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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  November 18, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST

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neighbors today, in a summit with canada and mexico. and the nation is dealing with historic racial cross currents in two murder trials in the national spotlight. this morning in brunswick, georgia, prosecutors continue cross-examining travis mcmichael, where they completed that cross-examination. the man who fired the gunshot that killed ahmaud arbery. mcmichael claiming that he shot arbery in self-defense, while trying to make a citizen's arrest. prosecutors say that there was no evidence the unarmed arbery had committed any crime while he was out for a jog. meanwhile in kenosha, wisconsin, jurors in the kyle rittenhouse murder trial are in their third day of deliberations, after the judge allowed them to review videos yesterday, and the defense made a new request for a mistrial, claiming the prosecution had withheld a critical video from them until just before closing arguments. with the thanksgiving holiday just a week from today, the covid crisis is on the rise.
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massachusetts today joins other states in making boosters available to all adults. and house republican leader kevin mccarthy and speaker nancy pelosi are both reacting to the censure of arizona republican paul gosar, but very differently. the congressman, of course, was censured in the well of the house by democrats with two republicans voting in favor, and stripped of his committee assignments for posting an anime video depicting him killing congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. >> yesterday was a very zad in the congress of the united states. it was a source of humor and bragging by members of the other side of the aisle. this -- this just -- i mean, just stunning. for me, it was very sad. sadly, sadly, what happened yesterday brought shame to the house. when they're endangering lives of members, they set a bad example for other people to endanger lives of people. >> and joining me now, nbc chief white house correspondent and
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"weekend today" cohost, kristen welker, nbc senior congressional correspondent, garrett haake, and jonathan lemire, host of "way too early." let's talk about where we stand on the social spending program and gosar. >> they're waiting on two things, the cbo, the congressional budget office to finish their report on the total spending numbers. that's something the moderate members of their conference were waiting for. and they're waiting on the privilege scrub, which is a technical portion of the senate process that again members had wanted to have that all buttoned up before they voted. it could come, a vote, on this as early as today. the debate is ongoing, even now. it might also slip until friday. my rule on congress is when
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you're talking about how soon something might happen, you should always take the over. and i think that's the caveat i would place here. on gosar, a tale of two different sets of reactions from the leaders of the two parties here today. you heard there from speaker pelosi, talking about this shameful day that we came to yesterday, that the house came to, having to censure him. the first time that had happened in more than a decade. mccarthy took a much different tact on this issue, talking about the possibility, leaving the door open that there could be democrats that would be similarly punished in a future republican-controlled congress. talked about the fact that it was likely gosar and marjorie taylor greene that lost her committee assignments earlier this year. would have those assignments restored in the future republican-controlled congress. and he took great exception to my question about when i asked him why it is that the only way a republican can get punished in congress is by speaking out against donald trump, referring, of course, to liz cheney losing her leadership position. he called that an election and went off, talking about why democrats haven't punished
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maxine waters or eric swalwell for any number of other perceived slights, returning to his floor speech remarks from yesterday, about rules for me and not for thee, but not substantively answering the question of what, if any, republicans will meat out against their own members for basically anything, andrea. >> and jonathan lemire, kevin mccarthy continues to be hamstrung by the former president and by his allegiance to the former president, his hopes for the speaker's gavel, perhaps, certainly, that is a real possibility, coming up in 2022, '23. but it does, you know, make it very difficult to get him to separate himself from donald trump anymore. >> andrea, you're right. i think his focus solely on regaining the speakership next year. he feels like the republicans are on pace to do that. certainly, historical trends suggest that the party that's not in power does tend to do better in the midterm election. the margins are so small, it wouldn't take much for republicans to get over the top,
