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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  December 3, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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on what i know is difficult, ehe mowingal and intense afternoon and week for you in oakland county. thank you all for watching hallie jackson reports. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. think there, everyone, it's 4:00 in new york. we are covering that breaking news out of michigan, the manhunt for the parents of a 15-year-old student charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of four oxford high school students. the sheriff says the fbi and u.s. marshals are now looking for his parents, jennifer and james crumbley. they were scheduled to be arraigned right now. this afternoon the prosecutor gave a stun asking startling press conference detailing the charges for the parents, james and jennifer crumbley, four counts each for involuntary manslaughter. one large for each innocent child their son gunned down on tuesday. the prosecutors emphasized the responsibility parents and gun owners have describing
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disturbing missed opportunities and warnings from the school the day of and the day before the tragic shooting. here was just one? on november 21st, '21 a too mucher at the oxford high school observed ethan crumbley searching ammunition on his cell phone during class and reported the same to school officials. jennifer crumbley was contacted via voice mail by school personnel regarding the son's inappropriate internet search. school personnel indicate they followed that voice mail up with an email but received no response from either parent. thereafter, jennifer crumbley exchanged text messages about the incident with her son on that day stating, quote, lol i'm not mad at you. you have to learn not to get caught. >> wow. let's bring in chuck rosenberg, former u.s. attorney and fbi official, now msnbc contributor. also joining us by tone, frank
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fig how muchy. >> first, this took a bizarre twist in the last 30 minutes. parents of the shooter were expected to be arraigned exactly a minute ago. they are now on the run. what is happening? at what point would the fbi have been engaged and involved? >> sure, well, nicolle, first of all, these parents have parentally made lots of bad decisions in raising their child. it is not surprising they would make another really bad decision by trying to run. that might work in the movies. in real life, i doesn't work. you would have to be very savvy, very smart, probably rich, and incredibly lucky to be able to run. so if the state authorities are looking for them and the fbi and the u.s. marshal service, her going to find them. that said, running also has other ramifications, as frank well knows. it is indicia of guilt. if there was ever a chance they would get bond on the charges of involuntary manslaughter, that's
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gone. and it could also affect whatever sentence they receive at the end of the day. bad decisions to this point, bad decisions now. running is a terrible idea. and it works in the movie, but not in real life. >> want to, with you and frank turn to the case in this really stunning sort of stop in your tracks and watch everything you can find about it on social media press conference from the prosecutor. and i know, chuck, you have some experience in this category. but i do want to ask one more question about a manhunt like this. is it -- i mean, are there roadblocks? there are movie depictions -- i am thinking of the movie "the fugitive" with harrison ford. it barely worked who him and he was really really good. what is happening in this area. roadblocks? low tech and high-tech? >> low tech and high-tech, nicolle. their license plate readers.
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there are phone cell -- signals from phones that go to cell towers and can help track individuals. if they use a credit card or a cabity kart card that will be tracked f. he have an easy pass or some device on their car that toll booths read that will get tracked. where do you look for people who run? you look at the homes of family members, aunts, nephews, grand parents, cousins. again, this is a large onerous undertaking by law enforcement. but in the end i don't think it is particularly difficult. you can bet they are looking for electronic records, talking to neighbors and to friends and the family and eventually they are going to fine these two. it worked for harrison ford in the fugitive for a while. it is not going to work for the crumbleys. >> frank, thank you for getting to a phone and being part of our breaking news coverage. this manhunt now under way for james and jennifer crumbley, who
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were expected to be arraigned for four counts each of involuntary manslaughter. your reaction? >> the first thought that went through my head, nicolle, having listened to the d.a.'s press conference earlier today was that we now have a compounding of kind of incompetently handling this. i -- here's what i mean by that. i know this may not be the time to critique, but this is how the thought process works. there are a couple things that could have been prevented. certainly, this flight could have been prevented. by that, i mean a d.a. announcing the filing of charges before people are in custody or before surveillance is on their house in a case like this is really going the come under scrutiny. let's set that aside. and let me describe why i think now we have a compounding of incompetence. the school officials that reportedly did not bring in the sheriffs in a timely fashion
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when they had concerns about violence -- the school officials that let this student return to class because reportedly, the parents objected to him being pulled from the school. all of this has to be scrutinized and i would be remiss, nicolle, if i didn't point out as i do now on every one of these tragedies that we all have to be the eyes and ears that see and understand the warning signs and indicators that someone is on the way to violence. students are the first line of defense. why? they are the peers who see the social media. they are the ones who need to sadly now be trained in knowing when one of their classmates is moving toward violence. the teachers here did the right thing. they saw cell phone research on ammo. they saw drawings that are very typical of violent intentions. they did the right thing. but the system broke down ask. we had better learn from this
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going forward. >> i want to ask you, frank, about the one terrorism charge. i mean, listening to you talk, i'm thinking back to the post 9/11 posture of when you see something, say something. talk about the terrorism charge for the shooter here. >> well, look, i applaud this d.a., just as i said i think this could have been handled better regarding the charming announce men, i want to applaud this district attorney because she's clearly levying the most significant charges she has at her disposal here. is this sending a message? is this going to resonate with school systems, parents, and kids? i certainly hope so. but the terrorism charge, you know, back in michigan at the state level, likely has to do with invoking fear in -- on a mass level, perhaps even -- i haven't read the michigan statute but perhaps even using a weapon of mass destruction, or
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the number of deaths involved or threatened. or number of people who have to live in fear because of what they experienced. so i applaud the charges. but when we are talking about charges, nicolle, we are talking about cleaning up the wreckage after the wreck has occurred. >> let me play some sound from my colleague hallie jackson's interview with the local sheriff. >> where are these two people? >> that's a work in progress. when we were informed actually by the media that a charging decision had been made and there would be a press conference this afternoon, we sent out our detectives and also had contact with the couple's lawyers. the couple's lawyer said that the individuals would be arranged to have us arrest them. and then later in the morning, the lawyer called and said, they are not returning texts or calls. so, you know, that's obviously
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concerning on a number of levels. and we have triggered a full fugitive activity alert for our folks. we have our fugitive apprehension team consulting with the fbi and also the u.s. marshal's fumgtive team. we are all out there. i am confident we are going the catch these two. it's just a bit frustraing it played out in this manner. >> let me just add that they have put out this information about the fugitives, about the couple that did just as the sheriff said. they may be driving a black 2021 kia suv with michigan plates. there is a whole bunch of -- you know, i guess information about tick tock of all of this available on social media. but you heard it there, what
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frank is describing as a missed opportunity to have this ironed out ahead of time. jack, your thoughts about the sheriff's comments there? >> he's clearly frustrated, nicolle. he said he was a bit frustrated. i imagine that's a vast understatement. and to frank's point earlier, if the sheriff is right, if his department did not know about the fact that the crumbleys were going to be charged until they heard it from the media, that doesn't give them the chance to do what law enforcement would normally do. you sit on the house. you send a car or two to sit on the house, one by the house, one at the end of the block. so if the parents end up doing something stupid, as they have done here, you see it. you follow them. you can arrest them because charges have been filed. i imagine this is terribly frustrating for law enforcement. and by the way, we know these
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folks are gun owners. now we have to send law enforcement to make an arrest under circumstances that could be much different and more much difficult than if law enforcement knew the charges were coming. now we are putting officers' lives at risk, agents' lives at risk. and that makes me sick. >> i want to add to our conversation nbc news correspondent shack brewster who is live for us in pontiac, michigan. what's the latest? >> there is a tweet we just saw from the daily beast. i want to read it to you because they say it's from the crumbleys' parents' lawyer to their organization. quote, the crumbley's left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. they are returning to the area to be arraigned. they are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports. i want to add, these are not random comments and media reports that have been out there. these are statements from the county sheriff's department saying they got in contact with
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this lawyer or the lawyer actually reached out to them earlier this morning saying that if that decision, if that charging decision, which we heard about earlier today, where these parents, this couple, was charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter -- if that charging decision were to come, there would be arrangements for them to then turn themselves in. what we heard is that was supposed to happen around 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon today. instead, around 3:00 p.m. they sent this be on the lookout virts to law enforcement. that's the layout of time from the county sheriff. they are saying according to what they heard themselves from these two -- the couple's attorneys is that they haven't been reaching out to. there has been a diss connect, a breakdown in communications, calls and text messages have not been return. right now we are getting mixed information from the county sheriff and what the report is coming out right now with. i think bottom line there was
