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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  November 27, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST

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comcast business powering possibilities. and a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone, to alex witt reports. we're going to begin with breaking news on that newest strain of the covid-19 virus first reported by south africa. today dramatic and sudden developments with the omicron variant. the uk says it now has two new confirmed cases of omicron and both are linked to south africa. >> this a real reminder that this pandemic is far from over and it is one thing that everyone can be doing right now, is if they're eligible please take your vaccine, whether it's your first shot, your second shot or your booster. and travel bans are spreading sending passengers like these in cape town airport and prompting complaints from
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african american nations. they say they're being punished for efficiency in identifying and sharing information about the new strain. also new today, new york is under a state of emergency. governor kathy hochul saying, quote, we continue to see warning signs of spikes in covid this winter, and while the new omicron variant has yet to be detected in new york state, it's coming. and dr. anthony fauci was asked this morning whether the new variant could, in fact, already be in the u.s. >> i would not be surprised if it is. we have not detected it yet. when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility and you're already having travel related cases that they're noting in israel and belgium and other places. when you have a virus like this, it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over. vaccine manufacturers say they are moving quickly against the omicron variant. companies say they're looking into adapting their vaccine formulas to combat the new strain and could potentially start shipping new batches of
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vaccine within about 100 days and although news of omicron led to a hit on the dow, black friday shoppers returned to stores hunting for bargains. next tuesday an appeals court will hear arguments in donald trump's attempt to hide documents from the january 6th select committee. trump is claiming executive privilege to prevent investigators from finding out exactly what he said and did during that capitol insurrection. but back to the breaking news on omicron and nbc's raf sanchez who's following the latest developments for us from tel aviv. welcome to you. this is a story that's developing with lightning quick speed. it seems every hour there's a new wrinkle, so what's happening this hour? >> reporter: yeah, alex, prime minister boris johnson of the uk just wrapped up a press conference in london, and these were the most extensive remarks yet we have heard from a western leader about omicron. he spoke in much more detail than president biden has so far, and he announced new measures to
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slow what he called the seeding of the new variants in the uk. there are already two confirmed cases in britain, but from now on, travelers landing in the uk will have to self-isolated for two days until they can show a negative pcr test. now, the prime minister also spoke in some detail about what we know so far about the variant. i want you to take a listen to that. >> it does appear that omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated. there is also a very extensive mutation which means it diverges quite significantly from previous configurations of the virus. and as a result, it might, at least in part, reduce the protection of our vaccines over time. so we need to take targeted and proportionate measures now as a
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precaution while we find out more. >> reporter: dr. fauci's british counterpart chris witty also spoke at this press conference. i thought this was really interesting. he said the thing that they are most concerned about so far is the potential for this variant to get around existing vaccines. it may very well be that omicron is more transmissible, but the thing they are really worried about is whether or not our vaccines are effective against it. last thing, the british government also announced some new measures tightening up rules around masks, but that's actually not anything to do with omicron. that is to do with delta. the delta case numbers are still very high in the uk, as they are in the u.s. a thousand americans are dying every day of the delta variants and it was a reminder that while we're all very focused right now on the future danger of omicron, there is a very real and present
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danger from delta right now. alex. >> 100%, thanks for that reminder, raf sanchez, and all that good information. joining me right now is dr. chris purnell, a preventative medicine fellow. welcome back to the broadcast, it's good to see you. what concerns you most about this new omicron variant? >> thanks for having me, alex. what concerns me is that we don't do enough genomic sequencing here in the united states. outside of what many of my colleagues have already said, yes, we're waiting to see if it's indeed more transmissible. we're waiting to confirm through data if it's more severe, and we're waiting to confirm whether or not our currently available vaccines provide effective coverage. but while we're waiting to confirm those things and as other variants likely can and will emerge, we need to ensure that we're doing the best around surveillance methodologies, and we're not necessarily doing that. >> you know, raf made that point that a thousand americans are