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particularly with some gerrymandering being done, as we speak. and polling. and we're still a year out, a lot can change. but polling right now suggests that your generic republican candidate is way ahead of a democratic opponent, which does not happen all that often. so, that's why the republicans are feeling pretty bullish about their chances. and for mccarthy, he doesn't want to change course. and he has decided the best thing for republicans to stay on track is to align himself with the former president. no matter how distasteful some of the comments may be. and i think we heard from congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez yesterday in the house. she is the one depicted in the animated video put out by congressman gosar, the republican from arizona. she's the victim in the video. and she gave a very plaintive cry on the house floor to speaker mccarthy saying, why is it so hard to say something is wrong? gu he didn't do that. he played whataboutism. and that's following the lead of donald trump. and this is just the latest example of just how tight
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trump's grip is on the republican party. >> well, garrett, just button this down for a moment before i want to bring in kristin and talk about the president's huge agenda today and whether or not that matches up with what people really care about right now on the economy. but garrett, another point about kevin mccarthy. >> andrea, as i was hearing your question to jonathan, i was reminded that mccarthy was asked about trump today at that same press conference and said, in fact, that the former president called him this morning from the golf course, when reporters pressed mccarthy about what they discussed, he wouldn't say specifics, but the idea that he might be in any way trying separate himself from the former president is just wholly not there. the former president still in pretty regular contact, including as recently as today. >> and kristin, let's talk about the president and his summit with his closest neighbors, mexico, canada, but really, the trump legacy, which frankly, you know, joe biden is continuing on
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tariffs, on migration policies. which is causing great friction with america's closest neighbors. >> it is, andrea. and that is going to loom large over this summit today. look, this is very significant. this will be the first time that they will have held this summit between the three leaders in five years since the trump administration. and so, president biden is viewing this to some extent as a chance to reset those very critical relationships. they are going to talk about key areas of agreement, like fighting covid. it's our understanding that there will be an announcement that canada and mexico will redistribute millions of doses of the vaccine that the u.s. had given to them over a year ago. and so, that is going to be an area where you will see the three leaders aligned. but there are a number of authority issues, andrea. let's talk about migration. we got new numbers that showed that it was at its largest level, border crossings were, since that figure was first
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reported in 1960. so, that is something that president biden undoubtedly will be addressing today, in private, with these leaders. what more can the u.s. do? what more can mexico do? and of course, some of the former trump-era policies are still in place. the remain in mexico policy, title 42, which allows border agents to turn people away, on the basis of concerns about covid, even though you have officials with the cdc saying that there's no clear health benefit to that type of a policy. the other issues that will be at the forefront, andrea, are pocketbook issues. trade, the supply chain. things that the united states and canada will have a lot of serious discussing to do. and one of the issues is that canada's prime minister has been very critical of a tax credit to americans for buying electric vehicles. prime minister trudeau has said that could ultimately wind up hurting canadian car companies, so we expect that he's going to raise that issue with president
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biden. and in fact, the leaders of canada and mexico have accused the u.s. of frankly continuing in their words some of the protectionist policies that existed under the trump administration. i think that's going to be looming very large today. i asked president biden just a short time ago what his message to the two leaders was. he said, he's not going to comment just yet, but he said he'll be willing to take our questions a little bit later on today. so stay tuned. >> we'll be watching for that. thank you very much. and kentucky democratic congressman john yarmouth who chairs the house budget committee and is retiring at the end of this term joins me now. congressman, so good to see you. mr. chairman, why would you want to leave washington and all the fun you're having in congress? i just don't understand it? >> well, you know, sometimes you just know when your time has come. i remember talking to andrew crenshaw, a former republican member, and i asked him if he missed it, and he said, i don't miss the circus, i miss the clowns.
