tv Hallie Jackson Reports MSNBC February 1, 2022 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ living with diabetes? glucerna protein smart has your number with 30 grams of protein. scientifically designed with carbsteady to help you manage your blood sugar. and more protein to keep you moving with diabetes. glucerna live every moment we're coming on the air with multiple headlines in the january 6th investigation. the committee about to hear from one of the most high profile witnesses yet. stewart rhodes, head of the oath keepers, in front of the committee tomorrow, appearing
from virtually behind bars before a trial on conspiracy charges. what investigators want to know and the chances they'll get it. just in in the last couple of minutes, what mitch mcconnell is now saying about former president trump's suggestions of pardons for capitol rioters. what he's saying now and why that's not the only headline involving the former president. plus at the white house what amounts to the official start to the scotus season with two key senators just wrapping up a meeting with president biden over his upcoming supreme court pick. and some brand-new reporting just in to nbc news on the name you may recognize who is expected to help sherpa whoever the nominee is around capitol hill. we also have live on the show a member of the senate judiciary committee, california senator alex padilla. plus an exclusive nbc report, books flying off the shelves across texas but not for reasons you might think. parents and leaders in the community moving to ban certain books, mostly on topics of race, sexuality, or gender, filing
formal complaints in record numbers, sometimes threatening criminal charges. reporting you will only see here later in the show. i'm hallie jackson in washington, good to be with you this afternoon. joining me is nbc news senior capitol hill correspondent garrett haake and politico congressional reporter christopher wu. i'm going to ask my team to prepare the sound, the setup here, it's senator mcconnell responding to what we heard from former president trump over the weekend when he said if he runs again, if he wins, he would look at pardoning some of the people who have been charged with crimes in the capitol riot, more than 700 people have been arrested so far. i want to play what senator mcconnell had to say. >> 165 have pleaded guilty to criminal behavior. my view is, i would not be in favor of shortening any of the sentences for any of the people who have pleaded guilty to
crimes. >> garrett, that is daylight there, obviously, between senator mcconnell and the former president. >> it is, and it shouldn't be that surprising, i don't think. mcconnell broke sharply from trump late in 2020, early 2021, around and in some cases even before january 6th, he broke even more sharply with him afterwards. he's made very clear his feelings about january 6th. this will i'm sure bring down more anger on his head from former president trump. but i have to say, it's fairly consistent with what i've heard from other republican senators. the folks who are in this building are not interested in the political arguments that folks who are convicted of crimes related to january 6th should somehow get off. >> as you point out, the two have not been the warmest and friendliest in relationships, at least over the past year, garrett, that's the context and some of the backdrop to it too. >> they haven't spoken at all. it's been more than a year since trump and mcconnell have had any communication whatsoever.
to the degree they're even operating in the same political planet, there are some republican senate candidates that their separate political shops have each endorsed but the two haven't been on speaking terms for more than a year. this won't help that. >> nicholas wu joining us as well, you cover congress, i can't imagine that you're all that surprised by what we heard from senator mcconnell although as it sometimes the case with senator mcconnell, the fact that we are hearing about it at all, right, and not a dodge or no comment or deflection, is i think worth pointing out. >> that's for sure. mcconnell and a lot of other republicans like to talk about literally anything but the former president and things related to january 6th. they would much rather talk about the economy or the coronavirus and whatnot. the former president is making himself very hard to ignore here. the amount of daylight that we're seeing here is telling in a lot of ways, how republicans would like to turn the page even if they can't [ inaudible ].