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dying still every day from delta variant. so is there an indication that omicron could become that dominant? >> actually, we don't know with a sense of certainty yet. and you know my rule, don't communicate anything of certainty that we don't know with certainty. what we do know is there are a considerable amount of mutations in that spike protein. currently characterized about 30 mutations. that causes the concern we're now seeing. that's quite divergent from the previous versions of the delta and other variants that have been -- circulated. we can get ahead of this by mandating that all travelers on air are required to be vaccinated and have a negative test. we should think about solutions such as those, wearing our masks indoors when we're in public settings. if you're not vaccinated, please get vaccinated and get boosted. >> okay. so that's a good question, though. if this new strand eludes the vaccines that we currently have
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available, i mean, i'm supposed to get my booster this week. should by waiting? should others be waiting to get the boosters until the vaccines get updated? you can see how some people might think, wait a minute let me get the new super improved one? >> no, alex, don't wait. go ahead and get your booster. it will likely be anywhere between 90 and 100 days before we're able to have a vaccine specific to this variant, but we don't even know if the currently available vaccines don't have adequate and appropriate protection against the omicron variant, so one we're holding and we're holding with being mindful of what the data will show us. if you have not been boosted please go get boosted. and even more importantly than that, this is what it's teaching around vaccine equity across the globe, we have to ensure that people have access to vaccines and the barriers to access are eradicated. >> what about the covid cases overall? i know you track this and you know they're searching in the five most vaccinated states here
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in the u.s., vermont, rhode island, maine, connecticut, massachusetts as well. why is this happening? i mean, how likely do you think it is that omicron is already here in the u.s.? >> oh, it's very possible that omicron is already here. the specimen that caused the impromptu meetings and emergency declarations was a specimen from november 9th. so omicron has likely traveled. we know it's in hong kong. we know it's in asia. we know it's in belgium. we know it's in the uk and south africa. it could possibly be here already in the united states. i believe what's driving those rates in those cities and states that you just mentioned is that people unfortunately are growing lax. they're growing lax around measures that we need to ensure that we maintain throughout the pandemic. masking when you're in public indoor settings, we don't have everyone who's eligible for a booster getting their booster, and there are amount of people in the population, even in those highly vaccinated states who are not vaccinated, and as long as
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you have people who are susceptible to the virus, it spreads and it causes continuing alarm, and it causes continuing devastation. >> yeah, well, i do appreciate the very calm and knowledgeable way that you have presented this information because it can cause alarm. this omicron thing has got a lot of people slightly freaked out. thank you for keeping us focused. >> always, thank you. let's go now to the white house. we're following news from there, the biden administration is recommending major overhaul of the company's oil and gas leasing program. i guess it's the white house on location. that is where we find josh lederman. does the timing of this have anything to do with the rising gas prices? >> reporter: ironically, no, alex. it has more to do with the biden administration's efforts to wean us off of fossil fuels that contribute to global warming. so way back at the start of the biden administration, president biden sounded the alarm that american taxpayers were
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essentially getting ripped off by the leasing of millions of acres of public land that's owned by taxpayers like you and me that companies like exxon mobil are able to drill for oil and gas on. and the biden administration as they were trying to tackle climate change, they tried to put a pause on actually leasing those acres of land to companies to drill for gas and oil, but republican state attorneys general sued the biden administration. they've been successful so far, and so the biden administration has been forced to continue leasing that land. in the meantime, they have released this report from the interior department that found that essentially we are getting a bad deal for leasing that land. the rate of royalties that these companies are paying for the privilege of getting to take oil and gas out of public land and sell it is 12.5%. that rate has remained unchanged since 1920, the year that this program was first put into place. and this report found if these
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companies go instead and try to drill on state-owned land, even in states like texas, they often are paying twice as much in royalties to the taxpayer for the privilege of selling that oil. and so the biden administration, even as they are trying to tackle climate change, trying to reduce the amount of oil and gas that's extracted and sold, they are also recommending that that royalty rate be raised so that at least if taxpayers are going to be putting our own public land for sale for people to lease and then extract, we should be getting a good return on that. in the meantime, the administration is also saying we should take into account the effects on the environment, on wildlife, on climate change as we are selling this gas and oil. >> 100%. i'm telling you that is something a lot of people are saying. got to look long-term and see where we go next with these leases. okay, thank you very much, josh lederman, good to see you my friend. joining me now senator ben cardin, democrat from maryland
