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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, 1/28/2021

Guest: Nahid Bhadelia, Kara Swisher, Baratunde Thurston, Bill Kristol�


Acting chief of U.S. Capitol Police calls for permanent fencing around the U.S. Capitol building days after she said that the department "failed" in its efforts to protect the sprawling complex on Jan. 6 when pro-Trump rioters stormed the building. Reps report new threat and ask for extra protection. Some U.S. legislators are calling for the removal of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene following revelations about past activity on social media endorsing conspiracies that school shootings, shootings were "false flag" events and calling for violence against Democratic politicians. Biden expands Obamacare and ends Trump abortion policy. GOP are resisting Biden`s $1.9 trillion COVID aid bill. South African COVID variant is found in South Carolina. Raddit users fuel surge in GameStop stock. Pelosi condemns GOP for overlooking Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene`s incendiary comments.


NADYA TOLOKONNIKOVA, PUSSY RIOT FOUNDER: And even after he was jailed, he

released this amazing movie about putting giant towers on the Black Sea,

which right now has 100 million views on YouTube.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Nadya, thank you very much for joining us

again tonight. It is invaluable for Americans, for our audience to hear

your voice on this. Really appreciate it.

TOLOKONNIKOVA: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: That is Tonight`s Last Word. The 11th Hour with Brian Williams

starts now.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: And good evening, once again, day nine of the

Biden administration and the state of our nation is such that the fortress

now surrounding the Capitol Building, following the January 6 insurrection

may soon be made permanent.

And the Speaker of the House is rather ominously warning that quote the

enemy is within. Today, the Acting Chief of the Capitol Police Department

recommended the fence remain around our Capitol Building indefinitely, and

that there be a backup force always station nearby to respond to any such

violence. This follows yesterday`s warning from our own department of

homeland security about the potential for attacks by those inspired by the

assault three weeks ago now. An attack even Donald Trump`s former defense

secretary now says was quote fomented by the former president, all of it

was in service, of course to the big lie.

Since January 6, a lot of Members of Congress are now reporting they`ve

received threats to their lives while in Washington and back home in their

districts, 32 members of Congress have now asked House leadership for more



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We will probably need a supplemental for more

security for members when the enemy is within the House of Representatives.

A threat that members are concerned about in addition to what is happening


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What exactly did you mean when you said that the enemy

is within? What exactly did you mean by that?

PELOSI: It means that we have members of Congress who want to bring guns on

the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress.


WILLIAMS: There is of course already tension over initial moves to enhance

safety procedures like metal detectors, which some Republican members have

walked around refusing to use. But there`s also increasing anger among

Democrats about other members of the House like freshmen Republican

Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. She`s endorsed violence against Speaker

Pelosi. She has expressed support for baseless QAnon conspiracy theories

and has liked social media posts calling for things like violence against

Democrats and the FBI.

Jimmy Gomez, Member of Congress from California has now drafted a proposal

to get her expelled from the House.


REP. JIMMY GOMEZ (D-CA): The House has its own ability to see and expel any

member that it chooses it takes two thirds vote to do it. She`s incited

crowds in the past to storm the Capitol to go after Nancy Pelosi. I believe

she is a clear and present danger to the members of the House of

Representatives just simply for the fact she also was able to bring a gun

to the House office buildings and she`s walked around, the metal detectors

go into the floor.


WILLIAMS: Just today, Speaker Pelosi met with a friend of this broadcast

retired US Army General Russel Honore who`s doing that security review in

response to the insurrection, investigating what went wrong.

President Biden now has the task of trying to push his agenda forward

despite this tense atmosphere in the legislature. Today his focus was on

health care. He signed Executive Orders revoking Trump`s abortion

restrictions and expanding Obamacare with a special enrollment period for

those who lost their insurance because of the ongoing and uncontrolled

pandemic. Biden also gave his most direct defense so far for the need for

executive action.



executive orders are basically the best way to describe them to undo the

damage Trump has done. There`s nothing new that we`re doing here other than

restoring the Affordable Care Act and restoring the Medicaid to the way it

was before Trump became president.


WILLIAMS: Speaking of the uncontrolled pandemic, new fears tonight about

the spread of coronavirus variants, these new strains across our country.

