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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  December 13, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PST

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stewart, the gamer, his decision to finally confess and give it up changes nothing in his sentence. he, and his new xbox, will be in prison for the remainder of his life. this this sunday, tornado catastrophe. >> this will be, i believe, the deadliest tornado system to ever run through kentucky. >> 100 or more feared dead, mostly in kentucky. >> if you had to describe what's happened to your town for people that don't live here, what would you say? >> it's gone. >> rare december tornadoes crash through six states. >> they're working on trying to save some people trapped in the rubble. >> an amazon warehouse destroyed in illinois. >> i had no idea the building looked that bad, and i'm just -- i'm worried sick. i just want to know if he's okay. >> we'll get the latest from kentucky governor andy beshear.
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covid and mandates. >> a lot of the patients on this floor won't make it out of this floor. >> with cases and deaths spiking again, are democrats and the biden administration doing enough to push for vaccine mandates? >> know this. everybody in north america is either going to get vaccinated or get covid. >> joining me is governor roger marshall of kansas who opposes mandates. president biden says he's warned vladimir putin against any invasion of ukraine. >> there will be severe consequences, economic consequences like he's never seen or ever have been seen. >> how much is the u.s. willing to stop another russian invasion? i'll ask secretary of state anthony blinker. joining me for insight and analysis, executive editor of "the recount" john heilemann, kimberly atkins stohr, senior writer for "the boston globe," republican strategist brendan buck and marianna sotomayor of "the washington post."
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welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. we're going to, of course, get to the spike on covid cases, the battle over mandates, my interview with the secretary of state about russia and ukraine in a moment. we'll begin with the series of tornadoes, more typical in the spring, very rare in december, erupted overnight on friday, causing horrific damage and loss of life. all told, these tornadoes touched down in six states in the nation's midsection. one tornado alone was said to be on the ground for an estimated record 200-plus miles, cutting a shocking path of destruction through several states. most of that journey was in hardest-hit kentucky. the worst of the damage occurred in the kentucky town of mayfield
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where a twister hit and destroyed a candle factory used as shelter by scores of people. dozens are feared dead there alone. >> we did a -- the lights went out, and then we did a rock, rock, rock, boom, and everything fell down on us. >> i'm looking at the trees and everything is completely sawed off. there's very little in the way of bark remaining on some of them. buildings are completely flattened. cars have been picked up and thrown. you know right away you're dealing with a violent tornado. >> at least six people were also killed in edwardsville, illinois, just outside st. louis, missouri, when an amazon warehouse took a direct hit. the overall death toll is unclear at this point, but kentucky governor andy beshear says at least a dozen or more have been killed. my colleague kate snow is reporting on the ground from the hardest hit area of mayfield. the pictures are devastating.
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i imagine being there in person is even more impressionable. >> reporter: chuck, it's almost indescribable. i can't even put in words how devastated this city is. i have to tell you, i've covered probably more than a dozen tornadoes in my career. chuck, i have never seen a town, a city, flattened like this, just block after block. you talked about the candle factory. i want to tell you about that. 110 people were working there over on the late shift on friday night. it's a 24-hour operation. this time of year there are a lot of orders for candles. they were all inside that warehouse. right now there are still dozens of people missing. i just talked to a state trooper who told me they're out there again today trying to recover people and reunite families hopefully, but they are fairly sure the death toll there at the candle factory will rise. at the same time we're starting to hear signs this morning already of cleanup happening.
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i'm hearing the beeps of heavy equipment being brought in to start clearing things. the mayor told me it's only a matter of time, months, maybe years, they will be able to rebuild. this is a resilient community. it's a very tight-knit town, a city of about 10,000 people. they all know each other. they're helping each other on this sunday morning. i also want to point out, this is mayfield, but, chuck, this scene is repeated all across the state of kentucky, in smaller ways perhaps but equally devastated. we're talking about places like bowling green. overnight we learned there are more deaths there. it is a sunday, a lot of church services happening. even those churches here were destroyed, chuck, they're going to get together here. we heard of one church where there's no walls but just an altar. they're having services and asking for prayers this morning, chuck. >> kate snow on the ground in mayfield, i know you'll have a lot more on the nightly news this morning.
