole always possessed humility and dry humor. >> i want to thank all of those
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who have said such kind words about me. they're probably not true. but they were nice. >> reporter: respect earned through his years of public service and capped with a congressional gold medal in 2018. but dole's storied career brought congress together in a rare unanimous vote to pay tribute to this world war ii veteran and son of kansas who achieved so much. impaired by war, but never deterred. longevity was among his gifts. in his 90s, dole returned to kansas to visit every county one last time. >> it's one time i can say to you that i don't want any of your money. [ laughter ] >> reporter: from his roots in russell, kansas, dole joined the army during world war ii. gravely injured in italy, dole gave credit to the people of kansas for putting their faith in him. >> i was in the 10th mountain
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division. >> reporter: elected to the senate in 1968, rising to republican leader for a dozen years. father to daughter robin from his first marriage. in 1975, he married elizabeth, his partner in life and politics. on the ticket as gerald ford's running mate in '76, dole sought the office of president himself three times and faced incumbent bill clinton in 1996, describing himself then as a fighter again at age 73. >> tonight i stand before you, tested by adversity, made sensitive by hardship, a fighter by principle, and the most optimistic man in america. >> reporter: after politics, his service turned to causes close to his heart, leading fundraising for the national world war ii memorial in washington. >> a tribute to the physical and moral courage that makes heroes out of farm and city boys.
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>> reporter: his bond with other warriors endured. an emotional dole managed to stand before the flag-draped casket of fellow world war ii veteran president george herbert walker bush, knowing physical challenges made him a credible champion of the americans with disabilities act. >> the disability community is not large but it's important. >> reporter: ambitious yet also self-effacing in victory in defeat. >> i leave you all tonight with a full heart and a fervent prayer that we will meet again. >> reporter: bob dole's commitment to country, tested and lifted by his resilient spirit. kelly o'donnell, nbc news, washington. last hour, nbc news chief washington correspondent and chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell reflected on the impact dole had on washington. >> dole obviously cared about
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the rights of the disabled. that was something that motivated him of course all of his life. he was bitter, initially, in his injuries after world war ii. he had been a young man, he had been an athlete. he was home in russell, kansas, he was in the hospital for some 38 months, i think, maybe longer than that, in rehabilitation. but the fact that he created this public life for himself after all those injuries speaks to the brilliance and persistence of the man. and his public service. i interviewed him, i think my last interview with him was in 2016 at the republican convention in cleveland. and he was as vigorous mentally as ever. >> former senator bob dole dying today at the age of 98. now to the day's other breaking news. it's from michigan. new investigation and more charges expected in the oxford school shooting. ethan crumbley, and his parents
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jennifer and james being housed in the same jail. we're learning new details about exactly what happened when 15-year-old ethan was taken into custody inside the school after the shooting. >> two of our deputies that were moving down that hall together, seeking out the threat, and as they came into that hallway, they observed the subject. and he basically gave up. as they were approaching him, the weapon was put to the ground and he put his hands up. he gave up. pretty much as soon as they -- one of the deputies called out "gun," and he gave up. when he was taken into custody, there were some 18 unexpended rounds. also new take, tim thorne from oxford high school has responded to remarks from karen mcdonald, the county prosecutor. she said school officials may face charges.
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thorne says he's launching his own third party investigation into any and all interaction ethan crumbley had with staff and parents. the superintendent added that at no time did counselors believe crumbley might harm others based on his behavior, which appeared calm, and whether or not the gun was in crumbley's backpack has not been confirmed by law enforcement. attorney general dana nessell offered to have her department conduct a full review. she will join us shortly. first, nbc's heidi przybyla is outside the jail. heidi, what can you tell us about the investigations and whether prosecutors can move the needle on accountccountable -- accountability in school shootings? >> reporter: this is still a developing story, joe. this is very unusual for parents to be charged in these cases.
