tv Meet the Press MSNBC May 17, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PDT
this sunday, about-face. >> we have all longed for this moment. >> the announcement so many wanted to hear. >> if you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask. >> millions of americans now ready to resume close-to-normal lives. >> i'm super excited about that. >> that's great. i haven't heard this and i'm excited. >> the news may even encourage others to get the shot. >> i'd get vaccinated in a second if it means i don't have to wear a mask. >> but did the cdc rush its decision? my guest this morning, the head of the cdc rochelle walensky.
plus, after the purge. >> we cannot both embrace the big lie and embrace the constitution. >> congresswoman liz cheney defiant after her ouster from republican party leadership and with a promise. >> i will do everything i can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the oval office. >> this, as some who sought a removal try to justify it by rewriting history. >> you would think it was a normal tourist visit. >> i'll talk to two republican members of the house about this divide. dan crenshaw of texas and adam kinzinger of illinois. gas pains. >> we're out of gas. >> gas lines for the first time since the '70s. a big ransom payment. how safe are we from the next sieb -- cyber attack? joining me for insight and analysis, nbc news chief white house correspondent kristen welker. former democratic congresswoman
donna edwards. "new york times" chief white house correspondent peter baker and republican strategist, brendan buck. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning. we're going to get to all the news about the cdc mask recommendations including the confusion that's resulted from the surprise announcement. we'll begin with the fighting between israel and hamas. one day after the israelis target and demolished pa building in gaza housing -- international news organizations. richard engle is in tel aviv for us to talk about this. you said hamas and the israeli government were looking for an exit ramp. why can't they find it? >> reporter: well, i think still that both sides do seem to want to find a way that they can declare victory. they both have a lot of interest in doing that. israel so far has not invaded the gaza strip and it could have done that.
it's holding off. it's launching air strikes and causing a lot of damage inside gaza as it's degrading the hamas military infrastructure and destroying a lot of other buildings. if israel were to roll in with its tanks, it would face intense ground assaults, its soldiers could get kidnapped. there are booby traps. there are a lot of reasons they don't want to do that. hamas doesn't want to see the region totally destroyed. totally obliterated. they are gaining support. that's the problem here. these problems once they start tend to gain momentum. palestinians in gaza for the last several years have felt hopeless. they're imprisoned in the territory. the infrastructure is terrible. there's no employment. we spoke to a woman in gaza. she said why bother dreaming about the future, opening a business when every couple of years everything is going to be destroyed and the clocks will start up again. that hopelessness is dangerous. i do think, yes, both sides are
looking for a where they can say they've achieved something and let's dial it back without having to destroy the region and put israeli troops at risk. >> i'm curious. how much influence does president biden have over bibi netanyahu? and how much influence do the egyptians have over hamas? >> reporter: they're not -- neither side is particularly close to the other, but they do have influence. that is the way these conflicts have ended in the past with the united states and egypt and other countries getting involved. they don't have the kind of personal relationships. the u.s. is not even talking to hamas. the u.s. reached out and talked to mahmoud abbas who has almost no influence on what happens happening in gaza but still the united states still is a major power in this, has great relations with israel and its voice is important. >> richard engel in tel aviv. richard, please stay safe. turning to the news on covid. the cdc had a lot of good
reasons to decide that fully vaccinated people can go maskless in most situations. more than 121 million people have been vaccinated showing the vaccines keep people from contracting or spreading the disease. it was the announcement we've been waiting for, a release from the ever-present reminder that covid has changed and uprooted our lives. yet, at the same time is it way too early to declare victory? majority of americans 18 and older are not fully vaccinated. 25% say they won't get vaccinated at all. an average of 34,000 new cases diagnosed each day. beyond that, there are many questions. why now? how does the new advice impact schools? what will businesses and local and state governments do about their own covid regulations? did the cdc feel pressured by politicians and growing public frustration to drop the mask recommendations? how will we know who has really been vaccinated? >> i do think without more guidance, these guidelines will cause more confusion. >> joining me now is the
