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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  January 29, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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detailed account of the physical and philosophical connections between republican members of congress and militia groups currently under scrutiny in their role of the insurrection. nearly 150 house republicans supported president trump's baseless claims that the election had been stolen from him, but representative paul goesar had ties, and his members were prominent in an evidence to stop certification of joe biden's victory. the times names names and reports out to those connections. in addition to congressman gosar of arizona, the times describes andy biggs, the chairman of the hard-right freedom caucus as, quote, seen by leaders of the
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stop the steal movement -- the times also details gop congresswoman laura bobert of colorado's, close connections to militia group, colleague the 3%ers that had at least one member who entered the capitol, and matt gaetz' connections is described this way -- republican tiff gaetz of florida appeared at an event attended by members of the proud boys, another extremist organization whose role in the assault like those of the oath keepers and three percenters is being investigated. the times said -- in signaling either overt or tacit support, a small vocal band of republicans now serving in the house
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provided legitimacy and publicity to extremist groups and movements as they built toward their role in supporting mr. trump's efforts to subvert the outcome of the 2020 election and the attack on congress. this caucus of extremists, which including the qanon-supporting conspiracy theory peddling marjorie taylor greene, appear to be creating incorrect tension on capitol hill right now, to the point that one democratic congresswoman was compelled to move her office. the post-trump gop making their democratic counterparts feel unsafe while creating safe spaces for extremists is where we start this hour, nick confesssore is here, and alex wall ner, a contributing writer to "the atlantic" is back, and frank figliuzzi is back.
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nick, i want to start with you. this is some stunning reporting that really speaks for itself. what is so remarkable is that none of these members are trying to hide their appearances with or their association with people who are -- it wasn't a long time ago before anyone that had anything to do with a militia group wouldn't be allowed anywhere near a legitimate elected official. they're proudly describing themselves as one with the militia, appearing at events with them. >> you know, it's amazing. here's what's going on. trump bought white nationalism and violent terrorismism into this center of the trump party. he legitimized it. what we're seeing now, in the wake of trump, there are
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politicians and lawmakers who have their own direct and organic home-grown ties to these groups to three percenters, to proud boys and mill litchia more broadly, and they're coming into congress in the wake of president trump. you're right, they are not mostly trying to hide their ties. they're appearing at events, thee alive with them in some cases. the main exception i think is congresswoman greene, who is now deleteling foib foib -- deleting facebook posts at a furious pace. it's striking to see this in congress. this is a logical consequence i think that what president trump brought into the party from the far extremes. alex wagner, i think you focused my fears on the reality of this, and the sort of nationalized nature of this, that likely in
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every community there are members of a militia group. you have that stunning interview with folks who believed and were willing to fight with arms for an election result other than donald trump's victory. i wonder if you've stayed in touch with them. i wonder what you think how this is all played out. it was very prescient what you reported. >> i one it ware prescient. when i interviewed them, they were so explicit about violence. they were so explicit about their plans for insurrection. they were so explicit about the civil war, it almost made you dowd if it could by real. we were always taught that terrorist activities are covert, they happen far away, and domestic terrorism wasn't part of the day-to-day vocabulary. i even talked to law enforcement
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officials who are trying to calibrate how worried they should have been in advance. i talked to the michigan attorney general there, who was one of the people who foiled the plot against governor whitmer. even then, though these folks were making explicit plans, though they were out on social media, there was kind of a constant back-and-forth about how serious are they? they're talking insurrection. we know they have access to weaponry, but are they going to go through with it? is this bruce willis "diehard" or bruce buschemi in "fargo"? as we have learned, i think nick is right out in the role that trump played, but gun vulture, a culture of violence, racist immigration base, now it is in full bloom. >> frank, i want you to pick up
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something on what alex just said, in this post-9/11 eray, the way it's not similar, it's -- i was gobsmacked to watch them standing around like they were at a tailgate. i wonder if you could talk about the role not just in the legitimacy of donald trump, but the stunning reporting in the "new york times." what does that legitimacy of their organizations and their mission -- they have a shared mission. and in response to that reporting, i think one or two members denounced violence, but none of them separated themselves out from the mission of lying about the election. >> yeah, this is what i kay, nicole, the mainstreaming of madness. this is radicalization in broad daylight. there's a couple choices, they members of congress need to make. they either can say they're unaware of the significant role
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they're playing in the radicalization process, or they're aware of it, and they continue to deliberately do it. either way, it's incredibly dangerous. it does offer a legitimizing imprimatur of authority for those who seek to do violence. the only way to do it in a de-radicalization is for the members to denounce everything they have done. there's no indication they'll do it. for the viewers, i want to talk about the practical fallout from this reporting today by the "new york times." here's what this really means. if this is under scrutiny, the relationship between these members, and qanon and the proud boys and oath keepers, and three percenters, inside the wall -- inside the fbi headquarters there's a electronic surface with a digit at link analysis
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way that will show a spoke-and-wheel on fashion, proud boys, this congress members, three percenters, this congress member. the very notion for someone like me who is used to seeing international terrorists on those link analysis charts, to think that u.s. members of congress are now on those connected dots charts inside some office at fbi headquarters is unbelievable to me. when i was assistant director of the fbi, i wasn't allowed to carry a weapon inside the u.s. capitol to brief the committees. i had to surrender my weapon to the capitol police, yet the same radicalizers are slapping on their congress member lapel pin, and walting in as they kin to radicalize a segment of our population. >> frank, i'm going to push further on what you just said. are you saying, if the "new york times" was able to, through open
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source reporting find these ties between members of congress and the groups that had members storm the capitol, that surely those same members and possibly more are sitting on a carey matheson style orb chart that we now know the fbi and department of homeland security are warning all law enforcement agencies and all americans about, at least through the end of april? >> well, certainly. we've heard even the u.s. attorney in the district of columbia say we're looking up to sedition planning, organizing, conspiracy charges, fbi saying something similar. so if you're going to do that and it's out in the open and the "new york times" is say it's under scrutiny, it's there, and of course analysts are considering what it means. >> alex, how the bleep did we
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get here? and how do we get out of this spot when all that's happened -- i'm not going to play it, but there's a skirmish today between one of the members that's reported -- marjorie taylor greene and a democratic member, she moved her office nancy pelosi has reported they're more afraid of the enemies within. this is "the washington post" -- open hose at this time broke out among republicans and democrats on thursday amid growing fears of physical violence and looming threats from supporters of former president donald trump, but house speaker pelosi leveling an extraordinary allegations that dangers lurk meteorology the members itself. some democrats are -- that some have tried bringing weapon onto the house floor, cannot be trusted. some have bought bulletproof vests and are seeking other protections. this is madness. this is no way for the government to function. this feels like the most chaotic
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and ugliest elements of our society, not people who should be leading anyone. >> it makes budget reconciliation a lot more tame, doesn't it? the aid symmetry of the tactics being employed here is shocking. having spoken to voters, lawmakers, militia, the problem is a schism over information and facts. biden said one thing that was incredibly important during his inaugural press, that was restoring the idea of truth, and shared truth to this country. i truly believe that begins with the way we process information and events. the problem with the moment is that literally half the country that elects representatives to congress and has a role in shaping the american politics does not see the world in the say ways as the other half, the misinformation and mendacity
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piped to that half of the country is cancerous. until and unless we can find a way to get back to the same shared reality, it is never going to change. the violence, the anger, the frustration, the vittry on the, that is all part of living in an alt reality, where those are the only things you can employ to take your country back. i don't know if that's investing in local newspapers. that's one way where people still process information, and it hasn't been sullied, or whether it is about an overall examination of the ways in which sort media has played a role in this moment, but i -- we have to start from the basics, the very dna of information before we can even think about ways to be bipartisan in the has of congress. >> i mean, alex, i didn't want to do this, but i'm going to because of what you said. fox news is really important, speaking to the millions of trump voters.
