tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC December 22, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
sitting in for ari melber starts now. >> that will be the best tease i've ever seen. welcome to "the beat." i'm alicia menendez in for ari melber. the maga riot committee wants to talk to gop congressman jim jordan, one of trump's fierce loyalists in congress who admitted to speaking with trump on january 6th. the committee writing we understand that you had possibly multiple communications with trump and they want to discuss each such communication with you in detail. jordan has previously dodged questions about his contact with trump on that day. >> did you talk to the former president that day? >> i've talked to the former president umpteen times. >> i mean on january 6th, congressman. >> yes. i mean i talked to the president -- i've talked to the president so many -- i can't remember all the days that i've talked to him. but i've certainly talked with the president. >> did you speak with him before, during or after the capitol was attacked? >> i'd have to go -- i spoke
with him that day after. i think after. i don't know if i spoke with him in the morning or not. i just don't know. >> he just doesn't know. the committee is about to find out the facts. we don't know if jordan will comply with this request. they can issue a subpoena if he stonewalls. jordan also admitted sending a message to trump's chief of staff, mark meadows, on january 5th offering a legal theory on how trump could block biden's win. joining me now, former federal prosecutor joyce vance, juanita tolliver. trump is deeply unnerved by the january 6th committee. i wonder what you are now reporting given this jim jordan news? >> yeah, we reported early in the week that trump was reagitated by the amount of communications and documents that meadows had turned over to the select committee. i can only imagine that the former president is even more
unnerved now because it appears that the committee is going to go after his biggest allies in congress, including jim jordan, who the committee now knows had multiple communications and contacts with trump around january 6th. >> joyce, how significant is this jordan news? >> well, it suggests a couple of things. this isn't something that the january 6th committee, which has been highly strategic, did half baked. they have to have known that jim jordan and other members of congress wouldn't voluntarily testify without a fight, so it seems clear that they have an enforcement strategy. what we don't know yet is whether that's a political appeal, this notion that there may still be some political consequence to failing to comply with an investigation over something as serious as january 6th, or is the committee prepared to proceed with legal consequences, and do they believe that if they subpoena members of congress and they fail to appear that the justice department might move to hold them in contempt. we'll have to wait and see what
the strategy will look like. >> juanita, we have heard over and over again that the threat is coming from inside the building. your take on this big news. >> the reality is that someone like jim jordan who has in interviews confirmed that he spoke to trump multiple times, confirmed that he sent a text message on how to undermine congressional efforts to certify an election, the people locking in lock-step with trump and the insurrectionists were inside the house. letting him go without any accountability is not an option for the select committee because we know that him being in that position of power allows him purview to do it again, but also like what representative cori bush said immediately following the attack, anyone who had a part in this and was a sitting member of congress should be removed from office because they essentially violated their oath of office. >> the committee has testimony that jordan was communicating
with people in the willard war room on january 5th and 6th. what kind of communications might the committee want to see? >> the committee is interested in all of it. there is really no communication too small around an important event that you're investigating. and so in this instance, whether there are text messages, whether jordan took notes from phone calls, whatever is there, they are trying to access it. it's important to keep in mind this is likely not a fact-finding mission for the committee. they have more than likely in the 300-plus witnesses that they have already spoken to put together a pretty good picture of what was going on and what jordan's role was in it. so this is the classic gambit at the end of an investigation when you bring in people who were perhaps still subjects and you're thinking that they might be targets and you talk with them to see how much of the truth they're willing to tell. and that guides where you head. of course the january 6th committee, these are not prosecutors. these are members of congress.
they're on a fact-finding and a legislation mission that they have already tipped their hand they're considering making a criminal referral over to the justice department. so the way jim jordan and others react to these requests will be very telling for their future. >> joyce, you watched that video of jim jordan ducking in a number of ways and times the question about when he spoke with the former president. as you watched that, what does it tell you about the type of witness he would be even if he was willing to meet with the committee? >> so that's the real jim jordan. that's the unguarded, unpolished, jim jordan. in reality, when he appears for committee meetings and likely if he showed for testimony in this instance he would be the combative bully that we're used to seeing when he's involved in congressional hearings. somebody who's there to make points. somebody who's there to create moments that can go viral on social media and television.
