tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC December 20, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
optimistic, hopeful, at least enough to make the latest spider-man movie the second biggest debut weekend in hollywood history this weekend. $260 million. the second biggest ever. that is a lot of people showing up in theater. so there is still valid reason to be concerned about covid but there is no reason to panic, people. you may have to get tested a few times this week. we've done this before and we know what we're doing this time. so it's been said before and will be said again. keep calm and carry on. that does it for this hour. "the beat" with alyssa mendez in for aari melber starts now. >> thank you. a lot to get to tonight. we start with anger from moderate democrats, progressives, and the white house after conservative democrat joe manchin put president biden's agenda in
jeopardy. this was a moment many on the left long feared and some warned of. the evenly divided senate means any single senate democrat can torpedo this bill. manchin dropping a bomb sunday telling fox news he is against the bill. today top democrats are trying to salvage some sort of deal and the white house is softening its tone after releasing a blistering statement accusing manchin of betraying the president and congress. white house press secretary jen psaki getting press today. >> senator manchin's version of events sort of differ from the white house version of events. >> you regard his $1.8 trillion proposal as a nonstarter given that it excludes the child tax credit? >> does the president think senator manchin has negotiated in good faith? >> he said that from the beginning, he continues to consider him a friend. >> new reporting late today that biden and manchin spoke last night. biden seeking to restart talks on the plan for climate, pre-k, family paid leave, child tax
credits and more. >> progressives are not holding back. >> i think what manchin did yesterday represents such an egregious breach of the trust of the president >> i think he has a lot of explaining to do to the people of west virginia to tell them why he doesn't have the guts to take on drugs companies and lower the cost of prescription drugs, why he is not prepared to expand home health care. west virginia is one of the poorest states in this country. >> we all knew that senator manchin couldn't be trusted. you know, the excuses that he just made i think are complete -- >> in a new interview manchin today claiming cryptically that the white house knows the real reason he is a no. >> i just got to the wit's end and they know the real reason what happened. they won't tell you and i'm not going to because -- >> wait, wait, wait. you said there is, they know the real reason. they're not going to tell us. you're not. what do you mean? what is the real --
>> the bottom line is there is basically, and it is staff driven, i understand staff. it is not president but the staff. they drove some things and put some things out that were absolutely inexcusable and they know what it is and that's it. >> today the hill reporting that manchin was upset with what he perceived as, quote, incivility from the whitehouse despite biden and white house officials holding numerous private meetings with him. there's also new reporting manchin had private concerns he might prefer to keep private. manchin reportedly thought parents would waste the monthly child tax credit payments on drugs. he reportedly worried west virginians were abusing paid leave using it to go hunting during deer season. manchin also takes home $500,000 a year from coal investments which could have been hit by the legislation. now west virginia is ruby red, voted for trump by 40 points. but 68% of west virginians support biden's build back better plan. here is what some of them said
today. >> it's inconceivable that at christmas time especially that he would leave 350,000 children in west virginia and their families without the certainty that they will have enough money to pay the christmas bills >> i can barely put gas in my car now as it is. i mean, anything, any other drastic steps would alter west virginia at all right now is just kind of scary. >> senator schumer today vowing to still bring the bill to the floor for a vote in january. other democrats are eying a slimmed down package that manchin might support as the party hopes the gut punch to biden's agenda is not its death nell. joining me now pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post" eugene robinson and former dnc director, good to see you both. what is manchin's bait and
switch here mean for the biden presidency and for the country? >> well, first of all, this is not the first time senator manchin has moved the goal post. and so, you know, i wrote a new column and said his back must be sore from moving the goal post so much. one thing he has complained about is that it's not fully paid for over a full ten years and it would be if he hadn't put the kibosh on the modest tax increases for corporations and the wealthy that president biden and the vast majority of democrats in congress wanted in the first place. but he didn't want, so they're not in there, so there is not enough money to pay for it over ten years. that aside and also leaving aside the fact that it does strain credulity a bit to say
they are not being nice enough to me at this point after all the private meetings with the president, lord knows they paid a lot of attention to joe manchin. all of that said, where is build back better now? it is not entirely clear. the white house hopes they will be able to start talking again, not the first time manchin has sounded like a no. the first time he came out and said i am definitely a no. we'll see if that is any more permanent than his kind of nos we've been getting all along. >> not only did he say he was a no he chose fox news as his venue to announce he was a no which also feels as though there is a lot of sub text there, perhaps just text. i want to play this sound for you from speaker pelosi earlier today. get your thoughts on the other side. take a listen. >> this will happen. it must happen. we will do it as soon as we can. i have confidence senator manchin cares about our country
