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Transcript: The 11th Hour, 1/25/22

Guests: Jackie Alemany, Eugene Daniels, Jeremy Bash, Bill Kristol, David Plouffe, Irwin Redlener


Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman speaks publicly for the first time since the January 6th insurrection. Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones confirms he met with the committee investigating the attack. President Biden says he has "no intention" of moving U.S. forces into Ukraine as tensions rise with Russia. The Biden administration withdraws its vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene endorses Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, who once criticized former President Trump.


MEHDI HASAN, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, I`m Mehdi Hasan. Day 371 of the Biden administration. And we begin tonight with the first public words from one of the heroes to emerge from what was an otherwise horrific and tragic day in Washington.

Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman was honored with a Congressional Gold Medal last year for single handedly leading insurrectionists away from the Senate chamber on January the sixth. He personally escorted Senator Mitt Romney to safety and may have been responsible for saving the Vice President`s life. Today for the first time, Goodman broke his silence, talking about the danger he faced down that day. And how we may have dodged a quote, bloodbath at the Capitol. Here is just part of his harrowing account.


EUGENE GOODMAN, CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER: When you see me come up the stairs and you see me Look, before I had went down the stairs, look at the door, people were actually out there and standing around and all that kind of stuff. So I told them, I think they`re downstairs. So when I went down there, and I get confronted my, my, oh, they actually in the building, I didn`t -- obviously didn`t know that they were that far in the building. So, and then they lock eyes on me right away, and then just like that I was in it. So it wasn`t a matter of let me leave them alone. And they would have -- I feel like they would have followed me anyway.

I`ve heard stories of people getting being armed, some of those individual armed, I don`t know, for a fact I don`t know. I heard that there were actually officers that were part of this riot group who were in the mainland them and they themselves, so you just -- you never know. It could have went. It could have been easily been a bloodbath. So, kudos to everybody there that showed a measure of restraint with regards to deadly force because it could have been bad. Really, really bad.


HASAN: Officer Goodman returned to work after the riot. He remains a U.S. Capitol police officer. The slow drip of new information coming from investigations into that riot continued today. One significant development concerns the investigation into fake Electoral College certificates, which tonight appears to be entering a new stage. The Department of Justice has confirmed to CNN that federal prosecutors are looking into efforts by Trump allies to forge certificates that claim Donald Trump won seven states that Joe Biden in fact did win.


LISA MONACO, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: In terms of fraudulent electro certifications has been reported, we`ve received those referrals, our prosecutors were looking at those and I can`t say anything more on ongoing investigations.


HASAN: Know what she said that investigations, plural. And on the heels of the news that former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr has been cooperating with the House 1/6 Committee, far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, you remember him the guy who tormented Sandy Hook parents and ones hosted Donald Trump on his Infowars show, he now confirms he also met with lawmakers on the committee. It remains to be seen how much information if any, they were able to collect.


ALEX JONES, THE ALEX JONES SHOW: My lawyer told me almost 100 times today, during the interrogation, on advice of counsel I am asserting my fifth amendment right to remain silent. And the media tells you that`s because you`re guilty, or because you`re going to incriminate yourself, but it`s also just because it could be used to try to incriminate you and twist something against you.


HASAN: Jones denied any knowledge of planned violence that day and denied using the extremist Proud Boys and Oath Keepers as personal security. Meanwhile, 10 of those Oath Keepers including the group`s leader Stewart Rhodes today entered pleas of not guilty to charges of seditious conspiracy. They`re facing the most serious charges to come out of the January 6 attack so far.

On the foreign policy front those fears of war between Russia and Ukraine remain very much alive tonight. The Washington Post reporting the United States and Russia traded provocations on Tuesday, with Moscow conducting a wave of military exercise involving warplanes, naval ships and ballistic missiles and Washington delivering a fresh shipment of weapons to Ukraine.

There are 8,500 U.S. troops standing on high alert in the region. And President Biden today reaffirmed his support for our NATO allies, while reinforcing the seriousness of the stakes.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: There`s no reason for anyone, any member of NATO to worry whether or not we would -- we NATO would come to their defense. There will be enormous consequences if he were to go in and bay that he could the entire country or a lot less than that as well.

For Russia, not only in terms of economic consequences and political consequences, but will be enormous consequences worldwide. This would be the largest if he were to move in with all those words to be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.



HASAN: With that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests on this Tuesday night. Eugene Daniels, White House correspondent for Politico. Jackie Alemany, political reporter for The Washington Post and author of the papers morning newsletter, the Early 202. And Jeremy Bash, former CIA -- former chief of staff at the CIA and the Pentagon. Thank you all for joining me tonight.