Mutations of the virus have shown up and about half of our states. Today

South Carolina became the first state to report the first cases in the U.S.

of this South Africa variant. One of the most virulent, highly contagious

it was found in two patients who had not traveled to South Africa. The new

president trying to get his nearly $2 trillion relief bill passed with

bipartisan support, he hopes.

New York Times and other outlets are reporting Democrats are getting ready

to push the measure through Congress with or without Republican vote votes.

Tonight, the White House indicated that it was prepared to move fast.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The American people don`t have

certainty about being able to put food on the table. When we hit this

unemployment cliff in March, if we aren`t able to plan for how we`re going

to reopen schools. You know, this can be a game that`s played where we wait

and wait and wait and negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. But at the end of

the day, he also has his principles, and he is not going to break this bill



WILLIAMS: NBC News has learned President Biden has directly reached out to

at least two GOP senators this week, including newly reelected Susan

Collins of Maine and Rob Portman of Ohio who`s retiring from the Senate.

There was also this today House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at Mar-a-

Lago with Donald Trump, a spokesman said Trump`s agreed to work with

McCarthy in the form of a statement on helping the Republican Party to

become a majority in the House. And in true Trumpian fashion, the statement

went on to say this and ask yourself who this sounds like, "President

Trump`s popularity has never been stronger than it is today. And his

endorsement means more than perhaps any endorsement at any time."

With that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests on this Thursday night

starting with Carl Hulse, few people know Washington and the Hill better

than Carl, he`s a 30 year veteran journalist happens to be Chief Washington

Correspondent for The New York Times, Shannon Pettypiece, our Senior White

House Reporter over at NBC News Digital, and Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, an

infectious disease physician, the medical director of the special pathogens

unit at Boston University School of Medicine during Ebola, notably she

worked with the WHO, which the U.S. has now rejoined under the new


And Shannon, let`s start with you and your beat. And specifically, the

elections having consequences rule that was in effect today. Both of these

executive actions, executive orders that the President signed today on

abortion rights, on the extension of Obamacare, are triggers to the

Republican Party. But there`s talk all over the place at the White House

for the need for unity?


and of course, this all comes as they`re trying to get Republicans to come

over to their side on the COVID Relief Bill. These executive orders though,

almost feel like ripping off a band aid. They`re expected to be winding

them down. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain outlined executive orders

going through February 1, when the administration was coming in. So we`re

not expecting this to be like a long trickle of executive orders. This

feels like getting out a lot of the things they wanted to get out early on.

And you know, you heard President Biden make that point before, they`re not

doing anything new through these, it`s really just undoing some of the key

accomplishments of the Trump administration. And not only that, but putting

back in place a lot of the policies under the Obama administration. So

really bringing back those Obama years, there has been a lot of criticism,

you know, is Biden doing too much of executive orders, but it`s really not

taking action, it`s undoing things.

So once they get past this phase of this first week of sort of undoing the

Trump legacy, then they are expected to really zero in focus, and they

already are to a huge extent on getting legislation passed. And I think

that`s maybe when we see more of the unity effort coming in, though, of

course, it`s not shaping up at this point, like there`s going to be an

enormous amount of unity, despite seeing a number of Republicans appearing

that they`re interested in negotiating.

WILLIAMS: And, Carl, it`s great to see you. Let`s pick up on Shannon`s last

point. How realistic are these White House goals? They`re trying to get 2

trillion through the U.S. Senate, their White House goals of picking up

Republican votes, given your knowledge of this Senate and these



for having me, Brian. The -- you know, it`s an interesting dynamic going on

here. You have to go back to 2009. You were talking about Obamacare there.

There`s a lot of Democrats on the Hill, Chuck Schumer, of course, was here

for that. You have to remember back to 2009. And some of these Democrats

felt they got sandbagged by Republicans that Republicans were pretending to

negotiate on certain things, healthcare in particular, but really weren`t

going to follow through.

I think what you`re seeing right now is Democrats saying, all right, we`re

going to negotiate but we`re going to feed ourselves up so that we can move

forward on our own if we have to. So I think that`s part of the tension

that`s going on. Republicans today are saying, wait a minute, you guys are

setting yourself up next week to do budget reconciliation, but and do it on

your own and avoid a filibuster. Wait, we`re not done talking yet. But I

think Democrats are really looking back to 2009 here and saying, we`re not

going to do that again.