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who i'm very proud to call another friend of mine on the senate environment and finance and foreign relations committee, and chairman of the small business committee. so we're going to talk about small business saturday and oil in just a minute. but senator, as i welcome you, what are you first hearing about the latest covid variant? are you alarmed that this could send the u.s. back into lockdowns? is there any chance of that on the horizon at this point? >> well, first, it's good to be with you and it's something of concern. when you don't knowexactly what this variant means there's always that question as to how serious it is. we have confidence in our scientist, confidence in the vaccine program. we believe we'll be able to deal with it. until we get the facts in the next couple of weeks there's going to be that uncertainty. >> let's talk about gas prices. we know about that, when gas goes up all prices somehow seem to follow. president biden says he is releasing 50 million barrels from the strategic oil reserve. that's great, but americans, in
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fact, use an average 20 million barrels a day. so can 50 million have any significant impact? >> well, it will have an impact. the challenge, of course, is we have to transition off of the fossil fuels to renewable fuels. we need to do that for our economy, our environment, we need to do it for our national security and not to have these variants in the price of gasoline at the pump, so for all of those reasons we have to accelerate our program to get off of fossil fuels. that leads us to what the senate's going to be taking up when we come back, the balanced budget, the build back better budget. that is very much contains commitment to the climate agenda. >> and agreeing on all of that, but how, sir, did we get into the position where the president of the united states has to ask opec plus to get involved in
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boosting oil production. >> well, the price of gasoline, the price of oil is very much dependent upon the global supply, and that's manipulated for price by countries that don't always have the same values that we have. so that's another reason why we need to accelerate our efforts to get off of fossil fuels. in the united states we have a pretty decent supply, but the bottom line is that the global market is very much manipulated by the oil producing states. >> okay. what about this, because you mentioned build back better, so let's move on to that right now. let's see, we have republican lawmakers, they are now counting on the democratic senators man chin and sinema to block it. are you confident it can and will pass the senate, and if so, what are you hearing fromyour colleagues about what they would take out? >> first, we're very pleased that after we recessed the house
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did pass the act, so now it's in the senate. we're getting the parliamentarian scrubs. we'll know what those changes are going to be when we return on monday. we are moving along and we're optimistic we'll get to the finish line during the month of december. i know we still have some negotiations that need to take place. i think we are committed, all 50 democrats to make sure we get to the finish line. >> okay. but getting to that finish line, again, sir may have some changes. and if house progressives lose paid family leave, state and local tax deductions, medicare upgrades and immigration funding, can it still get to president biden's desk? i mean, these are the lawmakers who held out to get this particular version of the bill in the first place. >> there is so many important things in this act that we really need to get done, affordability of child care, the cost of higher education, the climate agenda. there's so much in this, the tax changes that help working
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families, the cutting of costs for housing for health care. all of that tax reductions, all of that is so important that this bill will be consequential, even if we have to make some additional changes. so i am optimistic we'll get to the finish line. >> okay. let's talk about what's happening across the country today, being small business saturday, and i know, sir, that you're out in annapolis, and you're checking out the restaurants and the small shops. what are the biggest concerns being shared with you about the recovery? >> well, first, it is good to be here for small business saturday, and i am on main street in annapolis and i tell you, there's a lot of enthusiasm. there's a lot of optimism about the success of our economy and small businesses. by shopping small businesses, we not only help our economy and job growth, we help our community because small businesses give back to our community. i just had lunch at chicken roost on main street, patronize
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small businesses, there's optimism out there and people do believe our economy is on a road towards great growth. >> and where was that place you had lunch? i mean, you got to give them another shoutout, i didn't quite hear that place, but it's got a great name. >> chicken roost. it's an institution here on main street in annapolis. i recommend it highly. it's been here since 19 -- i think it was '64, it originally opened, a long time ago. it's now a new generation is running the restaurant. you can get a great crab cake or a great corned beef sandwich. >> please, i'm hungry, and i'm only halfway through the show. >> let me ask you quickly about supply chain issues. are you hearing any concern about that from these small business owners, the ones that are trying to sell holiday things, christmas gifts and the like. are they worried about that? >> well, we do hear about the supply chain issues. it's clearly a matter of concern.
