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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  September 14, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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hi there, everyone. it's 4:00 in the east. today there are brand-new revelations with the extreme measures taken to protect our country from donald j. trump's instability mania in the final days of his presidency, including a secret meeting about the nation's nuclear arsenal and efforts to prevent war with china. the new revelations are in the brand new book by bob woodward and robert costa called "peril." "the washington post" was first to report the details of the book. costa and woodward detail how the nation's highest-ranking military officer worked with his chinese counterpart to talk him off the ledge after china grew concerned that trump could launch an attack against them. "the new york times" reporting this, quote, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff twice called his chinese counterpart in the final months of the trump
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administration to reassure him that donald trump had no plans to attack china in an effort to remain in power and that the u.s. was not collapsing. yet despite his assurances, general milley was so concerned about trump that later that day he convened a meeting with top commanders to remind them that the procedures for launching a nuclear weapon called for his involvement in such a decision. the book also sheds light on just how close the u.s. came to a full-blown international crisis with china. from "the times" in the days leading up to the 2020 election the book reveals american intelligence showed that the chinese believed trump planned to launch a military strike to create an international crisis that he could claim to solve as a last-ditch effort to beat joe biden. general milley who has become increasingly concerned about china's growing military power and the potential for one misread -- one misread move to set off combat between the world's superpowers first called
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general lee on a secret back channel. he wanted to assure general li and president xi the u.s. was not planning to attack china. there were also widespread concerns about what trump might do in the wake of the capitol insurrection. the book describes a conversation between milley and speaker nancy pelosi on january 8th, two days after the insurrection. quote, this is bad. but who knows what he might do, pelosi said. he's crazy. you know he's crazy. he's been crazy for a long time, so don't say you don't know what his state of mind is. madam speaker, general milley said, i agree with you on everything. general milley resorting to drastic measures out of concerns over trump's instability is where we start this hour. mike schmidt is here. he read the book and wrote about it for "the times." also joining us retired four-star army general barry mccaffrey is here. former member of the national security council. lucky for us, an msnbc military analyst and our friends, former
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republican strategist steve schmidt is here. mike, take us through this picture of milley's frantic final days under donald trump. >> look, the presidency and the book captures -- here's the book. the book captures the collapse of the trump presidency in dramatic fashion. how the attorney general, bill barr, was not going to go along with what trump wanted. how esper, the defense secretary, was not going to go along with what trump wanted. ultimately, sort of the last person standing in this is milley, because barr had left early and milley is the person who sees in trump drastic problems. he thinks he's actually mentally lost it since the election. and he is taking it upon himself to try and prevent any sort of
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missignal from the united states convincing china that we want war. the intelligence, as you were laying out at the top there, how the united states believed that the chinese believed that we were going to launch an attack. it's just an extraordinary thing. and that donald trump was going to do this to make himself essentially the hero. look, it never happens, but if you're milley and you know that you're not surrounded by a cabinet of folks who can help you to contain trump, you know there's a lot of enablers around trump. reading between the lines in the book it seems to me that milley was concerned that trump may tell someone in his orbit to launch a strike or to launch a nuclear weapon and that's why he holds this extraordinary meeting in the pentagon where he says to the commanders that -- refreshing them on the orders they have to follow if there is
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to be a nuclear strike and it has to come directly from the president and that milley himself has to be involved in it. it's this larger -- >> we lost mike schmidt, general mccaffrey. let me ask you to pick up where he left off. i want to read what he's describing there, this extraordinary meeting that general milley sets up. if you get calls, general milley said, no matter who they're from, there's a process here, there's a procedure. no matter what you're told, you do the procedure. you do the process. and i am part of the procedure. you have got to make sure that the right people are on the net. then he went around the room and asked each officer to confirm that they understood what he was saying. let me put you on the spot. should donald trump have had any nuclear authority at all at this juncture? >> he did under the constitution. >> but should he have? looking back if he was that unstable, should the -- >> absolutely.
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absolutely. under the constitution he had complete authority. there's only two civilians who can give instructions to the operational commanders of the armed forces, the secretary of defense, who was an acting sec def, a sycophant from the trump white house, and mr. trump, who was obviously volatile, out of control, disobeying the law. by the way, the chairman does not have to be in the loop for a nuclear strike. he has authority to disseminate instructions and receive reports delegated to him by the secretary of defense. the president can pick up a phone and call a joint commander. if it's a legal order, expect to be followed. so we are in a period of extraordinary danger. i think general milley is going to be treated very favorably by history, but the worst thing that ever happened to him was end up being involved in the
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cancer of the trump administration. it looked to me at the time that they were setting up a potential coup against the government of the united states. >> steve schmidt, i guess i read these stories, mike's story and "the post" reporting on the book and it strikes me as a catastrophic failure that donald trump was left in office by the people who around him were so terrified by what they saw in his -- it's described as mania by woodward and costa. i think it just begs all sorts of questions about what he was doing in command of the nation's nuclear arsenal. >> there's no question, nicolle, that he was unfit and that he met every standard that you could have ever possibly thought through for invocation of the 25th amendment and to be relieved of duty because he was incapacitated. but i think it's important to understand what general mccaffrey is saying.
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according to the law, in 1986, the goldwater/nichols act, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff has no lawful authority to issue orders to the combatant commander. those orders flow from the president to the secretary of defense. so in fact the representation that, hey, i'm involved in this process around launching nuclear weapons is in fact not correct. secondarily, and i agree with general mccaffrey, i do think that history will likely regard general milley as an honorable man. but what this represents is a shattering of civilian military relations in this country. on whose instructions the principal military advisor and senior ranking military officer of the united states pick up the phone and have that conversation with general li in china. who initiated that conversation?
