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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  December 26, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST

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a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone. it's high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. you're watching "alex witt
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reports." we begin this sunday, boxing day, with omicron wreaking havoc coast-to-coast. in just a week's time, 1.3 million americans testing positive for covid, an average of 190,000 new cases per day, the highest case average we've seen in a year. a silver lining, if there is one, new research from the uk signaling while the omicron variant is more transmissible, it produces milder symptoms, especially in breakthrough cases. but not for the unvaccinated. omicron is hitting those patients hard, overwhelming hospitals and stretching front line workers thin. case in point, new mexico. 50% of all hospitals are critically understaffed and 75% of hospital beds are occupied. south carolina, a third of hospitals are short-staffed. 76 of hospital beds occupied there. moving to california, nearly 30% of hospitals report a critical staffing shortage and close to 80% of hospital beds statewide are in use.
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another reason for alarm this sunday. an uptick in children being infected and hospitalized. 170,000 new cases reported in children and adolescents according to the american academy of pediatrics. all of this unfolding in these final days of 2021. so many pilots and crew sickened that airlines have canceled, listen to this, some 2,000 flights today alone. and at a time when testing is vital, finding a test remains a hassle across this country. thousands spending their christmas day in massive lines. the u.s. surgeon general this morning offering some hope as we wrap up a second holiday season clouded by covid. >> we have made tremendous progress in this last two years as well by studies recently done, in fact, we have saved more than a million lives because of vaccination efforts this past year alone. i know it's tough right now. i know there's a prospect of another wave with omicron coming. but we now know more about how to stay safe than whatever ever
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known. if you're vaccinated and boosted, your risk of having a bad outcome with covid-19 is much, much lower. and we will get to the end of this pandemic. >> we're going to begin our coverage with liz mclaughlin at charlotte-douglas international airport where the impact of the covid surge is certainly hitting holiday travelers there. elizabeth, welcome to you. i know thousands of flights were grounded over the weekend. today things don't seem to be looking much better. >> reporter: good afternoon. no, this holiday travel mess is just getting messier. it's still early in the day and we're already seeing numbers close to what we've seen all weekend. let's look at those numbers. cancellations on christmas eve, more than 2,300 globally. almost 700 for the u.s. within, into, or out of the the u.s. on christmas day, more than 2,800 flights canceled worldwide. nearly 1,000 u.s. flights. today more than 2,200 flights have already been canceled across the globe, more than 700
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in the u.s. those numbers just continue to climb. we've seen jetblue, united, and delta hit hardest when it comes to these delays and cancellations, which by the way those cancellations where caused tens of thousands of delays throughout the weekend. that's causing passengers to get stranded, if they're missing connections. delta says that this is going to continue throughout the week. they're still struggling with getting those flight crews and other staff so they can get those routes back up and running. according to kayak, the busiest travel day until the end of the year will be tuesday, december 28th. if you're traveling that day, be prepared, check your email. those airlines say they're trying to get in touch with passengers before they get to the airport so they can make alternative plans. we spoke with some travelers. as you can imagine, many are frustrated. some are trying to get through it with patience. here is 73-year-old diane here in charlotte. let's listen to what she had to say. >> i think they all should make
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sure they have their i.d.'s and shots before they get on the plane because i think that's the only way -- or go to a ball game. they don't have all their shots. i have had all three of my shots for a long time. i stayed in for two years. i didn't get to see any person. it's hard. >> reporter: an emotional holiday reunion with her family. she says that's worth the wait and the delays and the busy long lines. but she also suggested that she wished other passengers on the plane were vaccinated. some lawmakers are trying to make that happen. california senator dianne feinstein pushing legislation to require vaccination or proof of a negative covid test for all domestic flights within the u.s. it's already required for international passengers. >> yeah, i think it's also been believed that omicron could pass more easily on board a plane.
