tv Velshi MSNBC December 26, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PST
hundreds actually, now they're zeroing in on republican lawmakers who may hold key information about how the capitol attack was allowed to unfold in the first place. one person they'd like to speak to in particular is jim jordan. in a letter to jordan, betty johnson said we understand you had one if not multiple conversations with the president on january 6th. we'd like to discuss this with you in detail. hopefully he'll be clear with the committee about the phone calls with the ex-president than he's been during past interviews. >> i've talked to the president numerous times. i continue to talk to the president. >> no, i mean on january 6th, congressman. >> i've talked to the president -- i've talked to the president so many -- i can't remember all the days i've talked to him. i certainly have talked to the
president. >> on january 6th did you speak to him before, after, during the capital attack? >> i'd have to go -- i -- i spoke with him that day after. i think after. i don't know if i spoke with him in the morning. i just don't know. >> jordan isn't the only gop lawmaker in the sights. you have scott perry. the committee would like to speak with perry because it has, quote, received evidence from multiple witnesses, he, perry, had an important role to install jeffrey clark as acting attorney general. that didn't happen in the end. he is the former top doj official to legitimize the expresident's lies about the 2020 election results. getting back to scott perry he's dismissed it as illegitimate. he's refusing to voluntarily cooperate with the probe. that puts them in the position of having to potentially
subpoena someone. there are a lot of names and players to keep up with. these are sienks it's making progress. the question is where it heads next. we have a clue about that next week as well. chairman thompson tells the washington post the committee is focusing on the expresident's hours of silence as it weighs recommending opening a criminal investigation into his actions. if you blink, you may have missed it, but liz cheneycheney republican congresswoman, also pointed to possible criminal charges that trump could face. in summing up text messages received by trump's chief of staff mark meadows, cheney asked whether trump, quote, through action or inaction corruptly sought to obstruct or impede congress's official proceedings to count electoral votes. that's probably why trump is now asking the supreme court to
block the national archives for what he did and who he talked to on that first wednesday in january. joining me are two reporters who have been tirelessly recovering the aftermath of the insurrection. hugo lowell is with the guardian and kyle cheney is with politico. thank you for the reporting you've been doing on this. kyle, i want to start with you. i want to play for the audience what liz cheney said. i think what she said on december 13th with reference to trump is very carefully worded, has references in it and has references in it. let's listen to liz cheney. >> did donald trump through action or inaction corruptly seek to obstruct or impede congress's official proceedings to count electoral votes? >> now here's what you wrote about this, kyle.
cheney's suggestion for inaction could lead to a violation of the statute is among the broadest interpretations. among the variables is whether it could apply to someone like trump whose specific actions may have been technically lawful even if they were done with corrupt intent of interfering with congress. give me a little more on this, kyle. >> sure. so this is actually a very active issue not just in relation to donald trump but in relation to the rioters themselves in the building. a lot of them are facing obstruction charges and they're challenging them on the basis that, well, the counting of electoral votes is not an official proceeding in the legal definition because there is no evidence collection, no actual investigation just a ceremonial process. so far the judges have kind of swept that argument aside. they're saying that's baseless. it's clearly an official act.
