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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, 11/1/21

Guests: Philip Rucker, Larry Sabato, Ashley Parker, Phil Murphy, Michael Steele, Jason Johnson


Murphy is seeking a second term on Nov. 2, asking voters to judge his record but offering few major agendas for the next four year. Biden`s credibility on climate in the balance at U.N. summit in Glasgow. Trump sues to hide call logs, aide`s notes from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. Manchin won`t yet back Biden`s social spending package, calls for infrastructure bill vote.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: That is tonight`s "LAST WORD." The voters will get the last word tomorrow night. THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS starts now.


BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Well, good evening once again, day 286 of the Biden administration and the eve of a critical election day including the most closely watched contest in a state Joe Biden won easily in 2020. Just hours from now, polls will open in the Commonwealth of Virginia where Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Republican Glenn Youngkin are in a tight race for governor.

Here`s how the Wall Street Journal sums up the stakes. Both parties are looking for signals about the broader political climate heading into next year`s midterm elections.

All eyes also on New Jersey`s race for governor, the incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy, seeking a second term and a tough political climate. He is standing by to join us just ahead.

The Democratic Party`s leader is now at the Global Climate Summit in Scotland. President Biden warned of the need to take action against climate change while reassuring world leaders that America is indeed ready to act.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: The science is clear. We only have a brief window left before us. This is a decisive decade in which we have an opportunity to prove ourselves.


WILLIAMS: Biden also referred to a legacy of his predecessor`s administration.


BIDEN: I do apologize for the fact that the United States, the last administration pulled out of the Paris Accords, and it put us sort of behind the 8-ball.


WILLIAMS: President pointed to his economic plan as proof of this country`s commitment to addressing the climate emergency plan but also expand social programs and Democrats in Congress had hoped to vote on both that proposal and the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill sometime this week. It`s been a moving deadline. Today those hopes ran into an all too familiar roadblock. Perhaps you`ll recognize this next gentleman.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Well, how can I in good conscience vote for a bill that proposes, massive expansion to social programs when vital programs like Social Security and Medicare face insolvency, as more of the real details outlined the basic framework are released. What I see are show games, budget gimmicks that make the real cost of the so called $1.75 trillion bill estimated to be almost twice that amount.


WILLIAMS: Also tonight, an explosive Washington Post report and astounding book length piece of journalism in the Sunday paper about the January 6 attack on the Capitol. It has uncovered new information that could potentially impact the House Committee investigation into 1/6.

Among the many revelations there was this concerning the former president and we quote, For 187 minutes, Trump resisted in treaties to intervene from advisors allies and his elder daughter, as well as lawmakers under attack. Fast forward to today and the former presidents currently trying to keep lawmakers from getting their hands on any documents related to January 6.

This past weekend, National Archives indicated Trump wants to shield over 770 pages of documents. Access to that material will be the subject of a court hearing later this week. House investigators expected to subpoena John Eastman though we`ve said that before he`s the lawyer who was the reported architect of the scheme to overturn the election.

We are also following the legal challenges to that near total ban on abortions in the state of Texas. Today, the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning to such challenges from abortion providers in Texas and from our own federal justice department. We`ll have a full report on those are legal arguments and how the justices responded later on in this broadcast.

As the latest COVID surge retreats here in the US. The CDC starts meeting tomorrow to talk about guidelines for giving the Pfizer vaccine for starters to children ages five to 11. Today, the White House said it will be ready for the CDCs expected decision.


JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS COORDINATOR: We expect that several million doses are already in route to sites around the country. We are planning on some vaccinations towards the end of this week. But the program for kids ages five through 11 really hitting full strength the week of November 8.


WILLIAMS: We should also know White House press secretary Jen Psaki has tested positive for COVID and is quarantining. She credits being vaccinated for the flu fact that she`s having only mild symptoms.


Today the official number of confirmed COVID cases in our country top 46 million. Around the world it`s now estimated that this virus has taken over 5 million lives in under two years. But experts say the actual global death toll is likely much higher sadly.