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heretofore it really hadn't, we haven't had a lot of transmission aboard planes while being masked. but there is speculation as to what omicron might bring. let me ask you about the crowds behind you. i mean, this time of day, it looks like there's lot of people trying to still get on their flights behind you there. >> reporter: we've been here since before sunrise, and it's been a zoo all day. absolutely long lines. you see people on their phones, calling. maybe they just found out there was a flight delay or cancellation. this is an american hub so it hasn't been hit as hard as other airports. as you mentioned, with the covid-19 concerns and the highly transmissible omicron variant, if you're going to travel, they say filtration and fit is important for your mask. break out the n95, maybe not that cloth one. >> i've heard that as well, and double mask, that's good advice. liz, we'll check back with you. six states set record highs for seven-day averages of coronavirus cases this
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christmas. with new jersey recording its highest ever daily cases for the third day in a row, more than 1.3 million americans have been infected in just this last week. joining me right now to discuss it all is dr. rick bright, an hhs whistle-blower and was a member of president biden's transition team, the covid task force. he now works for the rockefeller foundation. dr. bright, welcome to you, sir. you've been on the covid case from the very beginning in one way or another. are you surprised that now some two years after the pandemic's beginning that the u.s. is dealing with the omicron variant that is spreading so quickly? and what's your take on this new variant? >> alex, thanks for having me on today. i'm not surprised that omicron is now here, that new variants are spreading in the united states and around the world, only because we have not yet done enough around the world to vaccinate enough people to slow the spread of this virus. we are seeing more cases of omicron now. we know it's highly contagious.
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it's probably the most contagious virus that we've seen of any virus family in a century or so. what we need to do, though, alex, is make sure that we don't let omicron have the upper hand on us. it has kicked up its game. we need to kick up ours, not be on the defense but be on the offense and use the tools we have to stop it. >> absolutely. why do you think omicron seems to be less severe than the delta variant? >> you know, alex, i'm going to use a lot of caution when we describe omicron as a milder, less severe virus. it is a virus, and in people who are vulnerable to the sars-cov-2 virus, it could be deadly. we're seeing hospitals fill up today. we still have a lot of delta variant in our communities and hospitals as well. i'm not comfortable with calling it milder. i'm comfortable saying this is a highly contagious virus, it can
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kill you, you should do everything possible to prevent it from infecting you. >> so what do you say to those doctors who suggest this signals at least to them the beginning of the end of a pandemic? are you saying that's too optimistic of a view? >> i've worked with viruses for many decades and i would always say never underestimate a virus, especially a virus such as sars-cov-2 which has shown us an ability to mutate rapidly, mutate extensively, and change the game repeatedly. so every time we have sort of declared victory or freedom or independence and taken off the mask and relaxed our social behaviors, the virus has outsmarted us and come back even stronger. we need to buckle down now. everyone needs to wear an n95 mask when they leave the house. everyone should have that booster shot. we need to kick up our game. we need to use tests, make sure if you're positive, you don't enter a place where there are
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other people or highly vulnerable people, and also layer these measures, not just use one and put all your eggs in one basket, like vaccines. use those masks in combination with tests and your vaccine and you'll be a lot safer. >> speaking of tests, as you know the variant has spread which means the need for testing as certainly skyrocketed. the white house plans to distribute half a million tests free of charge to americans. but the need for the test is immediate. should the administration have been better prepared to handle this particular need? what could they have done? >> i'm going to say yes, they should have been better prepared. we've known about this virus for two years. we've known about our shortages on tests and testing supplies for two years. we have done a lot to ramp up the production of tests over the last two years. unfortunately some of that effort was downscaled or scaled back this last summer when we declared victory too soon. so i think there's a lot more the administration can do. i do want to applaud them,
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though, for thinking more broadly, for putting tests back on the table where for a while they were sort forgotten and pushed back behind vaccines. they're going to do a lot in january. but we need help now, we need tests now you. it looks like "the hunger games" in america, everyone fighting for that test. that test is your entry to airplanes and to see your family. we needs tests now, we need to come up with alternate solutions. >> relative to the first vaccine, they've undoubtedly made at least some of these cases of covid less severe, we're hearing about less severe symptoms when they get covid although it appears the shots are fading after six months so there's talk of maybe needing a fourth booster shot for some. where do you stand on that? >> let's look at the response to the vaccine carefully. when we talk about waning immunity, a lot of times we're talking antibodies, the defense