WILLIAMS: Right about now, we could use a doctor. Luckily, we have one in

this conversation. And Dr. Bhadelia, this is scary news about these

variants, these strains from overseas, I`ve heard reports that they are --

they can take advantage of air pockets and cracks even in two masks. They

are so virulent, are you confident with the ability of the vaccines to turn

them away and the ability of the vaccine industry to tweak the formulas as

we go and make them more aggressive at turning these new strains away?


me start with the last one first, yes, because we actually do that with a

lot of other infectious diseases vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, and so

that`s less of a concern on the variant front that the discovery of the

South African variant discovered in South Carolina today, we now have the

three most concerning strains in all variants now on U.S. soil and the one

that was discovered in South Carolina because it was found in patients that

are, not did not have travel history and we`re not related to each other.

That means that it`s been around and that is -- there`s community

transmission there.

A concern particularly with the Brazilian variant and the South African

variant, is that not only are there more transmissible, but it looks like

they might decrease the efficacy of some of our therapies including

monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma. Now, on the vaccine front,

some very good news today Novavax, which is one of the Operation Warp Speed

candidates, came out with results from a U.K. trial that showed about 90

percent efficacy, that`s a new tool for us. But at the same time, they also

released the results of a smaller study from South Africa where this there

is a lot more endemic, and they show the efficacy of the vaccine fall down

to about 50 to 60 percent.

Now, if a vaccine is still reducing disease, you know, by 50 to 60 percent,

that`s still great, particularly if it`s reducing severe disease. But it

does raise the concern that we need to work on those boosters that because

we might need them sooner than we expected.

WILLIAMS: And we need to work on those percentages in order to get to herd

immunity. So we swing back to politics briefly, Shannon, both you and Carl

have invoked the year 2009 early on in the Obama administration. And

there`s this old Washington, West Wing bromide, well, not so old, it`s part

of the modern era that you`re allowed one big thing. And after that

politics just seeps in all the crevices and surrounds everything you`re

trying to do. And Shannon speak to the problem of the Biden presidency

coming in with more than one big thing to do we are still in the grips of

an uncontrolled pandemic after all.

PETTYPIECE: Right. Well, in a sense, I was talking to someone earlier this

week, who said in a way, it`s it helps give them focus, because sometimes

you come in as an administration. And there`s two big things that we saw

the Trump administration struggle with health care taxes, what should we do

first, how should we approach those, of course, the Obama administration

came in and they had a crisis, they had a focus, they had a very clear

path, they could go down. But while they have this focus at the moment, and

the White House is incredibly focused behind trying to get this COVID

relief bill through and having come from covering a White House a few weeks

ago, where the President didn`t get involved into legislation until it was

passed, and then it was via Twitter. You know, this is a remarkable change

in the dynamics here when it comes to the White House involvement. But how

much political capital are they going to have to spend? How much oxygen is

going to get sucked out of the room? How much time is going to have to get

invested in addressing COVID? Is this going to be a fight that they are

fighting and focused on for three or four months or for the rest of the

year? And then that`s, I think, going to answer the question about whether

or not they can get to immigration, to criminal justice reform, to gun

reform legislation, to whatever else might be out there on the horizon is

going to be dependent on how long this current crisis is on the front


WILLIAMS: Carl, let`s talk about Washington for a second. It`s been

postulated that the only reason Washington D.C. has an active and big

sprawling airport, so close to all our national monuments and where our

president lives is so 535 members of Congress and you never want to get

between them and National Airport, can use the airport to go home to their

districts and come back for their grueling work week. The average member of

Congress gets on a plane. Maybe they have an aide with them, but they`re

used to going back and forth to home. 32 of them have come forward to the

speaker because of these death threats, and asked for presumably a modest

capitol police detail to travel with them because of the threats they are

under, given the fact that death threats no, no party these days, both

parties are receiving them, you would think that would bring people

together, has it?

HULSE: You know, things are very tense here, Brian, in terms of security.

People are very nervous system. It`s a really traumatic experience for the

people who were in the capital that day. They hadn`t experienced something

like that. They`ve been harassed in the airports where, you know, they used

to feel a little bit in their safe space, you would kind of get maybe run

into some constituents, and they would applaud you. But there`s a lot of --

there`s push from the, certainly from the Democrat side. And some

Republicans just say, you know, we need more security, we need more

security. And then there`s other Republicans and more conservatives been

saying this is overblown, you`re making too much of this. I think the fence

that you talked about earlier this is going to be something that`s a major

issue. There`s been a push over the years to have a fence built around the

Capitol. People are always fought it off. Now there`s going to be another

big attempt with some justification. The mayor has already said she`s

opposed to it. I think Eleanor Holmes Norton will be critical in

determining this.