and that at some point very soon we can take up the legislation. i'm not deterred at all. >> do you share her optimism this bill isn't dead? >> yes, never bet against nancy pelosi. that is one thing i've learned in the few years ta she has been speaker of the house. this is the second time. i want to also mention to your point about joe manchin and the child tax credit. i think what you'll hear from groups and members of congress is how this benefits west virginians. specifically in west virginia 90%, over 90% of children would benefit from a permanent child tax credit. in november alone about 300,000 families would qualify for that. so when you're talking about whether this does anything for his constituents and why he is against it i ask him to speak directly to his family members. i think in this whole argument you're not hearing that this is about joe biden or democrats or joe manchin. this is about the american people that are going to suffer
because of one man's decision making. yes, democrats will pass this. >> it was so interesting to hear from those people in west virginia on that exact point. eugene, senator manchin has publicly said he is a no on the bill claiming he doesn't want to add to the nation's debt also citing concerns over inflation. yet goldman sachs lowered its 2022 growth forecast after manchin said no to build back better. this isn't about the economy. you know that. i know that. what is his thinking? >> i don't know. it doesn't seem to be terribly clear thinking to me. there is, for example, a lot of stuff in the build back better package that manchin not only wants but needs. for example, an excise tax that goes to pay benefits to coal miners who are disabled because they have black lung disease. that, the current tax rate expires on december 31st.
if action is not taken, the amount of money available for that program is going to be cut in half. how can you take that back to west virginia? a program for coal miners with black lung and say that because i, you know, they weren't nice enough to me or whatever the latest reason is, you know -- >> they name checked me. don't you understand how offensive that is? >> guess what. you've been name checked. i've been name checked. we all have at various times and that is part of being a u.s. senator. but my point is, there is stuff in there that he has to have so how does he climb far enough down from a ledge he is now on so that he can get stuff that he really needs for his constituents? >> that is what manchin is up against. tell me if i'm wrong, the
challenge for democrats is they still need his vote if this goes piece meal. they still need his vote for voting rights, for filibuster reform. they would need his vote if there were to be a supreme court vacancy and nominee. what position does all of this put other democrats in? >> well, democrats are frustrated and rightfully so because they want to deliver for the american people and promised it and ran on it and plan on running again on it in 2022. so, yes. they will have to come back to the table. i think you heard a very aggressive white house but at the same time they understand, listen. he put a proposal forward. we don't have to go back to square one. yes there are still a lot of things we want to deliver for the american people that are nonstarters for us. and so it is going to take longer than we expected. i don't necessarily know it is going to be done the end of january here. but the hope is that he comes back to the table, we figure out what he is willing to pass. pass as much as possible to help the american people, and then figure out what else we can do
to provide relief for families in other ways. >> all right. eugene robinson, as always, thank you both so much. i want to turn now to democratic congressman jones of new york. congressman, thank you for being with us. first off, does manchin's no on build back better surprise you? >> it doesn't surprise me. as you will recall the progressive strategy has to link both bills together both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the larger build back better act. we had indication after indication the senator from west virginia is not someone who can be trusted to follow through on his word. in that respect this is not surprising but in another respect it is. here is what i mean by that. this is someone who has signed off on the vast majority of what is in the house version of the build back better act. this is an individual who has been showered with attention
from the president of the united states himself who reports that senator manchin as recently as a few days ago made a counterproposal to the tune of approximately $1.8 trillion. all of it fully if not more than paid for in revenue. that would get him to yes. and so to give the white house about 30 minutes' notice before going on fox news to announce build back better is dead despite the broad popularity of the legislation, including 68% of likely voters in west virginia, that was surprising. >> all right. so there is the manchin piece and then as you said the policy piece of this. i want you to give us a reality check here. is this legislation dead? is there an appetite to do this piece by piece? and if you do, what do you think democrats actually have the votes for? >> there is an enormous appetite to pass this life changing legislation that is both popular
and urgently needed. from west virginia all the way across the country. we are talking about making child care, high quality, and affordable for every family in america. expanding medicare to include hearing aids, saving the planet from imminent climate catastrophe, especially after we just went through hurricane ida. so this is something that is necessary, something that also has been cutting child poverty in half across country. i believe we'll get senator manchin to yes. it is unfortunate we haven't done this yet. i am hopeful that with the senate majority leader saying in early january the senate will return to vote on democracy saving legislation, the freedom to vote act and the john louis voting rights advancement act that we'll be in a much better position in a few weeks. >> what do you see as the consequences if the latter piece
