tv Hallie Jackson Reports MSNBC January 19, 2022 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
in just 60 minutes from now, we expect to see president joe biden stepping in front of cameras at the white house, taking questions from reporters for his first solo news conference there since march. the pandemic, the economy, foreign relations, all of it and more are on the agenda for him. we've got our team of correspondents and analysts standing by here live with what they're watching for. at the white house, we are on the hill, we are around the world this hour, with the split screen today highlighting the drama or maybe lack of it on capitol hill, where we expect the president's push to reform voting rights to officially fall short in the senate at some point today, with members on
their last few hours of debate as we speak. all republicans, they're opposed to those election reforms, and nbc news is confirming now, officially, two democrats opposed to changing the rules to get it done anyway in the face of that gop objection. one of those democrats, senator joe manchin is expect to speak at some point on the senate floor. if it happens this hour, you'll see it right here on msnbc. i'm hallie jackson in washington where there's a lot going on. let's bring in kelly o'donnell, leigh ann caldwell, and john bresnahan. kelly, set the table for us. what do you anticipate we'll see from president biden this afternoon? >> well, it is a striking opportunity for the american people to have this chance to hear from the president for an extended period of time. we haven't seen this in ten months. and it is a chance for a conversation with the public. we expect the president will begin laying out some of the things that he wants to draw attention to. areas of progress or accomplishment that he can talk
about, when we expect many of the questions might point to some of the more difficult parts of his first year in office. expect the president to talk about some of the advances they have made when it comes to covid. the $200 million vaccinations that have been done. some of the tools that are now in place. steps we've seen where now tests are being sent to american's homes. you can sign up for that now. free masks of high quality will be made available. the tools to keep schools open. some of those issues, on the economy, they will point to the highest level of employment, with salaries going up. of course, we also know, inflation has gone up at a 40-year high. it has been a mixed picture for the president. but look for him to highlight the things he wants to talk about. and then he'll open it up to a range of questions. and what is different about a formal news conference than the many others that he has done, which would include having an official from another country with him, where there might only be two questions per side and they might deal with the events
involving that other guest from another nation, this is wide ranging. and so there's a real chance for people to learn what the president has planned for year two, to get some specifics on some of the urgent matters of the day, and to get some of the president's thinking on how he views his presidency and how he plans to governor for year two. these are big moments for the white house and big moments for the public to learn more about what the president is thinking. >> leigh ann, we talked about that split screen that is happening now. from one end to the other, the final hours of debate on that voting rights package, we know how this thing is going to go. we know it is not going to go particularly well for president biden, as far as what he wants to see. in large part, in most part, because republicans don't want to change voting rights, right? all 50 of them are unanimously opposed. but also, in part, because of what we're seeing from senators manchin and sinema. >> that's right, halley.
so, an hour or two after the president is done speaking, giving his press conference and trying to reset his agenda and reset his messaging, the senate is going to take some very difficult votes. and that first vote will be on the actual voting rights legislation. which we know will fail, because the republicans are going to block it. we also know, as you mentioned, that all 50 democrats will support it. and after that is when we will see some sort of debate and vote on changing the senate rules. and we are told that other than senators joe manchin and kyrsten sinema, the other 48 democrats are going to back this rules change. but that's not enough, hallie. so that pressure campaign continues. we're told that speaker pelosi has been speaking with senator joe manchin. something that john bresnahan's team first reported, that nbc news confirmed. and also, the members of the congressional black hawks just marched from the house of representatives to the senate side, to continue to pressure that body.
