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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, 11/5/21

Guests: Jonathan Lemire, Irwin Redlener, Don Calloway, Susan Del Percio, Chris Hadfield


House voting now on bipartisan infrastructure bill. Former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark appears for Jan. 6 committee deposition. U.S. economy added 531,000 jobs in October. Pfizer says COVID pill cuts risk of hospitalization or death by 89%. Aaron Rodgers confirms he is unvaccinated.


BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Indeed, good evening once again, day 290 of the Biden administration. It`s been a long confusing day of starts and stops on that long-awaited vote on President Biden`s economic proposals. We must add after months of blue-on-blue democratic infighting. The House just reconvened and actual vote is underway. We know you`re not used to seeing this. We`ll explain it all when we go to our Hill correspondent in just moments.

The President`s been pressuring Democrats all day to pass his agenda. Not long ago, he released a statement that read in part, "I am urging all members to vote for both the rule for consideration, speaking of branding, of the Build Back Better Act and final passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill tonight. I am confident that during the week of November 15, mark your calendars, The House will pass the Build Back Better Act.

Of course, they can`t do it any sooner because of course both the House and Senate are off next week. White House says the president who canceled his trip home to Delaware this weekend is in the residence portion of the White House with his vice president, his policy team, his legislative team, staying in touch with House leadership and members. Earlier tonight, Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan of Wisconsin summed up the chaotic day in his own colorful way.


REP. MARK POCAN, (D) WISCONSIN: Well, the whole day was a cluster, right? But beyond that, you know, we I was just up there when we were going through all this a little while ago. We`re going to go over, so I thought everyone was working in a very congenial way. I mean, rank and file numbers figured out how to get done.


WILLIAMS: It`s much better in the unbleached version. We`re also following important developments tonight concerning the House committee in charge of the January 6 investigation. Former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark did show up for his plan deposition before the Committee this morning. Clark played a role in the former President`s effort to overturn the 2020 election, as you may know, but political reports he refused to answer substantive questions during the deposition. Instead, Clark delivered a letter from his lawyer defending his refusal to testify and citing potential executive privilege and that won`t fly.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson told Politico his refusal to testify could lead to a referral to the DOJ for contempt of Congress saying, "that`s on the table." Earlier tonight committee member and Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Florida was asked about Mr. Clark`s appearance.


REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY, (D) FLORIDA JAN. 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: We were deeply disappointed that somebody who so recently held an office of public trust to uphold the Constitution, willfully showed in front of our committee and tried to obstruct justice and refused to provide information. So, he will have a short amount of time before we take our next step. But we don`t have a ton of patience, and we are willing to use contempt.


WILLIAMS: All of today`s developments on Capitol Hill are managing to overshadow surprisingly good economic news for this administration. This morning, the Labor Department said there were 531,000 jobs created in October. That`s why I don`t work for the Labor Department blowing past predictions of 450,000 new jobs. Unemployment rate fell from 4.8% to 4.6%.

Earlier today, the President said the strong numbers prove his administration`s policies are working.


JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: We`re the fastest growing major economy and one creating jobs at a faster pace than anyone. Yet, there`s you know, there`s a lot more to be done. We still have to tackle a cost that American families are facing. But this recovery is faster, stronger and fair and wider than almost anyone could have predicted. That`s what the numbers say.


WILLIAMS: It was also more good news today. In the fight against the pandemic. Pfizer said it`s new pill to treat COVID-19 has been found to be highly effective in clinical trials. Company says the anti-viral pill when combined with a low dose of an HIV drug can reduce hospitalizations or deaths by up to 89% among high-risk people. Remember, this is not a prevention, it`s not a vaccine. It`s a treatment for when you get COVID. And there was this prediction today from the former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who also sits on Pfizer`s board says he suspects the pandemic could be over in just a matter of months.


Scott Gottlieb: I think the bottom line is the end of the pandemic, at least as it relates to the United States is in sight right now. Given all the tools we have to combat this disease. By January 4 this pandemic may well be over at least as a relates to the United States after we get through this Delta wave of infection, and we`ll be in more of an endemic phase of this this virus.



WILLIAMS: We`ll talk about that in a bit. There`s also growing pushback against the Biden administration`s vaccine mandates for companies with over 100 employees. This week, the administration set January for as a deadline for workers to either be fully vaccinated, or to get tested weekly for the virus. About a dozen states and several companies are now filing lawsuits, of course, arguing the federal government`s vaccine requirement is unconstitutional.