and the committee if they face him, particularly in a public setting, will have an uphill battle. but again, i think that's not the point of their engagement with jim jordan. they're simply here to make the point that the jim jordan that we saw in that clip is a lot more closely aligned with the reality of jim jordan and his concern about the role he may have played and the knowledge he may have had about january 6th than what we'll see on the public stage as he indicates that the january 6th committee is out of bounds or not legitimate. the real jim jordan is that clip you played. >> the letter also says the committee has testimony that trump was watching television coverage of the attack from his private dining room. juanita, how do you watch what happened on that day and not intervene to stop it? how damning is that? >> you watch it and not intervene because you want it to happen, right? that was the position of trump and i think witnesses are
confirming his intentions when he sat there and did that. what those witness statements mean is that the select committee has that inside picture, as joyce was describing. they have that perspective. and now they're just going to use it to corroborate or pressure other witnesses and targets here. i do think that we all knew very clearly when trump decided to be silent for those four or five hours while the attack was happening what his intentions were. we know he wasn't quick to act. and when he did speak up, he told the insurrectionists he loved them. he told them he understood why they were there. so he is on record communicating his intentions very clearly in a way that i think the select committee has already latched onto and will likely refer him for criminal charges at the end of this. >> so we have seen a lot of reporting about the way that the former president has reacted to some of his loyalists choosing to plead the fifth. when it comes to someone like congressman jordan, what is it that the former president is most worried about and what is
the way in which he is going to want to see him respond to the subpoena? does he want him to go in there and create those viral moments that joyce was just talking about? >> yeah, i think that's absolutely right. trump is always a stickler for the optics. his main complaint with a lot of former aides that invoked the fifth is that he thinks it makes him look weak and complicit in a crime. so i think trump will be looking for jordan to put up as big a fight as he can to the select committee. i don't know if it's going to work. the select committee make these two points in the letters. the first is that they're looking at jordan's communications with members of trump's political operative team at the willard. we previously reported that the team at the willard were basically involved in finding ways to stop biden's certification from taking place on january 6th. that was the entire aim of the organization. the second is they were looking at communications with trump and
sdugsz about whether there could be any pardons for people involved in planning january 6th. these two things are really significant. if jordan has documents or knowledge or any sort of information about this, whether he gives this to the committee will be a very big turning point for the investigation because that would yield whether there's complicity from the trump white house and members of congress in january 6th. >> joyce, a stop the steal rally organizer said on info wars he thinks trump is going to be subpoenaed. listen. >> they want a nexus is what my lawyers call it, between the people who were violent, unjustified violent, or vandalism and then you and me and the activists so if they can connect it to a trump staffer and then trump. folks, trump will be subpoenaed by this committee. breaking news. trump will entirely be subpoenaed by this committee. >> joyce, your legal analysis on that question? >> well, my crystal ball doesn't
extend quite that far. what seems very clear to me is that the january 6th committee has brought onboard some very experienced former federal prosecutors, some very experienced investigators. and one thing that you don't do is that you don't subpoena the target unless you have a goal in mind. so look, here's the end game with trump and it's part of this unknowable question that we all have about whether the justice department is involved in an active investigation. because if they are, there won't be any compelling of witnesses to testify in front of the house committee. compelling witnesses to testify means you would have to give them immunity to overcome their objections and that means no prosecution down the road. so whether trump gets subpoenaed is whether there will be an end game to these hearings. this notion they will have a couple of weeks to lay bare to
americans the facts. if part of that is putting the president on the stand to have him go through the painful exercise of taking the fifth amendment again and again and again as he's asked questions, then we may well see it, but the big card holder is the justice department and where they're headed. >> juanita, to joyce's part about not having a crystal ball, i play that info wars clip not as any type of matter of facts, pure conjecture, but what does it tell you that this is the message they are choosing to run with? >> this is what they're trying to feed to their base, but also signal to trump what's coming up. keep in mind, ali alexander sat for eight hours of testimony in front of the select committee. he was paying attention to the questions they were asking and now he's going out to report to the public what that was. how are you doing interviews pretending you're not at the center of a federal investigation. he's quite comfortable and the
only reason i think is to give it to trump and give it to trump's base. trump is going to take something like this and run with it as he announced his january 6th press conference at mar-a-lago. he's looking for another counterstunt from everything the committee is unearthing. >> a judge denied a request to block the january 6th subpoenas saying there is no basis to conclude that flynn will face immediate and irreparable harm. your take, joyce. >> so flynn found that he could not get an injunction to keep the proceedings from going forward as to him. but i think there's something very interesting going on here. flynn didn't simply try to go in front of the committee and claim executive privilege or make the host of arguments we've seen other witnesses make, and that's because the committee is being very effective. when they have subpoenaed other witnesses and then referred their contempt to the justice department for prosecution, what