You know, I`m somebody who actually lives in that neighborhood, too. I

don`t just cover it. And for the neighborhood people, the capital is a

really big part of the community. They don`t want it to be walled off. And

I think you`re going to hear this argument. You know, we need security. But

don`t let the domestic terrorists win in this case. So this security,

security is expensive, too. And going forward, you know, they`re going to

have to try and figure this out. But I will say people are nervous. It`s

sort of ominous right to hear Nancy Pelosi say, you know, the threat is

within. There`s a lot that`s going to happen in this area over the next few


WILLIAMS: Indeed, Carl, all the razor wire and fences in the world won`t

help you if the speaker sadly turns out to be right. Doctor, back to you

and you get the last word, reports out of California, they`re trying to

reopen more interior spaces. New York said to be right behind them. And

yet, when you and I have these conversations on television, it`s about

virulent, scary new strains of this illness that has us all out of

circulation. Talk about timing here. And there`s no one I know that doesn`t

want schools to reopen again. But we all fall back on that word, reopen


BHADELIA: Sure, Brian. And the concern is that, you know, we`ve -- we`re

seeing this plateauing and now decreasing of cases and hospitalizations

because that travel bump that we saw from the holidays may be coming down.

But this is most definitely I think most people would agree the calm before

the storm because in all countries in which those more transmissible

strains have been discovered, pretty quickly, they become the more

predominant strain.

And the reason that`s concerning is that if a strain is more transmissible,

it will cause more hospitalizations, and then eventually more deaths. And

so now more than ever, we can`t let more infections happens. I mean, there

are more reasons for why not to let more infections happen. There is now

also data, I know there`s medical mystery about why the disease affects

some people so differently than others. And now we`re discovering one other

thing that virus does is ramps up your immune system against your own body

potentially, and that might last for longer, including our own research in

a preprint that we released that survivors of SARS-CoV-2 or COVID actually

had higher amounts of these types of autoimmune antibodies or harmful

antibodies that this is a signal potentially, for us to look to make sure

that, you know, things like long COVID are also not becoming endemic in

this country. Let`s stop those infections from happening. Let`s not let get

this strange get the foothold in this country like they have another


WILLIAMS: We are much obliged to these three guests for starting us off

tonight, to Carl Hulse, to Shannon Pettypiece, to Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, our

great thanks for coming on tonight. Greatly appreciate it.

Coming up, everyone roots for the so called little guy until the little guy

becomes a big mob, especially in the case of Wall Street. We`ll talk to

Kara Swisher about Robinhood, the idea, the app at the center of a big

money fight this week.

And later, a different kind of mob, the violent kind, why the Speaker of

the House says threats to our democracy as we said, are coming from within.

All of it as the 11th hour is just getting underway on this Thursday

evening in view of the razor wire surrounding our U.S. Capitol.


WILLIAMS: Reddit users have been driving Wall Street crazy investing in

certain stocks like Game stock to force up the price, several days of

overheated trading activity prompted the investor app called Robinhood to

suddenly restrict some trades, outraging retail at home by phone investors.

Robinhood now says it will allow limited trades tomorrow. It`s confusing.

To that end, we are so happy to welcome back Kara Swisher, Veteran

Technology and Business Journalist, Contributing Opinion Writer over at the

New York Times. She also hosts the Times` opinion podcast Sway where her

recent guests have included but are not limited to Anna Wintour, Bryan

Cranston and many more. I also note she has spread out the Sway hat swag to

many people in the media. I`m watching the mail every day. She also co

hosts a Vox media podcast called pivot with another good friend of this

broadcast Scott Galloway. So Kara, I`m so happy that it`s you. Because this

is more than a Davey and Goliath meet cute story.


WILLIAMS: This is more than just the little people rising up. It`s more

complicated than that, you explain tech to lay people for a living? Please

do that now for our audience. What`s going on here?

