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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  November 27, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST

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and toss it to you, my friend. >> you looked so good, okay, wait is she on a diet or something? you looked absolutely fabulous today. the spanx worked. let me tell you, debbie allen and of course the space geek that you are, kindred spirits, my friend. i love that asteroid story. >> we have to lunch and cocktail. >> we do, we do. we're going to do that. okay, thank you so much. we'll see you again, have a good weekend. >> bye. and a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. it is high noon here in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome, everyone, to alex witt reports. we have some breaking news to share. sounding the alarm, the omicron variant of coronavirus fueling new fears of another global surge as now two cases are confirmed in the uk. scientists are rushing to determine how effective current vaccines are against it as
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countries around the world are racing to implement travel restrictions from south africa as well as neighboring countries there, while here in the u.s. the new concerns causing the stock market to fall dramatically, dr. anthony fauci on nbc this morning explaining why this variant is different than the others, and that he would not be surprised if it was already here in the u.s. >> it seems to have really spread rather rapidly in south africa, even though the numbers are relatively small, its ability to infect people who have recovered from infection and even people who have been vaccinated make us say this is something you've got to pay really close attention to and be prepared for something that's serious. it may not turn out that way, but you really want to be ahead of it, and that's the reason why we're doing what we're doing. >> plus, the biden administration issuing a long-awaited report reforming the country's oil and gas leasing program calling for companies to pay more to drill on public lands, but stopping short of banning it altogether.
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the report also did not indicate if the administration would take impact on climate change into account when approving new leases, even as these programs contribute to roughly about a quarter of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. and new today, republican congresswoman lauren boebert apologizing after a video surfaced of her making anti-muslim remarks about ilhan omar suggesting that her democratic colleague was mistaken for a terrorist. all right, joining us now nbc's raf sanchez, and josh lederman is joining us from nantucket. you're there in israel where a strain of the omicron variant has already been detected and we just learned in the last few hours another new country finding a variant present there. what all do we know about it? >> reporter: the british government now confirming two cases of omicron have been found in the uk.
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prime minister boris johnson is going to address his nation about that development in the next hour. the -- this variant, though, for now continuing to send a ripple of fear and a wave of travel restrictions around the globe. >> the world racing to shut out or at least slow down the alarming new covid variant first found in south africa. the w.h.o. officially naming it omicron. >> this variant has a large number of mutations, and some of these mutations have worrying characteristics. >> reporter: those mutations raiing fears it could be more contagious than delta and that existing vaccines may be less effective against it. starting monday, the white house closing america's borders from travelers from eight african nations, an exception made for u.s. citizens and permanent residents trying to get home. >> we don't know a lot about the variant except that it is of great concern, spreads rapidly.
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>> reporter: the variant has been detected in israel, belgium and hong kong. dr. anthony fauci on "today" this morning revealing omicron may have spread more rapidly than we've realized, perhaps even in the united states. >> i would not be surprised if it is. we have not detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility it almost invariably is going to go all over. >> reporter: more and more countries now restricting travel to southern africa, triggering a scramble to get out before borders shut. the uncertainty rattling markets worldwide, the dow dropping more than 900 points, 2.5% yesterday in response to the news. its worst ever performance on black friday. more research still needed to fully understood omicron, but with much of the world still grappling with delta, it's an unwelcome arrival at the start
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of the holiday season. now pfizer, moderna, j&j, are all studying this new variant to see if they need to update their existing vaccines, but for now, the list of countries that have confirmed cases of omicron continues to grow, and the uk is the latest addition. alex. >> yeah, just another thing to worry about. i'm glad at least the scientists are on the case right now. thank you, raf sanchez. let's go now to nbc's josh lederman in nantucket, massachusetts, of course where the president is spending the weekend. josh, welcome to you. so what steps, first of all, is the white house taking to get ahead of this variant? >> well, first and foremost, it's this travel ban, alex. a step the white house did not take lightly. president biden and his aides were watching this situation evolve closely over the thanksgiving holiday wanting to see what the w.h.o. was going to do at that emergency meeting yesterday, so even as the uk, the eu, other nations were
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putting these travel restrictions into place, the white house held off until the w.h.o. officially called this a concern, gave it the name omicron, and at that point president biden took some time out yesterday morning, about a half an hour that he stepped away from his thanksgiving weekend holiday occasions with his family to meet virtually with dr. fauci. officials from the cdc as well as members of his coronavirus response force, and they decided that it was time to put these restrictions into place. president biden also commenting to reporters after he had lunch with his family here in nantucket yesterday about why he made the decision he did. watch. >> i've decided we're going to be cautious and make sure there's no travel to and from south africa and six other countries in that region, and except for american citizens who are able to come back. i've spent about a half hour
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this morning with my covid team led by dr. fauci. >> white house officials caution, alex, they still don't know whether this virus is more transmissible, whether it's more dangerous to people's health, or whether it's going to be less susceptible to the vaccines, but they want to err on the side of caution putting these measures into place now rather than risk having to play catchup once it's too late. although they do caution that this is not a matter of if, but when the virus gets into the country. dr. fauci saying this is about buying us more time, but given the way international travel works in our globalized world, it's not really possible to keep something out of the country as we learned from the delta variant. one other point we should note, american citizens who are overseas maybe in one of these eight countries who are worried they're going to get stranded, they do not need to worry. even when this travel ban goes into effect on monday, u.s.