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i went to one business owner who uses local artisans, and they didn't have any supply chain problems because all their supplies come locally. i think small businesses are more resilient to figure out ways to deal with the challenges. they're open, they have inventory. they're ready for shoppers. so let's help them out. >> okay. senator ben cardin, thank you for helping me out in the broadcast. good to see you my friend. so you probably never heard their names but they could become infamous for the attack on the capitol. just how crucial is their testimony to the january 6th committee's investigation? testimony to the january 6th committee's investigation? (swords clashing) -had enough? -no... arthritis. here. new aspercreme arthritis. full prescription-strength? reduces inflammation? thank the gods. don't thank them too soon. kick pain in the aspercreme. >> man: what's my safelite story? my truck...is my livelihood. so when my windshield cracked... the experts at safelite autoglass came right to me... with service i could trust.
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we're checking in on the vice president and our second gentleman, doug emhoff, they're making their way through small business saturday, specifically in washington, d.c., showing their support for everyone to get out there and do their shopping on this national small business saturday, something
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that has really taken off in the last decade or so. we just heard from senator ben cardin who was stressing the importance of small business saturday where he was in annapolis. let's see if we can pick up on a microphone what she's saying right now. >> of course they've been through so much these last two years almost. >> this is so important to them. this is when we have so many people that can see their product and buy from them. >> you know what i also love about this, you know, i often say our small businesses are part of the civic fabric of our community. >> that's right. >> so it's not only about the economy, it's also about the culture of the community. >> come together. >> it's so great to see the community come out and support the small businesses. >> it's really amazing to become not only a tradition but something folks choose to do rather than the malls, they come outside, they have fun, they enjoy it. >> and we've got the music going. it's just a great vibe. thank you for creating it. >> michael's going to join us on some of the pictures, ma'am. >> i'm happy to answer any
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questions. >> and that point was made about everyone coming out and celebrating culturally in the local community, sending the money back into the hands of small business retailers. it's a really good event to do if you all have time of course after you finish watching the show. let's go from there to capitol hill, after a quiet week off, lawmakers will be flooding into the halls in days, and they have a lot more on their plates than leftover stuffing, preventing a government shutdown, raising the debt limit, let's go to julie tsirkin on capitol hill following all of this for us. i know that you said you were going to be probably camping out there at the capitol as they'd be spending so many hours dealing with this. how do things stand right now? what are we looking at this week ahead? >> reporter: i can imagine a lot of senators have a feeling that a lot of us get when we're
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nearing a vacation or holiday event. we have all these things we've procrastinated until after our holiday. that's how the senate is feeling right now. they're coming back on monday, and they have a laundry list of to do items, many of them with hard deadlines attached. let's tick through a couple of them. you see them on your screen. the first thing they're going to do is to finish taking up the ndaa. it's that defense authorization. it's a military funding bill they pass on a bipartisan manner every year. that's already been started on the floor before they left. they have to finish that up. that's how the process here works. next we have our first deadline next friday, and that's essentially when the government will run out sort of funding in their checking account. they can't spend any more money. we expect them to pass a short-term funding measure to basically fund the government and keep it open for a certain number of weeks or months. that's yet to be determined. the next deadline here is december 15th. you see that there second to the left. that's essentially when the country will run out of money to
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borrow. they'll hit their credit card limit. that's something that i unfortunately face every year around the holiday season, but it will be the first time the country would default on its debt, and we already know that both republicans and democrats said that can't happen. we know before the holiday break leader mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, and leader schumer, the democratic leader in the senate, they met to hash things out. we know they want this to happen in different ways. democrats want it to happen in a bipartisan way. republicans are saying, listen, if you're going to be spending all that money in the reconciliation package, they're also considering now well then you have to borrow money by yourselves, too. we'll see what happens there in the next two weeks. that leads me to my last point, of course, the $1.75 trillion build back better human infrastructure plan that president biden championed and the house passed just before they left on recess. now the senate has to take that up, and we know that leader schumer and president biden want them to pass it by christmas. we'll see if they can get it done and all the details squared away in the next couple of weeks.
