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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  November 24, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PST

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good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington, as a nation gripped by the exploding number of covid cases takes new hope today in the anticipated delivery of vaccines to the most vulnerable americans as early as december 10, as described in a briefing moments ago from the administration's operation warp speed. today president-elect joe biden and his transition team can begin interacting with top officials in government health agencies. now that the gsa has finally acknowledged that biden is the
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apparent winner, 16 days after he was actually declared the victor. that frees up million of dollars and, importantly, makes the transition official initiating background checks on the president-elect's nominees. president trump says his legal team is moving full speed ahead even though they have lost every major battle that could have affected the outcome. the president-elect officially announced his nominees on monday. he will not unveil his full economic team until next week but nbc news has confirmed that former fed chair and past head of the white house council of economic advisers, janet yellen, will be his nominee for treasury secretary, the first woman for that role. on wall street, the dow cleared
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30,000 in the last hour, a new all time intraday high. joining me now, nbc news correspondent geoff bennett in delaware and "weekend today" co-host peter alexander at the white house. geoff, first to you, the biden transition entering a key phase. we expect to see him as soon as 1:00 unless there's some delay. we expected this weeks ago, to begin with the transition. now they can actually start doing their jobs. >> reporter: you're right about that, andrea. and look, in preparing to speak with you, i went back and looked at the calendar and made note of the fact that the biden transition was supposed to have lasted 74 days. because of this unprecedented delay by president trump, biden has now lost 17 days. that's almost a third of the planning time during his transition that he has now lost. and there are real opportunity costs to that, even though joe biden has the obvious advantage of not being a rookie. this is someone who has committed almost 50 years of his life to public service, both as
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a senator and then eight years as the vice president. but today, i'm told, the outreach, the interactions between the outgoing trump team and the incoming biden administration, has started, as the biden official try to get a good read on what's happening at the various agencies. this is particularly important at the department of health and human services, and the other public health agencies, as the biden team tries to escalate the effort against this covid fight. meantime, as that's unfolding, this event is set to happen an hour from now in wilmington, where biden and vice president elect kamala harris will appear with the six nominees for cabinet. keep your eyes on the stagecraft here, this is the biden transition team's way of signaling to the world, to the country, to the federal bureaucracy, that the trump era is over and they will return to
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a more traditional approach toward governance. and what's also interesting here is that we're told that the nominees and appointees themselves will speak publicly. andrea, as you know, that typically is not done. nominees for cabinet positions usually try to keep their heads down, try to barrel straight through to their nomination without speaking publicly. a biden official says that's by design, they want to introduce these selections to the american public and the old playbook for how this is done has been thrown out, andrea. >> and peter, this morning president trump wanted his supporters to know he's got giving up, even though they've lost so many of these cases, they haven't won any of the cases. peter, in pennsylvania, as you know, today, they certified, the governor signed off on it, so pennsylvania is gone, georgia is gone. we saw the certification in michigan yesterday. we're still seeing very few public acknowledgements from republican senators, certainly
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nothing from mitch mcconnell. >> reporter: andrea, you're right, the door hasn't just closed here, in many ways it's slammed on the president's hopes to win this election. i'm told at a meeting yesterday at the white house the president was told by some allies and some advisers including one of his attorneys, jay sekulow, basically that he needed to allow this transition process to begin because of a combination of things they were witnessing right now. one, the legal challenges being rejected. two, the pr machine that had really been disastrous in the eyes of some of these allies, rudy giuliani, and one of the president's brief, i guess you could say, attorneys, sidney powell, in the event we remember from last week. and beyond that, the simple facts on the ground, this wasn't going in the right direction and republican allies and business leaders were getting increasingly frustrated with the president. as one ally said to me, the president had to protect his own brand, and that brand is that he is going to continue to fight on this issue, refusing to concede, saying in a tweet last night after the gsa produced that
