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
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
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today I`m about to sign two
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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?
SHANNON PETTYPIECE, NBC NEWS.COM SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, yes,
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
CARL HULSE, THE NEW YORK TIMES CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, thanks
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?
DR. NAHID BHADELIA, INFECTIOUS DISEASES PHYSICIAN: Good evening, Brian. Let
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
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
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
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.
KARA SWISHER, BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY JOURNALIST: Yeah.
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
KEIR SIMMONS, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Europe is
descending into a vaccine war, Germany questioning whether Britain`s
AstraZeneca vaccine is effective for over 65. The UK`s Prime Minister
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.
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: They must honor their
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.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
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
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
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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