SWISHER: Where do you want to start Reddit or the Robinhood app? There`s

two things that have been going on Robinhood is becoming incredibly popular

with young people especially who started to use it for investing and

consider it sort of this idea of a democratization of investing. They`ve

gotten a lot of trouble. I wrote a pretty tough call on about six months

ago because as you remember, a young man committed suicide because he

thought his trades were wrong and there was a lot of issues around

financial literacy that was going on with Robinhood.

But nonetheless, people have been using it to do trades and to really

engage in investing like anyone else. And as most people know most people

don`t have stock market portfolio as very rich people do but most people

have been benefited from the run up. And so they`ve been attracted to it.

And then you have Reddit where there`s a lot of these boards, Reddit is a,

I don`t know what to call it. It`s a bulletin board site, essentially, a

little bit of a social media site. And it`s been around forever. And it`s

head all these different places where people have discussions, and they`ve

been doing a lot of financial ones on Reddit, and especially one that that

started to talk about this idea of pushing back at the hedge funds, which

had been shorting this game, GameStop company which had been in distress,

especially because of the pandemic and lots of other secular reasons.

And so it was sort of a clash between the hedge funds which had been

starting, which were shorting the stock, which were saying it was going to

fail. And they shorted it to an extent that it was 136 percent more. And

this group decided this was ridiculous. There`s been some internet people

involved in GameStop and thinking they can revive it. So they were pushing

back on the hedge funds and push back hard enough to knock them right over

and take their money. So there we have it.

WILLIAMS: Well, you explained it beautifully. You are so lucky, in my view

that CNBC is completely preoccupied with this, or you may have picketers

outside your house for the following which you have written.

Tech executives, of course, are among those who have gotten significantly

richer during this time, not because of some of the new inventions, but

because their services filled many voids created by the dire circumstances,

you are calling for, in effect, luxury tax on the people who have been

raking it in especially during an uncontrolled pandemic, the other side,

the capitalist side, here`s an argument like that and says, that`s what

their businesses do. They`re entrepreneurs, why would you ever penalize


SWISHER: Well, during this pandemic, certainly, I`m a big capitalist. And I

think if you invent something, you should benefit from it. Or if you

invest, well, you should benefit from it. But in this case, during the

pandemic, most of the people that have had seen the run up have been very

wealthy people who are among the richest people in the world, running the

most lucrative companies in the world. And so nothing has happened here.

You know, Amazon hasn`t gotten some innovation that suddenly raised the

wealth of Jeff Bezos, this enormous amount. And so this idea of a wealth

tax is really interesting. And a onetime wealth tax is what I`m talking

about. I`m not talking about the extended wealth tax that was very

controversial when Senator Sanders and Senator Warren did it, but a lot --

the people who have run a lot of these tech companies and other people too,

have gotten enormously wealthy, especially on the stock market, during the

pandemic, while others had suffered. And so I thought this was a good way

to think about it. And also do another tax around social media. And as you

know, Brian, you`ve talked about on the show a lot, the role that social

media played in what happened at the Capitol was very significant. It`s not

the most significant thing I would blame, you know, the mob itself, and

also President Trump, but they still had a role in allowing these lies to

continue and foment this kind of anger.

And so I thought, why not have it like it`s an executive presented to me

like this is a soda tax or a tax on cigarettes or things like that, and

that these companies should pay a little more so we can do election

education, we can help deal with the pandemic relief and things like that,


WILLIAMS: 45 seconds or less, are you amazed, Jack Dorsey in Twitter

silenced Donald Trump? And are you amazed by how much he has been rendered


SWISHER: You know, it`s interesting he has lots of tools to get to people

to come on your show, Brian. No, I think it took a long time for any of

these social media -- you`re laughing hysterically, you take them. It was a

decision that had to be made, because Donald Trump continued to violate

norms on these social media sites and rules that they have in place. And

one thing that he really did is he crossed the line on inciting violence

and pot and terrorism and domestic terrorism and inciting that domestic

terrorism. And so I think they had no choice but to do it, because they

didn`t want to be in the business of being responsible for him continuing

to foment that kind of anger and hate. And so it was the right decision.

Now, the issue I have is that it was essentially two people decided the

fate of Donald Trump and the concentration of power, whether it`s Facebook

or Twitter, or Google is really a problem and therefore we should tax them

more and so that`s why I have a bunch of billionaires outside my house

right now protesting my cam (ph). They`re all -- they`re brought their own

kombucha shot --

WILLIAMS: They`re in self-driven cars.