what they were doing to obstruct was also illegal. it was trespassing. it was potentially assault. assaulting officers to do that. it was committing other crimes in the process of attempting to obstruct. when you think about that in the reference to donald trump, now maybe donald trump wasn't corruptly trying to stop it, but what were the means that he used to do that? were those means on their own illegal? and that's a more open question and why the law around this is a little murky. >> and, hugo, we've been talking about this, you and i, for weeks now. the viewer might say, why is this the news today? why is this important? it's not that we're coming up to the anniversary of the event, it's the idea of what this committee does next. liz cheney has suggested there will be open hearings, public hearings that people can listen to, but the suggestion of prosecution is important. you write about this in which
you say the reality is with each passing day the committee is gathering new evidence around trump's culpability around the capitol attack that might culminate with new election laws but also for prosecutions. as an american citizen, i would like election laws that are solid enough that they don't depend on the good graces of people who will not corrupt them. prosecution may be the road to getting there. >> yeah, i think that's right. as kyle has said, liz cheney has been spearheading this effort from the committee's side from potential criminal referrals, whether it's proceedings, whether trump had corrupt intent to block a proceeding, whether this is the fact that he knows that election lies are lies and yet used that as a basis to gin up supporters to attack the capitol. irrespective of the reasons, it seems they are heading towards
criminal referral or some sort of recommendation that at the very least could have enterprise for the justice department to follow up. this is getting to trump and this is furious with his aides for invoking the fifth amendment and it looks weak and implicit. the fact of the matter is he doesn't have the tools he had when he was president and i think it's coming to an inexorable end. >> let's follow up on that, kyle. the department of justice and its role for two reasons, one is the impediments that hit the build back better deal. a lot of them are talking about getting the voting rights through the senate. there's a tie between voting rights legislation that will stop some of the states perpetrating the big lie in their legislators and january 6th, which was the manifestation
of the big lie. at some point where does the justice department get involved in this? they've been involved in the charges against protesters. they've been involved in the criminal reference of steve bannon who refused to show up for this meeting. there are some people who want to hear from the attorney general himself on where the justice department stands against donald trump and his cronies and the events of january 6th. >> there has been some frustration that doj has not played a role. the fact that they charged steve bannon was fairly remarkable. look, they've made clear that the charges against those who entered the capitol, the investigation of that, is the biggest in history of the justice department, the most complicated ever. even some of the judges are saying, well, you're focusing on the foot soldiers, you're not focusing on the generals or the people who orchestrated, ginned
up, juked these people. it seems incongruous. the members of the committee are frustrated and would like to see more public commentary from attorney general garland who is very, very careful to avoid seeming political and so have not waded in in any significant way himself. i think members of the committee are hopeful that criminal referral, while they have no real legal force, they are a recommendation, that would put the pressure on the justice department to take a stand on are we going to be serious about going after some of these ring leaders as we are on the foot soldiers and the people who walked into the capitol. >> hugo, give me a sense of what the distinction is between the information that this committee is gathering versus the information the fbi gathers on the protesters, the rioters, the insurrectionists who have been arrested. some who have been charged, some in fact have had fairly serious conviction.
could it be the justice department is sitting around and waiting for the january 6th committee to say we got as much information as we can get, over to you. >> i think there's an element of that. i think this justice department has been very reactive as opposed to proactive. it wouldn't surprise me that they wouldn't wait until they finish the report before they act on anything. they're looking at the foot soldiers, people that broke into the capitol and as far as the committee is aware and my sources at least, the justice department has not had any outreach in terms of going after political operatives, people in the administration and people around trump. i think this is curious and this is interesting. i think this might suggest that the justice department is waiting for the committee to wrap up the threat before it
gets involved. they want the committee to get all of the evidence that they can and present that in some sort of a report that they can possibly act on. >> gentlemen, thank you for your excellent reporting on this. we appreciate it. we rely on it on a daily basis. hugo lowell is a congressional reporter and kyle cheney, legal affairs reporter from politico. emmitt till in the 1950s, a federal case looking into his death. a family member of emmitt till joins us. and senator joe manchin has made his feelings clear on build back better. he's struggling to explain the climate crisis to his west virginia constituents.
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we have some sad news to report this morning. the archbishop desmond tutu has died. he was 90 years old. his passing was confirmed in a statement by south african president this morning. in 1984 archbishop tutu was awarded the nobel peace prize for his tireless work against apartheid. they weren't just limited to his home country. he was a vocal activist for social and racial rights. i had the pleasure to meet him in the late 1990s. he meant a lot to me because i come from a family of antiapartheid activists from south africa. he headed the truth and reconciliation commission.
relevant to other struggles today including the struggle of the palestinians for self-determination against israeli occupying forces in the west bank, tutu supported the global divestment against south africa. this tutu quote will always stick with me, quote, if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. rest in peace, my friend. at least my shoes look good! looking good start with bounce wrinkleguard, the megasheet designed to prevent wrinkles in the dryer. superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance. ow! i'm ok! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ only in theaters december 17th.
