tv Alex Witt Reports MSNBC September 25, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters in new york. welcome to alex witt reports. here's what's happening as we approach 2:00 p.m. eastern, 11:00 a.m. pacific. on capitol hill, congress is headed toward a budget showdown. both the house and senate facing multiple deadlines this coming week. the house is set to vote on infrastructure. right now, a virtual mark-up is just getting under way of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that has moderate and progressive democrats split. this as the tensions on the hill are especially high after two members of congress got into a shouting match on the steps of the capitol friday. democrat debbie dingell and republican marjorie taylor greene sparring over abortion rights. congresswoman dingell reacting to that confrontation this
morning. >> i asked her to be civil. why can't she be civil toward a colleague? not my proudest moment but i've been bullied at different points in my life and you have to show a bully you're not afraid of them. >> meantime, the committee investigating the january 6th riot is about to get its hands on a trove of new information regarding president trump's actions that day. the white house says president biden will not block donald trump's records from being released to the committee. plus more than now ten months after the 2020 election, the republican-led audit in arizona has officially come to an end. the report from the partisan cyber ninjas group not only reaffirming joe biden won in arizona's largest county and therefore the state but also saying biden actually added 360 votes to the official election count. let's go right to msnbc's steve patterson with more on that story. steve, another welcome to you. are the republicans who backed this audit satisfied with the results? >> reporter: well, i think experts that are breaking this down analytically can tend to be a little too strategic in their
thinking, forgetting that there are likely tens of thousands of trump supporters that were told by trump that there would be some evidence of a rigged election from this audit. there obviously was none, and in fact, it came out that biden had a net positive of votes from those findings. but if you are thinking more strategically about this being maybe a sense of performance art meant to cast more doubt on the electoral process, then you may be applauding, and that performance art was capped off yesterday in essentially a three-hour sermon of findings with an array of unsubstantiated claims ranging from votes that weren't verified, files that were deleted in the 11th hour, equipment that wasn't properly hooked up to the internet and other general cybersecurity fears that were elaborated on. i want to play for you some sound from a guy named ben cotton. he worked alongside cyber ninjas, is part of a firm that was part of this forensic audit or so-called forensic audit. listen to the verbiage he uses
to explain some of the finding that he put out. listen to this. >> there simply is no accountability by anyone accessing these devices. you had shared passwords. you had shared user accounts. you had remote access. if someone could get access to this system, they wouldn't need a zero day exploit. okay? the systems were so far out of date from a security compliance standpoint that it would have taken the average kiddy hacker less than ten minutes using metasploit to hack this system. >> reporter: none of these claims have been verified or factually credited to anybody. the maricopa administrators did
a point by point rebuttal. still, though, this isn't over. the attorney general in arizona says he will use everything within his legal power to continue pursuing this and obviously oh states now across the country have started to pick this up as part of their own strategy. >> okay. thank you for that. appreciate that, steve. let's bring in hayes brown now to discuss further. of course, hayes is columnist and editor for msnbc daily. your reaction to what steve was just reporting and the overall results of the arizona audit. how do you see it? >> i mean, he's completely right in that on the one hand, i'm a little relieved, because there was a fear in my mind that they would just sort of make up a claim that trump had actually won maricopa county. that's not what happened here. they did say that, well, actually, biden got more votes and that sort of put some people at ease or makes them feel a little vindicated in the fact that, oh, well, see, the biden got more votes in the long run. but steve is right in that thinking strategically, i mean, the way that they were framing that just now, that, oh, someone
could have broken into the system. the system is not secure. they're not claiming that it was hacked. not claiming that it was broken into but the idea that it could be is enough to cast doubt on to the 2020 election, and future elections unless, of course, new, harsher, stronger voting laws are passed, which is exactly what the long run game is for the republican party, especially at the state level, to pass new restrictions on voting that makes it harder to vote or more audits like the one we saw in arizona that cast doubt on the final result. so, yes, biden won in arizona and maricopa county, but do we really know? that's the sort of tone they're taking. >> see, you know what, hayes, what's really depressing about what you said is that you felt relieved that something worse didn't happen, that more lies and roadblocks weren't thrown out there. i mean, what does that say to you? the fact that you're, like, oh, i'm relieved the truth came out.