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i went out and spent a lot of time with trump voters in 2016. they watch fox, but most get most of their information on facebook, but most of what they see are facebook are monologues like from tucker carlson -- if he vote the wrong way, you're a jihadi. and we're going to treat you the way we treated those radicals after 9/11. get in line, pal, this is a war on terror. here's what tucker carlson seems to be doing. he seems to think the problem is the way someone votes. i think the other day he talked about the way people think. i don't think anyone is talking about how anyone votes or thinking. it's the actions, the association with domestic terrorists, it's the hate speech, hang mike spence, and it's the action of he people beating police, and we learned that someone was trampled to
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death. how do you -- if you're not even looking at the same crisis in the same way, how do you begin that process, alex? >> well, there's a deep sense -- first of all, if we want to get macro, there's a deep existential dread that pinch yates i think this entire body politics. immigration, changing demographic, all of these things are fearful to people of a certain age and ethnicity. that fear is then seized upon and stoke by media, and then it's shared hand increases the more it's transmitted through communities. i think part of this is an inescapable part of a changing america, and we're going to have to go through as a necessary growing pain. i guess that's tough love, but the other part, which is the weaponization of change, and the weaponization of the fear around change is inexcusable.
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that i think is the thing that can be tackled by, you know, looking at our sources of media, and holding to account the people that are seeking profit to destroy the country. >> you know, frank, i was listening to alex speak about information and the quality of information. it seems like something we can do there, too. if we can keep counterfeit dollars out cash registers, we should be able to keep bold-faced lies out of our ecosystem. i imagine on the other side of the truth divide, that's a badge of honor. what do we do to get back to not shared truths, that almost sounds like a utopia, but where we have less violence being stoked by bold-faced lies?
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>> this is a monumental challenge. we are way behind the curve with regard to the speed social media can promisele gate violent, dangerous thought and turn it into action. this is also, number two, a holistic all hands on deck for society. it's not just one solution. it's not just law enforcement, it's not legislation, it's not just big tech, it's not education, teachers. it's all of us being led by a strong administration being led. we have to teach our kids how to be more intelligence consumers of information, but yes, you can take down sites. you can suspend and censor and deny platforms for a plats form like parler, but there's a careful two-edged sword. by doing that, you may be feeding into the theory that some deep state is silencing us,
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you're infringing on free speech, when we're really infringing on violence, and then you force them into encrypted apps and the darker part of the web. it has to be everybody moving together in one direction. the times had some remarkable reporting about a woman who disavowed qanon after believing for a while. she says the theories seem crazy to her now, but looking back she understands how they drew her in. they were comforting, a way to get a baerga and rigged against middle-class people like her. evil kabals could be defeated. i mean, that picks up on alex's point about the wider problem, the wider problem, and but it is a direct and most striking
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parallel to sort of deradicalization effort that this country and our allies took on after 9/11. to think we're deal with radicalized americans is really stunning. >> the parallels are amazing, but there's one big difference. these conspiracy theories and problems have found a root in a major political party in america. not some guy in a cave overseas. it's going to require at some point some leadership from people of goodwill, republicans who want to lead. i'm thinking of a couple things. i'm thinking of john mccain during the debate in 2008, and barack obama and the john birchers driven out conservatives, the end of the red scare, how that required democrats and republicans to
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come together and lead. it's going to take some guts. i think every republican who voted to de-certify has some responsibility. they essentially told voters that american government was in the grip of a vast evil conspiracy that stretched to every level of government, all around the world. if you validate that conspiracy theory, and there are people who are desperate and angry, then they're going to think there's only one solution for them, and that's armed violence. that's the tragedy. nick, frank, thank you both so much for starting us off today. alex is sticking around. when we come back, it's not just the lawmakers, but also the rest of us, everyday americans in washington learns to navigate this new normal of living under tletsds of extremist violence. plus new developments today
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on vaccines. good news, but dr. fauci stressing science to keep it up and stay ahead of mutating strains. the biden administration deploying one of the most popular assets to help sell the legislative priorities, what vice president harris is up today. that and more after a quick break. don't go anywhere. that and more break. don't go anywhere. -yes. -the answer is no. i can help new homeowners not become their parents. -kee-on-oh... -nope. -co-ee-noah. -no. -joaquin. -no. it just takes practice. give it a shot. [ grunts, exhales deeply ] -did you hear that? -yeah. it's a constant battle. we're gonna open a pdf. who's next? progressive can't save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto with us. no fussin', no cussin', and no --
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lawmakers, as well as d.c. residents, are facing a new normal after the january 6th riot, visually reshaping the epicenter of u.s. politics after
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new threats from domestic extremists. just a little over three weeks later and a 7-foot-tal fence stopped with spools of wire surround the complex. while thousands of national group troops, heavily armed, are expected to stay indefinitely. at threats continue, law enforcement and d.c. mayor are at odds over how to balance the safety, with historic -- von hilliard is right outside the complex. a two-part question.
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one you have spore pelosi say the threats are within, so i'm not sure who the fence is keeping out. how many of those measures are expected to stay? >> reporter: you saw the acting capitol police chief say they had every intention of erecting a fence here, but muriel bowser, the mayor of d.c. said there will be no permanent fencing. of course it will come to proposeses and the rulemaking of the capitol grounds general honore told me at the direction of nancy pelosi, he is still reviews the events of january 6th and working on detailed reviews and findings he's going to bring out.
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the fencing extends all the way down to second street here. these dead silence. you can't eaily be in the mountains, because all you hear are the winds through the trees. why this is more than just the opportunity to look at the capitol building, this is the russell senate building, which if you're a member of the public, an american, you want to come and visit your representative, usually you go through one layer of screening, a metal detector. this is where every senator, every how member has an office, and if you're a residence of arizona, can you visit senator sinema, or if you're a resident of florida, you can give senator rube who.