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was he responding to a prompt from the chinese? the american people, certainly the american government, the congress of the united states and its oversight capacity has to get an answer to this. now, i don't blame general milley for any of this inasmuch as i blame donald trump after years of vandalism, the near collapse of the government of the united states. what you see here is the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff acting outside of any boundaries that were ever considered for the job in an extra constitutional manner. i think that should frighten all of us. it's extremely alarming. >> mike schmidt is back. mike, let me read from this section that you've reported on of this back channel conversation that is reported in the book. quote, things may look unsteady,
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general mark milley told general li of china on january 8th, two days after trump supporters stormed the capitol, to try to stop the certification of his election loss and in the second of two such calls, but that's the nature of democracy, general li. we are 100% steady. everything is fine. democracy can be sloppy sometimes. the next paragraph in the book goes on to reveal that general milley didn't think things were quite as contained as he tried to make it sound like they were. one of the more extraordinary passages that you guys have written about is a transcript that robert and bob obtained from the pelosi/milley call where he agrees with her, at least according to the transcript, in all of her assessments of his -- the danger he represents, the danger that the people around him represent, that none of them stopped him on january 6th. ivanka and jared and what's his name, the chief of staff, meadows. they just went along with it. and so i wonder, mike, what the
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indictment is of the people around the ex-president? >> well, i'm not sure. i sort of see this in the larger context as sort of the ultimate culmination of the trump presidency. you know, i go back to the early days where trump is trying to convince comey to drop the flynn investigation. comey getting fired and everything that comes out after that and the efforts to sort of contain trump as he's trying to go after mueller. in those first two years, trump gets in a lot of trouble for a range of things, but ultimately in the second two years is unshackled and is truly unbound. and i think that's what we see in this last few months of the presidency. it's just the ultimate unboundness of donald trump. and the ultimate fear of those who still remained. the don mcgahn, john kellys of the world, the range of other people who were sort of buffers
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around the president were long gone. jared and ivanka were fully empowered, as empowered as they had ever been. and this is what we saw. you know, they couldn't get trump to do a lot of things, even accepting the election results, whatever, there's so many different examples you could name. but this is donald trump in his rawest at the top of government with few other people there because they were -- he was able to get rid of them. he was able to isolate them. he hollowed out the top of the fbi. he was able to convince his attorney general to leave a month early because the attorney general so wanted to get out because he knew nothing good could happen in that last month. and milley sort of stuck in his two-year tenure in his position was still there. >> it is a good point, general mccaffrey, to look at this as a continuum, but i think the milley piece is an evolution as
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well. i mean in that unshackled phase, donald trump forcefully -- forcibly cleared lafayette square after the murder of george floyd, and general milley was there in fatigues. he put out a video apologizing. and i'm sure he did heroic and moral and ethical things before that moment, but it seems that he really understand the danger trump represented and everything we've learned about him after that moment. i wonder if you have any insights into milley as a guardrail, the last one, as mike is basically explaining. >> you know, throughout this whole period i had rather firsthand understanding of what was going on in government and it scared me. i was convinced without question that we were on the edge of an ultimate constitutional crisis. i thought it was unlikely that trump would use nuclear weapons, although he had full legal and constitutional authority in
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theory to command that. but the one that bothered me the most was the secretary of defense was an acting sec def. there was nobody left. so i think what general milley was doing -- and by the way, routinely, the chairman, the service chiefs, the joint combatant commander routinely are in their counterparts globally. it's part of the deterrence of unwanted combat. i think he felt it important to not end up with a world war i start of a war through miscalculation on the part of the chinese. though again, we ought to be fortunate, we've got this princeton grad, tremendous combat officer, extremely intelligent, law based, trying to safeguard the transition to a duly elected president biden administration. he was scared to death of what
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the country was on the edge of. >> general mccaffrey, you just made clear that you knew in realtime some of the pressures that he was under. and i just want to press you on that. was he ever concerned that the transition of power would never come to pass? not only that it would be violent, i mean the insurrection came to pass, but did they have a plan written and put in an actual secure server for removing him if he refused to leave? >> first of all, i never speak on the part of the active senior military officers of the armed forces. >> i understand. >> never would do it. i'm totally aware of the conversations that go on. there is zero possibility that the u.s. armed forces ever being involved directly in the transition of power. never going to happen. milley would have turned to congress and said it's your job, the supreme court, the media, the voters, the u.s. armed forces would have refused any
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orders to uninstall the president. they would have said get the federal marshals to go over there and arrest him. so i think we ought to put that aside. it's not even on the table. what is on the table was a genuine concern that he might start a war with iran, a genuine concern that they get an order that sounded pretty legal, the insurrection act, deploy to american cities with active duty military power and control the streets. mr. trump was totally out of control. he was lawless. he was ranting. we were, again, in great peril. we ought to be grateful we had a series of people, to include the media, i might add, and the congress to some extent, that tried to put guardrails around this guy before he left office. >> steve, i think the general just articulated the limits of general milley's ability to
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contain him in the final days. i think mike lays out that there really weren't any guardrails left. it's clear that if trump hadn't left, the general wouldn't have had anything to do with it. what does this book do in terms of changing or altering or enhancing your view of just how close to something even more horrific than we witnessed between november and january 20th could have happened? >> what the book lays out is lawlessness. this is what lawlessness looks like. this is what happens when you have a collapse of constitutional government, a collapse of the checks and balances. and it is essential that the american people are informed and that they are informed directly by general milley. i would appeal to general milley to think about his duty in this sense. is it to advise the president as his principal military advisor?
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or is it to lay bare the facts of what only he knows happened, happened. i think it's the latter because there's a simple fact. donald trump is the front-runner to be the republican nominee in 2024. he's the de facto nominee. he is the leader of a cultive personality that is on the march, on the offense. you see it metastasized and spreading from the bottom up at school board meetings all over the country. the neolistic embrace of a type of politics where we see a callousness even including with regard to the death of children who are affected by the delta covid variant. so this moment in time that we are -- that we are seeing and we are witnessing is not about past events. it is about a series of events, a continuum that is unfolding.
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and before this story is done, donald john trump of new york, the 45th president, is surely to try to restore himself to power through an election. and that's why it's so essential that we understand everything that happened and we understand completely the most perilous moments. who was doing what, even if those people were acting in some level of lawfully or outside of boundaries that were ever previously considered. we, the people, must know the answer to this. >> general mccaffrey, let me give you the last word. what is the likelihood -- people like secretary mattis must know this was trump's nature. people like john kelly must know. obviously general milley is the focus of this reporting. but everybody around the
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ex-president knows exactly what steve is describing. if he remains the leader of the republican party, which he is today, and the front-runner for the nomination of his party, is there a duty, a special duty from people in the military to speak out about the danger he posed to the country? >> well, you know, i've read every one of these brilliant books that have come out over the last year and they're just stunning. and they're depressing to read. but i've never learned a thing in essence that i didn't already know from contemporary news reporting and from listening to mr. trump himself. we knew he was a lawless, buffoon. he had a hold over the republican party and congress and governors. it was an out-of-body experience. i think we already know what general milley thought. all this is in writing. sure if you demand as a congressional subpoena that emails, letters, all this is documented. what isn't documented is the
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american people better never elect a president with a lack of character and integrity like mr. trump. >> it's such a good point and i know you share, mike, what trump did some of the most awful are out loud and on his own twitter feed. it's a stunning look and a lot of it happened in plain view, but it's still remarkable to read it in print. mike schmidt, general barry mccaffrey, steve schmidt, thank you all so much for starting us off today. when we come back, voters in california have a few more hours to decide whether they keep their current governor or embrace the spread of trumpism in california seeping its way through the republican party there. what's at stake and how the two parties are swinging at each other with polls closing tonight. plus saturday's justice for january 6th insurrectionist rally creating problems for those gop lawmakers who would like to pretend they know
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nothing about it but at the same time want to keep the president's fanatic base engaged. we'll look ahead to what's expected this weekend at the u.s. capitol. later in the show, nicki minaj triggering a conversation on vaccine hesitancy and the disinformation that's fueling it. the backlash highlighting the divided nation retreating to their information bubbles. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. break. don' t go any where. we did it again. verizon has been named america's most
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this year the leading republican running for governor
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is a -- the closest thing to a trump clone that i've ever seen in your state. you either keep gavin newsom or your governor or you'll get donald trump. it's not a joke. >> president joe biden there saying a clone of donald trump is fighting to unseat california governor gavin newsom in today's recall election so it should come as no surprise that yesterday larry elder's team was already claiming on a website that fraud had occurred, that it had been discovered in the election results, leading governor newsom to a fraudulent victory. the problem is there hasn't been a victory for newsom yet because election day hadn't begun when that website went up. not a single ballot had been reported yet. so the larry elder campaign in the real world might have a hard time explaining how or why they
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could offer so much detail on how the so-called fraud, which wasn't really fraud, was uncovered in the nonexistent results. the website said statistical analysis used to detect fraud in elections held in third world nations like russia, venezuela and iran have detected fraud in california resulting in governor gavin newsom being reinstated as governor. the primary an lit tal tool was ben ford's law and can be readily reproduced. of course that didn't happen. that's not real. there's no evidence of fraud in california. no evidence of widespread fraud in any state anywhere, no matter what lies the right-wing politicians continue to tell the american people, perhaps in a bid to save face when they lose and the disgraced ex-president loses. and the polls are looking very grim for larry elder. the three most recent ones show californians choosing to keep gavin newsom as their governor by double-digit margins. it appears elder reached swiftly into donald trump's playbook
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claiming it was rigged to hedge what could turn out to be a sizeable loss. joining our coverage, jason johnson, he's in california observing and reporting on the recall. and nbc news correspondent jacob soboroff near a polling site in san francisco. jacob, you've got news? >> reporter: hi, nicolle. i can confirm what you said which is not a single ballot has been counted in california. polls don't close until later this evening. when i talked to larry elder yesterday about this election, whether or not he would accept the results and he declined, the next question i had was what would governor newsom do in response? now we know. we've had the opportunity to catch up with governor newsom up here in san francisco. he traveled from down south in southern california up here earlier this morning. and i spoke to him about what larry elder said and what he would do in response. here's his answer. >> i spoke to larry elder yesterday and he refused to commit to accepting the results of the election. i'm curious if you heard what he
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had to say, what do you make of that -- >> i'll take my mask off on that one. just think about what you just said to me. donald trump putting out something for the second time. what that sends -- what that message sends to the united states people all across this country that the vote doesn't matter, that the whole thing is rigged. they are quite literally trying to dismantle democracy and trust in this country in, our very nation. this is fundamental. this is serious stuff. i hope people are paying attention to this. look, i could care less what he does. i'll accept the will of the voters, no matter what it is, period, full stop. the idea they're even playing around with this and vandalizing trust and confidence, that's consequential and has real impact across this country. the irony of it, it's going to hurt the republican party because they're telling their voters, their vote doesn't even matter. so it's a hell of a thing. i hope people are waking up to what's going on in this country. this is a serious moment in this nation, what's happen all across this country. we've got to push back.
