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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  January 22, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PST

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a very good day to all of you from msnbc headquarters here in new york, welcome to "alex witt" reports, we are following the escalating russian ukraine tensions as leaders across the globe watch to see what vladimir putin is going to do next. now, experts fear it is not a matter of if, rather when russian troops are going to invade. secretary of state antony blinken wrapping up diplomatic efforts meeting with his russian counterpart on friday warning an attack will prompt action from the u.s. and its allies. >> we've been clear, if any russian military forces move across ukraine's border, that's a renewed invasion. it will be met with swift, severe, and a united response from the united states and our partners and allies. >> in addition there's bomb shell new reporting from "politico," and it shows the january 6th has obtained a draft executive order prepared for then president donald trump that
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would have directed the defense secretary to seize voting machines and appoint a special counsel to probe the 2020 election. we will note that trump ultimately did not sign it. this is just one of hundreds of white house documents now obtained by the committee from the national archives after the supreme court rejected trump's bid to shield them from investigators. president biden is hoping for a reset as he kicks off his second year in office. that includes reviving build back better. the president hoping to pass pieces of his massive social spending bill. some progressives are critical of that approach. >> one bug comprehensive bill that would pass the reconciliation process. it's mind boggling to me once again, the bipartisan infrastructure framework passed. it adds 256 billion to the deficit, so it makes it worse. >> and as covid hospitalizations are on the rise in several parts of the country, new reports from
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the cdc show vaccine boosters provide strong protection against severe disease from the omicron variant. we have a team of reporters covering all the latest developments for you on the day's top stories. we're going to start with you nbc's josh lederman at the white house. tell me what we know about the hundreds of trump documents now being reviewed by the january 6th committee. >> reporter: committee members are saying these documents really provide a road map to what former president trump was saying, doing, and thinking on january 6th. and that may be why his lawyers fought for months to try to keep these documents from the committee claiming that they fall under the former president's executive privilege, but it didn't work. >> the january 6th committee combing through former president trump's papers, more than 700 pages that mr. trump tried to block them from getting. the national archives handing them over less than two days after the supreme court gave the green light. >> i would say that the supreme
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court decision is probably the single biggest day of the investigation so far. >> the committee sought mr. trump's calendars, emails with state election officials, handwritten notes from his aides and a draft of an executive order on election integrity. "politico" obtaining that document, which would have directed the military to seize voting machines, citing baseless conspiracies about election fraud. this as multiple investigations swirling around mr. trump appeared to close in on his inner circle. new york's attorney general laying out reams of evidence she's gathered on mr. trump and his children as she investigates the family's business practices. trump's lawyers rudy giuliani and sidney powell subpoenaed by congress, and trump's daughter ivanka asked to testify about what she heard and saw on january 6th. it's unclear whether she'll cooperate. and now a georgia prosecutor requesting a special grand jury to help investigate whether trump committed crimes in that state's election. at issue the former president's
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post-election phone call pressuring georgia secretary of state brad rafensberger. >> i just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. because we won the state. >> reporter: mr. trump defending himself insisting i didn't say anything wrong in the call, but raffensperger, a republican said he'd be willing to testify before a grand jury. >> we already have cooperated, any information they requested we sent it to them. >> reporter: congressman bennie thompson who chairs the january 6th committee says eventual ly all of those documents will be made public for you and i to see, setting the stage for a tense weekend here in washington, which is already on edge over the situation in ukraine with white house officials saying an invasion or an incursion by russia could be
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imminent. the president, he is spending his weekend at camp david where he is expected to huddle today with his national security officials as they try to lower tensions and avert an even bigger crisis in ukraine, alex. >> okay, we're certainly going to have a lot more on that coming up. thank you so much, josh lederman, more on ukraine and from the white house, of course. first, we have some breaking news to share from arizona. that is where the state's democratic party has just formally censured senator kyrsten sinema. let's go to nbc's julie tsirkin who's going to fill us in on what all of this means. >> reporter: yeah, so the arizona democratic party actually just met behind closed doors this morning taking this formal vote to censure her. of course they prepared legislation last fall. if she were to go against what they say is democracy, if she were not to go forward and vote and do whatever it takes to pass voting rights legislation. they said in part in their statement, quote, while we take no pleasure in this announcement, the executive board has decided to formally
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censure senator sinema as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy. i should note that the democratic party after senator sinema voted with republicans against that rules change that would have enabled a majority, a simple majority, 51 democrats to pass voting rights legislation this week. they issued a strongly worded statement saying they will meet today. they also floated the possibility of taking a vote of no confidence in the senator, saying that they may support a primary challenger to her in 2024. now, the public version of their meeting is actually set to get underway in the next couple of minutes. there are a lot of members, over 800 in the arizona democratic party, which means we could see on camera a potential vote of no confidence later today. alex. >> okay. this is pretty extraordinary, julie, thank you so much for bringing that to us. with this breaking news we'll like to bring congressman ro khanna, i'm so glad that you're right here.