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supposed to be an arraignment at 4:00 p.m., it would be the first time we saw the crumbleys in court since they were charged. we heard the prosecutor explaining why she was charging them with this information and what their involvement was this this shooting or potential involvement, or alleged involvement is the correct term. right now it is clear there is a manhunt under way. you have the attorney saying they are not fleeing, they are coming back. and you have the county sheriff saying they don't know where this couple is and they don't have any communication with them at this point. nicolle. >> shaq, stay with us as long as you are able to. if you have to do reporting i understand. i want to get frank's reaction to what shaq is reporting. msnbc has not confirmed what shaq is reading from the daily bees which is a comment from the couple's lawyer saying they did not flee, at the relocated after the shooting for their own
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safety and are on their way back. if true, frank, then what? >> look, we -- in the same vein of what you just said, we must assume that, law enforcement must assume they are still fugitives and treat them as such. nothing can be believed at this point. the way to do this is for their attorney to say they are at this rest stop right now on the highway. you can come get them now so there is no question that this is being handled safely and securely. otherwise, this can get quite ugly. so that's the way to handle this transparentally. lawyer to sheriff, parents to sheriff. this can't be done through the media, through statements to digital media platforms. the way this has to be handled is we are here, come get us. we are cooperating. absent that, they are fugitives. >> i want to play karen mcdonald, the prosecutor's sound from this press conference which
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in some ways when we look back may have put some of this breaking news into motion. it may not have been the press conference that put it in motion. there might have been some earlier signals. regardless, it is a press conference for the ages. i want to play more her rationale for charging the parents in the first place. this is about the sort of mistakes that were made in per mitting him to go back to school as well as comments she made about being a mother. >> this doesn't just impact me as a prosecutor and a lawyer. it impacts me as a mother. the notion that an parent could read those words and also know that their son had access to a deadly weapon that they gave him is unconscionable. i think it is criminal. it is criminal. >> rosenberg, is it criminal? >> i believe so, nicolle. and it's appropriate to charge
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the parens with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. one count for each child that died, as you said at the top of the show. involuntary manslaughter means unintentional killing. but they are still responsible because they acted in a guessly negligent way. and based on what the prosecutor said today in her news conference -- i watched it. she laid out some of the evidence, i am sure not all of the evidence that showed that the parents knew that the child had deep difficult problems that he was emotionally disturbed. as you said, access to a weapon. and so the means and the opportunity to do what he did. a tragedy resulted. you need to hold the child accountable. and he has been charged. you need to hold the parents accountable. they didn't do exactly what he did. but they had an opportunity to stop him. failing to do that, nicolle, i will is grossly negligent.
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and the basis for the involuntary manslaughter charge. another example would be a parent giving a child keys to the car when he is drunk. none of us should be surprised when something awful happens, maybe a pedestrian is charged. and nobody would balk at the parent being charged in that circumstance. this is analogous. >> i have heard of civil cases involving liability for parents for example, at underaged parties where kids are ink doctoring and as you described, a scenario where someone drives. is there a precedent for criminal prosecutions resulting in -- i believe the sentence for the parents, if they were found guilty is -- it is a 15-year felony, involuntary manslaughter. >> 15-year fln on each count. theoretically 60 years for each parent if convicted on all four counts. putting aside what their final sentence may be. we should save that conversation for another day.
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there is some precedent for charging parents criminally when their child does something horrific like here. i don't know of many cases nationwide. you are quite right there could be civil liability, meaning damages. but let's also put that aside. when i was the united states attorney in the eastern district of virginia, we had an analogous case. this was 15 years ago. and two fairfax county police officers were murdered by a disturbed yun man named michael kennedy who was 18 years old at the time. a horrible tragedy, these two fine officers, each of whom left behind a spouse and two children. we ended up charging brian kennedy, michael's father, being a drug user in possession of firearms made him a prohibited person under federal law. you know, the criminal justice system is not perfect at accountability. sometimes we are good at it. but we are never perfect at it.
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holding the father accountable for the son's deeds was an imperfect measure of accountable. the son had been killed in the shootout when he executed these two police officers. but we did charge the father. i don't know of many cases nationwide where criminal charges are brought against parents, but there are examples. and i think they send an important message to parents who fail to do what the crumbleys apparently failed toll do, allegedly failed to do, which was to supervise disturbed child who had access to a deadly weapon. >> it is a really important piece of context and history and this breaking news context. i am grateful to you for that. shaq, what are you pursuing now in terms of questions you would like answers to other than the obvious, where are the crumbleys. >> i think it goes to what was the process? what was the level of surveillance beforehand? i mean one thing that you heard. you saw the county sheriff there
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express genuine frustration over the idea that he did not get an official heads up that these charges were coming. nicolle, if you have been listening to the tone of the prosecutor when she was standing next to the county sheriff, it was very clear that the parents were very much in focus here, that she was considering charges. she said that explicitly, as recently as yesterday. she has been talking about importance of responsible gun ownership. it was clear that the county sheriff also knew some of the evidence that was laid out today in terms of the specific reasons why this 15-year-old suspect was brought down to the front office twice. he knew the details of that drawing that he had, that a teacher saw and was so disturbed by that she took a picture of it before he was called down to the office. so i think it was signaled that this was happening. we knew yesterday it was going to be happening in the next 24 hours. we are now in that period, that 24-hour period. so i think it was very clear that charges were likely in this
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case. it's why we have been watching, why we have been checking this with the prosecutor's office almost on an hourly basis in anticipation of this. i think it is clear there were charges coming in. in terms of the miscommunication there, i don't know what else is there. but it is clear the charges were coming in, there is a question why these parents weren't under some sorm of sursurveillance, i that's allowed. >> we will have an opportunity to put that question to karen mcdonald in the next hour. the oakland down commissioner. obviously, what happened today, the manhunt that ensued is the fuse right now. two days ago shannon watts mentioned the opportunity, perhaps, to hold parents accountable. yesterday frank guttenberg, who lost his daughter in parkland, talked about the need to change the equation around the escalation. i believe 2021 is the deadliest
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year for school shootings in -- i think since 1999. this prosecutor did something different, she did something bold. there is not a ton of precedent for it. in your view, what should we be looking out for in the coming days. >> let's keep our eye on how those who are second amendment enthusiasts until, you know, the end of the earth when it comes to even children having access to guns -- let's see how they respond. let's see how this gets spun by perhaps members of congress even, who are even owned by the nra in many respects where their donations come from. let's keep an eye on this and try to keep them honest in terms of what happened here. and the degree to which these fugitive parents become a cause celeb for the far right which would be the bulletizing of a
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tragedy. but we have seen that before. i am going to give people homework here. go and ask your school board and your school officials, what is the level of partnership that we have in our school between the sheriff or the police and the guidance counsellors and the principal? when i was in the fbi we held seminars for these partnerships. in many cases it was the very first time an assistant or assistant chief of police ever met each other, let alone understood how work together and assess a threat. ask those questions if you are a parent. get those answers as soon as you are back next week. >> by thank to frank and shaq for hopping on and being part of our breaking news coverage. in the next hour we will have an opportunity to speak with oakland county prosecutor karen mcdonald on the decision to
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prosecute these parents, the investigation, that is still going on and everything that has gone done today. in other news, another trump ally pleading the fifth. what it might mean for the expresident. plus, president biden is praising the senate for getting just the bare minimum done. that's where we are with legislating these days. near total republican obstruction. and later to the program to that point there is only one party in this country actively working day in and day out to dismantle our democracy. the frustration and anger is growing over the stalled push to protect the right to vote in america. all those stories and more when "deadline: white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. ners turning into their parents. you ever think about the storage operation a place like this must rely on? -no. they just sell candles, and they're making overhead? you know what kind of fish those are? -no. -eh, don't be coy. [ laughs ] [ sniffs, clears throat ] koi fish.