director of the centers for disease control dr. rochelle walensky. welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning, chuck. thanks for having me. i want to start with something you said as recently as tuesday this week about masks. take a listen. >> we still have about a third of counties in this country that have over 100 cases per 100,000, very high transmission rates. many counties and areas in this country that have less than 25% vaccination rates. so in that context, we are keeping our public health guidance to recommend masking for people who are vaccinated. >> "the washington post" is reported you signed off on a decision to drop the mask mandate for vaccinated people before you testified to congress with those remarks. what changed in this 72-hour period? >> first i want to just sort of celebrate the moment where we're at in this pandemic, where we
see cases coming down just even over the last two weeks and really even since tuesday, a third of cases over the last two weeks. deaths at rates we haven't seen this low since april of 2020. now we have science that has evolved just even in the last week, a pape published as recently as friday, that demonstrates that people who are vaccinated are protected, these vaccines are working in the real world just as it did in the clinical trials, it's working against the variants. and if you get an asymptomatic infection after you've had the vaccine, that you really can't give it to somebody else. just in the last two weeks we've had a lot of evolving science. >> i understand that. not a single state in the union has got a vaccination rate above 50%, fully vaccinated above 50%. in fact, that was your rationale for why keeping it. why not create a metric? why not say, look, these
vaccines work? this is great. as soon as you hit this mark in your state, we say drop it. it would have given local and state officials time themselves to message and perhaps increase vaccination rates, no? >> i think it's really important to understand that as communities are working one at a time locally to figure out what their policies are going to be as they open up, that they understand what is important and what is true for individuals who are vaccinated. so this was really the first step, and it truly was science driven that demonstrates, if you are vaccinated, you are not at risk of getting disease if you take your mask off. if you are not vaccinated, importantly, get vaccinated. those are the people at risk of disease. we need to understand the individual risk as we're making community-level decisions. >> i understand that. i want to show you, as you've seen, all the papers -- people
are both happy and confused. you've got here the mayor of kansas city, i don't know if that's the type of rule that was written in coordination with anyone who has been a governor or mayor over the last 14 months. dr. wen, cdc has gone from overcaution to throwing caution to the wind. folks in san antonio, the government messages are confusing. that's the thing. again, i go back to the local officials are the ones that have had to enforce these mask mandates, and now you're saying, hey, still enforce a mask mandate. now they're going to sit there and have people say, well, the cdc says i don't have to wear a mask anymore. how did you not just pull the rug out from underneath the mayor of kansas city and everybody else in the country that's trying to manage this? >> everybody as we are working towards opening up again, towards after 16 months getting out of this pandemic, will need to understand what they need to do locally. this was not permission to shed
masks for everybody everywhere. this was really science-driven, individual assessment of your risk. that's the first step that we need to take in our guidance, to understand what's the individual risk. and now we all need to work together, and cdc is hard at work now saying what does this mean for schools, for travel, for camps, for businesses. but we needed this foundation, this building block in order to revise all that guidance, thousands of pages of guidance, so we could take this information, this science-based information as we open and take these next steps. >> i guess why do you make the announcement about -- i understand the science about masks with vaccinated people, but you just said, okay, we're going to get new guidance for school, new guidance for business, new guidance for travel. why not have those things ready to go before you make the initial announcement? >> you know, it was very clear that places were starting to have -- to make their own assessments, and we wanted to
make sure they understood it was safe at the individual level. it was going to be nearly impossible for us to revise all thousands of pages of our guidance simultaneously and release it all one at a time. we needed this building block, this first step so we could say this is the science upon which all future guidance will be based upon. >> right. again, i'm going to go back to something you didn't address earlier. you announced all the scientific studies have shown, the vaccines are working. so use the dropping of the mask ordinance to incentivize higher vaccination rates. you did it backwards. you announced, okay, now it's done. and now we have no way of knowing -- what is a business supposed to do when somebody walks in without a mask, assume they're abiding by the rules? >> we are asking people to be honest with themselves. if they are vaccinated and not wearing a mask, they are safe. if they are not vaccinated and