doesn't move? >> our democracy faces its greatest test since jim crow. we see that in the voter suppression that has been enacted by republicans in georgia, florida, texas, arizona, and elsewhere and i would submit nothing is as important as saving our ailing democracy. we can ill afford as americans to have the people who incited the violent insurrection at the capitol that nearly took my life and the lives of other members of congress to take back the federal government. these are people who don't believe in governance but in the raw exercise of power through voter disenfranchisement and lies whether about vaccines or masks or who won the presidential election next year. this is devastatingly severe as a situation in which we find ourselves but in this moment i believe that senators manchin and sinema with the president of
the united states using full resources available to him including his bully pulpit can be convinced to do the right thing and at least make an exception to the filibuster for purposes of voting rights. >> we'll be watching. thank you so much. coming up breaking news from the january 6th committee now demanding answers from a republican lawmaker for the first time. plus, donald trump's desperate new lawsuit to stop the probe into his finances. and avoid going under oath. also trump got boosted as omicron became the dominant strain in the u.s. we'll cover that ahead. ad like tw baja steak & jack tender, thicker-cut steak and. wait sooo you're not coming out of retirement? i'm just here because subway has so much new, they bought time in this press conference to talk about it.
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the maga riot committee is pushing forward requesting information from pennsylvania congressman scott perry macing him the p irrelevance lawmaker to receive this type of request in his efforts to install trump ally jeffrey clark as acting attorney general. key witnesses are singing behind closed doors. the founder of the stop the steal movement telling investigators he had contacts with gop lawmakers before january 6th including, quote, a few phone conversations with arizona congressman paul gosar and a text exchange with alabama congressman mo brooks. here is broomts moment before
the capitol riot. adam kinzinger is also going there bluntly saying they are looking into possible crimes and trump himself is being investigated. >> do you believe that donald trump committed a crime? >> by the end of our investigation and by the time our report is out, i have a pretty good idea we'll be able to have out in the public record anything the justice department needs maybe in pursuit of that nobody is above the law. last week republican liz cheney also saying they are looking at possible crimes. trump seems to be getting defensive, downplaying the insurrection at a texas event last night saying what happened on january 6th was a protest. this wasn't an insurrection. trump ally steve bannon currently facing criminal and possible jail time for stone walling the probe continues to spew election lies this time talking to us directly here at msnbc. >> msnbc producers should understand all day long we are
going to get a decertify in arizona, in georgia, p in pennsylvania, wait for it, in wisconsin. we are going to get these electors decertified. guess what? we are going to take over the election apparatus. >> a reality check they are not getting the elections decertified and the plan to take over the election apparatus is exactly what their plan is and why the fact finding and fight for democracy is ratcheting up. joining me now is the former acting solicitor general. your reaction to the newest request from congressman perry. >> it is a big deal. up until now the investigation has focused outside the legislative bran. . they looked at trumpistas, allies of trump, people at the white house and the like but never up to this point to our knowledge looked inside at themselves. at the legislative branch. now they are. that is what this letter is today from the chairman of the 1-6 committee. it comes on the heels of
evidence that we were, or revelations that people have been going to congress and testifying including as you said the stop the steal movement, one of the founders saying, yeah. i was in touch with members of congress like paul gosar and worked with them on the january 6th set of events. so all together this is a fairly substantial step in congress now looking at themselves in addition to donald trump and those that surrounded him. >> when you have kinzinger saying, cheney saying they are looking at crimes, what crimes are possible? >> yeah. i think the main crime here is the obstruction of an official proceeding. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to learn donald trump today is to use the technical legal term freaking out. he is freaking out because of the revelations that you just mentioned a moment ago. also because there was a decision ten days ago by the federal court in washington, d.c. by a trump appointee and
what the judge said is that one of the insurrectionists was guilty of violating this statute obstruction of an official proceeding, the count of votes on january 6th. and she said what this person intended to do was try and stop it. she said you don't need to show this person intended violence or anything like that, just need to show the person acted with the corrupt intent to stop effectively the counting of votes. that is a how to manual for a criminal prosecutor to use to go after donald trump. that is what he is worried about and why you see all of these moves by trump and his allies today. >> i want to talk about that freak out former impeachment counsel and msnbc analyst dan goldman noted of this, as the ex-president he has a lot less authority than as president but his playbook doesn't work if he is not president. what does it say sf how perfect is it that the former president's frustration, his freak out is in large part about