With that, let`s bring in our starting line to start this new week on a Monday night. Philip Rucker, Pulitzer Prize winning senior Washington correspondent for The Washington Post, co-author with Carol Leonnig of the New York Times bestseller, "I alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump`s Catastrophic Final Year," Ashley Parker Pulitzer, Prize winning White House bureau chief also with the Washington Post, and Larry Sabato, who is the veteran director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. That means he is considered the foremost expert on Virginia electoral politics. Good evening, and welcome to you all.

Professor, I am duty bound to begin with you as happy as we are to have you at this late hour. I don`t know how you have any words left. I`ve watched you on cable all day. The Washington Post puts this Virginia election this way, Biden`s sinking popularity has emerged as a key factor, making the state look once again more like a battleground than a Democratic stronghold. Interviews with nearly two dozen voters found a profound sense of frustration that people haven`t seen benefits of democratic control trickle into their lives, or their wallets.

Larry, do you buy into that? And can you blame any moderate Virginia voters who may be on the fence, who also turned into cable news today and saw how the Democrats are behaving?

LARRY SABATO. UVA CENTER FOR POLITICS DIRECTOR: Well, I can`t blame anybody. I try not to blame people, but certainly for their opinions. This has been a disaster for Terry McAuliffe, a slowly unfolding disaster stretching over months. It`s not just the President`s falling ratings, all their bills are much lower than we ever expected that it would be less than a year after we took office.

I think far worse has been the inability of the Democrats in both houses of Congress to get their act together after nine months reach some kind of compromise, however inadequate. It may be impasse one or two, preferably both of the big bills they have before Congress.

Why is it exactly that Democratic voters want to turn out after it`s been approximately a year getting close to a year and nothing`s been delivered? That`s -- this is true, especially I think, for minority voters for black voters. I found it also to be true with young voters. The turnout among the young is going to be quite low and even lower than it usually is. And with blacks, at least the community leaders in many of the black community say that there`s been very little interest in this election.

WILLIAMS: So Larry, while I have you, you sense the Youngkin surge. And do you credit his campaign was tapping into this kind of parents rights movement, which is Trumpism adjacent?

SABATO: Yes, that`s very important to stress. This is the direct connection to Trump. And I think it`s one of the reasons why he has been so relatively well behaved toward Youngkin. He certainly hasn`t been well behaved in the statements that he`s made about this campaign, and usually isn`t about anything.

But the puzzle I think most of us have been trying to solve is how and why he has been able, Youngkin has been able to keep Trump on board making statement after statement, positive, positive, positive seven or eight of them now during the course of this campaign for Youngkin. And at the same time, hearing Youngkin say, and hearing other people say that Youngkin does not want him to come to the state and doesn`t ever want to be pictured next to it.

This is unusual behavior for Donald Trump. And maybe after the election, we can find out what secret sauce Youngkin has used because no doubt a lot of Republicans next year will want to buy some of that secret sauce.

WILLIAMS: Ashley Parker over to you. I think all of journalism paused to tip their hats to the staff of the Washington Post when the story dropped on the 1/6 red flags. It`s kind of impossible to explain to a civilian audience just how much work goes into a piece of that length again, a book length examination of it from start to finish, though some would argue that the finish is a chapter yet to be written.

Explain to our audience especially the people who have not had the time or inclination to read it as of yet what we learned about the former president and what he was doing, or more importantly, not doing during the siege of the Capitol.


ASHLEY PARKER, THE WASHINGTON POST WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF: So just to give you a little more background before I answer that brief question is to give you a sense of the size and the scope and how definitive we tried to be this project was months of reporting was more than 25 reporters, it was more than 75 Washington Post journalists, we spoke with over 230 sources and looked it over thousands of documents. So these are findings, again, to put it in context from that effort.

And what we found was that for Phil Rucker masterfully row in the durian sexually divided into before the January 6 attacks during and after that for 187 minutes. So that is from when then President Trump orders his supporters to march on the Capitol in his speech on January 6, down on the National Mall, to when he finally over three hours later again, 187 minutes later, sends out a video finally telling them to go home.