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and i will definitely miss the clowns, but not the circus. but really, i'm going to turn 75 by the end of my term and whatever time i have left, i think i would like to have more control over it. and i have a young grandson and another grandchild on the way, so that's really my top priority at this point. >> well, i certainly understand the appeal of grandchildren. but let's talk about what congress has devolved into. because you've been long enough to not only chair such an important committee, but to have remembered that it wasn't that long ago that democrats and republicans actually talked to each other and didn't vote in partisan ways on things as, you know, as obvious as whether there should be an investigation of an attack on the congress and on democracy itself. so let's talk about some of the frustrations that you've experienced. >> well tb the biggest frustration, andrea, is the current crop of republicans in congress, and this started with
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the freedom caucus in 2010, they really don't have much interest in governing. and i was just on the floor leading the debate on build back better act. and i said, the gop ought to be called the nop, the "not our problem" party. because no matter what the issue is or the challenge facing the country is, they just seem to think it's not our problem. and that's the most discouraging thing. because when i came here in 2007, there were people on both sides of the aisle that really had an interest in governing. we had different perspectives. we had different thoughts on how things should get done, but i remember the first time that we were trying to reauthorize the no child left behind program. and we had serious discussions with republicans and democrats. even in 2013, i was in the gang of eight that was trying to do immigration reform. and we had very serious, thoughtful negotiations, every day for seven months. so i know it's possible. but for a lot of reasons, now
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it's just -- the whole mentality is electoral. it's not what the best solution is to a challenge. it's, how do i get an advantage electorally over the other side. >> if you thought that there was a better chance of democrats retaining the majority, would you consider staying longer? >> no. that really was not a factor. even though the thought of republican control of the house is horrifying and working in that environment would be horrifying, that wasn't a factor in my decision. this was totally personal. >> and i know it's fine to criticize the republicans and, you know, i understand how difficult this has been for a lot of you on your side of the aisle, but the democrats have been what some would call a clown show. the disagreement for months and months over bipartisan infrastructure bills, since when were road and bridges that controversial? and holding that hostage for so long that arguably, an election in virginia that might have gone the other way got bogged down in
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extraneous issues? you told "the washington post" that you saw members of your own party almost coming to blows over -- >> that might have been a slight exaggeration, but there were certainly very loud voices aimed at each other. i don't think it was going to come to fisticuffs on the floor as it did a hundred years ago, but, yeah, tensions have been very high among the democratic caucus for some time. and -- but the difference was, it was over how to get to a mutually shared objective. and that was to pass these two bills. and now we finally passed the infrastructure bill, both moderates and liberals are very committed to getting this build back better agenda enacted. so i think there's a lot of comity now that wasn't there maybe a couple of months ago, even a couple of weeks ago. >> do you think the white house has missed its opportunity to -- you know, to talk about things -- kitchen table issues that people really care about,
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now, the inflation, of course, rather than having spent months and months arguing over, is it going to be 3.5 or 1.9, what's the price tag of this? and they never went out and talked about what's in it. >> oh, it was a terrible mistake. i'm not sure it was anybody's fault. we were talking -- as a matter of fact, many of us were saying, don't ever talk about a topline number, because that's going to change and we don't know what it's going to be. and then bernie sanders said, you know, i was for $6 trillion and negotiated to $3.5 trillion, and all of a sudden, that became the story. $3.5 trillion. and that number got etched in stone. none of us, i don't think, would have preferred that. but it did keep us from talking about all of the things this bill does and will do for the american people. and that's unfortunate. because, this bill, if we pass it, over the next few years, will really change the lives of millions and millions of americans in a positive