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that's why in california we need to send a powerful message, hell to these recalls and everything attacking women's rights. this is a fundamental moment in american history. >> reporter: nicolle, governor newsom saying that the republicans are trying to dismantle democracy and that he will accept the results of the election win or lose, full stop, a very different message than we heard from larry elder yesterday. >> jacob, is there any example where a republican in the state who's ahead has ever flirted with the dismantling of democracy? >> reporter: you know, off the top of my head, no. there will be historians of california who i'm sure will tweet me after this. but the idea of it, the only place i've seen it from personal experience is last november in las vegas, nevada, when i chased three people into a waiting van to be spirited away after they presented without evidence claims of voter fraud in nevada.
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to go back to what you and i talked about yesterday, this is straight out of the donald trump playbook. you heard the governor refer to that as well. is there a republican icon in california that's done this? i don't believe so. clearly there is one in national american politics, the former president of the united states. >> you're right, i worked for dan lungren who was behind who never questioned the election results. i came up in politics in california working for republicans who faced long odds and not a single one of them ever debased the state's voters. they never debased democracy itself. they were not sore losers, they were real men. and i wonder, jason johnson, if you can speak to the lack of masculinity in these male republican candidates who can't take a punch politically. they can't win on the merits, they're too weak and unpopular, so they cry foul, they cry rigged. it goes counter to all the over bogus machismo coming out of the
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sickest, most toxic elements of the political right. >> masculinity continues to be defined down, up, right and left depending on what works for republicans. like when they're attacking women, they're being masculine but when they're trying to control women they're being masculine. when they lose, they say they have been cheated and they cry but when they win they still say they're victims. i don't know what they're trying to do. quite frankly, that is the single main reason -- if gavin newsom ends up winning this recall, it will be the toxic behavior of republican men that has been the main reason why. this race was right at the razor's edge until about three weeks ago when it became less about a referendum on gavin newsom and more about a choice between larry elder, who's basically trumpism in black face, versus gavin newsom who is at least a competent politician. once people started to compare the two, once they heard about the sexist, racist, ridiculous things that have come out of larry elder's mouth, it became a lot easier to say we'll stick it
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out with gavin newsom. if we have a problem with him, we can work it out in an election next year. >> jason, speak to what the governor is saying there. i mean a really fiery response to jacob's question. >> right. >> about -- pay attention. i mean this is the first big election after the november election, and it's clear that debasing the vote, debasing the voters, which is what it is to not accept a result, is not just a playbook, that's not putting it strongly enough. it is republican dogma. this is how they will lose from now on. >> well, and, nicolle, the key is, and the epitome of this you can see with larry elder. remember, initially in an early interview during this recall election larry elder said of course joe biden was elected president. then he got on right-wing radio and completely switched his tune 48 hours later. they don't even believe in dismantling the system. what their core message of the republican party is and whether
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it's in california or whether it's in texas or whether it's in georgia has now become democrats are inherently illegitimate participants in democracy. so democracy doesn't count if anybody wins other than a republican. now, fortunately in a state like california, there's not enough republicans who believe that to probably get away with it, but that same attitude leads to the big lie in texas. that same attitude leads to the voter suppression we're seeing in florida, the voter suppression we're seeing in georgia. it's this idea that they don't even want to pretend to compete anymore. the coalition of black, brown, tan, queer women in this world who decided they didn't want donald trump in the white house anymore are no longer legitimate participants in democracy according to most republicans. maybe it gets defeated here but hasn't been defeated across the country yet. >> jacob, i'll give you the last word. what are you watching for tonight? >> reporter: number one, obviously turnout, nicolle, but also how the governor reacts going forward.
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he extended an olive branch to the folks on the other side of this recall. there were 1.7 million people who signed that petition to recall the governor of california and there are very serious issues that need to be dealt with. larry elder has effectively moved the conversation away from many, many issues that matter to california voters, whether it's homelessness. there are people sleeping on the sleep i'm talking to you from in san francisco. covid hit this state particularly hard. economic inequality is worse here than any state in the union. larry elder made this about voter fraud and not accepting the results of the election. where do we go from here after night if governor newsom is able to stay in office. that's what his campaign believes is going to happen and there are a lot of serious issues out here in california to look at. >> we're glad you're on this for us. jacob soboroff live in san francisco. thank you so much. still attempting to rewrite history, allies of the twice
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impeached president calling the rioters political prisoners. there is a planned rally on their behalf on the hill this coming saturday. we'll cover that, next. day. we 'll cover that, next it's your future. so you don't lose sight of the big picture, even when you're focused on what's happening right now. and thinkorswim trading™ is right there with you. to help you become a smarter investor. with an innovative trading platform full of customizable tools. dedicated trade desk pros and a passionate trader community sharing strategies right on the platform. because we take trading as seriously as you do. thinkorswim trading™ from td ameritrade. as i observe investors balance risk and reward, because we take trading as seriously as you do. i see one element securing portfolios, time after time. gold. your strategic advantage.
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victims. as we said all of it echoed by vladimir putin and the disgraced deplatformed ex-president. >> the truth is being censored and covered up. as a result the doj is harassing peaceful patriots across the country. >> you know, if you didn't know the tv footage was a video from january the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit. >> i don't know where he vacations. obviously that's not true. now a rally this saturday is taking place in defense of the insurrectionists just steps away from the scene of the crime at the capitol. it has washington bracing for the possibility of more violence. nbc has learned that officials are expecting about 700 people while republican leaders have been pretty quiet about the event and no republican lawmakers have said that they plan to attend. politico describes the dilemma facing the republican party like this. quote, the saturday rally defending some rioters arrested during the capitol insurrection is reminding the gop of the uncomfortable reality that part
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of its base believes the january 6th attack was justified. joining our coverage, kurt bardella, now an advisor to the democratic congressional campaign committee. jason is back. kurt, i don't think it's uncomfortable enough. i think if it was uncomfortable, you'd have them telling their supporters not to come. you'd have them out there saying you are not welcome here, the insurrectionists are criminals. i don't think it's making the republican party uncomfortable enough. >> that's exactly right, nicolle. the fact that they can get away with saying nothing one way or the other tells me that they aren't uncomfortable enough. the reality of the matter is the people who are going to be here for this rally, they were sent there by republicans in congress, by the elected republican party, by those who continue to purvey and spread the falsity that there was anything wrong with the election that we had in 2020 and that joe biden won. we're seeing that reverberate throughout the california election. already they're laying the groundwork to use election
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tampering, election fraud as the reason why they're going to lose. it's just an ongoing pattern. i tell you, i don't care if it's 700 people, 7,000 people. all it takes, nicolle, is one person, one deranged person that comes with a gun, that comes with a bomb, that comes with evil intentions. if we've learned anything from the war on terror, it's that one person with evil designs can cause a lot of havoc, can alter a lot of destinies. and these people that are going to be here, they are being incited and encouraged by the republican party. so is it going to be any surprise if there is violence? is there going to be any surprise if someone does lose their life? of course not. this is what the republican party wants. it is the official position of the republican party to stand against democracy. on january 6, 172 of them went back into the halls of congress, went onto the house and senate floors and they voted against certifying a free and fair election. there's no going back from that. >> i want to show you something.