and senate majority leader chuck schumer, he was on the senate floor saying, look, bipartisanship is -- the filibuster is not bringing together bipartisanship. let's listen to how he put it in his own words. >> there are some in our caucus who believes it helps bring a few, who believe it helps bring us together. i don't see that evidence -- evidence of that at all. and i think a majority of my colleagues would agree with that. >> reporter: so despite these last-minute attempts to try to convince senators manchin and sinema to change their minds, it's not going to work. they've been very clear and the party is going to end the day today focusing on a divided -- or where the focus will be on a divided party, who weren't willing to change the senate rules in order to pass this voting rights legislation and they, too, are going to have to reset their agenda alongside the president. but first, we have to get through these votes first, hallie. >> pull back a little bit. put this moment into context for us right now as it relates to the next two hours, let's call
it, of president biden's life, as he'll be delivering this news conference, answering questions from reporters. taking this moment to hit the reset button, as leigh ann and kelly have talked about, and the backdrop to what's happening on the hill. >> yeah, this is -- you know, i mean, there's -- there's reset -- the way we called it today was reset and defeat. you know, they're going to -- biden needs to change the message, his image with the american people has been just sagging. he's gotten hurt on inflation. he's gotten hurt on school closures. he's gotten hurt on a number of issues. ever since afghanistan, the debacle over afghanistan, the afghanistan withdrawal last summer, that kind of started it. the resurgence of covid. the president's poll numbers are pretty bad. his standing is bad. and you know, it's hurting democrats everywhere. but, you know, leigh ann talked about it. you know, is this the fight he needed to have over voting
rights? not that the issue isn't huge, but the timing of this fight is not good for democrats. this is -- they're going to start the new year after losing on build back better last -- at the end of december, thanks to democratic infighting, they couldn't agree with manchin to pass something. they're going to start on another defeat. so i mean, this is maybe not the way that democrats really wanted to start the new year. but this is the reality, that they've picked this fight, they chose the ground, and they're going to lose it. and i'm not sure really how this helps democrats. at the end of the day, i'm just -- we're going to end up talking about manchin and sinema instead of the republicans blocking voting rights. >> to that point, you know, leigh ann and kelly, i think you both would have thoughts on this, democrats will listen to brez, the way that brez is framing this, and feel frustrated at the way that this is shaking out. kelly, what are you hearing about this moment, to reframe the next year of the president's
administration? >> one of the things that has been an issue for the president is leaning into his own personal public service history. being a legislator in chief. so what officials have been telling us is to accept less in a public-facing way, reading out and talking about his interactions with lawmakers. not to say that that work isn't going to go on, but to try to deal more directly with the american people. the deal making that we thought president biden would be able to excel at also really relies on having a larger majority. you can say you have a democratic majority, but when it's three votes in the house and a 50/50 senate, expectations have really not been in line with what democrats could achieve very easily. and so that's been a big problem. so expect the white house to try to move away from that legislator in chief persona, if you will, and try to have the president deal more directly with the public. now, how they're going to do that, ways that they can showcase that, that we need to
see how it plays out. legislatively, they certainly have big things they want to still achieve. can they rework the build back better agenda? will there be some other covid relief legislation? and expect, really, a lot of talk about how the big win, bipartisan infrastructure, looking for proof of performance, where they will show how specific steps are taking place going forward. and we've seen that already, where they've identified 15,000 bridges, the first steps to try to see those repairs going on. so changing the message, that happens in lots of white houses and it's just joe biden's turn to have to deal with this. but the concerns are real. his poll numbers are a problem, especially when you're talking about a midterm year. and the kinds of issues that he's dealing with, covid and so forth that are unpredictable beyond his direct control. and yet, he has to manage it. and so how they're going to show leadership on that will be a big test. so i expect him to try to talk
about some of that as well today. >> i have ten seconds left, but i see you nodding? >> i think kelly really laid it out very well. i mean, the president needs to change his message. i mean, you know, maybe we'll look back later in the year and say, this was a big moment for him, or maybe they weren't able to stop it, but they've got to do something and they've got to start somewhere. >> great to have all of you. thank you. we'll have more coverage, of course, of this coming up in just a couple of minutes, including later this hour, democratic senator tammy duckworth, live with us one on one about what is going down right now on both ends of pennsylvania avenue. i want to get now to some news that's also developing. not just from the white house, but also some news on the former president that could drop at literally any minute. with the national archives set to deliver the first batch of trump white house documents, requested by the january 6th committee. this comes in the middle of this ongoing legal fight. you know we've been talking about it, over these documents, with the former president's lawyers, asking the supreme court to step in and block the