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we've had this epidemic of school shootings for 20 years in this country and haven't seen anything like this yet. prosecutors say the parents ignored warnings that their son might turn violent and that they could have done something about it. now, the parents have both pleaded not guilty. but to your question about moving the needle, look, it's been ten years since newtown, it's been 20 years since columbine. since then, we've developed a small but determined group of lawmakers in washington who try to act on background checks in the aftermath of these tragedies. listen to senator murphy earlier today on cnn. >> i've been in negotiations all year with senator toomey, with senator cornyn, with lindsey graham, trying to find a compromise that can get 60 votes in the senate. maybe this shooting will bring people back to the table. but we haven't taken a vote this year, in part because i've asked senator schumer for the rule to
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try to negotiate that compromise that you're talking about. listen, i wish my republican colleagues didn't sort of have epiphanies on this issue only after mass school shootings. >> reporter: now, joe, what we've seen in the past is that lawmakers after a period of time push back and say, well, the particular law that's being proposed wouldn't have stopped that particular tragedy, ignoring the overall pattern that we see in this country that we don't see in other western countries, and then they wind up doing nothing. will this time be different? only time will tell. but we are now adding oxford to this long list of tragedies that includes parkland and columbine and newtown. in terms of the specifics here, this situation of course is unusual because of the parents. the prosecutors say some of the evidence they have against the parents are number one, their social media posts that they purchased this handgun for their son, and number two, that on the
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day of the shooting the parents were contacted because teachers found a note that ethan had scribbled that said, quote, blood everywhere, and, quote, the thoughts won't stop, help me. and yet the parents resisted having him removed from class. he was sent back in. the shootings ensued. now, the day before that, there was another warning sign when a teacher saw him searching online for ammunition. the mother was notified. they later found text messages from the mother to ethan, her son, saying, quote, lol, i'm not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught. joe? >> all right, heidi, thanks so much for your reporting. let's bring in dana nessel, attorney general for the state of michigan. madam ag, thank you for being with us. the oxford school superintendent has launched his own investigation. this is your tweet from this morning. tell us more, what exactly are you recovering offering? >> we're offering the use of our department, both our civil and
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our criminal attorneys, as well as our special investigators, to do a thorough and comprehensive review of everything that happened, not just on the day of the shooting but of course prior to it, the events that led up to it. and we're not looking to just redo the investigation of the oakland county sheriff's departments. we wanted to inspect this with a new lens, not just to see if there was any criminal activity by anyone who worked at the school, but also if there is any policies or procedures that were violated. and even if there weren't, perhaps we need to take a close and careful examination into any new policy and procedures that could be put into place to make sure that something like this did not happen again. >> does something formal have to happen for your office to get involved at all here? and how would any investigation you do differ from the one the superintendent says he's now launching? >> well, there are several ways. firstly, i have statewide
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jurisdiction, criminally. so i can go into any area of the state and perform a criminal investigation. but what would be different and why it's so important, i think, for my department to do this as opposed to, say, a law firm that is hired by the school district, is that there's always the question as to whether that law firm is really independent or not. i mean, if they're being paid for by the school district, there's always the concern that they're going to come back with a report that, you know, reflects what the school district would like to see in it. and our investigation will be truly independent. i'm the top law enforcement official in the state of michigan. my department has extensive experience in these types of investigations. we investigated the events related to nasser at msu. one of the biggest clergy abuse investigations in the nation, the boy scouts of america investigation, the flint water crisis investigation. so we're used to wide-scale
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investigations. and i think that we're uniquely situated to do this, because, again, not only do we have criminal and civil attorneys, but we also partner with state agencies like the michigan state police, the department of education, and even our licensing department at the state in case there are people who have not committed criminal conduct but perhaps they ought to be stripped of their professional licenses as a result of any infractions that occur. >> i mean, have you been in touch with school officials there? why put this out on twitter? do you know if this is something that they want? >> well, you know, we sent out an email to the attorney that represents the oxford community schools. we haven't heard back so far. but if they're going to go out and publicly say we would like a third party to look into this, i want to let them know, we are here, we're ready, we're willing, and we're able to perform this function. and really, we are the best agency in the state who can do