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give me your thoughts on what's just happened in the state of arizona relative to senator kyrsten sinema. >> well, it's not surprising. i mean, if you are a democrat and you can't uphold the fundamental right to vote for all citizens regardless of race, then there's a problem and i think what the arizona state party is saying is that kyrsten sinema no longer reflects our values. >> so if that's the case and as julie is reporting it's possible they would then support other democrats instead of her. i mean, very atypically the case if the democratic party to not support someone who would be an incumbent. what does that say to kyrsten sinema? what does that say to her about her future? >> i don't think there's any chance she wins a democratic primary, there are a number of other people who i think would not just win against her in any democratic primary, would win decisively. so then the question is what
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does she do? maybe she runs as an independent. maybe she chooses to do something else, i don't know, but what i can say is that i would be shocked if she was competitive in a democratic primary in arizona. >> but you know, democratic, republican, the fact is arizona is a purple state, so by diluting the support within the democratic party, is that also risky? >> not if we have the right candidate. i think we need a candidate who can win the primary and then appeal more broadly, but you can't win a general electrician, in my view, if your base is depressed. the great politicians, they have the support of their base and then they can expand out and they appeal to the independents and even moderates of the other party. but you have to have your base, and the challenge for senator sinema is she's really lost her base in her own state. >> let me just ask you, you mentioned ruben gallego. i've asked him directly whether he would consider running for a
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seat, as recently as last weekend, ask and he very politely demured a direct answer. he said, look, i'm going to get through this first election, totally makes sense, it would be another two and a half, three years before he would go for her seat anyway. do you know anything that would suggest there is a ground swell of support for ruben gallego to take a run at that seat? >> he has a lot of support. he's a marine. he's served in uniform. he's done a tremendous job on the armed services committee. he has a lot of support amongst his colleagues, but, you know, i don't know his plans. i do know that just the math of it, it's very hard to win the primary of your own state if your state party is censoring you. it's not a good situation. >> okay. thank you for jumping in a little bit early. i'm going to ask you to stay right there. i have a few more questions for you about the things we had planned to discuss. again, your insights are much appreciated. see you in about five, six, seven minutes or so. thanks. let's go back to the latest
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on that russia ukraine situation. nbc news foreign correspondent matt bradley is joining me now from london. so matt, you know, it seems like the tension is only building. where do things stand at this hour? >> well, those negotiations that were happening in geneva between the u.s. and russia, those went right up until yesterday, and they're supposed to spill into next week. even if it looks like diplomacy is kind of reaching an impasse, both sides are still busy arming themselves and bolstering their borders. >> u.s. help is on the way as the first shipments of 200,000 pounds of lethal american military aid arrived in ukraine overnight, backing up a country bracing for war. near ukraine's border with russia, the tension is palpable. >> right on the edge of something very terrible and scary. >> if someone tries to take our freedom again, we will fight
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back. >> reporter: just over the border, more than 100,000 russian troops are practicing, ready to invade ukraine. this weekend president joe biden huddling with security advisers at camp david after top russian and american diplomats met in geneva friday scrambling to stop a war. u.s. secretary of state antony blinken held hasty negotiations with his russian counterpart. >> if russia wants to begin to convince the world that it has no aggressive intent towards ukraine, a very good place to start would be by deescalating. >> foreign minister sergei, meant to defend against russian expansion. the russians say europe and the u.s. are the aggressors. our concerns are not about imaginary, but about real threats and facts that nobody's really hiding. stuffing ukraine with weapons, sending hundreds of western military instructors said
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lavrov. both sides agreed to keep talking even as military equipment keeps flowing in. russia sending fighter jets to belarus near kyiv. a rivalry reminiscent of the cold war that could soon turn very hot. so we're here and the problem here for the white house, alex, is that of course they're in a bit of a pickpickle. they're trying to keep russia at bay, while at the same time manages expectations among european allies and ukraine. the biden administration is has kind of already tied their hands by announcing they're not going to be sending in actual u.s. troops, even if russia does invade. alex. >> yes, it is a delicate dance as always, but i think president biden's listening to the will of the american people on that last point you made. anyway, matt bradley, thank you so much for that. let's go now to the pandemic, everyone, as the u.s. reaches 70 million covid cases,
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nearly 900,000 cases were recorded just in the last 24 hours. experts say they're starting to see signs that the latest surge has peaked on the east coast. meanwhile, the south and west, they are struggling with a wave of new cases. so let's go to nbc's kathy park. she's out in new york city with more. as we said, kathy, i'm glad it seems like we're on the other side of the peak, at least where you are. but what do you think the difference is between east and west coast covid cases? >> reporter: hey there, alex. good amp afternoon to you. the covid surge hit the east coast first right as the weather began turning more people headed indoors because it got a whole lot colder and the virus began spreading very quickly. however, we're starting to see some improvements now. kathy hochul, the governor of new york said yesterday that the positivity rate fell under 10% yesterday. something that we haven't seen for weeks. however, out west it's a much different story.