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that keeps you from being infected. we're seeing waning in antibodies as we always do in every vaccine over a period of time. what we're not seeing, and this is encouraging, the "t" responses that are providing prevention from serious illness and death, that's holding. that third shot of moderna or pfizer and second shot of j&j is doing a lot to keep us away from severe illness or death. there are some people who are immune compromised, who are elderly and vulnerable, who don't respond well to regular vaccination. additional doses will be really helpful in that population. i'm not convinced yet that an additional dose of the same vaccine will offer much to the general population. i would be more in favor of
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updating the formulation and start making a vaccine that's better matched to the vaccine as it changes. >> duly noted. listen to donald trump. >> the vaccine is one of the greatest achievements of mankind. i came up with a vaccine, with three vaccines, all are very, very good, came up with three of them in less than nine months. it was supposed to take five to 12 years. the ones that get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don't take their vaccine. but it's still their choice. and if you take the vaccine, you're protected. look, the results of the vaccine are very good. >> so look, he said several different things there. however i know that you were a big critic of trump's overall response to covid. this is really the first time that he's acknowledging consistently that the vaccine does any good. how do you respond to what he said there? and if he had said it from the beginning, would it have saved any lives? >> alex, first i want to applaud
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the former president, trump, for speaking the truth now, for telling his followers and the people who adore him the value of the vaccine. he's confirming the vaccines made under the trump administration are safe, he's confirming they're effective. and if we know one thing about president trump, he will do anything and everything to make sure he is safe and protected. and the fact that he believes in these vaccines so strongly and is telling everyone how effective and safe they are, that is a huge milestone in our response to this pandemic. i hope that everyone that listens to president trump and follows what he says will hear this message he's given us today on christmas and they will believe in these vaccines and follow his example and lead and get vaccinated as soon as possible. >> an appropriate answer coming from someone in your position. thank you so much. we should say the former president has also been boostered, we know, something his followers should know as well as a fact. dr. rick bright, thank you so much, sir, appreciate your time. the topic of covid came up
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with vice president harris in a wide ranging interview that aired today. she also touched on critical issues and headline-grabbing moments including the supreme court and the crisis at the border. let's go to nbc's monica alba who is standing by at the white house with more. good to see you, my friend. what did we learn from the vice president? >> reporter: as you said, alex, this was a wide ranging interview in which the vice president was asked to reflect on some of the major challenges that confronted the administration in the last year, many of which are of course ongoing. on things like the chaotic evacuation from afghanistan, she defended the president's decision there and everything that happened in the wake of it. she talked about how she believes right now the biggest threat to the united states' national security is actually democracy itself. and when she was asked by the interviewer, margaret brennan of cbs news, if she thinks, as some critics have pointed out, she's
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been set up to fail. she said she doesn't think so but she knows there are a lot of issues she'll have to tackle in the rest of the term. take a listen to how she put that challenge. >> i'm vice president of the united states. anything that i handle is because it's a tough issue. and it couldn't be handled at some other level. and there are a lot of big, tough issues that need to be addressed. and it has actually been part of my lifelong career to deal with tough issues. >> reporter: one of the biggest issues there that the vice president is referring to of course is voting rights, something that president biden did task her with in addition to other items in her portfolio. and when it comes to this issue, right now the president has actually taken a step further and said he would support a carve-out to the filibuster in order to get something done on voting rights. that would mean changing senate rules, because right now there simply isn't enough support to
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do it, given of course this very close margin and given the fact that no republicans want to do what some democrats want to go as far as doing. so it was notable that in this interview the vice president was a little bit more cautious even though in recent days we have seen the president say he would be willing to take that step. so the administration is signaling they're open to it. but as you know, alex, they're not just juggling voting rights, they're also trying to get something done on build back better, the massive social spending and climate plan, maybe doing those things in tandem in january and february. but then there's very little legislative runway to get things done before the 2022 midterms. >> absolutely right, i agree with your assessment of all of it. thank you, monica. in less than a week, the calendar will flip to 2022. and the new year will accelerate, as monica was saying, a number of big political storylines, including the midterm battle for congress and revelations from the 1/6 committee. you'll hear some different aspects of that, next. r some dit aspects of that, next. with downy infusions, let the scent set the mood.