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this kind of review. and where the public can feel as though this review was done comprehensively, properly, and in a way that can be trusted. >> a reminder to our viewers, you're the state ag, the oakland county prosecutor, karen mcdonald, said friday she may bring charges against school officials. what was your reaction when you heard that? what types of charges could those even be? >> well, i don't want to speculate yet, because i don't have the information. and again, i don't know to what extent our department will be involved in this. i will say i've been in close contact with oakland county prosecutor karen mcdonald. we've talked consistently throughout the course of these events. she knows we're here to assist in any way possible. and i think if you ask her, she would welcome our involvement. >> these charges against the crumbley parents, which have already been filed, they're unusual. do you think these charges, and if any charges are filed against school officials, but still, even with the parents being charged, would these perhaps help move the needle at all on
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accountability for school shootings down the roads? or is this just a unique set of facts that made it easier to charge the parents in this situation? >> we've certainly seen cases in the past where parents have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, where they failed to properly secure a weapon and keep it safe from the use of their children. so it's not unprecedented. but what i will say is it really sheds light on the fact that michigan does not have any child access prevention laws which require guns to be stored in places where children cannot access them. and i think what's important for us to remember is, i mean, as a society, we absolutely have to stop this feticization of guns. its an xbox, it's not a baseball glove, it's a deadly weapon and has to be treated as stuff. >> there are no laws in michigan that require legal gun owners to
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safely store firearms. does that take any of the bite out of the charges that were filed against the parents here? >> no, i don't think so. because i think that they still had a responsibility to make sure that this weapon was, you know, properly secured and that if they had any indication that their child might intend to use it against others. you know, we're looking at, again, for involuntary manslaughter, gross negligence on the part of the parents. generally that's defined as, did the parents knowingly, you know -- did they conduct conduct so reckless so as to result in injury. that's basically what the definition is. and i think that the charges are absolutely appropriate. i support prosecutor mcdonald in levying these charges. and, you know, i think it's important that we wait for all
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the evidence to come out and allow this to be tried in the court system. but i think in this instance, with the facts as they are known to me, that these are appropriate charges. >> i do want to play some sound of what karen mcdonald, the county prosecutor, said on friday. let's listen in. >> we need to do better in this country. we need to say enough is enough. any individual who had the opportunity to stop this tragedy should have done so. reading this document, looking at it, reading the words "help me" with a gun, blood everywhere. this doesn't just impact me as a prosecutor and a lawyer. it impacts me as a mother. four kids were murdered. and then seven more injured. so, yes, i think we should all be very angry. >> in recent years, we've seen cases around the country become
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politicized, most recently kyle rittenhouse comes to mind. are you concerned at all this case becomes politicized? >> i think it's important that when we have tragedies like this occur, that this, you know, be taken seriously and if we can implement laws that can prevent these types of tragedies, we ought to do so. now, some people might say that's politicizing it. i think it's just examining this horrific set of circumstances and as a state government, addressing it properly and deciding how we can do better to protect our children and to protect all of society. if we're not willing to make that examination, then why did any of us run for office in the first place? just to sit by and watch as these things occur? or do we really want to make a difference and make things better for our state? that's the question we have to answer. >> some media outlets are leveling criticism at oakland county officials for allowing the parents to slip away before that arrest was made. is that criticism fair in your mind, the way things played out,
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the timeline, should things have been done differently? >> first of all, let me say this. the vast majority of cases where you have people that are not in imminent threat, whereas you don't think they're going to go out and committee further crimes, and they've retained an attorney that's been in touch with the prosecutors' office, more often than not those people are permitted to turn themselves in. so that's not an unusual set of circumstances at all. furthermore, you know, i heard the prosecutor say on numerous occasions that she was looking at charging the parents. so i think, you know, everyone should have had eyes on these individuals to know their whereabouts. they are in custody right now, the parents are both being held on $500,000 bonds. and i don't think it's something that we'll have to [ inaudible ].