So, we have a lot of work to do here tonight. Let`s bring in our starting line as we end the week. Jonathan Lemire, Veteran White House Reporter and Politico White House Bureau Chief, he also hosts way too early in his spare time 5 a.m. weekdays on this network. Ali Vitali, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent, and Dr. Irwin Redlener, Founding Director of Columbia`s National Center for Disaster Preparedness. He advises us on public health, also a Professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in his spare time.

But Ali Vitali, nation turns its lonely eyes to you remember, please, your host is a bit slow. So, without any acronyms, or use of the word, reconciliation, I`m begging you to explain what we`re witnessing go on in the House tonight, what it will result in, and what it will give to Americans?

ALI VITALI, NBC NEWS CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brian, I`ll leave our beloved biff tagline here on the Hill then because what you`re seeing right now on your screen is the bipartisan infrastructure bill that previously passed the Senate now working its way through the House after many hours and much frustration in anticipation of this moment.

What we`ve seen in the last half hour really is the coalescing of moderate and progressive factions that had previously been at odds over how this evening was going to go. We saw a lot of stopping and starting on the part of House leadership, because they were trying to bring all of these disparate parts of their caucus together, who were at odds over the best way to move forward on this.

Moderates had been saying that they didn`t want to move forward yet on the larger social spending package, because they wanted to see a Congressional Budget Office score, that would take weeks. Instead, progressives settled in the end for a letter saying from these moderates, that they would vote on the larger social spending package, basically, in a week during the week of November 15.

What they`re doing now in the short term, though, is making good on the progressive side that they will be there on this bipartisan infrastructure vote. When this passes the House, and it does still look like it`s going to, it will go immediately to President Joe Biden`s desk. This is a notch win for him on one half of the infrastructure package that he has been pushing here on Capitol Hill for months. And really what this shows is that in the same way that in the Senate, it passed with actual bipartisan support, it`s doing the same thing here in the House, as I`ve been watching you give your introduction, I`ve also been watching our text chain for the Capitol Hill team, keeping track of the Republicans that are breaking ranks with their party and coming over to the Democratic side on this.

I`m noticing, for example, that there are some people from New York and New Jersey on this list, people like John Katko, Jeff Van Drew, names that our audience might know because they have been at odds with their party in various moments before. But really, when you talk about these bills Speaker Nancy Pelosi will always tell you, she thinks that it`s transformative among the most transformative things that she`s ever had the opportunity to do here on the Hill. And she also says that that`s even considering the work that she did on pushing through Obamacare all of those years ago.

So, when they talk about that they`re talking about a trillion dollars in spending on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that`s passing now. But immediately after that, they`re going to move forward on a procedural vote for the social spending package that comes in and around $1.75 trillion. And includes things like half a trillion dollars for combating climate change, universal pre-K, bolstering childcare, elder care, democratic priorities that we have heard about for years on the campaign trail, finally translating into policy here under Joe Biden`s administration, and the stewardship of Democrats having both houses of Congress.

This is not the end of it, though. The House and the Senate both out next week. But the House vowing to come back on the week of the 15th and actually vote for the actual Build Back Better Act, which is the larger social spending bill thusly sending it to the Senate. And Brian, at that point, changes are probably going to be made. There are things that are in this bill right now, including four weeks of paid leave, as well as some immigration proposals that may not survive the Senate, either because of reconciliation rules, or because of the personalities that are up on the Senate side who don`t actually support those policies being in this bill.


Joe Manchin for example does not want to see paid leave and reconciliation. The Senate can decide to just strip that out and they very well may. It`s also going to go through what we call a birdbath up here, making sure that all of the policies that are in here actually adhere to the rules of reconciliation, where you have to meet a budgetary bottom line, you have to actually impact the budget in order to stay through this process that allows Democrats to go it alone. That means once the Senate is done with it, it could look very different. But at least for now, the House can say that they have moved forward on half of this, and they cannot show when.

WILLIAMS: Ali, well done. Thank you for that. Jonathan Lemire, while Ali takes on oxygen and nourishment, noting that we also have a physician standing by on this panel, let me ask you, what`s going to be the White House`s answer to the question, sure now, we get the orange traffic cones, now we get highways and bridges and airports and infrastructure. What has changed? Why couldn`t we have had this months ago?