we've seen with steve bannon and now the early stages of that with mark meadows, that's apparently been effective in convincing other witnesses that they don't want to go that same route. now we see this new effort by former general flynn to try to get a court to say that they can't proceed against him. that has failed, at least at this preliminary injunction sort of stage. this is what was missing in large part during the mueller investigation as witnesses were able to painfully draw out the prospect of their testimony. the former president was able to cut a deal where all he had to do was answer written questions as opposed to sitting down for an interview. the committee is learning the lessons of the past and moving forward in a way that's having a big impact. we know that a judge won't give mike flynn an easy out and ultimately he'll have to answer these questions or come up with another strategy. >> joyce vance, juanita tolliver, hugo lowell, thank you
all so much. coming up, great news about a new pill to treat covid as omicron hits all 50 states. we'll talk to the experts about this and the nationwide testing shortage. plus rhetoric from sitting members of congress. we're talking about second amendment solutions and our fact check to fox news. no, joe biden not the grinch. we'll explain. stay with us. 'll explai n. stay with us ♪ l u... & doug ♪ ♪ superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance so they only pay for what they need. (gasps) ♪ did it work? only pay for what you need ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ spider-man no way home in theaters december 17th there's a different way to treat hiv. it's once-monthly injectable cabenuva. cabenuva is the only once-a-month,
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country. and a major boost of good news at the right time today. the fda announcing emergency use authorization for the first pill to treat covid-19. >> the pfizer team has a very promising and now authorized treatment. a pill that dramatically reduces the risk of hospitalizations and death for those at risk. >> this is the first anti-viral pill, it's being called a game-changer. it's nearly 90% effective at reducing hospitalizations and death. it can be taken at home and is approved for anyone over 12 with symptoms. it comes as we see more than 100,000 new daily cases. omicron accounting for 73% of infections. the new york city area averaging 11,000 new daily cases. dr. fauci saying today early data causes less severe symptoms than delta but it is highly contagious.
cleveland facility is out with this ad saying help. adding we have more covid-19 patients in our hospitals than ever before. and the overwhelming majority are unvaccinated. joining me now associate professor of anesthesiologist. doctor, how big of a deal is this pill? >> it's a huge deal given the fact that omicron is contagious. the question is going to be with this pill that can literally reduce your chances of death, reduce your chances of hospitalization by 89%. the question is will we have enough. and that is what -- it's a race against time at this point because we know we had 200,000 covid cases that were diagnosed today. so when we're looking at that speed of infection, do we have
enough of these pills to go around and at this point we have tens of thousands that will be available next week. we're hoping to ramp that up but we need those companies to invest in science, get those pills out not only in the hands of americans but across the globe. >> as you and i have often talked about baked in there a question of equity. some may think this pill takes the place of getting vaccinated. what should our viewers know? >> you have to be infected for this pill to work. our goal is not to have you be infected in the first place. wearing that n-95 mask and doing social distancing. we do not know the consequences of infection with covid-19 but i can tell you other viruses cause cancer, hpv, and others, we know cause cancer. will covid-19 be in the ranks of those same viruses in that it
can also cause these untoward consequences? so do not go and just willy-nilly get infected because you feel like it will be no big deal. it is a big deal. every infection is a potential for casualty. >> one of the things hard to reckon with, with this new variant, it is less severe according to dr. fauci but 140 million cases in the next two months. it is incredibly contagious. how do you square those two things and what is the best way to handle them? >> right. i will never call anything mild. what we know is that if we are saying -- let's say that it's a reduction in the hospitalization. if more people are getting infected, though, that means there are going to be more people going into the hospital just by nature of numbers and we do not have the space at this point. it's not only a health concern but an economic concern. what happens in america when 2 million americans are affected per week? what does that do to our
businesses staying open? what does that do to us having a free and open nation and have this issue of capitalism? you cannot have a workforce if your workforce is sick. and so that's what we need to get to the point of thinking, not just in this acute time but the longevity of this pandemic has shown us over and over again that when we think we are ahead of the game when it comes to covid-19, we are far behind and we have to be hypervigilant in not getting infected in the first place, which means go back to mitigating the spread and the same things we were doing back in march and april apply here. >> when your workforce is sick and playing the role of caretaker for those who are. dr. hilton, you are staying with us because coming up in 60 seconds, the scramble for at-home tests. we'll talk to a scientist who developed one very early in the pandemic. and later, the party of trump, the party of extreme rhetoric. talk of civil war, vulgar threats.