>> i mean, the truth came out, but they're spinning it in a way that makes people doubt, like, okay, we don't know the full, 100% story. they're framing it as, well, we did the best we could to find the fraud that we know is out there but until we find that fraud that we know is out there, we cannot trust these elections and i think that's what really terrifying here. on the one hand, i applaud doug logan of cyber ninjas. they have made a lot of money, which was their goal. there are two different things happening here. on the one hand, there's the heavy amount of grift that has occurred, taking people -- taking people's money who fully believe that donald trump won the 2020 election, and taking it for themselves. on the other hand, you have the voter suppression justification angle that i'm sure republicans around the country are looking at and thinking, yes, this is a model. >> so, texas, let's get to that because they just announced their intentions to perform their own audit.
why is this happenin in a state that trump won? and of the four counties that are being looked at again, trump won one of them. >> i mean, they're being looked at because they're major urban counties. i cannot stress that enough. they chose those counties because they are large counties where a substantial number of democratic voters exist. that's the point. and you're right. this is the first of these audits that we're seeing in a state that trump won and that's something we're seeing around the country more and more is that even in places where trump won, people are casting doubts on the results, saying, yeah, trump won but will that happen next time? can we be sure that our elections are safe and secure? from the rigging that democrats are doing? that's -- and that's wild. >> it's wild, but you know state republicans in at least three other states, hayes, they're pushing for similar reviews. are you surprised they still want to move forward, knowing how much time, how much money, was essentially wasted in arizona? >> no, because it's an
investment. you've got to look at it that way. yes, it's money and time is being wasted but on the one hand, arizona, the state itself paid very little. the original contract was only like $150,000. all the rest of the money was raised during that time in terms of donations, and calls people to donate money to this effort. the time part, yeah, it's a lot of time for very little results but you can still use that time and invest it to pass stricter voting laws, more restrictions on who can vote, how mail-in voting works, the sort of things that democrats are trying to prevent in the right -- in their voting rights legislation that is currently looking -- that they're looking at in the senate and without that, more and more state republican parties, state republican legislatures are going to pass more restrictions based on the evidence that these audits are providing. the idea isn't so that they're going to find something. but it's to whip up enough doubt
that they can say, well, if we can't know for sure, if our elections are secure, then we have to pass more laws to make sure they're secure. it's almost, in a sense, the way that republicans insist that there's no way to deal with immigration until the border is 100% secure. that's an impossible ask. there's no way to crack down on voting to make it even more secure than it already is, i feel like, in the way that will satisfy the people who are calling for these audits and that's the game. it's an impossible ask, and without the ability to actually meet that goal, you keep restricting and restricting voting rights, and making it so that fewer and fewer people have the ability to turn out to the poll or mail in their ballots and have them be counted and be viewed as legitimate and accurate. >> hayes, stay with me, please. i got a couple more questions for you, so don't go anywhere. for all of you, the house budget committee is getting under way with that mark-up on the reconciliation package. it's a key step in the
democrats' plan to move forward to pass both that $3.5 trillion spending bill as well as the bipartisan infrastructure bill sometime next week. nbc's julie circuit is joining us from capitol hill. so julie, what exactly does this virtual mark-up mean for the process of getting these bills passed? >> reporter: yeah, well, alex, that budget committee mark-up is getting under way right as we speak now and if you're wondering why they're convening this meeting on a saturday, it's because they're under immense pressure from democratic leadership in the house to get this done. now, what they're doing now is essentially taking the work of the 13 other house committees and putting it all together in one big package that will be known as the reconciliation package. that $3.5 trillion bill that progressives in the house are eager to pass. they're hoping to get it over to the rules committee as early as tonight. now, where does that pressure come from? our team spoke to speaker pelosi, leader hoyer, rep jeffries, all members of leadership in the house and they're all eager to put this