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citizens, permanent residents, they will be exempt. they'll still be able to get back into the u.s., but they will need to have a negative covid-19 test, alex. >> the fact that this variant, any of these covid situations don't respect borders, we're going to take everybody right now to listen to the british prime minister boris johnson who's talking about what's going on there in great britain. take a listen, everybody. >> essentially there are three different -- in younger children, there is quite significant transmission at this point in time, and rates are increasing in many parts of the country. at the other end of the age spectrum as a result of the booster program almost certainly rates are beginning to drift downwards in people over 60 and people above 70, and the result of that is that we're seeing an improvement in the groups who are must vulnerable, and between those ages, those are really broadly the three patterns.
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next slide, please. as a result of the fact that the numbers in the older age groups and vulnerable people are getting their booster vaccination -- >> okay, everybody, clearly boris johnson is taking to a panel right now. they're going over the specifics there in great britain. we're going to monitor this from our control booth and get back to anything that's pertinent to us here in the u.s. as soon as that becomes available. another thing we're following is new reaction to the meaning of the guilty verdict in the ahmaud arbery murder trial. the three men convicted in the 25-year-old's killing are awaiting sentencing. let's go to nbc's cal perry joining us from brunswick, georgia, who's been following the response to all of that. it has been a few days. i understand there are new reactions and thoughts about all of this. what are you hearing? >> reporter: i think this is a town that is certainly still relieved. as we look forward and as we look forward to the sentencing and the judge says that will be in the coming weeks, he wants to give both sides time to prepare their arguments. the only question is whether or
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not any of these three men now convicted murderers are going to receive parole. 30 year minimum life sentence in georgia for murder. it's only a question of parole. that left up to the judge. you're going to have more and more questions about how this investigation was actually carried out. there are still hate crimes, charges holding over the top of these three men. we expect that trial to be in february. again, it's about how this case was handled and how these cases are handled across the country. troy carter is a representative from the state of louisiana. he had a chance to speak to our colleague ali velshi this morning. >> clearly one verdict doesn't change the issue our country faces. there's a tremendous problem in our criminal justice system. this was, in fact, a victory, but it was so outlandish, it was so clear. the evidence was so clear that it would have been very difficult to come back with anything but a guilty verdict. however, we've seen this before, which denotes that we still have a very long way to go. we should pause on this victory
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but recognize that there's so many others, the rittenhouse and others that still require the kind of careful attention and recognition that our criminal justice system is severely flawed. >> reporter: you know, that word outlandish certainly applicable to this case when you look at how the crime scene was handled. there really was no crime scene the day that ahmaud arbery was killed. those pickup trucks that were central to this case were allowed to be let home. february when we have this federal trial kick in, what else the department of justice is able to do, what they look at as this is our systemic problems across the country, alex. >> we've got a lot to look ahead to certainly in february and beyond. thank you so much, cal perry for that. we all know the old expression. there's no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right. you might beg to differ when you hear this next story. a member of congress making a
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new today, republican congresswoman lauren boebert is apologizing to the entire muslim community after video emerged of her suggesting that her democratic colleague congresswoman ilhan omar was mistaken for a terrorist on capitol hill. let's go right to nbc's julie tsirkin on capitol hill who's following this for us. these days it's kind of rare that we see public apologies like this. what exactly did lauren boebert say? >> reporter: i'll tell you, it's even more rare when we see a public apology from an ally of former president trump, and that that's certainly what congresswoman lauren boebert, a republican from colorado is. she's part of the so-called maga squad in the house, and she apologized on friday after some intense backlash she received over comments she made over the thanksgiving holiday in which she was captured on video describing a moment in a joking manner, in which she was in an elevator with congresswoman
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ilhan omar. she's, of course, muslim, and she's a democrat from minnesota, and she said in that video, well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine, implying that the minnesota democrat was a suicide bomber. she apologized, like i mentioned. you just saw that tweet on your screen. she issued an apology to, quote, anyone in the muslim community i offended with my comment about rep omar. i had reached out to her office to speak with her directly. there are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction. you had omar responding almost immediately to this video that surfaced in which she said -- she accused boebert of making up the situation, which adds sort of another bizarre layer to this for quote, clout. she also said the gop leader kevin mccarthy and speaker pelosi need to take appropriate action. normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all muslims. an important fact about congresswoman omar is that when she was elect instead 2018, she