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letter of ascertainment that he believed they would still prevail. today he said, remember, the gsa has been terrific on all this, he said, emily murphy, the head of the gsa, saying she did a great job but that she does not determine who the president of the united states will be, the president not so much holding out hope, but trying to connect with his base of supporters, tweeting out a poll from breitbart saying that 79% of trump supporters believe the election was stolen from them. the reason they believe that is because the president has told them that's the case. in fact they haven't produced any evidence of widespread fraud to the courts. now certifications in biden's favor have occurred in at least two more crucial states, michigan and pennsylvania. >> and peter, we certainly don't know the methodology of a breitbart poll, that's the
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president's assumption and breitbart's assumption of the number of supporters. but certainly a third to a half, by many estimates, of people who voted for him, the total number who voted for him, 73, 74 million people, as a big number, of course. that is exactly the danger of this delayed transition, not getting started for joe biden, it is undermining the very nature of democracy, peter. >> reporter: you're exactly right, and to that point, mark meadows, the president's chief of staff, yesterday evening sent a letter around to those staff members who work not just in the white house but in what's described as the executive office of the president, where he basically said that he had appointed points of contact to liaise with their counterparts that are part of the transition. he also wrote what's on your screen right there, unless specifically authorized, eop, executive office of the president, personnel are not permitted to speak directly with a member of the biden transition team or the federal transition
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coordinator. this, again, the words of mark meadows. the biggest takeaway from his letter, frankly, was that they had received that letter of ascertainment, they were aware of it and that it called for the start to that transition process. >> and apparently secretary azar said at that briefing today on operation warp speed that the warp speed officials are now authorized to speak to the biden transition, that's clearly important, because the delivery sequencing for the vaccines can begin after december 10. >> reporter: which joe biden had warned could be delayed by weeks or months if that sort of cooperation didn't exist. >> exactly. thanks so much. peter, we're going to see the president today, a rare sighting given what's been happening lately, it all has to do with the thanksgiving turkey. >> reporter: the turkey pardon could take place at 2:00, it has the potential to be a more lighthearted moment which would
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be a big break for the president who has been privately fuming over the course of the last weeks. >> let's hope he doesn't take it out on that poor turkey. geoff bennett, peter alexander, thanks to both of you. senator chris coons, democrat from delaware, joining me now. certainly a happier day for the biden team in wilmington who can now start working on background checks as these nominees come forward and begin to think about getting ready for confirmations. >> that's right. this long overdue transition is now fully, finally, completely under way. i'm excited by the nominees announced by president-elect biden and to work with them and to support their nominations and confirmation. we should follow long-established precedent and have the relevant committee hearings before the inauguration so that the most senior members of the biden/harris cabinet are in place on the very first day
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of the next administration. >> that would be a really rapid schedule, is there any sign that mitch mcconnell is going to let that happen? >> well, i've spoken to a number of republican colleagues and i am hopeful that they will work with the incoming administration, particularly given the seasoned, senior, qualified folks who have been nominated. president-elect biden has shown real leadership in moving forward with nominees who are both experienced, well-known to members of the senate, folks who have been previously confirmed to senior positions, but who also break new ground. we're going to avril haynes, first woman to lead the intelligence community, janet yellen, first woman to lead the treasury, the first latino-american to lead the
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department of homeland security. these folks have shown the ability to be confirmed to senior positions by the senate in the past. >> when i said that it would be a rapid schedule, obviously a rapid schedule given how late the transition is starting. it would normally not be so. but mitch mcconnell also has not been willing to deal on covid and has not even endorsed or said that joe biden is the president-elect. >> well, regardless of what the majority leader has said, the reality is that joe biden is the president-elect, and kamala harris is the vice president elect, and with the gsa administrator now recognizing that reality and having delivered a written ascertainment, the transition is going to be well under way. it's not the president-elect's fault that the transition has been delayed by several weeks by outgoing president trump's temper tantrum about the transition. and frankly, i am optimistic that we will promptly begin the