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direction, with child care and senior care and the expanded health care and expanded health care benefits and pre-k education and extending the child tax credit. all of these things that have overwhelming support from the american people. i hope that we can get this over the finish line so we can actually take that victory tour and talk about all the good things that are going to come out of it. >> and do you think there's still a chance, with inflation being as intractable, really, and it's a global issue, so it's very hard for any president to deal with. do you think that there is a chance that historic trends can be reversed, if they get this right and start talking to people, where they're living and turn the tide? >> i think so, andrea. i think so. and, you know, what we need to do, which we don't do, other than talk about all the good things we're trying to do for the american people, is also to be ruthless in our attacks on
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republicans. we're going to see dozens and dozens, if not more, republicans out there over the next few months taking credit for every infrastructure project that is started in their district or announced in their district. and all but 13 of them in the house voted against it. so we have to let the people know, just the same way with the american rescue plan, on average, every congressional district got $900 million in disposable income from the american rescue plan. and every republican voted against it. and we never really told the story to those citizens that, hey, this money you're getting, the $1,400 and the expanded child tax credit, that came from democrats, and your representative voted against it. we have to be much more focused on placing blame for a lot of the things that legitimately, i think, we can criticize republicans for. >> well, house budget chairman, john yarmouth, we can't promise you grandchildren here in d.c.,
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but we've got a lot of kentucky bourbon, so, you know,. >> well, i am chairman -- i am retiring of chairman of the congressional bourbon caucus, as well. so i hope we find a worthy successor for that. >> well, i'm sure there's a lot of competition for that, sir. >> yeah. >> thank you very much for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thanks, andrea. and trial watch. in georgia, the man who fired the fatal shot killing ahmaud arbery finishing testifying in his own defense. we'll have that coming up. 'll h. ♪♪ things you start when you're 45. coaching. new workouts. and screening for colon cancer. yep. the american cancer society recommends screening starting at age 45, instead of 50, since colon cancer is increasing in younger adults. i'm cologuard®. i'm convenient and find 92% of colon cancers... ...even in early stages. i'm for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur.
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in brunswick, georgia, travis mcmichael, one of three men standing trial for the murder of ahmaud arbery was cross-examined on the witness stand today. right now the trial is on a lunch break. let's go to ron allen live in brunswick, georgia. ron, talking about what we heard from travis mcmichael today. it was cross-examination, they finished with him, where do we stand in the trial? >> first of all, andrea, there's a huge crowd outside the courthouse and they are all supporters of arbery's family, who have come here, gathered today and in the crowd are dozens of black pastors who have come from the region, some from across the country in solidarity
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with the family. a withering testimony cross-examine by the prosecutor. the prosecutor trying to make the point to the jury that arbery never threatened the defendants, and that he was an innocent man, he was chased down. here's a typical exchange from the prosecutor and travis mcmichael from this morning. take a listen. >> so you're telling this jury that a man who has spent five minutes running away from you, you're now thinking is somehow going to want to continue to engage from you, someone with a shotgun, and your father, a man who has just said, stop or i'll blow your [ bleep ] head off, by trying to get in your truck? >> that's what it shows, yes, ma'am. >> reporter: mcmichael even at one point said he thought that
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arbery was attacking the vehicle of one of the other defendants, william bryan, who was also been charged with murder. he kept trying to tell the jury that he thought arbery was suspicious, that he wanted to stop him and talk to him and he was trying to de-escalate the situation, and that arbery attacked him when he had the shotgun and that's why he fired in self-defense. the prosecutor rejects that. and she was trying to poke holes in the theory that this was a citizen's arrest. the cross-examination ended. the next witness has been a resident of the neighborhood. the defense trying to portray this neighborhood as an area against crime. the prosecutors trying to push back against that, as well. and the defense made another motion about the black pastors. jesse jackson was in the courtroom, but the others were all outside. has the judge ruled again on that defense motion, which strikes me as very strange.