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>> attorney general for the state of michigan, thanks so much for joining us today, we appreciate it. liar and coward. congresswoman ilhan omar criticizing the house minority leader this morning. new reaction from senator tina smith of minnesota, that's up next. gordan ramsey this is a cold call! nfl teams are turning to cold with tide. will you? that will never work! if it works on nfl jerseys it'll work for you. and it's cold. so you will turn to cold? fine! that guy needs to chill out! - san francisco can have criminal justice reform and public safety. but district attorney chesa boudin is failing on both. - the safety of san francisco is dependent upon chesa being recalled as soon as possible. - i didn't support the newsom recall but this is different. - chesa takes a very radical
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perspective and approach to criminal justice reform, which is having a negative impact on communities of color. - i never in a million years thought that my son, let alone any six-year-old, would be gunned down in the streets of san francisco and not get any justice. - chesa's failure has resulted in increase in crime against asian americans. - the da's office is in complete turmoil at this point. - for chesa boudin to intervene in so many cases is both bad management and dangerous for the city of san francisco. - we are for criminal justice reform. chesa's not it. recall chesa boudin now.
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developing this hour, president biden is gearing up for a busy week ahead. he'll be giving a speech at the white house tomorrow on his build back better legislation which is expected to focus on a part of the plan that will lower the cost of prescription drugs. the president will hold a high stakes meeting with russian president vladimir putin on tuesday and head to kansas city for an infrastructure event on wednesday before hosting a virtual summit for democracy to end the week. the white house this week also grappling with the omicron variant as it's detected in a growing number of states. earlier today, white house principal deputy secretary careen jean-pierre spoke about
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the virus as we head into colder months. >> the covid winter plan really gives maximum protection for the american public, making sure more people get boosted, the travel, strengthening our travel protocol as you just mentioned. a slew of things that will be important, critical, in making sure we beat back this virus. and what we're trying to do is slow down covid and also accelerate our way out of this pandemic. meanwhile the fate of roe v. wade is in the hands of the supreme court as it signals a willingness to uphold a mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. today we're getting a new look at what's at stake with the high court's ruling. mississippi governor tate reeves confirming he will enforce that law banning most abortions in his state if roe v. wade is overturned. >> not only is there not a guaranteed right, there's also nothing in the constitution that
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prohibits individual states from enacting their own laws. and after all, that's really what the founding fathers intended. ye, i will do everything i can to protect the lives of those children. and new reaction from congresswoman ilhan omar responding to anti-muslim attacks from congresswoman lauren boebert. today congresswoman omar slamming republican leadership after republican leader mccarthy came to boebert's defense. >> mccarthy is a liar and a coward. he doesn't have the ability to condemn the kind of bigoted islamophobia and anti-muslim rhetoric that are being trafficked by a member of his conference. >> why doesn't he have the ability to do that? >> because this is who they are. and we have to be able to stand up to them. >> let's go right to nbc's julie tsirkin on capitol hill. julie, what else is congresswoman omar saying this
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morning? >> reporter: joe, congresswoman ilhan omar is muslim herself, and it's important to note that when she came to congress in 2018 she was the first in the house chamber to openly and proudly wear a habib. boebert made those remarks a couple of weeks back to her constituents over thanksgiving holiday, be careful comparing ilhan omar to a suicide bomber, saying she was, quote, part of the jihad squad. after that, she called congresswoman ilhan omar, she tweeted apologizing but then she doubled down into video to twitter, again saying and repeating some of those same remarks she made. today omar broke her silence, as she did another time in the last week. she's not typically very open to the press and she's not typically one to speak out about these things. but she said again that she's disappointed with the leadership of the republican party. she slammed leader kevin
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mccarthy and she also suggested that she got some assurances from democratic leadership, namely speaker nancy pelosi, that she might just do something about this herself. take a listen to that bite. >> i've had a conversation with the speaker. and i'm very confident that she will take decisive action next week. as you know, when i first got to congress, i was worried that i wasn't going to be allowed to be sworn in because there was a ban on the hijab. she promised she she would take care of it. she fulfilled that promise. she made another promise to me that she will take care of this and i believe her. >> reporter: so if speaker pelosi does take decisive action next week as ilhan omar mentioned there, this will be the third time in the last couple of months they're doing so against republican members of congress. remember, just a couple of weeks ago paul gosar of arizona was actually censured by democrats
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and a couple of republicans as well for a violent video he tweeted against another progressive members of the house. so joe, this is a repeated string of attacks here. >> julia, thank you for your reporting. joining me now is senator tina smith. senator, your fellow minnesotan congresswoman ilhan omar is responding to the anti-muslim rhetoric from congresswoman boebert. what do you make of what's going on in the lower house? >> thank you, joe. and it's great to be with you. i spoke with ilhan earlier this week. i am always struck by how strong she is, how resilient she is. but think about what she has been exposed to, this kind of hateful and dehumanizing attack. and what does the republican party, the republican leader in the house do? he basically doubles down on it. he says this -- he tries to
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describe this as infighting within his caucus and that this is not what people are really paying attention to out in the country. we should be paying attention to this. this kind of xenophobia is not a bug of the republican party, it is a feature of the republican party and congress. and it is important that we all stand up in opposition to it and not just sort of look away and pretend it isn't happening. >> senator, let's turn to the battle over abortion rights. the supreme court signaled this week it might uphold mississippi's law banning most abortions after 15 weeks. you were formerly the president of planned parenthood of minnesota. how worried should we be? >> we should be very worried. as you say, i worked at planned parenthood, and we should always think about the impact on women. women don't see this question of abortion rights as a political issue.