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>> reporter: cautious optimism with covid cases falling in the northeast, including new york where they've seen a 66% drop in two weeks. >> we have been waiting for this moment. we are finally trending the direction we want to go down, and that is downward, downward, down ward. >> reporter: despite signs of improvement, the rest of the country isn't moving at the same pace. based on nbc news analysis, covid-related hospitalizations are up 35% in the past two weeks, and two dozen states are still reporting a spike in infections. in arizona, health experts say omicron is raging, and it's peak is still weeks away. >> it is finding people very, very easily because it's so contagious. it's as contagious as measles almost. >> reporter: in st. louis, a large network of hospitals are being pushed to the limit, and now federal aid is on the way. >> this is the first time that the health care systems have requested help. >> reporter: and at a hospital
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in san diego, patients are overflowing into field hospitals. >> we're sending somebody to the icu or seeing someone pass away ever shift, every day. >> reporter: but some hopeful news on friday, the cdc released new data that show boosters are 90% effective against severe illness from omicron. >> protection against infection and hospitalization with the omicron variant is highest for those who are up to date with their vaccination, meaning those who are boosted when they're eligible. >> reporter: another remainder to help put the surge behind us. >> reporter: and according to the cdc, roughly 86 million americans are eligible for boosters, but less than half of that population has received that extra dose, and alex, it is worth noting that even though we're seeing some easing up of cases in some parts of the country, the agency is still recommending that you mask up in indoor public settings, even if you're up to date on your vaccines. >> can i just add, too, it's so darn cold outside, i go outside
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and i wear a mask. it's like a coat for your face. i'm thinking why wouldn't you. it feels good. so you can go put your mask on too, my friend because you're standing outside. >> exactly. i'm going to do that right now. >> all right, thank you for that. for all of you, it is a partisan ploy that could make a deciding difference in the upcoming midterms in the 2024 election, but lawmakers right now are pretty much powerless to do little, if anything, about it, and once again congressman ro khanna will be joining me. he's up next on the fight for voting rights. he's up next on the fight for he's up next on the fight for voting for what you need. wooo, yeaa, woooooo and, by switching you could even save 665 dollars. hey tex, can someone else get a turn? yeah, hang on, i'm about to break my own record. yeah. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪
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new developments concerning elections here in the united states, "politico" reports the gop is considering more ruthless redistricting saying after months of play at safe map drawing, some republicans are urging the party to go for the jugular in states yet to complete their congressional redistricts. in missouri a proposal would help the gop maintain their lock on six of the state's eight
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congressional seats, but "politico" reports some state lawmakers are pushing for a 7-1 map instead. tennessee, republicans are successfully advancing a plan to split nashville into three districts. then in florida, governor ron desantis admitted his own redistricting map that would give republicans more seats. it's not just redistricting, though. in georgia one rural county is trying to consolidate seven voting locations into one, and that plan has been temporarily blocked by a voting rights group. in texas a county judge and voting rights advocate there sounding the alarm over restrictive election laws passed leading to one in three vote by mail applications being flagged for rejection. that's in harris county. that is also texas's most populous county. joining me once again, california congressman ro khanna, a member of the house armed services, agriculture and oversight committees. thanks for sticking with us. so let's get to these headlines, congressman, because when you see them, they are from multiple
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states. do you think they all are combined a result of the voting rights bills not passing? >> absolutely, alex. the voting rights bills would have gotten rid of gerrymandering and done what california does, which is have an independent exhibition. the voting rights bills would have made sure you have to have an appropriate number of ballot boxes in every community. you can't just have an african american community and say, well, we're going to have less ballot boxes there, and the voting rights act would have made sure that people have the chance to vote by mail who need to vote by mail and that you couldn't discriminate against certain communities from doing that. it's really a problem that we have. >> okay. so what kind of problem is it in terms of other approaches democrats can auskt if they counter these efforts and if there aren't, does that mean there will be repercussions in the 2022 midterms, and even the next presidential election? >> well, it's three a