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actually became the first member of congress to openly and proudly wear a hijab. that makes these comments that much more difficult to hear because it's not just towards congresswoman omar but really towards the muslim community in the united states and why boebert apologized. now, overnight you had house democratic leadership, which included speaker pelosi calling on republican leader kevin mccarthy to, quote, repeated failure to condemn inflammatory and bigoted rhetoric from members of their conference is outrageous. obviously this comes just weeks after you had another house gop congressman paul gosar tweet a violent video showing him attacking and murdering another progressive member of the house. this just comes after we had a few of these instances. i'll close by saying yesterday congresswoman marjorie taylor greene said boebert shouldn't have to apologize because she propelled these comments calling ilhan omar a jihadist and member of the jihad squad. so you see some differences of opinion there. >> that one just consider the
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source, anyway, thank you so much julie tsirkin for that. joining me right now congress madeleine dean. welcome to you congresswoman, i hope you had a great holiday. let's get your reaction to these latest insults to your fellow democrat. we know kevin mccarthy is not going to do a thing about it. can congress ever regulate the behavior of its members or is it ultimately up to the voters? i mean, they can do it certainly, and what happens when you cross paths with someone like a lauren boebert in the halls of congress or a marjorie taylor greene? >> well, i'm pleased to be with you this thanksgiving season, so i hope you celebrated well with your family. i have to tell you, number one, i'll look for the good. representative actually attempted an apology. that's very rare coming from anybody who is a trump acolyte,
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so i'll give her credit for actually attempting an apology. of course she talks about this unnecessary distraction, a distraction of her own making. but what we are seeing, alex, is the least serious legislators in the republican conference, they are lifted up. they raise money on absurd indecent bigoted tropes and statements, and the serious members of the republican conference are shunned. think of liz cheney. think of those who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. this is as a result of failed leadership. you can't become a leader if your whole basis for being is anger, fear, bigotry, a mean spiritedness, a celebration of this race to the bottom in rhetoric, so mr. mccarthy is the weakest of leaders, and it's showing at the fraying on the sides of his conference. >> i do appreciate the fact that
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you look for the good in all this, and that is a trait certainly that is very indicative of you and the way you run things. let's talk about 2022 politics. i know you're a member of the progressive caucus. the gop is now targeting your district. they're going to try to flip your seat. how concerning is this? >> well, i think to your original comments, this is all about the voters. the voters will make up their minds. so i'm certainly -- i have now been put on the nrcc target hit list to try to flip any seat. i'll try to find the good in it. my sons say that's a compliment. mom, it means you're doing your job and you're doing it well, and they have noticed. on the other side i know what it means also, it means a more expensive race. it means i have to get my message and voice out there to show that i do believe in this work. i do believe in legislating for the good, for the common good. so i'll take it as a compliment as my sons say, but i'll also be
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very serious as i would be anyway in this next re-election cycle. we have to bring more people to congress in these seats. we have to reject the kind of republican, what we're seeing on the republican side, which is a party just simply not interested in governing. they're out of ideas. i'll just work on what we've already done with the infrastructure bill, the american rescue plan, and i hope that the senate approved and voted for build back better plan because all of that is an investment in my communities and in the future of my children, our grandchildren, all of our children as well as the planet. >> so i want to pick up on that. with regard to the polls, they're still not favorable for democrats, but look at the support for build back better. you have almost half of all voters, they're behind it. you've got 13% who aren't yet
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decided, but do you think the infrastructure build back better can definitely help you and other democrats in general to keep their districts? because thus far there doesn't seem to be a vast comprehension of what are in these bills. >> i think you're right, and that is incumbent upon us to make sure we keep getting the message out there. so in the infrastructure bill, i can tell you these are -- this is passed, signed into law by the president. this is long overdue investment in our roads, our bridges, our ports, our airports, mass transit, passenger rail, clean water. these are extraordinarily overdue and important investments in our infrastructure. and what i believe will happen is as these investments hit the ground, as the shovels go into the ground and we move these along well and quickly, people will see the difference in their lives. >> mm-hmm. >> we are a market economy that