$3.5 trillion reconciliation package on the floor next week as they told our team in order to appease progressives as they have to take that vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package on monday. here's what congressman dan kildee, a member of the budget committee, said on your show just last hour. >> what we have is what the various committees have put together. it's legislation that i support, but as you know, until we have a package that we can get 218 votes for on the floor of the house, 50 votes in the senate, and the president's signature, we really don't have a deal. but this puts us in position in order to move as quickly as possible when this bill goes to the rules committee to make any changes we need to at that point. >> reporter: now, alex, my ears perked up at that omission that he really made there, that admission of saying that we really don't have a deal, and that's because they don't, right? when you get past the house, even if you get past the house where you have moderate opposition to this $3.5 trillion bill, you go to the senate where you have senators like senator
manchin and sinema who say, do we even need to do this this year? we'll see how this shakes up as the budget committee mark-up is under way. >> 100%. you make a good point there. thank you so much, julie, for that. hayes, you're back with me. what do you think is the biggest hurdle that democrats are facing right now? is it republicans, hayes? or is it the disagreements within the party? >> right now, i mean, it's disagreements within the party because even if you do kill off the filibuster, i mean, the filibuster's not really on the table right now for once. it's a budget reconciliation bill. they can pass this with just 50 votes plus a tiebreaker from vice president harris. it's all intraparty for a change, and so the biggest roadblock is making sure that all of the moderates get on board with the progressives, and honestly, i think that it's fascinating that the progressives, they have been assisting and are correct in insisting that they're the ones who have biden's back. they're the ones who want to maximize what the biden white house has been asking for in the build back better plan. they're the ones who want to
juice up the amount that is being spent and not really just spent, invested. to use that term again. this is $3.5 trillion over ten years. which is way less than the pentagon is going to be spending in the next ten years. and so, i think that's something to really keep in mind as we're discussing this, as we're seeing the final packages come together is that they're thinking long-term investments for this country right now. and so, the progressives, they're on board with more spending and they're saying we're not going to vote for the bipartisan bill because that, without the reconciliation bill, because they need that leverage to make sure that manchin and sinema push forward. manchin and sinema on the other hand are saying, we won't vote for the reconciliation bill if you don't get this over the line first so it's really a matter of trying to figure out the order of events, which is why it's such a headache. everyone wants something to pass. it's all about the timing of it, though. and who puts down their leverage
first, if you have the bipartisan bill passed, there's worries that the bigger package won't pass. if you pass the bigger package first, there's worries that the moderates won't vote for it because it's too large, which, in my opinion, is an issue both politically and policy-wise. >> well -- >> i think that they're thinking narrowly. they're thinking too narrowly in terms of what the american people want. >> and you know what? you make a good point, that that is budgeted over a ten-year period, it is to the just one big paycheck out of one year. hayes brown, thank you so much. a school board meeting is disrupted, then canceled after this happened. the topic that sparked outrage. oh, it's a very familiar one. the best things america makes are the things america makes out here. the history she writes in her clear blue skies. the legends she births on home town fields. and the future she promises. when we made grand wagoneer, proudly assembled in america,
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school. in tennessee, a judge yesterday blocked the governor's order that allows families to opt out of school mask mandates. in florida, protesters were arrested, and yesterday in idaho, one school was put into lockdown to prevent anti-mask protesters from swarming the school board meeting. here's a look at what happened when a coeur d'alene official announced the decision. >> due to the sheer number of people we have here and some concern for safety, this building is -- this meeting is being postponed. let me speak, please. >> don't do it. >> you guys, come on. >> we came down here. they need to hold the meeting. >> it will be held at a later date. >> minutes later, the expletive-filled reaction from the crowd there turned into this chant. >> no more masks, no more masks, no more masks.
