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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  January 3, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST

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good day from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone, to "weekends with alex witt." we begin with breaking news as the session of the 118th congress is underway, house chambers swearing in over the last hour as republicans draw battle lines to delay, if they
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can, the certification of joe biden as the next u.s. president. >> we can vote to certify, not consider any objections. if we do that, that will be heard by a lot of americans as saying, we don't think voter fraud is a real concern, we don't think these claims should be investigated thoroughly. >> there is voter fraud, there always is. we had one witness talk about 42,000 people voting twice in nevada. the other issue -- >> just because you have somebody say it didn't make it true. and trump associate lindsey graham the other day threw cold water on the idea of an investigation saying, quote, proposing a commission at this late date which has zero chance of becoming real is not effectively fighting for president trump, adding, my colleagues will have their opportunity to make this case, and i will listen closely. but they have a high bar to clear. protests were taking place outside the capitol on wednesday. the d.c. mayor says they are
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tensing for possible violence. >> the white house grounds and the like can be locations for demonstrations. a message to d.c. residents of our region is just to stay out of the downtown over those several days, let the police department do its work, let's not mix with people who came here for violence and destruction. >> and as the senate session begins, the majority still hangs in the balance with the georgia senate runoffs set to determine which party will control the chamber. our team of msnbc reporters and analysts is following the very latest for us this hour. we'll be starting with nbc's leanne caldwell on capitol hill. leanne, can you give us an update of what's happening now and how republicans feel about the election looming in the backdrop of all of this? >> reporter: hi, alex.
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that january 6 process is looming big in the background, but let's start with what's happening today. today is the first day of the new congress, the 117th congress, which just happened in the senate as vice president mike pence just swore in all 32 newly elected members to a new six-year term, including senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. over in the house, all members will be sworn in, and then after that, they have a very long day of electing the new speaker of the house. current house speaker nancy pelosi is expected to win that, but just by the slimmest of margins as she is facing the slimmest democratic majority with just 222 democrats, and because this vote has to be performed in person, they are going to extreme circumstances to get their members here, including more than a dozen democrats who have voted via proxy since may because of
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covid. those members will be here. we also just learned there is a special section in the gallery off the house floor for four members who have been quarantining because of covid to actually cast their votes. that's because speaker pelosi is going to need every vote she can get to maintain her speakership. now, as far as january 6 is concerned, that is just a few days away as house republicans, as many as half house republicans, could object to the official count of the electoral college. but it's becoming more of an issue in the senate as well, when there is now a dozen senate republicans who are threatening to object to a series of states, perhaps, the count of the electoral college. one of those senators is senator ted cruz. let's listen to what he said as to why he is pursuing this, what he said this morning. take a listen. >> we've seen in the last two months unprecedented allegations of voter fraud.
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and that's produced a deep, deep distrust of our democratic process across the country. i think we in congress have an obligation to do something about that. we have an obligation to protect the integrity of the democratic system. i think we have an obligation to the voters, and we have an obligation to the constitution to ensure that this election was lawful. >> reporter: so what senator cruz and ten other republican senators are saying is they want an audit of the election before they are willing to certify the electoral college results. what ted cruz does not say is that republican legislatures in these six states that perhaps could contest, governors of these states, courts, including the supreme court, have all said that there is no widespread voter fraud in this case. now, there is some division among the republican party in the senate, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has encouraged his members not to do this. he does not want to divide his
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conference. we heard from senator lindsey graham just this morning in a statement saying he does not think this effort is really supporting the president, alex. >> okay. thank you so much for that, leanne. i just want to give everybody a look again at the breakdown of the house, the balance of power, as we call it there. you see those two vacant seats. let me explain what those are. one belongs to the late republican congressman elect luke ledlow who died last week from complications of covid. a very young man, leaves a wife and two young children. no known health issues. and the second is in the congressional race. right now the seat belongs to a democratic incumbent, but it appears right now that the republican is slightly leading. when i say slightly, some days it's been by as many as 12 votes, and that's it. so it's a very, very tight race for new york 22 and that is why