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my next guest has a new message as omicron cases surge amidst the holiday season. congresswoman kim schrier wrote, "the u.s. is failing at rapid covid testing. this is a disgrace." she says, "this is a time when the united states ought to be providing inexpensive or, even better, free rapid covid tests to anyone who wants one." joining me now is washington congresswoman kim schrier, she's also, notably for this conversation, a pediatrician. i'm glad to have you here. the president has promised americans he is going to make 500 million free coronavirus tests available. but as you mentioned in your op-ed, you first pushed the trump administration, and then the biden administration, to invest in the rapid at-home test. dr. rick bright, who i was speaking to in the last block, saying the same thing about the
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importance of these tests. but the commitment is now there from president biden, though i suspect you wish it had happened sooner. >> well, hi, alex. not only do i wish it had happened sooner, i still wish it were bigger. and i understand it takes time to ramp up, which is why so many of us in public health and so many of us doctors have been talking about getting these tests available. we really need probably 100 million tests per day in this country if we really want to curb the spread. it's even more important with omicron and it was even more important before we had vaccines to protect us, because then our only tools were masking and distancing and testing to know if we were safe to be out and about. here we are, two years later, still stumbling over ourselves. >> another part of the op-ed you wrote, "we need businesses to open, children need to be physically in school. we all want to be out of masks
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but when it comes to taking necessary steps to make sure these things happen, the country keeps tripping over itself." explain what you mean with that. >> that's right, well, you know, the whole idea here is to get to a place where we have sustained normalcy. so that means the ability to go out and just function in our daily lives. the ability for a small business owner to remain open, for theaters to open, for us to dine in a restaurant feeling comfortable that we're not going to get sick, and for owners of the restaurant to have certainty that people will come. wouldn't it be nice if we could test at home to know if we're safe to go out? if we could go to a restaurant and when you check in, they hand you a test to show you are not infectious to others before you walk in the door. wouldn't you feel great about being out and about, wouldn't you feel great about having kids in school, if you knew that a few times a week, all those kids in the classroom were testing in the morning to make sure they're safe? and then you have a layered
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approach. you have testing to make sure you're not out there infecting others. you have masks, if you need them at that point, to make sure that you're not spreading it. and you also have vaccinations so that if you do get this, you are so, so much less likely to end up in the hospital or dying from this disease. that's how we get to sustained normalcy. >> how do you feel about the proposal by california senator dianne feinstein, the prospect of requiring proof of vaccination to board flights? >> well, look, if we're going to have proof of vaccination to fly from europe to the u.s., to go between here and canada, we have some of the highest rates of infection here in the united states. and it seems like if we're going to have one standard for international travel, you should probably just have that standard everywhere. that said, i do fly twice a week in general. i know there is great air circles on planes, and if there
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is great air circulation and everybody is in a great quality mask, you're more likely to get infected in restaurants and gathering with people than you are on the airplane itself. >> good point, giving us both sides of the coin there. "the washington post" is reporting that pediatric hospitals in parts of the u.s. are filling up fast with about 800 kids being admitted nearly every day this week. those in ohio, texas, pennsylvania, and new york hit particularly hard by omicron. so what is causing record positive results among these kids? what do you say to parents who are just trying to get through their winter and through the holidays and this omicron surge with their little ones? >> this is a highly infectious virus. the physician who was on before me, dr. bright, was talking about this being the most infectious thing we've seen in a hundred years. in so many ways, if you think about measles, you know, measles
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is highly contagious. this may well be more contagious than measles. but at least with the vaccine for measles, we're 100%, essentially, protected. this is a whole different story. anybody under 5 is not even eligible to be vaccinated. vaccination rates for 5 to 11 are only about 20%. and so our kids are really sort of still, you know, naked with respect to this virus. they don't have that protection. it's not a surprise that with other viruses circulating and coronavirus, even a small percentage who end up in the hospital is a really large number. so of course, you know, no child should be in the hospital. and i want all of them to do well and go home to their families safe. >> 100%, don't we all. i've loved talking with you as not only a pediatrician but as a member of congress. but i'm sure you're familiar with the new piece in "the seattle times" which reads, "can