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joining me is governor beshear. welcome back to "meet the press." i know it's an extraordinary difficult time for you and your state. let me start with, look, we know this is going to be the worst tornado event ever recorded in the state's history. where do things stand right now? how many missing are there still? >> well, this has been absolutely devastating. we have entire towns flattened. my count, i know weave lost over 80 lives. i think it's going to be over 100. it may be well over 100. it is so hard to describe. there's not a camera lens big enough to show the path of absolute destruction. people have lost everything. we're talking in the rescue effort of going door to door. there aren't doors. it's whether or not people are in the rubble. we have so much help coming, and
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we're so thankful for other communities in kentucky and in other states, rallying with us, and we greatly appreciate everybody's prayers. that's what we need. at the moment, we're hoping for miracles, whether it's in that candle factory or other places. just in my dad's hometown of dawson springs, about 2,700 people, the unaccounted for was about eight pages single-spaced. it's really rough region by region, but especially down in the mayfield/hopkins county/dawson springs area. >> you know, a lot of times when there's a bad tornado hit like this, you can counted on some neighboring states to chip in, but this is such a wide swath, i'm curious, how many more resources do you need? do you need more folks to come in, whether it's folks to turn the power on, clear debris? again, the surrounding -- your neighboring states are also
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dealing with this. do you need the national guard, other states' national guard? >> this is what we believe will be the longest tornado in u.s. history on the ground, consecutively at least 227 miles. 200 of those were in kentucky. i've talked to the governors of neighboring states. we're all working to recover through this. we have a lot of people on the ground right now, especially in mayfield. actually what we need from the surrounding communities is if you're safe and have power, stay home. we need to make sure our roads are open for first responders, for heavy equipment and not having people just coming to see what is human misery and great difficulty and devastation. there are ways to help, though, whether that is giving blood or a new fund that we have set up that's going to be state managed, a fund we can use to directly help the families of western kentucky. it's going to start by grieving together, helping them with
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funeral expenses. that is the team, western kentucky relief fund, wkyrelieffund.ky.gov. >> this isn't spring. this is on the cusp of winter. i can only imagine if the area experiencing an ice storm in the next couple weeks, are you going to be able to clear this debris in time to essentially prepare for what could be tough weather, maybe drains on the power? it feels like the timing couldn't be worse? >> we have at least 46,000 homes without power, almost all in western kentucky. it has gotten pretty cold. we have opened our state parks and we are bringing in families. the other thing we do in kentucky is we look out for one another. we open warming centers. we have 13 open. only six are still open because those of us blessed enough to
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not be hit directly with this tornado take other people in, whether we know them or not. chuck, we're good people that look out for one another, that have just gone through something incredibly difficult, but we are resilient and we will rebuild. >> i believe that, and i know that. let me ask you, just before this happened, you had to declare a state of emergency when it came to health care workers. the western kentucky medical facilities have all been near capacity, thanks to covid. do you have the medical resources to take care of the injured? >> right now we believe we do. though power is one of the challenges, but we're working with that. our hospitals outside of the area have all called. even though we're all stretched a little bit thin right now, we still have capacity in many areas, and they are sending aid and help. and we are transporting patients.
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one of our challenges is we're losing so many people on this. our coroners from all over the state are coming in to help. we're going to make sure everybody who needs medical assistance gets it, and i want to thank all those that are out there doing the work, whether it's doing the rescue or the debris removal. we have national guard on the scene. we have our transportation cabinet with their heavy equipment. we have our division of forestry and a whole lot of volunteers bringing their personal equipment to help us make it through. i will tell you, it doesn't matter how big a piece of equipment was, if it was in that area, this storm picked it up, destroyed it, threw it hundreds of feet. we've never seen anything like it. i've never seen a war zone that looks like this. >> tornado warning systems --
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meteorologists every year are trying to get better, seeing if they can give people more time. could you have a warning system in december? was the timing of it harder, or is this so devastating, no warning system could have helped? >> no, there were lots of warnings. in fact, even at that factory, there was a warning for people to get to the right area, but this storm, it's like nothing any of us have ever seen before, even in a movie or on tv. it is that devastating. i mean homes totally, totally gone and the people inside them totally gone, too. this is something so devastating -- the warnings were there. i don't fault anybody for that. >> no, of courses not. governor beshear, i can hear it in your voice. i know this has been so difficult. i imagine being on the ground, it only makes it even harder to comprehend. thanks for coming on and sharing some of the stories for our viewers.