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>>. the judge has been consistent on this. he has said that the courtroom is an open, public area and he is not going to restrict or keep track of who's in the courtroom. yes, reverend jax jackson was in the courtroom. he was seen seated between arbery's parents, holding their hands during the testimony is what we understand and that's why all of these pastors and supporters are here, because they find this effort to keep certain people out of the courtroom, especially black pastors, they see it as a racist demand by the defense. and that's why they're here and that's why they're going to be here. andrea? >> ron allen, thank you. joining us for more about this is boston globe senior writer, and former u.s. attorney, chuck rosenberg. kim, first, at the top of my mind, the testimony of travis mcmichael. what stood out to you from his comments, starting yesterday and now the cross-examination continuing today. >> yeah, i mean, i really -- i understand that the use of this
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citizen's arrest defense requires mcmichael to say what he believed he was doing was probably the decision for the defense to put him on the stand, but it opened him up from the beginning to really brutal cross-examination and i think that's what you saw today. he seemed to only be able to offer the justification that ahmaud arbery was, quote, acting funny, for justification of his continued pursuit of arbery, even when he was running away, and ultimately shooting him. i think that it was really a devastating cross-examination, especially at the point when the prosecutor pointed out that ahmaud arbery wasn't armed, he didn't have a knife, he didn't talk -- he didn't so much as speak to travis mcmichael during this entire incident. so i think that that wasreally devastating. again, we never know what a jury
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is going to do, but the defense can't be happy with how today went. >> and chuck, this has been -- the racial theme has certainly been throughout this case, and it's an all-white jury. there's no way to predict how that is going to affect anybody. but it's certainly a troubling part of this case. >> yeah, i agree with that. by the way, i think that kimberly's take on what happened during cross-examination is spot-on. i was surprised that they put mr. mcmichael on the stand, but not surprised that he did so poorly. his story doesn't hold up. but to your question, andrea, look, i think, as long as you seat a jury of men and women who can listen to the facts, be open-minded and be fair, they're going to come to the right place. kimberly's quite right. you can never predict what a jury is going to do, and you certainly shouldn't try to predict how quickly they're going to do it. but this does not seem like a case of self-defense to me.
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i also was surprised that he took the -- that mr. mcmichael took the stand. it looks like they were looking for trouble. they found mr. arbery, mr. arbery was trying to get away from them, and they cornered him and they ended up shooting him. it's self-styled vigilanteism. and i don't care who your jurors are, they should be able to see that, too. >> and you do have a judge who seems to be able to control his case, control the trial in a fair way. in sharp contrast, we'll talk about later, kenosha, wisconsin, what has been going on there, has been a little bit strange. chuck rosenberg, kim, thank you both so much. and the booster solution. with covid cases surging in new england despite high vaccination rates, how far are states going to expand boosters to all? this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. o all? this is "andrea mitcllhe reports" on msnbc. bipolar depression. it made me feel like i was trapped in a fog. this is art inspired by real stories of people
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the senate could vote this week to repeal the 2002 iraq war resolution, which gave the president the power to declare war against saddam hussein and has since been used to justify wars in multiple countries. the bipartisan effort is part of a $768 billion defense authorization act, but passage depends ton getting agreement from republicans. joining us now one of the lead sponsors, democratic senator tim kaine, who has been arguing against this war powers
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authorization going on forever and ever, i think forever. senator, it's great to see you. >> i've been talking about this for nine years and you've given me a lot of air time to talk about it. it looks like we may finally get some action on that. >> what gives you that hope? >> a couple of things have kind of put us in that moment. we are going to have a vote, likely today, could be tomorrow, to repeal the iraq war authorizations, both 1991, the first gulf war, and the 2002 iraq war authorization. andrea, as you know, the war has been over in iraq since 2011. so we've been done with that war for ten years. and now iraq isn't an enemy. we came back to iraq at their request. we're their partner to defeat isis and continue to be their partner on security, trade, commerce, diplomacy, humanitarian efforts in the region. so senator todd young, republican and i, for about two years have been trying to get
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the senate, and then let's repeal a war authorization against a country that is now a partner. i think people realize finally that congress needs to reclaim a little bit of its article i power to declare when war starts and when they end. and the other ingredient that's been helpful is oftentimes the white house opposes repeals of authorizations, because they like to have them out there so they can grab on to them and use them to justify some action down the road. president biden was a member and chair of the senate foreign relations committee, and he fully understands that congressional oversight over war making is not something to be avoided, it's something to be welcomed, because it means we make better decisions. >> and so do you think that in cleaning this up, if this does work, that congress will be, you know, more in control of decisions about the use of force, because we see it in syria, we see it, you know, libya, all over the world. we see, you know, military actions, actions by drones and