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appropriate consultations with those senators who are most likely to be the committee chairs and that these very qualified nominees will be able to make progress. we shouldn't be holding up the transfer of critical national security information, for example, to the president-elect or to his team, or the transfer of critically needed public health information about operation warp speed, and planning for the delivery of vaccines to more than 300 million americans, just because president trump steadfastly refuses to accept the outcome of the election. >> do you think mcconnell is trying to wait until after the georgia runoffs on january 5 before acknowledging biden's success? >> i certainly hope not, that's a long time to wait. that's until january 5. i frankly think that would harm our whole nation. i think it's important that majority leader mcconnell show that he recognizes that we need to fund our recovery, that we need to provide an additional
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round of funding, yes to small businesses, but also to state and local governments, to families and individuals who are struggling, even on a day that the dow jones hits a new all time record, there is a big difference between the stock market and what's happening in grocery markets in local communities all over our country. we've got families that are hurting and struggling. we have more than 6 million americans, andrea, who are on the verge of being evicted either because they're late on their mortgages or on their rent. and we need to take decisive steps to put a floor under our recovery. people who hold accounts should be pleased about the dow, but it shows the recovery is under way and we should be able to work across aisle to deliver
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additional support that small businesses and employers and employees and their families need and deserve going into this holiday season. >> do you think joe biden should reach out to senator mcconnell? >> i think they should reach out to each other, as folks who served together for a long time, who know each other, and who have worked well in the past, i do think it's important for the majority leader and the president-elect to have a personal conversation promptly. i was really encouraged by the outcome of the conversation the president-elect had with speaker pelosi and with minority leader schumer here in wilmington last week and i think they laid the groundwork for a very strong working relationship. i look forward to being part of those in the senate who are helping carry forward president-elect biden's agenda for his administration. i think he won a strong electoral victory. he in the end i think will have received 80 million american votes -- excuse me, that i think we will see in the end that
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president-elect biden has accomplished what is a significant win in the electoral college as well as in the states that have certified his election, but we have unfinished work to do, in working across the aisle, in crafting a bipartisan agenda that will deliver relief to the american people. and a key part of that is for president-elect biden to reconnect with someone who has been a colleague in the past and who could be a partner in the future if he chooses the responsible path of cooperating with the incoming administration and that of course is majority leader mcconnell. >> senator chris coons, thank you very much. a programming note here, president-elect joe biden will talk exclusively with nbc's lester holt in his first interview since the election. that's tonight on "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. we hope to have that tomorrow on this program as well. new details on operation warp speed, including how soon people may be able to get, actually get the vaccine.
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we're learning more today about how covid vaccines will be rolled out once they're approved by the fda. just in the last hour, the government's operation warp speed held a press briefing on the timeline for distributing vaccines. >> as many of you know, the fda has said it will consult with its independent vaccine advisory board before making a decision on emergency use authorization
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for a covid-19 vaccine. if all goes well, we could be distributing vaccine soon after december 10. we believe we can distribute vaccine to all 64 jurisdictions within 24 hours of fda authorization. >> joining me now, dr. peter hotez, dean of baylor college's school of medicine at texas children's hospital center. dr. hotez, thank you very much. your reaction to what they heard today? they didn't give enough details to satisfy my curiosity about how this will be phased and whether or not individual states are already developing names and contacts for people who would be -- would qualify for the first vaccine. but did you hear enough to know how it's going to work? >> well, you know, communications has never been the strong suit of operation warp speed. it's been done with a lot of scientific rigor and integrity with the clinical trials, but