Jackie, let me start with you. It`s not often a DOJ official discusses ongoing investigations. What does it tell us that the DOJ is now investigating efforts to overturn the election before 1/6? And how significant is this issue of these alternate electors?

JACKIE ALEMANY, THE WASHINGTON POST POLITICAL REPORTER: That`s exactly right, Mehdi. This is the first time that the Justice Department has actually commented on requests from Democrats lawmaker, state officials and the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection to investigate the origins of these fake certifications.

We know that this has become a focus in recent weeks and days of the committee`s work in finding out the origins of these rival slates that were forged and submitted, according to people familiar with the panel`s activities. But I think that this is a significant step forward for a few reasons. One, in that, I think it`s a sign from the DOJ that they are hearing some of the complaints and some of the rumbling about the lack of action and activity --


ALEMANY: -- from Democrats worried that there might not be enough potential criminal consequences for these actions that took place to overturn the results of election. And then also that there`s actually new information being found throughout this investigation, and that these two concurrent investigations are being productive and what they`re finding so far, in terms of the purpose of their stated mission.

HASAN: And Eugene, Alex Jones, went to the committee and claimed the fifth, 100 times. And then he went on his show and ran his mouth. I wonder as we cover all this craziness, is there any better reminder of the power of unchecked misinformation, then his behavior and the lies he pushed before during, and since 1/6? It`s a real challenge to confront, isn`t it?

EUGENE DANIELS, POLITICO WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, it is. And the thing that`s really interesting is Alex Jones, as you`re kind of alluding to there he is -- he is when you look at political, not reporting, but political conversation, one of the people who`s been pushing misinformation the longest without being checked in.

And I think, as we, as all of this comes to a head with more investigations, and really being clear to people that you can`t do these kinds of things without some kind of ramifications were at the very least being brought in and talking to congressional investigators and members of Congress, that that is exactly what we`re seeing.

I mean, he said that, you know, he pleaded the fifth 100 times. But does that mean that he pled the fifth every single time that they asked him a question. He also said that they were dog eared in their questioning, which for all of us who want to get to the bottom of what happened on January 6 is good news, right? It`s something that we obviously are new.

And it`s, you know, this is one of those things that people like Alex Jones do, is they go behind closed doors, and have whatever kinds of conversations they have with investigators.


DANIELS: And then they come out and kind of try to clear up they say like, no, but don`t worry, I didn`t tell them any. Right. And so we won`t know, for a very long time if whether or not he did and as people switched on my colleagues who have broken a lot of the stuff happening with this committee as whether that stuff comes out.

But it is possible that he told them things because this is someone who, as you said was operating and talking to for months and years, some of these right wing extremist groups. And that is something that this this committee has been looking into. Because all of these things seem very interconnected.

HASAN: I love how he says there in that clip, we played that if you plead the fifth, the media say you`re lying. You`ve got something to hide. The media doesn`t say that. Donald Trump famously said that in 2016 about the Democrats. He said they were like a mob boss if you plead the fifth.

But anyways, Jeremy, Alex denied any ties to the Oath Keepers On his show. The Oath Keepers pleaded not guilty today to seditious conspiracy. I cannot think of another Western democracy in which armed militias have such a visible and public presence and such a sway over mainstream right wing politics as in America right now. Things have gotten out of hand, haven`t they on that particular front?

JEREMY BASH, FMR. CIA CHIEF OF STAFF: Yes, Mehdi, look, everybody`s got to read that criminal indictment against the Oath Keepers that the Justice Department and prosecutors rolled out the week before last because when you look at that, you see the military style, tactics, techniques and procedures that those who staged an armed attack on the capital employed. There were stack one, one formation of individuals who had trained and they were in formation to go attack part of the Capitol. They were stack two, they had military gear. They had encrypted communications. They were communicating in military lingo and in a military style.


This was not just a riot that had kind of gotten out of hand. This was a planned, premeditated armed attack on a federal facility to stop democracy from occurring. And I think that indictment shows just how serious these charges are, just how serious the January 6 committee is, and should be taking this matter.

HASAN: But Jeremy, how concerned are you as someone who`s worked at the Pentagon, work to the CIA, about the growth of these militias to growth in their members, the hardening of their ideology in recent years?

BASH: Very concerned, I think domestic terrorism is the most significant and consequential threat our country faces today. And you`ve heard that not just from people inside the Biden administration, but you`ve heard that from the career leadership of the FBI, when they look at the organization planning, training, communications and propaganda of these of these militias of these armed organizations. It shows you that they are threats, not only to citizens, but in fact to our democracy.