JONATHAN LEMIRE, ASSOCIATED PRESS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, first of all, kudos to Ali for that comprehensive analysis. One Democrat who is not happy with the timing of being -- of this being potentially done tonight, Terry McAuliffe, who of course, was pleading with the White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill to get this done before he faced voters on Tuesday thinking he needed something to run on. Of course, that`s not happen. And he was defeated. The president -- the White House right now we know, we talked to the White House aides, the President is in the residence who`s on the phone all day, he was supposed to head to Rehoboth Beach, one of his homes in Delaware today that was postponed. It`s unclear whether he will travel there tomorrow or not. He and the Vice President are both lobbying members to try to get this across the finish line. As Ali noted, it looks like, looks like with some help from Republicans, that they`ll get there.

The White House has long said that and to be clear, there`s a long way to go on the reconciliation part of it. It is going to change quite a bit in the Senate. And I don`t think anyone is taking Joe Manchin`s support for granted just yet. But they believe, White House does believe that when they crossed the finish line here, the message, the messy sausage making portion of this will have been worth it, that this will be something that will transform government`s relationship with its citizens and really help Americans in their everyday lives. And politically, give Democrats something, too late for Terry McAuliffe, but give them something for next year for those midterms to really bolster the President`s legacy. And to give Democrats something to show voters tangible results. Unlike when President Obama faced the midterms, when he was trying to dig the nation out of the economic crisis. It was slow going, it was trending in the right direction by those 2010 midterms. There was a long way to go. Democrats now think they can show voters, look, we`re delivering for you, we`re making our lives better. Yes, it was messy. Yes, the President`s poll numbers took a hit. The bill rebound, and they think voters will reward them next November.

WILLIAMS: Ironically, Dr. Redlener, I`m looking at the former White House physician turned Trumper, Republican Texas Congressman, as he speaks on the House floor, these are a series of short remarks during the vote. Doctor, blessedly, I want to take you to a different subject on a two-part question. How important is this new Pfizer anti-viral pill in the scheme of things and what do you think Dr. Gottlieb, former FDA Commissioner was talking about when he was talking about bringing down the curtain on the pandemic January 4, which by the way would be wonderful.

DR. IRWIN REDLENER, EXPERT ON PANDEMIC INFLUENZA: Yeah, so but let`s start, Brian, with the easier question which is, so what do I make of the new oral anti-viral drugs that will treat COVID and treat it very effectively. So, Pfizer`s version of that was approved just now. And in the U.K. Merck has a similar drug that was approved, over there.

This is a big game changer, Brian. We`ve talked about multiple times in the past, it`s a big deal. That means that people who get sick, get a test for COVID, that turns out positive, you`ll get simply a written prescription from your doc, and you`ll take to the pharmacy and take it for five days, and you`ll end up a very good chance of not getting sick at all, and certainly not of dying with this medication. So, it`s a big deal. There`s one downside, believe it or not, Brian, and that is we would not like to see the development of these drugs, deter people from getting vaccinated. These drugs will save lives and that`s absolutely fantastic. But we don`t want them to turn people away from consideration of getting the vaccine, because getting the vaccine is going to be the way that we actually definitively get closer to putting a stop to all this horrible pandemic we`ve been dealing with, which leads me right to Scott Gottlieb`s remarks, which was a lot of eyebrows raised in Washington tonight, I spoke to a number of officials at the White House. Everybody was pretty shocked at Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA official predicted you know that by January 4 will be pretty much out of the woods, no one is understanding exactly how he came to that conclusion. It`s -- I guess some people just like, you know, walking on that that thin ice of extreme wishful thinking, which is more or less, I think what we`re dealing with here.


We all would like it to be over by January, but there`s not slightest shred of evidence. That`s not going to be -- that`s going to come true. And I think as much as all of us would like to see an end to this as quickly as possible. It`s a little out there to be saying that we`re going to be done with this in a couple of months.

WILLIAMS: Doctor, thank you for that. Ali Vitali, back over to you on the Hill. No polite way to ask this, when they pass the next bill, the Build Back Better bill, what is left of that for Joe Manchin to screw up?

VITALI: Well, he`ll certainly have changes. We`ve been talking to him about this for the last few weeks. There are many Democrats here who feel that that will screw it up, but that the larger pieces of it are still transformative in nature.

The thing that I think is really important here is paid leave specifically advocates here held a vigil for it last week when they thought that it was actually going to be out of the bill. The next day, they then found out that how Speaker Nancy Pelosi managed to shoehorn it back into the House version.

