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tv   MSNBC Reports  MSNBC  January 15, 2022 4:00am-5:00am PST

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thanks for being here today. that does it for me. i'm zerlina, find me monday through friday on 6:00 p.m. eastern on peacock. follow us on facebook, twitter, tiktok, and youtube. more news is coming up right here on msnbc. ♪♪ first up on msnbc, the fight for american democracy taking center stage this weekend at duelling events in arizona. >> he is on the line. elections are at stake, and we are seeing it every single day that the seat of democracy is being pulled from our communities. >> the buying lie set to be on full display at a trump rally tonight, southeast of phoenix. and just an hours drive away in the state's capital, a march for voting rights, featuring the eldest son of martin luther king
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jr. the issue, though, stalling on capitol hill as president biden prepares to mark one year in office. plus this. >> i think it's an unfortunate situation, like he's such a great player, and it's kind of sad that some people might remember him in this way. >> tennis's biggest stars weighing in on novak djokovic as he's sent to an australian detention center once again as the tennis star awaits his appeal hearing, we're going to look into this saga how it's raising questions about privilege, double standards and sexism in professional sports. and locked up on sedition charges, the leader of the far right group the oath keepers is in custody this morning awaiting trial for his alleged role in the january 6th insurrection. what could these charges mean for former president trump and some of his allies? good morning, everybody, it is saturday, january 15th. i'm lindsey reiser. we're going to begin this
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morning with a strong message from voting rights legislation advocates about protecting your access to the ballot. the fight is not over. that's despite republican opposition on capitol hill, and announcements from senators manchin and sinema that they will not support a filibuster carveout to pass two key bills. today on dr. martin luther king jr.'s birthday, several of his family members will lead a voting rights march in phoenix, but also happening today, about 50 miles away in florence, former president donald trump will hold his first rally of 2022. in washington, president biden acknowledged he's not sure how he's going to get those two voting rights bills passed right now, but he's not ready to give up yet. so where do we go from here? let's bring in nbc news correspondent josh letterman traveling with the president in capitol hill. josh, the next week here marks president biden's one year in office. he says he's going tofighting
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this battle. there's no real clear path right now. >> it's a remarkable reflection of where we're at, if you ask white house officials right now how they are going to get these voting rights bills past congress and signed into law, they cannot give you a clear answer of what that strategy would look like. they say they're going to keep fighting, they have not given up. all of those kinds of optimistic forward-looking statements, but nothing that speaks to any kind of a strategy. the reality is, we know who the votes that are needed on these bills are, they're the same votes that democrats have needed all yearing on on all of their other agenda items and after president biden met on thursday evening at the white house, with senators manchin and sinema for more than an hour, there were no indications that any minds had been changed from just a few hours earlier when both of them had made it clear, they still remain opposed to changing the senate rules to force these bills through, even though they support the underlying voting
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rights legislation. white house spokeswoman jen psaki asked yesterday by the white house has reason to be optimistic about this going forward and here's what she had to say. >> if we believed everything every pundit said out there and listened to that, the president would not have run for office. he would not be president, we would not have an infrastructure bill that is law. we have heard -- we have heard what members have said, it is important about where they stand on the filibuster. the president is going to stay at it. as you heard him say yesterday. because he believes that voting rights is a fundamental right for people across the country. >> and i think what you heard right at the end there from jen psaki is one of the reasons biden is pushing this, even though it looks like the progress is very dim. as our colleague chuck todd would say, he wants to be caught trying. they are going to get these bills through in the short term, they want the show to their voters, and to their base, that they're taking this issue seriously, that they are laying down a marker, not only for
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democrats, but for republicans who would have to vote on a rules change as well, particularly as the president in this coming week, entering that second year in office, wanting to show what he's accomplished as we get into the midterm election season. we expect to hear more from president biden about those accomplishments in his view when he holds a news conference on wednesday. the first from him in quite a while, lindsey. >> still quite the club back there from jen psaki. julie, over to you, majority chuck schumer says he's moving forward. even with the announcements from senators manchin and sinema that they won't support a rule change. how is that going over on the hill? >> majority leader schumer announced the postponement of these votes because it's something that's preventing the rest of the country of doing business as usual, a covid case among senators, regardless of when this vote would be held on those two voting rights bills, it's not going to pass.