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the omicron surge leading a rush on testing and frustration. these are the scenes we are seeing, long lines for covid tests ahead of holiday travel. walgreens and cvs struggling to keep up with demand for at-home testing kits. the biden administration ordering 500 million at-home tests but aren't available until sometime in january. new reporting shows president trump dropped the ball on a home test in the first few weeks of the pandemic. one company, e-25 bio had a solution early on in the pandemic. inexpensive rapid tests with support and financial backing from the nih. due to convoluted fda standards, it never got approval. dr. ebony hilton is back with
us. irene, thanks for being with us. when was your test ready and why was it not approved? >> yeah. well, thank you. thank you for the opportunity. so yeah, indeed, we had very early in march and indeed was the first submission to the fda back then as a clinical study in three hospitals in florida. so basically the test is just, as you know, a very simple test. it's an antigen test so it actually detects the virus. and what we found out, that indeed the first three to four days it's absolutely accurate. this test can even reach the same as pcr, but then it actually goes down in the sensitivity and performance as you progress in the disease. so fda was not able to accept this test because they want an overall one that basically takes into account about seven days of disease.
when you do that, the average of that performance goes a little bit down and they didn't like that. so the way they do it is they compare it to pcr and it didn't reach that threshold. >> what would having these tests available that early in the pandemic, what would it have done, what would it have changed? >> absolutely we believe, not just me, but many, that you had to have two things in place. very affordable, very much dispersible, so a lot of people could have it, right, therefore, affordable, and frequent. and the idea of frequency is a completely new concept that appeared in the early days in which we knew doing a test once a month would not mitigate the spread of disease. but if you have a test that you can do every week or even twice a week, depending on how much prevalence of disease you have. that is the kind of test that
you could use to basically, you know, mitigate the infection. so that was missing in the fda approval process. they did not have that concept of frequency. nor they had a concept of a test that is not just for diagnosis, like we all know medical professionals need, but also population, something that is called monitoring and that the fda does not regulate and still doesn't have a template or any kind of mandate to companies to do. >> i'm sorry, dr. hilton, understanding that this test is not as sensitive, it still could have been very helpful in picking up what would later become superspreader events. and we are still grappling with this question of testing. i want you to take a listen to president biden. >> mr. president, what's your message to americans who are
trying to get tested now and who are not able to get tested and who are wondering what took so long to ramp up testing? >> come on, what took so long? >> i'm hearing that from people who are trying to get tested now before the holidays. >> well, what took so long is it didn't take long at all. what happened was the omicron virus spread more rapidly than anybody thought. >> dr. hilton, i understand the frustration in looking backwards, especially since we know we still have a long road ahead when it comes to this virus. is the 500 million tests going to be enough? what more needs to be done? >> right. and i feel for the biden administration. i know if we were in the position we were last year that tens of thousands more americans would be dead so i do thank him for his leadership. but 500 million is not enough. we are going to need more tests within our system and it's not only more tests, it's accessibility of those tests.
when we're saying that you can get reimbursed for your test if you have insurance, one, you're assuming that person has insurance and two, you're assuming that persons have $30 in their pocket to pay for this test to get reimbursed. as the doctor was saying, you have to take tests multiple times per week, especially if you're an essential worker. we know 60% of all americans make less than $40,000 a year so to ask them to pay 60, $90 a week in hopes that they can get reimbursed by the insurance company is a lot to ask and costs them a meal that week, not only them but their children. so we have to think about this differently. some of the things i say, why don't we make on our snap, our edt cards, why isn't there a free test so persons with that benefit can go into the stores and get a test for free. why don't we team and partner up with meals on wheels. we know those persons getting
those meals are vulnerable populations. sending a test with that meal to that home. why don't we mail three tests to those homes. not every american needs a free test mailed to them. i don't. i can afford one. i'm thinking about the most vulnerable persons when we're thinking about this testing and we need to get that test to them not today but yesterday because we're behind the eight-ball when it comes to covid. >> dr. irene bosch, dr. ebony hillton, thank you both. next we have a fact check on the biden economy and the real grinch. first, a look at violent rhetoric from gop lawmakers talking about second amendment solutions. talking about second amendment solutions. feel stuck with student loan debt? move to sofi and feel what it's like to get your money right. ♪ ♪
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now to a burst of violent threats and extremist rhetoric on the right, laced with talk about guns and civil war. it is the kind of language national security officials have warned could have real consequences. it is coming from some of the most prominent figures in maga. louis gohmert, an election denier, answering questions about a so-called second amendment solution after a right-wing conference just this week. >> is there any more we could have done? >> yeah, there's a lot more but need a lot more people doing it than just a handful of us.
