tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC October 7, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
all right, that is going to do it for us tonight on this fine friday eve. that doesn't mean tonight is friday evening. it means it's the eve of friday. see you again tomorrow. now it's time for the "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> stop trying to confuse me with that, rachel. it gets me every time. i've got my huge subverting justice report by the democratic staff of the senate judiciary committee. yeah, i saw -- you have a color printer. i don't. >> i do. i invested. >> i'm wicked impressed by that. there's another report that came out -- another report came out today from the senate judiciary
committee, and it is from the republican staff. it is five pages, the republican staff. i will be concentrating on this report tonight, rachel. you have done a masterful and thorough job on the big fat one that's really important. this one is of its own importance for different reasons. it is stunning. it really is a stunning document, and it's the report -- i guess maybe no one else will pay attention to, but it does have something work noting in it. neil katyal is going to join us. >> i'm looking off to the side because i'm looking at my notes today. they say trump was trying to make sure stuff got investigated, quote, in a thorough and unbiased manner. i wrote in my notes, lol, lol,
lol, lol, lol, lol. so i just amused myself with that report today, but you actually tearing it apart is going to be fantastic. >> it reads as though as if it was written by a staff full of jeff clarks. >> wow. go, lawrence. go get it. go get it! >> thank you, rachel. the staff from the senate judiciary committee issued two reports today, and both of them are deeply disturbing. and for me the report that is actually most disturbing is the one you really haven't heard much about or haven't heard anything about at all until a moment ago. i was discussing with rachel. the democratic staff of the senate judiciary committee issued a report titled "subverting justice," giving us more detail about the coup donald trump was attempting from the oval office and the role he wanted the justice department and the attorney general to play in that coup. much of what is the in the democratic staff report has already been reported in
newspapers and books covering the final days of the trump presidency. there is much more specificity on all of that in this report. the committee had the full cooperation of donald trump's last acting attorney general, jeffrey rosen and the deputy attorney general richard donegon. so we now know donald trump began an oval office meeting january 3rd by saying one thing we know you, rosen, aren't going to do anything to overturn the election. the committee obtained the white house photographs of that meeting. and there is attorney general jeffrey rosen sitting across from the president. not all coups have an official photographer, but the failed coup run by donald trump in the oval office was photographed. one witness who refused to cooperate with the committee is jeffrey clark, with who donald trump wanted to install as the acting attorney general because clark had written a letter to be sent to government officials in certain swing states like georgia, michigan and others
saying that the justice department believed that there were problems in the special election in those states and that republican office holders in those states should appoint a different set of electors to vote in the electoral college for donald trump and joe biden who won those states. and the meeting in the oval office where this was discussed for three hours donald trump learned he'd face mass resignations if he fired jeff rosen and made jeff clark the acting attorney general. the senate judiciary committee's democratic staff report says at some point during the meeting deputy attorney general richard dawn hue and assistant attorney general steven engel made clear that all the assistant attorneys general would resign if trump replaced rosen with clark. they also recalled white house counsel pat cipollone and deputy
council patrick fillben pushing back against the proposal calling clark's letter a murder-suicide pact. and the two white house lawyers indicating that they would also resign. despite being informed early on that the clark course of action would prompt mass resignations. and even though every participant in the meeting except clark advocated strongly against that course of action, trump continued for some time to entertain the idea of installing clark in rosen's plays. and so donald trump who tlaut his life has been a cowardly man, got scared. he was afraid of many or most of the 90 u.s. attorneys and hundreds of assistant u.s. attorneys and dozens of justice department lawyers as well as white house lawyers and possibly people all over his strlgz
quitting because donald trump fired the acting attorney general and installed a new acting attorney general to corrupt the election process. donald trump was no doubt afraid that that action could lead to him being impeached and removed from office at a very high-speed. donald trump was no doubt afraid that that action could lead to him being criminally prosecuted for committing election crimes in the states where he was going to steal the election. so in the end donald trump didn't carry out the plot that he and jeff clark had been working on for a few weeks. that is the nightmare described by the senate judiciary committee's democratic staff. there is another nightmare in the report by the republican staff of the senate judiciary committee, and it is a nightmare that will be with us for decades to come, long, long after donald trump is gone and long after the republican judiciary committee's staff -- their boss, 88-year-old
chuck grassly, is gone. senate committee staff who work on reports like this are people in their 20s and 30s. usually the oldest among them are in their 40s. they are all much younger than the people we saw in the photographs of the coup attempt in the oval office on january 3rd. and those young lawyers working on the republican staff of the senate judiciary committee actually wrote a report based on the same evidence saying donald trump did nothing wrong. they say that because donald trump did not actually fire the acting attorney general and install jeff clark as acting attorney general, that donald trump did nothing wrong. the republican staff report says the available evidence shows that president trump did not use the justice department to overturn the election. and what they really mean is that the available evidence shows that president trump did