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as josh was saying, the two key senators, manchin and sinema announcing they would not vote. they're not going to get the ten republicans needed to advance this voting rights legislation. the conversation, though, is shifting away from blaming democrats, dem on dem blame in this key midterm year, more forward blaming republicans for why they won't support the right to vote and protect that. let's take a listen to what one democrat in the house, a member of the progressive caucus said on msnbc yesterday. >> that gives you a sense as to where the republican is today, that there's been no cogent argument that i've heard against the freedom to vote act or the john lewis voting rights act and it just is confounding to me why so many senate republicans, all of senate republicans, refuse to come to the table and work with the democratic party and the democratic leaders in the house and senate to secure voting rights for americans. >> reporter: republicans would
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push back on that. of course as mcconnell, minority leader mcconnell, the republican leader here in the senate, embraced reforming the electoral count act, there's a group of republicans and democrats working on bipartisan legislation as senator susan collins who is leading the charge, hiring more poll workers, and preventing that election officials won't be faced with intimidation as they do their work in the states and other measures that they're working to do, but democrats pushing back on that, saying it's not an adequate replacement to voting rights legislation and it would take far too long to do in this midterm year to protect the elections we have coming up around the corner and now advocates i'm hearing from, of course frustrated. the president's agenda, the democratic leadership is hitting a wall. when they decided to shift from build back better to voting rights, i heard many say that that was an impossible task as well because of those two senators who were unwilling to move on build back better and now unwilling to carve out the filibuster, to pass voting rights on a simple majority. but of course schumer promised to do a vote on voting rights,
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and that rules change, even though both will fail next week. >> all right, julie tsirkin, thank you so much. right now we are joined by democratic senator mazie hirono. senator, it is an honor to have you here, good morning. >> good morning, lindsey. >> and senator, we know that your counterpart there in hawaii tested positive for covid. he's one of the reasons why we know that that vote is being delayed. do you know how he's doing? >> oh, he said that he doesn't have any symptoms so we have every expectation that he's doing all right, and he is going to be back with us soon. >> good news to hear. senator, you wrote on twitter that democrats cannot sit back and let 2020 be the last free and fair election in this country. the easy way out is to sit back and do nothing. if we don't protect the right to vote, we don't have a democracy, it's that simple.
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at this point, though, senator, the strategy moving forward is unclear. so what happens now, especially with such a crucial election, less than ten months away? >> what's going to happen is that we are going to continue to fight because, lindsey, there are battles worth fighting for, and protecting our freedom to vote is one of those battles, but also to know that the battle just doesn't occur, isn't happening in congress, it's happening in legislatures all across the country as the republican legislatures continue to pass all of these bills that will determine -- they're trying to rig who can vote, rigging who gets to count the votes and whether our votes will count at all. so republicans all across the country are continuing to raise our elections so the battles have to happen at the state level also. >> obviously it's tough to get everything done with the slim margins that democrats have in congress. democrats have managed to do a
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lot. they passed the american rescue plan with zero republican votes, by the way, they passed infrastructure with minimal republican support. but some key items in president biden's agenda, which you support, still face some uphill battles, build back better, for example, of course voting rights, how much blame to you place with the gop and how much do you place with senators manchin and sinema? >> it's very clear that the republicans want nothing to do with supporting our family, supporting our communities, taking care of our health, protecting our right to vote. they want nothing to do with any of those. so everyone in america should know, as i put it very succinctly, lindsey, the american people need to know who's screwing them over and it's not the democrats. so, you know, i don't like to play the blame game. i just need to have people understand who is out there fighting for our freedom to vote. lowering prescription drugs and
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housing costs, all of the things that democrats have been fighting for, for a long time. >> senator, there is a little bit of a grim reality we have to discuss here, a new analysis by the associated press and the headline reads biden overshoots what's possible in divided d.c. the writer is saying, i don't think there's any way to reach any other conclusion that he's overshot here. it's important to separate the politically possible from the politically desirable. we know, is that right, this week, another hard poll came out showing the president's sinking ratings here. do you think the president overshot? >> no. here's a president who wants to protect our health here, who wants to end an endless war, who wants to support our families, our communities, our working people. i don't consider that overshooting at all. i consider that the kinds of battles that the president should be committing to, unlike the prior president who only
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wanted his own power, protecting his own ego, doing nothing for the working people, and families and communities in our country. i'd rather have the president we have now than the do nothing, losing president that was the prior guy. >> i mean, that prior guy is holding a rally in arizona tonight, and this week we saw, still, how tight his grip is on the republican party, the rnc considering dropping out of traditional presidential debates, house leader minority leader kevin mccarthy refusing to talk to the january 6th committee. senator lindsey graham saying he won't work with mitch mcconnell unless he has a working relationship with trump. how do we get past the divisive nature of politics when the majority of one party rewards election denying and essentially is condemning bipartisanship. >> oh, exactly. i think the change comes when the republicans decide to give up their big lie, that there was massive election fraud.
