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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, 10/18/21

Guests: Peter Baker, Jackie Alemany, Al Franken, Tim Miller, Celine Gounder


Flags across the country will fly at half-staff for the rest of the week to honor former Gen. Colin Powell, who died from complications related to COVID-19. The chairman of the special committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, said the panel will vote Tuesday to recommend charges against Bannon. Former President Donald Trump answered questions under oath for about 4 1/2 hours as part of a lawsuit brought by men alleging they were assaulted by his security during a demonstration outside Trump Tower in 2015. President Biden is hosting two separate in-person meetings with moderate and progressive House members at the White House.


COLIN POWELL, FMR. U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: They became my parents. And they inspired me to finish college and join the army. This began a journey of service that would take me from basic training to combat in Vietnam, up the ranks to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Colin Powell, who lived the life like no other gets tonight`s "LAST WORD." THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS starts now.


BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: And Good evening, once again, day 272 of the Biden administration and this evening, flags at the White House flags throughout Washington and at U.S. facilities across the country and around the world are at half-staff in honor of Colin Powell who died this morning.

General Powell was 84 years old. He died of COVID complications while battling both Parkinson`s and multiple myeloma. We will have much more on his life and legacy just ahead.

Tonight is also the eve of the first major legal showdown for the special House committee investigating the January 6 riot and insurrection. In a little over 20 hours the Committee is scheduled to formally vote on whether to adopt a report recommending criminal contempt charges against Trump advisor Steve Bannon who has failed to comply with their subpoena.

Earlier tonight, they released that report on Bannon`s refusal, it outlines what the committee wants from him, and it recommends that he be referred to the Justice Department for prosecution. Bannon argues he doesn`t have to comply because of Donald Trump`s attempt to assert executive privilege to try to keep his activities and those of his aides and allies from congressional scrutiny. Tonight, members of the committee flatly rejected that argument.


REP. ZEO LOFGREN (D) JANUARY 5 SELECT COMMITTEE: Is a claim of executive privilege is just a really a stretch. First, he was not even an employee of the White House or the federal government, and so would not ordinarily be covered by any executive privilege claim.


WILLIAMS: And let`s say this in plain English, there must be something Trump doesn`t want the committee to see pertaining to 1/6 because just today, his lawyers filed suit and a D.C. district court against both the Committee and the National Archives. In an attempt to keep the documents from his White House term private.

Trump was also occupied with a separate legal matter today. He spent four and a half hours testifying under oath behind closed doors at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Today, his deposition was for a lawsuit brought by protesters who say his security team rough them up back in September 2015.

As for the nation`s current president, he is stepping up efforts to get a democratic agreement on his bills to rebuild infrastructure and expand that social safety net.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETAR: Tomorrow, he will host two different meetings with House members here at the White House, one with moderates and one with progressive members. We`re encouraged at the accelerate -- by the accelerated pace of talks and are eager to get this done.


WILLIAMS: The Speaker has told her house members she wants to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by October 31. That would be 13 days from now. Meanwhile, as the administration continues efforts to end the pandemic, over 45 million COVID cases have now been confirmed in the US. Over 730,000 Americans have now been lost to the virus.

With that, we want to return to the news that made so many people pause and reflect today the death of Colin Powell, a son of immigrants who became the most admired man in America for a time one of the most important unelected political figures of the past half century easily. A reluctant warrior as he likes to say, and a public servant to the core.

And so before we bring in our first guest tonight, NBC News Senior Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell has our look at his four decades of service to this country.


ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was the first black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs leading the charge in Desert Storm.

POWELL: Our strategy to go after this army is very, very simple. First, we`re going to cut it off, and then we`re going to kill it.

MITCHELL: Colin Powell, who was charted as an infantry man during two tours in Vietnam instantly became a household name, later as America`s first black Secretary of State. So coming to COVID, Powell was fully vaccinated, but it suffered from prostate cancer and in recent years, multiple myeloma and Parkinson`s.

Once one of America`s most popular figures many urged him to run for president.

(on camera): Any regrets that you didn`t run? You write in the book about how wrenching the decision was.

POWELL: I had to think about it because it was expected at the enemy soldier. But after a few weeks of it, I realized this is just not me. This is not what I could do.