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>> okay, julie tsirkin, thank you so much for taking all of these huge undertakings, appreciate that. let's go to the very latest on the investigation on the january 6th attack on capitol hill. this week the committee of house investigators releasing a slew of subpoenas ranging from roger stone, far right media star alex jones to the leaders of the militia groups the proud boys and oath keepers. joining me now hugo lowell, congressional reporter for "the guardian." we're going to start this chat with the leaders of the far right groups. that includes proud boys and the oath keepers militia. these are the first subpoenas where the house investigators appear to be focusing on the instigators of the violence that day. what do investigators want to know from these groups? what kind of information could they provide? >> well, the january 6th committee, as you know, is trying to see if there was a connection between the trump white house, possibly trump himself, and the attack on the
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capitol, and of course the people that attacked the capitol were led by these paramilitary groups like the oath keepers and the proud boys, and if you look into the subpoenas that were issued, i think, tuesday, you see kind of what the committee is trying to get at. they want the documents, they want testimony as usual, but, for instance, with the first amendment they're also looking for body cam footage. these guys wore body cams everywhere. if there were incriminating conversations or meetings, then the committee wants to get ahold of that as well. >> that makes sense. what about the subpoenas that were issued to five political operatives that were associated with trump. the most notable is roger stone, alex jones as well. what does that tell you about the direction of the investigation and the kinds of questions they could answer, and what do you think the odds are, hugo, that they actually cooperate? >> well, i think these subpoenas are really interesting. if you look at the subpoena that is for these two guys, like roger stone, alex jones, what becomes clear is that the
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committee has noted that these two guys, huge figures in trump world were invited to speak at the rally before the january 6th attack, and they were also invited to lead the march from the rally to the capital, but curiously, they didn't attend either. and i think the fact that chairman bennie thompson mentioned this in the letter shows where the committee is going with this, and they want to know did these guys, you know, who are connected to the people -- that are connected to trump world operatives, possibly even to president trump himself, did they have advance knowledge of what might go down at the capitol and was that the reason why they didn't participate? i think this is the central question. >> yeah, i'm curious because over the holiday, trump ally steve bannon filed a motion to request that all the documents in his case be made public. what's in it for him? how is that beneficial for him? >> well, i think there's several points.
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there's firstly, i think the legal point. his lawyers and the rest of the his legal team are saying, well, if there are documents that arrive during discovery, that would be beneficial to our client, steve bannon. then we would like that to be public. so we can watch this in the court of public opinion as well, and we can put this on our war room podcast, and we can fund-raise off this. i think that's the first one. the second point is it's also this contributing to how steve bannon likes to turn everything into a service, right? he thinks the select committee is not legit, former president trump thinks it's not legitimate. it's an effort to delegitimize what the investigation is doing, what the committee is doing. this is what's at play here. >> the d.c. circuit court of appeals are preparing to hear oral arguments on whether those hundreds of pages of white house documents can be given to house investigators. earlier this week, the court told trump's lawyers, the committee and the national ar
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archives they should be prepared to address where the court has the legal authority. that's a bad sign for trump. how do you expect it to play out next week? >> oral arguments obviously start next week. i think, you know, if you looked at the court finding a couple of days ago, what trump is saying, well, the overreach by the january 6th committee is so broad that it would damage presidential powers for years to come, and that's fine. he may think that, but the fact of the matter is he lost the election, and he lost the election and he's no longer president, so he doesn't get to make that determination, right? we've said multiple times that the person who has the ability to invoke executive privilege is the current executive, it's president biden. he won the election. he gets to make this call. the white house counsel has made this clear in multiple letters. everyone agrees that biden, if he wants to can release these documents. so i think the court of appeals hearing ultimately will probably end in a bad situation for trump. i mean, yes, you raise this
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point about does the court have the legal authority to decide this. i think nbc's pete williams reported early in the week. this is a central question. it may be a bad couple of weeks for the president. >> thank you so much. i'm sure we'll see you again. it was a victory for the prosecution and an example for other racial justice cases. the fallout and reflection around the death of ahmaud arbery is far from over. over. us small business owners prosper during their most important time of year. when you switch to t-mobile and bring your own device, we'll pay off your phone up to $1000. you can keep your phone. keep your number. and get your employees connected on the largest and fastest 5g network. plus, we give you $200 in facebook ads on us! so you can reach more customers, create more opportunities, and finish this year strong. visit your local t-mobile store today. [music: "i swear"] jaycee tried gain flings for the first time the other day... and finish this year strong. and forgot where she was.