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they've never had a communication strategy or plan. they've always left it to the pharmaceutical ceos who more often than not have bungled the message. now we have a significant percentage of americans who will refuse covid-19 vaccines even if they're made available. so that's got to be fixed, which i think we can do, but in the meantime we know that pfizer has requested emergency use authorization to the u.s. food and drug administration. they'll take two or three weeks to pore over the data, they don't just take press releases at their word, they go into the data in exquisite detail, confirm the manufacturing quality control and assurance, and bring this to the fda committee, and once that get green lighted, within 24 hours they can begin releasing vaccines to the public. pfizer has about 50 million doses made but only half that
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for the u.s. so that's 25 million. remember, it's two doses, so they'll have enough vaccine now to vaccinate about 12 million americans. it will take a while for it to get up to speed. but other vaccines are coming. the hope is that as we enter the first and second quarter of next year we'll have a significant percentage of the u.s. population vaccinated as we move forward. then we'll have other vaccines coming along like the moderna and astrazeneca oxford vaccine, the j&j vaccine, and the global ecosystem, our vaccine and others. that's how i see the next weeks and months rolling out. >> i mean, they said that moderna is probably a week behind pfizer. pfizer of course is the extremely low temperature, 100 degrees -- minus 100 fahrenheit, so that requires a challenge for the military in distribution and a challenge particularly in rural areas, areas which don't have much access to the walmarts and the other distribution
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centers. >> yeah, that's right. of the four, the first four vaccines in operation warp speed, the two mrna vaccines, and the adino virus, three of those are mostly refrigeration. moderna does require a freezer but it can be stored at 4 degrees refrigeration temperature for a month. the most problematic one is the first one, the pfizer one, which requires the minus 100 degree freezer temperature. that will be tough because many american adults now get their vaccines from supermarket pharmacies and local pharmacies. that will be more problematic. the four-star general in charge of this, gus perna, has had a lot of time to think this through and they've contracted with mckesson. i think it will go okay. the u.s. does this carefully orchestrated dance every year for flu vaccine, we give out 100
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million doses of flu vaccine starting in august and going through the fall. this is a bit more ambitious, but it's not so completely different. so i do have some optimism that we'll be able to begin vaccinating the public in significant amounts. it's a matter of keeping everyone alive and not doing reckless things between now and the early part of next year. >> that's really true. and we don't know how long, very briefly, we don't know how long the immunity lasts for any one of these individual vaccines yet? >> yeah, that's exactly right, andrea, we don't know about the durability of protection. so the question i often get asked is, hey, dr. hotez, which vaccine are you going to wait for? the answer is, don't wait. first of all, you won't have a lot of choice, at least in the beginning, you take whatever vaccine is offered you to because there are still a lot of unknowns in terms of length of protection. all of those vaccines, including ours, works by the same process, they induce what are called virus neutralizing antibodies into our system. that's what prevents us from going to the icu or into the
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hospital. because they all work pretty much by the same way, don't overthink it and try to cherry pick which vaccine you're going to wait for. get what you can, get those virus neutralizing antibodies into your system, into your family's system, keep out of the icu, and later on, if it turns out that the vaccine you got is not -- doesn't protect for very long, i think it's likely you'll be able to get a boost with either the same vaccine or a different vaccine, but get what you can now. >> such great advice. thank you very much, dr. peter hotez, and a very happy thanksgiving to you and your family. >> all the best to you and your family too. >> thank you. in north dakota, it has the highest daily mortality rate in the country, a surge in cases so dramatic, dozens of air force nurses are being enlisted to help. nbc news correspondent gabe gutierrez joins us from bismarck, north dakota. how will this work with these
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nurses being flown in? >> reporter: hi there, andrea, good afternoon. we've seen testing lines in major cities throughout the country. right now you're looking at the demand for drive-through testing in north dakota. it really is an incredible sight. local officials here say they have about a thousand covid tests that they distribute each week. it takes them about two hours or so to do so. you can see cars have been lined up here pretty much throughout the morning. andrea, you mentioned those air force nurses that are now coming to north dakota, spread out at hospitals across the state. dozens of nurses, many of them critical care nurses that are now coming here to the state to help deal with a shortage of medical staff at some of these hospitals. we spoke with a few of them earlier this morning including one captain who had served multiple tours in iraq and afghanistan. he's now preparing for the war against covid. >> unfortunately this is not my first time away from home over the holidays.