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other things, and the president does have that right and that obligation in an emergency to take those actions, doesn't he? >> any precedent under article ii, as the commander in chief, does have the power to defend the united states against an attack or an imminent attack. and that's very plain. don't have to ask congress for permission. but when you go beyond just defense against an attack or imminent attack and you want to go on offense, you're supposed to come to congress and have a debate that the american public can see and get a vote. and the reason you that is so that you're not putting american troops in harm's way without their being a decision by congress that this is in the national interest. congress likes to duck these decisions and my colleague, senator young, has put it well. this repeal of these old kind of zombie authorizations is the first step in congress kind of exercising a muscle that has grown dormant, which is taking seriously the war making powers
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under article i. >> now, there is the social plan known as build back better. we can talk about how it was named at another time. but that is heading your way. the house has finished debate. they're going to vote on this. and they're going to send it to you guys. and then, is joe manchin king? what's going to happen in the senate? >> well, joe manchin is a great friend. i've never called him a king, but i do call him a friend. i call it the education and workforce bill when i'm in virginia. that's the core of the bill. we just did an infrastructure bill, but infrastructure doesn't build itself. you've got to have a well-trained workforce that enables them to go to work. so, yes, the bill will come to the senate. my prediction is, look, we finish the defense bill and then this will be the next thing we will turn to. and i believe we're going to get there. i think we're going to get this build back better bill done, at sort of a price tag equivalent
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to what the house is talking about. and it's going to do enormous good in terms of training an american workforce for today and tomorrow, that will enable america to out-compete china and any other country in the world. >> and are you folks ever going to get to voting rights? >> yes. we're very involved, and i am personally really involved in this, andrea, as you know, we've had about four votes in the last month to proceed either to the freedom to vote act, which i'm a proud co-sponsor along with amy klobuchar, joe manchin, and others, and also the john lewis voting rights bill. we can get no republican support on the freedom to vote act. one republican senator, lisa murkowski, has been willing to proceed to the john lewis bill. so we are now having very intense discussions among democratic senators, that basically all start with this proposition. we can't let this drop, if the republicans are going to filibuster, that still can't be a reason for a democratic
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majority to give up. senator schumer is very focused on getting something done on this before the holidays, and we're looking for a path restore the senate so we can do it. >> well, senator tim kaine, lots of optimism coming from you today about getting at least progress on the democratic agenda. thanks very much for being with us. >> you bet. have a great thanksgiving. >> you too. i was just going to say, a happy thanksgiving to you and your family. >> and the booster battle, the push to make a third dose available to all. that's next. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc.
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kavita patel, msnbc medical contributor and former policy adviser in the obama white house. kristen, what's behind this troubling rise in infections in vermont? >> reporter: it's a good yes, andrea. and we just got the latest numbers in. 517 cases. that is the second highest daily total in the entire pandemic. so something going on in this state where we have more than 90% of people 12 and up vaccinated. 18% of kids 5 to 11 have gotten their first dose. so the most vaccinated state. a few things going on according to health officials. one, this is still cases predominantly among the unvaccinated. also, they're seeing efficacy waning. these are people who got their vaccine way back in the spring, now they're beginning to see it waning and they are getting more breakthrough cases. here's what a local infectious disease doctor had to tell me. >> we're a bit of a victim of our success. unlike new jersey and new york
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that had pretty high percentages of their citizens who got infected, something like 3% of vermonters got infected. so that means that there are very few people who have infection-induced immunity. >> reporter: so the governor has now opened up boosters for everybody who's eligible here. also, he's called a special session of the legislature in order to, he says, he doesn't want to institute a mask mandate, but as a compromise, he will allow legislators to allow local towns, local municipalities to enact their own mask mandates if they choose to. of course, the fear is, andrea, that vermont gets colder than the rest of the country early on, so the fear is this could be a microcosm of what we might see in other states, as people begin to spend more time indoors. >> and has a significant number of older -- an older population, who not only got the vaccine earlier, so the efficacy may have waned, but also more vulnerable. dr. patel, the new infections
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and the spread in new england is so concerning. just as thanksgiving gatherings are going to begin where thanksgiving began in new england. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. and i'm sure i-95 is going to be blocked through the northeast because people will be traveling from new england to other states and that's normally what happens during the holidays. andrea, what's troubling me even more is that there are now about two-thirds of the states going in the wrong directions. cases increasing. and we're in a really precious window. i think that there are probably a lot of people who are actually able to get boosters today, no matter what, over 65 or special conditions, and they don't realize it. or they don't feel that sense of urgency, because candidly, we've been having this public health debate. do we need boosters or do we not need boosters. and cases are going up. we have to watch closely. right now, hospitalizations and deaths have slowed down, but haven't matched the rate of increase. that's a good thing. we don't want to wait until those trends all converge.