MITCHELL (voice-over): His so called Pottery Barn rule of war. If you break it, you own it, led him to privately oppose the Iraq war.


We were with him in Afghanistan in 2002.

(on camera): What is it going to take to put the country back together?

POWELL: It`s going to take the effort of the entire international community.

MITCHELL (voice-over): A low point a year later making the case to the UN that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, mistakenly accepting the CIA`s pretext for invading Iraq. No weapons were ever found. An episode he said he deeply regretted.

In 2008, Powell broke from the Republican Party endorsing Barack Obama and strongly criticizing Donald Trump`s challenge to Obama`s birth rate.

POWELL: The correct answer is he is not a Muslim. He`s a Christian. He`s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no, that`s not America.

MITCHELL: Tributes tonight from around the world, including President Biden.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: he`s not only a dear friend and a patriot, one of our great military leaders and a man of overwhelming decency.

MITCHELL: That we often stayed out of the spotlight one exception this moment, two years ago.

ANTHONY MAGGARD (ph), MILITARY VETERAN: When I walked up to him, I said, Your General Colin Powell, and he said, Yes, I am.

POWELL: I knew he was one of me. He was one of my guys.

MITCHELL: When palace car got a flat military veteran Anthony Maggard (ph), an amputee pulling over to help him fix it. Powell later writing on Facebook. Thanks, Anthony. You touched my soul and reminded me of what this country is all about. Let`s stop screaming at each other. Let`s just take care of each other.


WILLIAMS: Andrew Mitchell with that remembrance tonight, a family spokeswoman says Alma Powell, the generals wife of nearly 60 years is sadly also COVID positive, but thankfully is recovering well at home.

With all of that let`s bring in our starting line on this Monday night. Peter Baker, veteran journalist and author Chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, Jackie Alemany, political reporter for The Washington Post and the author of the papers morning newsletter, the Early 202, and retired four star U.S. Army General Barry McCaffrey, who once served as Colin Powell, his personal assistant. General McCaffrey is a decorated combat veteran of Vietnam, former battlefield commander in the Gulf, former cabinet member, former member of the National Security Council. Good evening, and welcome to you all.

General, I`d like to begin with you. As young man, you both went off to Vietnam, you both returned, seriously wounded combat veterans, you both retired with four stars on your shoulder, no easy feat. You both spent over 30 years in the U.S. military, and then transitioned still in public service to civilian jobs. So the question is, how will you remember your friend Colin Powell?

GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY, U.S. ARMY (RET): Well, in a lot of ways, my wife and I are both extremely sad about his passing and our thoughts cloud Dolman and her entire family. A remarkable man, tremendous judgment, a very hard worker, a sense of humility, even though he was at the center of global interactions, teams and presidents and prime ministers. But if you watched him walk into a White House reception with 300 people there, he would seek out a young soldier in uniform, a law enforcement officer, a single mom, he always tried to connect with the people that make this society work.

And finally, I think, in my judgment, watching a close range, he was an extremely sophisticated man with sort of a outspoken, plain American manner to him, but he really understood American Politics and International Community. We absolutely loved him, particularly the people in uniform that served with him.

WILLIAMS: Peter Baker, it should be noted, he loved cars and was willing to talk about cars for hours at a time and was easily the best Volvo restorer in all of Northern Virginia, certainly the most passionate. On the political front, he endorsed Barack Obama, not just to drive by, it was thorough, it was sincere. He meant it and he cut any remaining ties with the Republican Party after one six talk for a moment Peter about the giant of public life that`s just left us.

PETER BAKER, THE NEW YORK TIMES CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brian, I think that`s exactly right. The word giant is the one that to us about General Powell because he was a giant in Washington and a real powerful way not just his military service, not just his, his service to his country, but his mastery of a Capitol where it was easy to get lost. It was easy to get overpower or to follow into ideological tracks. That wasn`t him.

He was a Republican, but then he endorsed as you point out, a couple of Democratic presidents now He worked for Republican presidency and worked for Democratic presidents. It was not for him about partisanship but it was about, you know, his version and his vision of integrity and service to the country.