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>> thank you, and thank you for everybody's prayers. we'll take as many as we can get it. >> you got it. by the way, folks, if you'd like to help, you heard the governor had some organizations, here are other organizations you can contribute to. you can also find them on our website, meetthepress.com. turning now to the covid crisis, we're looking at grim new numbers. as of this morning, the u.s. is approaching 50 million in cases. cases and deaths are speaking again. some republicans are working against vaccine and testing mandates which appears to be for anti vaccine voters. joining me is republican senator roger marshall of kansas, a medical doctor, but opposed to the mandate. senator marshall, thank you for coming on and welcome to "meet the press." >> thanks, chuck.
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glad to be here. >> let me ask you this: if you have no mandate, what is your plan to get more people vaccinated? it appears vaccines are still our only way out of this pandemic. >> boosters, boosters, boosters. that's what's going to save lives right now. but just bear with me. i need to stop and honor my boyhood hero bob dole who passed away this week, one of the greatest american heroes from the greatest generation. we want to stop and salute him. our plan is to be honest with americans. about 30% of americans right now have chosen not to get the vaccine. but what the biggest impact to be right now is to get boosters in to seniors. that's what's going to stop hospitalizations and stop deaths. if you're a senior citizen and haven't gotten your booster, shame on you. please go do that. if you have underlying health conditions, if you're diabetic, if you're overweight, please go get the booster. you're going to get the virus -- be exposed to it.
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if you don't have the booster, we know vaccines run out after five to six months. natural immunity would help. even those with natural immunity might want to consider getting the booster as well. i think being honest with america is the plan. we know mandates don't work. from a practical standpoint, mandates are going to cause an economic shutdown. it's going to exacerbate inflation. it's going to cause brownouts, supply chain disruptions. think about this, half of the national guard is not vaccinated yet. what would be happened right now in kentucky if we shut down the national guard? i support the vaccines by not the mandates. >> you said something interesting, if senior citizens haven't gotten the booster, shame on you. is that your attitude for any unvaccinated person in the hospital right now? 80% of hospitalizations at a minimum, right now in the northern tier where we're close to max are the unvaccinated with covid. shame on them?
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>> look, i think i've been one of the leaders from the start encouraging people to get the vaccine. i was leading the charge back in july of 2020 saying we're going to have a vaccine, let's get it out the door. this summer this year i was encouraging people to get boosters. if the cdc could have pivoted sooner, we would have saved thousands of lives. i think the cdc needs to acknowledge natural immunity. as a physician itches never able to talk anybody into stopping smoking by a mandate or trying to argue with them. it was by being honest and communicating with them. i would encourage all those folks who have not got the vaccine yet to talk to their doctor about it. by the way, let's talk about eating healthy and exercising every day, getting seven hours of sleep, avoiding stress. those are the things we could be doing to help minimize the impact of this virus. >> you brought up smoking. in our company here, if you're a smoker, you have to pay more. if you don't get vaccinated, should you have to pay for your
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own health care? more importantly, is it a bizarre incentive to the unvaccinated to give them unemployment benefits? >> you know, wow, i just don't know what to say except there's not a one-size-fits-all solution. i think that problem will be best solved locally. if a local employer wants to make those type of decisions, i get it. i'm just against any type of federal mandates of any type, especially an unconstitutional federal vaccine mandate. think from a practical standpoint what that will do to the economy and inflation -- >> i understand that. >> look at the big picture. >> i understand that. look at the big picture of this pandemic. everything you rattled off you said would be impacted by a mandate is what we're living through now. the only way to get past the supply chain problems, to get past covid, get people vaccinated. the only way to get more workers to show up is to make it safer,
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to get more people vaccinated. everything you describe here, all of our problems are because we're still in the pandemic and because people haven't gotten vaccinated. how is trying to delay the end of this pandemic better for the economy? >> chuck, let's look at the background information. 92% of americans have some level of immunity to this virus based on the cdc website. so let's start there. really, the messaging coming out of the white house has to acknowledge natural immunity and be honest with america. >> you think it's better to get the virus than get the vaccine? >> mandates don't work. mandates don't work. >> you've talked about natural immunity a lot. would you advise somebody to get the virus rather than get the vaccine? >> of course not. but if you've had the virus, that needs to be acknowledged, and then a decision made with the patient and the doctor deciding if they should get the
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booster or not. maybe check their level of antibodies. take into account what their health care situation -- a type 2 diabetic that's had the virus, i would check their level of antibodies and probably encourage them to get the booster. a 19-year-old navy s.e.a.l. who has a higher chance of getting pericarditis, heart inflammation than going to the hospital with the virus, i would probably have a different answer. out can't have a one-size-fits-all recommendation from the federal government. >> you brought up bob dole at the beginning. we'll have our own tribute to him later in the show, but i'm curious of this, senator, bob dole conceded the election in 1996. the last president has not. what could the former president learn from bob dole? >> well, listen, i think this is an issue of election integrity, and i think that's what's really important to americans across the nation.