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we don't do this very often here, but mitch mcconnell just made my point for me. saying nothing is saying something to would be political violence. let me show you the big nothing he just said. >> well, apparently there is supposed to be a gathering here on the 18th. the speaker, majority leader, leader mccarthy and i had a meeting yesterday with the leaders of the police board. i believe that they're will equipped to handle what may or may not occur. >> jason, it's not a hurricane. if all the republicans stood together behind that very same podium and said do not come, we're going to wear jeans and sneaks and be out there yelling "save our democracy, go home," do not come, that's caring about political violence. this? this is nothing. >> this is theater.
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nicolle, it's so funny to hear mitch mcconnell say me and mckooirt had a conversation. oh, the capitol police you didn't want to give additional funding to or wanted to malign because your constituents wanted to overtake the government? i am amused and i agree with you that the republicans are not ashamed enough of their constituents and how they have supported people who want to overthrow the government. the republicans treat the insurrectionists like a mistress. they're laying down with her at night, they're doing it in the dark. in public, i don't know who this person is. where did this come from? it's makeup, i don't know what it is. they're covered in it, the scent of the insurrection is on every single one of them. it's on their cheek, it's on their lapel. so when they sit there and claim i don't know her on national television, not only is it insulting to the men and women who risked their lives to keep them safe eight months ago but also encourages more dangerous people to engage in this behavior. again, while i think our capitol will be safe, what has always
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concerned me about this is when this happens locally because you won't have that much defense if it happens at the michigan state capitol, if it happens at the georgia state capitol. there are other parts of the country that are less safe against this insurrectionist attitude and republicans aren't doing a darn thing about it. >> so, kurt, something funny happened. the 43rd president gave a speech saying that domestic terrorism is of the same ilk, of the same basically foul stench as foreign terrorism that did so much damage on september 11th. donald trump responded like he was talking to him. what do you think -- why do you think he did that? >> i mean i think donald -- the fact that trump responds tells you that he knows that those words are meant for him, that he is the leader of the domestic terrorist movement in america that largely are racist elements in this country who have come together to try to destabilize the election.
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again, like donald, everything is about him, no matter what it is. that's how he views the world. he is incapable psychologically of not viewing it in any other way or fashion. he's so desperate to be at the center of everything, center of every conversation, even 9/11, which should be a sacred time, you would think, he still has to make it about him. the statement he put about 9/11 he spent most of it attacking joe biden rather than the people that had fallen and families that were affected and all the things that we as a country came together to mourn. he makes it about himself. it's one of those things that, huh, the fact that you feel the need to address it as if it was meant for you, that tells us a lot about how you feel about yourself. he is the leader of domestic terrorist movement. >> kurt, jason, thank you for spending time with us. up next, abortion providers appealing to the united states supreme court warning them that an upcoming ruling would effectively ban all abortions
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and yes to more bread. panera. live your yes. free delivery on our app. all eyes are on the supreme court as it prepares to hear a case about a mississippi abortion law that has the potential to overturn roe v. wade. abortion providers filing their brief in the case wrote that the court up holding the law would, quote, scuttle half a century of precedent and invite states to ban abortion entirely.
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let's bring into our coverage joyce vance, former u.s. attorney, now law professor at the university of alabama and msnbc legal analyst. i guess we should be grateful to the outrageous nature of the texas law for thrusting this back into sort of full view, but people who fight to protect women's reproductive health have been worried about this case for much longer. explain why. >> it is a case where the supreme court will have the opportunity to do away with roe v. wade, the now almost-50-year-old case that guarantees abortion rights in its entirety. the question in dobbs is whether states are able to engage in any sort of restriction on abortion previability. right now under wade women have the right to access abortion, and it is important, nicolle, to say one of the big questions involved in this case is who gets to make decisions about abortion. will it be women themselves?
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that's the right that's guaranteed under roe. there's a nationwide federal standard that leaves these decisions previability largely up to women. if stark contrast, the mississippi view is states get to make that decision for women. so whether it is 15 weeks in mississippi, six weeks in texas, or the bills that states like alabama have passed that say you are a person at the moment of conception and ban any sort of post-conception restriction on a pregnancy. these are the sort of issues at stake in the supreme court next term. >> and did we learn anything about this court last week, in the last couple of weeks that gives us new expectations about what will happen with the mississippi law? >> we knew because president trump had pre-promised that he would not put anyone on the bench who did not favor curtailing abortion rights that that would likely be the twist
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on this newly conservative 6-3 majority on the court. last week's case, it is a little bit difficult to read the tea leaves in the sense that it is not a substantive decision on the merits of abortion. it is a procedural decision about whether or not the law could go into effect while the case was being litigated, but because that decision was so remarkably unusual, typically laws are blocked from going into effect when they present major constitutional issues, and then the litigation is ensuing and only after the questions are decided does the law go into effect or not. letting this law go into effect was very unusual, although it is purely procedural it is tough not to read it as being a message that this court is not committed to protecting abortion rights. >> is it also a conversation among legal experts like yourself that this court may welcome vigilante justice? i mean are there gun safety
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groups looking at an assault weapons ban where the state doesn't ban the weapon, but your neighbor can sue for up to $10,000 if you have one? >> this is such a diss ingeneral ous approach to vigilante. imagine if red and blue states achieved unconstitutional policy goals by engaging in private vigilante justice. it would be a terrible mess. it is not an approach we want to see this country take. that's why it is so important that the justice department has now entered the arena, presenting to the supreme court, first the district court in texas, this issue that says, you know, this isn't the way we do things, it is not constitutional, and this dodge cannot be permitted to stand where the state of texas says, gee, we're not doing any state action here. it is just private people
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enforcing our law. that's inconsistent with american legal tradition. >> okay. so i am not advocating vigilante laws, but i really think this is an important point. that said, the court wasn't happy about vigilante justice to enforce an abortion ban. then if the court isn't politicized as justice amy coney barrett and breyers said in the last couple of days, why else was an abortion ban left on the books? >> the court's technical reason is this. this is a motion for what is called a preliminary injunction, an effort to block the law from going into effect, and the people that are asking for that preliminary injunction, in this case texas abortion providers and advocates, they have to prove that there's a strong likelihood that they will succeed on the merits. the supreme court says, there aren't defendants here to enjoin. in other words we can't block
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this law from going into effect because of this clever public vigilante enforcement mechanism. we can't enjoin all of these people from enforcing the law. i disagree with that legally. i think as a practical matter, and doj points that out in their lawsuit, that when you create these private vigilantes that's actually a form of state action and you are using the courts to go ahead and try and get around roe. it is possible to block that law from going into effect. so i guess to answer your question, it is difficult to not view this court as politicized. in k.c., the case that came after roe that continued to guarantee abortion rights to women, there was the strong point made that if the supreme court did end roe that that would be perceived as a political action that would roll back rights that women had come to enjoy in this country. >> joyce vance, thank you for helping us make sense of it all. we're grateful to get to talk to you. the next hour of "deadline: white house" starts after a