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disadvantage. we can overcome it. we shouldn't have to overcome it. it should be a clear principle that everyone can agree on that every vote counts. there are a few avenues. one, i hope that the courts will still have some say. i know some of the gerrymandering has been so atrocious that even the courts have stepped in in ohio, for example, one moderate republican on the court struck down the plan, so maybe we can still have some say in the judiciary to uphold this basic principle, and then we need to o'out organize, out mobilize, recognize that we're going to be competing with one arm tied behind our back. we need to still get voting rights passed in some narrow form. >> yeah. so let's talk about what seems to be out there right now in this bipartisan momentum on changing the electoral count act. that is a 135-year-old law that allies of donald trump used to fight against certifying the 2020 election. a virtual meeting between the
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bipartisan group of senators is planned for monday. what's this about congressman? is it about certification of the election? does it want to undermine the role of the vice president in the process? both? >> not at all. it's so important, i'm so encouraged that this is moving forward, and it's very simple. it's that if we have a presidential election and let's say hypothetically one candidate gets 52% of the vote in arizona and the other candidates gets 48%, you shouldn't have a situation where the arizona state legislature sends a -- and has the losing candidate win that state. that would cause chaos in this country, and this bill starts to reform that. every state in the country has a law right now, a state law that says that the state legislature has to follow the popular vote winner in their state, and this law, the electoral count act reform would say the judiciary can enforce that and you can't retroactively send a slate, even
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if someone loses the popular vote. >> okay. all right. well said then. we'll see what happens monday from this virtual meeting. let's turn now to the january 6th committee which now gets access to trump's documents. how is this going to impact the investigation? >> well, we are trying to get all of the facts, that committee is, and i am encouraged that those documents are finally going to be available to them, and i have confidence in bennie thompson, and i think what is issued is a full report of exactly what happened, who was responsible, and how widespread the blame lies. >> okay. another interesting development, the 1/6 committee has invited ivanka trump to give some voluntary testimony. it's of course aiming to get information about her communications with the white house surrounding and during the attack. it's not clear that she intends to appear, and i'm not going to
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ask you what you think whether she may or may not, but if she resists, what then? is it a subpoena, and do you have any sense of how the committee would go, how far they would go, even congress, would it ever move to hold a member of the former first family in contempt? >> i don't want to speculate on that, i do know that we need the information from anyone who has it and that bennie thompson is going to look at what helps get the facts to the american public, not what someone's background is. in this case, my sense is that people want to know who was communicating with president trump. i mean, there are certain emails or documents released that president trump's own family was texting mark meadows to tell the president to stop it and to speak out more clearly. so you know, it would be very helpful to know what did ivanka trump think? did she speak out? did she urge the president to say something, and was the president not listening? i mean, i think that's very
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relevant. look, if you put your own daughter in a very important position in the white house, then it's fair game to have that person questioned. i mean, if ivanka trump were a private citizen, i don't think it would be appropriate, but she chose in a very senior role j yeah, 100%. one more question before i let you go here on an extended visit here with the show, "the washington post" is -- you're so kind, i'm always glad to have you. "the washington post" oversight committee -- is reporting that the house oversight committee is broadening its investigation into the role of fossil fuel companies and misleading the public about climate change, now asking members of the boards of directors of multiple companies to testify next month. this about their firm's commitments to curbing global warming. what are you expecting at that hearing, and i know you remember the one in october that was really contentious. do you think it will get that contentious again? >> i hope it won't, but carolyn
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maloney and i are co-leading this. you remember we had the big oil executives testify for the first time in the history of congress, in front of congress. they said that everything their company has ever said in the past was all consistent with the science that even when they said that human activity, burning fossil fuels, doesn't cause climate change that they were correct, i hope these independent board of directors who got elected as change agents as climate advocates will tell the truth and come clean. >> okay. double thanks for this day, congressman ro khanna from california, thank you so much. for all of you, it's a simple question whose answer may spell out why this country is so divided politically and perhaps socially as well, and it's coming your way next. well, and s well, and s coming your way next ♪ i see them bloom ♪ ♪ for me and you ♪ ♪ and i think to myself ♪
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: joining me now to help answer it, adrienne elrod, democratic strategist and former senior aid to the biden/hair harris campaign, and shermichael singleton. welcome to you both. first, adrian, let me ask you your reaction to the breaking news we reported not 30 minutes ago that arizona's democratic party is censuring senator kyrsten sinema, what are your thoughts on that? >> i think this spells real trouble for kyrsten sinema. far long time she was on the national stage being ridiculed.