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another of the disgraced expresident's closest allies in that fight to overturn the results of the 2020 election he lost beingly is now taking the fifth had the january 6th committee's investigation that is probing donald trump's responsible for insighting the surk. john eastman, author of what is now known as the east man memo who was a scheme to persuade and pressure vice president mike pence to throw out the election results in violation of his constitutional mandate note saying the committee earlier this week he is asserting his right against self-incrimination. a move politico describes as quote an extraordinary assertion by somebody who worked closely with trump to overturn the 2020 election results. eastman becoming the second
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trump ally in as many days to plan to take the fifth. jeff lee clark will invoke his fifth amendment rights before the committee tomorrow. joining us, jackie alemany, author of the early 202 newsletter. my friend, former -- and former republican strategy -- and steve rosenberg is still with us. and johnny deutsche of on brand. jackie, take me through this latest? >> jeff lee clark and john eastman, two people who were in touch and president biden and intimately involved in some of the illegal operations in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election, deciding that now the best legal pathway for them is to plead the fifth. jeff lee clark did so earlier this week. john eastman is the lartest as
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reported by friends at politico. it is an eyebrow raising move here. as chairman thompson laid out earlier this week in the contempt report that we had on capitol hill, it could be a way for these witnesses, these people that the committee are interested in asking questions about their involvements as it rets to the january 6th insurrection as a means of simply delaying the inevitable, which is being held in criminal contempt. or it means they could be looking for a way to provide the committee with new information so long as they get immunity. jamie raskin told us that it is quite possible that jeffrey clark who has one more opportunity to appear before the committee community -- they could grant him immunity use which means in a question-by-question basis jeff ree clark, the former d.o.j.
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official who worked with the former president in his capacity at the department of justice could decide, if he decides to plead the fifth for a specific question then the committee can decide, okay, we are going the provide him immunity in order to answer this question in a more forth coming way. there are some major caveats here, though. there are witnesses in the past who have received immunity in congressional investigations and have never the less been criminally prosecuted. it remains to be seen just how the d.o.j. and the congressional committee are working together. sorry for being so long winded. that's where we are at the moment. >> it is a lot. you are never long winded. i appreciate all of that reporting. i want to ask you, chuck rosenberg, johnniesman had been profiled in the "new york times" and the "washington post" as someone of sort of believes the b.s. he's going to write a back about all the fraud that rudy couldn't
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rof and bill barr couldn't find. if you belief it. why do you think you would incriminate yourself if it is something you allegedly believe in. >> it could be pli for immunity. that said, a person can assert their fifth amendment privilege to refuse to answer any question if a truthful answer would tend to incriminate them. therefore, even if he thinks he has a defense, even if he believed in good faith, which is sort of hard to believe, of all the nonsense that was coming out of that camp in the run-up to the election and just after it, leading to the events of january 6th, he could still assert the fifth, because others may not credit his view, may take a different view of the evidence, may nevertheless charge him. so there is a criminal statute in federal code that makes it a crime for two or more people to conspire to do something to impede or impair or disrupt or
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undermine government functions. that statute makes sense to me. i used it myself as a prosecutor. it makes sense to me that people may have violated that statute. even if john eastman doesn't think he did it, there may be others who have evidence that he did. i think he has a valid fifth amendment assertion. it doesn't mean he's going to be charged. it doesn't mean he's going to be prosecuted. it doesn't mean he's going to be convicted. but it strikes me that he has a valid fifth amendment privilege selectively, as jackie said, on a question by question basis. these people did some really bad things. whether it rises to the level of criminal culpability, we will see. when you start hearing witnesses invoke their fifth amendment right against self-incrimination, the stakes have gotten higher. >> steve schmidt, do you know who had no doubt about john
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eastman's dual roles as both the architect of what adam kinzinger described as the coup plot as well as the tip of the spear of the plan against mike pence is donald trump. donald trump put john eastman in a room with mike pence. he had written the blueprint for a coup plot to overturn the 2020 election. these are the chief monsters you have got to get, eastman and clark. >> well, i think that john eastman, certainly, nicolle, is a significant player. i mean the reality is that you had a memo outlining a coup to end the peaceful transition of power in the united states, to overturn the will of the american people and install for the first time in the nation's history a dictator.
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that's what the eastman memo was. it was discussed in the oval office. it was discussed and advocated to the president, by the president, for the president, from the president and his top advisers on down. so it's a very, very serious matter. what i think about all of this is the trajectory, the momentum of the fact-finding is such that when you look at the thompson/cheney committee -- when you look at these actions -- i think that as we move past the one-year anniversary of january 6th, the insurrection date, the followon votes, the whitewashing of all of this, the obstruction around it, in the end the american people are going the see what the truth is. their going to understand in fact what happened here. in a democracy, the people have to make a judgment. they have to say, wow, this is -- this is a very serious thing. for ignore it. but if you ignore it, you do so
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at the peril the nation in the sense that if you look at history, unsuccessful coups that aren't addressed within the legal framework in a nation of laws tend to be dress rehearsals. i think that's what we are looking at right now in the sense that all of the actions seem to me not to be so much about what happened in 2020 anymore, but about in preparation for what might happen in 2024. and i think that's why this is so important, both to remember what happened, but also to prepare for what's going to happen next. because this continues to be at its core an unfolding story. >> i want to show you what their chief client thinks about taking the fifth. >> fifth amendment, fifth amendment, fifth amendment.
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horrible. horrible. you see the mob takes the. if you are innocent, why are you taking the fifth amendment? from the lips of babes. >> come gems. you know, what scares me -- i have a personal focus group i talk to, a bunch of folks, eight or ten people who live on the north shore of long island. i am going get in trouble here. these are not people in the deep south. these are not people in kansas. these are -- and when you talk to them about january 6th -- they know what happened -- i mean we are going to go through this investigation. you can't be a person without any cognitive ability to understand that the players are behind this tried the do this. and their response is, yeah, well, and, you know, yeah, the crazy stuff happened. and that's what frightens me going forward as we go into these investigations that such a huge part of this country, such a huge part of the 74 million who voted for trump just content
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dare. democracy to them is taken for granted at this point. it's what they know. they don't have the -- all they still think about is how does it affect their pocketbook. are we getting too woke, the other things. as we sit here and we understand -- i am not making this about smarter or not smar smarter -- understanding aggression breeds for aggression. history has shown us that. what frightens me is as we go through this exercise, the percentage of this country that just doesn't care. they hear and it they don't care. they go, oh, that's politics. and they don't understand what happened in nazi germany. sure, they do. but it hand happen here. it can't happen here. there is a psychology here -- sometimes it is too overwhelming to process what could really be. yeah but, yeah, but, so. what worries me is as we go forward heading into 2024 is
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that no matter what you show people, the large percentage, even some of the swing voters, doesn't matter to them. >> there is a line i thought about a lot, on election day i care about what people tell me to care about. what should people care about heading into the mid terms. >> i think we are in a historic moment in this nation's trajectory, in this nation's history. what i would like to see is someone start appealing the better and higher purpose, to a national purpose. the idea that everybody who disagrees with you about an issue is your mortal enemy may be one of the greatest lies of all. we have a billion dollar anger industry in this country that's led by fox news. people who receive the disinformation and the misinformation are then
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algorithmically imprisoned by companies like facebook. we have foreign actors playing games at the periphery in the middle of all of this turning us against each other. look, at the end of the day, politics has to be about establishing a common purpose. i am a supporter of president biden's, but i will say, the idea of a rematch between an 82-year-old incumbent president and a 78-year-old donald trump -- i don't think that, you know, is necessarily a good thing for the country by any stretch of the imagination. we have real problems. we have real challenges in america. as we look out from the horizon of the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century as america loses its way. its competitiveness against a rising china, a rising russia. we live in a dangerous world. so, like, all of this. right? we need to start talking about serious issues in this country.