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does a permanent fence stop people going up to the immediate grounds? or does that include the very real threat that's posed on some of these office buildings? it was the department of homeland security that put out this week the alert of concern around domestic extremist threats. you saw just two days ago a 71-year-old man arrested right here on the capitol premises for having an unlicensed firearm, and he was allegedly a sympathizer of these election conspiracies. there's still 7300 national guard on site. about what permanent changes are made, or is this ultimately more of serious questions the capitol police have to answer. >> i'm watching the images, alex, and it looks exactly like
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after 9/11, and the changes around the white house became permanent. you can't drive on the street in front of the white house, but i'm also haunted by speaker pelosi's comments about the danger within, and the truth is once security eases up a bit, a member can invite that are constituents, and if matt gaetz said the proud boys did security at one of his events and he wants them in -- this is not anything structural. >> i grew up in washington, d.c. i remember as a kid driving by the white house. i remember when you couldn't do that anymore. i was not a kid i was with congress people days after the capitol attack. for one, because i lived through
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what happened at the white house, i thought always this fencing would be permanent. our democracy is under attack. also and unless we have members of congress in the republican party willing to address that head on, you have to keep up the fencing. i agree with you, nicolle. the fact is when nancy pelosi said all members will -- that night -- didn't want to go -- there are members of congress -- who bragged by bringing -- onto the floor of congress. that's a problem if you're trying to secure congress. the threat has to be dealt with. it's who's packing heat on the floor of consequence and whether capitol hill law enforcement is doing the most they can to be transparent about what they knew and didn't know. i talked do congressman tim ryan, they were trying to get
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visitor logs from back from summer and the capitol police were not as cooperative as they could by. again, that's a problem. there's systems in place to keep us and our representatives safe, and they seem to be failing. alex, i want to ask you about the opaque nature of all of the investigations. i mean, there's so also that's public facing, and vaughn has shared a lot of what is public facing, but obviously the capitol police suffered horrific injuries. we still haven't hear a fullsome briefs about the events of that day from law enforcement. is that just never going to ha up? or is it all wrapped up in too much in-house politics? what is your sense of the investigation? >> i city think it's shocking that we don't have daily or if not daily, biweekly briefings on what went down, right? given the fact there is
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constantly new information, new reporting, and yet law enforcement has really given only a handful of briefings, and they've been, you know, they have suggested that they are vast conspiracies, seditious plots, you know, that there are numb bus actors at very levels of government who may have coordinated with people on the ground. there's a lot of mystery semina american history, yet the information flow has been sporadic at best. i think that reflects infighting among the various entities involved. i think is suggests some nefarious actors involved somewhere in all of this. no matter the reason, it's completely insufficient. we get three briefings a week on
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covid. we should be hearing more from law enforcement on what went down on january 6th. >> we'll keep asking. vaughn and alex, thank you for spending time with us today. up next for us, a new vaccine from johnson & johnson is showing that it works, but there are concerns about how effective it will be as the virus mutates and evolves. we'll try to explain all of that, the good news and the bad, up next. e good news and the bad, up next. or crohn's disease? i did. until i realized something was my symptoms were keeping me from being there for him. so, i talked to my doctor and learned... humira is for people who still have uc or crohn's symptoms after trying other medications. and humira helps people achieve remission that can last, so you can experience few or no symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood,
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president biden's coronavirus response team spoke to both of intensifies vaccine race and the more contagious strains of the coronavirus after johnson & johnson announced its vaccine, the single dose with basic refrigeration requirements is a promising 85% effective vaccine against severe covid disease, though it showed decreased efficacy, just 57% against the highly contagious south african strain already identified in this country in two people in south carolina. today dr. fauci called the good news of another tool in the fight could be increased in weeks, with results that should further prove that vaccine makers need to continue testing new measures as a precaution. >> there was essentially no hospitalization or deaths in the vaccine group whereas in the
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placebo group there really we are. we now have a value-added vaccine candidate. we will continue to see the evolution of mutants. all of us that are in this together will have to be nimble to be able to just adjust readily. joining our conversation dr. william shaft ner, professor at vander bills medical center. our friend, the reverend al sharpton. and yamiche alcindor. dr. shaffner, does it make you not get covid, or does it make it when you get covid, you don't develop symptoms that --
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>> it will protect you from getting sick. it keeps you out of the hospitals, keeps you off a ventilator and keeps you from dying. that's the main role of all of these vaccines. the new one, anticipated to be given an authorization soon. >> how do we look at percentage loon 57% against the new strains, this doesn't sound very good, but how a did that compare to the percentage of, like, a regular flu shot? what percentage does last year's flu shot protect against the regular flu? >> the flu shot is much less predictable, depending on who you are when you get it, whether you're an older person or immunocompromised person. it can range in effectiveness from almost zero sometimes when we miss the exact target, up to as much as 70%.
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so it varies greatly. so this new vaccine actually is a -- i agree with dr. fauci, it is another bullet that we have in our gun, and we ought to use it and deploy it. after all, it's 85% effective against serious disease right here in this country right now. >> i mean, that's what i wanted to understand. i feel like people are so inundated with information that they don't have the context of the frame to really process. you see, 94% effective, you think that sounds good, and then you hear 57% against the new strain, and you hear that some folks talk about the new strains, the uk variant or south african variant or brazil variant, so you feel worse, but maybe people feel hopeful that every single one is part of our arsenal, that good news seems like it needs to be pushed out
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at a moment when the new strains and mutations feel really scary to most people. >> absolutely. listen, this new vaccine is a single-dose vaccine, one and done, and it can be managed in normal refrigerator temperatures. so it can go out to doctors' offices, clinics, pharmacies. we can bring the vaccine much closer to the people. this new company will have millions of doses it can also send out, so we can vaccinate and protect more people more quickly across the country and we'll be right back reach all kinds of populations. one and done is much easier to reach underserved populations than having to come back for a second dose. i'm enthusiastic about the addition potentially of this new vaccine soon, i hope. >> the president announced that
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by the end of the summer, 300 million americans will be vaccinated. it seemed that their numbers and their doses were predicated on the ability to produce the pfizer and moderna two-dose vaccines. is there any indication from the white house they may slide back their goals when the country can have access if we have new vaccine products like the johnson & johnson one? >> there's no indication that the biden white house will be sliding back their goals. i've been questioning them along with other reporters, trying to get a sense of what the numbers will actually be. there have been some experts that it might be not be until the fall when most americans can get it. but president biden as well as white house officials are proceeded atment that they think most americans will -- they say they're going to need, according to experts 500 million doses to cover the entire u.s.
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population. something that's interests that dr. schaffner just mentioned, the johnson & johnson vaccine will get more people vaccinated in a shorter time. in the briefing today, they were saying we need as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. part of the variants, why they're able to mutate is there's so much virus in the world, in the nation, so that's also something they're focusing on, trying to get as many people vaccinated. the other thing you can hear is this is a global issue. we heard today that the united nations, the head of the united nations, as well as the world health organization, they're saying there needs to be a focus on getting vaccine to other countries, so the one dose going to south africa and other place says important. we all know we're all interconnected.
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>> rev, if there were ever a time to realize and acknowledge that america first didn't work out for us, it would seem it would be now. i want to ask you about something we have talked about a lot. that's vaccine hesitancy. i feel like the concerns that the vaccines may not protect against the new strains work against those concerns and those problems. i wonder what your thoughts are and what your advice would be for not just encouraging people to trust the vaccine, but to rush to get it. >> it is very challenging, because it adds to the suspicion and the reluctance of some communities. i think what dr. schaffner just said is encouraging, we have more options, one and done, and it could reach the underserved communities, but the underserved communities have to have the confidence to take it.
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what i am finding working with very groups of clergy, faith leaders, as well as civil rights groups, we begin to see it -- i get it from my road audience, there's a slow move toward people saying, well, i'm going to take it, because the longer these vaccines are out and the less we're hearing of people getting sick or dies, the more people are being more confident. we're now dealing with several weeks than the initial announcement. it's kind of hard to say it's a setup when people are taking it and there's not a mass negative fallout, but the new variant could change some of that, and i think we're just going to have to keep telling people that help is what is important, and we have to listen to the experts that we trust.