>> all of that, the adults showing up at schools around the country, shouting and swearing, becoming all too common and there you see them all maskless. joining me now, msnbc political analyst and democratic pollster. so, that was quite something to witness there. i know that you're in florida where two protesters were arrested at a school board meeting in brevard county, but this is happening clearly all over the country. why has the school board become such a battleground? i mean, is this some sort of a political trend? what do you think is behind it? >> alex, it sure is. i mean, this is part and parcel of what we have now seen. these are orchestrated efforts to bring together a very small but clearly vocal and actually dangerous minority to just try and optically seize the debate. this, of course, alex, in spite of what we continue to see from the evidence, from what we see
in terms of the cases, the effects of the vaccine, which has proven to be the antidote, the thing that has saved us from the coronavirus, so over and over again in the country, i think you see these very deliberate and performative examples of where a tyranny of the majority is preventing the vast majority of americans from moving forward and beyond this pandemic. and the reason i say that is because in addition to what the science is saying, which is clearly masks help savelize, masks in schools help prevent the transfer of covid-19, we continue to see in the public opinion polls, more and more americans are saying they side with the policies of mask mandates and increasingly even vaccine mandates. but again, this is a powder keg. it's very dangerous, and it recalls those astroturf tea party events that we saw in the aftermath of the obama election to the presidency in 2008. >> oh, so, for those who
actually got a chance to speak at the school board meetings, let's take a listen to a short clip of their message. here it is. >> you can't identify any of them. voting on this tells me you guys support sex trafficking. >> the constitution and the declaration of independence. the bill of rights. and the federalist papers and also the bible and these guarantee my freedom and yours and our children's to breathe oxygen. >> time. >> wild sentiments in general. is this in sync with what you're hearing in florida? >> watching those images, do you remember that show on nbc, "to catch a predator"? this is like to catch bad parent. where's child protective services when you need them? look at these people and again, certainly, they're passionate but they are not disseminating anything that, again, the science, the doctors and the medical professionals are saying in unison, nor the vast majority of americans. here in florida, we are
continuing to see these types of incidents. they are particularly overrepresented, of course, in those counties that president trump won in the 2020 election and they have been egged on, so to speak, by the leadership of the state. florida is a republican-controlled state. we have a republican governor who has taken a demonstrably anti-mask position and he's very iffy when it comes to the vaccines themselves. >> yeah, let's talk about the new rule that ron desantis has just put into place there. florida students exposed to covid, they can attend school if asymptomatic. palm beach county approved this in a meeting that hosted masked and unmasked parents in separate rooms. i mean, do you see a fallout from all this? what's the argument? let's just go from the kids' point of view. >> i mean, alex, i'm a parent of two young children, so this is for me an existential problem as well. and you know, the desantis position in essence is, you know, if kids get covid, it's all right. they'll overcome it. not taking into consideration
what, again, the science and the medical professionals are saying. long haul covid is a problem. the idea that there might be long-term physical, perhaps even psychological aftereffects, if you acquire covid are still a problem. the science is new on this. so, the idea that we would still willingly put our children in a situation where they might contract a pandemic that we know has killed more americans than any of the world's -- the wars of the 20th century combined, that we know could possibly lead to long-term consequences, is beyond troubling. it's sociopathic, and it's absolutely anti-american. >> yeah, so, the governor also pointed, as you know, a new surgeon general for the state who is skeptical of lockdowns, opposes vaccine mandates. why this person and why now? >> because ron desantis is trolling. he's trying to, again, own the libs and play base politics in a state that is now, unfortunately in the case of florida, the front line for maga. this is maga-stan, so to speak.
ron desantis is vaccinated. his entire team is vaccinated. and the surgeon general that he just appointed is also very likely vaccinated. so, the idea that these individuals who have taken the very advice of the medical professionals and the science, and yet are offering a different message, which not only putting the lives of floridians in jeopardy, it has accounted for over 50,000 deaths in this state. again, i think speaks to almost criminal malfeasance beyond even a legal or scientific dispute over how to protocol and treat the virus. >> fernand, great chat. come see me any time. i appreciate your energy and insights. thank you. the fbi is looking for brian laundrie in connection with the death of his fiancee, gabby petito. crews have resumed the search for laundrie.