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they see it as a personal issue. it is about whether or not people have the autonomy and the freedom to make decisions and control their own lives. and so the implications of rolling back 50 years of precedent around this particular right is really shocking to behold. i think justice sotomayor really put her finger on it in her comments and statements during the hearing on tuesday when she talked about will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading is just a political act. that is why i think we're seeing such a dramatic decline in approval for the supreme court. people see the supreme court for what it is. the old days of the supreme court, you know, as justice roberts said, calling balls and strikes in an impartial way, are gone. and that's going to have a
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direct impact on women's rights and women's health, if what happens it looks like is going to happen. >> senator collins, your republican colleague, wants to codify roe v. wade. what impact would that have? >> the idea that we should have a law that protects women's constitutional rights, i support that law. but i can't help but recognize that susan collins supported justice kavanaugh, for example, saying that she felt reassured that he was going to -- that he saw roe as set law, yet there was no indication in his questions or statements earlier this week that that's how he sees this. in fact he was basically asking why should the supreme court be the arbiter of this and why not turn it back to the states. so yes, i support the idea of codifying roe v. wade to passing a law. but let's be honest, we don't
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have a pro-abortion-rights majority in the united states senate right now, let alone a majority of 60. so what we ought to be doing is defending this institutional right that has been in supreme court and constitutional precedent for nearly 50 years. >> the senate has a lot on its plate. before that, you have a huge to-do list in the coming weeks. among the things on the list, the build back better bill, that's the big one. the annual defense authorization bill. and dealing with the debt limit. are you going to get it all done before the new year? >> well, i can tell you that we are hellbent to get it done by the end of the year, because it's important. we need to finish up this work. and i'm going to do everything i can to make that happen. you know, it is ironic,tive just point out, that the reason that it is so difficult to get these things done is because the senate is so dysfunctional because of the rules of the senate which make it so difficult for a majority of senators to pass laws and get
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our work done. one of the reasons it's taking so long is because we have just one or two members of the other party who continually hold us up. and that just means it takes time. but we're going to get done what we need to get done. i'm determined to make sure that happens. >> your democratic party, kyrsten sinema, discussed her approach to build back better in a rare interview. let's listen to some of her concerns. >> when i'm home in arizona i hear number one about the price of gas and number two about the price of food. people are very concerned about the amount they're spending just to survive every day. and inflation is real. so i want to make sure that if we are crafting legislation, we're doing it in a lean and efficient way that's fiscally responsible and doesn't impact things like inflation or make our businesses less competitive. >> is senator sinema right there, do you share those same concerns, and is that an issue when it comes to getting build back better through?