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that is a huge lie, and so much is flowing from that. but basically their philosophy is not to help the regular people in our country. the republicans have been on the side of the richest people in our country, and the most powerful corporations, they have been on that side for a long time and they've managed to capture the supreme court to their way of thinking, sadly. >> but just this week, senator bernie sanders spoke to the guardian and said it was actually democrats who are failing the working class. >> we can do a heck of a lot better. i don't agree with bernie because we're the ones that have been fighting for the working people, and for our families and look at build back better. it's all about helping our communities, our families, and getting everyone to be able to go back to work. child care, all of that. so, you know, i love bernie, but in this, i think that he's being overly critical. it's very clear, though, that i
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am not saying that the democrats are doing all that we can. we surely could be doing a lot more, and better. >> well, senator, certainly appreciate your time. thank you for spending some time with us this morning. >> thank you. aloha. >> thank you. a quick programming note, everybody, be sure to join jonathan capehart tomorrow with a special edition of the sunday show to explore the morality of voting rights legislation, threats to democracy at federal and state levels and how to mend a divided nation ahead of martin luther king jr. day. he'll be joined by representative terry sewell, dr. clarence jones and many more. don't miss this show on sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. detention for djokovic, down to the wire for the tennis star. he's back in the care of australia's border agency just two days before the australian open. we're counting down to a court hearing that will decide whether
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he could make history or be deported. we look back on that time when djokovic called out naomi osaka for breaking the rules. what she's saying now. what she's saying now. dove 0% aluminum deodorant lasting protection that's kinder on skin. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ are you one of the millions of americans who experience occasional bloating, ♪ ♪ gas or abdominal discomfort? taking align can help. align contains a quality probiotic to naturally help soothe digestive upsets 24/7. try align, the pros in digestive health. and join the align healthy gut team up and learn what millions of align users already know. how great a healthy gut can feel.
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developing this mo tennis superstar novak djokovic is hours away from going to an australian court, not the tennis kind, the kind that could get him deported, and banned from the country for years. the ongoing saga over the star's vaccination status is unfolding, just as the australian open is set to begin monday. an australian minister denied his visa again because of that rule that noncitizens can't enter the country without being vaccinated. so djokovic is back in detention at a hotel. today his lawyers will get a chance to appeal and now we're hearing from other tennis stars about all this back and forth. >> tennis keep going, and
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australian open is much more important than any player. so if he's playing finally, okay, if he's not playing, australian open will be a great australian open, with or without him. that's my point of view. >> it seems like it's dragged on for quite a long time now, and not great for the australian open, not great for novak. >> joining us right now is "new york times" tennis correspondent christopher clary. good to have you with us. not sure what times the in australia. what happened in yesterday's proceedings and what can we expect today? >> it's pretty late night here, i've got to tell you with the time zone changes. we're looking at right now, basically a hearing tomorrow, now, after today's session, tomorrow australia time in the morning, so about ten hours from now, and they're going to try to resolve the situation and see if novak's going to be allowed to play in the trailian open, which begins the following day. he's a nine time champion,
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number one in the world. chasing the all time record. a lot of tennis stuff at stake but there's a lot more at stake at this point. >> you've covered dozens of grand slams and a lot of australian opens. what's the mentality on the ground. we understand some in the australian government are worried if he stays it could ramp up anti-vaccine sentiment there. >> the australians are huge sports fans as you probably know and this event is -- with the pandemic locking down the country in a major way for so long, especially melbourne, the city, one of the longest lockdowns in the world. there's so much pent up energy and excitement about this ercht. with the situation with novak, it touches so many buttons and there's nothing else that's on the main topic other than that, it's dominating coverage here in australia wall to wall but i feel like it just brings a lot of things together in terms of what's happened with the city, and the fact that novak is not vaccinated, one of the only players here who's not, it crystallizes a lot of things here, lindsey.