I ran over to Senator Joe Manchin`s office at that point, told him that those changes were being made. And he told me that it`s still very challenging for him to support this, in part because he doesn`t think that it abides by the rules of the reconciliation process. Apologies for using that forbidden word here. But also, because he thinks that this should be done in a bipartisan fashion as a standalone bill outside of this social spending package. I think really where the breakdown will come or could come on this Build Back Better package is the leverage that progressives in the House had on this was sort of holding the bipartisan infrastructure bill, in tandem with this Build Back Better Act, because they wanted to make sure that both pressed forward, and that there was momentum behind each of them.

They`ve now lost that leverage as soon as this bipartisan infrastructure bill passes. And what could happen in the Senate is that people like Senator Joe Manchin, have repeatedly said, they don`t feel the need to rush this. In fact, he has said repeatedly, let`s take the time to get this right.

Progressives, on the other hand, though, here in the House and in the Senate, would like to see movement on this quickly because you know this well, Brian, political momentum can vanish, especially as you get closer to midterm years, especially after you have nights like Tuesday in Virginia and New Jersey, where some Democrats start to question whether or not they actually have a mandate to do these kinds of sweeping changes. People can get policy cold feet, that`s what Democrats are trying to avoid by continuing to keep the pressure on here. The White House will certainly have a role to play in that. But this bill, make no mistake, even once it passes the House is going to look really different after the Senate is done with it.

WILLIAMS: And let`s keep up that graphic of the vote on the right. I`m being told that a couple of Democrats have gone over to vote against the bill Ilhan Omar, AOC, among them, but as Ali Vitali pointed out, there`s Republican crossover in an eight to five margin, which cancels out the loss of some of the Democrats, though the Democrats do not have a healthy cushion in the House of Representatives. But we`re seeing applause on the Democratic side of the aisle.

Jonathan Lemire coming right off of Ali Vitali`s comments, I want to read you something from our mutual friend Katty Kay today. She writes, White House and Congressional Democrats say no one will remember the process or the delays if/when these two bills pass. It`s a fair point. But at some stage, a reputation for competence gets harmed by all these public missed deadlines. And to Ali`s point, Jonathan, not to mention the Virginia governor`s race, could she be right here?

LEMIRE: Yeah, certainly that`s what the White House aides would like to think that Americans as we`ve been discussing, once these measures go into effect, that they will forget just the tortured process that got us there. I think I`m a little less certain of that. And other Democrats I`ve talked to close the White House and some on Capitol Hill are worried about it too.

But let`s remember, President Biden was elected, one of his key promises was to restore American`s faith in the government to show again, that the U.S. government, the U.S. bureaucracy could deliver for its citizens after the four tumultuous years of then President Trump, but also as an example for the rest of the world. So much of his guiding principle here is to show that democracies can be the best form of govern on the planet and be a bulwark an alternative to the sort of rising autocracies we see elsewhere namely in China and this process here is not exactly installed a lot of faith in the current U.S. system of government, particularly since the Democratic Party has both Houses of Congress and the White House.


So, I think there is some damage here. I think the months of bad headlines, you know, will pay, take some sort of toll. And certainly, I think it was this week, the bad headlines, the gridlock and the loss of Virginia`s we`re finally pushed Democrats to bridge at least temporarily some of their divides to get this done. So that`s across the negative, but the White House Bill, take the win. You can bet whether it`s tomorrow or by Monday, there`s going to be some sort of Rose Garden ceremony to sign the infrastructure bill and touted as a major accomplishment and rightly so a major accomplishment for this President.

WILLIAMS: Right quick back we go to Ali Vitali. Ali, we can do math, though these graphics don`t help a lot and they don`t come with a viewer`s guide. But armed with my high school degree, I can read that there`s 223 yeas, 202 nays that appears to look like a victory.

VITALI: And it is, we saw Speaker Pelosi high fiving some of her colleagues on the floor. We heard cheers from inside the chamber because this one was for all the marbles on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. And at this point, Democrats have done it officially.

WILLIAMS: All right, Ali Vitali, our reporter on the Hill with the call of the victory for the Democrats. They`re going to Tracy Chapman, this bill put it in a fast car drive down Pennsylvania Avenue and get it before the President ASAP so they can talk about a victory and deliverables to the American people.