release of any documents. the court hasn't decided whether to take the case. and overnight, of course, we know the committee issuing subpoenas for more allies of the former president, lawyers who the committee says, quote, publicly promoted unsupported claims about the 2020 election, and participated in attempts to disrupt or delay the certification of election results. aka, they lied and pushed it. i want to bring in garrett haake and politico national correspondent and msnbc contributor, betsy woodruff swann. garrett, to you. it is 3:11 eastern time, based on my clock. there is a deadline less than three hours from now for these documents to be hand over. walk us through the process here. what do we know about the documents that the committee is set to get their hands on, and when will we know they've actually gotten them. >> we know almost nothing about these documents. don't feel bad. neither does the committee. this could have been the white house lunch menu from the 6th for all we know. i mean, i kid, but only a little bit. there's four pages of documents. they will be transmitted to the committee today. when i spoke to bennie thompson,
the committee chairman earlier today, he told me, they didn't know what they were yet, didn't know exactly when to get them. and unfortunately for all of us, we're probably not going to know in the public today. the committee has to plans to turn around and release them. they want to see how these documents informed their investigation. the upshot, though, is they are finally seeing some movement from the national archives, which the committee does take as a very good sign. >> betsy, a federal appeals report has said these three other batches of documents should not released until the supreme court decides whether or not they want to weigh in, right? >> that's right. and trump's lawyers are saying that since the federal appeals court has made that conclusion in this case, that what they've said about those three different batches of documents should also apply to the little four-page tiny batch that the archivist is currently set to deliver to the select committee at 6:00 p.m. in court, sometimes, things happen quickly. sometimes the supreme court hands down orders at the last
possible minute. other times, it doesn't move. other times, the higher court is not super particularly sensitive to time-sensitivities that people coming before that panel say exist. so at this point, it's just a question of watching the clock and seeing if an email has hit the select committee's inbox by 6:00 p.m. that would include these four pages. it's worth noting that the national archivist, david ferriro has signaled that he plans on retiring soon. he is getting much more attention than the average national archivist gets, being mixed up in this legal fight with trump and his attorneys. people don't usually become archivists because they want to show up in news headlines. anyway, he is on his way out now. that's something that's worth noting. and we also know that this is a top priority for trump and for his legal team, so they clearly are angling, crossing their fingers, and hoping that this
doesn't get to the select committee. >> i feel like the archiist is a lot like the parliamentarian on capitol hill, they feel like heir doing their jobs better when they're under the radar a little bit. garrett, you've been talking about this, subpoenaing boris epshteyn, sidney powell, that is not a shock. we know the committee has been signaling from the very beginning they've been wanting to speak to these people because of their central role in promoting these lies about 2020 election. i want to get a sense, betsey, from you, any sense of why this moment, why now to issue these subpoenas? >> these subpoenas come in the wake of an interview that the committee conducted with bernie kerik, a longtime ally of rudy giuliani and president trump, who got a pardon from president trump in the last year of the administration. kerik worked as part of the legal team that rudy giuliani helmed. in fact, he could have used attorney/client privilege -- or trump could have used attorney/client privilege to try
to keep kerik from cooperating with the committee. kerik very much knows the ins and outs of what was going on with giuliani, jenna ellis, sidney powell, boris epshteyn's legal efforts in this case. kerik's really interesting, because he received a conditional privilege waiver from trump on new year's eve. he turned over a large batch of documents to the select committee. and in the last week or two, he sat for an interview with select committee investigators. in that interview, select committee investigators would have very much been able to pull back the curtain, at least to be able to pull it back a lot farther than it previously had pulled back, to get a sense of the inner workings of trump's legal team. i still find it very notable that a person who worked on that team has cooperated to any extent, especially to a meaningful extent with the select committee. these subpoenas are coming in the wake of that cooperation, and i'm confident that whatever kerik has shared with the select committee is going to inform the questions that they hope to ask
these four new subpoena targets. >> garrett, very quickly, what's the next thing you're watching for from the january 6th committee? >> whether they decide to escalate this fight and go beyond subpoenas and try to pursue some other method, contempt of congress, perhaps to go after these attorneys who have made it pretty clear they want to use attorney/client privilege not to talk. >> garrett haake, betsy woodruff swann, thank you very much to the both of you. after the break, we're talking more about the other setback for former president trump today, how his company is responding to a literally 11th hour bombshell from the new york attorney general and where her investigation goes now. and in a few minutes, we're kicking off special coverage of president biden's news conference, with our team covering every angle one year into the biden presidency. covering every angle one year covering every angle one year into the biden presidency. car , so you only pay for what you need. wooo, yeaa, woooooo
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probably heard about. this court filing overnight that points to financial wrongdoing by members of the trump family, including the former president himself. letitia james, the new york city ag, is considering charges based on a civil investigation into the trump organization's financial reporting. in this statement now, the trump org basically says, the investigation is politically motivated. they've been saying that all along, that the allegations are quote, baseless, and will be vigorously defended. that is also something we've heard from them before. i want to bring in msnbc investigative tom winter and dan y cevallos. first of all, what does this new court filing say and why is it so significant? >> it gets us inside of the investigation and what they've found so far. it's kind of like getting an advanced copy of the indictment or an advanced copy of a civil complaint. and because this is a civil investigation, that's what we would typically get. and we don't normally see it, except for the trump side of things said, look, we're going to fight these subpoenas and these deposition requests, and we've got real concerns about this investigation in the first