We document how he did nothing but that`s not quite right because it not doing anything. It not saying anything and not calling off his supporters. He was doing more damage than you could possibly imagine during that three, that is when the police officer ends up dying when other -- when another protester has a cardiac episode, and that is when Ashley Babbitt the protester breaks through into the Speaker`s Lobby and is shot in and dies, when police officers are beaten with their own weapons. When lawmakers are fleeing and hiding and powering and racing through the Capitol while his own vice president, his own supporters are chanting to hang Mike Pence and Donald Trump is doing nothing but watching TV.

Originally, he is talking about the crowd size, he`s boasting about the crowd size. In classic Trump form, he`s talking about how the crowd could have been positioned better. So in that absence of action, he allowed so many devastating things to happen that day.

WILLAMS: Phil Rucker continuing in this vein, I want to play for you. Something we heard from a DC security official tonight named Donell Harvin about the red flags.


DONELL HARVIN, FMR. INTELLIGENCE CHIEF, DC HOMELAND SECURITY: We started seeing a lot of concerning information surrounding the events that were planned, information from particular actors that we hadn`t seen before. Specifically looking at what we call TTPs Tactics, Techniques and Procedures, that indicated that they would be intent on performing acts of violence, interpersonal violence, and possibly even smuggling weapons into the district.


WILLIAMS: So Philip, he was with the District of Columbia Department of Homeland Security, he speaks from experience, what were some of the other red flags that looking back on them are glaring now?

PHILIP RUCKER, THE WASHINGTON POST SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Brian, there were so many red flags. There was a wealth of chatter on social media sites and other online forums among Trump supporters about gathering in Washington on January 6, just as then President Trump had urged them to do but importantly, to do so armed, to bring their weapons, to prepare for violence. There were threats made against the lives of sitting members of Congress, including Senator Mitt Romney, the Utah Republican who was the chief foil to Trump all of those years. There were other plots that intelligence officials were gathering or piecing together based on their review of this kind of cyber communication going on online.

And interestingly, our reporting found that as President Trump was contesting the election results, and as he was taking to Twitter, and using the megaphone of his office to claim the election was rigged to tell people to show up in force on January 6, that was a galvanizing effect on his supporters. It created more chatter online about coming to Washington on the 6 more chatter, about being armed about the violence about the threats to lawmakers.

And so what happened in the run up to January 6, was not a failure of intelligence because our intelligence agencies, the FBI, they saw all of this, they detected all of this. They saw it bubbling up. But it was a failure to act and a failure to imagine that these threats could actually be real and that the violence being talked about online could actually happen. The day the afternoon of the 6 that the Capitol.

WILLIAMS: Professor, I have nowhere near your portfolio. I covered Virginia politics a long time ago when the governors were named Bill Lyles and Wilder so a long time ago. I am guessing like most political types, you have a favorite County community, region or precinct of the Commonwealth that give us a viewer`s guide to election night one that you`re going to be watching tomorrow evening.


SABATO: Well, Brian, given the fact that Youngkin is clearly very competitive. He`ll either lose by a couple points or win by a couple points, that he`s the one who`s going to show real progress compared to other Republican candidates. So, obviously, you start in Northern Virginia, which is a third of the vote, as long as you define it broadly.

Loudoun County is the county a very big County, suburban Xserve, and county in Northern Virginia, where the Republicans have concentrated their fire and their cultural warrior issues during the campaign. If Youngkin has really made a lot of progress, while the Democrats probably will still carry Loudoun. If they don`t carry it by a big margin, it`s indicative of other suburbs going in the other direction.

And to mention to others, I think a very significant the city of Virginia Beach, which is Virginia`s largest city, traditionally, it has been more Republican, but in recent elections, it`s split its vote close to 50-50. My suspicion is it`s going to go fairly handily to Youngkin but how handily, it really matters since Youngkin has to make up 10 points. Biden won Virginia by 10 points. So he has to do a lot better than Biden`s opponent that President Trump did in 2020.

And finally, I`ll mention in the Richmond area, Chesterfield County, like Virginia Beach, it`s a giant suburban locality accounting instead of a city. And it used to be 70 percent plus Republican. Now, it can even go democratic by a few 100 votes, it usually goes Republican 51-52 percent. But if Youngkin is really running up the score there, again, it`s an indicator of what may be happening in key suburban, conservative localities throughout the state.