Quick final question that Dr. Irwin Redlener with our thanks for hanging out with us. Doc, we have a story on this later in the hour, but I wanted to get you on the record on the Aaron Rodgers matter. He is, of course, an icon to football fans and Packers fans chief among them. And today, of course was in the news for not being vaccinated and added bonus he`s COVID positive.

REDLENER: Yeah, Brian. So, this is not like you or me or anybody that we know, simply decided not to get vaccinated. This is a major sports figure, an American hero to many young people, and others and for him to have been dishonest about the fact that he was not vaccinated. He called himself immunized to purposefully, you know, kind of deceive all of us that he actually was vaccinated, but he`s not. And on top of that, he`s taking a lot of medications now, because he`s been positive for COVID that have not been proven and are all of this is a big problem for somebody who should know better, who`s really in the public eye. And I think people in those kind of positions have to understand that the world at least in the United States is looking at him.

WILLIAMS: With our thanks to this panel, a great thanks as we just update our viewers, the infrastructure bill has passed. So, when you see the orange cones on I-95 on I-10 or if you`re in California, on the 10, please know that they dated back to this night, we`re going to have to go through a little localized pain to build parts of the failing infrastructure in our country back up but there you see the winning tally, to 228 to 204.

To Jonathan Lemire, Ali Vitali on the Hill, Dr. Irwin Redlener, our thanks for starting off our discussion tonight.

Coming up for us, further discussion of the vote we just witnessed the head knocking it took to get the Democrats together. And the talks that woman held all day today, including but not limited to twisting arms.

And then later, the first astronaut to go viral who isn`t a billionaire, we`ll get his take on the current space race, his new novel, and what it`s like to spend months at a time up there. All of it as the 11th Hour is just getting underway on a Friday night as we look at the National Cathedral in Washington where much of official Washington gathered today to say a final farewell to Colin Powell.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you worry that it starts to look like the Democrats can`t get out of their own way?

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) CALIFORNIA HOUSE SPEAKER: No Welcome to my world. This is the Democratic Party. Vitality and diversity is something that we all respect and admire. We are not a lockstep party. We are not just as speakers, one person and nobody else needs to show up. We`re in the best place ever today to be able to go forward.


WILLIAMS: Cute turn of phrase there but it`s a euphemism saying vitality and diversity are among the reasons this party has been unable to get out of its own way. As one of our next guests points out, that depends on how you define, of course, the best place ever when you hear the speaker.

Before tonight`s vote, the New York Times editorial board argued that Democrats better pass something ASAP. They wrote this in part, "Democrats agree about far more than they disagree about but it doesn`t look that way to voters after months and months of intra party squabbling, time to focus on and pass policies with broad support, or risk getting run out of office."

Important night to have these next two guests back with us, Don Calloway, Democratic Strategist, Founder of the National Voter Protection Action Fund, And Susan Del Percio, MSNBC Political Analyst, who is herself a veteran political strategist.

Well, good evening, and welcome to you both. Don, I got a tough one to start with here. There were several no votes on the part of the Democrats. So, names like Pressley, Tlaib, Omar AOC. I don`t know if you`ve been to AOC`s district, the infrastructure there isn`t perfect. Not everything gleams. How is she going to go back to New York and say, nah, we`re good with infrastructure, I voted no?

DON CALLOWAY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Because the people trust her, the people in her district trust her and know her enough to understand why she did it. And she did it because she didn`t feel like the human infrastructure piece was there sufficient that she would be -- that she would be confident and going back and giving her full-throated support to this. Brian, she also did this because she`s an astute political operative, and she understood that the votes would be there without her. Trust me, AOC young and she is equally savvy and understands that if her vote was needed to pass this infrastructure bill, she would have been on the yea side.


So, what she did was a statement vote to show that she wants the Democratic Party to go further left, to not assuage to the Manchins, to Sinemas, the Republicans, the moderates in the House and continue to edge right work. He feels like the bill should have gone further.

But let`s be clear, the people in her district are going to need the infrastructural upgrades that this bill provides. She knows that and she`s going to go home next week. And an act to, some could say political performance, some could say political duplicitous, but she`s going to go home next week and brag about what she and the members of the Democratic caucus passed this week. So, it`s all part of the political game. But if our vote was necessary, she would have done the right thing and voted for.