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a long awaited trial gets underway on monday here in new york. ghislaine maxwell was the confidant of convicted sex offender jeffrey epstein. now she's accused of helping him recruit and abuse underage girls. nbc national correspondent gabe gutierrez has the latest. >> reporter: alex, for years ghislaine maxwell's role has been under scrutiny, now we're expecting to hear at least some answers in this courtroom, but this trial will only focus on four alleged victims.
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>> ghislaine maxwell is behind bars in brooklyn just hours away from the start of her trial. opening statements scheduled for monday. >> maxwell played a critical role in helping epstein to identify, befriend, and groom minor victims for abuse. >> prosecutors say she was the ring leader in securing girls as young as 14 for jeffrey epstein. >> she was one of the co-conspirators. she was right there with him. i mean, in my opinion, she might have been just equally as bad as he was. >> reporter: jennifer o'rose has accused maxwell and others of helping facilitate epstein's abuse. maxwell has repeatedly denied the allegations against him. rose is not one of the women expected to testify against maxwell, all of whom will be identified at the trial only by their initials. >> the biggest challenge for the government here is that these alleged crimes happened decades ago, and since that time, memories can fade and that can be ripe for cross examination by
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the defense. >> reporter: the defense says the prosecution just wants to blame someone, anyone for epstein's alleged crimes. >> the authorities lost epstein on their watch in federal custody, theoretically under 24/7 guard and they're taking it out on my sister. >> the trial is not bringing up allegations from an alleged victim who said in a civil lawsuit that maxwell trafficked her to britain's prince andrew when she was 17. he's denied the allegations. it's also unlikely the prosecution will be allowed to delve too deeply into epstein's social and business relationship with names like former presidents bill clinton and donald trump. in this trial, maxwell faces six of the eight criminal counts she's been charged with. it's expected to last six weeks. alex. >> all right, gabe gutierrez, thank you so much for that. the lessons learned from two potentially pivotal cases in the name of equal justice in america, that's next. e in america, that's next vicks' vapostick.
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now to new reaction to two high profile verdicts in murder trials that have americans taking a hard look at the justice system in this country. in georgia, travis mcmichael, his father gregory mcmichael, and william bryan, they are awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of felony murder in the killing of 25-year-old ahmaud arbery last year. following the acquittal of kyle rittenhouse in the shooting of three men during a kenosha
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protest last summer. some are saying don't read too much into one guilty verdict. >> clearly one verdict doesn't change the issue that 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 we still have a very long way to go. we should pause on this victory, but recognize 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. >> i'm joined now by lee merritt, one of the attorneys for the arbery family. lee, welcome, thank you for joining me on this holiday weekend, especially after such a big week for you. but for many, as you know, the ahmaud arbery trial, it was something of a test case for
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racial justice. how do you view the outcome? >> i think the outcome tells us that the prosecutors did what they had to do to present a case before a jury pool that was already somewhat skewed both by those racially based use of the strikes and just by glynn county. it tells us a little about our progress, but it tells us that we still have a long way to go. >> indeed, and in fact, addressing racial bias, lee, that was not a focus in this trial, but it is certainly expected to be at the center of that federal hate crimes hearing. that is set for february. so given the state of polarization around race in this country, how do you judge the prosecutors' approach and how do you expect the upcoming federal trial to go? >> well, i think the prosecutor made the decision that she would not put race front and center before this nearly all white
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jury that was from glynn county, georgia. that was a decision that she had to make based upon the demographics that she was dealing with and her desire, of course, to win. the fact is we still have real race issues in our country and this case didn't necessarily take it on maybe in court is not the place to take it on with. >> what about the defense attorneys in the arbery trial, they say they're going to appeal. is that a long shot? i mean what would it take for them to be successful on appeal? >> we had a good judge in this case who made decisions based upon the law. and he put those decisions on the record. so you know, we expect all defendants to appeal in these cases, but we do find that the likelihood of being granted an appeal, appellate courts are not likely to overturn the decision of a jury, and this court left very little wiggle room for appeal. >> earlier this year as you know on the anniversary of her son's