And I think that he crossed lines that were are so hard to cross in today`s Washington is passing is not just the passing of an individual, but in some ways the past they went era. And they talked about him running in 1996 either party would have been happy to have nominated him. It was like an Eisenhower figure that, you know, he was a Republican, but Democrats would have certainly been happy to have him on their side, because he did inspire people beyond party lines. He inspired them with his example, inspired him with his wisdom, inspire them with his personality, his magnetism, and inspire them I think, with his maturity, which is a word we don`t see a lot in Washington these days.

And I think that when we lost Colin Powell today, we lost, you know, one of the exemplars of an era that, you know, is behind us in some ways.

WILLIAMS: These behind a doctrine that bears his name militarily. Jackie, we moved to you and the comparatively mundane yet very urgent business of the 1/6 committee and kind of a dual question, what is the business transpiring tomorrow? And what exactly is Donald Trump arguing in this lawsuit? Could that affect anything the committee is going to do?

JACKIE ALEMANY, THE WASHINGTON POST POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, Brian, what a different republican party that Colin Powell was a part of as opposed to what we are seeing right now from the former president and his attorneys and for arguing today that the records request from the House Select Committee investigating January 6, are overly broad and have no legitimate purpose.

We`re also seeing Steve Bannon most likely to be held in criminal contempt by the House Select Committee tomorrow, that vote occurs at 7:30 p.m. and is likely to proceed on to the House floor as soon as possible, potentially by the end of the week that will then get referred to the Justice Department.

We heard from the Justice Department last week that they were stressing their independence and that they were not going to be influenced in any way by Biden -- President Biden`s encouraging statements himself that has been pressing for his agencies and congressional investigators to try to enforce the subpoenas they`ve been issuing to collect as much information as possible to create the most comprehensive historical record as possible of the events that occurred on January 6, and that insurrection.

WILLIAMS: General back to the topic of your friend and fellow four star Colin Powell died it seems to me unsure that the American story was going to have the happy ending he worked and wished and dreamed for having both of you fought and been wounded in the course of defending democracy. Democracy at the time of his death is a little blurry and something of a question mark, talk about the American story arc that his life and your life have both encompassed?

MCCAFFREY: Well, certainly General Powell, you know, because foreign immigrant Jamaican work, parents, the education in New York City among a city full of minorities struggling to achieve something is incredible record the armed forces. I mean, you know, normally there`s a couple of 100 of us and a year group after 20 years, we`re all sort of equally good. Somebody is going to run the Army or the Joint Staff.

Powell is better than anyone is your group plus or minus a couple years. So he was an unusual public figure, very courteous, in public and private, very demanding, tremendous amount of personal homework. I think I talked to him periodically and visit him in his office in Northern Virginia last several years. He was shocked by what was going on US government.

We`ve had an extra legal, extra constitutional, thuggish environment, not just in President Trump, but also in the behavior of the Congress and 6th January, so I think it did shake his confidence what we were up to, but he was an enduring optimist. I think he knows we`ll work our way through this eventually.

WILLIAMS: Peter Baker again, as we switch topics back and forth to this Trump lawsuit, it seems to me it brings with it the first direct legal confrontation unless I`m missing something with the Biden White House. What does that do to the mathematics here?

BAKER: Yes, typically when we have an executive privilege claim, it`s by a sitting president of course because purpose of executive privilege is to protect the confidentiality of communications for a commander-in-chief in governing the country.


What President Trump is arguing here, at least with regard to Steve Bannon is a novel claim. The idea that he could speak with somebody who didn`t even work for the government who wasn`t advising him on governing the country, who was in fact, talking to him about his political efforts to overturn the election. That`s not what exactly privilege has traditionally been used to guard and it`s never as far as I can tell, anyway, then successfully, you know, agreed by any court that somebody outside of government would be constituted, as covered by is that pupillage.

Because basically what you`ll be saying then, if you agreed with that is any conversation that any President had with any person on the planet would therefore be somehow shielded under executive privilege, because there`d be no limits to that. It`s hard to see that. But it`s possible because we`ve never tested in court, we`re going to test it now.

Steve Bannon was not a government employee is so often said in your earlier clip. He was not advising the president of United States on governing the country. They were talking about politics, they were talking about power, and they were talking about how to keep power, not how to wield it in service of the country. That`s a novel legal claims.