not succeed in using the justice department to overturn the election. it is completely okay with the republican senators of the judiciary committee that donald trump used the justice department to stage a coup. and it is completely okay with the republican committee staff. the republican staff report says "president trump did not exert improper influence on the justice department, had no impact on the justice department's election activities." republican staff is saying because jeffrey rosen and the leadership of the justice department refused to carry out donald trump's plan for a coup, that obviously donald trump, quote, did not exert improper influence on the justice department. the truth is that he exerted improper influence on the justice department, but the key people working there resisted that influence. the tragedy of the republican staff report is that it shows you how deep the cancer is in
the republican party. it has not just spread to men in their 70s and 80s like donald trump and mitch mcconnell and chuck grassly. it is now completely consuming republicans in washington who are half the age of those men and younger. there could be future senators working on that republican committee staff, future members of the house, future white house chiefs of staff. ron klain worked on the staff of the senate judiciary committee. there could be a future republican president on that staff, future republican attorney general. and we now know tonight that the republican staff of that committee has contempt for government, contempt for the constitution, contempt for the justice department's ethical standards that were established after republican president richard nixon corrupted the justice department. senate staff take the same oath that senators do.
that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domest, that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. republican staff on the senate judiciary committee found an enemy of the constitution in the oval office, donald trump. and they found an enemy of the constitution working in the justice department who was egging on trump in the justice department, jeff clark. and the republican staff of the senate judiciary committee refuses to defend the constitution against those two enemies who they found in this investigation. i know what it feels like to take that oath. i cannot imagine what it feels like to violate that oath. no committee staff in the senate has ever produced a more disgraceful piece of work than
the republican committee staff in the senate judiciary committee, and we have every reason to fear that that staff will be doing work like that in washington for decades to come. leading off our discussion tonight is democratic congressman hakeem jeffries of new york. he's the chairman of the house democratic caucus and a member of the house judiciary committee. thank you very much for joining us tonight. we really appreciate it. and as a member of the judiciary committee in the house and now seeing what the senate judiciary committee has revealed you, too, have oversight jurisdiction of what goes on at the justice department. what are your first thoughts about what can be done about this? >> well, good evening, lawrence. great to be on as always. you know, donald trump's behavior continues to make richard nixon look like a choir boy. and there is no bottom. there never will be. that is how corrupt this
particular individual who used to occupy 1600 pennsylvania avenue is and how much he has corrupted the republican party, which is no longer a functional governing party. it's a cult. i think we came very close to losing our democracy, and the more information that is revealed the clearer that becomes. and so i expect on the house judiciary committee side we'll continue to explore this information, probe it, present it to the american people. of course, leading that effort in the house is going to continue to be the select committee. and then we're going to have to try to figure out how we can hold some of these individuals accountable for their behavior whenever and wherever possible so as to hopefully deter it from ever happening again. >> well, you know, on the deter it part when i was reading this what i kept seeing, and this is something that the trump era really revealed for us so
vividly, is that everything the committee staff, the democratic committee staff finds to be a violation, it is almost entirely a violation of norms and a violation of ethical standards setup after richard nixon. and it's all based on this old-fashioned washington notion of a gentleman's agreement that gentlemen simply wouldn't simply make phone calls like this and gentlemen simply wouldn't make requests like this. and there's no structure to police this kind of activity. and there's no -- going forward there's no structure to police this kind of activity. >> well, certainly we've learned as a result of what took place during the trump administration as you indicated that norms are no longer enough in terms of the preservation and continuity of our democracy. chairman adam schiff is leading that effort to try to address this issue and put into place laws and statutes to govern what
is appropriate conduct so that hopefully we never have to confront an out of control corrupt administration like the one that existed when donald trump was in office. now, of course, we'll have to confront the dynamics in the senate with a republican party that refuses to govern in a credible fashion. but the first step we'll have to take is to move this legislation in the house and then make our case to the american people as to why it's important to their well-being. we can't really have a functional economy. we can't really have a functional society that takes care of the needs, the hopes, the dreams, the aspirations of the american people if democracy breaks down. and that's why this issue should be important to every single american. >> the report clearly shows that there isn't currently a way to control this kind of behavior.