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we value the ballot and the ballot booth. we want election integrity. there's a lot of controversy out there, and i'm focused right now on making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. i think that's the focus right now. >> bob dole, one of the last interviews he gave in july to "usa today." he was asked about the former president and he said this. he lost the election and i regret that he did, but they did. he had rudy giuliani running all over the country claiming fraud. he never had one bit of fraud and all the lawsuits. i'm a trumper. i'm sort of trumped out, though. >> you stood with those that didn't want to certify the election. do you regret that now considering all the crazy cockamamy things that mark meadows and others were doing? >> i'm always going to stand up for election integrity. i want to make sure every state obeys their own laws and their own constitution, especially in a time of crisis. that's what's at risk for me
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right now, maintaining the integrity of that election and i want to do everything i can going forward to make sure that those elections have even more safety valves in it, that there's higher levels of integrity. americans value the sanctity of that ballot booth. >> do you believe you were elected fair and square in 2020? >> absolutely, i do. i think kansas has some of the tightest election laws in the land. we went back and looked at that to make sure it was a safe and fair election. so proud of our secretary of state, so proud of our county clerks and the people that volunteer checking the ids to make sure every person got one vote. just really proud of how kansas can do it. other states can look and see how kansas does it. >> you believe joe biden was elected fair and square? >> joe biden was sworn in to office. i called him mr. president since the day he was sworn in. >> you didn't answer the question. >> i still remain concerned about election integrity.
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i think we need to go back and look at what -- did the states obey their own laws and their own constitution? >> "the new york times" says a bunch of senators were briefed on this so-called powerpoint. were you briefed by some of these things before january 6th, some of the arguments about the chinese controlling 28 states and things like that? >> not at all. i never -- i heard that story. i don't know if there's any truth to that at all. >> senator roger marshall, republican from kansas, appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective with us, sir. >> thank you, chuck. when we come back, with tens of thousands of russian troops massed on ukraine's border, is there anything the u.s. can do to stop vladimir putin from invading? i'll ask secretary of state antony blinken next.
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welcome back. it is no exaggeration to say it was a busy week of diplomacy for biden. on tuesday he met by video with vladimir putin and made clear there would be devastating economic consequences if they invaded ukraine. how much leverage does the u.s. really have if putin is determined to invade? joining me is secretary of state antony blinken. welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> thanks, chuck. good to be with you. >> i want to start with what president biden said he told vladimir putin. he said there would be economic consequences like none he's ever seen or ever have been seen. i want to put up this graphic of all the different ways we have tried to confront russian aggression and putin aggression since 2014. election from the g8, multiple sanctions, import restrictions,
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expulsion of diplomats, asset seizures, cybercrime indictments, more military aid to ukraine. none of it, mr. secretary, has curtailed putin's behavior. why do you think these threats will do it? >> well, first of all, chuck, we don't know that it hasn't curtailed his behavior because we might well have gone further. back in 2014 he seized crimea, he invaded eastern ukraine. might have gone even further than that had there not been a resolute response. what the president made clear to president putin and i made clear to foreign minister lavrov, my counterpart, we're prepared to take the kind of steps we've refrained from taking in the pass that would have massive consequences to russia. i'm here in liverpool with the g7 countries. they're equally resolute to stand against russian aggression to prevent it. we've been clear there would be
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massive consequences if russia commits renewed actions of aggression against ukraine. >> putin has escalated his rhetoric. we have reports that he's been sending even more military reenforcements to the border. is he not listening? >> we'll see in the days and weeks ahead. look, the president, chuck, made clear to president putin on two occasions, in geneva, and just this week in the video conference. our preference would be for a more stable, predictable relationship with russia. if russia continues to take reckless actions, we will respond. not only us, partners and allies around the world. that's why i was in nato just a week ago. that's why i'm here at the g7 meeting. i think what people need to understand is that ukraine is important.