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>> we hear a lot about rising prices here in minnesota. that is why it's so important to pass the build back better act which is going to lower costs for things that minnesotans and americans are paying for every day, like prescription drugs, like lowering health care premiums, like making sure that childcare is more affordable. this piece of legislation is actually going to do something about lowering costs. and it's going to do that by asking the richest americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share. so that is not an inflationary bill at all. it is actually counterinflationary, i believe. and i want to just say one more thing. the bill takes really important steps towards moving us towards a clean energy future. and that is going to help us to keep energy prices stable. the tax credits for clean energy expansion is going to be a good thing for lowering energy prices. so this is all exactly what we
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should be doing to go after people's concerns about inflation. >> very quickly, do you perceive senator sinema's comments there that she's not on board yet and do you think she will change her mind? >> i don't see that as her not being on board. i think i see it as her looking very carefully at all components of the bill. at the end of the day we are going to pass a bill that has the support of all 50 of us. >> senator tina smith from minnesota, thanks so much for joining us, we appreciate it. >> thanks, joe. up next, the knowns and unknowns of the covid omicron variant. america's leading medical authorities scramble for answers about how much of a threat it poses. it poses. but when it comes to my insurance i don't. i use liberty mutual, they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. wooo, yeaa, woooooo and, by switching you could even save 665 dollars. hey tex, can someone else get a turn?
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today president biden's health officials were on the sunday shows to talk about the omicron variant. scientists are still working to figure out the effects of the new variant.
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>> thus far, though it's too early to make any definitive statements about it, thus far it does not look like there's a great degree of severity to it. >> much more important is to find out what's really happening in the real world. does this in fact turn out to be less dangerous? and how good are our vaccines and our boosters? >> we're really hopeful that our vaccines will work in a way that even if they don't prevent disease entirely, prevent infection entirely, that they can work to prevent severe disease and keep people out of the hospital. >> to the question of whether the increased spread is being driven by greater transmissibility or whether it's being driven by a different sensitivity to our vaccine protections or protection from prior infection, the exact mix there of contributors is not known. >> let's bring in dr. irwin redlener, public health analyst and founding director of the national center for disaster preparedness. doctor, good to have you with us. i guess one of the big questions right now is how long do we have to wait until we have a fuller
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understanding of the severity of omicron? is there a time frame? or is it a certain assessment after, say, a certain number of infections that we're able to look at? >> so here's the thing, joe. there are three main questions here around omicron. number one, is it more contagious. number two, does it affect people more severely in terms of hospitalizations or deaths. and number three, is it still going to be sensitive to the existing vaccines. interestingly, we'll know something about the vaccine relationship very shortly, i would say within another week or so, because we're doing laboratory experiments to see if the vaccines that are out there are still able to inhibit the growth in a laboratory of the omicron variant. the other issues in terms of how contagious is this omicron variant, i think it's probably going to be more contagious than the other variants that have been out there including delta. but i don't imagine, there's no
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evidence at the moment to suggest that it's going to necessarily make people sicker or increase the fatality consequences of getting infected, joe. >> let's break down some of the early numbers we're seeing so far. south africa's daily covid cases almost quadrupled from tuesday as the omicron variant spreads across that country, according to the national institute for communicable diseases. however south africa is also reporting a milder disease so far. what is your reaction to what we're seeing out of south africa so far? >> well, i would like to think it's good news, and it probably is. but the initial cases are not that many, number one, and number two, they're affecting mostly younger people without necessarily a whole lot of preexisting conditions and not necessarily an older population. that's why we have to wait and see, as more and more people get infected with omicron, and hopefully we won't see any change. but we don't know yet. and it's going to be some weeks
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or a couple of months, maybe, before we actually get a really clear handle on how sick that variant is making people. >> so in the u.s. right now, omicron is showing up in at least 16 states. do you think enough is being done right now from a national perspective to try and contain this variant early on, according to health officials? omicron we know is highly transmissible. what are the chances or how long before it becomes the dominant strain here in the u.s.? >> it could become the dominant strain, but maybe it won't. we just don't know yet. in terms of watching what's happening with this variant, joe, people are all over it. we have labs all over the country closely following the genetic sequencing of the virus, of the variant, to make sure where we know it's going and where it's concentrating. i think we'll have a pretty good handle on it as we go forward. now, does the united states have as much capacity to do the genetic sequencing, to track variants as other countries?