you know, and there's always discussion about well, you know, there's a process and, you know, there's a limit to who can have contact with the white house and the justice department. but those things are just there to be trampled on by someone like donald trump. and going forward unless you can actually legislate the internals of how the justice department operates, which, by the way, is no easy thing. i have no suggestion about how you write that law. it'll be very complex to write that law in a sensible way. but it's hard to see how this would be stopped in the future. >> well, certainly i think there has to be consequences to behavior that goes beyond a policy violation that becomes a statutory violation and a violation of law. and perhaps imposing criminal consequences where appropriate. we should explore all of that
because, again, our democracy is fragile. and we've seen that. and we've seen that in so many ways including the january 6th violent insurrection, and we're going to have to do things differently and not simply wish it away. and i believe that democrats in the house, the senate and certainly president biden are all prepared to lead us forward both in terms of getting things done for every day americans as it relates to improving their quality of life and improving access to opportunity in every single zip code and protecting our institutions, our values, our norms and the heart and soul of our democracy, and that's the job that is in front of us. >> the senate did vote tonight to extent the debt ceiling in effect to december. 11 republican votes for the cloture motion, which is not the same thing as voting to raise the debt ceiling. mitch mcconnell was one of those 11 votes, but it looks like we're on track for a similar
kind of drama in december. in the meantime will you be able to put the infrastructure package together in a reconciliation package that could also include a debt ceiling extension or expansion so that you wouldn't have to go through this again? >> well, we'll have to have that discussion in terms of whether that's the appropriate way to go or whether we can deal with it in conjunction with the effort to make sure we enact the full spending bill to keep the government open on december 3rd and moving forward. in the interim we've got to get the infrastructure agreement over the finish line, fix our crumbling roads, bridges and create millions of good paying jobs and at the same time make the investments in child care and home care and health care, expanding access to medicaid, making sure we deal with the climate crisis and green our economy with the fierce urgency of now.
that's what's in front of us over the next few weeks. i suspect we're going to get these two transformative pieces of legislation over the finish line. and then we'll have to deal with the debt ceiling that now will expire on december 3rd in tandem and i expect that's what we're going to do. >> congressman hakeem jeffries, thank you very much for starting off our discussion tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thank you. and joining us now is neil katyal, former acting u.s. inspector general. i want to give you an open forum to react to what you read in this report today. >> lawrence, reading about donald trump he can't even competently coup correctly. it played out kind of like an episode of "the apprentice"
except in this case no one got fired. and i'm so glad your lead up started with the republican report because i think that was truly a disgrace. i mean as a lawyer i've seen a lot of bad arguments in my lifetime. but here's the actual argument in the report. grassly argues that donald trump couldn't do that bad because he didn't go through with firing attorney general rosen and installing jeff clark. but the only reason that happened was because there was a, quote, murder-suicide pact of everyone at the justice department to mass resign if trump tried to pull that stunt. and you don't get credit for kind of, you know, doing the right thing under duress. you don't give nixon credit because he resigned as opposed to being impeached or thrown out of office. i think the most important thing is can you imagine, lawrence, just how bad you got to be --
just how evil if you're the president and your entire hand picked justice department, your entire hand picked white house counsel's office, they're all threatening to mass resign because of a decision you want to make? i mean this is not the deep state. these are donald trump people. and let's be clear donald trump didn't exactly pick people who were sticklers for the rule of law. and so even by that bottom feeder standard trump couldn't keep them onboard. that is all you need to know. >> the reason jeff clark didn't testify -- hadn't testified yet to the senate judiciary committee is that they in effect cannot issue subpoenas because they need a majority vote for subpoenas on that committee, and the committee is now split 10-10 democrat and republicans. so they couldn't pull him in. the january 6th special committee can. they can subpoena him. obviously he should be high on their subpoena list. >> yeah. i mean if someone's trying to