WILLIAMS: Jackie, sadly, it falls on you to give the Democrats who are watching the answer, they may not want to hear to the question, how long could the ban on matter conceivably draw out?

ALEMANY: Well, it`s potentially going to happen more expeditiously than we`ve seen this thing -- these things play out under the Trump administration. That`s why you see the half Select Committee moving to hold Bannon in criminal contempt as opposed to civil contempt, which is what again, we saw under Trump, because the feeling amongst democrats was that if you help people in criminal contempt, which is going to get referred to Bill Barr`s Justice Department, which inevitably, would most likely take no action to actually hold these people accountable to comply with any sort of subpoena.

That being said, you know, the timeline here is really unclear. The Justice Department has not indicated one way or the other what this process is going to look like Steve Bannon could face potentially a year in prison or a $100,000 fine if they do decide to hold him in criminal contempt.

But Democrats, I have to remind you are under some time constraints. We`ve heard legal experts time and time again, throughout the reporting over these past few months say that, you know, if they want to be successful in trying to get enforce these subpoenas and these records requests, they do most likely need to do this wall, Democrats maintain the majority. So this needs to get done before next November, potentially, as Democrats are worried about getting wiped out in the 2022 midterms.

So again, the timeline unclear but I think in Democrats minds why they`re moving to take such aggressive action here is because they want to get this done as quickly as possible and they think criminal contempt is the way to do that.

WILLIAMS: On this unusual night during these unusual times, we are so thankful for our free three friends at this broadcast. Peter Baker, Jackie Alemany and General Barry McCaffrey, appreciate you starting us off.

Coming up for us, President Biden`s running up against the clock and members of his own party who must know if his agenda fails, his presidency could be doomed to failure as well. We`ll talk live with former Senator Al Franken. And later as one writer puts it the GOP is being asked to accept a permanent state of obedience to the loser of the last presidential election. Why some Republicans may be starting to sweat 2022 a little will explain all of it as the 11th Hour is just getting underway on this Monday night as our nation honors a statesman.




REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): The question facing the Senate is a binary question whether they will save democracy or not. I`m certainly not optimistic about the vote on Wednesday. I think the cloture vote is likely to fail.


WILLIAMS: Democratic Congressman Joe Neguse from Colorado critical week for voting rights legislation amid everything else on Capitol Hill. Schumer has set up a test vote for Wednesday. It`s expected to have the support of all 50 Democrats it`ll be one of those rare votes, but it`s still lacking the 10 Republicans needed no doubt reigniting the filibuster debate.

So back with us tonight, former Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken of these days has the good fortune to host a podcast bearing his name. So Senator, do you agree with this contention that it is a subset of it is if the Democrats screw this up, if Joe Biden gets robbed of his agenda, that`s an existential threat to the Joe Biden presidency.

AL FRANKEN, FMR. U.S. SENATOR: It is, I still believe it will happen. Because it kind of has to, and I wish they would get on with it. The sooner it happens, the better. People really like the elements of this thing. They don`t talk enough about the elements, you keep calling it the reconciliation package or build, back, better.

But people love the elements of a childcare, Medicare, negotiating with pharmaceuticals, K through 12 being funded more equally, for low income communities, pre-K, early childhood, I mean, all of this stuff is stuff people want and the sooner we get it, the more people will be able to see it take effect, and the better off we will be so I don`t know why they went on recess last week.

I think the caucus just has to meet and they have to get this done. I mean, you can get it done way. We passed ACA on Christmas Eve in `09, and then again in January. But the sooner the better on this stuff because the elements of this are so popular and people will really like and really benefit from.

WILLIAMS: Yes, to your point. Maybe reconciliation isn`t the sexiest title given what`s in it for the people of your state, for example, and the other 49. It keeps coming -- the conversation keeps coming back to the filibuster is that I know you`ve pushed the pieces around the board in your head is there any way around it?


FRANKEN: Well, the filibuster applies now, what we`re talking about is the Freedom to Vote Act.