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washington republican kim schrier survive 2022"? they say your race is a tossup, whether it's your race or more broadly other democrats in tough races, how much is riding on the president's passing of that build back better agenda? do democrats have enough to galvanize voters ahead of the midterms without that? >> i think that's a really valid question. and this is going to be a tough year overall. some of that has to do with passing legislation. but i would remind you of a couple of things. one is that with democrats in the house, the senate, and the white house, we have passed tremendous legislation already. we passed the rescue plan without any republican votes. we got shots in arms. we have an economy that is bouncing back faster than any other developed nation in the world. we have children back in in-person school. we have people this year celebrating holidays together with families because of
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vaccines and testing. you know, this is a whole different world. and i also want to point out that we've passed this big infrastructure bill. again, tremendous bill, loved by everybody in this country, only 32 republicans voted for it. i mean, i think we have a lot of proof points for being effective. and i also think that these local races depend on local issues. and the people in my district, they want to see somebody who is working as hard as i am on issues like firefighting, protecting our force, making sure we bring down the cost of prescription drugs, making sure my farmers can get their hay overseas by working on supply chains and our ports. that's what i'm doing in my district. and i know my colleagues all around the country are focusing on the issues that are so important locally. >> okay. well, you keep on doing what you're doing, then. washington congressman kim schrier, thank you, doctor, for your advice on that as well. happy new year. a voice for freedom fell
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silent in the overnight hours. a life the likes of which we will not see again. a look back at the work of archbishop desmond tutu. so i only pay for what i need. how about a throwback? ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ (gentle music) ♪ i'll be home for christmas ♪ you can plan on me ♪ please have snow and mistletoe ♪ ♪ and presents on the tree - right now, all over the country, kids at shriners hospitals for children are able to go home
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this breaking news on the loss of a global icon. archbishop desmond tutu passed away at his home in south africa. he was 92 years old. he was a critical voice in bringing down apartheid. a week-long sendoff is under way in cape town. nbc's molly hunter joins us. tributes are pouring in from around the world, molly. >> reporter: yeah, alex, as you can imagine, from all corners of the globe. here where i am from the prime minister to the queen, the dalai lama's statement said the friendship and spiritual bond between them was something he cherished. let's take a look at his legacy. >> black and white together! >> reporter: desmond tutu was the unmistakable voice and
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conscience of south africa's civil rights struggle, one of the fiercest opponents of apartheid. the nobel peace prize winner has died in cape town. he was a patriot without equal who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead. he was born in 1931, his father a teacher, his mother a cleaner and cook. after quitting his own job to protest racial discrimination, i studied to become a priest. >> an extraordinary capacity to communicate with black south africans and to get under the skin of white south africans. >> reporter: resistance was met with brutal violence and killing. hundreds of activists including nelson mandela were sent to prison for decades. >> the system of this country is
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evil. >> reporter: in 1984 the charismatic tutu was awarded the nobel peace prize for his tireless work to end apartheid and became south africa's first black archbishop. final in the early '90s, nelson mandela was released from prison, ushering in the end of apartheid. >> nothing will take away from the glow of that first experience of walking tall. >> reporter: mandela once describing his close friend as sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid, seldom without humor. tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and ten years ago, at 80 years old, tutu withdrew from public life to spend more time with his wife of 60 years, his four children, and numerous grandchildren. >> i've had a very great privilege of being part of a
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liberation struggle which has succeeded. >> reporter: now, alex, we are collecting all these tributes as they are coming in, as people are waking up in all corners of the globe. president obama tweeted out earlier today, tutu was grounded in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country and concerned with injustice everywhere. alex, a lot of these tributes mention his keen sense of humor and his cackling laughter. >> we'll miss a lot of things about him, and those two things as well. thank you, molly hunter. we've all heard that silence is golden. the committee investigating the january 6th riot is asking whether it's criminal. that's next. that's next. e covers your pets for up to $1,000 if they're ever in a car accident with you. this mini majorette's gonna march her way right into your heart. -i'm sorry. can we stop? i know that we're selling car insurance here, but, you know, all the cute little animals, it's too much. define "too much." what's wrong with cute animals?
