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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  June 17, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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contribute to the systemic race inch we see and experience every day. >> opal lee gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. ♪♪ good evening once again. day 149 of the biden administration. the president now back on u.s. soil is now turning his attention back to his towering list of domestic priorities why crippled by the math president biden aiming for bipartisan support for at least some of his proposal still. today as he signed legislation making juneteenth a federal holiday. he invoked that very sentiment. >> i'm especially pleased that we showed the nation that we can come together at democrats and republicans to commemorate this day with an overwhelming
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bipartisan support of the congress. i hope this is the beginning of a change in the way we deal with one another. >> and here's what he mentioned there. the juneteenth bill passed with unanimous support in the u.s. senate. we'll have more on the new holiday just ahead. today the president also something of an assist from the conservative majority supreme court. upheld the affordable care act for a third time. president obama's signature legislation has been the target of republican efforts to repeal it. in this latest ruling the court decided 7-2 a group of republican attorneys general lacked the standing to sue to strike it down. 11 years have now passed since it became the law of the land. the fortunatelier president issued a statement today that red in part, quote this ruling
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reaffirms what we have long known to be true, the affordable care act is here to stay. for the biden administration the supreme court ruling removes the possibility of millions of fellow citizens losing the insurance amid efforts to repair the economy after the pandemic and a win for democratic leaders in congress working to advance the president's agenda. >> the affordable care act has won and now we'll try to make it bigger and better. >> i said it's a pillar. we'll never forget how republican leaders ripped away america's health care in the middle of a deadly pandemic. >> while the president was overseas work continued on the infrastructure compromise bill of some sort which is now at the top of biden's list. the group is now made up of 21 senators out of 110 democrats.
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now 11 republicans have backed the compromise bill but even as that effort is under way senate democrats are talking amongst themselves of a $6 trillion budget package to include the biden proposals and could pass without republican support. meanwhile democratic senator joe manchin, west virginia, his proposals for voting rights legislation are getting support of the advocate stacey abrams and welcomed by several other democrat just the proposals include making election day a public holiday, mandate at least 15 consecutive days of early voting, ban partisan gerrymandering and require voter i.d. withal termtives. democrats have been firmly against identification of any kind before but even that part of manchin's compromise got the
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abram's note and what she had to say about manchin's proposal today. >> i am endorsing the fact that we now have a list of priorities and that manchin is at the table and part of the conversation. i think that he makes common sense opportunities available for compromise. it is only going to be through federal legislation to negate or mitigate the harms created at the state level. >> remember here are the stakes nearly 400 bills that would make it harder for americans to vote are proposed in 48 of the 50 state just manchin's proposal still needs sup important of ten senate republicans to pass and comes as the hill and other media outlets report majority leader schumer plans to mover ahead with a floor vote tuesday on the for the people act and also tonight new developments in the investigation into the 1/6 riot and desecration of the
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capitol. there's new footage from the january 6th assault, used in the case against a former marine and retired new york city police officer accused of participating in the attack. fair warning here. just like what we saw on that day, these images are disturbing. >> [ bleep ]! [ bleep ]! >> hey! >> [ bleep ]! [ bleep ]! >> going over! >> go over! >> [ bleep ]! >> [ bleep ]! >> stop, stop! >> as we mentioned this was also a landmark day. we saw the president sign into law a new federal holiday to
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xhem kate june 19th of 1865. the day enslaved african-americans were emancipated in texas. this year it is on saturday. the new holiday will be orbed tomorrow and federal workers as a result will have the day off. with that led's bring in the lead yaufr gers on this thursday night. phil rucker for "the washington post." lisa laura for "the new york times." former u.s. attorney joyce vance who spent 25 years as a federal prosecutor and a cohost of the podcast sisters-in-law. good evening and welcome to you all. phil, i would like to start with you. is it us watching from afar up and down the eastern corridor or are there signs of movement be it ever so humble in the president's domestic agenda?