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millions of americans are gathering together this holiday season, and i'm not just talking about families and friends. massive lines to get tested for covid-19 were an all too familiar site across much of the nation this weekend, probably still be next week after folks start figuring out they were sitting next to someone who has since tested positive. the more you test the more you find which is what the former president used to say except his solution was not to test very much. now america believes in testing.
what have we learned? 1 point be point 3 million americans tested positive for covid just in the last week with an average of almost 190,000 new cases every day. that's the highest average count we have seen in a year. all sorts of people are testing in the privacy of their homes. that's not sheen here. infections from omicron are seen to be milder. hospitalizations are happening and the strain is growing, that's the bad news. in new mexico, 50% of all hospitals are critically under staffed. 75% of hospital beds are occupied. in south carolina 1/3 of hospitals are short staffed. 76% of hospital beds are occupied. in california 29% critical shortage and almost 79% of beds already in use. this is bad news for those of
you who don't have covid or aren't planning to get covid but who may need doctors and hospitals for other things like heart attacks, injuries, appendicitis, or elective surgery. a strain on the health care system affects us all. joining me is dr. peter hotez. he's a dean, big dean of the natural school of tropical medicine at baylor college. good morning to you. within the last hour a doctor was talking to my colleague lindsey reiser about things we had not heard about for several months. let's play it. >> i admitted a non-vaccinated covid patient, admitted him and the icu doc said you got the last icu bed. unless somebody else happened i'm going to show up and any patients that need to go to icu
will be boarded in the emergency department back like in 2020 again. >> by the way, he's in your state, peter. this is the kind of thing that is dangerous to all of us. >> yeah. no, ali, here's my worry. we're going to come out of the other side of this christmas weekend and realize that our health system has already started the unraveling process because we have the confluence of 5 or 6 things that are coming together now over the next few weeks. first of all, those lines that you saw for testing, remember, for every line that you see, you have to figure there's three or four times as many people who have looked at that line and said, the heck with it, i'll just wing it because i'm not going to wait in line for three hours to get a test. so testing has collapsed in the united states of america, point one. point two, this business of omicron being a benign illness, that kind of happy talk has not been helpful. one, it's not true.
second, this idea of a milder disease may be somewhat but not enough, as you pointed out, to mitigate the rise in hospitalizations and the hospitalizations are going up steeply now. in new york city, in washington, d.c., and soon across the united states. so 50% increases in hospitalizations. we're not collecting data all weekend. who knows what it's going to look like when people finally come out of the other side of this weekend and actually tabulate the numbers. so those are going to go up. then the big one of all which is so many health care providers are knocked out of the workforce which is something i pushed to halt by recommending a second booster for our health care providers, not that they're sick enough to go into the hospital themselves but they're home knocked out because they have symptomatic covid or asymptomatic covid and we did not take steps to mitigate against this. the list goes on. two of our three monoclonal
antibodies don't work. we don't have paxlovid. we have remdesivir. we have a very dangerous situation coming down in the country in the next couple of weeks. and by the way, all predicted and predictable. >> yes. well, that's another point. we have some good news with these two antiviral pills, one from merck and one from pfizer. the merck pill doesn't seem to be all that effective. the pfizer pill is effective. now we have new news that the -- one of the two drugs, the pfizer one in the anti-viral cocktail could cause severe interactions with widely used drugs including statins, blood thinners. if you add statins and blood
thinners and antidepressants, most of america is on that. >> that would disqualify just about everyone from getting paxlovin. what will turn out is there will be true contraindications for many of them and hopefully that will be very tiny. relative concerns which either can halt your other medications for a period of time or it will be recognized that it's not of concern enough so you continue to get the medicine. we will need some clarity on that and hopefully these will not be absolute contraindications. i doubt it, but we'll have to see. >> let me ask you -- i want to go back to what you just said about completely predictable. what part is predictable? what part can we predict now that we should be implementing systems to deal with? >> the predictable part was this was not as benign as people were making it out to be. i think some of that is because of the fact that both in the u.k. and south africa their
omicron wave dovetailed right on to a big delta weave. a lot of these were omicron re-infections following delta. that mitigated some of the severity. we have a different situation in the u.s. then the big one was we did not take enough steps to preserve our health care workers in the workforce and i thought that an important option a few weeks ago was to offer them a second booster because what you're seeing now is when you are about two or three months out of that boost you're seeing a big decline in effectiveness against omicron. it was disappointing that that was the reality. it went from 70 to 75% protection to roughly 30 to 40%. by giving that boost it would have revved it up for a period of time and basically kept them in the workforce. not every health care worker would have availed themselves of that but at least given them the option. like israel has done after my recommendation.