place. and we don't believe that the attorney general has the right to conduct these interviews, which are under oath and obviously are up for their clients to be possibly charged with perjury, if they were to lie. on top of that, the information could be used in a criminal proceeding against them and the attorney's office says, okay, you're going to challenge us and challenge why we're able to conduct this. we'll come back full blast and bring up such things as well, well, misstating the size of the former president's penthouse, approximately 10,000 square feet, which is what it is, to 30,000 square feet. essentially doubling the amount of money -- or tripling the amount of money that they could value it from $100 million to $300 million. cash liquidity outside of the president's control, i think that's a really important one, hallie. when you present a statement to a bank and you say, well, i have my hands on this, the president didn't actually have his mitts
on that or could get his mitts on that. there were questions about what was done with the trump national golf course in los angeles and representations made to the irs, which may have been benefitted the former president to millions of dollars in his tax filings with the federal government. so that's potentially quite serious, as well. i counted it up before we came on the air, hallie, 268 filings, most of them sealed exhibits, have been made since this first drop last night. and that's what they say is the underlying evidence for them to be able to lay out in 115 pages what they've found so far in this investigation. one other thing, witnesses close to the top of the trump organization have pleaded the fifth, according to the attorney general. and that includes the president's son, who was not named in these documents, but has talked to the attorney general. that would be eric trump. >> i want to talk about the other son and one of the daughters. but danny, one of the things, as tom lays out what is in this, the attorney general made clear
she has, quote -- and i want to read this to you, she says, she has not yet reached a final decision who this evidence merits legal action. to a layperson looking at that, they would go, well, wait a second, why not? so explain that? >> it looks to the layperson and to any person that 115 pages of very damning allegations are enough to take any kind of legal action. if that's what's so interesting, is that the law is on the ag's side. and by that i mean, as long as the information has any reasonable relationship to the investigation, it doesn't even have to be criminal. it can just be conduct that was deceptive under the law. so for that reason, the attorney general is probably going to win in court and get the information, the deposition it wants. why then do you put all of this into 115 pages? that's a very important question. and the answer is probably, because the audience isn't just the judge in this case. the audience is you and me and
everybody else. the attorney general wants the public to know about this stuff. wants the public to know about what tom just reported there. and so that we all know what they're doing. they're showing the work and giving a preview, as tom artfully said, of what is to come. and really, that filing left very little to the imagination. they've clearly found soming st their own opinion. now the trump response will be, oh, come on, it's a little puffery, this is no big deal. much to do about nothing. and ultimately, whoever they depose will be the sergeant schultz defense. i see nothing, i hear nothing, that was somebody else. >> tom, really quickly, don jr. and ivanka called out in this, too. two of president trump's kids. >> right. one that either they oversaw the arrangement of these financial documents that were presented to financial institutions or
insurance companies or should have at least been aware of that is where they go at that. with ivanka, they were a little bit more specific, saying, she was responsible for presenting or overseas documents that were presented to the president's largest lender, which we all know by now, is deutsche bank. so they say that she had a specific handle on that. and that's something that the attorney general's office has absolute per view over, representations made to banks. and if there's any sort of issue there, it's no longer just a civil matter, it could be a criminal matter, hallie. >> tom winter, danny cevallos, thank you both. now back to the senate, where we're keeping an eye on a senate bill debate. senator manchin's office really taking aim at the decision to even hold this vote at all. we are watching the senate floor live to see if he decides to talk about that, maybe some time in the next 35 minutes before we're off the air and president biden takes the podium for his news conference. i want to bring in democratic senator tammy duckworth of illinois. thank you very much for being back on the show.
good afternoon to you. >> it's good to be on. thanks for covering this. >> there has opinion a lot of buildup for both the voting rights package. in part driven by what we're seeing on the state level. as it relates to mostly republican state legislatures taking steps to make it tougher to vote. do you see this on the federal level? this vote tonight is the end of the road for both of those issues, at least until after the midterms, realistically? >> i don't see this as the end of the road, at all. and it's not likely that senators manchin and sinema will vote with us. and if they don't, this will fail tonight. we need to keep trying. i think of all the time that martin luther king fought for voting rights. and the first skirmishes were not the final skirmishes. this is just too important. it's too important that we guarantee the rights of all americans to vote. and we shouldn't let a senate rule stop us from doing that. >> senator sanders, one of your colleagues, said he would consider supporting primary