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the death toll is still staggering every day in this country. >> nicolle, we're going to have to vaccinate more and more people before we see a dip in the deaths, right? we also know deaths are what they call a lagging indicator, but a reduction in hospitalizations should come before that. i think we'll just have to keep trying to reassure people and make them comfortable with getting the vaccine, and as more and more comes out, and particularly with the addition of j & j, which i have high hopes for, will obviously have more out there, and we can reach out to people and say now, it's time to come in, come on, let's
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get it. dr. william schaffnor, thank you for spending time with us. up next for us, from the covid vaccine to covid relief, we'll talk about the plans from the biden white house on that, next. m the biden white house on that, next
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it's where his son, beau, spent the last week of his life. president biden is preparing to switch his focus to his legislative agenda in a few days after what will be a two-week long stretch of executive orders designed to reverse trump-era policies. administration officials telling msnbc news the president has been reaching out to republicans about his top legislative priority, that $1.9 trillion covid relief package with vice president harris hitting the local tv air waves, stressing the need for that relief package right now. >> we can't continue this way, and we've got to work with a sense of urgency so we're offering the american rescue plan. that's about opening schools back up in a safe way. it's about getting support for small businesses, getting relief for families. so many people have been unemployed for almost a year at this point. the president and i feel very strongly that these are the moments when we are facing a crisis of unbelievable proportion that the american
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people deserve their leaders to step up and stand up for them. >> we're back with the reverend al sharpton. and i recognize the communication strategy. i was in charge of the office that booked local interviews for the president and vice president. and they're obviously trying to rally public support to put pressure on members of congress for the package, and here's how they're describing it. $1 trillion in direct financial support for families, $440 billion in emergency funds for small businesses and communities, $400 billion for slowing the spread of covid, increasing vaccine capabilities and $130 billion for opening schools. this is something that just -- i've looked at the public polling on all of this. there was, you know, the republican georgia senate candidates ended up coming out for the stimulus. there's always bipartisan support for small businesses. i think they're talking about vaccine distribution sites and vaccinators, and they're talking about opening schools.
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it seems like a very deliberate strategy here of getting the public support first and then pressuring congress. >> that's right. because this is the first big test of the biden administration, can he get his legislative agenda through congress? he does not have, according to my reporting, 50 democratic votes right now because even democrats thinking that this bill is not targeted enough. they want the checks to be more targeted. there's a reason why in particular you see vice president harris going to west virginia, going to arizona with those local interviews virtually, of course, to talk to the constituents there because they're trying to pressure democratic senators, in particular, to try to get on board with this, but my thinking is, and the thinking based on my conversations with white house officials, is they don't want to break this bill up. they really want it to pass and be big and robust, but there's real, i think, concern on capitol hill that this bill
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needs to be broken down a bit, maybe even broken apart and the white house just hasn't done that yet and as you say today, we saw president biden say that yes, he wants to try to get bipartisan support but he also said, we can't wait. you can also see him leaning toward reconciliation, which is going to be this very wonky word that america's going to get familiar with next week. all it means is that democrats can do it without republicans. >> you're right. and it will tell us a lot about how he plans to not govern -- i think we know what his vision there -- but how he plans to legislate from the oval office. rev, i want to ask you about what looks look a very careful strategy on the part of the president when it comes to donald trump's impending impeachment trial. nbc news is reporting that the president has been choosing his words carefully when weighing in on the upcoming impeachment trial of donald trump. biden has said a senate trial needs to take place but he's held back on disclosing his views on whether trump should be convicted. despite a willingness to sharply
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criticize his predecessor without hesitation in the past. what do you think of that approach? >> i really see this as a strategy of him trying to not appear like the -- holding the former president accountable is some kind of political vengeance but that you're dealing with the facts and the violation of his oath of office, and if joe biden, who defeated him, politicizes it, it might feed into, i believe, in their mind, them saying this is about us against them. this is partisan. i think for him not to step into that makes the republicans that are loyal to trump, like mccarthy, who goes down and makes up with trump after he himself said trump was part of the instigation, it robs them of having a backboard to try to get their shot in the hoop, by using biden. their going to have to deal with the merits of the case.
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the man incited an insurrection. he incited a attempt to have a coups d'etat. you even now have some of them that rioted that are offering to come and testify that they were under the influence of trump. so, you know, a mentor of mine told me, nicole, a long time ago, if you see a man on the edge of a cliff, don't get close. you'll turn a suicide into a homicide. i think biden needs to stay back and let them go over that cliff by themselves with no fingerprints because on the velocity of what was done. i think there's enough to convict him. the question is whether or not the republicans have enough people to have the courage to do what the facts clearly lay out. >> and we will be watching. the reverend al sharpton and yamiche, thank you so much for spending time with us today. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a quick break. r of "deadline white house" starts after a
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quick break. road's closed. -is that the law? now the movie critics are calling... "a towering piece of moviemaking"... is available in your home. you can't have her! i'm taking her home!
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this is our check on government. the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting unless you're talking about hunting tyrants, maybe. but this really is our check on government, because we, the people, we have the power. >> if this generation doesn't stand up and defend freedom, it's gone. >> yeah. >> and once it's gone, freedom doesn't come back by itself. the only way you get your freedoms back is it's earned with the price of blood. >> hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in the east. that was the face of today's
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gop, as new reporting in "the new york times" details the alarming connections between sitting republican members of congress and the right-wing militia groups under scrutiny for their role in the january 6th attack on the united states capitol. speaker nancy pelosi calls it the threat within. >> we will probably need a supplemental for more security for members. when the enemy is within the house of representatives. >> what exactly did you mean when you said that the enemy is within? what exactly -- >> it means that we have members of congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of congress. >> the "times" today goes deep, detailing the connections between several republican members, all close allies of donald trump, and groups like the proud boys, the oath keepers, and the three percenters. first there's congressman paul gosar of arizona.