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death, ahmaud arbery's mom filed a civil lawsuit against those three men as well as the glynn county police department and the district attorney's office. so what is the next step in that suit? >> well, again, this case highlighted for us, when we started talking about the overarching themes, this highlighted to us prosecutorial misconduct where we had jackie johnson, the original prosecutor in this case who didn't indict for over two months, who put her thumb on the scale of justice. and that's what that civil suit is directed at. it's going back towards glynn county, the systemic failures within the southern georgia legal system in ways that the black community in that region still remains exposed. >> yeah, you've just said this, as have many of those who praised the verdict, saying that there's still work to do. as a civil rights attorney, lee, what needs to get done? >> well, we need to begin to- of course we need to deal with the issue of gun violence because racial issues aside, this was
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another tragic gun violence incident in a nation that leads the world in gun violence, but when it comes to our criminal courts, we need to make sure that the people who are pulling the levers, the people who are behind the iron curtains are held accountable, are upholding the duty of office and this is both through election and through integrity that exists within our government. we need to be cleaning house. >> yeah, and lee, i just want to tell our viewers that you've announced you're running for attorney general in texas, that is a state with strong stand your ground laws and citizens arrest statutes, and nobody even has to have a license to carry a handgun in texas. similar laws, in fact, played into this case in georgia, so what do you want to do in texas? >> what we also saw in georgia, the attorney general use his office to ensure that the prosecutors in south georgia were doing their job, and when jackie johnson failed to uphold the duty of office, the attorney
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general's office indicted for that failure, in texas there's a lot of that cleanup work that we need to do. you know, we believe in law enforcement. we believe in law and order, but if the enforcement mechanism is lacking, if we -- like we have in texas, if we have one of the deadliest police coaches in the modern world and one of the most incarcerated state in the nation, we know there's real reform work to do to ensure that the system is being fair to all. that's what we're looking forward -- what i'm looking forward to doing as the next attorney general in texas. >> well, and i wish you a lot of luck, lee merritt. you go for it, and we'll be watching closely. thank you so much for your time. holiday shoppers are facing a new reality when they hit the stores, what was missing on black friday may be even more telling, though, and millions of americans are hitting the road this weekend encountering something they haven't seen in years. years.
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this week's thanksgiving travel could be the busiest since the pandemic with aaa predicting some 53 million people out and about but there may be some bumps ahead as gat prices hit highs not seen in seven years. joining me now from tampa is nbc's stephanie stanton. stephanie, big welcome to you. what are the travelers saying about the high gas prices this holiday season? >> reporter: yeah, good afternoon to you, alex. well, naturally, as you might imagine, they are not happy about it. however, even though gas prices are hovering around seven-year highs, officials say it doesn't seem to be putting too much of a damper on holiday travel. now, here in florida, our gas prices are about $1.33 higher than where we were a year ago on average. and across the state, the average price for a gallon of unleaded hovering around $3.35 a gallon. we are creeping a bit towards that all-time high set back in 2008. that was at $4.08 a gallon but
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we are still a ways away from that. however, officials here in the state are still very concerned. in fact, governor ron desantis is proposing to the state legislature to decrease the gas tax by about 25 cents a gallon to hopefully take some of that pressure off. now, according to aaa, the price in florida is still below the national average of about $3.42 a gallon and in other states like california, we are seeing staggering prices. the average price in the golden state for a gallon of unleaded, $4.70, although it is well above $6 in some areas. now, for all of that, president biden announced last week that he was going to release 50 million gallons of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve to help try to ease some of the pain at the pump. >> i have a friend who just moved out to wesley chapel as well, so i'm making two different, opposite commutes, and i would say i'm spending
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almost $100 a week in gas alone. yeah. so, that's definitely taking a toll. >> reporter: are you having to cut back? if so, what? >> not so much. i would say i would cut off, like, the iced coffees that i get or little things like that. >> reporter: yeah, a lot of people definitely feeling it. now, despite all of this, alex, aaa says they expect road travel to be up about 8% and overall, more than 53 million americans expected to travel this holiday weekend, and that, of course, includes air travel. florida, here in the sunshine state, we are expected to see the biggest jump, 2.9 million floridians expected to travel here across the sunshine state. >> that's a lot of people out and about, stephanie stanton. i hope you're not too far from home. but anyway, thank you so much for that live report. so, that new covid variant's raising plenty of alarms, but
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and a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone, to "alex witt

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