challengers to senators manchin and sinema. is that something that you would consider doing, as well? >> i'm not even going to look at that at this time. what i'm focused on right now is making sure that we can get this voting rights legislation passed. and listen, we changed the senate rules all the time. we just recently changed the senate rules and both senators sinema and manchin voted to change the rules so we could pass at a 51-vote margin a piece of legislation to raise the debt ceiling. we do it all the time. and for us to not be willing to do it to protect american's rights to vote, i think, is a real shortcoming on their part. >> it's happened, to your point, something like 150-plus times. the senate has changed the rules in order to be able to get other issues done. it's not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. i have heard that argument from many of your democratic colleagues, and it has not been persuasive to senators manchin or sinema, for whom, better or worse, this decision lies. >> it does. so it means that come 2022, i'm
also up in 2022, we need to elect more democrats, and have more than just 50 plus one with the vice president being the 51st vote. we can get to 53 democrats in the senate, we could actually pass this without the addition of senator sinema and manchin. we are a big tent, a big umbrella on the democratic side. there's lots of different voices. so, you know, one of the things that we need to, as we push and change the filibuster rules to restore it, so that we can pass voting rights protection, we should not stop working on the ground to make sure that we do have the voter turnout, so we can elect more democrats to office, so we can eventually pass these laws and protect the right of americans to vote. >> in my conversations with democrats over -- i don't know, let's say the past week. we have heard and i continue to hear the blame being placed squarely on the shoulders of republicans here. which we -- listen, we said at the top of the show, we'll say it again, republicans unanimously oppose this voting rights package, this package of protections, to make sure that people do have the right to vote unanimously. you also have senator mcconnell
who is looking to capitalize on democrat's position here. i want to play a little bit of what he had to say, because i want your reaction to it. >> there's no shortage of real crises democrats might consider tackling. the worst inflation in 40 years, a seemingly endless pandemic, soaring homicides. a border crisis, and russia flirting with war in europe. >> i can already predict that you will disagree with the premise of that question, but do you have -- or that statement from senator mcconnell, do you have any concern about the way that americans are seeing this back and forth in this discussion over the rules change? >> well, you know, what i would tell americans is, you know, we talk about gun violence. we could have passed so many pieces of gun legislation, such as ending the gun show loophole
and having universal background checks, were we to have restored the filibuster, so we could actually have a vote on gun legislation. there's so many things we could have done, yet we can't, because of the way filibuster is, that a minority of senators can stop a vote from even coming to the floor for a debate. and so, you know, by changing and restoring the filibuster to what it was intended to be, we can actually start passing the legislation that will solve a lot of these problems that mcconnell has brought up, not the least of which is gun violence. >> i want to ask you, as we talk about a variety of topics, you know, that are going to confront president biden, almost certainly today at his news conference and questions from reporters, one of them is what's happening on the ukrainian border. you sit on the armed services committee. i know you're following those concerns about the potential for some kind of invasion in ukraine that could happen soon. are you satisfied with what you've seen from the biden administration -- from the biden administration so far to discourage that? should the government be doing more?
and do you have any, any insight into changes in russia's posture over the last, say, 48 hours on that front? >> i think russia has had to take a second look at this. i think that they were marching quite quickly towards invading, but i think the efforts of the biden administration have made them rethink this. this is not going to be like when they took crimea, when they waited for an olympics and just annexed crimea. we're not going to let that happen. and the fact that the biden administration has released information such as the potential false flag attack that the russians were going to start, you know, have basically stage in order to be the premise for them to come in and invade the ukraine. the fact that we're calling them out on this. the fact that we're sending more arms and weapons into the ukraine. this is something that i'm following very closely. illinois, my home state, has been in a state partnership for peace program with poland, which is the first nato ally on the other side of ukraine. should anything happen, it's the first nato ally which would actually be on the front lines of this battle.
and so this is something that we must be following very closely, both from the senate side, as well as with the administration. but i think we're making putin think twice. i don't think it has deterred him yet. but i think we need to continue to put pressure on him, not just from the administration, but also from the senate, as well. >> senator tammy duckworth, we so appreciate your time. next up, we are live from washington to kiev for msnbc's special coverage of president biden's news conference, coming up right after the break. biden' biden' up right after the break [ clicks tongue ] i don't know. i think they look good, man. mm, smooth. uh, they are a little tight. like, too tight? might just need to break 'em in a little bit. you don't want 'em too loose. for those who were born to ride there's progressive. with 24/7 roadside assistance. -okay. think i'm gonna wear these home. -excellent choice.
(mindy) yep! (vo) i knew it! let's work offsite. public wi-fi? no thanks. 5g ultra wideband is faster and safer. and what's this? 5g internet for your home and business? just plug and play. see ya cable! 5g ultra wideband is now in more and more places. verizon is going ultra, so you can too. we are watching the white house closely, because you know president biden in just about 23 minutes from now, if he's running on time, is set to address the nation in his second solo news conference from the white house since taking office. he's going to try to reset, recalibrate, reboot, whatever you want to call it, as he hits year two of his presidency. part of the reason because of what's happening on the other side of your screen, the last hours of debate. as we've been talking about on this show, it looks like that's not going to pass with two members of the president's own party, joe manchin and kyrsten sinema not going along with that.