WILLIAMS: Thank you for that, Professor. Ashley, as we continue to balance these two topics. Back to you. And a question about that day, the 187 minutes you spoke of does the -- did the atmosphere of daily chaos in that White House in that West Wing just further compound the chaos on this day when it really counted?

PARKER: Well, in some ways, as we were, there were so very few people left around, then President Trump at that moment, that part of the reason there were so few people left was because of that chaos you mentioned. But he was surrounded at this point by the most insular and loyal set of aides who were not the sorts of people who might have seen earlier in the administration for whatever the motivations who would have served as guardrails.

So there`s very few people. We report that, you know, his daughter Ivanka (INAUDIBLE) likes to claim she does, but in this case she was. She was coming in out of the oval trying to finally get him to put out a statement that call up his supporters and just when they would think they would get the president through a good headspace then Chief of Staff Mark Meadows would have to call her back down. You had people trying to reach the president former aides from Kellyanne Conway, Alyssa Farrar, who was a communications person who had worked for Meadows previously pleaded with him, but there were just so few people there. There were so few avenues in. There`s not that many people in that inner circle.

And at this point, the President`s behaviors are hardened. It may be shocking to realize, again, as we reported in this piece, and others in ourselves reported previously that he was watching TV, taking it all in, talking about crowd size, sort of proud that his supporters delighting in his supporters fighting for him. But by four years into his presidency, that was simply how he behaved and it should have not actually been that surprising on that day.

WILLIAMS: Phil Rucker, current president is overseas, talking to world leaders, talking about the environment. Back here at home, Senator Manchin is talking to cameras. Is there any reporting on what may be a vote in either or both houses of Congress?

RUCKER: You know, Brian, I`m not sure when exactly that vote is going to happen. But what we heard from Manchin today is much less certainty about a deal than we -- then there seem to be late last week when President Biden departed for his overseas trip. And so it seems like we`re going to have several days worth at least of negotiating, continuing in order to secure the vote of Joe Manchin who of course, has been one of the two Democratic holdouts for months now, contributing, as Larry Sabato just pointed out earlier to some of the drag that Terry McAuliffe is facing in this Virginia gubernatorial race.


And so Biden`s overseas, he of course, wanted to be at that climate summit with a deliverable, with an action item, with a bill that was going to be coming to his desk ready to sign. That is, of course, more complicated in reality tonight than he might have anticipated it would be when he set out on that trip. But there is still some time and it, of course, seems likely that eventually, the Democrats can all get on the same page, and at least get something into law.

WILLIAMS: Cannot thank these guests who make up our starting line enough for joining us on this critical Monday night. Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Larry Sabato, our thanks for starting us off.

Coming up for us the other big race everybody will be watching tomorrow. The battle for the Garden State can Democratic incumbent Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey hold off the Republican challenger. He is standing by to talk with us live.

And later, if you feared we would go a whole day without comment from Joe Manchin fear not, he spoke further muddied up any progress being made on the President`s agenda. Our two political guests may have some thoughts. All of it as the 11th Hour is just getting underway on this Monday night in view of the sunset and the U.S. Capitol.


WILLIAMS: After nine days of early voting in New Jersey, voters get one last chance when polls open.


Just over six hours from now, new polling out today has incumbent Governor Phil Murphy leading his Republican challenger by eight percentage points. Here`s how Politico sums up the scores tonight quote, For Democrats, the hope is that last year`s suburban swing against Trump extends to the gubernatorial race. Republicans, meanwhile, are hoping Biden`s sinking approval numbers will depress Democratic turnout in deep blue New Jersey and lure some voters back to the GOP.

So back with us tonight, the incumbent Democratic governor of the state of New Jersey, Phil Murphy. And just to note, we did extend an invitation to the governor`s Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli but his campaign said he was unable to join us.

So Governor, let`s talk about one of the political vagaries of my home state. New Jersey has not awarded an incumbent Democratic governor a second term in 44 years. Can you break that trend?