not being able to abuse the power he once had because he no longer has it? >> exactly. our entire constitutional system is set up to basically trust presidents and give them immense powers even to delay litigation or court cases against themselves because we don't want random people to tie up the president and stop the nation's business from being done. that is why our system was written as it is. it wasn't written for someone like donald trump who abuses every lever in the system to delay, obstruct, and prevent things. that is one thing when you're president. you got that suite of tools available. he doesn't have them anymore. now he is filing all these cockamamie lawsuits and things like that pretending he is the once invincible donald trump and he is nothing like that. that is why the january 6 committee is moving forward with the speed and why courts are throwing out his claim. donald trump claimed executive privilege to the january 6th
committee and our nation's second highest court in nine days. it took him nine days. that is it. this is a deliberative court. it took nine days to write a 68 page opinion. that was a body slam start to finish and saying, trump, you got no argument here whatsoever. >> there is also this reporting about how he freaked out about the fact his friend are pleading the fifth because he thinks it makes them look weak. that in and of itself is telling. committee member adam kinzinger on gop lawmakers. take a listen. >> do you think that some of your republican colleagues bear direct responsibility for that riot? >> it's possible. we'll pursue doggedly everything to the ends of the earth and that includes, we don't like necessarily having to go here, but that includes members of congress. >> do you think that is just the starting point? >> it is just the starting point. i know some people may be frustrated when they hear adam kinzinger or others say we are
looking into it trying to do a thorough investigation and not give a clear answer but we want an investigator to actually behind closed doors get all the facts, sift them out, and then reach a considered judgment not on national tv but through an official proceeding and the like. everything has been done to the book by the january 6 committee. they deserve a lot of credit for moving and getting all this information. my only quibble is it has taken a long time. we are almost at a year since the january 6 event and i think this thing has to get moving really, really fast. the american people deserve answers a year into this. >> i share your sense of urgency. stay with me. coming up p 60 seconds president biden preps a major address on covid. what you need to know about the surge with a medical expert. trump is rattled. the new york ag is following the money. back in just 60 seconds. this... is the planning effect.
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>> we are back with breaking news from new york's probe into donald trump's finances. today the former florida blogger suing new york attorney general james over her inquiry into his business practices in the suit filed in federal court in albany trump argues her mission is guided solely by political animus and the desire to harass, intimidate, and retaliate against a private citizen she views as a political opponent. trump's lawsuits admit he isn't president but james fired back saying the trump organization has continually sought to delay our investigation into its business dealings. to be clear, neither mr. trump nor the trump organization get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions. our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law not even someone with the name trump. trump is accused of inflating the value of his assets in order to secure more favorable loans and james has made it clear that being rich and once powerful will not deter her investigations. >> in this state we have a set
of laws that every individual and entity must be held accountable to. regardless of who you are, regardless of your power, size, influence, wealth, station in life, one set of laws. and today we send a strong and loud message that no one is above the law. >> joining me now david k. johnson pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist and lecturer at syracuse university law school and author of "the big cheat, when donald trump fleeced america." back with us is neal katyal. is trump trying to get this before the supreme court? is that what is going on here? >> he may be. he is trying generally to delay, delay, which is what roy koom taught him to do. unfortunately this lawsuit doesn't really raise the best argument he has against leticia james which is that she is
conducting a civil investigation and cooperating with the manhattan district attorney's criminal investigation and the lawyer who drafted this just glancingly mentions this instead of focusing on boot strapping civil into criminal. >> interesting. neal, what is the likelihood of success in this suit? >> if there were a negative percentage i would offer that but it would be zero percent if there is not a negative percentage. there is a foundational doctrine in our law, a supreme court case that says basically you can't just file a lawsuit because you're worried that an investigation might come out against you or even frief someone of their rights. the remedy the supreme court says is to raise that in the context in the investigation not to run into another federal court and try and stop it. and so trump is complaining here like every other target of an investigation, civil or criminal, and our legal system undoubtedly says you can't do that. so at this point i got to wonder about donald trump's psychology.