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it's like a reality show that unfolds every day. and the american people are going to have to decide, what type of society do we want to live in? what type of leaders will we tolerate? the last election was about trump. the next one is going to be about society, us as a people. there is not a lot of mystery left in these folks. >> steve and donnie, stick around. republican obstruction is at an all-time high on capitol hill. a grim new reality for the legislative year ahead. our panel is next.
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funding the government isn't a great achieve men. it is a bear minimum of what we need to get done. but in these times, bipartisan cooperation is worth recognition. >> president biden on the reality of the bill he signed and of this moment in american politics a. short-term fix to fund the government passed on capitol hill last night where several republican senators were willing to risk time and the looming government shotdown just to fight president biden and his vaccine policies, the moment that omicron is emerging. it ended in a failed vote anyway. quote, after ten months flurry of legislating it heralded a potential excruciating new era of governor to biden and other democratic leaders who must deal not only with an emboldened
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republican leadership but a cad ray of conservatives eager to hijack the processes of government only the to make a point. mitch mcconnell has said he won't release a legislative agenda before the mid terms next year. mcconnell saying he won't release an agenda reminded me of the republican party not releasing a platform. it was just trump. now mitch mcconnell's agenda is just trump. >> it is anything against biden. cause disruption, chaos, as much confusion as you can in the electorate for the purposes of taking power. by the way, if you don't get enough votes after rigging the sometime making it as hard as public for minorities to vote, making it as hard as possible for the middle of the electorate to have a voice because of
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gerrymandering and redistricting -- after all of that you will be prepared to say that, no, we won the election. we know that we lost in the end to further subvert american democracy in order to take power. at the end of the day, the luis for power supersedes everything. that's what this is about. and when you look ahead to the probability of republicans on the trajectory that they are on, to have a majority in the house and maybe in the senate along with that comes subpoena power. so when you consider the obstruction now, you have not seen anything yet, looking ahead to a biden tekd two years of the first term with a republican majority in either the house where you may well have a speaker marjorie taylor green or a majority leader or a chairman aurn warren boneert investigatory committee. we haven't seen anything yet when it comes to the republican party, the pro trump party when
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they come back into power peay tensionally, and they are on track to do it. >> you are the ad genius, how do you make them care about what streev is describing? >> talk to them about the economy and their pocketbook. >> it is shallow. want to win. okay? i wish i could believe that you can pose to the american voters, look, donald trump lost by 60, 70,000 votes that is time. we saw the show. the four-year show. there is thou -- is the answer rear going to scare people with more of that. >> the economy is significantly better than it was and president biden's poll numbers aren't much higher. >> because he hasn't gotten the message out. >> what i am saying the dragnet jack web just the facts ma'am, got out there, becames, unemployment, jabs, iras, stock market, it has never been better. they just haven't found a way found the facts.
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the only way you beat a culture war is strong economic numbers. otherwise you lose. democrats don't know how to play dirty, how to fight dirty. they don't know know how to culturally skirmish but the answer is right now you bang people, you are better off today than you were with the bad guys. this is the party of yes. the other party is a party of no. this is the party of can do, this is the party of jobs. the other party -- they want to hurt you. we want to help you. it is the economy, stupid. that's it. all you have got. you are going the lose the other fights because the bad guys know how to fight better. i wish the argument was a greater moral discussion. i just think we have drifted as a country. i don't mean to be this krincal. it is the way i feel. >> i am sure you are right. we have an update to the breaking news story that topped our hour. lawyers are saying that the parents of the 15-year-old
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charged with killing four of his classmates on tuesday are returning to the area where they face four counts each of involuntary manslaughter. james and jennifer crumbley's lawyers say they fleed for their own safety and they were not fleeing from law us, there is nw data out this afternoon on just how quickly the omicron covid variant is spreading. our medical expert will help us digest this new reporting next. digest this new reporting next superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world
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there's breaking news this afternoon on the covid front. scientists in south africa are reporting that the covid variant omicron appears to spread twice as quickly as the highly contagious delta variant. omicron now makes up two-thirds of all new cases in south africa after the variant was discovered there on november 23rd. the number of cases appears to double roughly every three days. this comes amid news that a rising number of states are seeing confirmed omicron cases. six states have now identified ten omicron cases. health officials saying community spread is inevitable. it's still unclear, though, whether omicron cases are more or less severe than delta cases. let's bring into our coverage msnbc medical contributor dr. bhadelia, director of boston university center for emerging infectious diseases policy and research, someone who has talked us through all the scariest moments of the pandemic. is this that? >> i'm glad you started with that, nicole, because i think
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people are hearing all this news and i do want to say two things. one is that when you compare it to where we were two years ago or a year ago, even if the worst case scenario about omicron comes true, that it's more transmissible, that it may reduce vaccine effectiveness, we're still in a better place than we were. so whatever it is, we have the tools. we just need the commitment to use them. so, the data that you presented today adds to the data that south africa has now had that also says they are seeing potentially higher reinfections in people who have had prior infections. again, it raises another data point about whether or not this is a virus that might have these two characteristics we're concerned about, that it is -- it transfers between patients more easily, and the fact that it might overcome some part of natural immunity or infection-induced immunity, might reduce the effectiveness of vaccine for infection, at least. we don't know anything yet about
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protection against severe disease. >> what does that look like? i put the hallmark of delta and the reason that was so much more deadly than whatever the first wave, variant was, was its infectiousness. what does twice as infectious look like? >> i think i'm taking this with just a grain of salt. a lot of times you get data early in outbreaks which may be skewed because of many other reasons, many people are getting tested than they were before because they're worried about omicron, and i think all data will put it into place. but here's what it says. it makes a big difference for people to find out if they're positive or not. a more transmissible variant means if you're in the same room with someone who has a delta variant or someone with a more transmissible variant, if that's what omicron ends up being, you're likely to get the infection from omicron person than the person who's carrying the delta variant, so if that keeps repeating, it means it's more important for us to find those cases, they can change their behavior, they can get
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treatment quickly, and of course that's why i think the plan that we saw yesterday from president biden, including testing, is going to be so important, not just for omicron but also the winter surge in general with delta. >> dr. bhadelia, donny deutsch, thank you so much for spending time with us today. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a quick break. ne white house" starts after a quick break. dad are you sure you're up to host? yeah! we want to keep it the way it always was, right?