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that's still a vacant seat until that election gets certified. there it is, the two election seats there that remain yellow. meanwhile, vice president pence is welcoming congressional efforts to overturn the election. let's go to monica alba in washington for us. monica, what is the role the vice president will play in this? >> reporter: largely a ceremonial one, alex. he really is supposed to preside over this joint session and announce the results which we know have been certified for all the states and territories for president-elect joe biden. but now what we are learning from all of these republicans is that it may take hours and hours to get to that conclusion, which, again, we fully expect vice president pence to do, as many of his predecessors have done, for decades before him. but what we're also getting an insight into is this statement that was attributed to the vice president released from his chief of staff yesterday which does say he is open to this, and republican colleagues bringing forward any evidence would be something he would be willing to
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take a look at, but reading between the lines of that is really implicitly saying, there hasn't been any evidence so far, and we should point out that though the president continues to make baseless claims of voter fraud, there was not one single instance of that found in the dozens and dozens of court cases that the president and his allies have lost, even all the way up to the supreme court. but the vice president, just as you saw him there today performing this role, it's something he will be doing on wednesday as well, but we're also getting an insight into some false claims from a white house official, trade adviser peter navarro, who has really overstated the responsibility the vice president has on wednesday. take a listen to what he said on fox news last night. >> we did a zoom meeting with hundreds and hundreds of state legislatures across the battlegrounds, arizona, georgia, michigan, nevada, pennsylvania and wisconsin. these legislators, they're hot, they're angry. they want action. i would not be surprised to see
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a special counsel on this. and vice president pence, he has the authority to give that ten-day window to do what needs to get done, and i cannot imagine when he looks at the facts he won't vote the right way on that. >> reporter: that is not accurate, alex. we need to stress that. we're out to the white house and the vice president's team on what peter navarro may have been referring to there, but it's important to point out that's not something the vice president can do. we expect wednesday, though it may be a very long day spilling into thursday, to certify these election results, these electoral college totals, and it may be vice president pence who says those words and utters that declaration, but another point to watch on wednesday is what the president is going to be doing. we're learning through a tweet today he plans to attend a rally in washington, d.c. it's unclear whether he'll give remarks or simply make an appearance, but that will be a really interesting split screen to see the vice president in his
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duties and the president bucking them and essentially saying he doesn't agree with this outcome, even though we all know joe biden is set to be inaugurated alongside kamala harris on january 20th, alex. >> i have to tell you, by your description, that will be interesting tv here on wednesday. we'll be looking for that split screen. let's bring in congressman adam smith, he is chairman of the armed sfrervices committee. welcome back to the broadcast. good to see you. let's look at what the republicans plan to do, which is vote against the joe biden certification. have you, sir, spoken to any of them lately? do you have a sense of what's driving this? >> well, i haven't spoken to them but i have a dleclear sensf what's driving this. cowardly politics is what's driving this. let's be clear. what they are voting to do is they are voting to basically end democracy and put in place an authoritarian regime. i listened to what ted cruz had to say earlier, and that's just
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dishonest. as your reporter have pointed out, there have been dozens of lawsuits. every claim has been tested. there is no doubt. in fact, i would say this is probably the most secure election we've had in my lifetime because of all the scrutiny that it's been under, because of all the lawsuits, because of all the allegations that have been thrown out there. those allegations have been debunked. so much so that on fox news and one american news, they had to come on and say we publicly can't, as you know, because they were making allegations about the voting machines that were completely untrue. this is all lies. there is no legitimate challenge in this election. what ted cruz and others are voting to do is to overturn a democratic election, and in its place, put an authoritarian regime. this is the most undemocratic thing that's happened, arguably, in the history of the constitution. >> so there is an argument that ted cruz and josh hawley may
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have presidential aspirations of their own, right? do you think it's crossed either of their minds that by doing this, they're only setting themselves up for the same kind of nonsense, if you will, were they to be successful with an election? i mean, doesn't it stand to figure that they would have to deal with something like this if they voted for it, and they said, hey, this is the way it should be done? >> that would make sense, but sadly, aggressive hypocrisy is something that is constantly practiced in politics. i will say by many, not just by one side or the other. but certainly the republicans, i think, have really, you know, taken it to a whole new level. no, they don't think about that. what they think about is they want to give red meat to this base that donald trump has created. and they're afraid of it. that's what they're trying to do. they're trying to whip these people into a frenzy and get them to support them. this is, as you will, the donald trump primary.