demonstrate the banality of evil, i'd say career environmental lawyer jeff clark trying to facilitate a coup is pretty much on the nose. and lawrence, you're absolutely right the january 6th house committee can do it and subpoena, but i think there's another actor that i really want to see get involved. and that is the justice department. you know, the report today isolates a case for a violation of 18 usc 610 which is the coercion of political activity, that it's a crime to coerce government officials to engage in political acts. and i'm not saying that necessarily happened. i am saying that the evidence in the report calls for -- is a deep cry for an investigation by law enforcement with law enforcement tools behind them. >> neal katyal, thank you very much for joining us tonight. always appreciate it. thank you. and coming up, abortion services resume today in texas for many patients after a
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last night at this hour after we just got our hands on the 113-page order by federal court judge in texas blocking the new texas abortion law, a supreme court reporter called it an extraordinary piece of judicial writing and judicial fact finding. included in george robert pitman's analysis of the law are footnotes about the impact of the new texas law, the impact on real people. one of those footnotes quotes a health care provider in oklahoma. "one of the most heart wrenching cases i have seen recently was of a texas minor who had been raped by a family member and traveled accompanied by her guardian. all the way from galveston,
texas, a 7 to 8-hour drive one way to get an abortion in oklahoma because she was more than six weeks pregnant and could not get an abortion in texas. and this patient is not the only sexual assault survivor in texas i have treated recently." whole womens health, an abortion provider in texas tweeted today we were able to provide abortions today to people who had already complied. as neal katyal explained to us last night there's a provision in the texas law that says anyone who provides abortion services cannot later defend themselves in texas by saying it was done while a temporary injunction like this one was in place. here's what amy miller, president and ceo of whole womens health had to say about that today on msnbc.
>> there is this possibility of a retroactive -- retroactive legal action that gives a lot of us pause. it's meant to be something that scares us, that it's meant to give people fear and be afraid to provide abortions. and we have to weigh a lot of those risks as well as the needs of our patients. >> joining us now, senior editor and legal correspondent for slate.com and host of the podcast and maria tracy kumar, president and ceo of voter latino and msnbc contributor. and dahlia, you've had 24 hours, and i want to give you that opportunity that in washington they call a chance to edit your remarks. what does this order say to you when you have 24 hours to reflect on it? >> i think i'm so struck, lawrence, by the ways in which
judge pitman very deftly in the body of the opinion, you know, it was 113 pages. and above those footnotes he does all the work that was too hard for the supreme court to do about standing and injunctive relief and whether the states can sue. it's the most chargedly lawyer jargon speak and very, very deft and meticulous. and then the footnotes that you just read like footnote 9 that just gutted me is essentially a slide show of all the suffering that has happened that was completely tossed aside by the lower court, by the fifth circuit, by the u.s. supreme court. and to give a sense of the acute catastrophic effect for millions of texans. and all of that is happening in these war pictures and the
footnotes. and i want to say i was frustrated at the hearing last week of judge pitman's hearing because it appeared to be only white men talking to white judges about pregnant peoples bodies who are very, very disproportionately affected if they are people of color. to see judge pitman stand up and say this is a slide show of the actual experienced lives on the ground of people implicated here. it was the most fundamentally act of real vision and real i think compassion that i've seen in this entire lawsuit. >> maria theresa, it was not ivory tower justice. it was not someone sitting up in a posture removed from the reality of what the judge was ruling on, but the stuff above the footnotes, which is to say the essential jurisprudence of
it is so full and touches every base of what is currently a constitutional right and that is clearly being violated in texas. and it seems to leave it now a posture for the supreme court to decide to either preserve that constitutional right or take it away. >> that's exactly right. and that's why the department of justice sued. because under the law they cannot -- a state law cannot supercede a federal law. and that is basically what judge pitman said, and he punted it back to the supreme court. as you recall, lawrence, the supreme court said they didn't want to touch it. but now it's going to be very exposed for all the world to see. and part of the reason they didn't want to touch it isicidely the supreme court is now seen to be so politicized. and the republicans themselves know that the american people -- the vast majority of the american people really believe that american women and women everywhere should have agency over their body. this is not a popular issue.