not wearing a mask, they are not safe. what we're asking businesses to do, probably the most important thing businesses can do right now is to work to ensure that it's easy for their own employees to get vaccinated and to give them the time that they need to make thome those appointments get themselves vaccinated so people in those businesses are safe. >> so you're counting on businesses to do vaccine mandates? >> we're not counting on vaccine mandates at all. it may very well be that local businesses, local jurisdictions will work towards vaccine mandates. that is going to be locally driven and not federally driven. >> are you concerned all this confusion over masks now -- was there any concern about the minute you lift this, you're never going to be able to put it back? if there is any spike at all, a local or regional spike, considering how this was announced and sort of the political climate we live in, did you consider the fact that,
once you lift it, you can never put it back? >> we were pretty clear when we lifted it that the science right now tells us that it is safe for vaccinated people to take off their masks. we also said that this virus has given us many curveballs over the last 16 months. the more circulating virus we have the more likely variants will emerge. variants are something we have to keep a very close eye on. we're doing a lot of sequencing at this time. right now the data, the science shows us it's safe for vaccinated people to take off their masks. i as the cdc director promised the american people i would convey that science to you when we knew it. that's what i did on thursday. >> i want to go back, though, to tuesday. tuesday you were defiant in defending the decision to keep this, and by thursday you changed. i think that's the part of this that a lot of people can't understand. i go back to a lot of governors are wondering why they weren't consulted at least in advance,
given a little heads-up. we've seen reporting that even the white house coronavirus team was sort of blind-sided, if you will, found out late in the day on wednesday. why the rush? >> our guidance is not that -- when guidance changes, it's not a spectrum. it's the switch. we have to pick the day and the time that the new guidance will appear on the website. we were still finalizing science early last week for data that was going to appear in the mmwr on friday. there were two studies the prior thursday that appeared in "the new england journal of medicine." we were taking all that science together, really actively during that time on tuesday that i was in congress to convey what we needed to say, how we needed to say it with all our subject matter experts. we were actively doing that last week. >> if you live in a mixed vaccinated household and you're fully vaccinated, what do you do? >> i think that's going to be
family by family. people are going to have to decide whether their children will understand that, if they're younger than the age of 12, they're going to have to wear a mask if the rest of the family is not. we have this for many other policies that influence families at different age ranges. i think that's going to have to be a family-by-family decision. i also want to convey that, because our guidance changed on thursday, there's no need for everybody to start ripping off their masks. we've been told to put a mask on to keep our families safe. by putting a mask on. those behaviors are going to be hard to change. there's no mandate to take it off. we're safe that now this is, we're saying that now this is safe, work with your own speed, your own family and businesses to remove them when necessary. if you're immuno compromised and
fully vaccinated, what would you recommend? >> thank you very much for that question. certainly we know and there's emerging data to suggest if you don't have a full immuno system, the vaccine may not have worked as well for you. please, before you take off your mask, consult your physician. >> dr. rochelle walensky, cdc director, thank you for coming on and sharing your perspective. i know it's been a long week. here is hoping everything keeps safe. thank you. >> thank you so much, chuck. when we come back. after the liz cheney ouster, can anyone survive in today's republican party without appeasing donald trump's lies about the 2020 election. i'll talk to dan crenshaw and adam kinzinger about that deb donate next. donate next. with secret, outlast anything! no sweat. secret.
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>> i don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election. i think that is all over it. >> that would be news to the former president himself who has made it clear it's not all over with, at least for him. then these statements from republican house members looking to wipe clean our collective memory of january 6th. >> the truth is being censored and covered up. as a result, the d.o.j. is harassing peaceful patriots across the country. >> in fact, it was trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not trump supporters who were taking the lives of others. >> if you didn't know the tv footage was a video from january 6th, you would think it was a normal tourist visit. >> joining me are two republican members of the house, adam kinzinger of illinois, one of the remaining republican members who has remained critical of president trump and supports liz cheney. and dan crenshaw who says he's neither a trump loyalist nor an anti-trumper and i'll be win with congressman censhaw.