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as we know, donald trump may be in that primary himself in which case cruz and hawley and all these people may be completely out of luck, but they're trying to win over the extremist anti-democratic vote that sees trump as a cult personality. trump is a cult personality. i don't know if that's transferrable. i don't know if that's occurred to hawley or cruz that the people enthusiastic for trump just aren't going to pass it over to them, but that's what they're trying to do. they're trying to get that base behind them in case trump doesn't run so they can then run and capture that base. it's crazy and extreme. >> you heard monica talking at the white house about this split screen, because when this certification gets underway there are plans for massive demonstrations in washington. i would like to listen to what one of your political colleagues, louie gohmert, said on saturday. let's listen. >> the bottom line is, the court is saying, we're not going to touch this, you have no remedy.
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basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you have to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and blm. >> that's pretty chilling. what do you make of that? considering the proud boys are one of the groups planning to be on d.c. streets on wednesday. >> that's what i really want to emphasize here. you've got the ted cruzes and the josh hawleys, you try to dress this up as some sort of electoral challenge. this is ant electoral challenge. we have a process in place for electoral challenges. we have recounts, we have lawsuits, we have an endless array of things in place to look at legitimate questions about ballots that may have been missed or miscast. that has been done over and over and over again in all of the states. this election has been certified, this election is clear. i mean, i guess what louie is doing, he's just being honest, okay? he's just saying what they want. they want to take this white house by any means necessary, and if violence is what they
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have to use, he's willing to say they're going to do it. this is a grave threat to our republic. and i hope, regardless, republican, democrat, conservative, whatever, the question is do you believe in our democracy? if you believe in our democracy, you should be against advocating what these republicans are doing. >> congressman, how do you think voters are going to view this kind of political theater, if you will? dangerous as it may be in some regards, but this is all happening while congress can't get its act together on better covid checks for the unemployed. >> well, we've got some covid relief checks out there. we got the enhanced unemployment, and we finally got mitch mcconnell and donald trump to agree with each other and pass a covid relief pack, which is not the one that i and other democrats supported. it wasn't as much as should have been done, but we did do that. that's the other side of the story, is the incompetence of
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the trump administration. they don't care about competence, they care about their cult, they care about their leader. and they will lie about whatever. you heard donald trump again lying about, oh, the deaths are exaggerated. actually, the deaths for covid are actually underreported if you look at the statistics on this, but that's part of it. in addition to the virus that is spreading, the pandemic, we have the virus of incompetence because they don't care about being competent. they care about supporting trump no matter what he says, no matter what he does, making sure the vaccine actually gets distributed effectively, they're not doing that. they're working on having the authoritarian regime put in place in government. and people are suffering. most of it is happening on the executive side because they're not dealing with this pandemic in any way. yeah, it's a huge problem, and it took forever, because mitch mcconnell and trump wouldn't agree to get relief to the
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people who desperately need touchdown. it's also a threat to democracy. january 20 cannot get here fast enough so we can get joe biden and his team in place so they can start working for the american people instead of working for this cultive personality that surrounds donald trump. why they think he deserves it, i have no idea, but nobody deserves that. our republic works the way it has always worked and we shouldn't replace it with a consultive personality and an authoritarian regime. >> a sobering reality. congressman adam smith, thank you. republicans are rallying supporters at their last save america event. let's go to msnbc's julia jester who is in sugar hill, georgia. julia, what are you hearing from the voters there? >> reporter: alex, that's right, i am here at this event featuring some pretty big trump
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allies, including kellyanne conway and senator ted cruz who led a group of gop senators in calling to object to the electoral college votes. now, former senator david perdue, whose term expired today, said earlier that he encourages his colleagues to object to that vote and he would have done so if he had been seated on january 6th. now, senator loeffler, on the other hand, hasn't given a straight answer on that, and here's what she had to say. >> i'm looking very, very closely at it, and i have been one of the first to say everything is on the table. i'm fighting for this president because he's fought for us. he's our president and we're going to keep making sure that this is a fair election and looking very closely at it. but again, none of it matters if i can't win on january 5th. >> reporter: and i spoke to a lot of some voters here at this event clearly targeting trump's base, and they want loeffler to object to that electoral college
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vote. and trump's attacks here in georgia, both on the election integrity and the republican leaders, could be a factor in this race. just today he tweeted at the secretary of state here saying, i spoke to secretary of state brad raffensperger yesterday about fulton county and voter fraud in georgia. he was unwilling or unable to answer questions such as the ballots under table scam, ballot destruction, out of state voters, dead voters, and more. he has no clue. what you're saying is not true. we'll be learning more about the details of that call where president trump has really been pressuring him to change the election results, which, you know, republicans here in the state just want to move past that and head to the general election runoff. so you see these heavy hitters coming to georgia trying to
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induce turnout of the lowest congressional districts, where turnout is the lowest, and where president trump and vice president-elect kamala harris is coming tomorrow. the name of the game is turnout. alex? >> it certainly is. watch our election coverage, rachel maddow, brian reed, they'll all be giving their analysis. it is tuesday night here on msnbc. the new strategy to take the pressure off overwhelmed california hospitals. and we're watching capitol hill for this big day for congress. soon the voting will begin for house speaker, with the president and his republican supporters fighting to overturn the election results. e elections (woman) why can't i lose weight?