FRANKEN: And that is an existential threat to our democracy. And yes, the test vote will get 50 Democrats and no Republicans as what I think is going to happen. And this is something I`ve discussed with Joe Manchin. Norm Ornstein and I have come up with is essentially a talking filibuster. Instead of having to stop the filibuster with 60 votes to sustain a filibuster, you need 41 and 41 senators have to be on the floor. And they have to stay on the floor. They have 50. They can cycle in and out, but at all times, they have to 41. And they have to debate this. And the debate has to be germane.

And I think that`s a good debate to have about, you know, voter -- voting reform and election law. And we win that debate, but they`re not going to last. They just won`t last there. And that`s the filibuster reform that Manchin has said in a recording that was made with no labels, you may have saw this -- seen this a few weeks ago, is open to this very modifications, not a an end of the filibuster, it`s a modification.

And what this would do is restore the filibuster to what it was, which was something that was rare. And it would be rare, because they would -- you`d have to do this and it wouldn`t do it. You know, Mitch McConnell, filibuster during Obama more executive nominees that had been a filibuster in the tire previous history of the nation. He broke the Senate. And this would help restore it.

WILLIAMS: I want to play for you something senator that Donny Deutsch said on this network this morning, and he was speaking, as he was speaking, you could see the heads nodding in the audience he spoke for an awful lot of Democrats. We`ll discuss on the other side.


DONNY DEUTSCH, PODCAST HOST: I live in this bubble in this very kind of blue state and I cannot tell you the unrest with the feeling of the Democrats in control the way they are running things, Biden not feeling as hands on the wheel and nobody on deck. That`s the concern the democrats have.


WILLIAMS: So Al Franken, I got 60 seconds left, the guy makes a point there what what`s the solution?

FRANKEN: Solution is getting this done. And getting a package where people see these terrific elements of this package and how it improves their lives. I`ll give you an example, childcare. In Europe, European countries on average supplement childcare to the tune of $14,000 per child, in our country, $500 per child.

People want childcare so they can go to work. People want to work, and it`s so expensive now to have quality childcare. People want to know that can leave their kids with somebody who is in a safe environment where they`re being nurtured, where people know how to do early childhood education. This is -- we need to do these things. That`s what the cure to this is getting this done. And that`s why my former colleagues have to get this done and the sooner the better.

WILLIAMS: Al Franken, thank you for having us in, as always, greatly appreciate you spending some time with us on Monday night.

FRANKEN: Thank you. Thank you.

WILLIAMS: Coming up for us, why some Republicans are worried the only twice impeached retiree and the entire state of Florida could actually cost the party he controls seats in Congress will explain.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he runs, he wins the nomination.

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): I don`t know what. President Trump is the first president in the Republican side at least to lose the House, the Senate and the presidency in four years. Elections are about winning.


WILLIAMS: A rare bit of criticism there from a member of Donald Trump`s party on what`s in store for Republicans. Our friend Jeremy Peters writes this in the New York Times and we quote, The GOP his ambitions of ending unified democratic control in Washington in 2022 are colliding with a considerable force that has the ability to sway tens of millions of votes. Former President Donald Trump`s increasingly vocal demands that members of his party remain in a permanent state of obedience endorsing his false claims of a stolen election or risking his wrath.

Here with us to talk about it two more friends Juanita Tolliver veteran political strategist to progressive candidates and causes and Tim Miller, contributor over at The Bulwark and the former communications director for Jeb Bush. Good evening, friends and welcome to you both.

Juanita, the drinking game is we have to mention Manchin`s name as many times as physically possible during this and any segment no matter what the topic is. With that in mind, Manchin met with Bernie today, Manchin met with Jayapal today. Cameras followed mansion and he said the following to those cameras.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How was your meeting wit, you one on one with Senator Sanders?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Good meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How was your meeting with Congresswoman Jayapal.

MANCHIN: Good meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good meeting? What do you guys discuss?

MANCHIN: Good meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Sanders you guys going to get together and we`re talking.

MANCHIN: No, get a picture. I`ll get a picture of us. Get a picture of us. We`re talking.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): We`re talking. And --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re going to have a resolution by the end of the week it sounds like?

SANDERS: We`re talking. We`re talking. We`ll make some progress.


WILLIAMS: There`s your unity ticket Juanita. And also we`ve learned tonight Sinema is going over to the White House tomorrow. She and Manchin spend so much time there. I`ve learned they`re getting their mail forwarded. Juanita, what do you make of any of this news this evening?