And there`s going to have to be a very significant whole of government, whole of nation effort to get at this activity, because of course, acting on U.S. soil, they have certain First Amendment protections, but those cannot be used or to be justified violence, certainly not against members of Congress, certainly not against our democratic institutions.

HASAN: And of course, don`t forget even Ted Cruz called 1/6 a domestic terror attack until he went to apologize and gravel on Tucker Carlson show. So domestic terrorism is one threat. We have the threat of war in Europe.

Jackie, let`s talk about Ukraine, Russia and the White House`s response. NBC is reporting President Biden is considering an address to outline his strategy on Ukraine. What is the thinking in the White House there?

ALEMANY: Yes, Mehdi. I think what you`re seeing right now is President Biden ramping up a more aggressive posture, after criticisms that he had been passive and weak on the issue. You also saw President Biden today threatened direct sanctions, potentially on Putin, and not necessarily an unprecedented move, but a rare one. Some of the other players in our recent history who have faced sanctions include people like Nicolas Maduro, Syria`s Bashar Al Assad. And so this statement was welcomed by Republicans who have been critical of the president.

And I think what the White House is trying to show at this moment in time in the lead up to Russia having several meetings with our allies in Europe for the rest of the week is a show of strength from Biden here, especially as some of the recent public polling has showed the American public being concerned with his waffling or being too much of a compromiser.

HASAN: And Eugene, we heard this from the Senate Minority Leader on Ukraine today, have a listen.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY) MINORITY LEADER: Once the Russians have grabbed a piece of Ukraine or tried to overthrow the entire government, it`s really too late. So, my advice to the President and his team from the very beginning was, let`s do the following things and do them now. But it appears to me the administration moving in the right direction.


HASAN: Eugene, Republican and Democrats don`t seem to agree on anything, but they do agree on Ukraine on standing up to Russia. But then again, a consensus on issues of war and peace in DC isn`t always a good thing. Remember, Iraq? Do we need more party political debate, more open discussion on the right way forward?

DANIELS: I think so. And I mean, one thing that President Biden has said and has been made very clear is that he is not interested in putting any U.S. troops inside of Ukraine. And that is something that is he has said, and kind of in a red line. He said that is off the table, even as the staff has continued this all these conversations about what`s on the table that has continued to stay off based on all the reporting that we`ve done over at Politico.

But I will say that, you know, and Jackie is right, the posture check has changed. And folks wanted to see that and more importantly, our European allies want to see that. They wanted to see the American president come out, possibly come out and talk more about what`s happening Ukraine in any actions that may be coming, which has been reported.

But also, you know, European allies have said to the administration to each other, you know, that we have to make sure that we do something to prevent anything, right. It`s not just about adding U.S. troops around the Ukrainian area and other countries around Ukraine after the fact that is about before and so that is seemingly what`s going to happen, some of the 8,500 troops I think it is that are on alert to be -- to move within the next few days.


And so there`s a lot happening in that. But this administration has been very clear. They don`t want war.


DANIELS: And the one thing that we don`t know is what Vladimir Putin is thinking of what he wants out of this. And that is the one thing that seems to befuddle all of us.

HASAN: Yes, that is a very big question. Jeremy, on the escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The Washington Post has this reporting out today, as the Kremlin in the West square off, actually as the New York Times, as the Kremlin in the West square of Ukrainian officials are projecting an air of calm. Already this week, Ukraine`s Defense Minister has asserted that there had been no change in the Russian forces compared with a buildup in the spring, the head of the national security council accused some Western countries and news media outlets of overstating the danger for geopolitical purposes. And a foreign ministry spokesman took a swipe at the U.S. and Britain for pulling the families of diplomats from their embassies in Kiev, saying that acted prematurely.

I wonder, you know, when the head of the Ukrainian National Security Council is saying that some of us in the West are overstating the threat of war. Should we take that seriously? Shouldn`t we take that seriously if they`re calmer than we are?

BASH: Well, you`d expect them to project an air of calm, but you better believe it that they are on the highest alert. And the fact is, is that Russia has all of its forces arrayed on that border with Belarus. And so there is a very imminent threat. And I think we are now in the window when Russian forces can move across the border.

And of course, in their private conversations, they`ve no doubt been beseeching NATO allies, beseeching the United States to send more additional javelin anti-tank weapons to send more assistance. That`s what the Biden administration has done. Because again, we could see moving by Russian troops at any moment.

HASAN: We`ll have to leave it out. Of course, we will be following that story all of this week. Eugene Daniels, Jackie Alemany, Jeremy Bash. Thank you for your time.

Coming up, another day, another chance to see exactly what today`s Republican Party is all about. Two seasoned political observers will be joining me to talk about the persistent influence of the former guy.