>> obviously this is one piece of headlines related to january 6th that have developed in the last couple of hours. the one thing they all have in common is donald trump. the "the new york times" news that dropped overnight that the president was involved in discussions on the seizing the voting machines, news that several of the documents the january 6th committee received from the national archives were ripped up and taped back together. we also have a donation made to the former chief of staff's nonprofit. a week after the january 6th committee was created. and as we know mark meadows has been hot and cold when it comes to his cooperation with the committee. and stewart rhodes, the head of the oath keepers, who will appear in front of the committee tomorrow. garrett, talk about expectations on that front. >> they're low, quite honestly. rhodes is in federal custody. he has a new defense lawyer who
has said he will largely be pleading the fifth. you can probably make a pretty good argument for his fear about being self-implicating because that's one of the few, the handful of defendants who face the most serious charge, is he seditious conspiracy related to january 6th. he's involved in the heart of the violent plot, as the committee sees it. so they're going to at least poke around the edges to see what they can get here. >> nicholas, it's a first for the committee, interviewing somebody currently charged with a serious crime. do you think rhodes might have the expectation that cooperating with the committee could actually help him in the federal case? >> that's probably, you know, part of his considerations here. but again, as garrett was mentioning, he plans to plead the fifth here. it's not quite clear what the committee might get out of that. at the same time recall it's worth remembering alex jones, far right commentator who also went before the committee and still pleaded the fifth, still revealed some interesting
information that he didn't plead the fifth about, who his contacts with the white house and how parts of the rally were organized. expectations are low for this, but we'll see what happens. >> garrett, you also have a top former pence aide who today i know has been walking past cameras, talking with members of the january 6th committee. talk to us about that. >> greg jacob, an attorney in pence's vice presidential office. he's been going back and forth, not answering any of our questions. he's one of the significant figures in mike pence's orbit who has testified. marc short, pence's chief of staff, has come forward and testified. the committee clearly sees him as a key figure here. even if they don't get his testimony, getting testimony and
document production from those in his inner orbit is incredibly useful to their investigation and i think tells us the pretty advanced stage they're in on that effort. >> nicholas, pick up where garrett is leaving off there because we just ran through the slew of headlines just in the last ten to 12 hours here as it relates to different developments relating to january 6th. is it that the committee is picking up the pace, that they are continuing to ramp up? or is it that we're just hearing about more of this now? >> you know, it's a little bit of all of that. part of it is reporters being lucky enough to see people walking through and getting them on camera as they walk by. and the committee is asking more informed questions and figuring out who to talk to next. committee members have told me and my colleagues that they're using these documents and testimony from the people they have talked to and gotten things from to guide their questioning in these interviews. and so we can expect to see more
of that. even if, yes, they don't get someone like mike pence, they've said they wanted to extend an invitation but that hasn't been made yet. if you get to the inner circle of advisers, that will get you most of the way there. >> nicholas wu, garrett haake, thanks to both of you. breaking news on the search for the new supreme court justice with nbc news learning former alabama senator doug jones will take a part on the sherpa team, right? the person who guides the eventual supreme court nominee, the person who is the pick, around the capitol for their hearings, et cetera, et cetera. kelly o'donnell is outside the white house, it's her reporting, she should talk about it. leigh ann caldwell is on capitol hill. kelly, we saw senator durbin, senator grassley, and now another new piece of information as i'm sure we will get new nuggets trickling out over the
next month or so, that doug jones, long-time ally, friend of president biden, will be involved on this team. >> an important role, and it really helps when you are introducing a selection for the supreme court to senators, to have a former senator who knows the way around the chamber, knows personal relationships with members of the senate, and understands the process in a personal way. a former senator is ideal. the last time we had a pick, it was jon kyl, former senator of arizona, who did so for justice amy coney barrett and now it's doug jones who has a tremendous representation in the democratic party. he replaced jeff sessions when jeff sessions became attorney general and fought a very tough election and won that seat in alabama. it was tough to hang onto in very red state alabama, but has a good reputation in the party and has been talked about for
higher level positions. this is a way for him to contribute now, helping whomever the president chooses. we know the president has committed to choosing a black woman, legal scholar, likely a judge, we think, based on the names we've seen so far, who would be his first choice for the supreme court. that will happen in the next month. doug jones will lead a team and we'll learn more about the team of internal staffers who will help that nominee from this list of esteemed women that we believe are the actual contenders at this point, to prepare for the vetting process, to prepare for interviews with the senators, perhaps more informal conversations in those opportunities, but certainly before you get to that point, to prepare for whatever that process, which is one of the most heated and consequential in american politics. so doug jones plays a big role, we've just learned about that. and we expect to fill out more names on that team to facilitate all of this in the days to come.