i think we should have done what israel has done. so we'll see. we're going to be in for a pretty rough ride, and how we keep all of that together, that confluence, that storm of rise in hospitalizations and you're hearing hospitals where you've got half the workforce out. don't forget, everyone is already exhausted and according to some firms, we've already had an 18% depletion in our health care force even before this. >> right. that's important to recognize. we had a health care shortage -- shortage of health care workers well before the covid virus showed up and we have not lost jobs in that industry for decades. we keep on needing more health care workers and now we need to get more than we did before that. thank you for these important warnings. dr. peter hotez. many republican senators are devoted to the fossil fuel industry and vote accordingly
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one. vowed to switch from fossil fuels to clean energy and is cutting greenhouse gases. with the propoal of two major pieces of legislation gave even more hope for the future of our planet. for the first time in a long time 2021 felt like the year that climate change would become the defining issue of the generation. the build back better bill which includes $555 billion in clean energy spending is on ice. the $2 trillion bill which passed in the house last month includes $320 billion in incentives for companies that switch from oil, gas, and coal to wind, solar and nuclear power. up to $12,500 in tax credits for anyone who purchases an electric vehicle. $1 billion to build electric charging stations for those
across the nation. $2.9 billion to make the electric grid more conducive for wind and solar power, $12 billion in rebates for energy efficient appliances and tens of billions more for clean energy farming and renewable energy programming. as is, this bill would easily be the largest climate change law in american history creating transformational change from the planet on which we live. the bill is at the mercy of one single democrat who has the disproportionate power to sabotage the whole thing. senator joe manchin said bah humbug saying he won't vote for it because he doesn't see the benefit for his constituents. one wonders if he's worried about the constituents or the companies that make money off of
burning fossil fuels. this is not conjecture. manchin has stakes in the coal industry. "the new york times" dug deeper revealing a manchin family owned business has made a small fortune selling waste coal from abandoned mines to a heavily polluting power plant in the state. the blind trust in which mr. manchin's interests lie held between $500,000 and $1 million last year according to his most recent disclosure form. the company, enersystems delivered him $492,000 in dividends, interest and business income in 2020, end quote. he has acknowledged his ties to the family coal company. he says it's not a big deal that his family's shares ever hidden in a blind trust. manchin has received more campaign donations from the oil, coal, gas industries than any
other senator in the current election cycle, which makes sense given that he's standing between the most aggressive climate bill ever and them. he's not just a darling in the fossil fuel industry now. corporate america digs him too. right before announcing he would single handedly sink the bill, he received donations from widely known corporations like american express, verizon, wells fargo, goldman sachs, united health group and more raising close to $260,000 in the last two months. now i want to be fair here by pointing out that just about every republican senator is also a darling to the fossil fuel industry and not a single one of them are supporting build back better. most struggle to fully comprehend this whole earth warming, human contribution
thing though. this may not be what manchin's struggle is. joe manchin won't come on this show despite many requests to do so. he and i last spoke in d.c. in 2019 when i questioned him about his commitment to dirty fuels. he said he would come on the show, it's been two years. the invitation stands, senator manchin. we continue our move away from coal, you stand to lose financially. i understand why that's unsavory to you, but let's come clean about your attachment to dirty fuel because right now it feels like you've given america a big, fat lump of coal for christmas. feel the difference with downy. ♪♪ ♪♪
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the supreme court to thank for that. in florida republican governor ron desantis announced a new bill saying private citizens can sue any school district they believe is teaching critical race theory. gavin newsom said they can sue anyone who violates the assault rifle ban. it's a bill that unusually empowers private citizens to su'a borings providers or anyone who helps a woman get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. handing enforcement of laws to citizens is a slippery slope. for more on this let's bring in joyce vance, a former u.s. attorney in alabama. joyce, a lot of people thought when governor gavin newsom said this about guns, that either he was trolling the texas law or he