nbc's stephanie stanton is joining us from venice, florida. i want to ask you about the latest on this search and are authorities even convinced they're looking in the right place for brian? >> reporter: well, alex, as of yesterday, they were convinced because they are continuing to search. it is day seven of the search here at carlton reserve, although we are told that today is a bit of a scaled-down approach but for the last several days, we have had more than 75 personnel out here. this is a wetlands 25,000 acres of a wildlife refuge and these searchers have been battling the elements, the heat, the humidity, they've been using heavy equipment. they've been using drones, helicopters, swamp buggies but still no sign of brian laundrie. they zeroed in on this location because police say this is where the parents first told them that brian laundrie went missing. they say he set out here for a hike on september 14th. they didn't report him missing until three days later,
september 17th. we understand that his car, a ford mustang, was found here by the parents. it was brought to the house. authorities took it away for evidence. they searched it but it is now back in the hands of the parents. speaking of the parents, they have been very tight-lipped about this whole situation. they have definitely not really spoken to the media, and we talked to some neighbors who live near the laundrie family and they really are not too pleased about what's going on. take a listen. >> where's your son? why aren't you seeming to be more concerned about where your son is, and supposedly the love of his life who is now no longer here. you know? how are you handling this, and how are you living with knowing that your son could be the one responsible? >> reporter: now, yesterday evening, there was some police activity at the laundrie home. police were called to the area on a report of shots fired. they actually went to the home,
went inside the home, checked everything out, everything came back okay, so apparently that was not a legitimate situation. and then they left. as for, again, brian laundrie, he continues to be missing, but as for the petito family, we understand that they are grieving. they are in mourning, and they are now preparing for her funeral, which is expected to take place tomorrow on long island. alex? >> got to tell you, stephanie, those questions that were posed by that neighbor, i think, she's reading the minds of many of us out there as we watch this case unfold. thank you, stephanie stanton. paying for president biden's bold spending plans may be a big challenge but the president has a plan for that too, and it's next. the president has a plan for that too, and it's next (man 1) oh, this looks like we're in a screen saver. (man 2) yeah, but we need to go higher. (man 1) higher. (man 2) definitely higher. (man 1) we're like yodeling high. [yodeling] yo-de-le-he... (man 2) hey, no. uh-uh, don't do that. (man 1) we should go even higher! (man 2) yeah, let's do it. (both) woah! (man 2) i'm good.
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u.n. headquarters. a bit later today, the couple will speak about covid at a charity concert in central park. let's go now to washington and a critical week ahead for president biden's economic agenda. this week, the president met with democrats to iron out the details of both the spending and infrastructure bills ahead of their impending deadlines. nbc's monica alba is joining us from the white house once again. monica, how does the president plan to pay for his proposal? >> reporter: we've known about the broad outlines of these plans for months, alex and from the beginning, the president has said the way he wants to pay for these multitrillion dollar plans is by raising taxes on the wealthiest earners in this country and on corporations. that's something he has been pretty consistent about, but what hasn't been clear is exactly from which menu of options they're going to choose to do that. and we do know from an announcement from speaker nancy pelosi and majority leader chuck schumer on friday that it seems there's a tentative agreement on which choices they could go with
if they are going to hold these votes and feel they have the support for them but they haven't finalized exactly which structure they're going to use. but the president has been saying now for many weeks, including most recently just yesterday, that there is a way to pay for all of this because there's a major question about what this could mean for the budget and the way it would happen is essentially over a long period of time, so we're talking about over the next 8 to 10 years, but take a listen to why president biden feels people need to pay their fair share at this point in time. >> we talk about price tags. the -- it is zero price tag on the debt. we're paying -- going to pay for everything we spend. it's all paid for. it's all paid for, but a lot of these are flat tax cuts that exist within my proposal. and they're being calculated as if the cost of the child care
tax credit is a cost to the government. it's not. it's reducing taxes. reducing taxes. not increasing taxes. >> reporter: the president has said he wants a $3.5 trillion price tag on the more human infrastructure aspect of this legislation, but given the fact these negotiations are ongoing, we know they're huddling all weekend long, alex. that price tag could potentially come down, but in terms of paying for it, again, the white house has said this is how they want to do it and they want to be able to demonstrate they feel that the government can really work federally to expand the social safety net, which if this does pass, it would do so in dramatic fashion. >> indeed, dramatic. okay, thank you so much, monica alba for that. president biden laid out his global agenda this week at the united nations debut of his with a focus on topics like covid, climate change, and china. and drawing a sharp contrast
away from his predecessor's america first messaging. >> as a global community, that our own success is bound up in others succeeding as well. to deliver for our own people, we must also engage deeply with the rest of the world. to ensure that our own future, we must work together with other partners, our partners, toward a shared future. our security, our prosperity and our very freedoms are interconnected in my view as never before. >> joining me now, white house correspondent for the "washington post" and an msnbc political analyst. good friend to us here. good to see you, ann. what was your interpretation of biden's speech? do you think he moved the ball forward in any major way? >> alex, he really didn't. i think he was doing a number of things that were kind of diplomatic spade work in that speech. you mentioned in your opener that china was the subject. it absolutely was.