and so what pitman did was expose this hypocrisy and say we're going to take it back to the highest courts of the land so you can decide in a very clear way. the fact we just had a womans march here in washington, d.c. this past weekend and over 100,000 allies and women came out and marched, it's not this issue people want to go away. they want to say, no, we're in the 21st century, and we're going to make sure it's airtight. we're going to make sure that women have agency over their bodies. we're going to make sure we lay it at the feet of the supreme court so they're exposed as well as the world watches. >> dahlia, the other thing i found so unusual in this order in a good way is that the judge was not afraid of going right into the medical details. he took on, for example, the term "fetal heartbeat," and said that's not an accurate term when we're talking about cardiac
activity in an embryo. fetal heartbeat shouldn't be used here. and a lot of these judges in these cases and certainly the supreme court stay very far away from anything like that. they stay far away from any of the actual medical and fizz logical realities of what we're talking about. >> it was amazing. not only was he really scrupulous about saying, look, this is flickering cells that you're seeing. it is not a heartbeat. but time and time again he was giving statistics about the likelihood of dying because you carry a pregnancy to term as opposed to you terminate it. the statistics about women who live in texas in poverty. the statistics how many people who terminate pregnancies who already have children. all of this data that is a part of the picture, and he just pops it in the footnotes in order to say we're not going to exceed to
this framing that we have been force-fed that this is a heartbeat and this is a life and that's the beginning and that's the end of the discussion. and i agree there's so much richness there because he's willing to just lean-in and do that analysis. and it's the kind of stuff that a lot of judges are -- >> go ahead, maria theresa. >> he basically turned on its head the republican talking points and clarified for the american people it is a rouse. for a long time the way the right has been able to win is by sensationized terms. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thank you. and coming up from the constitutional right to abortion services to the constitutional right to vote, texas has become a laboratory for republican
extremism. john heilemann is in texas this week reporting for his show time show "the circus." and he'll join us next. w time show "the circus." and he'll join us next this is the sound of an asthma attack... that doesn't happen. this is the sound of better breathing. fasenra is a different kind of asthma medication. it's not a steroid or inhaler. fasenra is an add-on treatment for asthma driven by eosinophils. it's one maintenance dose every 8 weeks. it helps prevent asthma attacks, improve breathing, and lower use of oral steroids. nearly 7 out of 10 adults with asthma may have elevated eosinophils. fasenra is designed to target and remove them. fasenra is not a rescue medication or for other eosinophilic conditions. fasenra may cause allergic reactions. get help right away if you have swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue, or trouble breathing. don't stop your asthma treatments unless your doctor tells you to. tell your doctor if you have a parasitic infection or your asthma worsens. headache and sore throat may occur. this is the sound of fasenra.