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what we've watched over the last ten months on voting rights has been a shift among those who were not standing with us, who are now standing and leading on the issue. we have seen changes made in the
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language to protect our voters, to protect our election workers, to protect our democracy. and we are continuing to see progress. i am very bullish on the likelihood that the freedom to vote act and the john lewis voting rights advancement act will pass, because we know that in lieu of their passage, what we saw happen across the states this year is going to be redoubled, starting in january. when new state legislatures come back, when they feel the fervor of the insurrection filling their veins again, they're going to continue to pass voter suppression legislation and congress, especially the u.s. senate, has to understand that action is vital. >> hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in new york. that was stacey abrams, bullish in her own words, that we will eventually see passage of federal voting rights legislation. she made those comments fresh off her own announcement that she is once again throwing her hat into the ring for the race for governor of georgia. abrams' optimism is a notable departure from the anger and
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frustration felt by many for the months-long stand still over voting rights legislation in washington. politico reports this. quote, now, the year is winding to a close, and no legislation has made its way to biden's desk, sparking complaints from activists and reform advocates who say the president is not putting enough muscle into the fight. some warn that the lack of action is frustrating the democratic base at a key moment in his presidency, potentially depressing voters who have been told constantly that the right to vote is under attack. under attack, it absolutely is. currently, there are more than 425 bills with provisions that restrict voting access. they have been introduced in 49 states this year. 33 of them have already been signed into law. and as abrams alluded to, that effort will only intensify come 2022 with the midterm elections nearing, but as we always are on this program, we have to be clear and direct about who's behind these efforts. there's only one party actively trying to dismantle our
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democracy by limiting access to vote and nullifying the vote. the fight for voting rights is purely a partisan battle. there is not a single, single example of it being anything other than that. it's a disservice, writes voting rights attorney marc elias, from his latest piece. quote, discussing the threats to democracy without reference to partisanship is like describing jim crow without referring to race. these laws are being enacted by republican politicians over the objections of democrats. the big lie is not spreading like a mindless virus. republicans are intentionally spreading it to undermine confidence in elections and instigate election subversion. while i agree that american democracy requires two functioning parties, it is clear that the republican party is not, and likely won't be one of them. the risk of alienating or damaging these as-yet-unidentified pro-democracy republicans seems far more attenuated than the substantial risk we currently
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face by underestimating the problem and failing to deal with the threat as completely as we must. the health of our democracy now being a partisan issue is where we start this hour with the aforementioned and quoted from marc elias, the founder of democracy docket. it feels like if you made some of these arguments more loudly and plainly, we might not be exactly where we are. as joe manchin sort of aim, publicly, at least, is to still bring along republicans for his federal voting rights legislation. >> yeah, look, i think it's time that we, like, acknowledge the reality, which is that republicans are not part of the solution to this. they are the problem. and every time we obscure that, or dress it up in niceties, we make it harder, not easier, to tackle the problem. i'll use an example from the intro that you just had. you know, if you look at the quote from the brennan center, it says that, you know, x
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numbers of laws have been introduced or x numbers of states have acted. well, what do you mean, x number have been introduced? who introduced them? they were introduced by republicans. democrats are voting against those bills. and so, every time we kind of use the passive voice and sort of gloss over who is doing what, we miss an important part of the story. >> i want to play something that michigan secretary of state jocelyn benson said on this program earlier this week, because it's the why. i mean, there are a lot of whys. a lot of it is donald trump, but they're all now hostages of their disinformed and frothy base. let me show you what she said. >> the energy is on the side of those who believe falsely that the election was, quote, unquote, stolen. we're seeing a lot more intensity, a lot more frustration or anger and engagement, frankly, among those
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who are believing these lies and their leaders who are also continuing to stoke the fires around this deception. the time is now to step up and ensure, as voters, as citizens, as active members of our communities, that we're telling the truth, that we are ensuring people running our elections are committed to truth and to the law and to the constitution and democracy and if we don't do that work over the next year, then we will be in a perilous position come 2024 to again protect our democracy against the attacks that i believe will return and will be stronger, perhaps, and more powerful than they were in 2020. >> so, marc, she's in a state where a democratic governor can veto any -- all of their sort of attempts at election subversion and voter nullification, but she's talking about all the energy in michigan, and again, even in covering this, we look very closely at texas and
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georgia where the democrats were railroaded. they were only limited by the maniacal imagination of the republicans in those states. in michigan, she's dealing with a different problem, not that they'll be signed into law but that all the passion, all the energy, all the frothness in the political arena is on the side of the lie. what do you do about that? >> so, look, it's an enormous problem, but again, let me start with my first principles. secretary of state benson did a lot of really good things in that statement, but she didn't mention one. republicans. it's not -- the frothiness is not on the other side. the frothiness is by the republicans. it is the republican party. it is kevin mccarthy. it is mitch mcconnell. it is the republican leadership of the state house and the state senate in michigan and in georgia and in north carolina and in texas. they are the ones who are stoking this, and they are the ones who are rewarding the crazy
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members of their conferences and caucuses. who are spreading these lies. so, before we get to the, how do we solve it? part of it is by naming it and by being comfortable with naming it. and so, that, i think, is a first step. beyond that, we have to be a lot more aggressive in realizing that democracy is not a given state of affairs. it is not a natural state of affairs, and we could as easily lose our democracy as we could keep it, and so it is time for democrats to act like that. and to act like it is as urgent as the other side is acting like it's urgent. >> so, donny deutsch was on the program in the last hour, and made this point about talking to folks in his circle. he acknowledged they didn't really care about big issues like democracy. steve schmidt countered that if we don't care, then we'll lose it. how do you make them care, and how do you sort of impart on the leader of your party, president
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biden, who seems to believe what you believe. he gave a very powerful speech making many of these same points in philadelphia, but hasn't found a place for it in his daily work or outreach or activism. i asked secretary of state benson if she'd ever heard from the white house on what's happening to democracy in her state. she said, no, not once, ever. and i wonder how you push this to the top of the sort of very crowded stove top of front burner issues for this president and this white house. >> look, i think you put your finger on it in this respect, which is that for republicans, this is the top issue. in fact, in some respects, it is the only issue for the republican party is subverting democracy. you know, you could argue that there really isn't even a close second because the one issue that united states everyone from, you know, marjorie taylor greene to adam kinzinger is opposing voting rights. so, it is the unifying theory of the republican party.
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and on the democratic side, for most people who are democrats, voting rights is very important, but there are 19 other issues that are equally or more important. it may be climate. it may be immigration. it may be economic stimulus. it may be child care tax credits. it may be minimum wage. it may be student loans. we could go on and on with the list. but democracy is just one of that set of issues, and what needs to change on the -- among democrats is that democrats need to understand that none of those seven things i just listed are going to matter at all if we lose our democracy. and none of those seven things are even going to happen if we lose our democracy. so, democracy needs to be first, and it also needs to be integrated into every issue because every issue that democrats and progressives care about is a democracy issue. i believe the white house knows that, and i think they're working on that, and i know that senator schumer and speaker
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pelosi know that and are working on it, but it's important that every democrat knows it and is working on it. >> you may be right, i mean, i don't know that they know that and recognize that, but i need to understand better what goes on, on the democratic side. what you said is -- it's absolutely right. mitch mcconnell made what you said true today. there will be no 2022 agenda. and in the republican party, its leader, donald trump, has one litmus test now. you are for or against the big lie. that's it. that is what the whole republican party is about. and you're right, from mitt romney to liz cheney to adam kinzinger to marjorie taylor greene, kevin mccarthy, and the boebert person, that is the only thing that they all agree on, that they will do nothing to stop the rolling back of access to the right to vote and, to me, the more insidious aspect and the annihilation of the brad raffenspergers of the world. there's a lawsuit, i'm sure you know about it in georgia of election workers who were
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bullied and harangued by donald trump. they had to move. the fbi told them to relocate. republicans, the very few good ones and all the bad ones have nothing to say about any of it. so how do you stop democrats from -- i understand they're there to govern, and maybe it's hard wiring, but they're governing, they've done more to fight covid and strengthen the economy and voters don't seem to care. the president's approval numbers are not too far away from what donald trump's were. >> yeah, so, i just want to start by echoing one thing you said and expanding on it, which is, you know, you mentioned the bad ones and the good ones. dr. king said that the greatest tragedy of this civil rights movement in the 1960s was not the actions of the bad ones. but it was the appalling silence of the good ones. and so, part of the messaging that i think we need to be clear about, and it is why, you know, people who follow me on twitter may say, god, you're awfully