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i've done multiple deployments before this. you never get used to it. but this is a very worthwhile interfere and we're proud to be here to support our brothers and sisters in north dakota in this fight. >> reporter: now, andrea, those nurses had been previously deployed -- rather, air force nurses had been deployed to california and texas and expect to be here in north dakota within a month. the health director in north dakota says the frustrating part of this says folks getting tested here today will have to wait five to seven days to get their results, andrea. >> that's a long wait. gabe gutierrez, thanks for being with us. the biden transition finally getting under way after weeks of delays from the trump administration. what the incoming president will be focusing on now and how the wait set the biden team back. stay with us, this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. tcher car insurance
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president trump has finally given the go-ahead to the team charged with green lighting the formal transition process at gsa but he's still not conceding, 2 1/2 weeks after the race was called. tweeting today, remember, the gsa has been terrific and emily murphy has done a great job but the gsa does not determine who the next president of the united
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states will be. but now that the general services administration is designating joe biden as president-elect and the apparent winner, it clears the way for the biden team to receive vital resources and right now the president is at the brady room at the podium, we'll go right to the white house. >> despite everything that's taken place with the pandemic, i'm very, uh, thrilled with what's happened on the vaccine front that's been absolutely incredible. nothing like that has ever happened medically, and, uh, i think people are acknowledging that, that it's having a big effect. but the stock market has just broken 30,000, never been broken, that number, that's a sacred number, 30,000, nobody thought they would ever see it. that's the ninth time since, uh, the beginning of 2020. and it's the 48th time that we've broken records in -- during the trump administration and i just want to congratulate all the people within the
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administration that worked so hard and most importantly, i want to congratulate the people of our country, because there are no people like you. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> and with the declaration that the dow has passed 30,000, without taking questions, the president of the united states w has not taken questions since his election, since his election defeat, has left the briefing room, on a good day for vaccines and a good day for the stock market. max steyer, thank you very much for being with us. we want to talk about the transition, the awkwardness, the delay, and you can see by the president's body language and his rare exit, again, from the briefing room without taking questions since the election was called for joe biden, he is still not acknowledging himself this defeat. max, of course, is the ceo --
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i'm sorry. for the commission for presidential -- the partnership for public service, i should know that, the nonpartisan partnership for public service, forgive me for that, max. let's talk about how much this has delayed the transition and what is the handicap for joe biden going in? >> certainly. first of all, thank you so much, andrea, for being such an important voice for knowledge and information. you stated it exactly right, the president, frankly, the concession issue and the preparation for the transition are very separate matters. what's really important is that our constitution says that a new president gets sworn in on january 20. that individual and the team that he puts together is responsible for dealing with all the issues you've been covering in the news, the pandemic, the economic consequences, the issues around racial equality, those are known challenges. there will be a bunch of unknown things as well.
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so a transition is fundamentally about can that team be ready on second one to manage all those issues in a $5 trillion, 4 million person organization. so it's really important that the gsa has moved forward to cooperation with the incoming biden team. that means they will have access to agencies so they know what's happening with the vaccine, they'll also be able to have their personnel go through the difficult systems, so all the announcements you're hearing right now, all those folks, fbi investigations, agreements with the office of governmental ethics, all that work can now begin in earnest. that's critically important to know that that team can be ready to go at second one. >> do they need background checks, to be briefed, to have access for the first time, do they need a background check to get the intelligence they have been? >> so the law permits the
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transition team to actually get interim clearances before the election. so the people who are going to need that classified information should have been cleared already so that they can have access to classified and confidential information. but to actually be in permanent positions after the inauguration, they will need a permanent clearance and a full field investigation for the senate confirmed members. the standards i think are really challenging. it's really an obstacle course to get into these jobs. that's, again, why starting really early is fundamental to having your team in place and be being ready to go. >> as i understood it, they couldn't even get those interim clearances because there wasn't any permissible contact prior to the gsa decision last night. >> so actually, and really importantly, this was in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, there was an amendment made to the transition act in 2004 that really permitted these interim