welcome to "meet the press." let me start with whether you agree with the following analysis which is liz cheney was kicked out of leadership simply because she wouldn't carry the water of former president trump's election lies. do you agree with that statement? >> no. fundamentally i don't. thanks for having me on. i was a little surprised, because i've been so detached from this drama, and it is drama, over the past month. i have followed it. you can't forget we had this vote for liz cheney. we had this vote. and that vote was directly because of her vote for impeachment. she won overwhelming. the republican congress said we disagree. liz did not apologize. she said she would not apologize. she still won that vote overwhelmingly to be a leader in our conference. you can't forget that, can't gloss over that. a lot of the reason that our colleagues got more -- everybody
apologized and she refuses to apologize. which is fine. then she demands everybody else does. i think what kevin mccarthy was trying to say there is, look, there's disagreement and it's time to move on. we can keep having that fight. what's the point and the outcome? in reality we need to talk about the things that american people care about. i've got to tell you. this is not the subject i'm asked about. i get asked a lot of questions. i'm always doing events and meeting with 'em pooh. i never get asked about this. why is there a rise in inflation, why is there a border crisis, why can't we get gas, why can't i hire people, why are people getting paid by the government to stay at home instead of coming to work? these are things that affect people. not the internal drama. one of the reasons i agreed to come on your show is to say that. this isn't that important to people. >> why should anybody believe a word you say if the republican party itself doesn't have credibility? i want you to take a look at what liz cheney said to cnn on friday. this is her rationale for fighting it.
take a listen. >> for republicans to be in a position where we can stop those policies, we've got to be able to tell people you can trust us. you can trust us to be based around conservative principles and to reject the lie and to protect the constitution. >> look, for her and for many americans, sitting here and saying there's disagreement about the election. there's not disagreement about the facts. this is -- so -- do any of your critics come across as credible if you can't accept the fundamental fact that our democracy held a free and fair election? >> i can speak for myself, of course. you know where i've been on this issue, i assume, right? >> i do. in december -- i know how you voted. in december you signed on to that lawsuit that the texas attorney general filed to question the elections of other states which seemed to be a pretty anti -- >> you guys in the press painted that as some extreme action. of course, it wasn't.
that amicus brief was a simple question of the supreme court in saying, can you please speak to this question of whether process changes in the election last minute, not approved by the legislature can be deemed constitutional. it was a question. they didn't want to answer that question. i said it's unconstitutional for us to overturn the election in congress. i voted to certify. >> this is the issue many people have. you're sitting here trying to say no, no, no, i just had a specific question. yet, what you did get weaponized by the former president. did you see the rantings of him yesterday, to the point where a republican official in maricopa county called the former president unhinged. i understand you want to put this behind you, but he is the leader of this party and he doesn't stop talking about this nonsense. >> he's one of many leaders in the party. he's a former president.
we're five months into president biden's presidency. there is a time to move on. you guys in the press love doing this, and i get it, right, that the press is largely liberal. >> no, no, no. don't start that. there as he -- there's lazy and an excuse. >> -- that take the bait. i'm not going to take the bait here. >> i'm not trying to bait you. i'm try to figure out why do we sit here and have a political party that is basically rallying around this bizarre lie and mythology that the former president is doing. you guys want to say, hey, pay no attention to this, that we in the press are bringing it up. it's the former president. >> i already debunked the notion that there's no space in the party for that. remember, liz won that first election -- won that first leadership vote. >> she's not there now. >> i told you why. i helped you understand why. what i'm trying to help you understand is these are not the phone calls i get, who is the leader of the party, what's happening with trump?