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>> we're seeing a lot of headlines the last few days about double standards and we're going to show one from dead spin. reminding us of that time when djokovic called out women's tennis star naomi osaka for pulling out of press conferences due to stress and he called her out for not following the rules. he's not following the rules. the tables are turned here, osaka was asked about his decision. here's her response. >> i think it's an unfortunate situation, like he's such a great player, and it's kind of sad that some people might remember him in this way. but i also think it's up to, you know, not tennis players, it's up to the government, like how australia's deciding to handle it. >> you know, some feel the reaction would be different if this was osaka or serena williams at the center of this. where do you fall in that debate? >> next thing she said after that, didn't like it in the past when people talked about her,
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what she was going through, she didn't want to do the same thing to anybody else. it was elliptical about novak. but i feel like in a lot of ways this situation is -- whether it had been naomi osaka in this situation, or novak here in australia, the tournament stars want him to play in this event and osaka is a huge star. in this instance might have been similar treatment but it's interesting that novak sounded off on her and she's not sounding off on novak. >> you know, other tennis stars, we've played some of their sound. but raphael nadal said the solution is the vaccine. the situation needs to be better for the well-being of everyone and for the health of our sport. how is the rest of the tennis community reacting to this, and do you think his reputation will suffer a hit? >> it's a great question. i think generally the players have been pretty restrained but they're starting to come out now with the frustration with the
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way that has dominated discussion, it's picking up all the air in the room. some players are frustrated trying to get their own bite of the apple and there's a feeling that a lot of players got vaccinated, kind of against their best judgment in some ways but they did it for the common good and to be able to play in the australian open, whereas novak took a different path and trying to get his way in. playing by different rules but there's been pushback from guys like nick cure owes, he said he felt like novak was being treated like a weapon of mass destruction, without good cause, and that australia was overreacting to the situation, you're seeing pushback from some of the players and you'll see more. the situation is extraordinary and unprecedented. >> well, christopher clarey, we appreciate you staying up very late there for us. we will be glued to your reporting. millions of americans are under a winter weather alert, snow, wind, freezing rain, all
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not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your provider if cologuard is right for you. welcome back, breaking this morning, a tsunami hit the pacific nation of tonga and the threat isn't over yet. people there are still under a tsunami warning this morning. now, it happened after the eruption of a powerful underwater volcano. these are satellite images that captured the moment that volcano erupted. and that eruption was reportedly so violent it could be heard as loud thunder sounds all the way in fiji, more than 500 miles away. hundreds of miles away in new zealand. the national emergency management agency is warning people stay away from beaches and shores to avoid storm surges. the biggest winter storm of the season so far is heading across the u.s. the national weather service warns that parts of the country could see up to 14 hours of
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continuous snowfall. this winter storm is expected to produce major travel headaches from north dakota down to northern georgia, and then up to maine. 69 million americans are under winter weather alerts. for more on what we can expect this holiday weekend, we're joined by nbc news meteorologist michelle grossman. michelle, good morning, how bad is it going to get for folks? >> hi there, lindsey, it's a big storm. it's big in terms of the size, it's big in terms of the power, and it has multi-impacts in terms of heavy rain, heavy snow. we're looking at icing that's really, really dangerous and we're looking at fierce winds too. we're looking at a multi-day event too. it started yesterday, 11 inches in some spots in iowa and it will not wrap up until later on monday. so let's take a look at what's happening right now because we're looking at the size of it and it's in the middle of the country, where you see that blue, the whites, that's where that snow is falling. so even as far south as central missouri. but it's going to reach parts of arkansas in terms of the snowfall.