but he never actually said the name of the country, and the same thing happened yesterday when he gathered the leaders of japan, india, and australia at the white house in a new diplomatic group that the biden administration is very proud of. it's all about china, but they don't say that out loud. the other thing i think the president did at his u.n. speech is try to say to a different audience the same thing that he has been saying at home about the end of the afghanistan war, that it's time, after 20 years of constant conflict to move to a different phase, free up resources, think about the world in a different way, and it's interesting to make that argument at the u.n. where, of course, a number of u.s. allies and also lots of u.s. competitors see what happened in afghanistan very differently. the president was trying to reframe it and to a degree put it back on his terms. >> we had a sound byte but you
pretty well articulated that for me so why don't we go back to china. why did the president in this speech to the u.n., his first one as president, why did he not mention china when he was clearly making implications therein? >> it's largely because he doesn't want to anger other u.s. allies. i mean, china knows what's up, right? he doesn't have to pussyfoot around when it comes to china itself. but he does have to make sure that the way he talks about the u.s. contest with china doesn't come off as needlessly confrontational, particularly to european partners that have lots of business relationships in china and also to developing countries in africa, latin america, and elsewhere that partner with china in ways that sometimes the united states finds disturbing. but those are the, you know, those are choices that those countries are making on their own and for the president of the united states to come out and, you know, bang on about how
awful china is, it puts a lot of other countries in a tough spot. so, he was trying to walk a very narrow line there. >> a diplomatic line indeed. let's take a listen together to something else that he said. here it is. >> we are not seeking a new cold war or a world divided into rigid blocks. the united states is ready to work with any nation that steps up and pursues peaceful resolution to shared challenges. even if we have intense disagreements in other areas. because we'll all suffer the consequences of our failure if we do not come together to address the urgent threats like covid-19 and climate change or enduring threats like nuclear proliferation. >> so, when you contrast joe biden's speech with those of donald trump, there was nothing crazy. there was no shocking major headline to come out of this speech.
it was pretty standard as far as the u.n. general assembly goes. how was that received on the world stage? >> i think, really, in the main, alex, it was received quite well. the president got some applause that was maybe a little more than polite for the parts of his speech when he talked about rebuilding alliances and working together on shared projects and so forth. you know, he knew that there were some parts of his message that weren't going to go down as well, certainly the afghanistan part is one of them. and you know, he didn't get booed. he didn't get laughed at. certainly there were -- there was no overt reaction in the room the way there was when donald trump spoke. i mean, i was there for all of donald trump's in-person u.n. speeches, and in every one, there was an electricity in the room where the other delegates were worried about what he was going to say, waiting to see, you know, who he was going to insult and so forth.
there was just none of that this time. it was a pretty straightforward foreign policy address by an american president. the other countries were there to hear it, clap politely and move on. >> sounds like also probably breathing a sigh of relief for that. let me ask you about this last thing, which is a phone call that president biden had with french president emmanuel macron this week, trying to smooth things over after the announcement that the u.s. was having a former defense alliance with the uk and australia. president biden reportedly admitting during that phone call that he didn't handle the situation the best way that he could have. how do you think that went over with our long-time french allies? >> yeah, i did not have major diplomatic breach with france on my u.n. bingo card this year. it was quite a shock. the phone call needed to happen. everybody knew it did. they wanted to get past the first events at the u.n., get past the president's speech and so forth before they had that phone call. but emmanuel macron wanted to have it too.