my republican supporters aren't asking me about trump, they're not asking what he said, they're not riled about it. they're asking about what are we doing about over a quarter million illegal crossings on our border in the last two month. how is that sustainable? what about my inflation, my savings that are less valuable because of rising inflation because we're spending money we don't have. my small business can't hire people because they're getting paid more to stay at home. we said this would happen. now our economy isn't recovering. what do you think about the jobs report recently? >> you must be upset with the former president that he can't let the party -- let the party go. you keep putting this on the press. isn't it not the former president? >> if former president trump asked me, i would say, mr. president, please keep talking about the border, please keep talking about these issues. that's what i would say to him, for sure. >> you believe he's a legitimate leader of the republican party? you believe he's a legitimate leader of the republican party? >> hold on. i believe you're not going to ex-communicate a former
president. i refuse to go into this black-and-white thinking about it's either one thing or totally the other. these are complex human relationships that involve millions of people. i've always said, look, i don't think trump is the devil. i don't think he's jesus either. i'm a rational human being about this. >> i get that. >> i'm going to agree where i agree and disagree where i disagree. i refuse to let this drama to engulf us. that's what kevin mccarthy said, i fully agree with that. there's no point in relitigating these things. you're not going to get the colleagues who believe in that stuff to apologize to you, agree with you. i stand by everything i've ever said and done. that's all i can speak to. i speak for my constituents who care about those issues i told you about. those are the issues we should be debating on this program. you've got a great show, you've got a lot of listeners.
let's debate border policy. i'll go toe to toe with you on all of it. >> we would love to see you contact the former president about that. let me turn to congressman adam kinzinger. congressman, i know where you stand on this. why do you believe you can't both appease former president trump and his narrative there and somehow build the republican party? >> it's two things. number one, trump set the table. he's the one that continually brings up a stolen election narrative. he's the one that has convinced members of congress including what we saw a few days ago, to have a hearing on january 6th and claim this was nothing but a tourist group or that it was hugs and kisses. if you saw the press releases he put out yesterday about this is the lie of the century, the greatest crime of the century. you cannot on the one hand say that donald trump is a leader or
the leader of the republican party, i believe he is the leader of the republican party right now, because kevin mccarthy gave him his leadership card. you can't say he's the leader and say we have to move on. i would love to move on, chuck. listen, when liz cheney probably on a total of maybe four or five times just simply answered questions that the election wasn't stolen and then donald trump dozens and dozens of times says it is, it's not liz's fault. >> what is the republican party now? i want to put up a clip for growth stat, chip roy and elise stefanik who ended up replacing liz cheney, lifetime club for growth record of 35%. this is a conservative economic group. and chip roy is 100%. for what it's worth, ilhan omar from minnesota has a higher lifetime growth rating than elise stefanik.
what does that say about where the republican party is today? >> i think what it needs to say to any republican that's maybe confused by the moment we're in is policy doesn't matter anymore. it literally is all your loyalty to donald trump. as i said before, this is something that echoes a little bit out of north korea where, no matter what policy comes out, you're loyal to the guy. this binge this. donald trump -- i had so many people who said i don't like what donald trump tweets, but i like his policies, so i'm going to support him. liz chairman, liz cheney, i like her policies but i don't like her tweets. she needs to leave. it's allegiance to one monday, donald trump. we have to recognize that as a party and recognize that four months ago, we allowed the narrative to lead to an insurgency on january 6th. until we take ownership, we can't heal. that's why i think it is so important. >> how long do you fight to stay a member of a club or reform a club that doesn't want you? i'm referring to the republican
party. >> look, i've been a republican far longer than donald trump has, and i'm not going to let him come in and hijack my party and turn it into something that great people like ronald reagan and george w. and george h.w. bush and all the great leaders back didn't want it to be. i'm not going to let donald trump win at that. that's what the fight is about. i believe in what we used to believe in with 21st century solutions, though. >> it was interesting to hear congressman crenshaw. he said, hey, my constituents are asking about x. one of the issues in our gerrymandered society, both in congressional districts but also siloed media, you have an information wing on the right that seems to struggle with reality themselves and feeds this, some of this nonsense to many of your constituents. this seems to be the broken piece here.
what do you think can be done about it? >> i think a lot of it is just an overload of information for people. so instead of kind of working through that information, a lot of people have just chosen when venue, what people, what personalities they trust and put their faith in it, i think similar to donald trump. i think people have to take responsibility for their own ability to work through misinformation, to remember what the constitution is about, to be okay with losing power for a little bit and let that actually reaffirm that you have to go out and win a next generation of conservatives. right now, again, it's -- we're sitting here with donald trump throwing up all the smoke screen of four months ago. we want to move on. it's hard to do when he keeps bringing it back to a stolen election which, of course, wasn't true. >> is it uncomfortable to you that success for the republican party in 2022 will mean bringing donald trump back as the leader and nominee? do you worry 2022 will be a referendum on that?