this is a guy who supposedly hates losing but he keeps coming back to the table after every failed bluff totally convinced he'll win the next one. it is nuts to me. i'm sure his legal team is crying all the way to the bank as they charge him legal fees for all of these silly filings on his behalf. >> both his legal team and whoever writes his fundraising e-mails. david, there is also the issue of trump's deposition next month and leticia james' civil investigation. james has requested to take his testimony on january 7th. that is soon. is it possible this will be delayed or canceled due to the suit from trump? >> i think leticia james' office will have to fight to get donald to come and testify particularly because at some point you'll see the lawyer raise the boot strapping argument and neal hit on a very important point. donald is reduced to lawyers who are not well known but certainly
know how to channel in their pleading his emotional fury at things going against him. the lawsuit itself just reeks of emotional rather than legal argument. that is how donald works and it is not going to work with any judge. >> how he works not how the law works. listen to what michael cohen testified in 2019 about this exact investigation. >> it was my experience that mr. trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes. and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes. >> we all remember that moment. could cohen be brought in to testify against trump again? >> a hundred percent. let me say how extraordinary it is to have donald trump's former lawyer testifying in congress under oath and saying, trump inflated his assets and basically committed federal and state crimes. that is a remarkable thing.
what this investigation is in new york is to try and figure out, is michael cohen telling the truth and other folks? or not? that is going to play out. trump has filed this lawsuit today. i don't think this thing goes anywhere. i think if james wanted to she can conduct that deposition on the 7th. she'll get permission from the courts to do so and expedite their consideration of this bogus trump lawsuit today. and i think everything can move forward. >> you touched on this earlier. i want to put a finer point on it. james' investigation is a civil case. why is trump fighting so hard? could it turn criminal? >> there is the criminal investigation she is cooperating with by the manhattan district attorney as well as other investigations that may well turn criminal. but donald needs to stop this because it is going to go right to the heart of his fraud where he over stated by huge amount the values of property. a lot of people object to the property value on their house. i did in the house i'm in right
now over $30,000. you can't take a property worth $1.3 million for property taxes in your view and say under oath in another forum it is worth $50 million. that is fraud on its face. >> one of the big things hanging over this court is outgoing new york district attorney cyrus vance who leaves office the end of the year and has not yet signaled whether his investigation will be handed over to his successor. how would this affect the ag's investigation do you think? >> i don't think at all. i suspect the investigation will continue and law enforcement officials, they're pros. they take it where the evidence leads them. i know the manhattan da's office will do exactly that. i don't think the shift in one district attorney to another matters. i don't think this lawsuit today matters in any way, shape, or form. i think things continue to go on and the investigation continues and the possibility of criminal indictments is now looming over donald trump. >> thank you both so much.
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earn about covid-19, the more questions we have. the biggest question now, what's next? what will covid bring in six months, a year? if you're feeling anxious about the future, you're not alone. calhope offers free covid-19 emotional support. call 833-317-4673, or live chat at calhope.org today. breaking news on covid as cases explode. new numbers show omicron has now become the dominant strain in
the u.s. representing over 70% of new infections last week. you can see the long lines for tests in new york city. just set records for cases for three straight days. hospitalizations are up 41% nationwide. senators elizabeth warren and cory booker testing positive with covid despite being boosted. both report mild cases. president biden is planning a speech tomorrow where he will give a, quote, stark warning about the brutal winter for the unvaccinated. what about the vaccinated who haven't been boosted? what about folks who got boosted but are immuno compromised? what if you are going to visit others who are immuno compromised? how deadly is omicron? kr is there a shortage of tests still? will biden's warning persuade the millions of americans who still won't get vaccinated many of whom are resistant because of the politics on the right on full display this weekend as donald trump and bill o'reilly revealed they had both gotten booster shots and promptly got booed by their own supporters.