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♪ ♪ people like nicki minaj, i have to say this, you have a platform, sister, that is 22 million followers. okay. i have 2 million followers. you have 22 million followers on twitter. for you to use your platform to encourage our community to not protect themselves and save their lives, my god, sister, you could do better than that. you got that platform. it is a blessing. it is a blessing that you got that, that people listen to you, and they listen to you more than they listen to me. for you to use your platform to
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put people in the position of dying from a disease they don't have to die from, oh, my god. as a fan, as a hip-hop fan, as somebody who is your fan, i'm so sad that you did that. >> hi again, everyone. it is 5:00 in new york. that was our friend and colleague joy reid last night calling out vaccine disinformation being spread by the popular iconic recording artist nicki minaj, because when we know one in four hospitals in the united states right now reporting that 95% of their icu beds are full. when we know that the three vaccines in use in this country are collectively 86% effective at preventing any hospitalization at all from covid. when we know that you are 11 times more likely to die from covid if you get it and you are unvaccinated. when we know all of that, when an iconic performer like nicki minaj raises doubts about the safety of the vaccine that could save you from dying, the statements have to be challenged
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no matter who says them. minaj tweeted about last night's met gala because attendees were required to be vaccinated, she said if she gets vaccinated it will be, quote, after she has done enough research. she then tweeted an unproven claim about a specific vaccine side effect with an anecdotal account from her cousin's friend about swelling. minaj is an extremely popular celebrity. her words have a lot of weight. you heard it there from joy, 22 million followers. so spreading disinformation about something that is proven to save lives is alarming, potentially dangerous. the proof of just how dangerous her comments were? look no further than this on fox news. tucker carlson, who has touted conspiracy theories and lies about vaccines for many, many months made sure to prominently highlight minaj's tweets on his program last night, with a chiron for the ages. it brings us to another right-wing purveyor of covid
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disinformation, florida governor ron desantis. desantis who has banned mask mandates in florida schools even as children in florida and teachers in florida are getting sick, even dying. yesterday he did not use his platform to correct disinformation about vaccines at his own press conference. he stood there quietly for once as a city employee stated incorrectly that the vaccine changes a person's rna. now the governor is threatening local governments that impose vaccine mandates. nbc news reports, quote, desantis said monday that his state would fine the local government $5,000 for each employee that is forced to get a vaccine in order to continue to work. the threat stems from a law desantis signed in may that bans governmental entities in florida from requiring proof of vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, entry upon or service from their operations, according to his office, the state will start enforcing this law thursday.
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the immense politicization of something we know protects people from dying is worrying the medical community. "washington post" reports there. quote, republicans' sweeping denunciations of president biden's plan to force more people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus are raising concerns among public health experts that this heated criticism could help fuel a broader rejection of other vaccine requirements, including those put in place by schools and the military as the issue of inoculations becomes increasingly political. spreaders of disinformation standing in the way of saving and protecting american lives is where we start this hour with some of our favorite reporters and friends. yamiche alcindor is here. charlie psyches, editor at large nor "the bulwark." lucky for all, all three are msnbc contributors. dr. blackstock, i start with you. i saw my colleague joy reid, saw
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the tweets. there's now, of course, a tangent we're not going to follow out the window, but i wonder if you could speak to the damage that someone iconic like nicki minaj does by tweeting something like she tweeted. >> right. so, you know, the issue is that she has this very large platform. she is influential. we have a celebrity-worship culture. and while i don't think her intent was malicious at all, you know, she has to be incredibly careful about putting out inaccurate information about covid and the covid vaccine, especially in this time where we are having such difficulty vaccinating the other half of the u.s. population, that even, you know, a tweet about her cousin's friend becoming impotent with the vaccine can cause significant harm, but it is completely unfounded. but we have people who would rather listen to a celebrity
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than listen to medical and public health professionals and that's where we run into a serious problem. >> and i was looking on, you know, any sort of drug ad has all of those side effects. is this, is impotence or swelling listed as a side effect of any of the vaccines in use in the united states of america? >> nicolle, no. this is the problem. i think that we can do a better job. the cdc can do a better job with communicating health information to the public. this is an area that has needed a lot of work, especially since the beginning, and even probably before the pandemic. but it should be clear to people. you know, we have enough data now showing that the vaccine does not influence fertility of anyone, men, women, people. it doesn't. and what we know is that covid, the virus itself and the disease it causes is more likely to cause impotence and more likely to harm pregnant people. so that's where we need to be
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clear of. the effects of the virus are much more harmful than the effects of the vaccine, but apparently we have not been able to communicate that clearly to a large segment of the population. >> i wish that you could get on the phone with nicki minaj's friend's cousin's fiance or whoever it was and tell him that, because it seemed like he was bummed and nicki minaj isn't getting vaccinated because of it. would you be willing to talk to her or anybody else, dr. blackstock? >> absolutely. yes, i actually responded to her tweet that i would be very, very happy to sit down on her terms, on her radio show. nicki, i would love to talk to you about questions and concerns that you have about this vaccine. i want to take this moment not to vilify anyone. this is a moment, a learning opportunity. i want to be able to answer the questions and concerns that nicki and i'm sure many of her fans have about covid and the vaccines. >> nicki minaj, you have a seat at the table with dr. blackstock. charlie, i thought joy did anything but vilify nicki minaj
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many i think nicki minaj felt sensitive for some reason to this criticism of not using her platform to save people. you got dragged as a -- i don't know, a sideswipe. your thoughts? >> i was -- i was just sitting there. i was collateral damage in all of that, but, you know, credit to joy reid for making an appeal to her not to put out this kind of disinformation. what you highlighted i think in the introduction of this is there are multiple vectors of disinformation, stupidity and cynicism. it is coming from politicians. it is coming from media personalities, and it is coming from pop culture figures. the damage is really very, very real, and we do need to push back against it. i think we do need to call out the people who have an audience of 22 million people who do not understand the difference between correlation and causation. look, i mean the fact is that when you have 22 million followers and you tweet out that
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your cousin's friend's testicles became swollen and he became impotent after he took the coronavirus, well, you know, that's going to alarm some people. and for -- look, for tucker carlson to read that on the air, to take that seriously, this is the height of cynicism and hypocrisy because you know that he would never quote nicki minaj in any other context. you know that he doesn't believe it. you know that he's been vaccinated himself. he knows that correlation is not causation in this particular case, and yet he pushes it out. you have the governor of the state of florida who stands next to somebody who is putting out absolutely false information. look, it is one thing to talk about opposition to vaccine mandates on principle or to talk about freedom. now, i support the mandates, but i understand the arguments. unfortunately, this has also been linked to this very, very, i think reckless undermining of the whole idea of the -- of the
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vaccines. i think that's what is indefensible. that is what is indefensible right now. it would be great if we could argue about this as a matter of principle, but it is the hypocrisy and the cynicism that is so galling and dangerous. >> i don't put this up in any spirit other than to illustrate the dangers and the deadly nature of the disinformation that they have issued but five right-wing radio hosts have died. dig ferrell died of covid. jimmy de young sr. died after fighting covid. phil valentine died of covid. marc bernie died of covid. and news that broke yesterday in "the denver past" bob enyart, conservative firebrand and