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let's go now to the latest facts on the coronavirus pandemic. covid deaths in the u.s. have now surpassed 350,000. in fact, total cases are now at
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225 million. >> it will at least get worst in the next couple weeks and attain that level of deaths that we're seeing. my concern is it could get worse over the next couple weeks as we see the lag that happens when an event occurs like the christmas and new year's holiday. >> just about 4 million americans have been given the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while more than 13 million doses have been distributed. this low rollout is largely blamed on the lack of a federal distribution plan. a los angeles county official is asking the governor to request the navy hospital ship mercy to help overwhelmed hospitals there. covid cases make up nearly 75% of icu beds there with only about 23 beds left in the county. on the covid beat today for us, nbc's scott cohen in
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california and in new york. scott, what can you tell us about a couple dozen health care workers that got infected, yeah? >> reporter: 43 of them have tested positive, alex, and file this under what else could possibly go wrong in california. this is at the kaiser permanente san jose medical center. it's a 242-bed hospital in san jose, and what they are saying happened was on christmas day, a staff member showed up in the emergency room to kind of brighten the spirits of everyone with a costume that had some sort of a fan or an air-powered pump involved, and that very well may have served as sort of a spreader of aerosolized virus. and so they're investigating that. the executive in charge saying, we are investigating the outbreak and using contact
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tracing to personally notify and test any staff or patients who were exposed during the time period based on cdc and public health guidelines. so they're still trying to get a gauge on this. the positive tests came over the space of several days, again, at this hospital in san jose. in a state that now is closing in on 2.5 million covid cases since this pandemic began, and we're adding tens of thousands of cases per day. meantime, the testing goes on. you can see this is the main testing facility for the city and county of san francisco at pier 30. there are a number of other sites around the state, and they have done statewide millions of tests. for the state of california, we're looking at a test positivity rate of about 12.6%, and that number has steadily been sort of inching upward, which is not the way, clearly, that you want for it to go. at the hospitals, beyond the
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hospital in san jose, they're concerned about what happens over the next couple of weeks as we get past the holiday rush, the holiday travel rush, and all of those gatherings and start to see the effects of that, the hospital workers that we've spoken to have been saying that, you know, over the next two or three weeks could be when we see this surge, which would be the worst and potentially the deadliest phase of this pandemic in california. alex? >> scott, can i ask you quickly, are people taking advantage of that testing site behind you? i know we've seen dodgers stadium with the incredibly long line of cars there. i can't tell from the backdrop. are there a lot of people there trying to get tested? >> reporter: it's relatively quiet right now, but keep it in some perspective. it's an appointment-only site. we were here a few weeks ago and it seemed like it was a little bit busier. i think it was ahead of thanksgiving. but it's really difficult to
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tell whether this is indicative of anything other than the cycle of appointments on a sunday morning in san francisco. >> makes sense, then. thanks for explaining, scott cohen. despite the warnings from the cdc, millions of airports certainly traveled over the airports the past week, setting new records for pandemic travel. let's talk to cory at la guardia airport. there is some traffic inside, right, cory? >> let's show you the surges of the testing site. they say there were about 100 to 150 people in line. they're probably coming from new york also to take advantage of this. this is free, part of an effort to get more people tested, as many people as possible, and to reduce the spread of travelers coming in from the state.