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texas has become the republican party's working laboratory for their attacks on voting rights, reproduction rights and immigration. and it is not polling very well. the professor at the linden johnson school of public affairs at the university of texas writes governor greg abbott and the republican party has embraced a top down policy agendathality is backward looking, excludes huge swaths of texas citizenry and runs against the grain of many of its new stakeholder's values. they're looking to shore up by a combination of gerrymandering, voter suppression and relentless
cultural warfare. that agenda is not supported by the public. 52% of texans believe their state is headed in the wrong direction, the highest since that poll started in 2008. that same poll finds the approval rating of texas governor greg abbott is at 41%, the lowest since february 2016. here is what matthew dowd, a former republican who is running as a democrat for texas lieutenant governor told john heilemann for "the circus." >> you lived here for 30 years? >> 38 years. >> 38 years, right. do you sense there's a palpable awareness within texas how bad [ bleep ] has been for the last year here? outside we all look at texas and go it's a [ bleep ] nightmare. but do texans feel that? >> i have talked to a lot of people and independents, talked to them all over. i would say the most consistent
way to say it i'm proud of my state and love my state, but what they're doing is embarrassing. republicans, democrats and independents, independents might say it in a slightly different way but republicans they all say basically the same thing. this is embarrassing. >> joining us now john heilemann, host and executive producer of show time's "the circus," which will run the fully profane version of that clip. and he's the host of the hell or high-water podcast for the recount. you got to keep it clean here as we always do. >> i'll try. >> you're in texas for -- at a crucial time, at the moment where the federal judge's order comes out in the middle of this incredibly intense and important story down there on abortion rights. and all of the other things that the republicans are trying to do in that laboratory they call
texas. >> it's an extraordinary moment here, lawrence. you think about the texas republican party was really only became the dominant party of texas, you know, back in 2004. and in the 16 years since then, 17 years since then the party has been taken out of monopoly status here. and yet it seems to see that status is imperilled by the rise of increasingly non-white pop ulation here, that demographic change. you look at the way a lot of democrats ran better in 2020 than they had in a long time, and there was a period some people thought there was some slim hope joe biden might carry the state. and you can see texas republicans say we can see the end of the road here, so they're trying to ram through as much extreme legislation as possible in as quick a period of time as possible.
and the effect of that as matthew dowd's entry suggests is this race for 2022 for lieutenant governor is going to be nationalized in a way that no state race has ever been before in terms of money and media attention. this really is the place that's the short end of the spear for the trump revolution. and that has made this a place where the intensity on the ground is unprecedented in my experience doing this for i guess 30 years or so. >> so, john, there's another approach that is possible. and actually it's the approach we used to see way back in the 20th century. is that when an electorate started moving in a certain direction that was toward, say, the other party, the party it was moving away from would start to make a few accommodations and find ways to reach out to that electorate to try to basically move in their direction. texas republican party sees a
new population coming in and says we're going to do everything that they don't want. >> right. it's a quaint notion you have, lawrence. the notion of the swing voter and kind of how you moderate rather than go more extreme. i think it's two factors are driving that. one is that this monopoly status of the party for the last 16, 17 years has created a dynamic on the right which we've seen in other places but very pronounced here where the political action is on the primary side. so even greg abbott right now is going to have a more conservative challenger. he's going to get primaried from the right in 2022. a lot of people think that's part of the reason why abbott is doing what he's doing. and that is a kind of metaphor and probably won't happen, but it's a thing that drives and animates the impulse. all these republicans are terrified. and the reason they're terrified in particular is what drives
that primary dynamic, which is the second factor. and that is donald trump. republicans were going further and further in this state all the way from the early '90s to the late 2000s. and the fact trump still hovers so large in our political conversation and all these texas republicans are terrified if they were to do what you just suggested, which we used to do back in the 20th century which is to moderate their policies, trump will come after them and they will get primaried and lose their jobs and their power and all the perks and that stuff. it really is the perfect microcosm of the dynamics that had been polarizing our politics and driven the republican party into this place of extremism that risks the kind of electoral backlash you were citing before that i think a lot of people see coming. they've gone one step too far and they're going to pay a price fairly soon. >> thank you for joining us from texas tonight. and anyone who wants to hear the profane version, it's sunday
night on show time, "the circus." >> thanks, lawrence. and coming up, republicans have become the first political party in american history that believes its success depends on endangering the lives of its voters. that's next. endangering the lives of its voters that's next. as a dj, i know all about customization. that's why i love liberty mutual. they customize my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. how about a throwback? ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪