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pastor, died of covid. charlie. >> well, look, each one of those cases is a tragedy, and we certainly do not want to make light of them. every one of those individuals left a family, many of whom left small children, but it does seem as if the covid karma is working overtime here. you know, i think that this is a perfect illustration of the fact that ideas have consequences, which is something that conservatives used to understand. if you peddle this information, if you encourage reckless behavior, there will be consequences. unfortunately, those consequences will sometimes be lethal, and you are seeing this. i think these stories are potentially the kind of thing that will move people, people will look at this and go, okay, perhaps we really ought to consider getting the vaccine. but these stories, i wrote about this last week and asked why does this keep happening, what is going on here. i think it is pretty obvious
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that you have people who have embraced the lies about the vaccines, about the coronavirus, and then gone out and surrounded themselves with people who share this and engage in reckless, irresponsible behavior. unfortunately, you have to ask yourself how many people have they influenced, how many people listen to their shows, how many people actually took them seriously that we don't know about whose deaths or sickness didn't make the headlines. >> yamiche, i agree with everything charlie is saying but i think it also shows us that there are people willing to die for their affiliation with a political tribe, and that to me is the scariest thing. that to me, if i were in the vaccine space, that would be the scariest thing. because if they're going to let their own listeners and viewers die of covid, they're going to tell their listeners and viewers not to trust the seven vaccines most states require for them to go to school, i mean how does the white house deal with the pandemic of disinformation and vaccine -- beating up the
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vaccine safety? >> well, the pandemic of disinformation is such a good and eloquent way to capture all of this because you have been using words like scary and dangerous and lethal, and those are all the correct words to be using because consequences of these conspiracy theories are killing people. the president has really tried to enter in this new phase saying to people, look, if you don't want to listen to me, i'm not going to have to mandate it, i'm now going to have to require it from you. there are companies saying you are going to have to pay money for more insurance if you don't want to get vaccinated. so what you are seeing here is really a phase in this white house where the president is saying, our patience has worn thin, we're fed up and need people to take it more seriously. i think it is heartbreaking to hear these stories of conservatives who are dying. it is also heartbreaking to hear of people who didn't want to take it because they believe some of the conspiracy theories. i have read stories, at least a couple now, of pregnant women who died and never got to hold their children, having emergency
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c-sections while intubated. these are stories that tug at your heart but they're also stories that are motivating this white house to say we have to do something. i would say to white house officials today, they understand there is a backlash from mandates but they believe they're on firm legal ground when it comes to mandating the way that they have man dated some of these vaccine requirements. they're saying, look, look at the federal government, look at the executive branch. we are telling our employees you will face disciplinary action, you can go to hr, you will have disciplinary action if you don't go through with the vaccine mandates. the executive branch is trying to lead by example saying we gave you time, we gave you enough carrots and now it is time to hit the stick. >> yamiche, what is sort of the current state of this white house effort? is there a war room? are there lawyers sort of lined up to defend against the governors who have threatened to sue? i mean can i just take us inside the sort of effort behind the speech from the president, which
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in the polls i have seen gets 60%, 62%, 58% support for all of the individual policies in it, how do they maximize that to actually get people to take the shot? >> it is a great question, and based on my reporting when i talked to officials there are two really things that they point to at the center of this next phase that president biden has been talking about. the first is that they're leading still with the science, that part of the war room is talking to dr. wilensky and talking to dr. fauci and making sure that the science till really backs up the idea they're trying to put up there. the second thing is making sure they're on legal ground, so it is talking to legal people in the white house, the counsel, to explain to the president what his options are. also, the president said very clearly he's willing and ready to push gop governors out of the way. and, by the way, he said i'm willing to give financial assistance to local officials who are pushing back against these governors.
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that's tells you apart from the science behind this and the legal behind this there also is a financing of this. this is a white house that is absolutely saying this is their number one priority, and i was talking to an official today who said while the president's speech might have felt abrupt because of all of the things going on in afghanistan, which, of course, is a huge story and chapter in president biden's presidency, they were always knowing their number one job in this country is covid. they believe it is why former president trump lost. they also believe it is a life-and-death situation and that the president's number one job is to protect americans, so the president is leaning to do just that. >> what is your view about what to do to push back against disinformation wherever it comes from? in this case we are talking about nicki minaj. >> it is a great question. it is so hard to really wrap your head around this because the people that most need to hear about the science, the people that most need to hear about the fact that the vaccine isn't going to make you impotent and it isn't going to somehow
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make you infertile, isn't going to kill your baby if you are pregnant, those are the people that are sort of in a different media ecosystem. they're on the fox news, the newsmaxes, they're listing to radio hosts who are still dying and saying they're not sick with covid even though they're on ventilators. it is a question that i think the biden administration is wrestling with because his messaging, his voice is the best person to come out with it. hours-long focus groups i have watched want to hear from doctors. let's remember we talked about the lowering of trust in the media. we are a country right now that ultimately don't trust scientists or doctors. it is a quagmire, but i think it comes down to the information people have. when i talk to experts it is really at this point person-to-person which is why nicki minaj tweeting that out is problematic. again, not to vilify her, but when people look at their cousins, their friends, their favorite celebrities and say, what are they doing, how can i learn from them, so we need to be dealing with our personal
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interactions with people and encouraging them to get the vaccine. i know that's what i'm doing. i have some family members who were hesitant, who were getting misinformation from whatsapp and other social media sources and i had to sit them down and say it is not true, and i love you and want to tell you what the truth is. >> dr. blackstock, i will give you the last word. >> oh, i agree with yamiche. i think right now it is going to be all about person to person interaction, talking to people, having those multiple conversations with people about their concerns about the vaccine. i still have people e-mailing me, contacting me, saying they finally decided to take the vaccine after listening to health care professionals and physicians like me. i want them to know there are many of us out there that are still working and advocating to encourage vaccine outreach and education, and that we hear their concerns and we want them to be safe. >> yamiche alcindor, charlie sykes, dr. uche black stock, thank you for starting us off this hour. when we come back, there is much
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more from the new book from bob woodwork and robert acosta, bombshell reporting in their new book "peril," incredible inside story of the twice-impeached ex-president's crumbling in the final days. it would almost be comical, i guess, if it weren't so darn terrifying. that reporting is next. plus, how do we get from the unity many of us felt as a country in the days and months after 9/11 to the fractured, hyper-partisan society we have become today? pulitzer prize winning reporter evan osnose will be our next guest to talk about his highly anticipated new book, "wildland, the making of american furry." voters in california are heading to the polls in a recall election there. we will get a live report from california. "deadline: white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere.