the phone call was at joe biden's invitation, and it's clear from what the white house said about the call, what a joint -- the joint statement that the two countries put out afterwards said that biden was contrite. white house press secretary jen psaki would not say specifically that he apologized, but that he did express regret for the way this was handled and that in the words of the joint statement, greater consultation might have helped. i think that's an understatement. >> yeah. okay. anne gearan, thank you for giving us what was on the record there. appreciate it. so, how president trump acted during the attack on the capitol has been pretty much hearsay to this point, but the country may soon get the facts right from the white house records. trump will try to stop the release, but can he? p will tryoe release, but can he? i don't je brainy on tv - i'm an actual neuroscientist. and i love the science behind neuriva plus. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger.
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biden will not shield trump's records from congressional investigators, adding it will not be appropriate to assert executive privilege. well, joining me now, danny, msnbc legal analyst. hey to you, danny, glad to have you here. donald trump is already threatening to fight on the grounds of executive privilege. but if he's no longer the executive, does he have the privilege? >> executive privilege is an often invoked, rather hazy concept, and if this went to the courts, the court would have to decide whether or not a president, a current president, can decline to invoke executive privilege on behalf of a former president. and that really could go either way. we've seen a lot of major decisions on executive privilege in just the last few years, and even dating back several decades. so, while executive privilege is a thing, we just don't know the exact details of what that thing is. >> so, here's the question about executive privilege. it is often invoked when it's trying to shield the president
from maybe talking about sensitive things, things that could, i guess, harm something in negotiations if it were to get out. there's any number of reasons to use executive privilege. this is already considerably in the past. it's over. it's done with. what would there be to shield with the exception of donald trump getting into trouble, potentially, or doing something that was rather unsavory? i mean, there's nothing to shield the country from at this point, is there? so, why invoke executive privilege? >> well, sometimes there are communications between the executive and his advisors that should be kept confidential. well beyond the presidency. but you seize on a very important point. another thing courts look at is to what degree were these communications actually related to the business of the president and they may conclude that the answer to that is, not too related to the presidency. if it was involved in the
january 6th rally, which really didn't have anything to do with presidential functions. so, in this case, it's going to almost certainly go to the courts because the reality is executive privilege, we simply haven't had the opportunity. it's been raised dozens of times, which is not enough for the courts to fully figure out exactly when and how far it extends. >> so, then it begs the question, would a move like this set a precedent and could it backfire with a lot more that could be exposed at what goes on at the at the white house than future presidents or even president biden himself might want. >> that's why i think members of congress are talking a bigger game than they really mean right now and there's nothing wrong with bluffing at this point but the reality is, if this goes forward, will that result in delay? it could also result in a loss. so, this is the kind of thing whereas even though the early rumblings from the select committee are, hey, we're not
negotiating, we want what we want, i think when push comes to shove and litigation may come into play, they may decide that negotiation is the better part of valor. >> okay. danny, a couple little hiccups there, we got about 95%, all the important stuff of everything that you said. it's all good. thank you so much. >> wi-fi. >> i know, it is what it is. first came the masks and then the vaccines and now the boosters. but how will the country fare in the months to come? the future of covid next. nths te the future of covid next 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. did you know some deodorants may not last all day? secret works immediately! absolutely. and is designed to last for up to 48 hours.
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ultimately upheld. tennessee governor bill lee was handed a second blow this week to his controversial order allowing parents to opt out of school mask requirements, amid the spiking case numbers in that state. a federal judge blocked the rule from being implemented while the legal battle moves its way through the courts. and a new phase in the vaccination drive now under way as the cdc endorses pfizer booster shots for adults 65 and older and for those people with underlying health conditions. frontline workers are also eligible for a booster six months after their last shot. now let's bring in dr. chris, public health physician and an american college of preventive medicine fellow. doctor, thank you so much for joining me. as we look at cdc director rochelle walensky, who overruled her advisors to include adults 18 and older who work in the high-risk environments to be eligible for the booster shot, do you think that caused more confusion to the rollout process and what kind of concerns do you have as a larger pool of people now are going to be eligible for the boosters?