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): I sure hope so, Brian. It`s good to be back with you. Coming at you from middle town, by the way. Listen, I hope so. But we`re not taking anything for granted. We`ve been running like we`re 10 points behind from day one. And we`re continuing to do that. I just came from a big rally in South Orange. I`ve got a full day tomorrow. But you`re absolutely right. Brendan Burns, the last Democrat to win reelection 44 years ago. We`re trying to break that tomorrow.

WILLIAMS: Terry McAuliffe has been quite candid with his frustration over so called National Democrats or Washington Democrats. And you heard perhaps Professor Sabato the lack of deliverables. Even true blue Democrats feel they haven`t profited yet from Democrats being in control of White House, House, Senate. Are you feeling that kind of suppression? I mean, Democrats in Congress right now can agree that it`s Monday.

MURPHY: I`m not sure about suppression. I`m sure we`re not immune to it, Brian. But here`s the more striking things. There`s a big debate in Washington in Congress about these bills, whether it`s hard infrastructure, or what I would refer to as human infrastructure, and it feels abstract to me.

The fact of the matter is, we`re literally doing almost all of what they`re debating in Washington in New Jersey already. And it`s working. We know what`s working. So we`re proving that this stuff -- when you expand childcare, pre-K fully fund, K through 12, make college more affordable, housing, more affordable, aggressive climate clean energy agenda, that stuff works. It`s not abstract in New Jersey. We`re living in.

So that`s the thing that really strikes me the most in the sense that that debate in Washington feels distant from the reality where we know these programs work and make a difference in people`s lives.

WILLIAMS: Your opponent, the Republican, business guy, former state legislator has been going after you hard a kind of carpet bombing campaign by television, the one spot running non-stop is some version of you saying to an audience, if taxes are your issue, we`re not your state. What`s your comeback to that?

MURPHY: My comeback is first of all, that comment is taken out of complete context. We inherited an affordability mess when I became governor four years ago. And my opponent was part of the reason. He rubber stamped Chris Christie`s agenda. We`ve been digging out of that and we`re making great progress.

We are the number one state in America to raise a family. We were just ranked on Saturday is the safest state to live in America. We`re making an enormous amount of progress, number one public education, top handful of health systems in the United States, great quality of life and affordability.

Again, it was a mess. It`s got a lot better. If you`re a working family right now. Relative to the day I put my hand on the Bible. You`re paying less than income tax, you`re paying less for health care for college for childcare, NJ Transit fees haven`t gone up one penny, we`re making progress.

WILLIAMS: Are you surprised to the degree -- at the degree to which Trumpism has been on the ballot along with the two of you?

MURPHY: I am surprised, Brian, you know the state well. Republicans over the course of history have won the governor`s seat in New Jersey, but they have tended to be reasonable moderate Republicans. One of my mentors Tom Kane senior, Christie Todd Whitman to pick two examples. I am surprised that my opponent is God deep right. He spoke at a stop steel rally. He wants to loosen gun laws. He`s waffling on masks and vaccinations. Not going to protect women`s health, stuff that a reasonable moderate Republican in this state in the past would not have been in that position. But he is deep in that in that right Trump school of thought and policies.


WILLIAMS: In the waning minutes of election eve, our thanks go to a Governor Phil Murphy of the state of New Jersey, on the eve of what will be a huge day for him. Governor, thank you very much for finding the time to take our questions tonight.

Coming up for us the other big governor`s race we`ve been talking about tomorrow and what the outcome could indeed signal about 2022 and beyond.




GLENN YOUNGKIN (R) VA GOV. CANDIDATE: Virginians pushing back on this culture, this culture that wants us to shelve hope that tells our children they have to accept low standards, this culture that tells us that we in fact can`t dream big dreams. No. This is a moment for Virginians to push back on this left liberal progressive agenda and take our Commonwealth back.

TERRY MCAULIFFEE (D) VA GOV. CANDIDATE: What bothers me to my core is what this man is doing. He`s dividing parents against parents, parents against school boards. He`s using your children as political pawns in his campaign. It is a racist dog whistle. Folks we are better than that. We will not have that hatred here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.