SWISHER: -- with their own kombucha machine and everything else but, you

know what, billionaires are so such victims in this society as you know.

WILLIAMS: Yes, they are. Kara Swisher, thank you so much. Tell your partner

Scott that he`s written a dandy book on post pandemic America. We want him

to come on and talk about it and we will help drive him up on Amazon which

is run famously by a billionaire. Kara Swisher, our guest tonight, always

happy to have it.

SWISHER: All right, hat is coming your way. The hat is coming your way.

WILLIAMS: OK, I`ll scale -- I`ll continue to watch the mail as I do every



WILLIAMS: Coming up, the QAnon Congresswoman from Georgia says she`s being

attacked because she represents the people. And so far her political party

seems cool with that.



PELOSI: What I`m concerned about is the Republican leadership in the House

of Representatives assigning her to the education committee when she has

mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when

she has mocked the killing of teenagers in high school at the Marjory

Stoneman Douglas High School. It`s absolutely appalling.


WILLIAMS: Growing calls for House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, he have

the visit to Mar-a-Lago today to publicly denounce freshmen Congresswoman

QAnon conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, longtime

conservative Bill Kristol had this takeaway that caught our attention

quote, so far in 2021, Kevin McCarthy has been more critical of Liz Cheney

than of Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Back with us tonight, Baratunde Thurston, author, activist, comedian former

producer over at the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. These days he is host of

the podcast How to Citizen. And back with us tonight as well the

aforementioned Bill Kristol, the author and writer and thinker and

Politico, a veteran of the Reagan and Bush administration`s the editor-at-

large over at the Bulwark. Gentlemen, good evening to you both

Baratunde, I`d like to begin with you and we`re all about to see something.

For the first time we have what I`m told is the first video, exclusive

video out of this meeting today between McCarthy and Trump will watch it

and react on the other side.


TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: I love you. You complete me. And I`ve just --

RENEE ZELLWEGER, ACTRESS: Just shut up. You had me at hello. You had me at



WILLIAMS: That is obviously we have rolled the wrong clip. And we were sold

a bill of goods here. I thought this was going to be of the McCarthy and

Trump meeting and someone`s going to be of course in big trouble. So

Baratunde Thurston, to reset, you`ve got the leader of the Republicans in

the House, going down to kiss the ring and god knows what else meeting with

a deposed former president in his under decorated Florida home. Is that

because this is the only game they have they badly need his supporters. And

the thing they fear the most is having his supporters turn against them?

Baratunde Thurston, AUTHOR AND ACTIVIST: Brian, I`m still recovering from

the video clip. Thank you. And I`m mad at you right now for making the

break so much on television. Thanks for having me back. As usual Bill, we

will coordinate our outfits at one closer on the color schemes, at least.

Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Party, we keep waiting for them to make

better choices. On behalf of all of us not just narrow, short-term

dangerous self-interest. We keep giving him chances to get off this crazy

bus. Helsinki was a chance to get off the bus. Charlottesville was a chance

to get off the bus. Children in cages was a chance to get off the bus and

inject yourself with bleach to fight a deadly pandemic was a chance to get

off the bus.

The bus is now flown off the edge of the cliff. There was an attack on our

democracy on January 6, and fools are still clinging to the bus. And

they`re playing with fire and the challenges, we all might get burned by

the resulting conflagration. So it is terrifying. It is disturbing. And it

is a symbol and a signal that Trumpism can and likely will outlast Trump

the man in the power of the Oval Office. And we have to stop waiting and

start demanding. You got to choose America or get off this bus because we

need to move forward and it`s very, very troubling.

WILLIAMS: Bill Kristol this next clip is sadly real. This was an exchange

between Congressman Gates, who today flew to Wyoming to compete against the

third ranking Republican member in the House, Liz Cheney. This was with

Tucker Carlson. Tonight, on Fox, your name was invoked a feeling we both

know well. We`ll play it and discuss it on the other side.


REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Inside the beltway of Washington, DC, the

establishment has concentrated their power. And now they want to be able to

reconstitute the Republican Party in their image.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: If you were to poll Republican voters on

their belief, they would come much closer to yours than to the beliefs of

Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol. So why would Kevin McCarthy, the leader of

Republicans in the House back Liz Cheney, since your question.