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we are resolute in our commitment to its sovereignty and territory integrity. there's something at stake, basic rules that say one country can't change the borders of another by force, one country can't dictate its choices, decisions and foreign policy with whom it will associate. one country can't exert a sphere of influence over others. that's what russia is purporting to assert. if we let that go with impunity, then the entire system that provides for stability, prevents war from breaking out, is in danger. that's why this is so important. that's why the president has been very clear with president putin. >> why hasn't the action of russia amassing troops and terrorizing ukraine right now been a trigger for any punishment? >> it's been a trigger for action. a trigger for us bringing together allies and partners around the world, starting in europe with our closest partners nato, where i was a couple weeks ago, bringing people together to make clear not only the deep shared concern, but the fact
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that we're prepared together in a coordinated way to take very strong action if mr. putin continues his aggression against ukraine. so we now need to see whether he's not only received the message but responds to it. and there is another way forward. that's something else the president suggested to president putin and i've done the same with my russian counterpart and others, and that's diplomacy. russia and ukraine agreed many years ago to something called the minsk agreements, giving ukraine its border back. what we'd like to see now is actually russia implementing commitments under that agreement. we'll test that proposition together with our allies and partners and see how russia responds. >> the fact that he's able to amass troops at the border, get a video conference, and, by the way, vladimir putin wants a face-to-face meeting. i'm curious, is that at all on the table?
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>> look, the video conference was important because, as much as i can do with my counterpart, as much as other colleagues in the government can do with theirs, when it comes to russia, president putin is the one person that really counts. it's very important for president biden to speak directly, clearly to him so he understands from the leader of the united states exactly what he risks if he pursuing aggression with ukraine. >> okay. what would it take for you to agree -- for president biden to agree to an in-person, face-to-face with vladimir putin? does he have to pull his troops back from the border before that happens? >> what we're looking to see from russia -- again, not just us, but allies and partners in europe, we're looking to see deescalation, looking to see russia pull back forces from the border, and we're looking to see russia engage in good faith in
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diplomacy and diplomatic dialogue with the europeans, with ukraine to resolve the conflict in eastern ukraine and to give ukraine its borders back. that's what we're looking to see. >> i don't mean to sound cynical here, but we've heard that rhetoric through seven years through three administrations, and putin's behavior just hasn't changed. >> what we've seen in recent weeks and recent months is concerning signs of an accumulation of forces on the border, plans to commit renewed aggression against ukraine, which is exactly why we brought countries around the world, but starting in europe, together to make it very clear that there'll be very severe consequences for that. president putin has to make his calculations and decide ultimately what's in russia's interest. he eel make those calculations. we've been very clear about what will follow if he renews aggression against ukraine. >> if germany were more open to essentially shutting down the nord stream 2 pipeline, do you think vladimir putin would pay more attention? does he think europe is keeping
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the u.s. from doing more? >> well, that pipeline, chuck, as you know, doesn't have any gas flowing through it right now. in fact, it's a source of leverage on russia, because to the extent president putin wants to see gas flowing through that pipeline if and when it becomes operational, it's very unlikely or hard to see that happening if russia has renewed its aggression on ukraine, if it takes renewed action. so i think president putin has to factor that in, too, as he's thinking about what he's going to do next. >> i want to go back now. our european allies stronger actions against russia than what you and president biden would like to do? >> what i can tell you is this, i'm here at the g7, meeting of the world's large of the economies. we just put out a statement in the name of all of our countries that warnings of massive consequences if russia commits acts of aggression against ukraine. i was at nato, as i said. i found all of our allies very
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resolute both in their deep concern about what russia may be doing and may be planning as well as their determination to take strong, coordinated steps if russia does act aggressively. that's the best way to deter russia. there are other steps that we've been taking as well. we've been continuing to shore up ukraine's defenses so they can better defend itself if russia commits acts of aggression. we're also looking at what nato can do, if necessary, to better defend itself. at the end of the day, chuck, what is far preferable to all of this is diplomacy and dialogue and deescalation. if russia moves in that direction, then we can avoid having another crisis. we can avoid the potential for conflict, and we can move things to a better path. that's strongly -- i think in our interest and in russia's interest. >> secretary antony blinken, appreciate you coming on and sharing the administration's perspective. >> thanks for having me on. good to be with you. >> moments after we finished