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and then it's stretching to indiana, also parts of illinois, even parts of tennessee right now, you can see some blue popping into those last frames. so we're going to see snow in parts of tennessee as well. 69 million americans under some sort of alert this morning in terms of the weather. the white is your advisory, the watch is in blue. winter storm warnings in your pink and then we have an ice storm warning, that's a big one and that's what we're going to focus on as we head throughout the next 48 hours. here's the timing for you in terms of today. it's sort of a unique storm. it's not going to go straight west to east. it's going to dip to the south and allow it to grab the moisture from the gulf, grab the energy and that's going to intensify it as it nears the gulf coast and then it's going to produce storms into the gulf coast into western parts of the state of florida and we're also looking at snow as far south as arkansas and then it moves up to the north and east and so it's going to track along the coast of the east coast so it's not going to be that typical nor'easter where you see it grabbing moisture off the atlantic and bringing the heavy snow to the big cities, it's a
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little further west and we're going to see the biggest snowfalls in the interior parts of new york, also pennsylvania, and we're going to see really heavy snowfall along the appalachians in the carolinas and then really crippling ice storm in the carolinas as well. by monday, this is what we're going to watch really closely too, the heavy snow in the interior portions of the northeast, and very fierce winds once this wraps up. it intensities and it's going to move to the north. we could look at coastal flooding. anywhere near a foot of snow, half an inch of ice in some spots that's going to bring down trees and power outages, this is a big story we're going to watch, at least through the later parts of monday. >> michelle, thank you so much. still to come, the founder of a far right group in court on sedition charges related to the january 6th insurrection. and now his ex-wife is offering new insight into his thinking, and why he sees himself as a monumental figure in american history. plus, how the congressional panel investigating january 6th
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it's been an amazing gift. new developments in the january 6th investigation as the legal battle escalates to hold the rioters accountable. stuart roads, the leader to have the oath keepers faced a judge for the first time yesterday after being charged with seditious conspiracy.
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federal investigators say the oath keepers under rhodes' command stormed the capital in military formation wearing tactical gear, the militia group amassed firearms on the outskirt of d.c. and planned to use them to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power. rhodes' ex-wife telling wife saying he believes he's a transformative historical figure. these indictments come as the january 6th committee weighs a major escalation in their investigation, subpoenaing sitting members of congress. the committee's request for voluntary interviews with minority leader kevin mccarthy, as well as congressman scott perry and jim jordan have all been rebuked. joining us right now to discuss the latest developments is member legal contributor glenn kirschner, and taren rosen kranz. it's been more than 25 years
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since the federal government successfully prosecuted someone with seditious conspiracy. why is it so hard to prove? >> you know, we don't often bring as the federal government seditious conspiracy charges. i think, lindsey, looking back, the last 90 or 100 years, we've only brought seditious conspiracy charges about a half a dozen times. i would like to think it's because people don't all that often get together and conspire to try to violently overthrow the u.s. government. so yes, and the track record of the department of justice has not been perfect. doj has lost some seditious conspiracy prosecutions. but i think when you look at the 48-page indictment in this case, i mean, it is really powerful with respect to the evidence that doj took a long time to assemble before deciding to move out on seditious conspiracy charges. so i think when you look at the evidence that they have amassed, there actually is a very strong seditious conspiracy case,
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articulated in this indictment, and i think what you're going to see as a result, you know, four oath keepers have already flipped and are cooperating with the fbi and the federal prosecutors. this will probably produce more cooperating witnesses because now for openers on the seditious conspiracy charge itself, they're facing up to 20 years in prison, so i suspect you're actually going to see more of what we call superseding indictments come as a result of them turning and flipping defendants who have just recently been indicted. >> so what do these charges mean for trump and allies like bannon? >> really important because when you read the details of this 48-page indictment, it has echoes of what steve bannon said in the run-up to january 6th. you know, it will be swift, it will be moving, it will be unlike anything we have ever seen before. he was exactly right. so doesn't that raise the question, what did he know? but for donald trump, i think the parallels are even more