>> both the president and i are vaxed. did you get the booster? >> yes >> i got it, too. okay. >> oh, don't, don't, don't. no. that's all right. very tiny group over there. >> joining me now the founder and ceo of advancing health equity and msnbc medical contributor with the "new york times" editorial board. it is good to see you both. doctor, omicron is now the dominant u.s. strain as i have turned to you and asked you many times over the course of the last year and a half, what does that mean and what do we need to know? >> first of all, thank you so much for having me on. the question is, is this a surprise? we saw what was happening in south africa with exponential increase in cases. we saw in the uk and across europe and now here representing 73% of all cases. we are still ill prepared. we see those long testing lines in new york city that are unable to accommodate all of the people who have been exposed or are symptomatic and so we're in a
bad situation right now. i am very concerned about people who are unvaccinated. those who are vaccinated and vulnerable, those who are immuno compromised and elderly still boosted but there is a lot we don't know about the severity of disease this variant causes >> i mean, i was very stressed by some of the images you sent since you live in new york of people lining up at testing site bringing folding chairs, seniors, kids wrapped in blankets because it is not a hospitable environment for them to be trying and getting these tests. i need your reaction to donald trump being booed. he and bill o'reilly on the stage wanting to claim the fact they got boosted. we've talked a lot about what it will take to get those who have been resistant to getting the vaccine, whether or not those messengers could be good messengers. i was struck by the fact that he says oh, it is not everybody booing just a small corner over
there as though he is beginning to understand how damning this is for his own legacy. >> of course they created this monster. at this point we need all hand on deck. so we need trump supporters and fox news viewers to get vaccinated. i'm willing to take personally any kind of help from anywhere that encourages people to get vaccinated and do the right thing and take this virus seriously to protect themselves and others. i think it was really good to see donald trump publicly say that he got the booster. so credit where credit is due. i wish he was out there saying that every day but if he gets booed we know he won't do that. so, you know, too little too late, sure. but i really think that we should encourage this actually. and i think the reality is the people who are refusing to get vaccinated are not going to be bullied into doing it. they may be mandated into doing it. but they are not going to be convinced through bullying i
think at this point. i don't really, i am not an expert how to convince them. i am quite frustrated. i certainly support mandates as we have as an editorial board here in new york. but i think we really have to give credit where credit is due today >> i share your frustration and i also share your sense that i will take help from wherever we can get it. dr. blackstock i believe you are with us on that. i want to ask you a medical question before we pivot to the bigger question of what we want to hear from president biden tomorrow. moderna says its booster gives significant protection against omicron. can you tell us more? >> just the context for this is, this is a press release from moderna essentially what we know is from lab data showing that a booster with their 50 micro gram dose which is the dose people typically get with the moderna booster increases antibodies by about 37 times. a double booster. so giving that twice increases antibodies by about 80 times.
and so the question is, you know, whether or not, which dose is sufficient. one. but also, two, we saw with the larger dose people had adverse effects with that. the other question is how does this translate into clinical outcomes? severe disease, hospitalations, and deaths sf we don't know whether this booster has any impact yet. all we know is lab data showing increase in antibodies. we know the immune system is complicated. there are cells involved. a very sophisticated system. we know they also have memory cells. that may also influence people's long-term outcome and immune response. there is a lot we still don't know. this is incredibly promising. we need real life data as well. >> given that there is so much we don't know, i'll ask you a question i know people are asking all the time. in advance of the holidays what are you advising people how to proceed with family gatherings? >> i am advising friends and family to be incredibly
cautious. we are seeing how quickly this particular variant is spreading. it is just incredibly contagious. just standing next to someone for a few minutes in a closed, indoor space you would probably get infected. i'm telling people especially if around people who are vaccinated, boosted, and even vulnerable, elderly, compromised, to be very careful. make sure you're thinking about other mitigation strategies, opening windows and doors, that you are masking when appropriate and utilizing rapid tests. again, we know there is a shortage of that. people are trying to protect themselves but i would say go with your gut. if you don't feel comfortable don't do it. we have to protect the most vulnerable people >> i want to loop back to the politics of this thing. florida governor ron desantis was asked about his vaccination status this weekend. take a listen. >> have you gotten the booster? >> so i've done whatever i did
the normal shot and, you know, that at the end of the day is people's individual decisions about what they want to do. >> why is what should be a simple question so hard for him to answer? >> well, that is not what leadership looks like or should look like. i mean, there is very little about it i can say other than we have a right as americans in a democracy to expect more from our public servants and i find that really demoralizing and also a missed opportunity. that's about as diplomatic as i can be about that. >> to your point about all hands on deck, i think, doctor, it also articulates the fact that there is an acknowledgment there is still a part of their base that is seeing this as a political litmus test. it is not about public health. they have not crossed the rubicon into understanding this to be about community benefit, about caring for those we live in proximity to.