>> a second amendment solution at some point? how are we going to fix it? do you think we are? >> i'm still in it. i think we can. >> i can't tell if i'm dizzy from the camera angle or the content. another sitting republican congressman telling a conservative crowd that he hopes there isn't a civil war about musing about which side would win. >> i think we have an opportunity in the next four to six years to prevent kinetic forces from ever meeting. i have no doubt we would be victorious. it is time for us to stop being sheep, stand up and be lions. the radical left should be terrified of who we are. the radical left should be terrified of what we are going to do. >> these are the messages we are now hearing from maga leaders. in the months before the january 6th riot, the fbi was warning that baseless claims about election fraud were, quote, likely to embolden u.s. domestic violent extremists.
again, that was before the insurrection. now we are seeing talk of a civil war and the celebration of firearms. two other gop lawmakers releasing these christmas cards glorifying guns and maga crowds responding. kyle rittenhouse greeted as a hero at a conservative conference. he brought a firearm to a blm contest and killed two people and was acquitted of murder. that earns him rock star treatment? a fox news host talked about how to dr. fauci on the street and veered quickly into violent imagery. >> you've got to ambush a guy like fauci. this is how you do these ambushes. do you mind, dr. fauci, if i ask you a few questions? now you go in for the kill shot. the kill shot, with an ambush, deadly. because he doesn't see it coming. boom, he is dead! he is dead! >> we've seen how talk can spiral into action, so where
exactly does the right hope to go with this? i turn now to kurt bar della, he used to advise steve bannon and breitbart before repudiatingrep. juanita tolliver is back with us. kurt, your take on this right-wing talk of violence, of civil war? >> it's a steady escalation that we've seen for years now. it started with donald trump declaring things like the free press being the enemy of the people, inciting violence against the media. we've seen it in the run-up to the 2020 election, the promise that if they didn't get the result that they wanted there would be hell to pay, there would be mayhem. we saw it on january 6, those words turn into actions. these people, this audience, the republican party, these extremists don't take what they're saying as sport or casual conversation, they take it as gospel and treat it as marching orders. we've seen it ever since january 6th. the republican deliberate effort to try to whitewash what
happened and evangelize. it's all leading towards more violence, more mayhem. at the end of the day, the republican party has blood on its hands. >> kurt, you saw firsthand how breitbart galvanized people. do you see echos of that same playbook in what's happening now? >> yeah, it is the same playbook and that's what's so frustrating and maddening to watch it unfold over and over again. they're not doing anything new here. people like louis gohmert or steve bannon or fox news, it's the same cycle. they fuel and feed outrage, turn it into action and then sit back as if they didn't have a deliberate role in it. it underscores why the work being done by the january 6 select committee is so vital, so important, that we have a full
accounting, a full record, a full understanding of what went into january 6th, who funded it, who knew about it, who helped it? if we don't get that full accounting now, we're not going to prevent the next one from happening. believe me, there will be a next one if things keep going that way. >> juanita, i think it's easy to watch some of that footage and say, oh, that's fringe, right? don't pay attention, don't give it voice. but polling shows 30%, 30% of republicans think resorting to violence is needed to save their country. what does that number tell you, juanita? >> it tells me that this is the core of what the gop is, what they represent and what they're willing to do to advance their political beliefs, because as kurt was enumerating all the events that followed january 6th, i want to go back to the summer of 2022 when we had armed men take over the michigan statehouse. we had a full kidnapping attempt on the governor of michigan. this is something nationally that we know the fbi has been
dealing with and when we talk about fueling this energy, it's explicitly white supremacy energy that we're seeing being pumped up and that existed long before trump. the thing is that he and the gop have emboldened it and legitimized it to the point that it is now a viable political play for them. i think the reality is here that when you see that 30% number, none of this can be dismissed. when you have members of congress like boebert going unpenalized, marjorie taylor greene still walking around the halls, people who helped incite the january 6th attack still sitting in congress, you cannot dismiss it. i fully agree with kurt that the accountability is required from the select committee. they cannot let any of this pass. if they do, january 6th would have been a dry run only for what they plan to do next. >> president biden recently said this to jimmy fallon about right-wing extremism. take a listen. >> the qanon and the extreme
elements of the republican party and what donald trump keeps sort of seems to me feeding, you know, the big lie, it makes it awful hard. >> kurt, what is there for the president to do about this? >> well, i think things like he's been doing recently. he in a recent speech directly called out those who have been using propaganda and misinformation to effectively lead their own audience to slaughter in terms of ignoring common-sense science in addressing covid. and the president has made it very clear from the beginning of even his campaign that he was running to try to unite the country, try to bring this country together, try to move forward beyond these crazy extreme voices. i think that what he has seen and probably been surprised about is how mainstream these conspiracy lunatic extremists there are. people like jim jordan and