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now she is losing her base at home by the fact that the arizona democratic party, which is ground zero for debates of the democratic party in any state has issued this rebuke. so i think it spells real trouble for her. she's not in cycle this election, she'll be in cycle in '24. she's got some time to try to fix this and try to make good on being a democrat and change her ways in the senate. i think this spells real trouble for her back home. i think it certainly lines her up for a primary challenge in 2024. >> yeah, i mean, ruben gallego's name has been put out there and i asked him directly if he was considering it and he said i'm going to get through 2022 first. that's a name that's out there. do you honestly think that show should be primaried given her stance on everything? it's just your opinion, i know it's no official capacity. >> i mean, look as a democrat and somebody who has seen, you know, her obstruct some real progress by president biden and
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the senate, yes, i would like to see her primary challenged, i think we've got keep in mind that arizona has a significant number of independents, you know, they've got a lot of democrats. they've got a lot of republicans, but a lot of the electorate in arizona is made up by independents. when you see the arizona democratic party do this, this is not representing necessarily 50% of the state. you've got to keep in mind that she has done some things that probably placate well to independent voters and that's something that any democrat has to keep in mind. >> shermichael, this question back to the question that the president posed on wednesday, what is the republican party for these days? >> alex, that's a million dollar question that i think half the country is trying to figure out. i think clearly the republican party is a bit -- in a different version of itself today than it was when i was a stalwart of the party when i was a strategist working on various campaigns. i mean, clearly at that time the
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party focused a lot on limited government, what that meant as far as policy and legislation. clearly the government focused -- their party focussed a lot on family values in a different way than the party focuses on those things today. i could go down a litany of things that the party once meant, at least from my perspective. i think those things have sort of changed. to the president's question, you'll have to ask mitch mcconnell that question as it pertains to voting rights. i will say this, this is something i've given a lot of consideration to. in 2006 mitch mcconnell praised voting for the 1965 voting rights. 98 senators passed, democrats and republicans together. that's clearly changed today. it appears to be that there aren't going to be any republicans that are going to support any piece of what democrats are putting forth, and so i've been trying to figure out are there any things that could potentially be removed so at least something could get passed, and i'm wondering if that could at least bridge the
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divide to give us some type of bipartisanship that could vote together, democrats and republicans to pass some form of voing rights that is beneficial for people of color. that's sort of been my mind-set as i've tried to wade through the complications of this. again, to answer your question about what does the party mean today versus in the past, it's changed, alex. i don't have the answer to that. >> well, that's an answer right there, i appreciate that one. adrienne do you think it was naive for the president to not anticipate the kind of efforts to block his agenda by any means possible. >> yeah, no, i don't think it was naive, alex because, look, i think president biden when he ran for president he made it very clear that he wants to go big or go home, and that's at least what he tried to do, and i think he deserves a lot of credit, continuously deserves a lot of credit for going out there and trying to get some
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really big, bold policies passed. and by the way, no matter what iteration of the build back better act finally gets passed, it is still going to be historic. we're still going to be looking at a 1.5, $1.6 trillion package. you've got to give him a lot of credit for trying to go big, trying to work with democrats and moderates. look, this is not easy. we got to remember that while democrats have control of the house and senate, we have control by very thin margins, which means there's basically no room for error. when you have republicans who are only standing for, by the way, i'll answer this for you, shermichael, obstructionism and not willing to come to the table on basically anything, you really have to work with your caucus to try to figure out how to get this done. when you've got the left side of the caucus, the moderate side and everybody in between, that can be a very challenging task, and we've seen this play out in realtime. i give him absolute credit for going big here. that is what our country needs. that is what democratic voters