And later we`ll fact check a dangerously misleading COVID argument coming in hard from the far right, the 11th Hour, we`re just getting underway on a Tuesday night. Stay with us.



HASAN: There was a time believe it or not, when Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance wasn`t a fan of Donald Trump from Politico, quote, Vance has come under fire for deleting tweets from 2016 including one in which he said he was voting for Evan McMullen and another calling Trump reprehensible. But now he`s running for the Senate in Ohio. Not only is he is shamelessly pro- Trump as you can get, but today he even received and welcomed and endorsement from far right Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Greene has of course promoted baseless QAnon conspiracy theories, and was recently permanently suspended from Twitter for violating their COVID misinformation policy. In a statement to NBC News Greene said quote, if you agree with me that Washington desperately needs what America first fighters in the mold of President Trump, then it`s vital to support JD`s campaign in Ohio.

Yes, with us tonight, David Plouffe, former Obama campaign manager and Senior Advisor to the President and Bill Kristol, author, writer and thinker. He`s a veteran of the Reagan-Bush administrations and editor-at- large at The Bulwark. Thank you both for joining me this evening.

Bill let me start with you. J.D. Vance has shamelessly accepted the endorsement of Marjorie Taylor Greene this woman with a history of violent QAnon unsupported anti-semitic Islamophobic comments. But given the state of the GOP base, does this help him or hurt him? Sadly, it helps him, right?

BILL KRISTOL, THE BULWARK EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Sure, because he`s been attacked actually in Ohio, their ads up against him pointing out correctly that he was never Trump for I just had some panels with him in 2016 agreeing this, it would be terrible for the country, terrible for conservatives and terrible things that J.D. Vance had written pretty eloquently about and spoken about in terms of really genuine economic opportunity for people who had had a tough time in the last 10, 20, 30 years as opposed to demagogic exploitation of their grievances.

In any case, he hit those things are on the record. There`s tape. They`re being used against them. So he has to show that he`s not just for Trump, but really willing to embrace the spirit of Trump.

But what was striking, Mehdi, I thought was both Marjorie Taylor Greene endorsement of him. And then the way he accepted it when he tweeted something like, Well, you know, we`re going to win and we`re going to take this (INAUDIBLE) even say this word, and I feel bad to that, we`re going to take this country back from that he says a very vulgar word. It`s almost as if you have to prove to get down in the gutter to really show the Trumpists that you`re with them.


KRISTOL: Especially if you went to Yale Law School and you once were skeptical about Trump.

HASAN: Yes, indeed, getting in the gutter is what J.D. Vance has been doing a lot of in recent months. David, Donald Trump has been busy taking shots at Mitch McConnell for also for months now, while McConnell is staying focused on trying to regain a Senate majority for the Republicans. Have a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: Mitch McConnell`s a disaster. The Republicans have to get a new leader.

MCCONNELL: I`m going to be running again for leader later this year.

TRUMP: Mitch McConnell is a loser.

MCCONNELL: In the course of the campaign, various Republican candidates will come out for what they will do what they`re for. That`s always an important part of every election. But make no mistake about it. The election this fall is a referendum on this all democratic government.


HASAN: David, I`m trying to imagine a Barack Obama-Harry Reid dynamic like that ahead of the 2010 midterms. I can`t get my head around there. But could this dynamic heart Republicans in November and can the Dems capitalize on this seeming split between the Donald and Mitch?

DAVID PLOUFFE, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, it should, Mehdi, and be interested in Bill`s take on this. But, you know, once again, political malpractice it`s like Trump attacking vote by mail when it`s like Hey, pal, you`re going to have historic numbers of people voting by mail, including some of your phones.

So let`s just fast forward to September, October as people begin to vote, and then certainly into Election Day. You --Republicans are going to need a lot of voters who might have just showed up for the first time with Trump aren`t reliable voters and the message they`re hearing is, you know, why would you show up to help give Mitch McConnell the Senate, he`s a traitor. You know, Trump has also taken any number of barbs at McCarthy. Marjorie Taylor Greene is not going to support McCarthy.


So I think all that`s in the ether, the question is what gets done without him. I mean, I think there`s some former Republicans running smart groups that may make sure that gets in front of those voters with digital ads, Democrats could do that as well.

So yes, that`s the risk you run, which is on the one hand, you need the support of a lot of unreliable voters. And on the other hand, Trumps giving the message, almost like why bother? So yes, I don`t know that`s not going to be 10, 20 points. But in races to get decided by a point or two, it could matter.

HASAN: But we know what happened in Georgia and the runoffs where he and his acolytes will basically say don`t bother voting in this election till everyone falls behind me.