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is moving goods and services. we see the crunch right now because our infrastructure isn't 21st century and beyond. so these investments i think will move the poll numbers dramatically. >> well, the timing of when that happens, though, is key, and i know that you held a town hall tuesday: you're trying to sell the build back better act, and inflation is one of the issues that kept coming up. the october price index is the highest it has been in 30 years. people are paying more for everything. so what are you telling voters who are worried that money going into the economy could keep this inflation spike permanent is this what are you hearing from voters? >> thanks for raising the town hall. it was my first town hall really in person, i guess, in quite a while based on covid so it was really wonderful to be back together with constituents. they were very interested in these two bills that we have passed, and so we were able to talk about that. but you're absolutely right. one of the first questions i received was on the issue of
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inflation, which i'm mindful of. i'm mindful of it when i pull up to the pump and pump my gas or go buy my groceries. i know that my constituents are worried about it. what i also know as a member of the financial services committee and as somebody who's really watching this as closely as i possibly can, is that serious economists say these two bills are not inflationary, that, in fact, they could be anti-inflationary because on the one hand, the one bill is completely paid for, and, in fact, what we find is that over the ten years or so this could be deficit reduce it. there's a chance, there's obviously a margin within that, but even if it is deficit increasing over the course of ten years, it will be a very, very small percentage of gdp. new spending through these two bills of about $2 billion -- $2 trillion, excuse me, paid for. this is a remarkable future
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thinking investment that should be actually antiinflationary. but to my constituents, i'm mindful of it too. we are watching what the fed chair has said about it. we have done caucuses on it. what we see is that the trend appears to be that inflation will come down during the course of this next two, three quarters. >> all right, congresswoman madeleine dean, we'll keep an eye on this as well. thank you so much. new alarm today with breaking news as the number of new covid variant cases is on the rise. one of the first inklings of the severity of this mutant variant. will the new variant force a shutdown again? shutdown again wrinkly at least my shoes look good! looking good start with bounce wrinkleguard, the megasheet designed to prevent wrinkles in the dryer.
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new concerns over a fast spreading strain of the coronavirus triggered a fierce reaction by the markets on friday. the dow jones industrial average fell over 900 points.
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it's the dow's biggest one-day percentage drop since october 2020. joining me now is austan goolsbee, former chair of the council of economic advisers and professor at the university of chicago booth school of business. what is your gauge on yesterday's market reaction? any chance that wall street has a better read on this variant than the rest of us? because its presence feels sudden. do you think financial institutions know that it's going to be a real problem or was it a one day overreaction? >> let's hope it's a one-day overreaction. doesn't it feel like the worst swamp thing movie where, look, we finally are putting this behind us. we've got the lowest new jobless claims in a half century. we got the gdp growth looks like it might be 7% at an annual rate. we're starting to see easing of the supply chain problems that we've been dealing with the last couple of months, and then they
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announce here comes some new variant of the virus. i think the market's reaction in one sense is total understandable. the virus has driven the economy. so if there's some new variant that's coming in, we're going to have a massive spread like the delta variant or like last november, december, january, it will slow down the economy, and that's what you saw kind of let's hope an overreaction on the part of the people who are looking at that, the investors. let's also hope that this turns out to be a variant like the alpha variant, which if you remember, they were saying the alpha variant and it's spreading fast. it turned out not to be as deadly, and it kind of fizzled into nothing. let's hope that what happens. >> but until we know that one way or the other, the president has restricted travel from eight african countries. that starts monday. it might be a little early to
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talk about an economic lockdown, perish the thought, right? but what can this economy in its current state absorb? could it absorb another lockdown? you talk about all the positives that are out there, but what if? >> yeah, what if. now, the thing is the first lockdown was the most traumatic economic event in the history of the united states. bigger than any year of the great depression, all concentrated in one month. i don't think that even a -- unless it turned into the bubonic plague, i do not anticipate that we would go back to as big a collapse as that kind of march, april period of 2020. but it's still bad. if what we have is november, december, 2020, january 2021, that's still bad. we were in a big recovery and it stalled out and we teetered on the edge of going into another recession. so that's kind of a dark scenario, and let's hope we don't get there.