JUANITA TOLLIVER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, look, I`m not going to read too far into anything Brian. I know that Manchin loves a press gaggle. I know that Manchin loves a photo op, so I hope that those conversations were fruitful.


It didn`t sound like much happened besides them reiterating their points what we know Senator Sanders took the fight to Manchin at home in West Virginia by placing an op-ed there last week. And so I feel like this is just a continuation of that tension without as much progress as I would hope because progress to me is saying, Oh, we agree on something. And we`re not getting that from this exchange.

I am glad that they`re sitting in rooms together. It`s odd to hear that Sinema -- Senator Sinema is going back to the White House, instead of meeting other members of Congress, that would have been a step forward for her considering that the biggest beef that every member of the House has with Sinema right now is we don`t know what she wants. And it sounds like she`s going to continue to exclusively deal with President Biden instead of her colleagues in the House.

WILLIAMS: And perhaps read her polling from back home in Arizona. Hey, Tim, I have something for you. This is the word of Rick Wilson has written for the Medium and we quote, if the Democratic predicate of 2022 was a race about Build Back Better and infrastructure, the Republicans will nationalize this race, as culture, war and conspiracy. And when on it. Democrats too often want a focus group pablum policy answer when the world is burning down around them. Tim, do you agree at least culturally?

TIM MILLER, THE BULWARK CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I mean, it`s hard to disagree. I think it would certainly help for them to pass infrastructure and popular Build Back Better thing. And as we discussed last week, Brian actually have a proactive message on Build Back Better. I think that would help.

But I think to Rick`s point about, you know, how the Democrats seem to be much more aggressive at going after the Republicans in driving this wedge and you showed that reporting from Jeremy Peters at the top of this, I think that there`s a lot of the technical term here is which casting among Democrats that the Trump supporters just aren`t going to show up in the midterms and then they`re going to be gifted seats like they were in Georgia. Maybe that`ll happen, but a wishes not a strategy.

And I think that the Democrats need to be much, much more aggressive about driving this wedge between Donald Trump`s base who`s unhappy with the Republicans for to their mind, I guess not going along with a big lie to the degree of their liking or whatever that would means that`s, you know, completely, you know, getting prostrate before Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago, whatever it is they want, and they`re relatively, you know, in touch with reality, Republicans that still exist in some of these suburban and exurban districts.

A wedge is got to be driven there to force, you know, the crazies and the normals to be in conflict with one another. The Democrats don`t seem to be doing that aggressively at this point. We got a year, we got a year. So, you know, maybe it`s just an early warning flag from Rick. But I think that the overarching point is right.

WILLIAMS: So Tim, real quick, you think there`s a subset population of Republicans with earnest genuine worry about Trump`s effect on 2022?

MILLER: Yes, Oh, for sure, a subset. And but I think that they feel like they need him. Right. So this is the problem. This is what he had Mitch McConnell, trashing Donald Trump after January 6, and then all of a sudden backing off of that, in the weeks that followed, right?

Like he thought that he might have had a chance to get rid of this menace that had just cost him Georgia, he realized that the voters likes Trump more than him, and he`s got to deal with them. But that doesn`t mean he`s not still worried. They`re worried about it. But they`re looking right now in Virginia at the Glen Youngkin strategy, you know, of being Donald Trump in the sheets and Mitt Romney in the streets and seeing the two -- the two tribes together. But, you know, we`ll see if that works in Virginia, if it does, the Democrats should be real worried. But I think that it`s important to try to make sure that those two coalitions within the Republican tent are as divided as possible.

WILLIAMS: Hang on, I`m still writing Donald Trump in the sheet. Well, I can finish it later. Juanita --

MILLER: I stole that from my colleague in the Bulwark.

WILLIAMS: Juanita, your reaction to Cassidy the countdown clock on the attack on Cassidy from Trump is already got a couple hours on it. By the way. Is anyone else going to be brave enough to stick their heads up in a sea of genuflecting?

TOLLIVER: Absolutely not Brian, right. Like what I appreciated about Cassidy`s statement is that he called Trump what he is a three time loser. I`ll add twice impeached, three time loser to that. Look in 2018, he alienated suburban voters and they lost the GOP the House in 2020. He continued with lies and lost the presidency and the GOP The Senate and that is the track record he has.