thought that was a good way. >> what gavin newsom is doing is pointing out that a vigilante system is a broken system. it's in place to protect our rights. that's specifically why this exists, so people don't have to take that into it. not only will we condon vigilante justice. sure, women have a right to get an abortion in our country but you can go ahead and sue people around them who aid and abet them which will deter them from
getting abortions which will make it impossible for them to get the support that they need. that is tantamount to have a broken system where rights aren't enforced, where due process is violated. the problem is the supreme court in its ruling in the texas cause has said, have at it, folks. open season. >> and maybe this doesn't worry people all that much because generally speaking for most americans, there are some key exceptions, but for most americans they don't see our system of enforcement of law as being fundamentally broken like you might in certain other countries where there's an administration change and one group gets jailed or militias are empowered to enforce justice. the issue here isn't just one law. chief justice john roberts said this about the texas law, that this mechanism, this idea of outsourcing the enforcement is one that is not going to be
something that american will enjoy in decades to come. >> it's a real slippery slope with no telling how far it could extend. part of what underlies this is the confidence that they're about to reverse or gut roe versus wade and do away with abortion rights. that would permit the court to say, you know, we've considered this case more fully on the merits and we've decided that this approach really can't be taken and we'll invalidate this approach in texas law, this vigilante mechanism. even if that's what happens, the damage is done in texas. for months or years they will be denied their rights, unable to exercise them because of the coercive environment that vigilante justice involves. ali, i suspect you're right and
what this means is the florida's proposed law, go after teachers who are teaching antiracist approaches in their classrooms or the california gun approach, perhaps we'll see this expand and become more of the norm. there is no telling how far it can go, right? it seems ludicrous to think this can be used to, for instance, go after first amendment free speech rights but ultimately nothing is sacred once you permit vigilante justice to come into play. >> joyce, thank you. you've written about this. there are important legal principles here that we should understand. always good to see you. thank you for coming in this morning. she's the co-host of the sisters in law podcast. case closed. seven investigations and 66 years later. the lynching of emmitt till still feels tragically fresh. a member of the slain teen's
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from anywhere, anytime. it's network management redefined. every day in business is a big day. we'll keep you ready for what's next. comcast business powering possibilities. . even though he died 66 years ago, the story of emmit till and his death continues to haunt americans. he had just turned 14 years old in 1955 when he went to spend his summer break with relatives in mississippi. a few weeks later, he was brutalized and lynched. his mutilated body thrown into a river for allegedly whistling at
a white woman. that has been acultural touch didn't point for americans. listen to what the recent college graduate timothy young, who i met in jackson, mississippi, told me about how what happened in emmit till informed his life. >> i remember being 8 going into a mall. my mom took me in victoria's secret. i was bored. i ended up whistling to keep myself from falling asleep. all of a sudden my mom grabbed me frantic. i need you to never do that again. she was like, have you heard of emmit till. i don't know who that is. i'm 8. she showed me who emmit till was. whistling was fun. i whistle now. i catch myself noticing i'm in a public space and i stop. it's like --
>> a normal instinct would have and you have an association with it. >> i have an association with it. >> despite the case being decades old, a federal probe into his abduction and murder remained open until earlier this month. this woman was the central witness in the case. her then husband and another man were tried for till's murder and eventually acquitted by an all white male jury. she claimed on the stand that till made sexually lewd comments to her. in a book published in 2017, the blood of emmit till, the author wrote that she had recanted that testimony in a 2008 interview with him. the department of justice began looking into the story in 2018 after it got wind of the book. this month, the department of justice said it had decided to close the case because there was not enough evidence to pursuit charges against her who is 87 years old. despite the case being closed, the family of till says it's not going to give up and till