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no, it doesn't. but i think we're going to push all the levers we have to to try to make sure we don't lose track of any aspect of this threat. >> are boosters a real weapon right now in trying to defend against omicron? >> well, the vaccines are the most powerful weapon by far. there is absolutely no reason to believe that they really won't inhibit the serious infections with the new variants. you're saying boosters, and many of us are, but some people are saying, you know what, forget booster, we all need a third shot, that the regimen that's going to be most protective for the moderna and pfizer vaccines are actually three shots. you want to call the third shot a booster, whatever it is, the more people that get the initial series and then that third shot or booster, the better. and we have to keep pushing the population than are eligible but
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not necessarily completely vaccinated yet. for example, the 5 to 11-year-olds are now eligible to get the vaccine. but of the 25 million children in that age range only about 4 million have to this point gotten vaccinated. we need to keep up the effort as much as we can to vaccinate everybody had two and preferably three doses eventually. >> dr. redlener, thanks so much for joining us and answering our many questions on this sunday. we appreciate it. >> sure. perception versus reality. what's to make of the latest jobs report and whether we'll see more hiring soon, that's next.
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the latest set of job reports is sending mixed messages about the state of the economy. own friday, the labor department says 210,000 jobs were added in november. that's a lot less than what economists were expecting. this comes just days after adp posted a better than expected
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growth of 534,000. joining me now is neela richardson. do you think part of the disappointment is based on the numbers adp released on wednesday? >> i wish we could take all the credit, jonathan, but actually the consensus was higher than 500,000. there was good reason. we've seen jobless claims come down a lot. that means less people are being laid off. we see a record, near record number of jobs that are being advertised in job openings. there is a lot of churn in the labor market. there were all these conditions that really bolstered that expectation. and so when we looked at the 210,000 jobs in november, it was a disappointment. >> why was there such a discrepancy between these two reports? >> a couple of things i think it's really important to note. one, the numbers have been very
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volatile over the course of the year. where adp and bls agree is that over 5 million jobs have been created in 2021 alone. that means 4 million people, though, are still out of work who were working before the pandemic. but that volatility makes month to month estimation a challenge. but what's also really notable and somewhat concerning is that service sector jobs in the bls report did not play their full position role. they've been out front, leisure and hospital and retail, in creating the bulk of the jobs. they didn't see that this month. retail actually lost jobs. leisure and hospital, 23,000, far short of the numbers that were being posted earlier this year. >> let's focus more on the federal numbers. 210,000,000 is the smallest number of added jobs in nearly a
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year. some are blaming the omicron threat, others say this is a sign hiring is slowing down. how do you interpret it? >> it's too early to see if the new variant is playing a role. what we do know is when the delta variant picked up at the end of july, august and september, the initial bls, initial federal numbers showed much weaker job gains than they actually ended up reporting. so these numbers were revised upward a lot. we'll see if the new variant causes a similar revision in the numbers. it's somewhat unpredictable. what's really important is how consumers feel. are they a bit more squeamish going out there, doing service oriented activities? that's really what's going to determine job gains. >> the job numbers from august, september, and october, looking back, they were all revised upward, totaling 450,000 more jobs created than estimated at
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the time. what does that tell us, can we project anything from that going forward? >> you know, we have a strong economy right now. things are looking solid in terms of jobless claims, as i mentioned. we know that the labor demand is there from businesses. in fact in our own surveys we see that the number one challenge of small firms is hiring, finding talent. that all points to continued progress. so we expect more job gains to continue, because the background macro environment is really positioned to see more growth, even though there are some challenges that we have to be really vigilant in keeping track of. >> what does this tell us about the health of the overall economy right now? where are things right now? we were talking about moments ago about the worries about inflation and prices going up. we have holidays ahead and worries about labor shortages. where are we right now? >> i think one thing is, we are very humble. we know that the pandemic has
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been in the driver's seat of this economy. and when cases are going down, the economy benefits. we also know too that federal support is really important in those early days and even earlier this year. direct payments to households, expanded unemployment benefits really helped in terms of consumer spending. most of those payments directly to families are gone. that means we are at an inflection point where the economy has to be more independent, stand on its own two feet in terms of businesses and consumers. businesses are not getting federal funds to the same extent that they did earlier in the pandemic because of government aid. really this is a critical point, to see if main street can keep performing well even with less federal support. >> nela richardson with adp, thanks for joining us, we appreciate it. coming up, what did the former president know and when did he know it? next, the view from a former
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insider about donald trump's positive covid test. covid test.