people like josh hawley and ted cruz and marjorie taylor greene, they continue to operate unabashed, unencumbered because the republican leadership allows them to do so because they don't have a problem with what they're doing ultimately. if they did, they'd have done something about it. so the mainstreaming of these very dangerous, extremist type of characters, codifying them into the dna of the republican party means that going forward, there is no bringing that together. one of the things i always say is as much as i want this country to heal, i can't get along with someone who looks at me and sees me as a virus. who calls me the kung flu. who sees me as inferior because i'm from somewhere different from they are or i look different than they do. that's what we're up against right now. >> kurt, juanita, as always, thank you. coming up, fact checking a fox news attack on president biden. who's the real grinch? we have the tapes. who's the real grinch? we have the tapes. sh e world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance. ow! i'm ok!
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didn't occur. packages are moving. gifts are being delivered. shelves are not empty. >> today president biden stating some facts about a supply chain crisis that never quite materialized. several weeks ago right-wing pundits pounced on economic fears to ramp up the annual war on christmas, this time painting biden as the grinch. >> kids nationwide will have fewer gifts under the tree, thanks to the grinch in the white house. >> your christmas presents for your kids may not arrive on time or even at all. >> they are now officially the white house that stole christmas. >> joe biden may end up being the grinch who stole christmas. >> the biden who stole christmas. >> those attacks were ridiculous and even good-faith fears proved wrong. "the new york times" noting that christmas gifts are arriving on time and fears that a disrupted supply chain would wreak havoc
over the holiday turned out to be wrong. u.p.s. and the u.s. postal service reporting that 90% of their packages have been delivered on time. fedex right behind them, 97%. that's better than before the pandemic. today there's also some fact checking to do on what biden's critics are claiming about the economy. bloomberg reporting the nation's economy improved more in biden's first 12 months than any president in the last 50 years. biden's administration also announcing the extension of the student loan payment pause until may. joining me now, eric boehlert. eric, do you think fox news will admit biden is not the grinch? >> fox news of course never admits. but you know, it wasn't just fox news or the right-wing media. the mainstream press really hit this angle heart. you know, in october a reporter from a mainstream news organization asked jen psaki if president biden would personally guarantee that every package would be delivered by christmas.
that's one of the strangest questions i've ever heard at a white house press briefing. the president of the united states does not dictate private enterprise. he doesn't run shipping and handling for amazon out of the west wing but there seemed to be a real interest to really hammer biden on the economy. as you just pointed out, there's a real disconnect. jobs are up, wages are up, gdp is up, consumer spending is up. if you're a republican, fox news would be putting biden on mt. rushmore with this economic record that he has. but back to the supply chain, you know, there seemed to be a real interest on fox and other places to create this crisis. everything was a crisis, particularly after afghanistan, the troop pullout, from august to today. biden is just buried in all these crises. but a lot of them don't come to fruition. a lot of people never say, oops, we were wrong. or joe biden, you did a great
job, there's momentum, you're doing a wonderful job with the economy. so he's kind of getting the short end of the stick, i think. >> you heard the president himself touting his economic achievements thus far. take a listen. >> the end of 2021 with 50 years, nearly 6 million new jobs, a record number for a new president because of my staff and my cabinet. >> i think there is a question for administration how you talk about macro numbers like that while talking about the reality gas is expensive, grocery bills are climbing and that is very often what people are actually talking about at their kitchen table more than economic indicators. >> yeah, i think joe biden should take more credit. obviously, he doesn't want to be like trump and pretend everything revolves around him. he's not an ego maniac like
trump. he ought to take credit for really good news. this is good news. yes, inflation exists. he's not ducking that. he's been straightforward. it's going to be a problem for awhile. this economy is rebounding so much faster than anyone ever thought if you go back to april or march and he ought to take credit for it. >> eric, i have one more question. yes or no answer only. did you get all your packages on time? >> every one. every one. >> refusing the yes or no answer. thank you so much. ahead, startling new revelations about the pandemi early days and refusal of treatment. early days and refusal of treatment. and smokey baja chipotle sauce. save big. order through the app. ♪ ♪ ray loves vacations. but his diabetes never seemed to take one. everything felt like a 'no'. everything. but then ray went from no to know.