>> i do worry it will be perceived as that. look, we have tail winds, certainly, to be in a majority. this happens whenever one party has complete control. i think president biden has gone significantly far to the left. i think the american people will react. that is a reaction to joe biden and i don't think an affirmation that donald trump should be the party leader. but we may take it that way. >> congressman adam kinzinger, republican from central illinois, thanks for coming on and sharing your perspective. appreciate it. >> you bet. when we come back, is what we're seeing a civil war in the republican party or a purge? the panel is next. the panel is . t i've been telling everyone, the secret to great teeth... is having healthy gums. keep yours healthy with new crest advanced gum restore. it's clinically proven to detoxify below the gum line, and it restores by helping heal gums in as little as seven days. because you can't have a healthy smile, without healthy gums.
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>> welcome back. the panel is with us. nbc news chief white house correspondent kristen welker, "new york times" peter baker, former democratic congresswoman donna edwards. brendan buck is a former advisor to john boehner and paul ryan. brendan, i'll start with you, is this a civil war inside your party, or right now is it simply a purge? >> it feels a lot closer to a purge. i wish there were bigger -- two bigger sides you need to have a civil war. the reality is liz cheney -- i obviously support what she is doing -- is representing a really small, vanishingly small part of the republican party. what i think is important about what liz cheney is doing, she is obviously making a moral
argument. but she's also making a political argument that you don't hear too much these days. she's arguing that we can't continue to lose those suburban voters, those swing voters who were so important to our coalition. >> dan crenshaw got uncomfortable when you started asking him these questions. i don't doubt that he never gets asked about it. so much of the republican party is so focused only on conservatives. there's a cost to that. we're losing voters that are really important to us. in those suburbs, those educated voters. she's trying to make the point that we have to be a big enough party to have those people here. there's not a lot of us these days making that argument. >> peter baker, is this about the future of the republican party or the future of the american democracy? >> i think it's both, obviously. to your point, whether it's a civil war, if it was a civil war, it's over and donald trump has won. as brendan says, there's not two
counter veiling forces of roughly equal size. this is loce, stock and barrel right now donald trump's party. if you like republicans, even those who don't like trump, what they'll tell you in private is in my district and my state he polls at 85% among republicans. are they going to go against their own voters, won't pick up voters from democrats or independents by breaking from donald trump. the reality is for many republicans is they have to stick with donald trump, that's what they believe. that's what he's doing his best to enforce. you're right. it goes beyond the republican party to the larger sense of democracy. the questions of truth and revisionist history and what do we believe in in our system are front and center. that's why liz cheney got purged. i think she was making a lot of her colleagues feel very uncomfortable. >> kristen welker, the real question for me in the next 18 months, are we in a governable situation here? the biden administration still
wants to pass things, still has to work with some version of the republican party yet you have this house version over here that's not living in reality and what's to go down this road, is the biden white house, how do they navigate this and deal with the non-reality-based wing of the gop? >> i think you'll see president biden try to get something small done with republicans potentially this summer on infrastructure. he had a number of meetings about that with republicans, including republican leadership this week. it's not clear there's a whole lot of room for broader bills to get passed in the coming months, chuck. i think what you're seeing is a big bet by the republican party that holding on to former president trump will help them win back the house that's clearly going to be their focus. you saw representative crenshaw preview their strategy to talk about the economy, to talk about the border and to try to battle president biden on that. here's the thing, chuck. former president trump is going