the president earlier today was with chairman durbin of the judiciary committee, the ranking member on the republican side, chuck grassley, and he talked about what he's looking for in this process. here is the president. >> what i'm looking for is a candidate with character, with the qualities of a judge in terms of being courteous to the folks before them and treating people with respect, as well as a judicial philosophy is more one that suggests that there are unenumerated things in the constitution. >> notably, the president has not taken questions yet in the few instances where we have seen the president in events related to this supreme court vacancy. he's been outlining his thinking, he's talking about getting opinions from senators and outside groups. we have a lot of questions, we're trying to get the president to narrow his
selections perhaps or give us some tea leaves to read, he hasn't done that yet. >> if there's anyone that will give it the old college try, i know it's you, out there on the lawn. leigh ann, we know now this meeting between the president and these senators has wrapped up. reactions so far from the hill, did we learn anything new? >> well, we got a statement from one of the people at that meeting, senator dick durbin, and he said that in the meeting they talked about how senator durbin wants the process to be both fair and timely, and that the nominee will receive a prompt confirmation. but this is actually an interesting part of the statement i want to highlight to you. he also stressed he is confident the president will choose an outstanding nominee from the many highly qualified candidates reportedly under consideration. now, the reason i think that's interesting is because that is subtly trying to push black against republican talking points, namely senator ted cruz and others, who are saying this is an affirmative action pick
and that it is racist and discriminatory because president biden said he would nominate a black woman. what senator durbin just did in his statement is say the person will be highly qualified, the qualifications are not going to be in question. and so he mentioned it was a black woman who would be nominated. next we wait for the nominee. senator durbin and senator grassley, the top heads of the judiciary committee, could start to strategize but they'll mostly start strategizing with their own respective parties before senator grassley headed to the white house, he did that, in leader mcconnell's office with other senate judiciary republicans because we don't quite know yet how senate republicans will treat this nominee. will they hold their fire until this nominee is named? and then we'll see how hard
they'll push, hallie. >> thank you very much to you and kelly o'donnell too. we'll have more on the supreme court nomination fate later in the show, which judiciary committee member senator alex padilla will join us. next, escalating words in the crisis with russian president vladimir putin and how other countries are responding. with hcus getting bomb threats on the first day of black history month. and an exclusive new interview with fbi director chris wray. inside the effort to fight chinese spying that has the fbi opening roughly two new investigations every day. opening roughly two new opening roughly two new investigations every dayd. i have friends. [ chuckles ] well, he may have friends, but he rides alone.