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>> brian, there certainly are signs of movement here in washington for president biden who remember just returned to the united states after a lengthy and eventful foreign trip that concluded with the meeting with president putin. he got here and there were signs of hope. there's the supreme court ruling on obamacare of course which is a really significant development for this white house and for the democratic party as a whole preserving that health care program. but the bipartisan movement over on capitol hill in terms of the infrastructure plan is a very welcomed sign by the white house which has patiently been working for months now through the spring to try to bring republicans together with democrats to work out some sort of a deal. it is not done yet of course and it does not include some of the climate change and other initiatives that are so important to the progressive base of the democrat inspector general party but progress never
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the loss and then joe manchin the west virginia senator becoming effectively that 50th vote for the voting rights act or voting rights legislation rather is significant meaning that democrats when they bring this to the floor in the senate next week to begin debate should have unified support within the caucus which is a political win for the white house even if it doesn't necessarily yet mean that that bill is going to be passing the senate needing the ten republican votes, as well. >> lisa, let's talk about that very dynamic that phil raises. biden has to hold the democrats and, oh by the way in the spare time good luck finding ten republicans to pull across. >> that's exactly right. finding ten republicans in this sort of polarized political environment is a heavy lift an enthat why you see democrats pursuing the dual track approach to the infrastructure
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legislation where on the one hand there's a group that's negotiating this biparent san infrastructure bill that comes in about 1.2 trillion and then democrats are also working on a $6 trillion infrastructure package that should that bipartisan bill fall apart they should push through with reconciliation and only have to clear 50-vote hurdle. there's pros and cons to both approaches. biden's certainly wants as phil said bipartisan achievement. ran as a bipartisan legislator, a long time lion of the senate and vice president, experienced washington. you can get things done but he made some pretty big promises to democratic base and won't be fulfilled in that bipartisan package. on the flip side there's the question about the bigger bill whether moderates get those like joe manchin would get behind the
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proposal and remains a precarious negotiation for both of these potential paths. >> joyce vance, counselor, the news that started this day in many ways. how significant was it 7-2 ruling affirming obamacare, the aca? can we now assume after 11 years and numerous challenges that it is here to stay? >> i'd like to say we can assume that. i feel good about the security of the supreme court's ruling but i suspect we'll continue to see challenges to other provisions of the bill. the decision today is a very interesting one from a legal point of view. it is a 7-2 decision with gorsuch in the dissent and the merits would have asked them to decide if the mandate to obtain
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medical insurance if it's constitutional. the court stopped before it got to that substantive ruling and said the plaintiffs don't have a right to sue, they don't have standing and haven't brought a claim with a law that damages them and because they're not suffering any harm here we don't let the suit proceed so it is pretty much a slam on the case that was brought here but it does stop short of a fulmer its ruling so perhaps republicans or people against it will try to find a new way to attack the bill. >> all right.. phil, i want to play for you missouri republican senator roy blunt, the justification he has come up with on not joining the manchin compromise on voting right just we'll discuss on the other side. >> i think when stacey abrams
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immediately endorsed senator manchin's proposal it became the abrams substitute, not the joe manchin substitute. >> so phil, forgive me. this is like a real reason but flimsy. is the standard anything that a democrat went near is tainted in terms of legislation? >> brian, i'm at a loss here to try to explain what the senator meant there. ore than to point out that the substance of the proposal is no different whether put forward by senator manchin or stacey abrams. and we should just keep in mind what he is trying to do. stacey abrams is well-known and loved and credited with helping turn georgia into joe biden's column in the 2020 election and getting the two democratic senators over the hurdle in january in the special
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elections. and yet she is reviled by the sket base, by the republican party seen as activist, seen as threatening to the status quo for republicans and to former president trump in particular and i think blunt was trying to have something of a dog whistle there to conservative republican voters out in the country in explaining why the republican senators appear to be united in trying to resist and oppose this voting legislation. >> lisa, i have one for you. this reminder of how popular obamacare was with the last president. just a reminer. we'll discuss on the other side. >> somebody said what's the first thing you are going to do? working immediately on repealing obamacare. the problem with obamacare is not good. i want to give great health care. obamacare is a disaster. we want to terminate it.