the president's legislative agenda will of course be in focus when he takes the podium. he's had big wins with the american recovery act and infrastructure, but disappointments on voting reforms and that build back better agenda that became his signature. the president's also expected to take questions on his covid response, which has come under fire since the surge in the omicron variant, although the white house is now trying to get tests and masks for free to people who need them. you can probably expect the president to take questions on a mixed economy, too. there have been big gains in jobs. but at last been overshadowed by record inflation. and foreign policy will be in focus, with new tensions with russia. perhaps he may get a question or two on afghanistan. we've got our all-stars here. our nbc news team, carol lee at the white house. leigh ann caldwell is on capitol hill. mark murray is our senior political editor. j ling kent, yamiche alcindor, and an msnbc political
contributor. a few more joining us in a couple of minutes. thank you all for being here. i have to start with you. you are in that position, right in front of the white house. we're 20 minutes away from this news conference. help us set the tone, set the stage here. >> the president will try to set the tone and talk about initially what he would like to discuss. and according to white house officials, that's what he sees as progress over the past year on his agenda. those things that you just noted. he'll talk about legislation that he's passed, including that bipartisan infrastructure bill. he'll talk about the economy and focus on the good parts of the economy, where the unemployment rate is going down. he'll talk about how overall, over the past year, they've created new jobs and they feel good about that. and at the same time, say that there are things that he still wants to get done that he believes that he can bill on what he sees as progress, so far, or a foundation in the economy. and that that's something that he intends to do going forward. what he also needs to talk
about, according to the white house, is covid, obviously. the thing that's on everybody's mind, and inflation. so part of he'll discuss is how he's going to address these issues over the next year. and essentially say his work isn't done, he's still got more to do. he can't accomplish everything in one year. and these are the steps that he plans to take going forward. and we've seen the white house try to roll out things and say that he is doing things. there's still this question, though, out there, and i'm sure the president will get asked about this, about where we're headed with this pandemic and how he had promised to defeat it. whether or not that's going to happen, and how he intends to do it, or whether we should be thinking about this a little bit differently. and a number of questions on foreign policy crisis, particularly with russia. there are talks with iran that are potentially reaching a turning point, so there's a
whole list of things that he'll be asked about. but initially, we're told, he'll talk about what he wants to talk about and tout what he sees as his successes, hallie. >> let's break that down into a few of these -- what we could call buckets here, carol, as you have laid out. jo, that's why we want you hear. in the last year, since president has taken office, markets are up, unemployment is down. more people have jobs, right? but inflation is also up. it's a bit a of a mixed picture for him. >> that's exactly right, hallie. what is casting the longest, darkest shadow on the biden administration's performance one year in, really is all about inflation. even those those who are able to invest in the stock market are seeing gains and unemployment is down very significantly, overall, inflation is really what could be the main issue for voters come this fall for the midterms. people look at their budgets, they see record-high prices.
the highest in 30, 40 years when it comes to meat, poultry, the basics, gasoline up very significantly. when you look at those numbers and your bank account as a voter, that's the question for the biden administration. what additional measures should they be taking to tamp this down, beyond what they've already deferred when it comes to the federal reserve, hallie. >> part of this two, and jo alluded to it here, it's the economy, but you have to look at the economy in the context of the pandemic. this is something else the president will be facing questions about, right as his administration is talking about those signups for tests to be able to get, as they have announced plans to distribute hundreds of millions of n95 masks to people around the country. >> that's right, hallie. and i'm really reflecting on the idea that ten months ago, when he had his first big press
conference, the covid pandemic, the koethe virus kill americans and threatening so many people's lives, that that was the number one priority then and it's the number one priority now. and now you really have a biden administration that has had months and months and months to work on this issue and they have gotten a lot of people vaccinated in this country. they were able to build up this robust engine of people around the country, health care workers and others, to really infuse our country with information about why this pandemic was so dangerous and why people need to get vaccinated. but he's also confronting the political dynamics of this. and that is something that the president has not really been able to crack. it's the idea that party affiliation continues to be one of the key things that is the difference between whether or not you're vaccinated or not vaccinated. and add to that the fact that the president came into office, saying that he was going to have most -- the team with the most expertise. that they were going to come and understand messaging, understand how to translate this hard science to americans. and there have been real messaging issues. should people be wearing masks, what kind of masks.
how long should you be quarantining? what's the cdc's guidelines? it's been changing a lot. and of course, that's because science evolves, but also, the american people and a lot of people that i've talked to, they simply are exhausted by this pandemic, but also, very, very confused by the messaging of the biden administration. that comes amid so many other legislative challenges that we'll be talking about, but there's also this idea that he got this huge relief bill passed, this $1.9 trillion covid relief bill, but now people still need help with eviction moratoriums expiring. >> let me take one more on covid to joe and we'll go to those legislative challenges you described to leigh ann. jo, i know you've had a chance. you've spoken with the new testing czar at the biden merpgs. take us through that. >> that's right. i interviewed dr. tom inglesby yesterday about testing and getting those tests distributed. he said, so far, they're very happy with how the website has been working and the distribution is going pretty
well. they say they trust the u.s. postal service to get those tests out in a timely fashion. but we have to remember that not everyone has access to the internet. and that currently is the only way for you to order those free tests, is if you have an address and access to the internet. dr. inglesby promises there will be a phone number available soon. meantime, when you look at the broader picture of manufacturing for tests right now, it is a very tight situation. i have improved two heads of top test makers, one is based here in southern california, and they can't hire workers fast enough. this is what the ceo told me. >> i don't think we have that sound, jo. >> well, bummer. well, what he told me is he's having significant labor shortage issues, because he's unable to hire people fast enough because there's not enough people workers out there, and omicron hitting them very hard, a lot of their workers unable to go to work.