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clearances to take place. the gsa has actually been cooperating with the biden team for quite some time. it's really only after the election that the real challenge took place. so the biden team has had access to the interim clearances that they need to be able to access critical information here and now. post-election, one would have hoped that you would have seen the decision to permit the next phase of transition cooperation to occur, but up until now they actually have had quite a bit of cooperation and they've been phenomenally well-organized, starting really early with really strong leadership in preparing for this moment. they are now set back by a couple of weeks. you know, it's a gigantic task in the ordinary course, made harder by having to do this virtually. the delay did not help. but they're very experienced people who have been investing a lot of energy early on to making this work right and we all have an interest in seeing it
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actually occur, because it's about our safety at the end of the day. >> there was an email from chief of staff mark meadows to the executive office staff on monday acknowledging the gsa had made this ascertainment and adding that unless specifically authorized, executive office of the president personnel are not permitted to speak directly with members of the transition team or the federal transition coordinator. what's that about? >> i can't answer exactly what's in chief of staff meadows' head on that. i would say that more broadly, there are -- there's an mou, memorandum of understanding, between the incoming administration and the trump administration. it's so important this be done in every way possible to enable the biden team to get the information that they need. you know, it's a phenomenally large job to run the agencies,
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to handle the problems that are on our doorsteps right now. so my hope would be -- you know president bush directed his chief of staff, josh bolton, to make the outgoing bush administration cooperation the best transition that had ever been. my hope would be that after this ascertainment, that the trump administration would take a page from that book and do everything they can to help their successors succeed, because again, we're all on the same plane together. we should all want to make sure that president-elect biden and his crew is able to fly the plane for all of us in the safest possible way. >> i don't think mark meadows has gotten that message, or maybe someone is giving him an opposite message. max stier, thanks for telling us the way it should be done. as the president-elect prepares to introduce his foreign policy team in the next hour, we can expect dramatic changes from the trump administration's policies. but is it obama world revisited?
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biden was asked yesterday about the likelihood also of republican opposition during confirmation hearings. >> reporter: do you expect republicans to put up significant roadblocks to your nominations? >> are you kidding me? >> reporter: why did you go with national security first? >> because it's national security. thanks. >> joining me now is ambassador wendy sherman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs, wendy, great to see you, thank you very much. you know all these people, you've worked with a lot of these people, you know their expedience. there is some suggestion that this is obama revisited rather than the aggressive new, shall we say, progressive approach to the crises at hand. what do you say about that? >> what i say about that is, if there was ever a time for seasoned, professional competence, it is now. and every one of these people who have been identified and
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will be put forth for their positions are experienced, are professional, are competent. they are wide-ranging thinkers. they represent the diversity of our country. they'll be able to reach out across america and across the world. i think it's just a first-rate team. they'll all bring their own views and opinions. then at the end of the day, the choices are the president of the united states'. we've got an age range here, a diversity range here, a background range here. so i think we'll have just a terrific team. >> what about the iran nuclear deal? you helped negotiate that. it was a torturous, long period. i was there for a lot of it, and saw how difficult it was to achieve. and then it was thrown out by the trump people. now they are slapping new sanctions on iran and making it a lot harder to get back to square one, as joe biden said he wants to. how difficult will it be now that iran has broken out, is producing 12 times the amount of uranium it was allowed under the
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accords, and now wants the sanctions lifted before it will go back to the status quo? >> i think this will be a very difficult process. i think everything that the president-elect, the vice president elect, have to do on their team is a very tough set of challenges, andrea. i think in terms of the iran nuclear deal, i would hope the administration would first reach out to the europeans. the president-elect has said he wants to reestablish our working relationship with europe in a very profound way. they've been in this deal, they stayed in this deal to get their fingertips about what's going on. no doubt there are a lot of chips that president trump put on the table in terms of more sanctions. and the iranians have put more chips on the table. so this will not be easy, and the iranians have a presidential election coming up in june of 2021, so the window of opportunity is somewhat narrow. i do think there's progress that
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can be made on the nuclear deal and on other issues. it's just going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of time. it's going to take a lot of persistence. but you know what that's all about. >> and rachel maddow reported extensively last night on the open skies treaty, 1992, end of cold war treaty, 34 countries allowed to fly over each other's countries, spot troop movements, it's kept us staff. not only has the trump administration canceled the order for new highly specialized planes, boeing modified planes to be in this new fleet, they are supposedly right now liquidating the current fleet to make it impossible to get into this treaty. >> it just makes no sense at all. as the president-elect said, in the brief clip that you did, he put up for confirmation the national security team first because it's national security. the open skies treaty has kept us all safer.