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there is bombshell new reporting that details the extreme measures taken by the country's top military leader to protect our country from its own president amid concerns that he might set off an international crisis just to stay in power. the book also details the internal struggle he caused for his own vice president, mike pence, who had no authority to change the outcome of the election on january 6th. but according to "the new york times", who obtained a copy of the book "peril" by bob woodward and robert costa, the book
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reveals it took a meeting with dan quayle, the only vice president forced to certify an election he lost, to help convince pence he had no flexibility on the matter. "the washington post" writes this. quote, in the oval office on january 5th, the authors write pence told trump he could not thwart the process, that his role was simply to open the envelopes. i don't want to be your friend anymore if you don't do this, trump replied, according to the book, later telling his vice president, you've betrayed us, i made you, you were nothing. joining our coverage, phil rutger, "washington post" senior washington correspondent. co-author of his own book, "i alone can fix it, donald trump's catastrophic final year." joining us former state department employee also. phil, i will start with you with what you are learning from the new book. >> nicolle, they are interesting revelations and they fit a
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pattern regarding milley and sort of his character and his thoughts, his concern, his alarm really in that whole period between the election last november and biden finally taking that oath of office january 20th. he feared a coup but he also feared that president trump was so erratic, not a man of sound mind, that he could try to do something dangerous or unconstitutional or as woodward and costa report in this book potentially launch some sort of a war with china, that he wanted to tip off the chinese. it is going to have reverberations to come in washington because we are already hearing from senator marco rubio, the florida republican, saying that biden rather should fire general milley as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff because what he did was undermining the commander in chief. >> rick stengel, i don't think republicans want to head down this path, do they? you want to have a hearing about what general milley saw in the final days of the trump
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presidency? this white house should say, bring it on, marco. are you kidding me? they really want to examine this chapter? i mean if i were the white house i would call him tonight and say, you tell me when, we're happy to commence hearings into the command in chief's conduct in the final days of this presidency. >> well, i agree with you, nicolle, but it is possible there are folks that would agree with marco rubio. i would call general milley a hero. he behaved in a heroic manner. i mean the military is told they cannot obey illegal laws and unjust laws, and that's what he was preparing for. but i go back to something we talked about for four years, nicolle, under trump, the fact that all of these norms that we thought were laws are not, in fact, laws. they're just norms that we held to. so, for example, general mccaffrey said on your show earlier, general milley is not in the chain of command to launch a nuclear attack. should we actually allow the
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commander in chief, the president of the united states, to unilaterally launch a possible nuclear attack? i don't think so. we have to look at the laws governing those things and, in fact, in 2017 senate democrats actually convened a hearing about that. so, you know, trump has been testing the guardrails. not testing them, trying to go over them for the last four years. we need to start strengthening them. that's the lesson of the last four years. >> rick, bob corker convened that hearing. bob corker thought that the nuclear powers of the president were too much. he had been in the senate a while, but in 2017 -- i'm not sure exactly what changed, but he thought that the nuclear powers held by the president were too much. republicans -- i mean i am just telling you, if marco rubio wants to explore this period, marco rubio wants to get everyone on the record about who knew what when, about donald trump's mental instability, i
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mean there have been two books about his instability. this is a familiarure of everybody around the president. jim mattis, john kelly, general milley included, to leave him in office, if there were people back in 2017 didn't think he could be trusted with the country's nuclear arsenal. >> absolutely. but i mean here is the problem, nicolle. it is another problem we talked about over the last four years, is that when an unstable, possibly psychotic sociopathic president remains in office, and after four years the only people he has around him are lackies who will do his bidding, what if he had a lackey as a chairman of the joint chiefs? that's the problem. the problem is we have to strengthen these laws in the event we have presidents like donald trump. by the way, you know, he may run again. >> phil rucker, there is amazing new reporting about -- that
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really recasts mike pence. i think there was a sense, and you and carol have this extraordinary reporting about mike pence refusing to get in the car and leave the capitol on january 6th. what woodward and costa expand is our understanding of how much he was wrestling with and contemplating doing trump's bidding. he says to dan quayle, uh, i don't know, dan, there's stuff in arizona. quayle says, no, there isn't, i live here, you have no options, shut it down. >> yeah, nicolle. we really -- what this new reporting shows in addition to the previous reporting is that there was an evolution for vice president pence as he started to contemplate what his options were on january 6th in certifying the electoral college vote. he did his own private study with his in-house counsel and some other lawyers to examine the constitution and really test the legal limits of his authority in convening the joint session of congress. he also, as woodward and costa
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report, reached out to dan quayle, but he ultimately determined he couldn't do what trump wanted him to do. once he realized he had no options, there was no lawful way for him to try to overturn the election result or in any other way tamper with the process, delay it, what have you, send it back to the states, that's when he became resolute and decided he had to push ahead and do what he needed to do, which was a fairly ceremonial role as the vice president, and on the 6th itself he, of course, remain at the capitol. he refused to be evacuated from the capitol grounds because he was already all in on this and was determined to get the job finished. he had already burned that bridge with trump in the couple of days prior because they had some pretty difficult conversations when pence had to tell trump what exactly he was going to do on january 6th, which was the constitutional thing, of course, to oversee the certification of the result. >> you know, i guess, rick, in hindsight it just reveals how low the bar is that we were -- it was huge news, one of the
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huge and amazing scoops in phil and carol's book that mike pence chose democracy over its destruction. but this book really does force us to ask really hard questions about what we did during the four days. as you said, as general mccaffrey said, we knew everything trump was doing. why was he left there? why wasn't there more pressure? why weren't there hearings after anonymous said we considered the 25th amendment? there is a vehicle for getting rid of someone -- let me read this from the book. general milley spoke to speaker pelosi who was growing increasingly concerned that trump would lash out and use military force. quote, this is bad but who knows what he might do, pelosi said. he's crazy, you know he's crazy, he's been crazy for a long time, so don't say you don't know what his state of mind is. madam speaker, general milley said, i agree with you on everything. so the chairman of the joint chiefs knew he was crazy, knew he had been crazy for a long time. are we just going to sort of
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close this off and let bygones be bygones. steve made the point he is the front-runner for the nomination in 2024. >> well, the constitution has no law against electing crazy people president. that's unfortunate. by the way, the book seems to make speaker pelosi another hero of the last four years, where she stepped forward and tried to inquire about what are the possible things that an extreme sociopathic president could do. but, again, i would come back to i think there are constitutional reforms that we need to make. for example, in the book he talks about how trump figured out or someone told him that the 12th amendment said that if the -- if the vice president doesn't certify the election it is thrown into the house, and then the election in the house is done by one elector per
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state. he could have won in the house. if it is not certified, it is not proportional, it seems blatantly unconstitutional and against our system. that's something that needs to be reformed. >> i assign you the mission. rick stengel, phil rucker, thank you for spending time with us. when we come back the author of the new and important book, "wildland" and the two decades between january 6th and september 11th. that's next. september 11th that's next. rethinking how we communicate to be more inclusive than ever. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change. faster. vmware. welcome change. we are hoping things will pick up by q3. yeah...uh...
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just three days ago the country marked the 20th anniversary of the september 11th attacks, one of the most tragic days in our country's history that forever changed the way we as americans think and feel. in the days after the attacks two decades ago, the nation came together, consoling and trying to heal together. as the months and years passed on, the divides in this country seemed to grow deeper and deeper than ever before. hate and fear took over, eventually leading to the deadly attack on the capitol on january 6th of this year. in the new book "wildland: the making of america's fury" evan osnos takes these two important events in our history and uses them as book ends to show us just how we got here, this moment in our politics and our culture. let's bring into our conversation evan osnos, staff writer for "the new yorker" and thousand of "wildland: the making of america's fury." i have to say i know that this book was so anticipated, and it lives up to all of the
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exceedingly high expectations people had for it. it is exquisite. i was going to order and respect you as a writer but because of the news i'm going to start with where you end, the insurrection. accept my apologies and we'll work backward from that. >> thanks. >> you wrote this, five years after the trump era began a physical assault on u.s. democracy felt both shocking and inevitable, a culmination of everything i had come to understand about america's political crisis since i had come to washington in 2013. on the same grounds, eight years earlier, tourists from finland had asked me why the u.s. government had shut itself down and i had no answer. in the years since, i'd watched the americans gravitate to a president who rejected the notion of a public good. they praised him to me while celebrating the sedition of the confederate flag and sipping from a coffee cup adorned with a swastika. others waved away those warning from the gilded remove of the gold coast, the scene unfolding
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at the capitol was like an inferno powered by cynicism and politics. leave it to cable news to take the build, and start there. it is a perfect description of where we are. >> you're right. thanks for the kind words. a friend said to me about the book after reading it, you know, it is an angrier book than i thought you were going to write. i said, if you're not angry actually maybe we're not paying close attention. there was in so many ways as i was standing at the foot of the capitol that day, covering it for "the new yorker" on january 6th, i had that overwhelming sensation of the path that had brought us there. i had sort of been wandering along that path as a reporter for all of those years. you know, you referenced the line in there about somebody drinking out of a coffee cup with a swastika on it. that is a reference to the experience that really was the germ of the beginning of this book, which is that i watched the first republican debate in 2015 at the home of some trump supporters in ohio, and one of
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them was drinking out of a coffee cup with a swastika on the side. that was the beginning where i said something really, really strange is going on in our politics. i need to understand how a guy like this, a white nationalist, had found himself cheering for somebody who was on his way to becoming the republican nominee. look, honestly, i did not expect donald trump to win the election, and i thought this was a book that still had to be written because we had to understand in effect the pre-history of trump. that was sort of the missing link in the understanding if we were ever going to try to prevent ourselves from that kind of ordeal again. >> i have the same experience. i go back to 2015 and it is something much closer to home for me in understanding the attraction to him. but i mean what is so magical is the way you go back to these places, and i want to ask you about all of them. i want to understand why you did that. was it because they were places where you had a baseline and you could then report the delta, how they changed? explain your process. >> yeah, that's exactly it.