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if we see cases increasing, hospitalizations increasing, and deaths increasing, that means that there's more serious effects of these breakthrough cases. we want to prevent that and we know we can with boosters. so i'm hoping we get more clarity between today and tomorrow between the fda and the cdc. >> i want to ask you, also, dr. patel about masks right here in d.c. the mayor is lifting the mask mandate in most instances or many instances, i should say, the indoor mandate on monday. but just across the street in many parts of the district is montgomery county, maryland, which is reinstituting masks on saturday. and here in the district, the district's number of cases are still above the cdc target for taking off masks. so -- we don't understand what's going on. >> depending on where i stand, i could literally be with the mask mandate without. and i think what you're seeing is, we have always lacked kind of a uniform way of thinking about policies for kind of going above the current measures and
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below. so montgomery county, for example, chose to use a numerical above 50 cases per 100,000 as their metric to go back to indoor masking. d.c. decided to take a bit more holistic approach. who is correct? honestly, i think that there's probably an answer in between that's correct. and in the end, again, the public is probably more upset than anything. when you tell people that masks are off, and then tell people, no, we need them back, like the cdc did in may of this year, it makes people upset. it seems like we don't have faith in the vaccines or we don't have coordination between our jurisdictions. all of those things can be true with the exception that vaccines work and we need to, you know, not take our eyes off of that and try to make sure that people just hear that message. i'm even willing to let people just go away with masking if we can make sure that as many people in that community are vaccinated, as possible. >> such good medical advice.
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thank you very much, dr. patel, and of course, our friend, kristen dahlgren, up in wonderful burlington, vermont. thanks, kristen. and bipartisan backlash. the house republican leader slamming members of both parties, but is being slammed by members of both parties for very different reasons. the inside scoop, next. r very different reasons. the inside scoop, next limu. they need customized car insurance from liberty mutual so they only pay for what they need. woooooooooooooo... we are not getting you a helicopter. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ ♪ ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark. but with our new multi-cloud experience, you have the flexibility you need to unveil them to the world.
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house republican leader kevin mccarthy is taking fire from all sides, slammed by democrats for not taking action against controversial republicans like paul gosar, while criticized by extreme members of his own party for not punishing 13 house republicans who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. joining me with the inside scoop, brandon bucks, former adviser to, dean for civic engagement at the lbj school for public affairs. and charlie sikhs. brandon, kevin mccarthy dodging a question, you know, from our own garrett haake about at the end of the news conference about judging the way he's handling this, especially the way he's trying to deal with donald trump. >> yeah, kevin mccarthy has two immediate goals, take back the house majority, and two, after he does that, get 218 votes to be speaker, and i think that is guiding a lot of what he is
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doing. when it comes to the folks on the right, like mr. gosar, and his antics, if you remember, kevin mccarthy has consolidated his power in the house, largely by making friends and making peace with the house freedom caucus, and he does not have a whole lot of room to negotiate with them or excuse me, to make enemies of them, and if he wants to get 218 votes to become speaker, and then on the other side, he knows that you can't punish members who vote for an infrastructure bill because, look, if you want to have a majority, you need to have members who can bring things back home. the half of the 13 republicans who voted for that are from new york and new jersey. if we want to be a party that isn't just a rural south party, we need to be able to deliver results in places like the northeast and the midwest, and that's what those members voted for. he was trying to make -- he was trying to make sure that those people don't face any heat back home. he needs them to come back and win their seats, and make sure
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there's a republican majority. those two goals are what's driving everything he's doing right now. >> it's just fascinating to watch. so victoria, let's talk about the democrats. they seem to be pulling together. i guess they can see turkeys and pies and all the rest on the table. they want to get home. that cbo score, they're expecting that today, and they finished the bill. they're going to get this thing to the senate by tomorrow. >> and they're in a very good position, andrea. we saw president biden, vice president harris, other major democrats kicking off the tour of the infrastructure bill and touting it. so they are in a sweet spot today especially compared to where we were two weeks ago, but you know, what i want to emphasize here is the need for the democrats to keep the medium term in mind because that's great that they're touting what they have accomplished in terms of passing the bill that, they are on the cusp of passing another major policy initiative.