Bill, Glenn Youngking won the Virginia governor`s race last year. While on the one hand, distancing himself from Trump, at least physically, Trump didn`t come to Virginia, while leaning into Trumpian race baiting like the whole fake critical race theory Rao. Now he`s launched a hotline to have people report teachers in the state. Though Newsweek is reporting a popular TikToker has called on people to overwhelm a tip line launched by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin`s Office for parents to report teachers for the teaching of divisive subjects and behavior they find objectionable.

I just wonder is that the way to fight back because I know you did a few events with them during the campaign, Terry McAuliffe, young can Democratic opponent, he failed to find a way to neutralize the GOP fearmongering over critical race theory. And now the Republicans think this is a great wedge issue for us to replicate and races across the country.

KRISTOL: I mean Youngkin as a candidate was able to do exactly what David suggests the Republicans will try to do in 2022, which is they`ll try to be respectable Mitch McConnell ish types, you know, we`re going to cut taxes and have conservative judges and we don`t really believe all that crazy stuff when speaking to you know, upscale suburban Republican voters, and then they`re going to be Trump be out in the places to this huge support for Trump and Youngkin pull that off pretty successfully in Virginia.

It wasn`t a federal races, a state race, it wasn`t yet an office harder to do when you`re in office. But a bunch of Republican challengers, you know, can promise one thing to one group and other to another group and then depends, and this is your point, Mehdi, I mean, Virginia Terry McAuliffe might like maybe didn`t do as good a job as he could have and bringing this home the dangers of Youngkin as governor, people were just discounting that.

Can Democrats bring home the dangers of a Mitch McConnell led Senate and even more I would say a Kevin McCarthy led House? Can they really bring home to people that this is more I put it empowering the Marjorie Taylor Greene`s, and maybe the J.D. Vance`s of the world dependent if he wins the Republican nomination in Ohio, and that you can`t just relax and sort of say I don`t really got crazy about the Biden administration, but just put the Republicans in there for a couple of years. That`s a challenge for the Democrats.

HASAN: I mean, the fact that Youngkin set up a snitch line in his first few weeks of office should be an open goal for the Democrats. David and Bill are staying with us. Coming up, a top house Democrat is confident about the future of the President`s agenda despite gridlock caused by members of his own party in the Senate. We`ll discuss more when the 11th Hour continues after this short break.




JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have an event tomorrow on Build Back Better will there`ll be a number of CEOs here so that will be part of the day tomorrow as well.


HASAN: The White House said today that President Biden will meet with executives of 10 major American companies tomorrow so discuss his economic agenda. It comes as House majority leader Steny Hoyer told Politico today quote, I`m of the belief that Build Back Better will pass. It will be changed. But that`s the legislative process.

Still with us David Plouffe and Bill Kristol. David, what is Steny Hoyer talking about? How much of Build Back Better can you carve out before it`s no longer build back better? And how do you still get it passed? Even broken up? How do you get it passed Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema?

PLOUFFE: Well, the truth is mentioned supports a lot of the elements of it. He`s even said he thinks most of the climate regulations and spending should be in there. You know, maybe you`re going to have slightly fewer programs, actually, maybe more of them permanent rather than temporary. But I think you can get a good portion of the original bill passed, it will be done in chunks.

So listen, you just have to basically be OK, saying Manchin, what are you for? And the truth is, Mehdi, he`s for, you know, 75, 80 percent of probably what was in the last iteration of this, get it passed, and then go out and prosecute the argument to the American people about what you`ve done, the COVID Relief Bill, infrastructure, the very popular elements that are part of this package, being pro-democracy, being pro science, and put the Republicans back on center stage because, you know, the Democrats have basically been under the spotlight.

And so it`s been entirely a referendum on them in Washington anyway, you need to turn this into a choice. And so the sooner that can happen, but the components are there. Manchin supports a lot of this. And I think people are just going to have to be OK. We can be frustrated by it. But say, OK, what are you for?


PLOUFFE: And then there`s 49 other votes in the Senate for it. There`s 218 votes in the House plus a few and a Joe Biden signature and it`s law.

HASAN: Oh, sounds so easy. I hope it happens our way. Bill, the New York Times published a piece by Larry Diamond today, urging Democrats to scale back their ambitions to quote, Democrats must recognize that politics is the art of the possible and Democratic responsibility demands that we not sacrifice what is valuable and possible on the altar of the unattainable.

It sounds lovely and pragmatic. But I feel like it kind of misses what happened over the past 12 months. The Democrats dropped the For the People Act and brought back a Manchin approved Freedom to Vote Act. It didn`t pass. They dropped Build Back Better from 3.5 trillion to 1.7 5 trillion. It didn`t pass. The obstructionism on the right, especially is absolute right now, is it not?