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speaking, i followed up about the putin ask. secretary blinken suggested with russian troops on the border, an in-person face-to-face with biden and putin seems pretty unlikely. president biden led an international summit for democracy this past week. what if it's our democracy that's the one that's in trouble? the panel is next. gumline... so, i started listening to audible about two years ago. a friend of mine recommended a book to me, and i got hooked really fast. and then it kind of just became a lifestyle after that. i've found new authors. i've found new interests. i've found all of these wonderful things. audible has all the entertainment you love. text listen37 to 500500 to get thirty days free. i like thrillers, true crime podcasts, news podcasts...
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welcome back. panel is here. marianna sotomayor, congressional reporter for "the washington post," john heilemann, executive editor for "the recount," republican strategist brendan buck and kimberly atkins stohr, senior opinion writer for "the boston globe." it was "the atlantic" this week that sort of put the democracy issue, january 6th front and center. it's clear they're doing a year-ender. then we had the summit for democracy. it's been a head-scratcher, the summit for democracy.
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what other democracy has their last leader not conceding the election? >> right. it's been very difficult even for biden, who ran on making sure democracy can be saved not just in the u.s. but also abroad. it's difficult to make that argument for him because we've had january 6th. we're coming up on the one-year anniversary. it is so hard to believe it's right around the corner. you still on capitol hill have many republicans denying that that was an insurrection. they don't like calling these people insurrectionists. you have democrats who have sworn off working with republicans who voted against certifying the election. it is very tense still on capitol hill. >> i want to read what bart gellman said. the headline is "trump's next coup has already begun." trump and his party have convinced a dauntingly large number of americans that the essential workings of democracy are corrupt, that made-up claims of fraud are true, that only
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cheating can thwart their victory at the polls, that tyranny has usurped their government, and that violence is a legitimate response hyperbolic or fact? >> fact. the strength of the gellman piece is it lays out, first of all, this extraordinary reality that there's something that 8% and maybe as many as 12% that say joe biden was illegitimate and violence is an appropriate tool to removing him and restoring donald trump. that's between 20 and 30 million people. that's a mass movement in america in favor of political violence. we've been political violence before, but this is 30 million people right now who are ready to take up arms. you put that together with what the president, the former president and his allies are doing in the political realm, statehouses, state legislatures and the party apparatus to be able to engineer a situation where they are in a stronger position to pull off a coup in
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2024 than 2020, that's not hyperbolic at all. that's facts. >> i have a scroll here of everybody the former president, brendan, that has endorsed that has a role in certifying elections, not including members of congress here. there's just one litmus test here, just one. this feels as if we're entering a place that is going to get darker and darker if the election is less than 1% on any level. >> i don't actually -- i'm not too concerned about the voting laws in texas. i know some people may disagree with me. joe biden diehards, running for secretary of state in georgia. the only reason he is running for secretary of state in georgia is he wants to take out brad raffensperger who is the georgia secretary of state who pushed back on trump's claims and said the election is not stolen. if we have people all across the country put in a position where they will not confirm or certify
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an election result, that's the nightmare scenario i'm worried about. it's very clear that's what they're trying to do all across the country. you take it a step further, the real nightmare scenario, gop congress and the house that won't certify a democratic election down the road. i think some of those things are -- the things that people talk about the most right now, the voting laws are not the big concerns. >> kimberly, it was in the 1850s, '60s and '70s, you had instances where you had multiple people claiming the governorship. yes, we had alternative slates -- this is not something that we're making up. this has happened before. it feels like they're copying the playbook. >> it has happened before. point to other violence that happened before, a civil war happened before. there is precedent for a lot of this. that's exactly why people should be so concerned.