to start holding rallies again. what's he going to be talking about? election fraud. it's not clear that's going to help win back those all-important suburban voters that brendan was just talking about. >> donna edwards, we saw this week the house couldn't even do some basic functions because of the animosity that is growing there. there's a lot of democrats who are just not comfortable working with republicans who won't denounce this stuff. are we to a point where sort of the house is barely functional? >> i think we're going to come to a point where we recognize that in order to get anything done, we'll only depend in the house on about a dozen republicans to join house democrats. that's where we are. in the senate, the margins are very narrow. i do think there is room on infrastructure to get something
maybe not as big as the proposal that president biden put forward, but certainly not on the lower end. it's a really complicated environment. where you have members yelling at other members and not willing to acknowledge that january 6th even happened, it's a really difficult working environment. >> brendan, this week we've seen -- just as the party is saying, fine, we'll embrace donald trump, then you have these maneuvers that try to get around him. it was successful in virginia, a bizarre convention, primary inspired convention got a glenn yunkin who after the primary said biden won legitimately and then you've got missouri republicans who are trying to create a runoff system there to stop eric greeten, the former governor, who has baggage that is very similar to d.o.t.'s baggage. so this contradiction in the
party, on the one hand trump figures know they can't win. on the other hand, they're embracing trump. it's sort of a bizarre strategy here. >> i don't think anybody should delude themselves to think they can set up the process to overcome donald trump. he's going to come in in missouri i'm certain and other places, he's going to play king maker. if he endorses eric greitens, he'll be the nominee. we've nibbled at the edges of how to get around donald trump for so long, and i don't think this is the solution. i firmly believe we need to have a different approach if we're trying to get past him. we've been trying so long of hoping he goes away, hoping if we look the other way, his craziness won't infect the party. look what happened. we lost the house, we lost the senate, we lost the white house. he's a political disaster. i think we need to wake up to that fact and realize the process isn't going to help us, we need to go in a different direction. >> i'll pause the conversation here. when we come back, a powerful new force in american politics.
asian-american pacific islanders. as we go to break, nbc lost one of its own on friday, longtime space correspondent james barbree. he covered every space flight for us since 1958. >> here is that part of the story from nbc's jay barbree. at cape carnival. >> reaching the end of the countdown, about two hours before dawn, and the tall, slender rocket on its path to leave an orange pillow of flame as it thundered into a dark sky. >> a few years ago jay talked to me about how space exploration could end up saving the human race. >> we live on a spacecraft 8,000 miles in dimer. it's fy nine. we're all going to have to get off one day and we better have somewhere to go when the human species will not be any longer after we lose this only place we have, what neil called our cradle. jay barbree loved his beat and
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welcome back. "data download time." we talk about changing demographics. we want to look at the growing political power of this huge and diverse ethnic group. overall, the population of people who consider themselves aapi grew by a whopping 27% between 2011 and 2019. this growth was led overall by indian americans, but all a api groups grew especially compared
with the overall u.s. growth rate of just 5%. that only scratches the surface of all the ethnicities and nationalities that fall into the grouping. there are over 20 overall, from japanese, pakistani to indonesian. the biggest growth came in counties in three states, virginia, loudoun county outside washington, d.c. three outside dallas, austin and houston. in georgia, forsyth county, an hour north of atlanta. that could have big political impacts. you can argue we've already seen it in georgia. a poll sponsored by a collection of a api groups showed joe biden leading most over the groups over president trump. there was one exception. vietnamese americans who like
cuban-americans escaped communism are more conservative politically and are more sensitive to the socialist attacks. as the aapi population grows, it is likely to change as well. historically that's often been the story of different racial and ethnic groups as they grow and assimilate. these numbers show the a api population is becoming an increasingly powerful political force in this country. when we come back, we told you president biden's second 100 days would be tougher than his first. we'll tick off the reasons why that's already proving to be true. ng to be true so you smell them later. ew right? that's why febreze created small spaces. press firmly and watch it get to work. unlike the leading cone, small spaces continuously eliminates odors in the air and on surfaces. so they don't come back for 45 days. just imagine what it can do with other odors.