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to vladimir putin's first public comments in more than a month on the crisis along the border with ukraine. in just the past few hours, remember, putin said the u.s. and its allies have ignored russia's security concerns. >> in the response that we provided to the russian federation the other day, it did address the points that had been raised by the russian federation. that doesn't necessarily mean that the russians will agree with the way in which they were addressed. >> we are also hearing now from the pentagon with this briefing happening live. the spokesperson there again reiterating that a russian attack could be imminent, something british prime minister boris johnson supports the u.s. on, pushing back on russian claims that nato allies are exaggerating the threat from the kremlin. >> that is not the intelligence we're seeing. this is a clear and present danger. and we see large numbers of
troops massing, we see preparations for all kinds of operations that are consistent with an imminent military campaign. >> our nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel is if ukraine for us. richard, talk to us about these first comments in weeks from vladimir putin and what it's like there on the ground in ukraine. >> reporter: so we hadn't heard from vladimir putin for quite a while, since the end of december, so since quite a while. and we had been watching all of the diplomacy going back and forth with negotiations, shuttle diplomacy between the u.s. and russia, russia and nato allies, talks that were in geneva. they bounced all over europe, video calls. but today we finally heard from putin himself. and what was remarkable is that he made exactly the same demands that he had been demanding weeks ago, before any of these
negotiations took place, which raises the question, have these weeks of talks been a waste of time, because putin's position has changed an inch? or as he simply been buying time by asking for written responses to russia's security concerns which the u.s. and nato did provide, has he just been trying to gain extra time while the troops get into place, while the terrain is right, while the ground freezes? because he's insisting on his same three core demands, that ukraine never be allowed to join nato, ever, that nato shrink back to what it was in 1997. that would mean most of eastern europe and the baltic states would just stop being nato members overnight and we would go back to a status quo of decades ago. and that offensive weapons not be placed near russia's borders, which is very similar to the
demand of nato shrinking to what it was decades ago, although there is more flexibility, the u.s. and nato members have said they're willing to talk about missile deployments and different kinds of technical aspects that could potentially fit into that third demand. but he's digging in. and what was interesting, when you listen to putin, and also if you watch the dynamics of the press event he held with viktor orban, prime minister of hungary, it's clear putin is still very worried about covid. the two podiums were miles apart. in other footage of their meeting, they were practically shouting at each other from the opposite sides of the room. but aside from that note, what was interesting in what he said about why he believes that ukraine must never be a part of nato, it goes back to crimea, it all goes back to crimea for
putin, according to his own words. in 2014, russia seized crimea and formally made it part of russia, formally said this is not occupied territory, this is annexed territory, this is now part of russia. ukraine disputes that, the united states disputes that, nato does not accept it, also disputes it. putin was saying that if ukraine became part of nato, then ukraine would try to recapture crimea and trigger war with russia, and therefore if ukraine became part of nato, there would this aggression against crimea and suddenly russia and nato would be in a war and it would be world war iii and it would be a massive conflict. so what he's doing, according to his arguments today, is acting in the interests of world peace. that was how putin was presenting it to the audience that was listening, that this
buildup that we're seeing right now, which he never specifically referenced, by the way, is all an effort to avert a major war on a global scale. >> and of course u.s. officials see it very differently. richard engel, great to have you there live for us in ukraine, thank you. ahead, an nbc news exclusive on pressure on school librarians in texas to pull books off the shelves. what our team is uncovering about just how big a deal this is. first, another nbc news exclusive, a new one on one interview with fbi director chris wray. what the agency is doing about widespread chinese spying in the u.s. with our pete williams, coming up. coming up.els and contains high quality protein to help manage hunger and support muscle health. try boost® today.
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relax with vicks vapobath or with vicks vaposhower. take a soothing vicks vapo moment wherever you chose. an nbc exclusive, our pete williams talking with fbi director chris wray. with the fbi confirming the united states is china's number one target when it comes to spying, here is what the director is saying about the fbi's efforts to fight it. >> we are investigating opening a new china-related counterintelligence investigation. typically it involves threat of of american intellectual property or secrets about every
12 hours. we probably have over 2,000 of those investigations. >> i want to bring in now the guy you saw interviewing the director, nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. pete, tell us more about it. >> chris wray has become the federal government's most outspoken critic of the chinese government's spying. in our interview he said the sheer scale of what china is doing to steal american technology shocked him when he became the fbi director in 2017. but he says the fbi right now has all those open counterintelligence investigations relating to the china and that no other country, he says, presents a broader, more severe threat to american innovation and economic security. he expanded on that point last night at his speech at the reagan library in california. he warned chinese commercial he is espionage has reached new levels. he says the chinese government