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new chapter. wellness well done. at vanguard, you're more than just an investor, you're an owner with access to financial advice, tools and a personalized plan that helps you build a future for those you love. vanguard. become an owner. think about getting it because if you're my age -- >> no! >> i didn't tell you to get it. just think about it. >> no! >> no? i'm glad i got it. 92% of the people in hospitals in south carolina are unvaccinated. >> no! >> it is true. >> it's not true. >> i'm with you on let's not mandate it and probably unconstitutional. >> that's senator graham getting
booed and heckled for telling republicans to think about getting the vaccine. even donald trump can't tell them to get the vaccines. >> it's good. take the vaccines. but you got -- no. that's okay. that's all right why you got your freedoms. but i happen to take the vaccine. >> covid deniers are now overwhelming hospitals. here's how montana nurse christie baxter describes the situation. >> it's exhausting. i've had days where i thought that i don't know if i can get up and con to do this job. i believe passionately in what we do. i juan to make a difference for patients but i never thought i would be there but i've had days that i thought i don't know that i can continue to do this. >> joining us now is nurse christie baxter, the director of critical care at billings clink
in montana. thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. when you say you've had the days when you say i don't know that i can continue to do this, what do you say to yourself that makes you continue to do this? >> i've ban nurse for 30 years and i believe passionately in what we do in critical care, that we have that opportunity to work with people when they're at their sickest and most vulnerable and to help people heal. and so that is really what inspires me to come back and do this. it's been an unrelenting 18 month just dealing with the initial surge of patients and then patients that didn't seek health care in the initial surge. many serious health conditions and now dealing with that, the first surge and now dealing with a second surge of patients so
it's been overwhelming. it's the hope that i can make a difference for somebody and help somebody get home to the families that helps me come and do the job every day. >> what about the co-workers and teammates? must be times when some of them have low days thinking maybe they can't continue and it is your turn to kind of coach them into hanging in there. >> am. i'm the director of critical care. i had to force nurses in the cardiac unit to take care of patients that are icu level that they wouldn't normally care for and nurses who didn't choose to become an icu nurse but to work in a strep down unit and had to change the wok they do where normally they heal people. we have a lot of people who are dying in that unit and been incredibly traumatic. i'm there to hold people's hands, to talk them through it.
to try to give them a break to take a minute why i think this younger group of patients is particularly challenging. there are many weeks we have people with families at home and the covid patients that are dying are leaving children still living in their homes and we watch them grieve from windows. >> are you also dealing with some people who are simply shocked that their relative has covid? that they didn't think it was going to happen to them? >> absolute. even patients admitted who had a positive covid test who have at times denied this can't be covid. i wouldn't be admitted with that. so yeah. many families who are here who are -- they just didn't realize the ramifications of how serious and significant it could be and
how quickly to take the life of a loved one. families are angry. because of the entire stress that covid has placed on all of our lives and so they are oftentimes can't visit. if they can it's at a window. >> nurse christie baxter, i can thank you but never thank you enough for the work you do. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> tonight's last word is next. where you can pay a little less and enjoy the ride a little more. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ now, get new lower auto rates with allstate. because better protection costs a whole lot less. you're in good hands with allstate. click or call for a lower auto rate today.
shingles? oh... you mean bill. you're in good hands he's been a real pain. again with the bill... what? it looks like a face. ...hearing about it 24/7 is painful enough... i don't want to catch it. well, you can't catch shingles, but the virus that causes it may already be inside you. does that mean bill might have company? - stop. you know shingles can be prevented. shingles can be whaaaaat? yeah prevented. you can get vaccinated. oh, so... i guess it's just you, me and bill then. i'm making my appointment. bill's all yours... 50 years or older? get vaccinated for shingles today. michael: this is the story of two brothers. david: my grandfather, pinchas. michael: my great-great- grandfather, rachmaiel. gigi: pinky and rocky. simi: there was an uprising in poland. david: and then the family broke apart. michael: they scattered around in different places.
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without them we face endless months of chaos in the hospitals, damage to the economy and anxiety in the schools. and empty restaurants. much less commerce. look. i know the vaccination requirements are a tough medicine. unpopular with some. politics for others. but they're life saving. they're game changing for our country. >> president biden gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. good evening why day 261 of the biden administration. our nation has averted something of a financial catastrophe for now. tonight your u.s. senate voted 50-48 along party lines to temporarily raise the debt ceiling just 11 days before the deadline. that came after mitch mcconnell allowed it to happen by