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welcome back. the panel is with us again. as if we didn't know the second 100 days would be tougher than the first. food prices ticked up noticeably, the hacked pipeline led to gas lines and shortages in much of the southeast. even the good news about covid has led to complaints about lack of direction at the top. kristen welker, i guess it's official, the honeymoon phase of the biden presidency is over. and the phase of the presidency where you can pick your issues is over. the issues are now picking him. how would you say the west wing is prioritizing all of these many fires they're dealing with right now? >> i think that's a good way to characterize it, chuck. they believe given that the colonial pipeline is back up and running, albeit slowly, that that crisis is going to be
contained within the week. they think these economic numbers are not a sign of things to come in the long run. we'll have to wait and see. i think the biggest crisis is really what's happening in the middle east right now, chuck. so you had the president huddling with top advisers in the oval office on saturday. he had calls with prime minister netanyahu and mahmoud abbas and had stern language for them in terms of tamping down the violence. what's so noticeable, exposed divisions within the democratic party, with progressives calling on him to get tougher against israel. he's not going to do that in public, at least not yet. i'm told the tough conversations are happening behind the scenes. those are the pressure points, chuck. >> they are. i want to focus on the pipeline, donna edwards. to me this is a highlight of a problem that government has president been able to figure
out. let me show you headlines that had to do with ransomware attacks not having to do with the colonial pipeline. san diego is dealing at a cyber attack at scripps health nine days in. in washington, d.c., our police department heres ha a ransom wear attack they've been dealing with and the city of tulsa has a ransomware attack they've been dealing with. do you sense the urgency in this issue in our government, or are you concerned that we're sort of not seeing the big picture here? >> i do think that president biden has tried to -- and the biden administration has actually tried to use this colonial pipeline ransomware attack as a way to highlight what needs to happen on infrastructure. i think it's a tough fit because these are happening in private and public institutions, but we need to get a handle on it because it exposes how vulnerable all of our infrastructure is that you can have a pipeline shut down, a
police system shut down, and i think the administration is going to have to incorporate this fully as it begins to try to get something done on infrastructure over the coming few weeks. >> peter baker, if you're wanting to do damage to the united states of america and you watched how we handled this pipeline hack where the public officials and the media all said, hey, don't worry, we're not going to run out of gas, that didn't work. this has to rattle national security folks about how easily this disrupted our society in the southeast part of this country. >> that's exactly right. it's a wake-up call. we've known intellectually for quite a while how vulnerable we are to outside attacks like this. we focused a lot on state actors like russia and china. it goes beyond just hostile governments, it could be any rogue group out there with a computer it seems. this particular incident will fade.
the lines will go away and people will move on. if we don't use the moment to learn lessons from it, to begin to figure out how to harden our vulnerable points, that's going to be the real challenge for president biden going forward. >> brendan, how does something that has bipartisan support like cybersecurity not get done in congress? this has been sort of a head-scratcher. >> i don't think enough people are paying attention. i've been out of government for a couple of years but when i was there, you ask any national security person what's the biggest threat, they'll all tell you it's cyber. it's not north korea, not islamic terrorism. it's this. we need to move beyond the national security world and people need to realize this is the big threat. we have millions, if not billions of connected devices in this country that, if they are hacked, can do real damage. entire cities can have their power grids knocked out. this is a relatively small crisis compared to what the real threat is. it needs a lot more attention. >> kristen welker, we know the president signed these executive
orders. is donna right, is this how he's going to try to sell infrastructure now? >> i think it's certainly one way he's going to try to sell infrastructure, chuck. to underscore, the point of how unprepared the country, the government is for these types of attacks, when i asked administration officials what are the next steps? the next steps are implementing the executive orders to try to strengthen the government's preparedness, and that is going to take time they say. so i think that's going to be a real challenge and a real test moving forward based on my reporting. they were considering a range of options to deal with this, chuck, even potentially mobilizing the military to get gas to stations. they decided not to do that. it's going to be a test in the coming days. >> let's hope our adversaries don't take note. that's all we have today. thank you for watching. if you're fully vaccinated, enjoy these new privileges. do so with respect, please
remember, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." . remember, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." remember, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press. israeli air strikes flatten three apartment buildings in gaza city. there are rescue crews to speak of in gaza, so when the poorly-equipped teams arrive, they had to dig for survivors, however they could. they pulled dozens out, still alive, trapped in the rubble for hours. but they found more than 40 dead including health officials say two dozen women and children. >> if hamas thought that they could just fire their rockets and then sit back and enjoy immunity, that's false. we are targeting a terrorist organization that is targeting our civilians and hiding behind their