KRISTOL: I mean, I think Democrats to do a better job of being more imaginative in a way and forcing tougher votes for Republicans with some of these different -- they didn`t pull out provisions. They didn`t, anyway, highlight certain aspects of the bills that would be harder for Republicans to oppose.

So I currently think the Democrats, you know, could have played done better. Administration clues and somewhat better. But I also agree that I mean, the end of the day, you got to bring home to people that were Republican restructures.

And I think what David said just now is very important politically, it has to be a choice, not just a referendum, people elect a new president (INAUDIBLE) of relief, perhaps they have great hopes that everything works out perfectly. David`s been there. I`ve been there in such White Houses. But you`ve got to if you`d have a chance, if you can, and now and the midterm, not let people have a sense of free vote or free opportunity not to vote if you`re a Democratic candidate in 2018 and say gee it`s not quite working as well as I hoped.


You`ve got to get people alarmed. Honestly, you got to read tell people if the Republicans control the Senate, Biden will never get another judge confirmed to the Supreme Court, certainly probably up to an appellate court. If you are OK with having a more conservative Supreme Court even than today, give the Republicans and Senate and Roe v Wade will be in play. So if we`re then in the House, you if you`re fine with having the kinds of hearings, stopping the investigation of everything that happened that give Kevin McCarthy the House and let`s have Marjorie Taylor Greene and Gozar and all these characters running committees. I mean, I think you`ve got to make it a really stark choice, even if you`re being somewhat work clever and moderate, advancing some of your own positions.

HASAN: But of course, they control all the chambers and the White House. They should expand the rebalance the corporate is no way Joe Manchin for that, or even Joe Biden. David, quick question to you, Joe Biden calls you up tonight and says, What should I be doing to ensure Democrats keep hold of the House and Senate in November? What should I be doing that I`m not doing right now? What do you say to him?

PLOUFFE: Well, the biggest thing is not a speech, Mehdi, or, you know, talking point hits, the pandemic turning endemic. So, you know, that`s going to be the big atmosphere of change, and a lot of good will come out of that. The economy will I think get even stronger. That`s the big thing.

But I think, you know, prosecute the rest of the pandemic well, make sure that the infrastructure package is executed well, make sure if elements of Build Back Better happen that access (INAUDIBLE). And report back to Bill`s point, Joe Biden and the Senate, you know, it`s -- they need to report back to the voters who work so hard. The 19-year olds who voted, maybe somebody 30 would never voted before and say your vote was worth it. Let me tell you why. Because turnouts not the entire story in in an off year, if you lose the moderate vote, you`re probably going to lose the election. But you`ve got to have turnout.

So I think Biden can play a big role. They`re saying you stood up for me and I`ve stood up for you. But the big thing politically is not a tweet to a piece of legislation. It is people you know that listen, the wrong track in this country`s in the 20s, the right tracks in the 20s right now. OK.


PLOUFFE: You know, that`s not going to lift into the 30s, 40s or 50s until people say we are finally on the side of the pandemic. So I think Joe Biden can help lead us there, not prematurely. But I think it`s important to play a leadership role.

HASAN: Certainly not prematurely, but yes, it`s very much state of mind issue as well. David Plouffe and Bill Kristol sadly, we`re out of time, but thank you for your analysis tonight. Appreciate it.

Coming up, a stunning example of how quickly COVID misinformation can be politicized and racialized. We`ll talk to Dr. Irwin Redlener about our medical professionals can correct the record when the 11th Hour continues. Don`t go away.




TRUMP: The left is now rationing life-saving therapeutics based on race discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating white people to determine who lives and who dies. If you`re white, you don`t get the vaccine or if you`re white, you don`t get therapeutics.


HASAN: If you`re wondering how such an offensive false and racist claim like that ends up in the disgraced former presidents rally speech. Well, let`s start back in November. The far right conspiracy website InfoWars ran a clip claiming that white person was being denied monoclonal antibody treatment.


UNIDETNFIED MALE: If black and Hispanic, then I`d be able to qualify?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I`m being denied medical service because my race.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what I do I go around and make sure everyone meets the criteria.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that`s the criteria that was set for. If you`re 65, you`ll be good. You`re healthy. And you`re healthy and no medical condition. So research show that you should get out of COVID.


HASAN: Eventually, people like Fox`s Tucker Carlson picked up on the phoney story left out the part where the health care worker explains the many health raid reasons that treatment was denied. There was also this from a columnist for the New York Post who tweeted quote, New York State Department of Health warns they don`t have enough COVID treatment and white people need not apply. That was false.