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but folks have short memories, so the democrats need to keep this marketing tour of saying, hey, this infrastructure, these promises that we made are being kept through the spring, when the bridges are actually built. when those roads are actually repaired. so it's not just a one and done, you know, victory lap, but this has to be a constant engagement with the american public to allow the democrats to have momentum going into the midterm election. >> and so charlie, what about inflation because no matter what they talk about in terms of what they're passing now, people are looking at the prices of food, the supply chain, gas, most importantly, especially as they're traveling. inflation is not something that any president, republican or democrat really can do very much about. >> no, and it's impacting people very very directly, and i'm glad to see that the white house is now making this central because,
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you know, you can't sell a plan that's going to do wonderful things down the road if people then pull up to the pump, and they see exorbitant prices for gasoline, and they see what's happening to the cost of putting a thanksgiving dinner on their table. this is a huge problem. it's one of the reasons why democrats have so many head winds ahead of themselves. look, i mean, both political parties have huge problems right now, and the democrats are deeply under water, even after passing the infrastructure bill, at least based on the polls, and the republicans just can't seem to get out of the way, and i could comment on something that brendan said. brendan is absolutely right of course about what kevin mccarthy is focused on. you'll notice what he didn't say is that kevin mccarthy is concerned about doing the right thing or governing. it is all about power and the acquisition of power. i think kevin mccarthy would have done himself and his party a lot of favors had he taken action against a serial offender like paul gosar who has been consorting with white nationalists and holocaust deniers for months now.
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he would have done his party favors taking a stand against marjorie taylor greene because these people are bigots and they are nuts, and a party that is concerned about winning elections and preserving its reputation will take these things seriously. instead, he owns them. so, you know, democrats have a huge sales job, and they have some significant economic head winds out there. and republicans, you know, have a problem with extremism and with the trump, and mccarthy showed his deafness in the last couple of dis. >> if he had taken a stand against gosar wouldn't mar-a-lago have come down with both feet. >> that's the problem. once you decided you are all in on donald trump, you have to live with all of the consequences, and one of the consequences is that he is unable to run his caucus or to preserve the political hygiene of the republican party right
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now. >> we have to leave it there, and that does it for today. it thanks to all. remember, follow the show online on facebook, on twitter chuck todd and mtb daily starts right after this. and mtb daily start after this in wash-scent booster ♪ downy unstopables bipolar depression. it made me feel like i was trapped in a fog. this is art inspired by real stories of people living with bipolar depression. i just couldn't find my way out of it. the lows of bipolar depression can take you to a dark place... ...and be hard to manage. latuda could make a real difference in your symptoms. latuda was proven to significantly reduce bipolar depression symptoms and in clinical studies, had no substantial impact on weight. this is where i want to be. latuda is not for everyone. call your doctor about unusual mood changes, behaviors, or suicidal thoughts.
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it's thursday once again, the alarm is sounding for our democracy. is anyone listening, after defending one of their own for a video depicting