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few republicans have been linked to extremist groups than mr. gosar. he's been involved with anti-muslim groups and hate groups. mr. gosar's brother said he's twisted up so tight with the oath keepers, it's not even funny. the "times" recalls how his siblings ran political ads denouncing their own other. take a look at one of those ads. >> paul gosar the congressman isn't doing anything to help rural america. >> paul's absolutely not working for his district. >> if he actually cared about people in rural arizona, i bet he'd be fighting for social security, for better access to healthcare. >> he's not listening to you and he doesn't have your interests at heart. my name is tim gosar. >> david. >> grace. >> joan gosar. >> gaston. >> jennifer gosar. >> paul gosar is my brother and i endorse dr. bril. >> dr. bril wholeheartedly for congress. >> "the new york times" also
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reports on congresswoman lauren boebert of colorado and says, quote, militia groups would emerge as one of ms. boebert's crucial political allies as her campaign got under way last year, she wrote on twitter, quote, i am the militia. and not to be outdone, the qanon caucus is well represented among today's gop. the "times" reports, quote, one of the animating forces behind the attack on the capitol was the movement known as qanon, and qanon has few more high-profile supporters than ms. marjorie taylor greene. the radicalization of the gop is where we start this hour with some of our favorite reporters and friends, "washington post" contributing columnist and msnbc political analyst former congresswoman donna edwards is back. also joining us, my friend john heilemann, nbc news and nbc national affairs analyst, host and executive produce ore of showtime's "the circus" and the host of the hell and high water podcast and luke broadwater is here, "new york times" congressional reporter whose
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byline is on that stunning piece of reporting we've been talking about all afternoon. luke, i want to start with you, and i just want to ask, is it your sense that these connections that you guide were able to find between sitting republican members of congress and the militia groups under investigation, under scrutiny, is the path that the investigation itself into the attack is taking? >> we know for sure that capitol police is looking into the visitor logs to see exactly who gave tours of the capitol before, obviously, the, you know, the terrible events of january 6th. we haven't seen that any member of congress -- we've heard allegations. we haven't seen any member of congress has taken or took any of the insurrectionists on those tours. but what we wanted to do with this article was lay out how long standing the ties are between some of the members of congress, including some new members and some longer standing
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members, and these extremist groups, namely the proud boys, the oath keepers, the three percenters, and what's known as the qanon movement, which isn't really, you know, a group. it's more of an ideology and a loose affiliation, but that ideology has permeated many of these groups and frankly, extremist groups from across the country were united by the stop the steal movement, whose, you know, figure head was donald trump, and so people from all over the country who would have never met each other, wouldn't have had much in common, different extremist groups, came together around this issue, and we saw what happened on january 6th at the capitol. i was in the building that day. it was a terrible experience. and you know, i think we need to shine as much light as possible on exactly how these -- the rise of these groups and who is empowering them. >> now, it's one of the most important pieces of journalism to come out since the attacks,
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and i think that one of the things -- i mean, trump blotted out everything, but one of the things he blotted out was how close so many members of the house gop had become, how sort of extremist adjacent some of them were and i wonder if you could detail some of these relationships. i mean, matt gaetz seemed to grow defensive when the reporting came to his event being one that was also attended by the proud boys. he told you guys that they were there doing security. can you just detail some of the other members and what the associations were with extremist militia groups? >> sure. we were able to -- we focused a lot on paul gosar in this article from arizona. he was one of the real leaders of stop the steal, and he paired up with a man named ali alexander in promoting these events and in fact promoting the january 6th event that ended up in tragedy, obviously, with five deaths, 140 officers injured,
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one officer probably going to lose an eye because of this. he met multiple times with the oath keepers ahead of this event. one time, one of the local chapter heads told -- said that he had asked, are we in a civil war now as a country? and that paul gosar had said, we're already in it. it's just a matter of time until the shooting starts. there was a -- there's congressman andy biggs, who had attended an event with the oath keepers several years ago where a leader of the oath keepers had called, at the event, for john mccain to be hung. this was before john mccain died. and mr. biggs sat there and said nothing and afterwards a reporter asked him why he didn't speak out and condemn this call for a hanging of the senator from the state and he said he didn't feel like it was his place to object to that. so, you see -- and frankly, there are even more members of congress on the far right in the
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house who have spoken at oath keeper events and three percenter events. after this article came out, we've received more emails from different people around the country who have said, well, my congressman's been associating with these groups as well. and so, i think that, especially when we look at the people in the house who really led the effort to undermine the election and spread this lie of that -- that the election was stolen, that is a fertile ground there for playing in this conspiracy theory world and this world of extremists. that's really infecting the gop right now, especially in the house. >> luke, stay with us. john heilemann, i think that this reporting takes on added significance in the context of the department of homeland security bulletin that was released this week, warning of domestic terrorism and warning of an ideology shared by would-be domestic terrorists
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that lines up with exactly the ideology of the militias that luke reports on and their relationships with the republican members of congress. and my question, really, is, you know, nancy pelosi's comment about a threat within renders some of the physical security apparatus outside the capitol inadequate, it would appear. >> yeah. hey, nicole, how are you today? good to see you as always. >> hi. >> it's -- you know, yes, the two things together, you know, are sobering and beyond sobering, sort of terrifying. i think "the new york times" story lays out something that wasn't exactly hiding in plain sight, but you know, was -- we have seen this influx of these members. there has been a sense of -- i mean, some cases, direct contacts that we knew about, direct links and a bunch of places in the "times" story,
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links that no one was really familiar with. it's sort of a rosetta stone to what's happened to the republican party at its -- at the -- at its most energized and its most energized quadrants and i think, you know, we're -- in combination with the fact that the capitol is still, by any reckoning, and certainly by the indications of the kind of security measures that have been taken, it's not a safe space still and we're hearing stories -- the fences are going to stay there, and you know, you've got the speaker of the house talking about how the threat is now from within, and now we see this reporting that points to -- i mean, some genuinely appalling and unprecedented connections between parts of our -- of american society that we rightly, roundly, across the board condemn, and yet we now are seeing that those forces have infiltrated the republican party to a significant degree, and what we're seeing from the
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leadership of the republican party in the house is not just sort of acquiescence to those members but a kind of tacit endorsement of those members, a sense that they are a crucial part of what is the new republican party, the new republican coalition. i mean, everything that's happening on this front is terrifying for the long-term, to see an american political party being taken over, in some sense, by this element in our society, of the violent fringes, but also in the short run, i think that, you know, the more -- every democratic member of the house and some republican members of the house that i have spoken to in the last two weeks are scared. they're scared to go to work every day now. and on the basis of what we're seeing in this kind of reporting, they're right to be. >> yeah. it's such a chilling point, but we spoke to congresswoman donna edwards a few days after the
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insurrection, and i said, do you feel safe? she said, no. we don't feel safe. and i guess that's the point. and i said this all week. i think it's time to stop covering this from our vantage point as a political story and start covering it as a security story, and a lot of the sort of nonsense falls away. i mean, who cares that kevin mccarthy was, you know, mugging it up with donald trump? the truth is, the ideology about which all americans and all law enforcement was warned on tuesday was the ideology peddled by donald trump's lies, repeated by all of the republican house members and senators who voted to overturn the results of the election after the insurrection and amplified on fox news and in other places, and i wonder, donna, what your thoughts are as to how you puncture the disinformation, how you puncture the big lie? >> well, you know, i don't know what the answer to that is, nicole. what i do know is that when i heard speaker pelosi say, very
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clearly, that the threat is from within, i knew that to be true. i think that, you know, if you look at what has happened to the republican party, only a minority of the republican party decided that the election was fair and that joe biden should be affirmed and the vote of the electors affirmed as president of the united states. a minority of the republican party. a majority of the republican party, even after an insurrection on the capitol, went the other way, and now, what was the fringe is now, i believe, the republican party. it is its definition right now. and i don't know what gets away from that. the party of john boehner and paul ryan would have sidelined these members of congress, but the leadership of kevin mccarthy
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and scalise has embraced this element, no longer an element, no longer a fringe of the republican party. and i think that for people who are calling for unity and bipartisanship, frankly, that's really hard to get to when that threat is from within. when you're looking over your shoulder at members of congress who want to bring guns on to the floor of the house. members of congress who are subscribing to and embracing people who are openly threatening the life of members of congress. and so, i don't know where we go from here, but it certainly is not moving on as though somehow this is just an afterthought and that we can move from it. this is a danger, and it continues to be a threat to the republic. >> and again, i was saying, john heilemann, that is a bulletin released to all law enforcement earlier this week, that there is, until the end of april, a