doesn't steal u.s. secrets but the fbi has tracked a wide range of chinese companies stealing u.s. technology. they think sometimes people were charged by the government with violating the law when all they did was minor paperwork violations, refusing to disclose certain chinese affiliations and applying for grants and so forth. what the fbi says is that is just a tiny amount of what they're investigating, that what's going on in academia is a small part of what they're concern about, and that their real focus is on what's happening to american corporations, the stealing of american innovations. >> pete williams, thank you very much for that. i know you have a busy night because pete will be on "nbc nightly news" with lester holt with more of his interview with fbi director chris wray, on your local nbc station tonight, 6:30 eastern time. today, february 1, the first
day of black history month. instead of honoring this day by learning in their classrooms, students in more than a dozen hbcu campuses were sheltering in place after a series of bomb threats. and this is not purely an isolated thing. it's actually the second round of threats. back in early january you had eight of the most popular hbcus getting threats then. the fbi is now trying to do something about it, they're at least saying they're aware of the series of bomb threats around the country and are working with our law enforcement partners to address any potential threats. i want to bring in now nbc news national security and justice correspondent ken dilanian. ken, what do we know about this? this shouldn't happen once, now it's happening again and again and again and it's day two of classes getting closed. >> reporter: yes, so the fbi and the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms say they're looking into the threats with the cooperation of local law enforcement. one official told me some of the same racist language has been
used in some of these threats but they're not sure whether this is the work of domestic extremists or other groups. whatever the motive, it's a crime to make these threats and they've had an impact on more than a dozen colleges and universities, hallie. >> beyond the obvious connection that these are all hbcus, what else do they know about motivation or impetus behind this? >> reporter: they really don't. and so far no bombs have been found, that's the good news. law enforcement officials say thankfully, generally bombs are not associated with these kinds of threats, which are sadly a lot more common than people realize. and again, you know, they're going to look into the motivation here. you may recall that back in the fall there was a series of threats against ivy league universities. the fbi ended up determining that a teenaged gamer was behind those. so it's not always what it seems. but it's terribly disruptive, hallie. >> sure is. ken dilanian, thank you very much for that. coming up in the show, i'm joined by judiciary committee member senator alex padilla with
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turning back now to the search by president biden to fill an upcoming supreme court vacancy. we've learned former alabama senator doug jones will be part of the sherpa team for president biden, shepherding her, the nominee, who president biden has pledged will be a black woman, shepherding her throughout the capitol for the nomination process. the judiciary committee is tasked with vetting the nominee before a vote goes to the full senate. joining me, a member of that
committee, senator alex padilla. are you hearing signals or tea leaves of how president biden's meeting with senator durbin and senator grassley so far? >> i'll take the fact that they had this meeting today as a great indicator, not just the chairman of the committee but the ranking member of the committee as well, very biden-esque, to try at least to get this done on a bipartisan basis. great selection of senator jones to be the, quote, unquote, sherpa. senator jones is a tremendous icon himself when it comes to the legal world. a democratic senator from a red state. so i think it's showing the priority, the importance of this pending nomination. >> it's interesting, because i hear you say that you appreciate the bipartisanship that president biden is demonstrating by having both senators, durbin
and grassley. as you know, you don't need republicans on board, you don't need republican support to fill this vacancy either in committee or in the full senate. how much thought should the president be putting in to get a nominally that will get at least some republicans on board? >> again, i commend the president for trying. but you're absolutely right, hallie, we don't necessarily need republican votes to get this, the nominee, whoever she will be, confirmed and serving on the supreme court. it would be great if it's bipartisan. and so, you know, we're going to spend the next few weeks eagerly awaiting the nomination and then soon thereafter, we will have a fair process, but a timely process to make sure the nomination moves forward quickly. >> we've heard a lot from you could call it the south carolina contingent, from some lawmakers, republican senator lindsey graham, congressman clyburn as
well, about j. michelle childs, someone the white house has confirmed is on at least the medium-sized list of people under consideration. there is a justice -- a judge from your state of california, leondra kruger, a state court justice, who is in the conversation too. do you think she would be well-positioned to become the eventual nominee, would you like to see that pick made? >> president biden has a blessedly long list of more than qualified black women to make history as the first black woman on the supreme court. it's a pledge he made when he was president, a pledge that i fully support. and as a member of the committee, i eagerly await to do my part to have a fair and timely confirmation hearing and a vote on confirmation as well. you mentioned a couple of names, including a couple of individuals from california, judge thomas, another federal judge recently confirmed by the united states senate that is in that mix as well.