>> good afternoon, very happy to be here. no, i don't think she led to further confusion. i think she demonstrated sound and accountable leadership. what we don't usually see is the scientific process unfold right before our eyes, and we're seeing that, and i have heard some of my peers describe it as sausage making. i was surprised by acip, that they did not recommend boosters for those who work in occupations where they have an increased risk. so the director got it right. i think where the confusion actually sprang forth is when the white house gave such a definitive date, saying that all americans would be eligible for a booster on september 20th. we didn't have that science or that data conclusively stating that or demonstrating that so this is just caution for us to exercise public health 101 good sense. >> let's talk about this week, what happened, the average daily covid death in the united states, the numbers rose above
2,000. and i also want to acknowledge that your father, who recently passed away from covid, so i offer you my deepest condolences to you and your family. being a daddy's girl, i know how hard it is to lose your father, that's for sure. >> thank you. >> but with the threat of this virus, why aren't more people getting vaccinated? what could encourage someone to want to get their shots? >> you know, i don't want any other family to endure what my family has endured, alex. actually, i've lost two cousins, my father, and my sister is a covid-19 long hauler. enough is enough. what's happened in the united states, unfortunately, is that politics has gotten in the way of science. politics has compromised public health and public health officials at times have not been as clear and definitive as they could have been. the deepest sense of motivation i can give to people to get vaccinated is so that you and your loved ones, your family,
your community, your neighborhood, we all can get to high ground, and high ground is safety. and it's going to take the collective action to really put us in the position where we can beat back this pandemic and get back to some sense of normalcy. >> yeah. amen to all that, i'm sure your father would be very proud for the statement that you just made. so well done on that. let's take a listen to two health experts on the future of the pandemic in general. >> let's be clear, john. we are not going to stop this pandemic until we vaccinate the entire world. and we in the united states have a major role to play in this. >> this becomes a more persistent endemic risk so you continue to have coronavirus spread but not at the same rates we're seeing right now and it settles into a pattern, more of a seasonal pattern and basically becomes a second flu. >> so, what you're seeing there is really demonstrating what there is, which is several approaches to how this pandemic ultimately will end. what is your view?
>> definitely. we have need a multilayer strategy, one we won't boost our way out of this pandemic, but we can vaccinate our way out of this pandemic as well as ensuring that mask mandates are in effect. look, the cdc released additional data over these past few days touting how effective masks are at preventing the spread and the transmission of coronavirus, especially delta. we need to ensure that there's testing and contact tracing available, and we need to ensure that the world gets vaccinated because as long as considerable parts of the population aren't vaccinated, the possibility that variants like delta and others will continue to emerge will always exist. >> yeah. absolutely, these variants can still develop. what about -- there's something nbc's ben collins did. he tweeted about the misinformation on social media. he says, in part, facebook bans explicit anti-vax groups but they don't ban groups for quack
cures that they push instead. how often are you having to combat medical misinformation with your patients and what do you make of some physicians that push medication that does not work like ivermectin? it's unethical. >> there's no other way around it. i think physicians who tout or pass along misinformation should lose their licenses. look, our oath says, first, do no harm, and that is doing harm. insinuating treatments could be effective when you know, bottom line, there's no scientific evidence behind it and that people could get hurt, i have no tolerance for that. and unfortunately, social media could be a good infective tool to get out science, data, and facts to people but it's become cluttered and what i tell people, before you tweet something, before you post something, find it somewhere else that's credible. find it with a credible medical agency. you find it, whether that's internationally or nationally. you make sure you can establish
this in the mouth of two or three witnesses so to say. >> double confirmation at least. doctor, thank you so much. and i'm sending you a big virtual hug on the loss of your father. i'm so sorry. that's going to do it for me on this edition of alex witt reports. coming up next, the dishonesty of donald trump. we'll be bringing you that and more as our coverage continues after the break. nd more as our coverage continues after the break. are you tired of clean clothes that just don't smell clean? downy unstopables in-wash scent boosters keep your laundry smelling fresh way longer than detergent alone. if you want laundry to smell fresh for weeks, make sure you have downy unstopables
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