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tough on the liz cheneys and the adam kinzingers and why is that? it is because the appalling silence of the good ones. it is mitt romney's appalling silence on this voting issue that actually is worse than what the, you know, boeberts and the, you know, what the crazy dentist from texas, you know, like, in some ways, he's just a crazy dentist in texas. >> it's the ones that know better. >> i agree. democrats need -- but you know, democrats need to understand that this is an issue that is not getting better. it's getting worse. let me give you two ways to think about this. the first is, on december 17, 2020, 126 members of the republican conference voted to disenfranchise four states by filing an amicus brief in the u.s. supreme court to support texas's effort to do that. then comes january 6th, the evening of january 6th, 139
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republicans vote to not certify the election results. far from being repelled by the events of january 6th, it actually gained the big lie supporters 13 votes in the congress. the second thing i would ask you to do is just imagine -- and you follow politics with your guests every day -- think back two years ago. so, imagine this was december of 2019. we're in the middle of trumpism. people think it can't get any worse. now think about the median house or senate republican candidate who you were talking about, incumbent or challenger. now think about that today. have they gotten less crazy or have they gotten more crazy? it's getting worse. it's not getting better. >> right. >> the big lie is not receding. it's actually becoming more infectious within the republican party. >> well, so, taking that point, you know, the argument from some democrats and defenders of norms and institutions is that, we can't get rid of the filibuster
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because what will they do to us? i mean, if ted cruz becomes the, you know, senate majority leader, they're going to do what they're going to do. they're going to do what marjorie taylor greene and boebert tells them to do. so the idea that democrats are holding one of the tools in their -- one of the tools available to them just boggles my mind. it is nothing that republicans would contemplate for a minute, let alone a year. >> look, i agree with you on that. you know, after the oral argument in the supreme court on abortion, you know, you like to say you can never tell from questioning how a court's going to rule, and oftentimes, that is the case. that is not the case here. it is clear where this court is going. and you know, after that i tweeted that, does anyone have any doubt that given the opportunity, the senate republicans would abolish the filibuster to restrict voting
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rights and to ban abortion nationwide? i mean, does anyone seriously think that kevin mccarthy and mitch mcconnell are going to be the brakes on their conferences from doing, you know, whatever it is they need to do, using whatever changes in rules or procedures or whatever or norm. >> busting? does anyone think that's going to happen? no, that's the power of the big lie and trump's influence over that party. part of -- one of the things that a journalist told me right after the 2016 election is that the media's greatest strength in dealing with politicians is shame. politicians don't want to be shamed and appear shameful. and actually, john kennedy, if you go back and read "profiles in courage," talks about the importance of shame and honor in forcing politicians to do courageous things. the republican party has become shameless. i mean, mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy, in particular,
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kevin mccarthy is literally a man without shame. he is just being dragged around by the nose, willy-nilly, by the worst elements of his conference. he has no shame left. >> yeah. >> so, yes, of course, if they take power, they will do whatever they need to. >> no, marc, it's such an important point for another day because we covered with david yesterday the ethics violations and without shame, there's not a single ethics law in washington with any teeth. all of our ethics laws that govern what politicians can do is all based on raising our arm and saying, you wouldn't embarrass the country. that's what you do as a white house staffer. so, without -- >> correct. >> and i think it died the night of the "access hollywood" tape, when they all said, yeah, let's go with trump. but that part of the conversation is to be continued. marc, thank you for spending some time with us talking about your new piece and we'll stay on it with your help. we're really grateful to you. >> good, and i hope to come back and talk about those other things as well. >> absolutely. ahead in the hour for us,
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we're going to have the opportunity to talk with oakland county prosecutor karen mcdonald who today announced involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of the suspected school shooter who killed four students at a michigan high school this week. the attorneys for the parents say they are now on their way back to face their charges. let's check back with our colleague, nbc news correspondent, shaq brewster in pontiac, michigan. what is the latest? >> reporter: well, nicole, you mentioned that the attorneys for those parents said that they are not fleeing law enforcement. in a statement that we got just about an hour ago at this point, they say that they left town, they left the state after the shooting for their own safety, and they say they're returning to the area now to be arraigned and they discounted any idea that they are fleeing from law enforcement. however, my producer, molly roker, just got off the phone with the under sheriff here in the county, and he's saying that they have not made contact with the attorneys for these parents. he said the manhunt is under way as we speak right now. that involves the fbi.
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that involves the u.s. marshals. they are still looking for these parents. he said normally for a crime like this, these are people who are being charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter for a crime this serious, they usually wouldn't let folks turn themselves in. they would go and apprehend them, and that is the standard process, and he said that search for them started at about 12:00 p.m. this afternoon when they got word of the charges, as they were watching the press conference with the county prosecutor, and that search continues right now. just a couple of minutes ago, that phone call wrapped up. so this is a manhunt that is still very much active. it is still under way, and they are considering the parents of this 15-year-old suspect, they are considering the parents fugitives at this point, nicole. >> so, what are we to make of the statement? is the lawyer acting in good faith? are we reporting it because it's the only word we have from that side? i mean, is it bogus? what does law enforcement think of the lawyer's statement? >> reporter: you know, it's a lot of -- it's a mess right now,
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nicole. i think that's the only way i can put it, and i say that because the lawyer is saying that she is only hearing things through media reports. the sheriff is saying that he is only hearing things through media reports. we're reporting what we're getting from both sides, but there's not much communication between those two. i'll also tell you that the sheriff's office is saying that if these parents, if these fugitives now, as they're being called, if they turn themselves in or go to the sheriff's office tonight, they will spend the night in jail. they were supposed to have that arraignment at 4:00 p.m. that arraignment was scheduled, and if that's being scheduled, that gives you some sort of idea that there was an expectation that they thought they would have these two individuals in custody, that there would be some arrangement or something to that effect. the sheriffs confirm there has been communication in the past. the sheriff confirms that they did get reached out to by the attorney, but the attorney has said that the couple has not been returning phone calls and has not been returning text
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messages, and the sheriff is saying that is still the last that they have heard. so, there are a lot of moving pieces right now, but i think the bottom line is there's still a manhunt under way. they have put out and blasted out the vehicle that they believe these two parents to be in, and they are still saying that they're looking for these individuals who are now charged with those four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting that we talked about and have been talking about all week that happened on tuesday, nicole. >> shaq, does the lawyer know where the parents are? >> reporter: it's not clear. it's not clear at this time. the lawyer's saying that they are returning, but in our statement -- what happened was, and just kind of the pull back the curtain a little bit, we reached out to the lawyers. we reached out to the attorneys. we texted them, asking them for an update, a response to what they're hearing from the sheriffs and they responded with that formal statement. we then followed up, tried to have some follow-up questions and also called them and they did not return those calls, so
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all we have to work off of right now is that statement that was provided by the attorney, so it is not clear. we just know that they are saying, at least, that the couple is returning to the state, is returning to be arranged, and they're saying and pushing back on media reports saying that despite those media reports, they are not fleeing law enforcement, and they emphasized that they were in contact with the sheriff's office, and they said that they were working on turning themselves in or turning their clients in, but this is a quote from the statement, and it just gives you an idea of that blame game that's happening right now. they say, instead of communicating with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce the charges, so the attorney is saying, they didn't get a heads-up that these charges were being filed. you have the county sheriff saying that he didn't get a heads-up that these charges were being filed so i think when you have the conversation with the prosecutor, i think that's something that we might get a little more clarity on in just a little bit. >> fact remains the alleged suspects did not show up for their arraignment today, so they
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are still fugitives. there is still a manhunt. that is an undeniable fact, regardless of some of these logistical hiccups that obviously went on. shaq brewster, one of the very best of the best, thank you for pulling the curtain back on your reporting. we're grateful to talk to you. still ahead for us, the prosecutor in the michigan school shooting case on her decision to take the extraordinary step of charging the shooting suspect's parents with involuntary manslaughter. our conversation with oakland county prosecutor karen mcdonald is coming up. plus, supreme court justice sonia sotomayor warned this week that the u.s. supreme court may not survive the stench of overturning roe vs. wade in its devolution into a political body. could it also push democratic senators to seek out court reform? and the women's tennis association taking a hard line against china after the mysterious disappearance of tennis star peng shuai.