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what you have, and one thing -- i do disagree that the voting measures passed in these states are not problematic. what you have is even worse, you have an entire party -- it's not only just about donald trump, it's about a party adopting his tactic which s deny the results of the last election or else, you move forward with efforts to try to subvert democracy or else. there's no place -- knowing there no place in the republican party for a charlie baker. these are the people being driven out. this is to the idea of being anti-democracy. you have to put winning before that. >> peter meijer, marianna, is a member of congress. he voted for impeachment. his own sister believes all of trump's lies. here is what he told tim alberta. he has to work alongside the very people, like fellow freshman marjorie taylor greene, who are pushing those lies. “they make folks like my sister think they're on her team” meijer says. “and that's what pisses me off. they aren't the
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ones paying the price when the consequences come due. paul gosar wasn't shot on january 6. ashli babbitt was.” >> are people like the congressman, like-minded people, very few of them, going to start to push leadership to denounce marjorie taylor greene? there is frustration boiling up because leadership hasn't really dealt with them. behind the scenes mccarthy has talked with them, but also talked, for example, with nancy mace when she and marjorie taylor greene were getting at it on twitter. people like the congressman, are you also punishing her instead of greene. >> peter meijer stands out because he's willing to say the truth. he's new. i think what he's going to learn is the reason so many elected gop officials don't push back, it's not because of some master plan, not because donald trump told them not to. it's because of their constituents. their constituents believe this. they don't want to get gelled at
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by their constituents. until that changes, you're not going to see anything change. roger marshall provided an answer that he knows the constituents won't yell at him about who won the last election. >> except for the fact that their constituents are driven by the combination of donald trump who still has this massive influence and the echo chamber of fox news and news max and oa and n. i'll say, chuck, i did an interview with bannon in october of 2020. he said there are going to be knife fights in the counting rooms. they lost those knife fights in 2020. all of this is about being able to control those counting rooms and win those knife fights in 2024. >> steve bannon does not believe in democracy. that is pretty clear to me. >> no. >> as we go to break, we felt we could not let this week go past without acknowledging the passing with bob dole.
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he death was announced just moments after we went off the air. the vice presidential and presidential candidate died at the age of 98. bob dole once had the record for most "meet the press" appearances, second only to late senator john mccain. we thought we'd put together of dole's "meet the press" appearances. we begin with 1972 when dole headed the republican national committee. >> the president starts off, of course, in a very strong position. we occupy the white house. he has a positive record. he has a positive question. >> in every question you're asked about ada, you don't close the door at all. in fact, it's about 10, 20 feet wide. >> i don't know how large the door is, but the door certainly is ajar. >> you want to be president? >> thought about it a lot. >> why? >> i believe i have the experience. i think i've provided leadership. >> on this program, have you
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ever told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? >> probably not. >> what's your answer when somebody says the senate is broken, how do you fix it? >> the senate may not be broken, but it's badly bent. try pepto bismol with a powerful coating action. for fast and soothing relief. pepto bismol for fast relief when you need it most.
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welcome back. "data download" time. a look at how this winter season is shaping up to look and feel more like the prepandemic
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holiday season of 2019 than last year. let's look first at spending on holiday shopping. as you can see here, up just under $1,000 in 2019. just over $1,000 in 2021. obviously we had the pandemic era 2020 dip there. a look at who americans are buying gifts here. interesting. family number one, friends a slight dip. this may not be surprising if you think about it, fewer co-workers, slight dip. why? we work from home. maybe we're not amazing close to our co-workers as we once were. here is another way things look like the prepandemic era, in-person dining, down just 8% compared to the prepandemic levels here. look where we were a year ago, down 62%. this is easily the most normifying statistic we have when it comes to this holiday season. we'll see if this continues or
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if delta beats us up again. when we come back, wages are up, stock market is strong, weekly jobless claims at a 50-year low. why are people so unhappy with this economy? that's next. from align. the #1 doctor recommended probiotic brand. let's get ready for jalapeñoooo popperrrrs! can you hand me some potato skins. theyyyy're loooaded! turns out, michael buffer speaks like that all the time. and it turns out the general is a quality insurance company that's been saving people money for nearly 60 years. and in this corner, coconuuuut shriiiiiimp! for a great low rate, and nearly 60 years of quality coverage - make the right call - and go with the general. let's get rrready for garlic breeeaaad! do you struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep? make the right call - and go with the general. qunol sleep formula combines 5 key nutrients that can help you fall asleep faster,
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and we and we are back. kimberly, it seems as if there's nothing the white house can do to improve their political standing these days. it does feel like every week there's another poll, a new bottom, a new this. some of it is out of their control. mark and i were having a discussion, his two big discussions were to get covid behind us and get rid of donald trump. is that why we're in this no man's land for him? >> it's the convergence of a lot of things. you have this pandemic that we can't get behind, people still struggling economically. joe biden campaigned on a big, broad agenda of civil rights and helping people get back on their feet.