And I wish that every Republican who`s bending the need of Trump and staying silent right now would call that out or even recognize it for themselves. Because at this point, they literally tethered themselves to the point of they don`t have an exit strategy. So while Tim is talking about driving a wedge between the crazies and the normals, and recognizing the need for tapping into other issues that are not the 2020 big lie, they`re not going to do that, they don`t have the backbone to do it. And they`re not going to challenge Trump in a way that he deserves to be challenged.

And what they risk losing is the midterms, because while we know 60 percent of Republicans believe in this law, we also know a percentage of them are going to stay at home, whether or not Trump tells them to because they no longer have faith in elections.

WILLIAMS: It`s just Monday. These guys are already on fire to my friends, Juanita and Tim, my thanks for staying up late and coming on tonight`s broadcast. Thank you both.

Coming up for us, one of our top medical experts here to clear up the misinformation today on breakthrough infections that followed news of the death of General Powell.



WILLIAMS: The news of Colin Powell`s death due to COVID complications fueled all too predictable misinformation, a flurry of it from anti- vaxxers. The 84-year-old statesman was fully vaccinated. But Powell, remember, was also battling several underlying health conditions putting him at high risk.

CNBC points this out quote, health experts say it`s important to note that no vaccine is 100 percent effective. In addition, Powell was elderly, unknown risk for severe COVID and suffered from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that study show can make the shots less effective. We also know Powell was receiving treatment for Parkinson`s over the past few years.


Back with us tonight Dr. Celine Gounder, clinical assistant professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the NYU School of Medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York, part of a panel that advises the Biden transition team. She also hosts a weekly podcast on the impact of this virus called appropriately, Epidemic.

So doctor, we couldn`t even mourn Colin Powell today without the uprising of the anti-vaxxers. Talk about the two comorbidities he had in addition to age, multiple myeloma and Parkinson`s and how they can affect the effectiveness of a miracle vaccine and all other ways.

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: Brian, there was a study conducted earlier this summer published in Nature, which looks specifically at patients who have multiple myeloma, and how well they respond to the vaccines. And that study found that if you had multiple myeloma, and you were given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you had less than a 50 percent chance of adequately responding to the vaccines. It`s because your immune system is suppressed and simply just doesn`t see doesn`t react to the vaccine.

With respect to Parkinson`s disease, some of the drugs used to treat Parkinson`s disease can be immunosuppressive. I`m not sure what medications he was on. But in addition to that, when people have Parkinson`s disease, they have a weaker muscle control. And that can include the muscles of the throat, your swallowing muscles, and so that can also lead to complications with respect to your ability to breathe.

WILLIAMS: Doctor, I read in the New York Times tonight that the FDA is very close to allow brand mixing and vaccines. So, for example, you got your first two Moderna, you can get a Pfizer booster, vice versa. Who is this good news for, Doctor?

GOUNDER: So in particular people who got Johnson and Johnson, we`ve known for some time now for at least a few months that this is -- this (INAUDIBLE) going to be a two-dose vaccine, a two-dose regimen would be needed. It`s not to say that Johnson and Johnson vaccine is inferior. After all, we give two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna and are now for certain groups, giving a third dose.

But I think in particular for people who got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine getting some guidance as to what second dose should be given. It does appear that they may benefit that group in particular may benefit from mixing and matching. So if they got the Johnson and Johnson first to get either Pfizer or Moderna second does seem to be the more advisable force here.

WILLIAMS: Speaking of the FDA, their former director Scott Gottlieb tweeted this on Sunday, UK reported its biggest one day case increase in three months, just as this new Delta variant with an unpronounceable named mutation in the spike reaches 8 percent of UK sequenced cases. We need urgent research he says to figure out if this Delta plus, there`s a name, is more transmissible, and has partial immune evasion. How concerned are you? How concerned should we be?

GOUNDER: Brian, it`s a little too early to say whenever you do see a variant that`s becoming more common, which is what happened with a Delta variant over the course of the spring and into the summers, we saw it become more and more and more common, and that can indicate that it has, it`s winning out the race and natural selection, it has some sort of competitive advantage compared to the other variants.