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cancel that obamacare if we can win the case. >> solis sa, we are still waiting on thattal termtive trumpcare health care plan but let's say this. to joyce vance's last point, if the supreme court decides they're done with challenges to the aca, either standing orb the law itself, and they don't grant another challenge, another case, can we assume this will disappear as a republican rallying cry? >> this is a really long road for republicans. it does feel at this moment that the fight has sort out of gas and more than 70 attempts in congress to repeal all or part of the law and all the failed. this is the third time the supreme court has refused to undermine the law. republicans lost the midterm elections when democrats made
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them a referendum on health care, lost the 2020 election obviously. lost the presidency and the law is more popular now than ever been. a majority of americans approve of the law and certain provisions like insurance for people with preexisting conditions is approve ds by margins nearly two thirds of republicans. 75% of americans. what struck me the most about the republican reaction is the silence. you didn't hear the level of outrage that you have heard after the supreme court rulings in 2012 and 2015. i don't think it disappears completely but a zombie issue trotted out maybe to rally a primary voters in tight republican primaries but i don't think republicans really see this as a winning general election issue moving forward. i think they set the sights on other topics.
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>> the last word goes to joyce vance. what may be the most important question of the evening coming from the world of the possible. you know that anything that's going to get 60 votes on voting rights in the u.s. senate is not going to be what the democrats want. it is going to be something by definition watered down. here's the question, though. will it still be enough in terms of federal protections to counteract all of the voter suppression measures being passed by republican controlled state legislatures? >> that's tough work that we have ahead of us as a country to protect voting rights and it happens in two bills that are currently sitting in the senate with the manchin proposal we are really talking about the for the people act which in many ways addresses voting. how do we register?
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can we vote absentee? what sort of restrictions? identification. do we have the provide to vote? there's the john lewis voting rights act which would attempt to restore the protections of section 5 of the voting rights act which gives the justice department and private individuals the ability to challenge when states pass the very restrictive measures but the manchin plan is really from my point of view as someone that litigated voting rights issues for decades which is extraordinary with a 15-day period for voting in advance of the election. in alabama we have one day. so provisions like that would make it very strong. it would certainly not expose anyone to fraud but manchin has this interesting notion that he would actually impose or
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legitimize the rirnlts that states have and other state it is restrictions are really strong. in texas you can vote with a gun license but not with the college i.d. manchin would let people use things like utility bills and other sots of material that would firmly establish the identity and what we know to be the absolutely minimal risk of fraud clear after trump's big lie and that fraud is not impacting elections in lerk but manchin none the less puts that provision in and something that all americans can live with because it would expand the right to vote. still needs the john lewis act to protect things in the long run. >> it keeps manchin at the center of the conversation and also shows he may have listened to the parade of voices making the way to the office in the
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u.s. senate. we are obliged to the big three tonight. coming up, what's next for democrats and the push for voting rights as mcconnell and the caucus doing everything possible to sink the esht manchin or not. later historian michael beschloss with us tonight on joe biden's first trip abroad as president. history in the making no matter your persuasion. all of it as the 11th hour is just getting under way on this thursday night. laughed about♪ ♪well, the names have all changed♪ ♪since you hung around♪ welcome back, america. it sure is good to see you. the lexus es. every curve, every innovation, every feeling.