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elected joe biden to do. i want to take a listen to something that senate minority leader mitch mcconnell made when he said before that vote, take a listen. >> what's your message for voters of color who are concerned without the john lewis voting rights act they're not going to be able to vote in the midterm. >> the concern is misplaced. if you look at the statistics, african american voters are voting in just as high a percentage as americans. recent survey, 94% of americans thought it was easy to vote. this is not a problem. >> okay. so shermichael, earlier, you were trying to figure out how to make it better, easier, available for african americans to vote. they are, in fact, americans to that point, 94% recently may have found it easy to vote, but that may be because of the accommodations during covid, right? and that was in the 2020 election. >> yeah, yeah. >> let's remind folks as
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repeatedly proven to be fair despite donald trump's whining about it. what's behind mitch mcconnell's statement? >> you know, alex, i want to hope, i want to hope, and i want to be an optimist here, i hope that mitch mcconnell meant to say white americans, and he just accidentally dropped the white. people are going to have to make that decision for themselves. i want to hope it's that and certainly not something more egregious. what that says as it pertains to voting, i've given this a lot of consideration and thought myself as someone who's conservative, i thought, alex, maybe republicans and democrats should think about having a national voting day, a federal holiday to vote where people can be off work, they can go vote, they can take their children with them. you're teaching your kids civics. i remember as a kid growing up in the south i would always go with my grandparents. that's how i fell in love with politics. i think that you should be able to have more voting locations, particularly in heavily populated areas. i don't think that's a partisan issue. i think that's beneficial to,
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again, increase engagement for all americans across a political background or ethnicity. that is a positive and healthy thing for our democracy. i also remember when i was a kid every sunday, the church would always encourage people to vote. i know in some southern states there's a lot of negative against the souls to the polls thing, anything we can do to increase people's chaps chances to vote and participate in the democratic process i think is really, really key and vital to the health of our nation. and i don't see this as a partisan issue. i see this as a country thing and i think republicans democrats alike have to come together and try their best to figure this out. it cannot be partisan. >> amen to all of that, when you talk about souls to the polls, look at you, you're talking about the influence your grandparents had and something that you, you know, take a lot of pride in i'm sure and you love to do. i mean, getting people together, make it an experience and share in it, you know. i don't know. i agree.
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okay. i agree with both of you, in fact. how'd that happen? good to see you both. it is perhaps the most explicit telling of a plan to pump push trump electors into turning over the 2020 election, some of the people in the center of it went into breathtaking detail about what they wanted to do. we're going to ask for reaction from the michigan secretary of state, one of the states in play. i'm going to be speaking with none other than michael cohen, of course donald trump's former personal attorney. we'll be talking about the civil and criminal investigations of the trump organization and the potential legal peril that's facing donald trump himself. l ps facing donald trump himself.
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explosive new claims from people admitting to being involved in a plat to overturn results of the 2020 election. one of the details of the plot included potentially fraudulent
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attempts to seat republican elector college voters across seven states that president donald trump lost. two former trump white house insiders and one organizer for the january 6th rally appeared exclusively on last night's "the beat" with ari melber and laid out their plan to overturn election results in shocking detail. take a listen. >> the ellipse rally was supposed to be like the opening argument, if you will. they were supposed to present hard evidence. that was kind of the hook, and then inside the capitol when the split happened, the green bay sweep started and the objections started. there was supposed to be more evidence presented. >> that's what the green bay sweep was all about. all mike pence was supposed to do on capitol hill that day was send the results back to six battleground states for ten days -- >> peter and we've spoken about the pence, there's also been reports about the attempt to seat fraudulent electors. is that something you ever worked on or would support, for example, in michigan?