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persistent threat of domestic extremism, domestic terrorism carried out in the ideology and around this belief that the election was fraudulent, that the covid restrictions are unnecessary, all of those ideologies pushed by donald trump, but my question for you is around incitement. we had a policy, and it was very controversial, it was carried out under the bush years, and under the obama years, of attacking terrorism at its root, of going after and killing, and in the case of an american, a yemeni american with a drone strike for the crime of inciting violence, inciting terrorism. mitch mcconnell was in the senate then. he was in the senate after 9/11 too. how does mitch mcconnell, who understands that the way you root out terrorism, is to take on, in the case of islamic terrorism, kill those who incite it. how does he not vote to convict someone that he said, on the
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floor of the senate, incited an insurrection? >> well, that's a good question, nicole. i mean, i think, the -- how does he not? he does not if he votes not to convict donald trump, he does not, because he's decided that -- and i'm not, you know, you know me. i'm not a great -- i'm not a soft pedaler when it comes to mitch mcconnell. i'm just trying to get inside his head if you're asking me for that. i think he looks at his caucus and has determined that he wanted to maintain -- continuing to be the leader of this caucus. he looks at his caucus and say, my caucus is not with me and that his personal continued leadership of the gop caucus in the senate is more important to him than doing what he knows is right. and what he has said is right. i mean, mcconnell has made it as clear as mcconnell ever makes anything through the combination of words that he has used, stories he's allowed to be published about him, that what his position is about donald trump. he thinks that donald trump is a
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cancer on the republican party, and that he wanted to try to get donald trump to be excised, to be removed, to be driven, you know, there's no doubt in my mind that what mcconnell wanted was to rally the troops for conviction, but he now realizes he does not have that support in his caucus, and so he's going to prioritize his continued leadership over doeng what's what's right. >> luke broadwater, i want to give you a quick last word since your reporting animated our discussion here and at the top of the last hour. you said you've received more emails today. do you think there's more to this story, and do you plan on reporting it out and writing more about it? >> yeah, absolutely. i think this is one of the most important stories of our time. we have, you know, never before have we seen or not since the war of 1812 have we seen an armed invasion of our capitol building. and we need to get to the bottom of exactly who was behind that,
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what the security failures were, what the leadership failures were, but also who participated in fueling the flames of extremist in this country and hardened our divides and led to a situation where we have large swaths of america that view our elections as illegitimate, that view our government as illegitimate and think it's perfectly fine and okay to use violence to storm our government buildings and try to overthrow the elected leadership. so, that's a extremely important story and we're going to keep digging into it and stay on top of it. >> well, we're going to keep asking you to come and share your reporting. you said you were in the capitol. we're glad you're safe. luke broadwater, thank you for spending time with us today. donna and john are sticking around. when we return, the right wing's embrace of lies and conspiracy theories poses an existential threat not just to the republican party but to
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democracy itself. we'll talk to a reporter who was in wyoming as matt gaetz rallied trump supporters against congresswoman liz cheney. plus, how the siege in the capitol looked in the eyes of other world leaders. our friend jonathan swan joins us with his interview with the president of ukraine who was at the center of donald trump's first impeachment. and later, how president biden needs to navigate this era of deep division in america. the future of our country just might depend on it. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. ♪♪ this is what community looks like. ♪♪ caring for each other, ♪♪ protecting each other. ♪♪ and as the covid vaccine rolls out, we'll be ready to administer it. ♪♪
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liz cheney calls herself a
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leader in washington, but to me, being a leader does not mean winning an election amongst politician. being a leader doesn't mean you've lived a flawless personal life. i would say i haven't. i would probably say not even former president trump has. leadership doesn't mean backing a nancy pelosi-fueled impeachment by reflex. >> that was matt gaetz, if you didn't recognize him. he's a trump-loving congressman from florida. he was in wyoming yesterday at a rally in cheyenne, and he went there in the middle of a pandemic to attack the state's only representative, liz cheney, for her vote to impeach donald trump. at least 800 people showed up, most if not all of them maskless, to listen to gaetz, the self-proclaimed torch bearer for the america first movement as he blasted his house colleague and even got donald
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trump jr. to join the rally by telephone. as the senator prepares her arguments in the coming weeks, the rally shows just how much the base of the party supports the former president, despite inciting a riot that put members of congress and his own vice president in grave danger. as tara of politico writes, from the scene, quote, if there was any doubt this is still trump's republican party, my time in cheyenne dispelled it. joining our conversation, the aforementioned tara, coauthor of politico's playbook, who was in cheyenne yesterday for the matt gaetz vs. liz cheney rally. listen, i worked with the cheneys, i would advise folks to never bet against the cheneys but this does look like an animated part of the party there. >> definitely, and i think they see themselves now on a crusade for donald trump. donald trump is way more popular than she is, from the people that i spoke to, and i actually went out of my way to try to
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find someone who would defend her and i really couldn't. and i left the rally. i went and talked to people on the street, right? i wanted to hear what they had to say. i went to different types of shops, restaurants, everything. i talked to ranchers, and literally trump -- she didn't have that much name recognition, considering she's a cheney. a lot of people thought she was a senator or a mayor and they weren't willing to go out in a primary and vote for her and the people who said they were going to vote for her were vehemently against her and these were the trump voters base. i mean, i said her name in a hardware store and someone shouted a threat. like, these people are paying very close attention to her vote. what i heard overwhelmingly from the people that were against her, she did not vote for wyoming when she voted to impeach and therefore she has to go. >> did anyone sound to you like they were familiar with the facts of the 2020 election, that even -- >> no. >> even republicans like chris
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krebs have said there was no fraud, that 92 judges appointed by democrats and republicans, including trump, found in fraud, that it wasn't real? >> nicole, i literally -- people wouldn't talk to me with my mask on. they think covid is -- the numbers are gross loo inflated. i had three guys, three ranchers in their 70s telling me, take your mask off, we don't want to talk yo to you with your mask on. i was in rooms with 30 people, no one wearing a mask inside, just me. i talked -- they said these are the main arguments i've heard over and over again. people aren't going the get vaccinated there. these people are distrustful of the vaccine. they think that either the insurrection was staged, it was antifa, they don't want to watch the news, they don't hear about it because it pollutes their thoughts about trump and it's just the same talking points that you're hearing from qanon and trump supporters and they're gospel. i couldn't say anything.
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i was like, do you know anyone who died from covid? because i do. and they just -- you couldn't reason. you know? it was hard. it was really difficult for me, because you can't -- they're looking at you, too, you're a reporter coming in, right, from washington to get your -- get a feeling of the pulse, but i truly felt that i couldn't find anyone to really defend liz cheney. that doesn't mean that she'll be primaried. the primary's in august 2022, right? that's a long time from now. but if the primary were in 2021, i think she would be in a lot of trouble and i also met people from jackson hole, like the kind of soccer moms driving six hours together with their teenage daughters to come out against liz cheney. and you know, they weren't wearing masks and when i asked them why, they said, everyone got covid in jackson hole over christmas and that their kids weren't going to be vaccinated. i just saw the -- this mask issue is definitely hanging over it and this kind of belief in the conspiracies, and you could pretty much -- you would know right away if you talked to
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someone without a mask on what they were going to think about donald trump. and even people that i saw sort of wearing masks, because they had to for their jobs, they said liz cheney did not represent us and they have really strong feelings about it and then the other people, they just have no feelings at all and those people don't vote in primaries so she's got to get out there, i think, in her district, because this is a crusade for trump now. >> tara, did you feel safe? >> yeah, that's a good question, actually. not really. i will admit i took my mask off a few times because i felt like i needed to get these people to talk to me. i didn't think, like, if i -- i didn't want to come off as some big city reporter brat, you know what i'm saying? i wanted to, like, get -- really get the -- i really wanted to find out what they thought so i took off my mask a few times outside. and i talked to people really close. i was in rooms with, you know, 30-plus people, size of a hotel
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room, and i don't know. like, check in with me in five days. i don't know. i might have covid for all i know. but i don't know. it's crazy. it's really crazy. and you know, matt gaetz, he has antibodies. that's why he was out there without his mask on. i asked about this. why isn't he wearing his mask? he has antibodies. antibody is the new vaccine in the trump crowd because they all got covid. but it was something else. and i hate that they're so distrustful. i was like, i know people who have died of covid. one guy told me that he got covid and he had worse hangovers than covid so it's not penetrating out there in the same way, and you know, it's just so -- it's kind of a -- it feels like another world, but that's what's on the ground, and i don't think we can ignore it. and i'm really happy i went out there and saw it because i think there's a huge disconnect right now between washington and the rest of the country, and you know, trump, people don't want to hear anything against trump.