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it still turn it is federal election commission from a judge into a prosecutor. equally unacceptable. totally inappropriate. all republicans i think will oppose that as well. >> this comes right out of our last conversation. you heard how positive joyce vance was about the manchin compromise, for example. while democrats are generally sounding optimistic on voting rights that was mcconnell quick to quash any hope that republicans might still get on board. as we know at least ten of them need to do just that. back with us tonight don callaway, a member of the board for the national voter protection fund and ceo of pine street strategies. mark mckinnon, he is among the
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cohosts, star if you ask us of the circus on showtime. gentlemen, good evening and welcome to you both. don, it should never be lost that biden did sign not only bipartisan legislation today, but important legislation today. and the event was emotional and lovely at the white house. does this bipartisan legislation have any convertibility into any other bipartisan legislation? >> it absolutely does. we should not diminish the importance of recognizing june teenth as a federal holiday. it is important. yes, i will acknowledge that the critics as they say it's largely symbolic but republicans attempt to whitewash no pun intended the legacy of slavery and through
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the vehicle of studying critical race theory but it is what it is. but to your second question -- i'm sorry. there's audio issues here. the idea that the bill passed today is not -- cannot exist in a vacuum. so black twitter and the leftist twitter should claim a victory because they made enough noise that people like joe biden and the snaft democratic caucus recognize for the first time they can't do this performtive stuffer and not pass real voting rights reform and on issues to make a difference in people's real lives but particularly in the context of the ongoing racial issues in america. you cannot pass a juneteenth bill and look at the american people with a straight face and not do something on voting rights reform.
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we have gotten joe manchin to a decent place because democrats would not be able to look at anybody with a straight face by having passed juneteenth and nothing on voting rights but i think everybody should claim a broad victory. >> so mark, don raises a terrific point as usual. some senators part of the unanimous yes vote on the juneteenth legislation are big fans of voter suppression back home. they know it. they know we know it and we know their names so what would your advice be to the democrats, especially given the kind of bubble of hope surrounding what mr. manchin has been able to write, what mr. manchin has been able to get some agreement with and, yes, the story that keeps him at the center of the story?
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>> joe manchin's proving why he ought to be at the center of the story why there's a reasonable compromise solution, very thoughtful. it touches on the major sort of tentpole ideas that the democrats have been pushing for and adds another one on voter i.d. i would argue that it's a problem, a solution in search of a problem but the fact is that people urks most americans on the street say you ought to have a form of i.d. but manchin is bringing down the level of the i.d. so it's reasonable to bring a utility bill that almost all americans have and easier and make a big sticking point and democrats don't care because they don't have fraudulent voters but by including this provision in the bill it gives democrats cover.
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mcconnell will use the federal overlay over the states and ultimately the problem is that this is the acid test. it is the ultimate test for republicans because if they support this bill it means they're denying the big lie and the litmus test today. if you march in step on the big lie you cannot vote for this voter reform bill. >> that's right because absent massive voter fraud why would you want to fix a voter fraud? boert guests are staying where they are. coming up as we fit in a break, it is the gop's latest strategy. the politics of spreading fear. we'll talk about it.
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we highlighted the crises under president joe biden. >> the economic crisis. >> the border crisis. >> the biden administration continues to turn a blind eye to the crisis. >> yet another crisis they refuse to confront. >> our energy crisis. >> the border crisis is usual one of many. >> the budget crisis. >> the crisis is not in europe. >> we can tell you we see the crisis clearly.
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>> we are dispatching teams to look at all the crises afoot. any question of gop messaging "the new york times" puts it this way. quote for divided house republicans outrage may be the tie that blinds, at least their leaders hope so. still overwhelmingly in the tlal of donald trump they have learned over the last four years grievance loudly expressed carries political weight especially with the core voters. mark, any time we use the word crisis i think we have to use the phrase never let a crisis go to waste but what about crises of your own perception. what if this is indeed absent any ideas or policy if this is how they're going to go and run back home in 2022? >> that's become the default for the republican party. it's all about grievance and now the catch phrase of the day is
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crisis. everything's a crisis including everything and anything that would have occurred if donald trump was still president. natural disaster. climate issues and drought is all joe biden's fault that he doesn't control the sun but or that they believe he does control the sun i guess but it is all about grievance, nothing forward looking. even jumped on biden over the international trip not being tough enough on putin. how do you pass the laugh test when they were licking the boots of the guy that didn't say a negative woshd about putin for four years? >> i urge the viewers to stick around. we may have a word or two on that very topic. i want to go back to the subject matter in the last segment considering it is a large part of your lifer's work.