In reality, the state guidance cites race or ethnicity as one of several factors when deciding who should get the limited supply of COVID treatments. And here`s why race is considered as the Associated Press notes, quote, the CDC found late last year that black, Hispanic and indigenous people were about twice as likely to die from COVID-19 the non- Hispanic whites and were notably more likely to be hospitalized.

Hey, but don`t let facts get in the way of a good Alex Jones, Tucker, Trump`s smear.

Let`s bring in Dr. Irwin Redlener, Founding Director of Columbia`s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, who advises the U.S. on public health. He is also a professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Redlener, thanks for joining us tonight.

Doctors aren`t being told to give preference to black people over white people when it comes to COVID vaccines or treatments are they? That`s racist nonsense, is it not?

DR. IRWIN REDLENER, EXPERT ON PANDEMIC INFLUENZA: Yes, this is totally jaw dropping, Mehdi. You know, this is something that`s been part of the Trump and his cult followings attempts to maximally politicize this entire pandemic, it`s just absolutely disgraceful.

The fact of the matter is that doctors are making decisions based on who`s at most risk of dying. That`s what we`re supposed to do. So, if a 70-year- old with COVID, and a healthy 40-year-old with COVID come in, and there`s limited amounts of treatment. Preference is going to go first, of course, to the one who`s most at risk, which is the older person.

And in the case of non-whites in America as blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and people who are of color, those people have a higher rate of dying from the disease. So that`s where the preference goes. Under no circumstances would anyone in his right mind of getting up we are talking about Trump, but no one in his right mind would suggest that anybody would even think about causing a situation where whites are not getting the treatments that they need when they need it. It`s just preposterous.

HASAN: Well, one of the keywords they use no one in their right mind, we`re talking about Donald Trump here. So that explains a lot of which --

REDLENER: Africa is talking about for a second year.

HASAN: On the subject of vaccines, let`s talk about vaccines more broadly. A medical panel advising the Israeli government just recommended making a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine available to people aged 18 and over. It`s hard enough getting tens of millions of Americans each year to take their first shot. Are people going to be up for a fourth shot do you think?

REDLENER: I think it`s going to be a tough road here, Mehdi. This is not going to be an easy sell.


I think the fact is that the reason the Israelis are doing is because a fourth dose really does help prevent bad outcomes from getting the Omicron version of COVID. It would be ideal. And I think it`s just going to be a tough sell for the administration. But I think we need to try to do whatever is going to keep people safe.

But the FDA and the CDC, as well as the White House health advisors, are going to have to approve that we will be adopting or recommended adoption of what they`re doing Israel, it`s not yet happened in the US.

HASAN: It`s not yet happened people already complaining. I`ve never really genuinely understood the complaint. If somebody asked me take fourth, it`s good for me, I`ll take a fourth. No one`s asking me to take part in the Normandy beach landings or kind of cut my arm off, it`s not the greatest of sacrifice to get a job once in a while. We did it as kids all the time. We do it with the flu shot anyways.

Let`s talk about people`s moods and attitudes, people are frustrated. They are fatigued. Listen to what Dr. Fauci said this morning.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: What I think we`re going to be able to see is not a verification (ph) or elimination, but a level of control that`s low enough that it really gets integrated into the regular type of viral infections that we tend to deal with. But not at the level we are right now. Because we still have 150,000 hospitalizations, 2,000 deaths, and about 700,000 infections. That`s too high level to accept to be living with.


HASAN: What is the right level, Dr. Redlener? Because a lot of people keep saying, Well, I`m done with COVID, as if COVID has feelings or gives a damn.

REDLENER: Right. And you might be done with COVID. But unfortunately, COVID is not done with us yet, Mehdi. And this is a problem now. As soon as we get a little bit of dip in the number of cases, which we are getting, even though in some parts of the country, we`re really not even peaked yet with Omicron.

The problem is that we don`t know where this is going. And I`m a little frustrated with a lot of happy talk that even some of my colleagues are engaging in. We don`t know what`s happening. And I really feel uncomfortable of people making predictions about the fact that we might be over with this. I hope we are. But we`re not going to be certainly not in the short term.

And I think the prudent thing to do now is yes, we`re going to hope for the best. But we`re going to prepare for the worst. That`s the way we handle situations like this, which are pretty unknown. And by the way, as long as we have so many people unvaccinated around the world, it is not possible to imagine a near future where we`re not going to be producing mutations and variants and other parts of the world that are under vaccinated, that can almost immediately get to our shores. So we still have a lot of work to do before we`re really able to declare victory over the COVID pandemic.