what does that mean? that means their capacity, even though they have a brand-new facility for creating and making and sending out tests, they are a little bit backlogged. plus, they're having issues with the supply chain. truckers and organizing the trucks to come in and out fast enough to satisfy all of the demand for the tests, so you can get them online, in the store, or on the website. all of that is backed up. so the biden administration certainly have to answer for the continual supply chain challenges facing so many consumers across the country, hallie. >> great point, joling. we've talked plenty about voting rights and what this mean as we have this split screen moment on capitol hill. but there are a number of other things that the biden administration would like to get done before the midterms and certainly after. >> that's absolutely right. and this issue of inflation that everyone is talking about. we know that the president will probably address as well today, is it not only a problem because that is something that americans care about, and that's what polling also suggests americans care about and that's what republicans are focusing on,
because that's what their polling also suggests, as well. but this idea of inflation has also disrupted their agenda. the build back better plan, it did not get through before the holiday s, because senator joe manchin said he couldn't support it because of concerns with inflation. he thought this piece of legislation would make inflation worse. that's something that they have to address. and they have something more than voting rights that they want to do. they want to get back to talking about the build back better plan. i'm told by my sources that they're kind of taking a break right now. and that they hope after voting rights passes that after the congressional break next week, that they come back in february and they're able to regroup and reassess and really figure out what they're able to pass. and democrats have -- what they've been trying to do during the biden administration and
their very, very slim majority is pass these long-standing democratic priorities of what they've been wanting to do for years, and sometimes decades. and they're getting some concern, even from some members of their own party, especially the moderates who are facing tough re-election, that they may be need to put some of that aside and focus on the immediate problems that the american people care about, hallie. >> mark murray, let me go to you on this. >> and hallie, it's really interesting that leigh ann was just ticking down all the legislative priorities. what i'm really going to be fascinated in this news conference is does president biden end up settling on a top priority that he really wants to tackle going into year two? as our colleague, mike memoli has put it, this presidency has been almost a whack-a-mole presidency. trying to stamp out the coronavirus, trying to pass build back better, turning attention to voting rights and dealing with infrastructure, and of course, any kind of presidency ends up dealing with multiple challenges. and you always can walk and chew gum at the same time. but i am curious out of all of those issues, is there one that
is the most important? is it really tackling the coronavirus and devoting all of the attention to that. is it trying to end up having an historic type of presidency going in for the build back better? and so i'm really curious on how, as this reset happens, on a communications level, if there's also an issue reset, too, on what is the most important thing to get done, not only for history, but also for his party, as we head into the midterm elections. >> i want to bring in one of our colleagues here at nbc news, our political director chuck todd, the moderator of "meet the press" who is joining us now, along with ashley parker, bureau chief for "the washington post" and an msnbc contributor. chuck, let me go to you. i should note, you are in atlanta. you have been doing the meet the midterms rollout starting today on "meet the press daily." we will be seeing more of it on msnbc news daily. as we look ahead to, if he's on in time 11 minutes from now president biden's news conference, what are the key things you're watching for from
him, chuck km >> look, i am curious if there is an acknowledgement that people are unhappy, right? it doesn't mean he has to agree with their rationale of how they're feel the pain of this dissatisfied country? now, part of it is we are grumpy because of covid. you have been having a terrific discussion here by the way. i think -- i don't want to even sound repetitive, but we are in agrumpy mood as the country. we are fed up with covid, fed up with all of the stuff that comes with it. if you pay attention to politics -- i have had personal conversations with i think every one of you about where is the joy of what we do for a living? everything seems so doom and gloom. are we really going down this perilous path? voters are seeing that, too, and are high anxiety. that's what i am curious about. here's what i am sure he is
going to do. he is going to brag more. he calls 2021 the greatest story never told meaning he thinks -- i was talking with a democratic consultant working on senate campaigns just a few minutes ago about -- he wants to bang his head on the wall about how poorly this white house talks about what they have gotten down, for instance how much made in america aspects of the infrastructure bill were included in here. it's like it should be something that -- this is somebody that work in the u.s. and knows the empty factories, or something that really punches peep in the gut. and the idea that we want to restore made in america. and he is going, how come the president is not talking about that? i think they are going to hear that criticism. but the unnope to me is does he say i hear you? right? i get it. 70% of the country thinks we are heading in the wrong direction. i know why you feel this way. but, man, we are going to turn a
corner. their green chutes, let me show you. that tone, i am curious about, how does he feel the pain of the negativity that's out there even if he doesn't agree with the rationale behind it. >> those who are engaged enough to be watching president joe biden's news conference are going to be seeing clips of it in the news this weekend as well. ashley, you are writing about this, the way people in the country see president joe biden right now. >> i will be looking at the substance like everyone in this conversation. but i am also curious about the tone and the delivery and the way he carries himself because i had sort of the fascinating privilege for this story i wrote today assessing president biden's first year to observe a focus group of suburban swing vote who are were women. one of the things they were asked to do was to write down the first word that came to mind
when they thought about joe biden. those words were, old, incoherent, lazy, sleepy joe, which is obviously a nickname the former president coined for him. and they talked about how president biden seemed weak, how he was much more of a supporting role than a leading actor. one of the women even offered a suggestion. she said, look, if he needs to take a nap, he should take a nap before these speeches because we need them to be there for us. it often gets dismissed as superficial but, again, when a president stands uppens in front of the nation, addresses the country, takes questions from the press, as chuck was saying, the country is looking for someone who can offer bold strong leadership in those uncertain times about delivery, tone, if he shuffles up to the podium or strides up. these are things i have learned that stand in for voters for what type of leader they want.