continue its quest for justice. joining me is the cousin of mr. till and the co-founder of the emmit till legacy foundation. good morning. you and i have been speaking over the years throughout this entire process. you were very hopeful not for yourself and your family necessarily but for all those people like that young man i spoke to in jackson, mississippi, who wanted to see justice for emmit till. today, that justice has alluded them once again. >> yes. we are very disappointed by the department of justice's decision to close their investigation in the case. that young man should have hope, because i have hope. some of our family members have hope as well. because we know that the woman has not been held accountable for her role in the kidnapping and murder of emmit till as an
accomplice. the state of mississippi has an opportunity to bring justice in this case. we're hoping that just as we have seen in minnesota and in georgia with the courage of prosecutors and at the state level highest law enforcement that they would -- lynn fitch, the attorney general, along with d.a. richardson, that they would have the courage in mississippi to bring this forward. there is an opportunity. so that young man should have hope. we should hold out hope. she has not been held accountable for her role. we don't hate for her. there's no vengeance. we just want justice to prevail in this case. emmit deserves it. our country deserves it. our family deserves it. >> yeah. your language is better than mine on this. i said justice. there's no justice.
if he is not alive, then that's not justice. accountability is what we are looking for here. one of the interesting legacies of the work you have done and of emmit till is that in the last couple of years we have seen instances of lynching and americans are now able to call it what it is. we have a memorial to lynching. but the fact that americans are able to see that the extrajudicial killing of anyone without a right to trial or explain themselves or defend themselves is lynching. it's still going on. >> yes, it is. that's unfortunate. the united states has not passed any anti-lynching law, particularly at a federal level. it's not a federal law to lynch anyone in this country. the emmit till anti-lynching act is something that congressman bobby rush is pushing along with other congressional representatives and senators. this should actually pass in this country. we are hoping that that is a law that can move forward so that
lynching is outlawed at a federal level. but also, i will tell you with the emmit till victim recovery program that we have in minnesota, we are hoping families can have some sort of way to move forward in their lives. then also, the bill that emmit till's name is under, which allows for the investigation of cases like his, civil rights unsolved cases, should go forward as well. we wish that the federal government would aggressively pursue these cases. and we hope that they have not given up on emmit's as well, even though we heard that. i appreciate them coming back in 2018. i appreciate the federal government and the fbi doing their work. we hope that they know that we're not giving up in this case. we are going to be pushing forward in emmit's name and in his mother's name who fought for 47 years for accountability and
justice in her son's case. we are going to move forward, too. we are calling everyone to join us as we move forward and to not give up hope in this country. i appreciate you just bringing that young man's voice into this space right now. because that is the hope. that is what we are going to move forward with with pursuing justice for emmit till. >> her decision to allow that open casket was an instance that allowed people to bare witness to what happened. at least that young man understands the consequence of this. i hope he whistles all he wants in life. but that's the reality that this haunts so many african-americans, all americans. this is a tragedy that's still at this moment not dealt with properly. we appreciate the work that you continue to put into this and you have got a space on this show to continue to talk about it. the cousin of emmit till and
co-founder of the emmit till legacy foundation. stay with us. another packed hour ahead. the build back better bill is on life support thanks to joe manchin. will talk to steve bullock who has a unique perspective being a fellow democrat in a red state. good morning. it's sunday, december 26. the future of president biden's sweeping build back better bill is in limbo thanks to a certain senator from west virginia. joe manchin's announcement he will not support the $2 trillion package that would expand the social safety net and combat climate change has thrown the democratic party into a tailspin. given how life changing this legislation could be for many americans, one has to wonder, what is behind manchin's opposition? despite being a red state, the latest polling from data for progress reveals the majority of virginians actuall