HASAN: Yes, I`m not sure how anyone can argue with a straight face that they are over the pandemic and they think the pandemics over and that we`re seeing a return to normal life. But it`s also not advocating for vaccinating the entire world is not pushing that as a top political priority. Because there is no end to the pandemic. If there`s still a global pandemic, as you point out, it`s madness to think we won`t get other variants --

REDLENER: Exactly.

HASAN: -- if we can vaccinate the world. Dr. Redlener, we`ll have to leave it there. Thank you so much for your time as I appreciate it.

REDLENER: Sure, Mehdi.

HASAN: Coming up. The British Prime Minister seems to be on the brink of his own personal Brexit. We`ll explain when the 11th Hour continues.



HASAN: We may be just hours away from more dramatic developments in the scandal now known as party gate in the UK. The British police are now investigating parties that embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended during a lockdown possibly in violation of the law. Our report tonight from senior international correspondent Keir Simmons in London.


KEIR SIMMONS, NBC NEWS SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Tonight`s British Prime Minister Boris Johnson`s inner circle facing a police investigation into parties at his office in Downing Street while strict lockdowns were in force.

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I welcome permits decision to conduct its own investigation.

SIMMONS: Back in 2020, British police were raiding gatherings around the country. But in a recently released photo from back then the Prime Minister is seen outdoors drinking wine with colleagues, his wife and apparently their newborn son.

Government officials say that was a word party and the Prime Minister defending another event, he said was also for work.

JOHNSON: Nobody said that this was something that was against the rules.

SIMMONS: At the time this was his message to the public.

JOHNSON: I urge everyone to continue to show restraint and respect the rules which are designed to keep us all safe.

SIMMONS: But an avalanche of accusations now include a birthday party, a Christmas party and even a party the night before Prince Philip`s funeral. The Prime Minister apologizing to the Queen bowing his head.

JOHNSON: I deeply and bitterly regret that that happened.

SIMMONS: Authorities are now removing COVID restrictions here, ending vaccine and mask mandates. But the accusations of hypocrisy have put the Prime Minister`s job on the line.

(on camera): Tonight the Prime Minister still insisting some of the alleged parties didn`t happen. Meanwhile, police now accused of turning a blind eye to what was going on behind this famous door.


HASAN: Our thanks to Keir Simmons in London for that report. Coming up, a refresher course in presidential mental fitness for a freshman GOP congressman from Texas. That`s when the 11th Hour continues.



HASAN: The last thing before we go tonight, you may remember Dr. Ronny Jackson is the physician who gave the former guy a glowing bill of health a while back citing incredible genes, excellent overall health and dub Trump fit for duty. He`s now a Republican congressman from Texas and appeared on Fox News today to weigh in on President Biden`s harsh words for Fox correspondent Peter Doocy yesterday.


REP. RONNY JACKSON (R-TX): It was completely unprofessional. It`s embarrassing. And I`ve seen this multiple times with people at the President`s age that are starting to have cognitive issues. They get short tempered, they get irritable, they strike out it`s a defense mechanism to some extent when they don`t know exactly how to answer questions or what`s going on around them. He`s got cognitive issues. He`s not fit to be our head of state, or a commander in chief.


HASAN: Now, I don`t know about you, but Joe Biden is not who I pictured when I heard that description.


JACKSON: They get short tempered.

TRUMP: That`s enough, put down the mic. You are a rude, terrible person.

JACKSON: They get irritable.

TRUMP: I don`t want mosquitoes around me. I don`t like mosquitoes.

JACKSON: They strikeout. It`s a defense mechanism to some extent swhen they don`t know exactly how to answer questions or what`s going on around them.

TRUMP: What a stupid question. That is. What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions.

JACKSON: He`s got cognitive issues. He`s not fit to be our head of state, or our Commander in Chief.

TRUMP: You got to see this guy. I don`t know what I said. I don`t remember.


HASAN: But wait, didn`t Trump pass that very difficult cognitive assessment?


TRUMP: Like a memory question. It`s like you`ll go person, woman, man, Camera, TV. 10 minutes, 15, 20 minutes later to remember the first question, not the first but the 10th question. Give us that again. Can you do that again? And you go person, woman, man, camera TV. They say? That`s amazing. How did you do that? I do because I have like, a good memory because I`m cognitively there.


HASAN: Person, Woman, man, camera, TV. How can we ever forget? Before we go tonight, a quick programming note. Tomorrow night, I`ll be joined by Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. You don`t I missed that.

But that is our broadcast for this Tuesday night without thanks for being with us. On behalf of all my colleagues at the network`s NBC News, good night.