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after much resistance, former president donald trump's former chief of staff, mark meadows is expected to appear before the january 6th committee next week, but also as meadow's new book is due to hit shelves tuesday which in reportedly details the events of january 6th from his perspective inside the white house. joining me, former aid to the vice-president, mike pence, meadows has resisted the committee for weeks now, now saying the scope of what he can tell the committee is limited because of executive privilege. then he goes and writes about this exact topic, it appears, in his book. does this make any sense to you at all? >> no, but look, this is -- the trump administration used the
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cloak for any excuse of getting out of accountability or telling the truth so it does surprise me mark meadows would try even though he's sharing the inside scoop on conversations he witnessed in the white house. i worked with mark meadows, i feel what he is saying is true. i've seen the extent they will go to especially when it comes to issues like covid and the issues going on inside the white house. it's deplorable. >> how important do you think his perspective is to the house investigation in this case and do you think he is a reliable witness? >> i think if mark meadows is actually willing to tell the american people the truth, his testimony of what exactly happened that day is critical. i think he knows exactly where the president's thinking what on this, the hesitation on taking actual action that day and instead of sitting there watching that play out like the
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rest of us that day, i think mark meadows knows exactly the planning beforehand, i think he knows the extent to which they were willing to go forward and maintain a fair and safe election but this was all part of the big lie and i think mark meadows is critical to this investigation and i hope he will cooperate but i think for mark meadows it's a personal calculus if he will continue to act in a manner or do something productive that helps our country. >> a topic you know well, the white house response to the pandemic, report says trump tested positive for covid days before debating biden, subsequent tests negative. none of that was disclosed, what was your reaction to that as someone working inside the white house during the pandemic were you surprised to hear this? >> no, because i know the extent the trump action and senior
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members of the trump administration went to to cover up whenever any senior member tested positive or any staff so i think this is keeping with trump's reckless behavior during the pandemic, especially at the onset. i think it's horrifying to hear this, the families he put at risk. nevertheless honoring the ceremony, people who fought for our freedom, people who deserved way better than this reckless before of putting them at risk but even more egregious is the fact that i think this is a 100% display of what happened at the onset of the pandemic as a man who refuse today actually do the right thing for all americans. and you have an example of he, himself, infected with the virus and he can't care that he was putting himself at risk, risking the lives of others at this
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ceremony. >> trump right off the bat called it fake news and shortly after, meadows went on news max and said trump is right, it's fake news. reporting based off what he wrote in the book. what do you make of that? >> i think mark meadows probably got a very angry phonecall from trump and they're playing the calculus. he knows mark meadows has the key to january 6th so he's trying not to ostricize him by calling him out too much. i think the two of them are playing this, who is going to talk, how much is he going to tell. i think it speaks to mark meadows' character where he decides he'll turn on his own writing and his own book to cover up the truth and then falls in line back with trump again so i think it's interesting to see what mark
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meadows does in the coming days when it comes to january 6 investigation, given he was calling his own book fake news even though he was telling the story at the time, in a story, could have told months or years ago and saved lives. >> thanks for joining us, we appreciate it. that wraps up this hour. richard louie is up next with a christmas card making a lot of america shake its head. reaction from capitol hill is next. ♪ limu emu... & doug ♪ ♪ superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance so they only pay for what they need.
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and good day from msnbc world hid quarters in new york, welcome to "alex witt reports" i'm in for alex this afternoon. look what's happening, we'll start with some breaking news. radio you're looking live at the white house on capitol hill where flags are being flown at half staff after the passing of senator bob dole at the age of 98. dole revealed earlier this year that he had stage four lung cancer and late this morning, the elizabeth dole foundation tweeted this statement. it is with heavy hearts we announce that senator robert joseph dole died early this


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