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even after these packages have passed, there's this constant threat to democracy that we keep talking about. the democrats have failed to pass any measure to protect and bolster up our election system. that has people uneasy. is it all joe biden's fault? of course not. most of it isn't. you have republicans who are lock solid against him and won't vote for anything no matter how many times joe manchin says he wants bipartisanship. it's about where do you assign that blame? who is against every measure including vaccine mandates that could get us past this pandemic? is that joe biden? where does the blame actually lie? >> i talked to republicans on the hill. they're excited about the status of build back better. they think they win either way. either democrats fail and they have nothing to roll on. but they also see that people associate it with run away spending. what democrats are working on right now does not answer the question that most people are concerned about. obviously they're concerned
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about inflation and gas prices. you look at polling that the top issues people are concerned about, all the issues on build back better rank nowhere near the top of that. they went either way. that's why they're sitting back and waiting to see what happens. >> vulnerable house democrats, representing swing districts, they know that. they know the number one thing on people's minds is the economy and inflation. so they're already starting to push leadership on what is the floor going to look like next year? if we have to pass messaging bills, they better be on the economy, they better be addressing the explain and addressing jobs. that will give us maybe even more than build back better to say we're trying to deliver for you guys. they need that ammunition. >> we know there are things they get more credit for than they deserve when they're good. the economy is way better than it was a year ago. there's no met atlantic, other than inflation, by which the economy isn't stronger than a year ago. yet inflation crowded that out.
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6.8% last week. the biden administration talks about it all day long. i drive through times square and the thing coming out on friday says highest inflation since 1982. people in the country are worried about it and are right to be worried about it. covid. the unending pandemic. is omicron joe biden's fault? it is not. do people feel like we're never going to get out of this hole. there will be new variants. it puts them in that difficult position. they can try to do things on the supply chain, talk up the jobless claims going way down. those two facts are weighing so heavily on so many people, it is like they're a little stuck because the macro is weighing on them so heavily. kimberly, you brought up some of the other issues, voting rights. it struck me. i think he's the first president since h.w. bush to not have a devoted political base. that is hurting him right now which is why his numbers don't have a higher floor than, say, barack obama did or donald trump
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did. >> yes, and those who make up the different segments that make up his base all are looking for things beyond the pandemic. one of them is voting rights. i have been saying for a long time that that should have been the first order of business and everything else can come later. you can pass build back better, pass infrastructure, that's like pointing a shiny coat of paint on the house while republicans are hurling bombs at it. you know who came out in record numbers to vote during the pandemic? black folks in the south. they are watching this and saying absolutely nothing has changed. all the promises you made have not been fulfilled. that's a big problem for democrats. >> i do think too many people had too many asks of him and he can't find the unifying thing. that's all we have for today. thank you for watching. please keep these folks in the tornado zone in your thoughts today. check our website, meetthepress.com for places to contribute. we'll be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
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>> the house was lifted off -- >> the entire house was lifted off the foundation. >> his dad was in this room right here trying to get out, as well. as he got up off of the couch, the whole wall just collapsed on him. >> i told him to sit down in the closet and the window blew out and the whole wall just blew in towards me. survivors speak out after deadly tornadoes rip through several states. with dozens killed and many unaccounted for. are there still signs of life beneath all that twisted rubble? plus, the latest on the pandemic. with the number of people in hospit

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