GAETZ: Well, of course, to be able to maintain power Tucker.


WILLIAMS: So, Bill, you`re about a year in on this. You`re a part of this.

You`re maintaining power, your reaction?

BILL KRISTOL, THE BULWARK EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes. A great job of maintaining

my power in the Republican Party by denouncing President Trump and

supporting Joe Biden. Liz Chaney did the right thing. She voted her

conscience. She was one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Donald Trump.

She didn`t actually try to whip the issue. Convince her fellow members, she

just made her own case.

And now they`re going after her. She`s much more conservative. He`s more

conservative than I am. She supported Donald Trump for election in

November. So, I mean, those who hoped that Trump`s defeat might lead to a

real retreat from Trump look like they might be that for a bit, not at all.

Then he went crazy and tried to sell the big lie about the election. And

some people thought that I think people can`t really go with that. They

kind of went with that.

Then January six happened. And people said, well, that`s really the

breaking point. And it wasn`t the breaking point. It wasn`t the breaking

point. Even that night when Kevin McCarthy himself. House leader voted to

overturn the electors in Arizona and Pennsylvania. And now he`s down

visiting Trump as if to put a sort of symbolic exclamation point on all


So it is for now, I`m afraid mostly, mostly not entirely, mostly the party

of Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy and Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor

Greene. I mean that they are the dominant part of the party. It`s

dangerous, I think, for the country.

Now, sometimes these things break eventually, and let`s hope and they need

to be thought but they are, you know, the idea that they were just if --

Trump was going to go away, Trumpism was going to go away, the extremism

was going to go away. You know, some of the little bit of extremism is OK,

but QAnon, no one`s going to really go for that. No one`s going to tolerate

Marjorie Taylor Greene and I can put on a committee like the Education

Committee at each step. They`ve gotten right, barreled, right through all

these alleged barriers and safeguards.

WILLIAMS: Well, it`s clarifying. At least we know what their brand is going

to be. I guess going forward. Our guests have agreed to stay with us. We`ll

fit in a break here and coming up. Nine days, a couple dozen executive

orders in. We`ll take a look at the Biden presidency thus far when we come




PSAKI: Nobody`s naive in the White House about how hard it`s going to be.

Or none of us think that Republicans are just going to lay it out lay down

and work with us overnight. But we feel like we have to try.


WILLIAMS: Jen Psaki, who was on with Rachel tonight. The Biden team

standing by his calls for unity while at the same time defending the

President`s use of executive orders and actions. He has spent his first

week in office signing a slew of them, many of which are an effort to undo

Trump administration policies because as we like to mention, elections have


Still with us, Baratunde Thurston and Bill Kristol. Bill, New York Times

Editorial Page came out and said that these executive orders and actions

are a quote, flawed substitute for legislation and while they are correct,

I wonder, A, what Congress they see out there and Be, were they covering

the Trump administration?

KRISTOL: Yes, and C, you`d have to say which of these orders was

inappropriate and requires new legislation that Biden administration`s

advancing legislation pretty aggressively. You know, one point Baratunde

made such a good -- nice metaphor before the break about the Republicans

sort of on a bus careening down a highway, endangering all of us, it just

stuck with me during the break.

What`s the one point I would make? They`re not trapped on that bus. They

weren`t -- they`re taken hostage on that bus. They have chosen now to be on

this bus. When Trump was president you could say well, they were under so

much pressure. He`s the only president you have. You know, what`s the point

of breaking with him? He`s going to be president for the four years. He is

not president. They are choosing to be a trumpet party at this point.

That`s really the significance of McCarthy`s visits to Trump today.

WILLIAMS: And Baratunde, there`s so much of this talk of hoped for unity.

But the white house when they say unity, they mean unity with the Congress

that is run by McConnell. And by McCarthy and special guest appearances, by

Congresswoman QAnon Congresswoman Bobert. She have open carry, so is that

part overrated? As we say elections have consequences. This is their boss


THURSTON: It is and I think the great lady doth protest too much a little

bit. And I`m not questioning their sincerity. But I think the New York

Times analysis and wisdom on this is off. As Bill mentioned, the

administration has also put forward a robust legislative agenda, these

executive orders, and many of them are undoing previous executive orders or

their new and targeting the once in a century pandemic we find ourselves


So there`s not a lot of excess power grabbing, going on, as we saw in the

previous administration were under an extraordinary circumstance. And the

administration also presented a very comprehensive immigration legislative

bill, and they`re working on the COVID one as well. So eight days in, I`m

still going to enjoy this breath of sane fresh air and not get too worked

up over executive orders, which seemed like they`re going to be ending in

the next few days anyway.