WILLIAMS: The candidates for Virginia governor making a final push on election eve. This race between Terry McAuliffe and Glen Youngkin is widely seen as a referendum on the Biden presidency and a harbinger of things to come in the midterms perhaps. It`s a great night to have back with us Jason Johnson, a campaign veteran journalist, contributor to TheGrio, professor of politics and journalism at Morgan State. And Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, former Lieutenant Governor of the great state of Maryland also happens to be the host of the Michael Steele podcast.

Michael, I`d like to begin with you. What do you make of how these two candidates have run their campaigns? Has McAuliffe committed any malpractice? Or has he just fallen victim to the current sway of things?

MICHAEL STEELE, FMR RNC CHAIRMAN: No, I think less falling victim and more an over calculation, maybe some would say miscalculation to nationalize this election in a way that you did not see in New Jersey. You just spoke with the governor of New Jersey, very different tone, very different context there around the issues that were a little bit closer to home. And I think McAuliffe tried to do that, but then stepped on it with on that education piece, if you will, when he, you know, made the statement in the debate about oh, you know, I don`t want parents or parents shouldn`t be involved in what`s going on in their kid`s education.

Now, context is everything. But voters didn`t hear context, what they heard were the words and their response to it was almost immediate, and he couldn`t clean it up. And that`s the more telling thing and Youngkin very, very carefully and successfully navigated off of that national dialogue in such a way that he turned it made it local, he made it personal, he made it about the school boards, about parents and their kids. And that and that`s why that momentum has shifted, and why you see Youngkin in the position he is in right now.

WILLIAMS: So, Jason, let`s talk a little modern era political science. I happened upon a photo this evening of three Democratic presidential candidates having a chat at the environmental summit in Scotland. Two of the men in this picture were failed Democratic presidential candidates. One was victorious. But think about it.

True Blue Democrats would say the guy in the center of the picture lost to the U.S. Supreme Court, they would say the guy on the right lost to the first major public case of disinformation in the modern era could not believe he was being taken down by it and didn`t effectively fight back. The guy on the far left, the only one of the three to get elected president as a Democrat, is just hanging on down 11 points popularity. His Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia down has blown a five point lead in 30 days. So you put all that together, Jason, is this the Republicans best chance to win and the Commonwealth of Virginia?

JASON JOHNSON, MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: He is pretty much it, Brian, because they`re still operating off of old census information. And we`ve had a lot of problematic issues with this recent census. When the new numbers come out, it`s going to be even harder for Republicans to win both local and statewide in the state of Virginia. Youngkin is riding a wave of being an individually rich guy, and still being able to sort of hide the overt racism of these education issues, to make himself competitive in this race.

But I think when we look at Biden, it`s important to take into consideration, Joe Biden has accomplished things, right. I mean, he`s got the vaccine rollout, he passed massive bills to sort of secure people`s employment and funding and everything else like that. He has done some good things. He ended the war in Afghanistan. He doesn`t even get credit for that. That was just about two months ago.

But the problem is, Joe Biden has not been as aggressive on the things that the public cares about the Democrats who voted him to office. He hasn`t been as aggressive on police reform. He hasn`t been as aggressive on voting rights. He appears to be letting Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema run the whole country. That is where people are frustrated and despondent.

Remember, it`s a year ago tomorrow that the guy beat Donald Trump. I mean, like he dropped 11 points in a couple years. So can it be improved? Yes, it can. But I do think it leaves, it sort of drags down every other Democrat running across the country right now because when they look to their leader in the White House, he doesn`t appear to be handling things as successfully or aggressively as he seems to run.


WILLIAMS: So Michael to hypotheticals, A, if Congress had passed both bills if they were signed, done and dusted and people started feeling deliverables. Would this race be different? If Donald Trump had come to Richmond or Virginia Beach or Fairfax County, and done his usual two hour outdoor riff on behalf of the candidate? Would this race be different right now?

STEELE: Yes to both of those. And in fact, that was kind of the environment Mr. McAuliffe was hoping for, to be honest. He was hoping that the Democrats in the House and Senate would get at least one of these legislative packages done, particularly the one where you had 19 Republicans sign off on the roads and bridges infrastructure bill, and the fact that they could not do that created the drag.