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la guardia is one of several hubs, about two dozen hubs, offering testing at airports to try to reduce the spread. still, as you mentioned, a record number of travelers coming through despite warnings to stay home. let's look at the latest numbers we got from tsa. when you compare 2019, it's only about half as much, but looking in total, 2020 ended with five days in a row of travelers coming through and there were 11.5 million travelers coming through from december 23rd to january 2nd. i spoke to folks coming in from new york, and my colleague did as well, about why they're traveling despite the huge growth in cases. this is what they said. >> we always wear double masks, double gloves, wash our hands, and in california, it's so miserable there right now, and we really felt like maybe escaping would be not such a bad
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idea. >> we wanted to go to new york. it was our destination to see on this holiday, so tried to, you know, with all the restrictions, try to be safe as well, but as long as, you know, you wear face covering and you're washing your hands, i think everything is fine. >> reporter: you know, despite all this testing, we do know that's a bit of a misnomer. you can test and travel and then become positive after that and still infect your family and whatnot. so it's still a major issue that we're not going to see the major effects of for two to three weeks, alex. >> okay, thank you. in pennsylvania the holiday restrictions will expire tomorrow, and joining me now, john if he hfedderman. let's talk about the vaccine
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rollout. there were 14 million delivered nationally, but only 2.5 million vaccines used. is there anything to blame for the slow rollout in pennsylvania? >> the rollout in pennsylvania is one the governor took for certain steps, like for gyms and restaurants, and as you said, they expire tomorrow, and already the daily caseload has dropped off significantly. those are set to expire on the 4th, and the governor has indicated he's not going to renew them. but the fact of the matter is, we had to get those caseloads down, and finding the right balance, striking it between lives and livelihood, is something we've always strived to do here in pennsylvania, recognizing the fact there has to be that appropriate balance. with respect to the vaccine rollout and other things, it's difficult when you don't have a national strategy and a national leader in place.
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quite frankly, we're still arguing about masks when whether you should have events indoors or whether the virus is something you should even be afraid of, as some people say, here in our state. so ilt's not surprising. but when joe biden is inaugurated on the 20th, we're going to see real leadership after that point. >> so you think things will improve, pennsylvania will go with federal guidance and the money, right? you need money to distribute. >> absolutely, we would welcome federal leadership. every state has been striving for it. you have a president claiming it's a hoax. you have a president who is on record saying it's just going to disappear. we're on deck to have 400,000 fatalities here over -- by the end of january. so leadership is going to be critical, and i can't wait for joe biden to assume the office. >> yeah. there are multiple states that have reported this new covid variant that's believed to be more contagious than the
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original. i know that pennsylvania has yet to report any of that, but are you concerned about the state and that mutation being there as well? >> of course i'm concerned about it. if it's out in the united states, i'm sure it will make its way into pennsylvania, especially with the number of people traveling. however, it comes to the vaccine rollout. life is not going to go back to normal no matter how many restrictions there are or aren't, it really comes down to the vaccine rollout. until we have a federal leadership in place where we're not arguing about masks and we recognize the true enemy is the virus itself, not each other, we're still in this bizarre season of sedition and challenging election results, so we really just need to put that chapter behind us. >> yeah. let's switch gears, talk about the election certification. just like the election itself, pennsylvania at the center of this controversy. in fact, take a look at what two republican senators are claiming. here's that. >> we're saying, look, let's
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have an audit. there are irregularities in different states. you have issues in pennsylvania specifically where there are some significant irregularities. >> i'm likely to vote against the certification in order to make this point, to make the point that, first of all, we had states like pennsylvania that did not follow their own laws, their own state law, in the election process. >> so i'm curious your reaction to that coming from senators from missouri and tennessee, talking about pennsylvania. >> my reaction is just lol. there is not a true thing in either of their interviews. what i've learned from the gop over the last several weeks is that golfing with the president and lying for him is what they're made of. the gop voted unanimously for a vote by mail law.