WILLIAMS: Indeed, for the most part, I think anxiety levels are headed down

though they have peaks and valleys from time to time. Well, ladies and

gentlemen, the audience this is why we invite our really smart friends to

join us even late in the evening. Baratunde Thurston, Bill Kristol,

gentlemen, thank you both so much. You add so much when you come on.

Coming up for us, this vaccine shortage, it isn`t just a problem within our

borders. We`ll look at the problem they are having with it overseas. We`ll

get a live report coming up.


WILLIAMS: Less than a month after the UK is official break with the EU left

truckers and commerce stranded on either side of the English Channel. A new

issue is derailing the partnership even as Europe is on the verge of

approving another coronavirus vaccine. The continent finds itself deeply

divided over supplies struggling to get shots into arms. In other words,

the mess a lot of people saw coming a mile away. NBC News foreign

correspondent Keir Simmons has our reports and from London.



descending into a vaccine war, Germany questioning whether Britain`s

AstraZeneca vaccine is effective for over 65. The UK`s Prime Minister

hitting back.

BORIS JOHNSON, UK PRIME MINISTER: I don`t agree with that.

SIMMONS: Tonight, frustrated Germans facing shortages until April.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should have ordered more.

SIMMONS: And regions of Spain already suspending vaccinations. It`s a

crisis of Europe`s own making placing orders late, set to finally approved

AstraZeneca`s vaccine tomorrow. Today, Pfizer and AstraZeneca in crisis

meetings. The European Union furious at AstraZeneca has 60 percent cut in

its supply targets because of production challenges.



SIMMONS: The fight reopening wounds from Brexit. Britain has vaccinated 12

percent of its population, Europe only 2 percent. Now the EU threatening to

restrict vaccine exports unless it gets doses from UK plants. British

newspapers and lawmakers branding that blackmail.

And as Europe`s wealthy nations find the developing world is left to watch.

TEDROS ADHANOM, WHO DIRECTOR: And neither approach leaves the world`s

poorest and most vulnerable people at risk.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s only just a few of us left, you know? And I

have seen enough years to last two lifetimes. I don`t mind seeing a few

more, though. He`ll know when to call me. And when He call me, I`ll be



WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight is the loss of the elegant and

essential Cicely Tyson. Her life spanned almost a full century on earth.

She leaves us with indelible memories of her performances. Importantly,

they were roll she chose so carefully. Americans of a certain age we`ll

never forget her in the seminal production of The Autobiography of Miss

Jane Pittman, the role brought her one of three Emmy Awards against 16

lifetime nominations.

As Ms. Jane Pittman, she played a woman who was born into slavery and lived

long enough to join the struggle in the modern era. Prior to that, she was

nominated for an Academy Award for her stunning performance in Sounder in

1972. Film buffs of course have their own favorites among her works from

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter right on up through Fried Green Tomatoes, and

The Help. She was also of course in Roots and just tonight LeVar Burton

posted this photo along with these words.

This one cuts deep, Cicely Tyson was my first screen mom elegance, warmth,

beauty, wisdom, style and abundant grace. She was as regal as they come, an

artist of the highest order and I will love her forever.

Because her career spanned seven decades, she was that rare artist known to

different generations for different and signature roles, and most recently,

thanks to Shonda Rhimes, she we got to see her and How to Get Away with

Murder where she played a recurring character with dementia. That was in

addition to her role in the series Cherish the Day. Realizing her role in

Hollywood and her visibility and the power that came with it. She turned

down a lot of work and committed herself to playing only positive

depictions of black women.

She was born in Harlem between World Wars back in 1924. Her parents came to

this country from Naevus in the West Indies. For a time she was married to

Miles Davis. Few years back, back when the honor had true meaning.

President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He did so on behalf of all of us a grateful nation, grateful that we got to

marvel at Cicely Tyson who was gone at the age of 96.

That is our broadcast for this Thursday night along with our thanks for

being here with us. For all the men and women at all the networks of NBC

News, good night.




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