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>> that's so funny, not fraudulent electors, alternate electors. yes, i was part of the process to make sure there were alternate electors for when as we hoped the challenges to the seated electors would be heard and would be successful. everything that was done was done illegally by trump legal team, according to the rules and under the leadership of rudy giuliani. >> joining me right now is jocelyn benson, secretary of state of michigan, one of those seven states targeted in this plot. we were playing boris epstein's comments right there. i'm imagining you don't think it was very funny. the difference between what he was saying, these weren't fraudulent, they were alternate. is that just word salad? >> it's a remarkable attempt to shield us from the truth, which was an attempt -- this was an attempt to nullify the votes of 5.5 million michiganders to dismiss the accurate results of the election and replace those results with, you know, those that the president at the time had hoped he would get from
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michigan but didn't, and so it's remarkable that still even with the mountains of evidence that our election in michigan was the most secure and accurate election in recent history with all the audits that affirmed that, over 250, that reality that there are still folks trying to deceive the public to further political agendas that are also run afoul of the law. >> okay. so that last point may negate this question. i'm just asking is there any legal avenue, or is this blatantly fraudulent? >> well, the law is very clear about how electors are chosen in the states, and that's why the people not by politicians or not by a political party, and so in december of 2020 and through january, myself and the governor and attorney general worked in michigan to ensure the law was followed, that the actual slate of electors was submitted to the national archives. the fact that there was this
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alternate attempt to go outside the law and submit an alternative slate is indeed something that wasn't only a coordinated effort that perhaps brought federal legal violations in but was really an effort to, again, undermine our ability in michigan to do our jobs to effectively communicate the accurate results of the election to congress for the electoral college vote on january 6th. >> okay. i just want to ask one more question drilling down into what they may be trying to play off of here when they make these claims. the process requires the winning candidate's party in each state to nominate elector, and they are then certified by governors. those votes are counted in congress on january 6th. so secretary, the law seems clear. the winning party gets to seat electors. is there any loophole somewhere that facilitates this alternate reality that those we're talking about on my friend ari's show. >> no, i think it's important to
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note that these individuals tried to lie not just to the followers and the voters, but to the federal government and to federal officials about who won michigan and the rightful winner of michigan's election and electoral votes and this is also precisely why the work of the january 6th committee as well as investigations from the department of justice is so important. this is one of the most pernicious and coordinated but one of many efforts that were in place during that time to try to subvert the will of the people. we must see accountability, and that's why talking the truth in light of folks ongoing desire to misinform the public about even what happened is so important in this moment. >> so i know that michigan has asked the department of justice to bring charges. how have federal prosecutors responded to this? what do you expect to happen next? >> well, i actually am about to submit additional information to both the january 6th committee and federal law enforcement this week because there is now
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additional evidence that the former president contacted individuals in michigan and asked them to illegally circumvent the electoral process. so we're going to continue working and cooperates with federal authorities as well as the january 6th committee, the truth continues to emerge, all the details and all those involved are held accountable. >> can you share a little bit of what that additional evidence is? >> well, a lot of it has been revealed and uncovered already in the media, regarding how high up and how nationally coordinated this effort was to subvert legal electors in michigan with an illegal slate, and so that coordination and the involvement of political actors, politicians ask and political party in michigan will be part of what we submit as additional evidence to the department of justice as well as the january 6th committee. >> okay. so you're putting it all together and sending it there for them to read in a nice concise package, sounds like to me. much respect for the job you do. thank you so much for coming and talking with me.
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appreciate it. three dozen former white house officials, trump white house, that is, about three dozen. they are strategizing ways to try to keep their old boss from getting reelected, but considering all their outcry about him over the last few years, what can they really do now? one of the leaders of that effort will join us next to explore the possibilities of stopping donald trump. s next to explore the possibilities of explore the possibilities of stopping donald trump. proud tod over two hundred and twenty five million dollars to charity. you can get a car from any company, but none will make a difference like subaru. (jeff) thank you. (bonnie) thank you. (robert) thank you. subaru. more than a car company.