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you know, as a reporter, i've sort of done the experience of going into a place for the first time, parachuting in. you can make an earnest effort to try to capture a snapshot of the moment. you can talk to influential people in town, you can try to figure out what is happening, but what you really can't do if you haven't been there before is chart that delta over time. how did this place change? what's durable here? what have we lost? what have we acquired? i said, if i'm going to do that i have to go to places that i know, so i decided to go to three places where i lived in my life, and they're very different places. you know, i went to greenwich, connecticut, which is a prosperous new york suburb where i grew up, very lucky to grow up there. it was a way of understanding essentially the role of how the economy had changed, we can talk about it in more detail. i went to clarksburg, west virginia, it was a small state. today it is dominated by conservative politic it. i went to chicago, i worked at
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""the chicago tribune"" for nearly a decade. i said if i want to understand the effects of this in america you have to go to one of those cities. if you go to those, you can sort of chart three bases of the american experience over the last 20 years which has been so different for different people. >> tell me about fury and chicago. >> you know, interestingly, when i went to chicago i didn't know the story that i was going to find there, and it was sort of surprising. i mean i ended up writing about somebody who -- a man named maurice clark in particular who kind of found me actually. i was walking down the street, i was working on a story for "the new yorker." i was writing about a shrine at the side of the road where somebody had been killed, and he came up to me. he said, who do you work for? i said, i work for "the new yorker." he said, is that the one with the cartoons? i said, yes, it is. he said, i used to read that in
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prison. >> wow. >> we started talking and it became this actually kind of -- he was just extraordinarily generous. i visited him in chicago and i visited him where he lived. what he helped me understand, nicolle, was the process of how his family lost their house during the sub prime mortgage crisis, which is important to recognize because, after all, predominantly black neighborhoods were overwhelmingly hit in chicago. as he said to me, the financial crisis never ended in black neighborhoods. it is continuing, and it is just the devastating effects of the phenomenal crisis even a decade later were really worth putting down on paper in very clear terms. >> i want to ask you about west virginia, and i want to read what you have written about covid. we're going to sneak in a break, and i would like to hit those two topics on the other side if you are game. >> i will be here. thanks. >> quick break for us. we will be back with evan osnos on the other side. don't go anywhere.
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omega-3 from fish oil is an important nutrient for heart health. qunol's ultra purified omega-3, is sourced only from wild caught ocean fish, not farm raised and comes in an easy to swallow mini pill. the brand i trust is qunol. we're back with evan osnos, staff writer for "the new yorker," the one with the cartoons, author of the profound and wildly readable new book, "wildland: the making of america's fury." i want to read what you have written about covid. the pandemic was revealing the full scope of america's institutional disrepair, the cruelties of the economy, the disparities of systemic racism, the skittering, malleable minds of a pun trained to doubt the body of fact.
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the civil service, weakened by years of ideological assault and defunding, was riddled by vacancies in crucial positions. trump had turkey-farmed the disloyals and replaced them with political eunuchs. the world's richest, most powerful country struggled even to find masks and diagnose its citizens. i read that three times. it is like our big reveal, right? this is who we are. >> yeah, well putt actually. i mean i do think that was sort of a moment that peeled back all of the stories, the narratives we tell ourselves, the reassurances we give, and we were sort of forced to stare ourselves in the face. i think realize that we had allowed our systems, the things that really do make us in many ways such an enviable power around the world, we had allowed those systems to be december
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decicated over the years. these specious theories had taken hold and were being especially harmful to people in some of the most vulnerable states. you mentioned before the break the idea of west virginia in particular which is worth talking about because west virginia, after all, has the lowest level of vaccination in the country of any state. i think you can't understand that fact without looking at another powerful fact, which is the way in which people in west virginia have just been pulled away from politics, pulling themselves away from politics over the course of two generations. in 1960 they had one of the highest levels of political turnout of any state in the country, 75%. by 2012 when i came back to this country, it had dropped down to 46%, one of the lowest levels in the country. people had been so ill-served by their leadership they were turning their backs on it. you see now the effect is that it is hard to get people to believe in fact and believe in their institutions again.
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>> it is not prescriptive, but do you have -- i mean today we have covered a california election where the person who is behind in the polls plans to delegitimize the vote there. we have news that the ex-president was so volatile, the most vote there. what is your sense of where we are heading? >> i have two thoughts. one is support your local newspapers which i know is not an idea that others believe. there is a great line, arthur miller, a newspaper is a place talking to itself. i care deeply about how these places work. the reason i mentioned it because that's how places stay engaged in their local communities. the kind of competence and what we saw in the trump administration. that's holding our leaders accountable earlier on. if we have the number of people
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describing themselves as former republicans today. i wish four years ago i had said when mitch mcconnell prevented merrick garland from getting promoted. we learned over the course of the last four years of the ways in which small steps and acts of incompetence and small perceptions. ultimately they are the steps over the big lie. that's the thing you remember now. if you allow it to happen on the small scale, it will happen on the big scale. >> the bookend of september 11th, just transpires for all of us. what were your thought this weekend? >> i was reminded of that moment that sensation, i think a lot of us had. i worked at new york at the time of 9/11. it was a femoral and that longing, frankly for unity. that ceiling that we could be elevated and larger than the sum
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of our parts as a country. i came away from the weekends saying to myself this is still within us. we have this really deep american yearning for that. i say this partly having lived around the world for so long. i came back and struck by the degree which we still deeply want that. there are people who still come around politics who can energize it and latch onto it. it's no means extinguish. it has shown me people on a local level who are doing things that are miraculously persistent. >> we'll put you on the spot. there is so much dread ahead. you go to communities struggling with the natural disaster.
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you do see people coming together. "wild land," it's out now. thank you very much for having this conversation with us. >> thanks very much. >> a quick break for us, we'll be right back on the other side. l be right back on the other side. . our dry roasted peanuts have an incredible ratio of size to substance a delicious, salty, crunchy ratio. planters. a nut above. at usaa, we've been called too exclusive. because we were created for officers. but as we've evolved with the military, we've grown to serve all who've honorably served. no matter their rank, or when they were in. a marine just out of basic, or a petty officer from '73. and even his kids. and their kids. usaa is made for all who've honorably served and their families. are we still exclusive? absolutely. and that's exactly why you should join.
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thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. "the beat" with ari melber is starting right now. >> hi nicole. what are you watching in california today? >> i am so disturbed. jacob soboroff did a fantastic interview today by the integrity of the votes. the votes have not been counted


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