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this was followed, this was appealed, this was triple certified in pennsylvania. and the best part is when all of this explodes and it goes down in the senate and the house, joe biden is going to be our next president-elect. everybody knows that, from the president on down. >> pennsylvania lieutenant governor john fetterman, it's good to see you again. thank you so much and happy new year. >> thank you. in the meantime, medhi is going to join me next. oin me ne. run payroll in less than five minutes with intuit quickbooks. balanced nutrition for strength and energy. whoo-hoo! great tasting ensure with 9 grams of protein, 27 vitamins and minerals, and nutrients to support immune health.
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no problem. ...and done. and now, the queen sleep number 360 c2 smart bed is only $899. plus, no interest until january 2024. ends monday. a new poll gives a startling look at the number of americans who believe misinformation. 1,115 americans were asked whether they believe that a group of satan-worshipping elites who run a child sex ring are trying to control our politics and media. that is the false allegation propped up by qanon. 17% said it's true with 37%
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saying they don't know. joining me now on streaming service peacock, who i imagine was just shaking his head. welcome, mehdi. what is more striking to you about that poll that 17% of people actually believe thatthe don't know if it's true or false. >> that's what's so scary, alex. il it's the people in the middle who are like, oh, i don't know, it may be true. it's people who see the facebook feeds on their health forums, on their whatsapps, and they somehow make themselves look like a concerned group of citizens which the president said recently in his town hall with savannah guthrie when he said these people hide behind
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this nonsense. it's completely not true and it's dangerous. this is not just a bunch of weirdos on line having fringe conversations and we point at them and laugh and say, ha ha, another group of believers. they make attacks on churches, checks on the infrastructure, and you have everyone in the republican party encouraging them, mainstreaming them, the texas gop borrowed one of their slogans. you have two congressmen being sworn in. how can you blame the american public from being confused when you have social media, you have fox news, you have the republican party throwing this stuff at them daily. >> i'm glad you brought that up. they were elected, being sworn in, so they will be part of the lawmaker filters that will be going through. >> it's crazy. >> that is. and here's something else that is rather loony as well.
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you have 39% of americans, mehdi, who believe in another a qanon theory that there is a deep state working to undermine trump. does it surprise you how far his reach and influence on this has gone? >> i mean, if you had to ask me the two people i blame most for the conspiracy theories and the craziness we see in america today, i would have to say donald j. trump and mark zuck zuckerbe zuckerberg. it's the platform on the right offering this information and facebook supporting the information. trump has talked about the deep state since day one. my favorite argument is about the deep state is that if the deep state and the fbi and the cia were working to undermine him, why didn't they do it in 2016? why didn't they just fight not to elect him in the first place.
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there is no discussion you can have to refute this nonsense. of course, this is his excuse. we know donald trump cannot accept being defeated, he will do everything possible, and it's just ironic that you have the republican party -- if you had asked me three or five years ago that the republican party in its base would be the party that hates the fbi, hates the cia, hates the security agencies, it's kind of ironic because those are the left are being attacked for being anti-intelligence, anti-security services, and today it's trump saying the fbi is scum. can you imagine if barack obama had called the fbi scum? >> yeah. i'm stunned just thinking about that prospect. i want to look at one other part of this poll in which, mehdi, a third of americans believe voter fraud helped joe biden win the 2020 election, and of course the justice department and the courts have found no evidence of fraud, and yet the "washington
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post" supports this. how dangerous do you think this has become, and do you think all the trump supporters are going to react in a dangerous way wednesday when congress confirms joe biden as the 46th president? and i don't mean all of these people who come and demonstrate, but certainly a select few. >> we know a select few have already bragged about the fact they're going to turn up in chaos both wednesday and the inauguration on the 20th. we've seen in recent days, alex, very disturbing comments from republican officials, louie gohmert saying, we'll see violence in the street because my party was rejected. an ex-gop member talking about mitt romney. it is completely out of control by republican officials. we saw violence in the street last week. the long-term damage is the number of people who will not accept joe biden as the
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legitimate president. this is the new birtherriism. they tried to denounce obama saying he was not born here. they are trying to delegitimize this election by fraud they did not find. >> can you explain that delegitimizing? a lot of people say, well, a lot of people did not accept donald trump as president. did people not accept him as president? did you hear someone say, we don't accept him as president, or did they just not like his policies and things he was saying? they did accept him. >> that's right, democrats didn't fight his election, there is no comparison between 2016 and 2020. there are a lot of americans who never accepted his presidency in the sense that they don't like him. it was me who said the system is