And then on the other side, there were hopes and prayers and all kinds of, you know, efforts made to sort of encourage Trump to sort of get into the race, if you will. But Trump showed an incredible amount of resistance to that. And I think a lot of folks would like to know what the secret sauce was or that. I think the good professor from Virginia laid that out in the earlier segment.

And there`s truth to that. It is amazing discipline that Trump did not inject himself. But here`s the rub. Come Wednesday morning, he will. And when he does, he will take credit for this for Youngkin`s victory in a very big way, which still doesn`t solve the longer term problem Republicans will have going into next year that Trump will again misread the fact that he was not in the race. And he was issued the Heisman right by Youngkin, just kind of stay away that that was the crux of the win. Not anything that he did or said by his two or three endorsements.

WILLIAMS: Both of these gentlemen thankfully are going to stay with us. I`m going to fit a break in. Coming up, the Democratic senator from West Virginia has a message for House Democrats as he grabs the opportunity to throw another wrench into his party spending plants.




MANCHIN: For the sake of the country, hours to House to vote and pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Holding this bill hostage is not going to work and getting my support for regular reconciliation bill.


WILLIAMS: The daily televised agonizing of Senator Joe Manchin, the Monday edition where he casts fresh doubt on the future of the President`s economic agenda. But the Liberal Democrats over in the House are sounding optimistic tonight.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): I just have to believe what the President says. And the President said right after the senators` vote that he is confident he can deliver 51 votes for this plan. I am going to trust the President. Our members are going to trust the president. And we are going to do the job that we need to do. We just pass it through pass both bills through the House and whatever Senator Manchin says is, you know, up to him.


WILLIAMS: Luckily for us, our guests Jason Johnson and Michael Steele remain. Jason, I`m kind of surprised knowing your love for Manchin that you don`t have more Manchin`s swag behind you there. But absent that question, I have never asked you directly and forthrightly. What`s his game do you think?

JOHNSON: It`s changed, Brian. My initial assumption is that a lot of his resistance is so that he could have sort of a John McCain moment that he will be able to come forward and he will be the reason that bill back better or he will be the reason that voting rights or he will be the reason that some really key piece of legislation gets passed, because he doesn`t really have much of a political future West Virginia, he doesn`t have a national future. So I figured this is about prestige and legacy.

But the way in which he has drag things out, and his obstructionism and his sort of waffling back and forth. I don`t really know what his game plan is. What I have seen now and what we see today is if you look back to that memo that was sort of leaked, he`s pretty much gotten on bill back better exactly what he told Chuck Schumer, he will be happy with months ago. So he`s got the bill that he wants. But he still seems to want the Progressive Caucus in the House to vote for infrastructure, even though they have no reason to trust him.

And so that`s what`s strange. I don`t understand why a politician with as much experience as Joe Manchin has seems to be this dense when it comes to national issues. I mean, when you claim I want a job requirement for paid leave, well, obviously, you would have to have a job requirement for paid leave, he says things like that. But I don`t think he has much of a plan, Brian. I think he`s got a lot more in common with Kyrsten Sinema, than people want to believe when it comes to not having a plan. But like in the limelight.

WILLIAMS: Michael Steele, he`s, you know, in my view, he`s just a boy from West Virginia standing in front of a nation asking them to love him. Do you think he`s still a net positive to the Democratic Party? Or should they take the bull by the horns, make some news and take them across the aisle to his buddy Mitch McConnell? Michael, you`re muted.

STEELE: I was going to say, Brian, I love you, man. You get me -- just get me in that right moment. So he left -- can we just -- this break this down. Joe Manchin does not want to vote for a progressive legislative package, period. You can rework this and dress it up and dance around as much as you want. That`s to Professor Johnson`s point, the rub, that`s at the end of the day where this is.

And so it doesn`t matter how you reconfigure the pieces on this particular chessboard. You`re going to wind up playing into the same corner, because he`s not given his constituencies back home, given everything that Jason just said, about current and future endeavors, et cetera. There`s no incentive for him to do so. And therefore he wasn`t and I think a lot of it is fundamental to him. He`s a conservative West Virginian from -- West Virginia Senator.