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dramatic with respect to donald trump's statements and conduct, when we compare it to what besee in this indictment. for example, why did the oath keepers choose january 6th to come to the capitol? because donald trump said, come to d.c. on january 6th, we'll be wild. why did they name their communications channel, the stop the steal channel? well, because donald trump incessantly tweeted out, stop the steal. why did they march on the capital after the rally? because donald trump said, now we're going to the capital, and i'll be right there with you. why did they, quote, fight like hell once they got to the capital? because donald trump said if you don't fight like hell you won't have a country anymore. and finally, why did they view mike pence as the enemy. because donald trump, on january 6th, tweeted, and i quote, mike pence didn't do what he should have done to protect our country and our constitution. you know what, donald trump runs through this 48 page indictment
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and i think that's an ominous sign of things to come. >> fascinating. taren, there could be a subpoena fight on the horizon for kevin mccarthy. he says he won't cooperate with the january 6th community but a new quinnipiac poll shows 61% of surveyed adults support the investigation. do you think that could create more division and potentially backfire if republicans win back the majority? >> you know, the truth is, everything has created division in this day and age. so i think they should not shy away from their legal obligations. these are serious charges. i mean, everything we just heard glenn say just makes -- just so clear how little and how often and how severe this is so we don't bring these charges up that often. if we're talking about this in the severity of it, and this is a very important moment in our history. and they need to do the right thing, despite what they think may or may not happen for the majority. and i also think one thing we've learned, time and time again, over the last, you know, decade,
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is that elections are unpredictable at best. so i think counting their eggs before they've hatched isn't going to be, you know, a good thing in this case. they need to do what's right for the country. continue with the subpoena, even if it is going to cause additional, you know, problems within the party, because i think we're already having this divisiveness, liz cheney with her father stood alone when we were doing a moment of silence about this. i think that says a lot about where we are. >> taryn, real quick, 30 seconds left with you, what do you make of this seeming about face over the summer kevin mccarthy said he would talk to the committee and now he's refusing to. >> what i find so hard, and with this entire situation, is that there seems to be some amnesia as further away we get from january 6th. and as we approach that one-year anniversary, and then after, we really saw people try to, you know, pretend or poly-anna, make it, so it wasn't so bad and these images are there and they
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will stay with us forever. the images are real, and breaking the hearts of many americans. >> taryn rosenkranz, good to have both of you on, thank you so much. breaking developments out of new jersey where this massive fire broke out at a chemical plant, hundreds of firefighters have been working through the night battling blow freezing temps to try and get it under control. we're live on the ground with the latest next. control. we're live on the ground with we're live on the ground with the latest next. ♪ ♪ plus, 90-day refills and same day delivery. larry? that's even less to medicare about. fill your medicare prescriptions with walgreens and save. ♪ ♪ medusa lived with a hideous curse.
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breaking news in new jersey, take a look at this video of a massive fire at a chemical plant north of newark. this fire has been burning for almost 12 hours now. it's an 11 alarm fire. let's get to our reporter on the ground, miles miller with wnbc news for new york. what's the latest out there? i know it's frigid and what do we know about the chemicals in that building? >> reporter: it is frigid out here, about 13 degrees right now
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on the ground, and it has made it difficult for firefighters in order to get water on this fire. i'll show you. they've got four tower ladders in operation, it's an exterior operation at this point because the structural stability of that building is very unstable at this point. we know it started, as you said, 12 hours ago, around 8:30. so about 11 1/2 hours ago and they've had so many issues with getting water here, so much so that they have gone to the passaic river to put water from the river into the hoses and then get that fire under control. it's been burning, they've got firefighters from across new jersey, from several towns here, about 200 firefighters. one of them was injured, taken to a local hospital, we're told is expected to survive. but as you said, this is a chemical plant here. they have chlorine pellets that go in your pool, or jacuzzi, and chlorine does not burn, but it
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is an oxidizer, so that means it makes the fire burn quickly, it's like an accelerant and in some cases chlorine can explode. >> for the people in the area also, they were told to keep their windows closed. is that still the case? >> yeah, new jersey dep, the department of environmental protection this morning is telling people to continue to keep their windows closed, because they just don't know what else is in that building. the firefighters have done a massive incredible job of keeping the fire away from where the chemicals are being stored, but the potential of those explosions, if it does reach chlorine, is the big issue here. this city has seen a number of fires, we had a big 11 alarm fire last year at a recycling plant, and so they've been trying to work with this mitigation to try to stop fires like this from happening, working with the companies, the the warehouses here on the suppression effort.