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[ cheering ] that's my boy. as we approach one year since the capitol hill riot, the house select committee is closing in on donald trump's three hours of silence while that attack was under way. lawmakers are pushing for measures to prevent that from happening ever again. nbc's julie tsirkin joins me from the hill. julie, welcome on this sunday. what more are we learning about what was actually taking place or not taking place during those three hours? >> reporter: alex, after conducting hundreds of interviews and poring over thousands of pages of documents, the committee appears to be closing in per se on whether there's a potential link between the former president and the riots that took place on that day. now, the moment of time that they're looking at are those three hours that it took president trump to essentially call off the rioters and tell
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his supporters to go home and leave the capitol. in an interview to "the washington post," bennie thompson suggested it could potentially lead to a criminal referral for the former president. there are a couple of other threats they're zeroing in on. one of them emerged in the lawsuit filed by the current trump spokesman in which he's trying to prevent the panel from obtaining his financial records. the committee wants to know whether the spokesman helped fund some of those attendees, helped spread the word about these riots, about these rallies that took place on that day. and it wasn't as organic as the administration is claiming it was. some democratic lawmakers are hoping the democratic leadership actually take action and do some legislative steps to make sure this doesn't happen again. let's listen to one of the lawmakers and what he said this morning. >> we need to treat this one-year anniversary on january 6th as a day of action, not just a day of reflection. the senate needs to pass the freedom to vote act to ensure
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access to the ballot box, to push back on partisan subversion of state and local elections and end gerrymandering and we need to pass the protecting our democracy act to restore the separation of powers and checks of balances at the federal level. that is how we should act on the one-year anniversary to protect our democracy. >> reporter: now, alex, i should quickly note majority leader schumer this week vowed to put a rules change on the floor for a vote that would enable voting rights legislation to be passed by a simple majority with just democratic votes. of course senator manchin is senator sinema still want to go for a bipartisan approach but it's hard to see how ten republicans join their effort. >> i know, i mean, it's really hard to see, that's why we keep asking the question, as i know you do as well of lawmakers to see how they'll get there. julie tsirkin, thank you so much for that. it's not too early for 2022 predictions or a look at why the 1/6 committee may consider silence a crime or how the battle for voting rights spill into the new year. and it's not too late for
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as we get ready to close out 2021, vice president kamala harris reflecting on her first year in office and the challenges to come. voting rights are threatening a potential new showdown among democrats after president biden tipped the scales in favor of a filibuster carve-out. donald trump's three hours of silence during the january 6th attack now getting the full attention of house investigators. the demise of decency going on full display during a norad santa tracker event featuring a biden call with kids. and what does 2022 have in store? today's choose your topic. done callaway, susan bell terse eeo, david jolly, wishing you all a wonderful christmas
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weekend. don, will it be the 2022 predictions? take a stab at it. don, your audio. >> i got to go with voting rights. >> go for it. >> we've talked for the last several months about the bipartisan infrastructure bill and playing footsie with manchin and sinema. if you don't protect voting laws before 2022, you've got no democracy left as republicans take one chamber or the other and we're left with a mess of voting rights laws going forward. we have to focus on voting rights. we're not going to get the infrastructure package we're looking for. >> susan, do you want to tackle that or something else? >> i'm going to go to vice president harris and basically say it's time for her to shore
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up her office, get her staff in line, start responding to things. she can't be talked about as not the legacy candidate of joe biden. i hope she gets her office in shape, she picks her subjects and really goes after it with hard results. >> let me ask you about those office takeoffs, the departures. that's normal. and there were some that said at the end of this year they were going to be taking off, right? so how much more is there beyond what was expected to be concerned about in that office? >> well, it is normal after the first year to -- especially for those who were served on the campaign, to leave after a year. however, there just seems to be a lot of leaks in the office. it seems like there's been a lot of internal fighting that's gone now into the public too much. also, i think on the policy front she needs to shore up who is advising her and really come out with a thoughtful, forward looking agenda. that's what she's been missing.