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the trump administration said that russia wasn't really playing by the rules. but you know, when people don't play by the rules, it doesn't mean you end the rules. it means you try to correct the bad behavior and to deal with that behavior. and you don't take down a whole system that's working for us because one of the parties is not doing what they need to do. you try to find a better way forward. you know, the trump administration has not been about the hard work that is necessary. it's about tactics. it's about pulling out. and i think you will see a president-elect biden and a vice president elect harris and their team be about solving america's problems here at home, and as the president-elect said, making sure that we are not just about our power, we are about the power of our example. >> ambassador wendy sherman, thank you so much, thanks for being with us today. an exciting time in the national security front. ahead, a lot more on joe biden's new cabinet choices,
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including the first immigrant to lead the department of homeland security. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us on msnbc. thunder r] [ engine rumbling ] ♪ [ beeping ] [ engine revs ] ♪ uh, you know there's a 30-minute limit, right? tell that to the rain. [ beeping ] for those who were born to ride, there's progressive. to fight wrinkles? it's what i use! neutrogena®. the #1 retinol brand used most by dermatologists. rapid wrinkle repair® visibly smooths fine lines in 1 week. deep wrinkles in 4. so you can kiss wrinkles... and other wrinkle creams goodbye! rapid wrinkle repair®.
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the new national security
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team that joe biden is going to be unveiling momentarily is much more diverse than the concerned team and has a dramatically different perspective on key policies. to head homeland security and reshape immigration, for example, among other big responsibilities, biden has chosen the first immigrant and latino for that post, cuban-american alejandro mayorkas. to lead all 17 intelligence agencies, biden has picked the first woman for the job, former cia deputy director avril haines. he has created a new post, energy czar with a seat on the national security council, for former secretary of state john kerry who has been at every climate negotiation for decades including to help negotiate the paris accords which biden plans to rejoin. joining me now to talk about all these big moves, jen palmieri, former communications director to president obama and hillary clinton's presidential campaign and brendan buck, former senior adviser to john boehner.
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jen, there are a lot of firsts on inthis team, but also highly qualified with a big obama brand on them. >> that's natural, considering the obama administration was only four years on, we haven'tn in a situation where there was such -- where there was a transition back to the democrats so quickly, right? so the democrats have a deep talent bench. it makes sense you're picking experienced people but people who are being elevated to positions that they haven't had before. and i think the team has been really thoughtful about this. you know, it's thoughtful to bring john kerry in as the climate envoy. a lot of stature on issues a lot of people care about. has enormous repercussions, implications for all across the government to make that a cabinet agency. you know, having avril haines be the first dni, that shows some
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foresight, too. so i think that it's an experienced team, but it can be a very creative team with experience comes that ability to be creative and making these -- and making these appointments but also in how they govern. so it's a promising start. >> and brandon, another one of the firsts is alejandro mayorkas, cuban american, is an immigrant. has that experience in sharp contrast to the way president trump started his presidency, of course, by slamming mexican americans. plus the muslim ban to say nothing of changing the whole refugee policy and immigration policy. how much can he do by executive order through executive action? and presumably he'll be acting quickly on the dreamers because he helped craft that policy in the first place. >> yeah, that's a big one. and i think one of the interesting things about this pick, it's going to be an early