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we had the smart mutual friend a.b. stoddard out and i will paraphrase her saying a lot of democrats are getting played, they put the chips and attention and noise on the casting of votes. the game being played in state houses more quietly is about the counting of votes and party control. the party ability to draw the curtain while votes are tallied. don, what is the remedy for that if this becomes law as the state house level? >> i think that the first and most important remedy is the john lewis voting rights act. joyce vance mentioned it a moment ago that the john lewis voting rights act is perhaps the most important thing to restore section 5 of 1965 voting rights act and the preclearance notions. so the states can't do a lot of
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the shenanigans on the state level or legislative level meaning any substantive procedural change on the state, local, county level have to be cleared by the department of justice. deval patrick led that process. now kristen clark would lead the process if it were restored under section 5 so we have to recognize the interplay of federal legislation and if joe manchin is on board for nothing else has to be on board for the preclearance. before states enact a lot of shenanigans on the county and arizona audit type stuff you have to restrict the ability. before you can get to the count you have to open up access to
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the ballot box so i'm not worried about the counting procedures because we have lawyer to handle things like that where there's not integrity and shenanigans on the counting process and critical to restore preclearance on the front end and crucial that you really thwart a lot of ballot box con frictions on who decides who gets to vote because it is very difficult to throw out votes when they have been properly cast and very difficult to mess around on the counting process but that's what brian kemp did in stealing the election from stacey abrams in georgia. >> both gentlemen bringing the heat on the broadcast tonight. mark, don, florida and brother
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happened. she wrote measure than that but it's up to you to read it. now back with us is historian michael beschloss, the latest work is "presidents of war" and the book next he can't finish fast enough and on the presidents of race topic. michael, have -- did this right size summit, did this put the business of holding a summit back to normal after several ab rant years? >> i think it did. just ask the question. would you feel happy with the fate of the family in the hands of joe biden dealing in the world? it's hard to see how anyone would say no. during the last four years i think we had the hearts in the hands every time donald trump left this country and went for a meeting with a foreign leader,
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especially vladimir putin. you know? here he went to europe and met with boris johnson. was skeptical of biden. then he goes to g7, meets with the leaders that got used to not having the u.s. throwing the weight around and like the clock was turned back to 2016. and then meeting with putin, a president more addicted to popularity than joe biden and had a big showdown and tried to sort of face down putin to show that he was being different from trump and could be courageous against him in a way that trump had never been and instead he is a pro. he went in. basically said to putin that reminded me that ronald reagan said in the first meeting with mike hail gorbachev.
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he said to gorbachev, just so we understand each other, i would never let the soviet union win the cold war. i would guess that biden probably said some form of that to putin and looked at putin afterwards no smirk. >> yeah. in fact i was going to share with the audience what those of us faithful followers saw. this is the tweet. putin shows none of the smirk that was visible when he emerged with trump to face them in helsinki 2018. that news conference that later became something of a national embarrassment in this country. the soccer ball turned out to be the least of it. let me put the next question in current terms having to do with the pandemic.