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wednesday's oral arguments before the united states supreme court in the case of mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, for many, were a chilling moment in american history. not just for american women who are now likely to lose the right to self-determination over their own bodies, every woman, but also for how nakedly and brazenly political the six conservative justices conducted themselves during most of the questioning. justice sonia sotomayor called them out during wednesday's
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arguments. >> the newest ban that mississippi has put in place, the six-week ban, the senate sponsor said, we're doing it because we have new justices on the supreme court. will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts? i don't see how it is possible. if people actually believe that it's all political, how will we survive? >> the brazen pressing of a political agenda, the perception of it, at least, by the conservative justices on the court completely detached from constitutional text, american social, legal, and political history and basic science has reignited conversations around reforming the supreme court and the senate. "washington post" reports this. senator brian of hawaii said
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many democratic senators have been reluctant to entertain proposals about changing the supreme court in the past because, quote, we do respect the separation of powers under the constitution, but wednesday's oral argument changed those sentiments, he said. it is hard to watch that and i did watch a fair amount of it and not conclude that the court has become a partisan institution, schatz said. so the question becomes, well, what do we do about it? i'm not sure, but i don't think the answer is nothing. joining our conversation, msnbc legal analyst melissa murray, former clerk to justice sonia sotomayor, now an nyu law professor, and errin haines is here, editor at large for the 19th as well as an msnbc contributor. melissa, i want to ask you something. john heilemann reminded me of this, but roe was decided with the support, 7-2 decision, of conservatives, a lot of them. the idea that republican-appointed justices will do the republican thing is new, and this comment from justice sotomayor about the
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stench is because of this new thing that republican appointees, at least these republican appointees, were a foregone conclusion when it came to the mississippi abortion ban. talk about her comments. talk about the stench, and talk about where we find ourselves. >> well, i think one of the things that's really important to understand here is that the political process for identifying and naming justices has become incredibly politicized and part of that is the work of congress itself. the limiting of the filibuster, the requirement of a simple majority to confirm justices means that we no longer have to work for votes across the aisle and so you can have the kind of ideological purity you want and there doesn't have to be any moderation, and we've seen that with the last three appointments to this court. and i think even if hands change and there's a democratic-appointed president, you'll see that same ideological purity on the other side so the fact that you don't need the other side to confirm a justice
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means that you are going to get more and more of these individuals who are more ideologically extreme. justice sotomayor's comments on wednesday about the stench, the fact that this is going to be viewed by the public as nakedly political, i think that was directed at the chief justice. she was trying to get him onside to stay on these two precedents, roe and casey, and i think he found immediately that she would find no quarter there. the chief justice did not seem interest in upholding those two cases. instead, he seemed more intent on brokering some kind of compromise that would eliminate the viability line and then stop short of overruling these cases entirely, but she was not intent on holding them up and maintaining those precedents and at that point, i think justice sotomayor pivoted and began talking to the people, not her colleagues. she was making statements, and i think she was making them beyond the four walls of that courtroom. >> well, and the public is with her. i mean, the supreme court's approval rating, its standing based on gallup has plunged 22
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points since 2001. and that was obviously in the wake of bush v. gore, a moment viewed as very political for the court. what do you think happens after they do as everyone expects them to do, overturn in some way or another, roe v. wade, errin? >> well, let me first just say that, you know, it's very apt that i'm here sharing a screen with melissa, because we spoke just a couple of months ago for the anniversary of the death of justice ruth bader ginsburg who foretold a lot of what we are now seeing come to pass, and it was melissa who pointed out to me just how much justice sotomayor has kind of stepped in the void as this voice on issues of race, on issues of gender, particularly, not that she hadn't been vocal on other issues in her position, but recognizing now with the absence of a justice ginsburg means to this court and why it matters.
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how many times, nicole, in the past several years, have we been quoting people who talk about elections having consequences? if, you know, roe ends up going away and this ends up being precedent, we are examining what the consequences of that could be at the 19th. my inbox is already filling up with activists saying things like, you know, we're going to have to figure out how to pivot as we know that states that already have laws on the books that are going to go into effect as soon as roe is struck down, if that is what ends up happening. what they're going to do, trying to raise funds to help people to have access to abortion so that -- to overcome some of the obstacles that justice sotomayor pointed out during oral arguments that poor women face, that women of color face, and trying to get access to abortion in a timely fashion. one of the justices during oral arguments was saying, you know, why isn't 15 weeks enough time
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for somebody, not really taking into consideration that some people may be at a disadvantage when it comes to access to healthcare, which includes abortion. but you know, democrats, i think, were kind of lulled into a false sense of security for a generation. it was only when mitch mcconnell blocked obama's nomination of merrick garland that they began to realize what the stakes were and just to melissa's point, this court, whether you believe it is political or not, it is absolutely been politicized. >> melissa, do you believe that the democratic party will take seriously court reform? >> well, i think it has to at this point. i mean, certainly, the public is going to be thinking about all of the particular options, and to be clear, court reform is not the only option on the table. there are statutory alternatives, but a lot of these things still will end up at the supreme court and that begs the question of court reform. the biden commission was charged
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with simply reporting back findings, not necessarily to make recommendations, and many have argued that the fact that the commission is so large and sprawling, it numbers about 38 commissioners, that it really can't be the kind of institution that's going to intervene to offer recommendations for meaningful changes. so, the commission will issue its report sometime in december. where that goes is anybody's question, but we are going to get more and more appetite and indeed more agitation for thinking about structural interventions to the poor, and not just the supreme court, the lower federal courts as well. >> we'll be watching. melissa murray, errin haines, thank you so much for spending time with us. when we come back, we continue to follow the search for the parents of the suspected school shooter in michigan. prosecutor karen mcdonald announced involuntary manslaughter charges against both parents earlier this afternoon. she will be our guest after a very short break. she will boue very short break into your multi-vitamin. at new chapter. its innovation organic ingredients and fermentation.
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i will say this. every single hour on the hour, and i think that i have, i am not here to say that people shouldn't own guns. i know a lot of people who own guns. but they do so responsibly. and it's your responsibility. it's your duty to make sure that you don't give access to this deadly weapon to somebody that you have reason to believe is going to harm someone. >> that was oakland county prosecutor karen mcdonald who announced today that the parents
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of the teenager accused of killing four students earlier this week at oxford high school in michigan have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. jennifer and james crumbley are currently being sought by sheriff's deputies. attorneys for the parents say they are returning to the area to face charges but the sheriff's office tells nbc news it is unclear where they are. according to the sheriff, james crumbley purchased the weapon for his son days before the shooting. if they are convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison. gun control advocates have argued for the prosecution of parents in cases like this one but due to varying state laws, maybe even a lack of will, they're almost unheard of. mcdonald is hoping these charges will send a message. >> i want to be really clear. these charges are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable and also send a message that gun owners have a
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responsibility. when they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences. >> joining us now is oakland county prosecutor karen mcdonald. prosecutor mcdonald, your press conference is the news, not just of the day or the week but of the moment and history, but i just have to ask you a couple questions about what we've been covering all day, this manhunt for the parents. do you, right now, know where they are? >> as of this moment, we do not. the attorney for the defendants has -- is in contact with the sheriff's office and they have been told that they intend to turn themselves in. however, we announced charges at noon today. it is now almost six hours later and they have yet to show up. >> the sheriff was on this network with my colleague, hallie jackson, and in a news conference indicated that he learned from the media of your intention to charge jennifer and
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james crumbley. was there -- is there any thinking now that they should have been in coordination with you or is there any explanation for why that might have been the case? >> our office has been in constant communication with the detectives on this case and the sheriff's department since the day of the incident. i have announced on several occasions since tuesday about my intention that we were considering charges. our office -- but we have been in touch with them, and actually, the -- they have surveilled them. i'm not sure what exactly happened, but you know, i fully expect them to turn themselves in. if not, i think they will be apprehended. but i do want to really focus on what's important here. what's important here is that we
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have a community that's grieving, victims who have lost friends, daughters, sisters, and i really want the focus to be on the victims and not the two people who we have charged with manslaughter and who we will inevitably, i am sure, the sheriff's office will apprehend them. >> let's talk about the victims and the evidence that led you to your decision and your announcement today. tell me some of what i -- i saw your press conference. i was walking down the street and stopped, and i watched the whole thing, and you draw this conclusion based on the evidence that what the parents did is criminal. just take us through that. >> well, we have parents who bought a weapon for their son. they gave him access, any access that he wanted. they posted on social media that it was his gun. he posted on social media that
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it was his gun. they had been contacted by the school that he was searching on his phone for ammunition. they didn't even respond to the school. the following day, they were called to the school with a meeting because the shooter had drawn very, very disturbing and upsetting messages that unequivocally looked like a threat of violence and never disclosed to the school that he actually had access to this weapon. and instead, promised that they would get counseling for him, and let him return to the classroom. we believe that that weapon was in his backpack while he was in that meeting. they leave, and really, the most troubling here is when there was news of the active shooter, dad went to his home to look to see if that gun was at the home, because he was concerned.