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i do think we learned a lot from the first time around where nobody knew what was going on. >> mm-hmm, mm-hmm, and that part will be good. the bad part is as we know, there was a whole lot of rescue and relief money to deal with that what is effectively a natural disaster, and it certainly does not seem like if we had a big event like what happened the first time it doesn't look like there will be a whole lot more relief money. >> that's a good point you make. and then there's this, the inflation, which is rising at its fastest rate in 31 years, and originally the administration said, look, this is transitory. it seems a little less transitory so some now. where do you stand on that, what do you think the real impact on consumers if inflation stays with us for a while? >> yeah, well, the for a while is doing a lot or work in that question. i've been on teen temporary, but temporary to me is still going to last months, the economic
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timetable and the political timetable are on totally different measures. i think what's mostly happening is we've had this bizarre circumstance where the thing we spend most of our money on usually is services, and because of the virus we haven't been able to spend money on services. so consumers are spending a lot. it's just that they're having a massive spending spree on physical goods, and it's not just in the united states. it's everywhere in the world they're going and buying physical goods, and the supply chain cannot handle that, and that's why inflation is up in the u.s. and in germany and in china, and all over the place. if we could get control of the virus and go back to spending on what we usually spend money on, i think it will ease a lot of those problems on the supply chain, and that's why i think it would be temporary. but boy, if the virus comes back, then we're going to have to live with that. >> real quick, how long are we
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going to keep paying these prices at the pump? >> well, you've seen prices come down for the last couple of weeks, hopefully it's easing a bit. but 68 bucks it cost to fill my car, so i'm hoping that this is not a forever. >> yeah. >> you and a lot of other people out there. thank you so much, austan goolsbee, have a great holiday weekend. good to see you. let's go from wall street to main street. locally owned businesses across the country say that holiday shopping is more important to their survival than ever before. 78% of small business owners say they are relying on holiday sales to remain open, and they're hoping for lots of shoppers today on this small business saturday. let's go to nbc's liz mclaughlin out among the shoppers in raleigh, north carolina. welcome to you. what are you seeing today? what are you hearing from the shoppers and the business owners? >> reporter: well, alex, it's a beautiful, sunny afternoon here in downtown raleigh.
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you might be hearing there's live music at this pop-up market we're at, the smell of sweets in the air, lots of independent food vendors and dozens of small businesses. the crowd is pretty thick out here and at other holiday markets across the country. according to lending tree, nearly half of consumers say they're going to participate in small business saturday this year, spending about an average of $300 at small businesses over this holiday weekend, and that's really good news for small businesses who many are still struggling after closing their doors because of lockdowns during the pandemic, forced to change to e-commerce and restructure their business in many cases and still facing supply chain issues and labor shortages. many shoppers we spoke to say they're shopping in person more this year because of those supply chain issues. they're scared of getting that back order email and consumers are saying they want to vote with their dollars. they want to spend their money for causes and communities they care about.