The other possibility though, is that it`s simply in a sense this this particular Delta plus could simply be hitching a ride on other reasons for increased transmission, which could be just as simple as going back to school back to the office and not masking.

WILLIAMS: Our guest tonight, one of the best in the business. We`re grateful for the time and answers to our questions from Dr. Celine Gounder. Always a pleasure. Thank you. Another break for our coverage. Coming up, the desperate search for Americans kidnapped this past weekend at a Haitian orphanage.



WILLIAMS: The search for a group of missionaries and their families and dependence continues tonight in Haiti. President Biden`s been briefed on this effort. Local officials say 16 of the 17 people missing are Americans who Haitian authorities suspect are being held by one of the nation`s most notorious gangs these people don`t fool around. Our report tonight from NBC News correspondent Sam Brock.


SAM BROCK, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 48 hours after the start of an international crisis in one day after an FBI team touchdown in Haiti, still no answers about whether 17 kidnap missionaries will be rescued or how.

PSAKI: The FBI is part of a coordinated U.S. government effort to get the US citizens involved to safety.

BROCK: Part of that effort, a State Department team now also on the ground. The Ohio based Christian aid Ministry says among those abducted are 16 Americans, five of whom are children.

On the streets of Port-au-Prince and Miami today pleas for help for those living in violence.

MEMROIE DEVALLON, FAMILY RESIDES IN HAITI: You can get find food because if you get (INAUDIBLE).

BROCK: Immigrant`s rights protesters lying on pavement demanding an end to Haitian deportations. After earthquakes, Aa presidential assassination and kidnappings forced many to flee.

(on camera): Your nephews and nieces, do you worried that they will not survive another week, month year in Haiti?

DEVALLON: Every day you live in Haiti you`re rotting. Every single day, you will live in a (INAUDIBLE). You see another day you are lucky.

BROCK: The wave of kidnappings appears to be skyrocketing. A UN report identifies around 330 kidnappings in the first eight months of the year, or 100, more than all of last year. But research out of Haiti points to a much larger figures with 600 plus kidnappings through September, including a threefold increase in just three months.

Tessa Petit with the Florida Immigrant Coalition was born and raised in Haiti.

TESSA PETIT, FLORIDA IMMIGRANT COALITION: It is like living in a war zone. You don`t know when you`re going to get shot at, you don`t know when you`re going to get kidnapped.

BROCK: Dr. Richard Frechette runs this hospital near Port-au-Prince where it`s believed armed gangs control half the city. He has to negotiate with them to get oxygen tags for COVID patients.

DR. RICHARD FRECHETTE, HAITIAN PHYSICIAN: It`s amazing because you`re going to have 40 dead people in your hospital in a matter of hours if you don`t succeed, and it`s very complex where you have to go through a gang to get the oxygen.

BROCK (on camera): As far as the gang that carried out this kidnapping officials in Haiti say it`s the same one kidnapped five priests and two nuns a number of months ago known for their tactics of hijacking cars and snatching people off of buses, taking brutality in an already lawless country to new levels. In Miami, Sam Brock, NBC News.



WILLIAMS: Coming up for us tonight some findings about children`s health some advice for parents from someone who is very much not a doctor.


WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight, a first of its kind segment we like to call parenting tips from Madison Cawthorn. He`s not a pediatrician or a scientist, but he is 26 and a member of congress from North Carolina.


REP. MADISON CAWTHORN (R-NC): Our culture today is trying to completely demasculine all the young men in our culture. I mean, you can look at the testosterone levels in young men today and they are lower than throughout all of history. And there`s a lot of reasons for that we can get into later.

But my friends are trying to deemasculate the young men in this country because they don`t want people who are going to stand up. And so I`m telling you, all of you moms here the people who I said were the most vicious in our movement. If you are raising a young man, please raise them to be a monster. Raise.


WILLIAMS: Parenting tips from Madison Cawthorn, you know his constituents in North Carolina`s 11th congressional district are proud. And if you`re a parent, here`s hoping your little monsters are safely tucked in for the night.

That is our broadcast on this Monday evening with our thanks for being here with us. On behalf of all our colleagues at the networks of NBC News, good night.