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amid a new covid surge, we're getting a first look what life was like in an immigration facility during the earliest days of the pandemic. the irwin detention center came last fall after detainees received unwanted and unnecessary gynecology procedures. the accused doctor denies the allegations. that story was covered in part by award winning investigative journalist seth freed who is out with a powerful documentary called "facility" that is getting oscar buzz for the shocking details it uncovers about the covid response as detainees struggled for basic safety protections. >> the guards only check on us on monday and they don't have it
on at all. you see he's going up there checking. >> they are not practicing social distance with 32 people in here there is no way to practice that. >> seth joins me now. the detainees ultimately took dramatic measures to call attention to their safety. what did they do? >> i began reporting in the very early days of the pandemic on what was happening inside of i.c.e. detention centers. i talked to detainees around the country including in irwin where there was an overwhelming sense of fear because more or less, officials were operating as if nothing changed. if you had mask there was no ability to social distance and a tremendous amount of reasonable fear so people inside that detention center and i found remarkable as a reporter as i was talking to people using this
video visitation app calling into the facility, we're beginning to organize inside to demand masks and protections and demand people be released if they had medical vulnerabilities and so i watched as people sort of began to organize these protests over the early months of the pandemic at irwin county detention center. >> were they successful? >> you know, the irwin county detention center lost the contract to hold detainees for i.c.e., so there are no immigration detainees in this south georgia customs enforcement detention center. i think that decision that the biden administration made happen for a lot of reasons but one of those was that people inside were already organized, were able to sort of lift up their voices and in a way that was pretty profound to tell their stories about what was happening to them inside of this place. i think those stories got out of the detention center. this film kind of brings us back
to that first year of the pandemic. the facfacility, i really tried bring people, people seeing this film inside with me because i spent so much time on these video calls. it functioned like a portal in and out of the detention center, not so different from the call now but into a place that's not supposed to be seen from the inside. the film tells the story of the protest but also of life inside of this place that is supposed to keep people on the inside separated from the people on the outside. >> i want to play an interview.
>> what did you make of that officer flatout lying? >> it was striking. i read the legal filings in court the day before establishing that people had covid, the warden had said that people had covid and an i.c.e. official shows up in the cell block and tells everybody there is no problem and nothing to worry about. it was shocking to me and shocking to the people on the inside and i happen to be sitting there on the other end of the camera at my desk watching as this happened inside. this facility of this documentary tries to tell that story in this intimate realtime way over in that period when all of us were trying to figure out what is the world going to look like? it was particularly scary in immigration detention centers and jails around the country. >> this isn't just about one detention center and one moment in time but a larger broken system. i have 30 seconds left.
your final thoughts, seth? >> ultimately, the numbers of people held in i.c.e. detention go up and down depending on who the president is or what is happening around immigration policy but the fact is that i.c.e. detention, detaining immigrants seeking protection in the u.s. or fighting deportation remains a central part of the american immigration policy. it remains a central part of how we deal with immigration and that's a choice that the federal government makes. nearly nobody who is detained has to be detained as a matter of law. it's at the discretion of the federal government and that was true during the pandemic in the early days. it's true now for many tens of thousands of people who remain held in i.c.e. detention around the country. >> very grateful for your work and your reporting and for your time with us tonight. thank you so much. you can watch seth's film. it's called "the facility" part of the holiday marathon beginning sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern. that does it for me. "the