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actually, the more he stays out of the media, the more he becomes this martyr, this looming figure over the gop. a lot of people said they aren't really republicans, that they're, like, they're for trump. that's it. and it's just -- i think he's actually getting -- i think the base is getting stronger. truly. i think an impeachment would make him even more powerful. a conviction is what i mean. >> i want to bring our friends john and donna into this conversation. and i want to come back at you -- the mother hen in me, i want you to get a covid test and put your mask back on. >> yeah. >> but i want to -- john heilemann, we have spent so much time talking about disinformation, and i feel like right now listening to tara, we don't talk about it enough. because not only are they endangering their own lives, their teenage daughters' lives in the car, they endangered her life and if we -- it's not about winning a fight against
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trumpism. that's the tail. the cancer -- what has to be attacked with the strongest medicine we have is disinformation. listen to this. >> yeah. i mean, look, yes, i mean, i think, you know, nicole, one of the ongoing conversations we have had is, over the last four years, really, has been trump, cause or symptom, right? and you know, over time, it's become clear -- clearer than clear that trump is a symptom not a cause, and that he was an accelerateant and a coagulant and he caused all kinds of damage but the rot at the core of the republican party had set in long before donald trump came along to take advantage of it and to worsen it and metastasize it and it's going to go on, kind of regardless. tara's point, there's no doubt right now, as we sit here, just a few days after donald trump left office, there's no doubt
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that he continues to exert an enormous hold over large swaths of the republican electorate. no doubt about it. whether that will be true six months from now, whether that will be true a year from now, we'll have to see. you know, america has a very short memory and a very short attention span and i think that's true across -- from conservative to liberal and from the far left to the far right, but you know, we also -- trump is not going to be static. he's not going to stay underground for long. we'll see what he does. is this is all to play for going forward. but there's no doubt that the point you're making, which is that the river of disinformation and misinformation that's -- that has infected this large chunk of the body politic is absolutely essential to curing, not just because of our politics, but for the sake of the literal, physical health of the country in addition to its spiritual, psychological, emotional and political health. >> you know, donna, i think most people know and love people who believe that the world is as
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tara described she saw it in wyoming. i know i do. and i went out and interviewed a bunch of trump supporters and voters in 2016, and nbc sent me back after all these early crises, the firing of mike flynn, the announcement of a special counsel, the commencing of an obstruction of justice investigation, and to tara's point, their support for him got harder, not softer. and i wonder if you can just speak to the phenomenon that she alluded to, this sort of martyrdom and how we deal with that. >> yeah, i mean, nicole, first of all, i think tara's reporting is so important. you know, i've been out in the countryside. i spend time in my rv, that's no secret, and i can tell you that i do think it becomes very baked in with people, and you know, i worry about him becoming a martyr, but at the same time, i'm also worried that if democrats don't pursue this root
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of trying to seek a conviction and getting mainline republicans on the record about where they stand with respect to donald trump, not only will the republican party not be able to excise donald trump, but the country won't be able to do that either, and so, i think while it may be important to weigh martyrdom versus accountability, i think for me, there's really no, you know, that we can't stop at accountability, and you know, i think it's important for us to continue to do more reporting about what's going on out in the country, because this is not going away, and at one point, i thought liz cheney might end up being the reinvention of the republican party, except that i don't think that that's going to happen in the short run. this infection has really taken hold. it's festered. and i don't really see how it stops at this point.
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>> tara palmeri, you inspired a really interesting conversation. get your covid test. we'll be thinking about you. >> tomorrow, i think, i'll have it, yeah. >> keep us posted. take care of yourself. when we return, a powerful new interview with ukraine's president who was at the center of donald trump's first impeachment trial and his reaction to the siege at the capitol which led to trump's second impeachment. our friend, jonathan swan, has done it again. it's another extraordinary interview. we'll show it to you on the other side of a quick break. don't go anywhere. n the other side of a quick break. don't go anywhere. crispy currey to pay for bites of this... ...with this. when kids won't eat dinner, potato pay them to. ore-ida. win at mealtime. dry, distressed skin that struggles? new aveeno® restorative skin therapy. with our highest concentration of prebiotic oat intensely moisturizes over time to improve skin's resilience.
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it's been one year since the first impeachment of donald trump centered around his attempted extortion campaign carried out against the backdrop of potentially tragic consequences for a nation at war. that nation's leader, ukraine's volodymyr zelensky sat down with jonathan swan to discuss trump's latest impeachment inquiry, the january 6th incitement of chaos and the potential catastrophic impact it has for the united states on the world stage. watch. >> president trump held a rally and he incited his supporters to storm the united states capitol to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power. i've been thinking about how you must have seen it. how did you feel when you watched that happen? in the united states? >> translator: we were very shocked.
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i was very surprised. i could not imagine that something like this was possible in the united states of america. i believe this was a strong blow to democracy of the united states. we are used to seeing in books, in films, in television. we are used to believing that the united states has the ideal democratic institutions. where power is transferred calmly without war, without revolutions. power is passed from one presidency to another. we saw it in ukraine. in ukraine, we lived through two revolutions. we saw it. we understood such things can happen in the world, but that it could happen in the united states, no one expected that.