so plenty of options. and at the end of the day we know this, president biden will pick somebody who is not only more than qualified from a legal and professional standpoint, but that brings diversity to the supreme court, needed diversity. hallie, we spoke soon after i joined the senate last year. as the first latino to represent california in the u.s. senate, representation matters. and just as it matters in the united states senate, it absolutely matters in the highest court of the land. and president biden is on the verge of making that history. >> let me turn to a couple of other topics making news today including what's happening with russia. as you know, a bipartisan group of your colleagues is talking about sanctions packages against the russians. some believe vladimir putin has already crossed the line, they want to sanction him even before he crosses the border with ukraine. is that something you would support? >> look, i think the president has authority to exercise
sanctions against russia for what they have already done. but we're also on the verge of a measure, a bipartisan measure to be more than prepared should russia continue to act in aggressive fashion towards the ukraine or anywhere else in the region. if you want to send a strong message to putin, it is strongest when it is bipartisan, in the senate and in the congress, which isn't always exactly that. >> a quick last question, because i want to hear where you are on this, because we heard from house speaker nancy pelosi this morning who signaled she would help push some reforms to the electoral count act through the house. i know you very much supported changing senate rules, getting rid of the filibuster, to get a bigger, broader voting rights passage. i understand the electoral count act changes amount to a smaller reform, it's not what you were hoping for but is it still something you would get behind and support? >> look, i think we need to do that in response to so many
things that led to the insurrection of last january 6th. but modernizing the electoral count act does nothing to shorten the lines in polling places where people are waiting hours and hours to vote. it does nothing to restore the right to vote who is eligible but who has been purged from the rolls without notice. there is a lot more that needs to be done to protect our free and fair elections starting with access to the ballot and the right to vote. >> california senator alex padilla, thank you for coming back on the show, we appreciate your time. come back soon. >> thank you, hallie. something a lot of parents have been waiting for, new reporting on how soon much younger kids could become eligible for the covid vaccine. and our exclusive reporting on the push to censor school library books in texas. getting so heated at times that some librarians are being pressured to preemptively block the books in the first place, that's coming up. first place
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request for emergency authorization to the fda any day now. with this, the first vaccine for kids under 5, you know parents have a lot of questions, like dosage, any side effects, what exactly immunobridging is, whether you've heard that term before or not. critical care pulmonologist and msnbc medical contributor and dad himself, by the way, dr. vin gupta. can you explain to us what is pfizer basing this on? parents of young kids will think back to what many saw as disappointing news, when they initially came out and said, hey, two shots doesn't trigger the immune response we would like to see for kids in this age group. what has changed? >> hallie, good afternoon are you thank you for the opportunity to talk about this very important issue for everybody out there. this is welcome news not only for parents but welcome across the pediatrician community. my wife, a pediatrician, was
remarking about how all her colleagues were relieved and disagreed with the pfizer decision a few months ago to pause and wait for the studies on the three doses, because why not start sooner? if you need three shots, you'll first need two, so why not star shots, you're first going to need two. so number one, it appears that pfizer has made the determination that let's start this series soon because that third shot that they're studying, the data's going to be available by early march then by end of march, we're going to need that two month interval between doses. if it seems like it adds additional benefit, already got two shots in the kids across the country. >> let me see if i can phrase it this way. the calculation by pfizer is by the time we get to the point where these little kids will need that third shot and whether we know whether that's safe and effective and we have the day tabak on that, they're going to need two anyway. so let's get started on the two