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>> okay. david, you can tackle the veep. you can tackle voting rights or anything else. >> alex, i'll take the 1/6 commission. it's very important the chapter we're about to enter. i do think the committee is now setting in place a narrative that could lead to the criminal elements of a possible referral to the department of justice of members of congress or some have said even the former president of the united states. but i want to take a different tack than just the fact they may be facing criminal culpability. and it's this. speaker pelosi is going to face a leadership decision. does she make, does her democratic-controlled house make a criminal referral to the department of justice of the former president or members of the house. and, if so, joe biden's department of justice has to make a decision whether to prosecute. that is not an easy call, and that actually becomes the defining issue for joe biden's legacy throughout all of history, whether his administration prosecutes his
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predecessor or not. >> that is a very heavy statement and you're 100% right. but do you have a gut instinct, david, as to what you think nancy pelosi will do on this front or what she should do? >> the report will lay out the elements and allow the department of the justice to make the determination whether they constitute a crime. and i do think if you reverse the analysis, it's almost harder for joe biden's administration to not pursue prosecution than to let it go. but look, if you look at how gerald ford handled richard nixon, it was a pardon. there are cultural issues, significant national issues in play if we end up there this spring. >> that's the one we look at 50 years ago but still holds lessons for us to study. don, your next topic is what? >> i would almost suggest that i've got to go back to the 1/6 commission to point out, at some point, we have to behave as though this country was attacked. and all of our -- as former or
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current or whatever position in society you may have, all of us have a duty to protect our country from invaders foreign, enemies both foreign and domestic. this country was attacked. and if you consider that to be the case, then there's no real question about potential criminality, not only for the president but for all the members of the house and even the senate who aided and abetted them. i feel the congressional inquiry should be about certain members' emails and texts when we were potentially seem to have been casing the joint a few days in advance. not only is there criminal liability for the president but also substantial criminal liability in the wake of 1/6 for a whole bunch of actual sitting members ever the united states' house and senate. >> susan, what's your next topic or that one? >> demise of decency. what we saw yesterday with -- when the president made his traditional call or the president's office makes traditional calls to members of
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the -- active members of service, one of them got on the line and made a crude comment while not directly, but it's something that i don't even want to say on air. >> yeah, don't because we all know it's slang for the --feren. >> this person thought he was giving joe biden an earful but, really, what he was doing was showing such disrespect for our military service. and those who are serving on christmas day. >> so -- but let me just -- but let me make sure that we're talking about the same incident. i'm talking about the one on friday with kids when -- >> oh. >> the oregon father made that statement in the middle of the phone call, or the end of the phone call with the president. that's the one that i was implying. >> yeah, you're correct, alex. and again, to show such disrespect to the president, but more importantly to everyone at
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the event. it goes -- >> kids! >> you want to say it goes beyond decency, but right now it looks like the republican party doesn't have any, and i expect i'll twist this into predictions is that it's going to get a lot worse. and the demise of civility within our politics will even get worse. >> yeah. >> so predictions from you, david. what do you want to tackle there. demise of civility or something else? >> i've got a big one, alex, for 2022. and it is retirement watch for nancy pelosi. and if you play this out during the leadership race, a term ago she said this would likely be her last. we do know that the house likely would flip. nancy pelosi has been a speaker when the house flipped. it's not a fun position. i think the decision for the speaker is, does she actually retire from the house or, because she is such -- the fabric of the house if you will, does she simply announce i'll
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not be seeking the speakership upon my re-election and leave it to others in the democratic and republican caucus. but i'd anticipate that has to come in january. >> yeah. well, you're right considering that may potentially be added to the other 23 democrats who have already said we're taking off at the end of next year. last word to you, don. >> if nancy pelosi does, as the good former congressman jolley suggested, i'm leaning for hakeem jeffries. she'd be the first african american speaker of the house. he's been in that pipeline for a long time and we'd be very, very excite forward brother hakim. >> that's a good statement right there. you guys always bring the best stuff. don, david, susan, happy holidays to you. happy new year. can't wait to see you in 2022. one of the greatest gifts to millions would be student loan debt relief. what are the actual prospects of that happening? we'll talk to someone who might know in the next hour.
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