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>> myles miller, we appreciate you joining us, stay safe and warm out there. still to come, many overworked nurses are having to use their vacation days if they get covid. and the message for some of them, don't take any time off at all. them, don't take any time off at all. . . . [limu emu squawks] he'll be back. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪
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and for even more value, ask how to get up to a $500 prepaid card. get a great deal for your business with the ready. set. save. sale today. comcast business. powering possibilities. this morning, the u.s. confirmed more than 65 million covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic. nearly every day another 1 million cases are reported
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nationwide. this surge particularly among people unvaccinated is pushing hospitals to the brink. now overwhelmed staff in the hardest hit cities are getting backup. the biden administration deployed medical military teams to new york, new jersey, ohio, rhode island and new mexico and michigan. joining me is the president and ceo at university hospital newark in new jersey. his hospital is getting help from one of the military teams. doctor, paint a picture of what is happening inside the hospital in terms of patients and how they're doing and staff and how they're doing. >> thank you so much for having me. we are still in the concerning situation. we now have about 150 patients with covid-19 in the hospital and we're still seeing admissions every day. unfortunately, that is on a fairly regular basis. we are around 300 with
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staffing shortages and folks out due to omicron. we are still in the thick of this. this is announcement by the president and white house and department of defense could not come at a better time. we are getting 23 women and men in uniform next week. we are having meetings today and tomorrow to prepare for their arrival. i look forward to it. this is something that will tangibly help our staff. >> we will talk more about the military teams and what they will be doing. morale among health care workers. heralded on the streets two years ago and now they have to use vacation days and some told to return to work if they are
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asymptomatic without testing. is this an indication of how desperate things are in your field right now? >> it is. we haven't gone anywhere near violating vacation days. this is not an easy staffing situation. we are fortunate to get this staffing assistance. i think folks are having to make tough decisions here. what i can tell you is that we had a light at the end of the tunnel at the beginning of the pandemic. we had an adrenaline rush. it was difficult. people are dealing with post traumatic stress from 2020. we have been doing it for two years, as you said. we don't have as much public awareness of what is happening in hospitals right now. arguably, it is similar. it has been a difficult situation. this is a real injection of optimism. >> let's talk about the military teams. you mentioned 23 military staff members will be helping you guys out for at least 30 days. we know are you experiencing
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about a 10% staffing shortage. paint a picture of what the military teams are going to step in and do. >> we are still waiting to hear what skills they bring. i'm optimistic regardless of what they can do, we will use them. we are short in every type of job in the hospital. again, this is welcome. we are looking into the emergency rooms and setting up a tent outside the hospital to help convalescing patients to make room for new patients. the last time they were 80 strong from spring of 2020. we still keep in touch with the military command at that time. we cannot wait for this group to arrive. >> tents outside the hospital. that is eerily familiar. we know today people will have the at-home tests covered by insurance. they can start to order from the
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web site next week. is it too little too late or is it going to make a big difference in help? >> it will make a really big difference. we need access to rapid testing. it is no longer that useful to use pcr. the turn around times may be longer than the course of illness for many people. this question of how many people have it in households and if you need to isolation needs to beur. you may expose people within a 24-hour period before the first symptom. this will be an impactful move by the biden administration. we wish that a lot of the testing was available. i think this will make a big difference. >> doctor, we wish you and your colleagues all the best. thank you for the work you do and thank you for joining us today. >> thank you. >> i appreciate it. thank you for watching msnbc
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reports. i'm lindsey reiser. i'll be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. "velshi" starts right now. today on "velshi" with a slate of draconian voting issues taking place in key states and trump election deniers running for office this year, the insurrection is coming to a ballot near you and democracy is at stake. i have a slate of guests to take us through this battle this morning. jim clyburn and reverend barber and two states attorney general drawing up plans for rescuing the democracy. plus, news is fast and furious from the multifront january 6th investigations. we'll have the latest from seditious conspiracy charges and why kevin mccarthy may regret his changes of heart on the
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riot. and the same trump stacked supreme court to oversee forced pregnancy and child birth thinks it is not okay for companies to test and vaccinate before coming to work. why so many big businesses like the regulation. a debate on how to talk to dangerous conspiracy theorists to talk about whether we should engage with the growing class of post-trumpers known to peddle lies but walk the halls of congress. "velshi" starts now. good morning. it is saturday, january 15th. i'm ali velshi. democracy is


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