now so when we have information -- >> yes, exactly. and let me emphasize here, two shots in kiddos just like in otherwise healthy adults, appears to be robust enough to keep folks out of the hospital and again, i say this as a pull monoologist, the goal of vaccines against contagious respiratory viruses is to keep you out of the hospital. the third shot, we think, is to prevent even testing positive. but that gets to the larger question, what's the purpose of vaccination. >> you look at the kids ages 5 to 11. only wbt 20% of those eligible fully vaccinated. what's the message to parents to try to reassure them? as a dad yourself, we've talked about, your youngest is i think 4 and a half. would you give them the shot? >> absolutely. i think it's important for all parents to one, realize, let's
cut through the noise. look at the data. between august 1st and september 15th, 600 kids across the country ended up in pediatric hospitals across the nation. 600. in a typical bad cold and flu season, typically we'd see that number across four months. from flu or rsv. other viruses that land kids in the hospital. so clearly, covid is much more dangerous to kids than what else is out there. number one, let's get clear here on the threat. the reason why these studies have taken time is what's the right dose? scientists have processed it's taken longer time than we'd like to figure out what's the right dose to keep kids out of the hospital, but to prevent side effects from occurring like myocarditis. what we've seen in kids less than 12 years of age, no evidence of it in that young age group, especially those less than 5, with this reduced dose. so these are very safe vaccines
and serve a clear purpose. keeping kids out of the hospital, which is a clear threat. >> thank you so much. appreciate your expertise for us this afternoon. books on race and sexuality disappearing from some school library shelves across texas. 50 books that parents want banned, the kite runner, to kill a mocking bird. the authors are heartbroken. >> if you're able to take a resource away from a high school library then does it stop at the public library? then do we start trying tell big retailers they can't carry these books? i think it goes down a slippery slope of censorship. >> texas isn't the only state trying to ban books. a tennessee school board as you may know, has banned the holocaust novel, mouse, from curriculum. a school in washington state took to kill a mocking bird off
its required reading. you've been looking into this for a while. talk about the reaction from students in texas and more the back drop of what's going on here. >> i've been working on this with my colleague and in our reporting when we've talked to students in texas, we have heard many are frustrated and feeling hurt by this process. even young kids are noticing what's happening in their libraries. some of them, especially students of color or lgbtq, say it has a direct effect on their mental health. they say when i graduate, i want to leave texas for good. they see a pattern of these books dealing with discrimination and race or sexuality or expression and even abuse in some cases. seeing parents want those books off the shelves -- their life experiences are not respected or wanted by powerful parents or leaders or conservative politicians in their state and
that's been hurtful. take a listen to some of my conversation with iris chang, a junior at a school outside of houston, texas. she puts a lot of this in words very well. >> i think seeing our the issues and kind of battled across all fronts, whether it be in washington or austin or even in the school board meetings in our own district, has been really harmful because it sends this message to myself and to my peers that our opinions aren't valued. >> students like iris describe feeling like their voices have been drowned out. but that their opinions aren't really at the table. their school officials aren't consulting with them about what they want to read or what kinds of materials they feel thermature or old enough to handle in school. so many of them frankly feel like this is very personal and that it's boiled down to a fight
between them and the adults and politics who live among them. >> only have a few seconds left, but i think people might look at this and go, it's a state thing. what happens in texas stays in texas, but that's not always the case. the way some of these school districts, especially the larger ones, set the tone, could have an impact around the country. >> texas is an incredibly influential state and already we've seen this movement happening everywhere. i mean, texas may be an epicenter where we're seeing a high unprecedented rate of this activity, but like you mentioned, mouse just banned in a tennessee school district. that's an award winning book about the holocaust. in missouri, getting rid of the bluest eye. and school members filing criminal complaints over one book this florida. this is a sampling of what we're seeing and many are worried this is just the start. >> thank you so much for debuting your reporting here on msnbc. we're looking forward to seeing more of your piece tonight on
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