if it's a leader they can feel confident about when he promises them there are good days ahead stereo one of the things that are certain to come up today is foreign policy. we have breaking news on that front. the pentagon has now just made public, declassified new video of the drone strike in afghanistan that killed ten innocent people, ten civilians back in august. we have to warn you. we are going to show you a portion of this video, you will find it disturbing. in the full version you see the car driving toward and arriving at house, people walking around the court guard before the blast and then of course that moment of impact. we are only going to show that once. richard engle is posted in kiev. we wanted to talk about what happened at the ukrainian border. afghanistan, the fallout of that drone strike that we have just seen is also likely to come up for president biden today?
>> well, they are not completely unrelated. i think when you look at the foreign policy performance challenges that the president has faced, the first and most significant thing that has happened under president biden, by president biden, was the withdrawal from afghanistan. and that video represents a -- a coda, a final moment that as the united states was leaving afghanistan, after 20 years, there was a tremendously chaotic withdrawal from the kabul airport. i was in kabul, at the airport, at the time. people were stampeding to try to get out of the country. if you remember, there were crowds clinging to the bottom of aircraft to try to leave with american forces. then american forces came under attack. and in this environment of a withdrawal that became an evacuation that became
pandemonium, that was under attack by isis, the united states thought it was going to be attacked again, carry out a drone strike, and then almost immediately it was apparent that it hit the wrong target and it hit a family of civilians, specifically the family of an aid worker. and the "new york times" did a tremendous amount of work on this story, really chased it doggedly. i believe it was the "new york times" lawsuit that convinced the pentagon or forced, compelled the pentagon to release this video. but that final episode of america's longest war happened under president biden. and the reason i say it's not completely unrelated to where i am right now is you have to look at the global calculus here. now we are seeing another potential military conflict, and vladimir putin is weighing his options. he is weighing the costs and benefits of going into this
country and taking back a piece of territory that he personally feels he lost, that he personally feels was taken from mother russia and he's looking at the chess board. and he sees the united states wasn't willing to tight the taliban. will the united states fight against him and fight against russia. he doesn't seem to believe that the u.s. will, and he has no reason to believe that the u.s. will, because president biden has said numerous times that the u.s. won't confront russia militarily. instead, he has said that the u.s. and european allies will impose crippling sanctions. that is the calculus that vladimir putin now has to make. he has the forces in place, including new forces that have just been moved into belarus, which could open yet another front. but he has to weigh the administration. he has to way president biden, the man, which is why he's requested so many personal video
calls and telephone calls about this crisis. he's trying to weigh the man himself, and the cost benefits of taking a piece of territory. >> chief foreign sboerndent richard ingle i know you will be watching every minute of this presidential news conference along with the rest of us. we will see you on the nbc news special and nbc news now. i want to get back the our panel here, the folks we have with us. we have we think 90 seconds or so before problem is expected to or set to take that microphone. sometimes these things don't always run on time. that is okay. reporters likely filled the room here. i wanted to do a lightning round with all of you. what do you think is the key question, what do you believe president biden should face as far as this formal q and a from reporters. president biden has answered questions before, in informal settings, pool veys, with
foreign leaders in so-called two and twos. this is the second white house news conference. let me go around the screen here. >> i would ask him if he underestimated his governing mandate, if he understood he had such a slim majority in congress in still trying to do such big bold progressive agenda, if he just underestimated and misread what the people wanted by who they elected. >> 40 seconds left for the rest of you. yamiche, go ahead? >> what took you so long to get behind a voting carveout for the filibuster? i pushed him on the filibuster issue during his last press conference. he was not behind the voting rights carve out then. >> mark. >> what happened to the unity. you mentioned that word nearly
ten times. is that going to be a big focus of your second, third, and fourth years? >> ashley? >> when you gave thattors forceful speech about voting rights in atlanta you conveyed it as being on the right side of history. my question, does president biden believe those people who voted against the filibuster to open up debate on voting rates, are they racist? >> joe, quickly to you. >> american consumers are hurting so much. what additional measures are you prepared to take to curve inflation and bring it down. >> that does it for us. thanks to all of you for watching. "deadline: white house" picks up our special coverage here on msnbc now. se" picks up our special coverage here on msnbc now. hi there, everyone. it is 4:00 in