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right now about three doz b former trump officials are discussing how to fend off the power of the former president in the upcoming 2022 and 2024 elections. white house communications directors alyssa fara griffin, former security director of cyber security and infrastructure and a security agency chris krebs, former white house chief of staff, general john kelly, they were just a few on a conference call last week, and my next guest helped organize that call. miles taylor was the department of homeland security chief of staff during the trump
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administration. he is now cofounder and executive director of the renew america movement. miles, welcome. this was so fascinating when this story broke. i'm glad you're here to talk about this because the power of donald trump over the republican party does not seem to be waning at all. you've got local candidates, they're loyal to donald trump. they're popping up in races across this country. talk about the conversations you're having with this group of former and many high profile trump staffers. do you have a strategy? i mean, has everyone agreed on one approach to defeat these candidates or how is this working? >> well, i'll answer in short, alex. we're coalescing around something, but i want to answer your first question, which is why are folks doing this. i think in your previous segments this morning, you hit the nail on the head is right now the january 6th select committee is finding out that there was an explosive systematic end to end white house driven effort to overturn what we know to be the most
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secure election in modern american history, that is damning. it's very concerning and it's one of the reasons these folks are coming together is because the big lie didn't die after january 6th. it's actually going to be one of the biggest features of the midterm elections. in fact, my organization renew america movement has identified at least 75 congressional candidates for office this year who believe the election was fraudulent and it belongs to donald trump. that's really worrying. that's what brought these officials together. it's one of the things that we're looking at is how can we not only counteract donald trump's long-term political goals, but how can we in the short-term prevent his trump endorsed extremists who believe in the big lie from winning an election at the federal, state, and local level. >> and one thing that comes to mind, and it just popped to mind as you were talking here, the question is why. i'm going to ask you why you think when he talks about the big lie and people cheer and
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cheer and lock them up, and you know, we've got to overthrow the country, whatever they cheer in these rallies they have, what did you witness when you were working in the trump administration? did people just listen to what he said? did they ever go away and say, yeah, he's actually not speaking the truth or he doesn't make sense with what he wants us to do, and yet still do it? i mean, what is that about? >> yeah, i mean, this comes down to a phenomenon that's contagious cowardice, and what i saw day in and day out of the administration is people who knew better. that's why i got so frustrated. that's why i quit in protest. you'd go to these meetings, everyone would walk out of the oval office. they would look at each other, and they would say the guy is bleeping crazy, but then they would go about their jobs. there came a point where you had to go out there and just acknowledge it and break the contagious cowardice. one of the reasons why we're pulling folks together is, you
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know, it's been a year since the insurrection, and it's time for some of these ex-trump officials who have been quiet to get off the bed. i wouldn't blame any viewer who's watching rite now from saying, who cares if x trump officials come out. who the hell is miles taylor, who are these people? who cares? i will tell you who cares, alex. donald trump cares. and i've got evidence this week, as soon as this story broke that we were meeting, guess who doksed my phone number, the people close to donald trump in maga circles and my phone was melting down with messages from his supporters who said miles, how dare 30 people counteract the 80 million of us. what that tells me is that they are spooked. donald trump is spooked. he knows it, and it's why he hasn't said anything this week about us meeting behind the scenes. he is worried. he's worriedabout the contact these people can have on his political plans, and that's why we're rolling forward.
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>> i'm glad you're rolling forward, but there are some hills to climb as you make that roll. based on what i'm going to share with the new results from the gallop poll, it shows that overall slightly more u.s. adults reported leaning democrat in 2021. okay, that's for the whole year. however, look at the fourth quarter. that saw a dramatic shift in party preference with republicans having a five-point advantage over democrats. that's in the last quarter. we've been talking about all these issues relatively nonstop in the buildup certainly to january 6th anniversary. you know, these people still consider donald trump as the leader of the gop. does it show that remaining loyal to the former president is working for the republican party, or is there some sort of a different gop constituency that's emerging in any significant way that you're trying to tap into? what are the issues they're caring about? >> it's the second part of your question, yes, there is an emerging constituency. we are seeing cracks in the
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edifice of trumpism. i'll give you some specific numbers. john bolton's political action committee did some really, really good impartial analysis over the past few weeks and did a national poll of republicans that found a significant drop in the number of republicans nationwide that self-identify as trump republicans. now, let me give you the data point. in september of last year, one in three republicans in this country said i'm a trump republican when they just did this most recent poll, fewer than one in ten or around one in ten republicans identified that way. his support is actually waning in the base. it's tough to see because it looks like the gop is still under the darth vader strangle hold of donald trump, but it's waning. his influence is waning, and it's creating an opening, and that specific opening is going to win over disaffected republicans and getting them to vote for pro-democracy candidates and against some of these extremists that donald
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trump is backing in the midterms. >> okay. i'm going to believe you, miles taylor, because i always believe everything you're telling us. please do so again soon, i want to hear how this is all developing and what you guys are coming forward with, strategy and all of that. appreciate your time. thanks, miles. back to that breaking news from the top of the hour, kyrsten sinema censured by the democratic party in arizona. i'll be speaking with former obama white house press secretary robert gibbs in our next hour. we'll be talking about that and the president's best strategy for his year two. i'll also be speaking with donald trump's former personal attorney michael cohen about those twin investigations into the trump organization. we're going to discuss the legal trouble trump is facing along with don jr. and ivanka. acing a acing a with don jr. and ivanka. unlike most sinus treatments, it provides instant relief that lasts up to 12 hours. its powerful decongestant targets congestion at the source,
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