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test for the republican party how much they still want to be the party of trump. immigration was obviously so core to what trumpism was in the last four years, building the wall. as you mentioned, daca. dhs is one of those places where you have great latitude to do things you think are in the best interest of the country. broad latitude over immigration policies. so that also means he's going to have to answer a lot of questions. joe biden has put forward a number of people who i think are clearly very qualified and the word i've gotten is that he's going to be able to have a cabinet republicans are generally going to be confirming folks. but that doesn't mean that everyone is going to get a free pass. there are still going to be tough questions asked on policy, on their backgrounds, people are going to be vetted very hardly. they need to be prepared. we were talking about these mainstream picks. let's not just assume they're all going to get through very easily. >> what signals are you getting if any, from mitch mcconnell? >> yeah, i do think they are going to be allowing the
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president, as you should, to have a cabinet. thus far, none of the people that have been named have stuck out really as big problem children. there is always the thought that some of the potential 2024 contenders may try to pick a fight to make a name for themselves on a certain issue. maybe dhs is one of those. but i think they'll be able to go forward. it's clear that biden has picked the first few folks with an eye toward confirmation because it's going to be a narrow senate, assuming republicans are in control. they are going to need to go across the aisle to be able to get people together. but i think what we're hearing so far is that they will largely be confirming the foelks that we've seen so far. >> jen, let's talk about janet yellen. she hasn't been named yet, but we understand she is going to be the treasury secretary and the rest of that team will be built out and probably announced next week. the first woman, incredibly well experienced.
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huge academic reputation as well as having run the san francisco fed, which has the whole west under its umbrella for years, then going to the federal reserve later as chairman. also being the cea chair. so having white house experience. so how good will she be at dealing with the hill because her first job is going to probably be to negotiate covid relief. >> right. and it's rare that you have a pick where all were sort of all interests align. she's extraordinarily experienced. she was actually chair of the fed. that is a position where you have to be very skilled and negotiating, managing politics. it's a difficult place to maneuver around. and she's also seen as somebody who wants -- who favors regulation. is concerned about -- might be looking at wall street
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regulation and, you know, relatively proactive way. she's somebody who worries about family. she has that in her background, too. what the economy is facing, she's a really great pick, and she's not a political person, but that when you've been in this economic position as long as she is, you develop a lot of political skills in terms of being able to negotiate and get things done. she commands a lot of respect. i think that she'll do really well. they are lucky to have all of that combined into one -- all that experience into one person. >> well, it certainly says a lot about this team. it's not a team of rivals, as we saw before. it's a team of people who have all worked together but may come from different perspectives. so good to see you, jen, and thanks so much to brendan buck.
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as we go into a thanksgiving weekend, let's hope things continue to move forward. that does it for today on "andrea mitchell reports." followous facebook and twitter @mitchellreports. lester holt's big interview is coming up on "nightly news" and we'll see more of it on msnbc. kasie hunt takes over next with "mtp daily" only on msnbc. honestly, i add a couple of tide pods and just stuff everything in. it works. and of course, everyone thinks their way is right. i stood in line for hours to get this. it has to be washed on delicate. it has to be cold water, it's better for the planet. the secret is, with tide pods it all works. of course it does. told ya! they're going to do it their way, and i get a break from the laundry. no matter how you wash, it's got to be tide. a livcustomizeper iquickbooks for me. okay, you're all set up. thanks!
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good day from washington. i'm kasie hunt in for chuck todd. we want to go right to wilmington, delaware, at the top of this hour because we're following breaking news. any minute, president-elect set to officially introduce his first choices for the presidential cabinet. joe biden rolling out experienced nominees who will fill out the top diplomatic and national security posts of his new administration. this announcement comes exactly three weeks after election day, but just hours after the formal transition was given the go ahead from the government. overnight, the general services administration approved the transition from donald trump to joe biden freeing up money and resources for the president-elect and his team. we just saw the current president, president trump, in the white house briefing room where he gave extraordinarily brief remarks on the


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