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dumb. that is a different legitimacy. the fact he lost the popular vote and the presidency, and he lost the popular vote and the electoral college, and his republican senators right now, without any basis, are trying to overturn the election. in any other country, we would call it a coup and we would worry about the legitimization of this country. i don't know how american democracy can survive if that carries on for years indefinitely. >> i want to, before i let you go, talk about the vote for speaker of the house. i know you've been pretty critical of nancy pelosi. how do you see this playing out? do you think democrats will support nancy pelosi as another term for speaker? >> i think they will simply because there's no one else running against her. jeffries was touted as a future
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speaker and he was saying all the right things. there is no one on the left who is going to which wichallenge h though aoc said she's done. nancy pelosi, jim clyburn and st stenny hoyer are the top three democrats in the house. all of your leadership shouldn't be 80-plus in 2021. i think they need to start looking at who is the next leader in the democratic party. >> thank you, my friend, i hope i see you very soon. be sure to catch the medhi hasan show. what we know about early turnout and who might be pulling ahead, coming up. d who might beg ahead, coming up ht away. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa
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now to the latest on tuesday's two senate runoffs in georgia. the poll shows statistical dead heats in both places even though a record 3 million voters have shown up early to cast their ballots in the state. here's stacey abrams on "meet the press." >> my hope is that democrats will show up and show that it will be a pattern. if not, they will surely show we are a fight to be reckoned with and continue to fight.
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>> george fowler is with american public broadcasting and natasha. welcome to you both. the turnout has been in democratic leaning areas. does it give you a clue which way it's leaning? >> we don't know what's going to happen. i learned as an organizer don't count the votes until you count the votes. we're trying to ensure that every black voter gets out to the polls and vote. it's a really good sign in a runoff election we've already made history. this is a historic turnout. black voters in the state of georgia are actually overperforming, so we're actually overperforming than the highest rate of the percentage we make up, and i think that's a good sign. >> i want to get to some of those numbers with you, steven, because among the 3 million early voters, 150,000 did not even vote in november. we've got 37% are black, 43%
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white. i'm curious, steven, do you think this is unusual? did anyone expect this runoff to mobilize new voters? >> well, it's really hard to picture people that didn't know that the november general election was know have the election was happening or didn't have an idea of what was going on. now the stakes are high. we have control of the u.s. senate on the line. we are gets calling, texts, flyers, and we're seeing them mobilize. the early voting turnout is usually lower than the general election. what we're seeing is that in direct leaning areas, that drop off is less than there are fewer people voting in the rural and republican areas of the states. >> as we further this break down with you, if you look at the
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percentage of the early voters that are black, in the november election, 27% of the early voters were black. it has to be a lot different. >> i certainly believe that is good organizes happening on the ground. i think while it is a significant election for the nation, it is also significant for the people in georgia. they had a devastating impact. at height of the covid 19 80% of the hospitalizations were black people. there is over four million people that have applied for unemployment. from our congressional delegation and from our senates,
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and our governor. people are saying they want to see something different. they want to see the people of georgia being represented. >> we know that kamala harris is going going be out tomorrow. how far can any of them move the needle at this late stage? >>. >> really the biggest impact is what happened when president trump goes to northwest zaz. some of those false claims we have seen them kept some, not voting for david purdue. he argued that there is inperson voting. those are the ways to vote, and
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i just obtained tapes where he says he will bring up claims of fraud in the hearing. >> tell me a little about that call that you got the tape for. ly say that nbc news is working to obtain that tape. that said, i know that the washington post is reporting as well. getting all of our ducks in a row, but give me the top night that you heard as well. >> what the president said in private is must like what he said in public. he feels like the republican secretary of state should have put him shop on the gale to find ballots that would have been going on with trump. he says they are harming his
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chances. >> we're going to have more on that. you're talking about the washington post. i want to thank you both. we will be keeping a close eye on things on tuesday. the tough financial situation for millions of americans as wall street profits surge.
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welcome to weekends with alex witt. we have some breaking news. bomb shell wording. a recording of president trump pressuring the secretary of state pressuring him to fight enough votes to win that state. >> look, all i want to do is this. i just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won

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