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we're seeing more people seek out female owned and minority owned businesses. google trends, searches for black owned businesses specifically were up 600%. it's having a big impact on her business. let's listen. >> because no one really cares about the little people half the time. it's important to support us as little people. the women-owned businesses, we kind of get lost in the mix sometimes, so having that support really is nice. >> reporter: and you don't even have to come out to markets like this. many are online, have been forced to go online. you can shop there. you can also share on social media your favorite small businesses to show your support and even leave a google review. that can help them be placed higher in those search algorithms. >> that's a good idea. thank you for that. the most absurd insane case of one upsmanship in washington
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it's good to see you both. can we get into this, marjorie taylor greene being one of the city republicans who voted against awarding the congressional gold medal to all those police officers who responded to the attack on the capitol on january 6th, so the likelihood of kyle rittenhouse getting this honor, yes, it's low, but just the gesture, aid adrienne. your reaction to that? >> i think it's disgusting. the fact that this is where we are, where the republican party is awarding somebody who many people across this country believed murdered people who were peacefully protesting, even though that's not what the jury came down with. the fact that the far right has embraced people like kyle rittenhouse, this is like their new playbook, right? they helped raise money to support his legal defense. they, again, are trying to prop him up as someone who should be a role model for other people who want to follow their own
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political beliefs. it's just -- i've never seen anything like this. i continue, alex, i feel like i go on your show all the time and say i simply cannot believe this is the state of the republican party today, but it is and it continues to get worse. >> well, and here's something to add to it because marjorie taylor greene is not the only republican in congress who is embracing rittenhouse, you have several far right gop house members, they're kind of fighting over hiring rittenhouse as an intern. matt gates, paul gosar, and now lauren boebert who said in that interview she's challenging cawthorn who uses a wheelchair to a sprint. beyond being in just poor taste, what do you make of that? >> alex, you literally can't make this stuff up. one thing that viewers should be rest assured is that this is a very small percentage of members in both branches of the house and the senate and while i think it's important that we discuss this because they are elements of the republican party, they are elements that exist and that we must acknowledge, i think the
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vast majority of members on the republican side are thinking about 2022. they want to move forward. now -- >> hang on, hang on, no, no, no, before we said that -- >> i don't think members should be focusing on this, alex. >> here's what i want to ask you about, though, where is kevin mccarthy in all of this? why does he not do -- you're implying that it's not the majority of republicans in congress because this is all we ever hear about, this outrageous behavior and thought processes that are allowed to play out. >> yeah, alex, that's a great question. i think kevin mccarthy is handicapped, and by that i think kevin mccarthy recognizes that while the vast majority of republicans want to move forward, that small microcosm, they are loud and they are powerful. the last thing mccarthy wants is those individuals energizing their base, their donors, potentially causing issues for
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him with other members in the house. i think what he's essentially doing is tiptoeing around this, trying to stay quiet, not trying to anger energize them in such a way that they become problematic for his leadership. i don't think that that is what one would expect out of a minority leader. i think he's purely looking at this politically, and i think he's trying to play the chess game and say, you know, what let me wait until i get into the majority and then i'll have more control and more freedom to perhaps do some of the things that he would likely like to do now. >> well, okay. let me ask you about some new reporting from "politico" that shows donald trump polling to test a potential white house bid in 2024. it comes down to arizona, georgia, michigan, pennsylvania, wisconsin, all of which were decided in 2020 by fewer than 3 percentage points. and "politico" writes according to the poll, the former president led biden by eight percentage points, georgia by three, wisconsin by ten. now, look we know to take polling, especially this early
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with a grain of salt, but even so, do these numbers surprise you, shermichael? >> i mean, they don't surprise me, alex. i was thinking about this before we went live. the republican party needs to move forward. the republican party needs new leadership. the party needs leadership that reflects the diversity and the changes across the country. you know, there were a lot of analysis once joe biden got reelected that while people voted for him, he's not reflective of where we are and where we're headed, and i would like to see the same thing on the republican side. you think there are a lot of voters of color who are conservative in some aspects of their lives but don't necessarily want to vote for members of the republican party because of the current outlook, because of some of the ideas, dogmatic in some ways. i think if the party is to see success in the future, going in a new direction is what the party needs to do in 2024. the president, the former president had his shot. we need to move forward. >> as a former biden, harris
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campaign aide, what do you think of the numbers, should there be concern if you look at the calendar, you say, yeah, it's another year until the midterms. >> yeah, i mean, alex, we've got so long before this happens, and you know, whether we're talking about the midterms, whether we're talking about the 2024 campaign. now, i do think that if donald trump decides he's going to run, he's probably going to be the de facto nominee for the republicans. whether or not he is going to win right now against joe biden, he's made it very clear he plans to run for re-election in a hypothetical horse race, it's just way too early to tell, and look, you know, the biden administration has had to contend with a number of challenges since president biden has taken office, most notably, of course, the covid -- the coronavirus and the pandemic and all of the factors that come with that. and that is certainly impacted his poll numbers. we've got a long, long ways to go, alex until 2024. i just am excited that the biden
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administration is getting their build back better agenda passed. we've got a lot to look forward and a lot of time to get those numbers up to a level this administration wants to get them to. >> in terms of lacking forward to it, i'll have shermichael and adrienne back soon, thank you guys. a wave of smash and grab robberies have hit a number of big cities. police and retailers are trying to counter the attacks, but what can they realistically do to prevent them? can they realistically do to prevent them superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance so they only pay for what they need. (gasps) ♪ did it work? only pay for what you need ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ spider-man no way home in theaters december 17th - i'm norm. ♪ libert- i'm szasz.liberty. liberty. ♪ [norm] and we live in columbia, missouri.