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i know a number of people who like myself after the first vaccine shot spiked a high fever and the doctors all assured us that means that's the vaccine working within you. when we see tensions rise now between russia and the united states, as they necessarily must, is that our indication that american foreign policy is working within us again? >> i think it is. it's a naturally competitive relationship but many of us, i don't think you made this error but i did to get some framework for that meeting that besaw just yesterday, thinking of the american/soviet summits maybe back to truman and 1945. but from most of the cold war the u.s. dealing with a powerful
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country and an economy that might scare some people with the notion that the soviets might be number one in the world. now we deal with a leader maybe 17th in materials of the size of the economy and has nuclear weapons and someone eager for a summit like this to look as if he's within contention to be a superpower. he isn't. so what we saw with biden and putin yesterday was go leaders very unequal but putin very grateful to have the spotlight as if this is the old days of the cold war and very different from donald trump walking in with a terrible body lack wage looking at if putin owned him. >> let's switches to things domestic. at the white house today a unanimous senate vote as i said. you don't see that on just about
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anything these days. we have a new national holiday. juneteenth. please as a historian remind or inform our viewers who don't know the full story. the searing insult and injustice that gave us juneteenth in the first play. the delay in letting black americans they were no longer enslaved. >> people all over the place, ems in the south, were trying to put the brakes on the northern victory in the civil war and the idea that slavery had been conquered at last so it fell to the confederate army in texas to try to resist and a union general who issued this order on the 19th of june 1865, that
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slavery is over in texas, that spread elsewhere. if there were a just world we americans would have begun celebrating juneteenth in 1865 or 1866. it's taken until 2021 for juneteenth to become a federal holiday and that should make us pause and ask the question why. well, many people in the south and elsewhere, you were talking about near unanimous vote for this holiday. can you imagine a vote juneteenth in 1950 or 1900? would have been very far from unanimous. america has come far enough that a majority of americans understand the evil of slavery and how central the evil was to the history but taken must have too long. the best thing to hope is that juneteenth gives an opportunity to teach our children and
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everyone else the evils of slavery and to essentially say america must never, ever come close to doing anything remotely like that ever again. >> in ways big and small we sometimes sush prize ourselves and grow and advance. it is uneven but we do grow and advance. >> we sure do. >> well put. thank you, my friend. michael beschloss is oush guest on this eventful night. coming up, the gains china just made in the space race with the united states. wrap your head around that one. the story when we come back. y w. with cutting-edge tech, world-class interiors, and peerless design... their only competition is each other. the incomparable mercedes-benz suvs. extraordinary runs in the family.
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china's space program. that's a phrase you never heard a few decades ago. has just launched three astronauts into space. they are orbiting the oert inside china's own space
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station. janis mackey frayer has an inside look and hard to get closer than she got to the launch pad. >> reporter: tonight a first. china sending astronauts to its new space station. blasting off from the gobi desert. docking 242 miles above the earth. this is a milestone for china. it's poured billions into becoming a space power and it's getting there fast. the chinese station of heavenly palace is the quarter of the size of the international space station. but with the iss getting old china could have the only space outpost. >> this phase of the chinese space program is something they're been chomping at the bit to do for a decade now. >> reporter: the fan fare shows the growing confidence having just landsed a rover on mars.
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are china and the u.s. technical equals? thest is more advanced but china developed space programs for its own need. nasa sent congratulationses while tonight high above the earth chinese astronauts smiled, waved and took the place in history. janis mackey frayer, nbc news, china. something the folks at one tv network noticed what's going on at another tv network. [sfx: psst psst] allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily stops your body from overreacting to allergens all season long.
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get a dollar for dollar match at the end of your first year. only from discover. over these past few years, the influence putin had on the trump presidency, and over the national humiliation in helsinki. here is their take on it. >> the entire world has seen firsthand how weak and confused -- i don't know what's even tell you that he's trying to say here.
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>> most importantly we have a lot of good things to talk about. >> he was asked if he trust putin and he said yes. how could you trust a former kgb agent? >> i have president putin and he just says it's not russia. i will say this, i don't see any reason why it would be. >> he was completely confused midsentence. >> and a key sentence in my remarks i said the word would instead of wouldn't. >> everybody is getting along and that is what his goal is, consensus everyone to get along. it's not what is best for america. >> getting along with russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. i really think the world wants to see is get along. >> he gave that stage to vladimir putin, the world watched and maybe believed him. >> i will tell you that president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> he led vladimir putin run circles around him. >> he offered to have the people working on the case come
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and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people, i think that's an incredible offer. >> it was always america first and candidly that's not the message that putin got tonight. >> i think the united states has been foolish and i think we are all to blame. >> this is a train wreck. i find it embarrassing. ♪♪ for being with us on behalf of all of our colleagues at the network of nbc news, goodnight. >> all right we start tonight in marshall texas, in east texas really really east texas, it is close to the louisiana state line not far from shreveport louisiana. she was born there in 1926, far east


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