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and then he called 911 and said, the gun is missing, and i think my son might be the shooter. and referred to the meeting of the -- in the morning. mom texted her son minutes after the shooting began, and that wasn't even open to the public, so she had no idea when the shooting was concluded. don't do it. and you just can't look at all these facts without realizing that these two individuals possessed a gun, gave open access to their son, and they had reason to believe that he was dangerous. if not before that, certainly there's evidence to suggest that day, and i believe they should be held accountable, and i believe they're criminally culpable. >> you're right about the fact that you were contemplating charging the parents being a badly kept secret. two days ago on this program, gun rights activist shannon watts talked about how that would be such an important step with legislation so gridlocked
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in congress. yesterday, fred guttenberg, another activist, talked about feeling that our kids and our students have been failed. just talk about -- obviously, you looked at this very specific evidence and that led to your charging decision today, but you made clear that being a mother, being a mother in this moment weighs on you as well. can you put all those pieces together for us? >> when we drop our children off at school, that is the one place we shouldn't have to worry, and we typically don't. they're in school. they're safe. and i don't -- i am not here to say that people shouldn't own guns but with the right to own a gun comes responsibility, and that is to make sure that it is securely kept, and it doesn't fall into the hands of somebody who they had absolute reason to believe was dangerous. and so that person would not have a deadly weapon. and i'm enraged and as a mother, as a prosecutor, i've spoken to
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the victims' families, and i've also spoken to kids who were there at the time who are also victims. they were terrorized. they ran and hid under desks. they sent their parents text messages saying, i love you, because they didn't think they would see them again. the thought of them going back to school, they can't even contemplate. that is -- those are victims, and there is just, in my mind, and i believe, you know, i've heard from people all over the country, and i don't even think this is a close call. how can we not hold those two people accountable as well as the shooter? we just must. otherwise, what we're saying is that it's okay to bring a gun into your house and to give it to an individual that you know has a violent tendency and has given you real warning that he might use it to hurt somebody. i just -- we just can't let that stand. >> what can you tell us about how the other students are
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doing? i saw there's a terrorism charge against the shooter as well. >> there is, and that was charged because, you know, we charged the shooter with first-degree murder, four counts, and seven counts of assault with intent to murder on the children that were just injured, but in that, those charges, it doesn't reflect the whole other part of this whole group of people who are also victims, and those are the people who were in the hallway, those students, running for their lives, and terrified. there's -- they will never be the same. and they watched their classmates and friends being murdered. that community is just in pain and grieving, and they are trying to find a way to make sense of this, and you know what? they can't. because it makes absolutely no sense. it was preventable. and we need to send a message, and we need to further this
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policy of deterrence. it's great -- i suppose that we're teaching 5-year-olds how to hide under a desk for an active shooter situation, and we must, and i'm not saying that we shouldn't, and of course we need good protocols for law enforcement and everything working here, but four kids were still murdered, and i think the common sense approach here is to hold people accountable for where those weapons came from, and they were simply put, they were not responsibly owned, and the communications to their son during and after that shooting are really just terrifying. terrifying to read. i can't make sense of that as a mother, as a prosecutor, as an attorney, as -- i can't make sense of it, and i absolutely share the horror and the anger of that community. >> i want to understand the
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school role. it sounds like the school did the right thing, and if i mischaracterize that, please correct me, but they saw the search on his phone for ammunition, and they contacted the parents, and that's another piece of the evidence of the parents' indifference or can you take me through that part of it? the parents' indifference. can you take me through that part of it? >> i haven't reviewed all the evidence and reports regarding what the school officials did and what they didn't. so i can't really comment in a way that would be appropriate. but i do know that there was a concern for the teachers in the classroom when they saw both of those things and brought it to administrative level and parents were involved. but i do want to stress that in all of these players, the only two people who knew both that those two things occurred, the drawings, the very terrifying drawings that were clearly a threat of violence, and the ammunition search, the only two
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people who now that and the accessibility of a weapon were mr. and mrs. crumbley, mom and dad. >> you've seen the drawings? >> i have. >> and they target individuals? they make it explicit what the intent was? >> i mean, i stated out exactly what it said. it said "blood everywhere." there is a picture of a gun. there is a picture of a person sketched holding a gun in the air. there is a statement, "the world will be dead." there's drawings of bullets. you cannot read or look at that drawing without being concerned. and it wasn't just the drawing. it was a worksheet that was passed out at the beginning of the class and instead of completing the worksheet, those statements and drawings were on the review worksheet. >> i want to ask you about what
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happens now. you've taken a stand that a lot of prosecutors have not taken. you've marshalled the evidence that make it certainly, as you said, not only logical but well-founded. we are living through a year when school violence is at record levels. i believe 2021 has been the deadliest year since 1999. and we're also living in a heightened threat right there, right in michigan, there are threats today, there are schools closed. what are the stakes for you in getting this right, and what happens either way? >> we have several schools that are closed. we have children that are frightened. not just in michigan. i am hearing from parents all over the country. children are afraid to go to school. i hate that. i absolutely hate that. i cannot believe this is the state, in 2021, in the united states of america, that we have kids afraid to go to school.
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so i'm going to do everything i can in my power to stop and deter that kind of violence. and the way to do that is to hold people accountable that are going to possess weapons in an irresponsible way and of course to prosecute vigorously the person who murdered and injured several students. >> you talked at your press conference today about having empathy for parents whose kids are struggling. and then you laid out this sort of toxic storm, perfect storm. the acquiring of the weapon. "the new york times" reports it was a christmas present. the knowledge, and we've gone through that, the explicit drawing handed back in an assignment and the engagement with the school that the parents were involved in. what is the message to parents who are scared or kids who are scared? what is the recipe for unwrapping that toxic and deadly and dangerous ticking time bomb? >> out of these tragedies
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hopefully comes awareness. and these are going to take -- it's going to take forthright conversations with students, forthright conversations with school officials. and the understanding that you're responsible for your actions, and you're responsible for what you post on social media. you're responsible for bringing weapons into your home. you're responsible for making sure they're secure and they don't fall into the hands of somebody who is going to hurt somebody else. and the best way to do that is to really educate students, because they are in the best position to see those things and to go to an adult, a responsible adult, and say, i'm concerned. likewise, understand that we have to have conversations with kids that posting things about violence is neither funny nor simple, that it will be taken seriously. >> are you scared?
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>> i'm afraid for our country if we don't start doing the right thing. i don't want to take anybody's gun away. i just want them to be responsible with it. and i don't want them to give it to somebody who they know will likely hurt somebody else. this is not a big ask. this is, lock your weapon and keep it in a secure way and don't give it to your minor child or your son that has exhibited over and over his intent to want to harm other living things. and this circumstance, it wasn't even a close call. this wasn't negligence. there was a text from mom to her son after the ammunition incident that said, lol, next time don't get caught. how -- i can't even wrap my head
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around that. there's culpability there. but look, the way i deal with that and the way i wake up in the morning and feel -- i'm trying to do something about it. i'm just trying to do something about it. when i talk to these parents and students, the grief, the grief is just horrifying. how can we not do everything we possibly can? >> my son has been doing active shooter drills since he was 4 years old. raising a child in america, no matter where you live, is about telling your baby before kindergarten about why they have to do an active shooter drill and why they have to be quiet. karen mcdonald, thank you so much for spending time with us on what i'm sure is a really busy day. thank you. >> thank you.
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a short break for us. we'll be right back. bye mom. my helpers abound, i'll need you today.
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thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. hug your loved ones. "the beat" with ari melber starts now. >> hi, nicolle, thank you. welcome to "the beat." i'm ari melber. first, trump's chief of staff has a huge problem with claims for privilege in the riot


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