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in california a string of coordinated thefts rocking retailers from los angeles to san francisco. just yesterday smash and grab thieves stole hammers and crowbars from a home depot in l.a. law enforcement officers say the thefts are only getting worse. the robberies are being carried out by mobs of looters, and here's part of a report from nbc's eric mclaughlin. >> wednesday, suspects attacked
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an apartment store security guard snatching $25,000 worth of high end purses. >> they attack him with some kind of a caustic chemical, after the initial suspect attacked the security guard, additional suspects entered the location and removed a number of high dollar purses. >> reporter: criminals seen using similar tactics in the heart of san francisco. >> hands up! hands up! >> reporter: and in a nearby suburb, organized shoplifting crews breaking into high end retailers grabbing merchandise and fleeing as a cluster of getaway cars block traffic. an estimated $200,000 worth of merchandise gone in a matter of minutes. >> remarkable, right? joining me now former nypd detective tom ruskin. welcome back to the broadcast. the details in that report are pretty shocking. chicago has been hit as well with these kinds of flash mob thefts. they seem pretty well-organized. who do you suspect is
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coordinating them? is there some kind of mastermind behind them? >> i think there's a bunch of master minds. i think it's an organized crime type of organization that's organizing these people. you don't have that many people going into a store at the same time blocking traffic in an organized way, and what may have to happen is you may have to start charging people federally, charging them with federal conspiracy statutes and basically instead of facing just a few years under a state statute facing 10 to 20 years in federal prison and basically bringing the master minds to justice. >> okay. where do you think this merchandise ends up? >> it ends up on -- most of the time our investigations in the past have shown it ends up on the web. it's a monetary gain type of crime. they're looking to grab as much high value items and then potentially sell them on places like ebay and other online sites. and that's what's going to lead to their capture. eventually the feds or the local
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government, law enforcement agencies will come in and they'll watch the web for these sales, and then buy it back and have undercover buys. >> but look, i'm sure that law enforcement would like to stop these mobs before they even happen in the first place. is social media what's key to that and monitoring social media? you've got to think that there's some sort of mass communication with i know one of these recent thefts had -- it was a bunch of 14 to 18-year-olds. they're probably talking online. >> they may be talking online, but they'd be talking privately in encrypted apps like whatsapp and certain other encrypted apps. what's going to happen, what we learned from the january 6th taking of the capitol is that we can now monitor certain phones and where they are. and you can do it in reverse. so what you do is investigating this, you'll determine what phones were in that area at the time, and basically tie it back
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to some soft people who may be involved. >> real quick last question, what if you're in a store when one of these things happens, what do you do? >> please hold onto your child, try and get out of the store safely. you don't want to be trampled. you don't want to be knocked down and basically try and get out of the area as quickly as possible. >> very good advice and insight, tom ruskin as always, thank you so much. so it might be the most important question about that new covid variant but do scientists really have any kind of answer to it right now rcht . and time may be running out on donald trump and his efforts to keep secrets from the january 6th committee. crets from the jay 6th committee. vicks sinex. instantly clear everyday congestion. and try vicks sinex children's saline. safe and gentle relief for children's noses.
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