So I don`t think -- I think the strategy now is play this thing out because Democrats have to ask themselves one question, what do you plan to do come this Wednesday morning, and you`ve lost the state of Virginia? And what are you going to do on the first Wednesday of November 2022 when you watch Nancy Pelosi begin the process of turning over the gavel and Mitch McConnell possibly assuming that, you know, the control that he`s taking facto had in the Senate in January of 2023.


WILLIAMS: Boy, you ask good questions. Ladies and gentlemen, the professor and the chairman Jason Johnson, Michael Steele, our thanks as always. Two friends of the show. We`ll do this again. Coming up. What we heard from inside the Supreme Court today as justices heard arguments on that Texas abortion law.


WILLIAMS: As we mentioned the Supreme Court will soon decide whether the Texas law banning abortions after six weeks can stand or can it be challenged in federal court. Our report tonight from our NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams.


PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Opponents of abortion rallied outside the Supreme Court in support of SB8 the Texas law that bans abortion after doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat. That`s at about six weeks of pregnancy before most women know they`re pregnant.

STATE REP. SHELBY SLAWSON (R) TEXAS: There is no question that a heartbeat signifies life and that that beating heart in a womb is the life of a human child.

WILLIAMS: The Supreme Court has long said state officials cannot ban abortion that early in a pregnancy so the Texas Legislature handed off enforcement to private individuals allowing anyone to sue any doctor who performs an abortion or anybody who helps out. The state says abortion providers should have to wait until they`re sued before challenging the law.

But Texas ran into a wave of skepticism from even some of the courts conservatives, including Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh who earlier voted against temporarily blocking SB8. Justice Barrett said she doubted that making the challengers wait to be sued when give them a fair shot at defending their rights.

AMY CONEY BARRETT, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m wondering if in a defensive posture in state court, the constitutional defense can be fully aired.

WILLIAMS: And some members of the court worried that others other states could copy the Texas model to limit a host of constitutional rights.


ELENA KAGAN, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we would be like open for business. There`s nothing the Supreme Court can do about it. Guns, same sex, marriage, religious rights, whatever you don`t like go ahead.

WILLIAMS: Justice Kavanaugh said a state could allow private lawsuits against the guns that wanted to ban.

BRETT KAVANAUGH, s ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: Say everyone who sells an AR-15 is liable for a million dollars to any citizen.

WILLIAMS: Today`s case was not about abortion itself. The court will take that up a month from today when it hears Mississippi`s challenge to Roe v. Wade.


WILLIAMS: Our thanks to Pete Williams for that. And coming up, police officers compelled to get the vaccine some would rather walk off the job instead, even though they compel us to do any number of things.


WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight. 9,000 New York City Municipal employees are on unpaid leave tonight. Many of them stayed home part of a massive sick out it`s all because of vaccine mandates. They reportedly include several 1,000 FDNY firefighters, Department of Sanitation employees, and a couple dozen members of the NYPD who refused to comply with the mandate.

And it occurred to our friends over at The Daily Show that when the shoe was on the other foot when police needed the citizens to comply with their orders during our summer of public protest, while the subject wasn`t vaccines. The folks on Fox News ordered us all to comply.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The NYPD marching against vaccine mandates today in New York City.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protesters chanting do not comply during the demonstration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comply, just don`t fight, don`t resist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t do it. Comply.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comply with lawful orders and you will not done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should not resist. You should comply.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comply with the commands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let it go, comply.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have this entire new generation that doesn`t want to comply with lawful orders. So you have to comply

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do not resist, don`t resist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen, comply, do what they say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comply. You should say Yes officer, no officer, OK officer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you comply you will go home safe to your family at night. That needs to be the message not one of martyrdom for resisting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comply. That is the best way to live.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want everyone to be safe. Do not resist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s keep everyone safe, comply now and complain later.



WILLIAMS: We just wanted to be in compliance. Our friends over at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to take us off the air tonight. And that is our broadcast for this Monday night as we start a new week with our thanks for being here with us. On behalf of all our colleagues at the networks of NBC News, good night.