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and this says that not everything is ideal. >> joining our conversation is jonathan swan, axios's national political reporter. i'm going to play more of the interview. it's just remarkable. but what did you think? >> well, i found it very moving and actually quite unsettling. just to be clear, like, this is not some bad faith foreign leader, you know, like -- it's not like putin sort of using this as a cudgel against america. it's just someone who loves america, who is very much wants to build bonds with the united states and europe and sees america, you know, ukraine is an emerging democracy, looking to america for inspiration and security, and he's watching in horror and thinking, you know, i never imagined this would happen in the united states. and it's just a reminder to us here in america that what happened here on january 6th, it's not just a local event. this echos well beyond american
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shores, and you know, zelensky is -- we hear so much, you know, in our news cycles about vladimir putin and the importance of countering russia. this is not theoretical for zelensky. he is there on the edge. russia has invaded. they've swallowed it up. he's defending his struggling democracy against putin, and here he is looking to america, you know, for leadership, and seeing this horrific sight. i mean, it's a really troubling sort of conversation that we had, and you know, just a really strong reminder that people are watching. the world is watching what's happening here. >> i mean, tragically, the world pays closer attention to our politics than a lot of americans do, but i want to play some more of your interview. we'll talk about it on the other side. >> translator: i remember when i was a young person and the entire world watched when september 11th happened. we all remember this. it was some kind of horror. we watched, and you believe it
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and can not believe it at the same time, that in the united states, where security is always at such a high level, that something like that can happen. >> it sounds like you were profoundly disturbed watching this. >> translator: i was very worried. i was very worried. i did not want you to have a coup, shooting, and god forbid loss of life. it is just that after something like this, i believe it would be very difficult for the world to see the united states as a symbol of democracy in the world. >> i mean, jonathan swan, there it is. what the insurrection did to everyone in this country is render it irrelevant as an advocate or a brand manager for democracy anywhere else in the world. that is such a stain. that is such a tragedy. >> well, it also underscores
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that there's a lot of work to do. it's not as simple as having a new president and, you know, everything -- the slate is clean. there is lasting, residual damage from this, and it's going to take a huge amount of effort to change that image overseas, because they all saw this happen, and as he said, it's very hard to see this -- this is the peaceful transfer of power is the most important feature of american democracy, and they saw what happened on january 6th and were quite shaken by it. >> it's amazing. it's like our super bowl for democracy, and we blew it up. we blew it. jonathan swan, we will be watching. it's really another remarkable interview on your part. congratulations, my friend. you can watch the whole thing, jonathan swan's interview with ukraine's president, sunday night on axios on hbo at 6:00 p.m. when we return, a nation
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divided and diminished on the world stage. what president biden needs to do to dig us out of the hole left by his predecessor. that conversation next. e left by his predecessor that conversation next
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constructive disagreements are at the heart of a functioning democracy, but what we've seen over the past few years exacerbated in the last few weeks goes beyond the pale. america is fractured, perhaps more than it's been since the mid 19th century. and it's not really a surprise. elements of the far right already using language like civil war, so what does history tell us about the moment we are in right now? and what does it tell us about where we're heading? joining us, historian john meecham, from vanderbilt university who occasionally offers his advice to president joe biden. donna and john are still here as well. where are we? what are our best and worst scenarios here? >> well, i think the worst scenario, and i want to offer
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this as a new thought for me, probably a familiar one to others, is i think we need to find a slightly different vernacular than divided country. a divided country presupposes that there are two equivalent camps warily eyeing each other. i don't get the sense that center to left is an armed camp right now in the way the right is. and so, we are, i think, fractured is, in some ways, a better word. because i think we have to -- if we're going to find unity, if we're going to find a common agreement to resolve problems as opposed to treating politics as this shermanesque arena for total war, we have to acknowledge certain common realities, and that goes back to the framers' insight that reason has to have a chance against passion. right now, we are in an overly passionate political moment on the right. now, you know, i think that's
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important, and i'm not a democrat. i'm not a republican. but i think historically, and rationally, my best judgment for what it's worth is that the right of this country, as we have come to understand it, if i am wrong, then as we begin a public debate on a given issue, joe biden is a legitimately elected president of the united states. if you check that box, then let's have a conversation about resolving problems. we can disagree on memes, but we should be able i think to agree on the fundamental end that we're about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. but you have to undercut this lie that's at the heart of the right wing of the country right now. in terms of history, i think
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you're exactly right. this feels like the 1850s to me. you had two competing deeply held visions of reality. the two were not in the end compatible enough to even dwell within the contention of a democratic lower case d arena. and i think that's where we are. and so what we have to do, and i think the administration will do all they can to help us get there, is think anew and act anew. and the new thing we have to do is say do you accept the reality as we see it, the reality as it, or are you dwelling in this power-driven fantasy world? and if you are, then you can't be -- to use a foreign policy turn, you can't be a rational actor. >> i want to bring donna back into this. it seems that's the choice that
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millions of americans have already made, donna, not to be rationale actors. >> well, i think they have. i would take off from what jon meacham has said, and that is i'm a democrat. i sometimes don't agree with democrats. i really sometimes don't agree with mainline, mainstream regular old republicans, but i've never taken arms up against my opponents or encouraged others to do that. and i think if we can't draw the line at that and accepting the result of an election, then there is no unity around that. i just don't even know other ways to say it. you can't unify with people who don't accept the fundamentals of our system, don't accept the fundamentals of an election. and i think if there are republicans who want to ally with democrats on various issues
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or bill, that's going to come about, but not because there is a unity with people who agree with those who took up arms against the republic. >> and jon, this is where we keep come back to, that these aren't republicans who disagree with joe biden. these are republicans who don't see joe biden as a legitimate president in the same way they didn't see barack obama as a legitimate american president. >> yeah, yes, nicolle. they've been encouraged in that view by the man who we'd really like to stop naming, but on down and now we see the stunning thing of it seemed like there was a moment in the few days after january 6th, certainly in the immediate aftermath where there was a moment maybe where there would have been the possibility of a break and people were so stunned by what they saw. and i'm talking here about some of these republicans.
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you had kevin mccarthy at least in the well of the house laying responsibility at donald trump's feet you. had mitch mcconnell laying responsibility at donald trump's feet. but they have all reverted back to being on donald trump's side, to clinging ever more tightly to the big lie, to not repudiating that lie, to reinforcing it, to endorsing it. what is kevin mccarthy's trip to see donald trump at mar-a-lago othent of the big lie. he is screaming at the top of his lungs effectively joe biden is an illegitimate president. how can you see that? if that is the case, it always struck me as the thing that is going to make it incredibly difficult for joe biden to do what he aspires to do, and it has only gotten more difficult every day since the election was called on november 7th. every day it's gotten worse, and it continues to get worse. i agree with meacham. it's not really a divide. the inability to accept reality on the right side, it's poison, and it's got to be sending a
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clear message to joe biden that many of the things he most wishes for are not going to be possible. >> jon meacham, donna edwards and john heilemann, no other people better to talk to at the end of a week. remembering lives well lived. left on the steps of a church as a child, deborah hennessey was raised by strict nuns. she had very little knowledge of the outside world as a child. she got caught running away at age 12, and between 14 and 16, she lived with seven different foster families. after she graduated high school, she emerged as an independent young woman immediately drawn to social work. her grandson, sam levin, who brought her extraordinary story to life in a twitter thread told "the new york times," quote, she knew what it was like to grow up with nothing. so she wanted everyone to have everything.
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some years later, she and her second husband, who was also given up by his birth parents, settled in long beach, california. he got a job with the press telegram and made debbie near famous in the area with joking columns about the woman known to readers as the duchess. debbie hennessey was 80 years old when she died of covid complications three weeks ago. and the profound shame is this, that after an unfortunate childhood, she'd earned a peaceful and joyful life. she still had so much of it left to live. we will be right back. 1 in 2 kids is under hydrated. ♪ plant-powered creative roots gives kids the hydration they need, with the fruit flavors they love. and one gram of sugar. find creative roots in the kids' juice aisle. we made usaa insurance for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit,
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thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. we're always grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. hi, ari. >> hi, nicolle. thank you so much. welcome to "the beat." i am ari melber. our top story tonight is about the way we live now and the way we govern now. americans have lived through 20 years of a war on terrorism that often focused with the battle on a foreign threat with al qaeda, with isis and externally threats and attacks on americans. it's real. it still exists, yet the violent attack on the capitol underscores a shift that's actually been years in the making. the measurably greater threat from nick terrorism including white supremacist groups and extremist militias right here in the united states. federal authorities are warning about new threats and danger that could follow the maga attack on the capitol, while the news tonight is that capitol police are literally steppingirt


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