given that, and given what mara's great point about the fact there are a lot of people not going to be bullied into getting a vaccine, what then tomorrow do you want to hear from the president? >> right. i know we've talked about this before. i am concerned. i just don't want a divisive message vaccinated versus unvaccinated. we know that is not help pul. we need a collective response, messaging that explains why it is important to get vaccinated and follow the other mitigation pressures to protect people and we are never going to return to normal, quote-unquote, until we get transmission levels down. that is going to require sacrifice unfortunately on all of our parts. it is going to require collective action on all of our parts. i would love to see a message that brings us all together as opposed to dividing us because as we have seen, you know, the messaging thus far has been not from the administration but the previous administration has been incredibly divisive and
undermined the public health message and importance of that message. we need something to counter that. something really to bring us together because we're essentially right now with omicron in a crisis within a crisis. >> mara, what do you want to hear from the president? >> i think we've lost the narrative a little bit here. i think it is actually important to have some optimism and some actionable goals for the american people. i think a much healthier message to dr. blackstock's point would be, hey. we know it's hard. we know we can't live like this forever. but we need you to hang in there for a little while longer while we understand what this variant is. get more people vaccinated. and move to protect the most vulnerable americans. by the way, this is not a small group. people with asthma, people with diabetes, people with obesity, people with long covid. all kinds of issues. sickle cell trait. the list goes on. these people even when vaccinated may be at higher risk. this is tens of millions of americans. the idea is that until we can
break the link between infection and severe illness, which we will be able to do eventually, yes we'll be living with covid but living with it when you have medication and treatment is very different than living with something that may kill tens of thousands of people. until we get to that point we need to hang on a little longer and protect the most vulnerable. unfortunately there has not been an understanding of that and frankly public officials need to be much clearer about what people need to do to make that happen. >> thank you both so much. up next the jury has the case. a former officer on trial for manslaughter. the dramatic closing arguments, next. feel stuck with credit card debt? move to sofi and feel what it's like to get your money right. ♪
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the fate of a former minnesota police officer accused of killing a man is in the hands of a jury. kim potter facing multiple counts of manslaughter killing 20-year-old dante wright this year. the 26-year police veteran insists she meant to draw her taser and not her gun. in closing arguments today, the prosecution driving home the point it was reckless and criminal. >> it's not just a tragedy. it's manslaughter. that she was an officer does not make it okay. that she was on duty does not make it okay. that she shot him with her service pistol does not make it okay. her actions were rash and reckless and what she did was wrong. this was not putting the wrong, wrong date on a check. this was not entering the wrong password somewhere.
this was a colossal screwup, a blunder of epic proportions. >> defense meanwhile argued potter didn't do anything wrong, wright's death was his own fault. >> that's what caused this whole incident. if he would have gone with the officers, been handcuffed, go to the squad car, go take a ride downtown and it's over. everything after that the officers did they did to try and restrain him, try and stop him from leaving. >> the jury will have the decision after a pivotal moment in the trial when potter took the stand in her own defense breaking down on the stand as body camera video played of the shooting.
>> okay. so stopping at 2:02:01. you have the firearm in your right hand, correct? >> yes. >> and you are pointing it directly at mr. wright, correct? [crying] >> excuse me, can we have a break? my client is -- >> okay. ms. potter, do you need to take a break? okay. okay. members of the jury, we're going to break for lunch. >> whenever the jury has a decision, we'll have full coverage here on msnbc. we'll be right back. msnbc we'll be right back.
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safe and gentle relief for children's noses. one final program note, tonight rachel maddow will interview bernie sanders and pramila jayapal. that does it for me. "the reidout" with jonathan is up next. hey, jonathan? >> thank you very much. have a good evening. >> thanks. good evening, everyone. i'm jonathan in tonight for joy reid. we begin "the reidout" tonight with american on edge. covid once again threatening to up end the travel holiday plans as the pandemic marchs into the third year. this time it's coming from the highly transmissible omicron variant. due to the
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