WILLIAMS: Susan, think of the lingo and terminology we have thrown around. We`ve been on the air for 30 minutes and 45 seconds. It brings us to the topic of messaging that we`ve been talking about all week separate and apart from this vote tonight. I want to read you what our colleague Stephanie Ruhle tweeted earlier today. These are tangible, Joe Biden White House accomplishments. One, vaccinations 2 million to 200 million. Two, jobs created 5 million. Three, wages up $2 an hour. Four, Dow up 5000 points. If Trump had one of these, he`d be wall to wall Rose Garden ceremonies, Primetime speeches, and parades. Susan, what is it? And I mean, this sincerely? Will they ever learn messaging?

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I see no proof that that will happen as of this point in time. And it`s hard because, you know, Republican`s boil things down into, you know, inflation, you`re facing inflation, whereas Democrats want to give you an economic 101 lesson into why you may see inflation, but it`s really not that bad. And it`s going to come down and don`t worry about it. Plus, we have this legislation that`s going to help. We`ve got your back, I`m telling you trust us. It doesn`t work like that, Brian.

People go to the grocery store, they see higher prices, they fill up their gas tank, it costs more. And they are not feeling the impact of what`s the actual good economic news, you -- and that`s what I think the issue is with Democrats` messaging is that they talk at their voters, instead of talking with them. Instead of I feel your pain. They say, I know what your pain is. And I`m here to fix it. That`s a problem.

WILLIAMS: I got one for you, Susan, Democrats could -- should consider this free advice from an ad man, this is Donny Deutsch, earlier on this network talking about what should happen.


DONNY DEUTSCH, "ON BRAND" PODCAST HOST: A simple ad that has different people saying, thank you, thank you for my new bridges. Thank you for my Medicaid, thank you for my pre-K and just like take it off one by one, but under an auspicious umbrella on the economic surge bill, or whatever we call it, but start with Build Back Better. Let`s just say right now, it was a sucky name.


WILLIAMS: Susan, interesting idea. Will anyone act on it?

DEL PERCIO: Well, I think what the Democrats seem to do is kind of break out of the traditional roadshow, if you will, you know, they keep saying President Biden wants to go on the road and sell this and tell the people how great it is. Except that`s not what always works in this day and age.

And right now, they do have to communicate with people instead of talking at people, as I said. How about this is government working for you? This is what we`re doing for you and say, here`s this plan, that plan. I mean, they can`t do it yet, because they haven`t passed the social net infrastructure part yet. But when it comes to bridges and tunnels, it`s really easy to show up at a groundbreaking with a shovel. And they need to show what that shovel means and how it`s going to help that community.

WILLIAMS: Well, we all grew up looking at those highway signs that said, say with me, your tax dollars at work, it was always at the end of the roadblock after you`ve lost two hours on your family vacation, as if to make you feel better when traffic freed up again.

Hey, Don, I understand you differed with Mr. Carville, who blamed stupid wokeness on so many of the problems that Democrats have had.

CALLOWAY: There comes a time I`m from St. Louis. I`m a big fan of the Spinks brothers. It was a sad day to seek Michael Spinks beat the tarnation out of Muhammad Ali for his last fight, but there comes a time when new leadership needs to take over if the future of the party is to survive. I think we might be at that place with Mr. Carville, I respect and honor his contributions to the Democratic Party but there`s no way that he can credibly look into a camera from his luxury home in Louisiana or Washington D.C. and say that wokeness is the problem with the Democratic Party.


You eliminate the entire energy, the growth sector of the party. So, my question to Mr. Carville is based upon the clip that I saw yesterday, is what party of the "woke agenda" excuse me, what part of the "woke agenda" is your problem? Is it the not include -- is it full inclusion of the LGBTQIA plus community? Is it full human infrastructure? What part are the wokerati wrong about? And I have my fights on Twitter, I get into it sometimes, because I don`t use my pronouns on Zoom meetings. But I don`t have a problem with the subject matter, the substance of where -- what he calls the woke folks are at. So, I wonder what part of the woke agenda is he railing against, what part of the woke agenda or he`s saying that Democrats should abandon and walk away from because fundamentally, what he`s saying is that there`s a section of people who should wait for their justice to be granted in this country to wait for their full acceptance and their full inclusion to be brought forth in this country.

And I really wonder who is he willing to look in the face and say, wait for your justice. As we know justice delayed is justice denied, full inclusion and full acceptance, and being fully included in the American family is a part of all of our self-actualization. So, I wonder what part of that Democrats should not be talking about, what part of that should Democrats not be campaigning on? And it`s easy for guys like Jim Carville, to look back and say, the Democrats have gone too far to the left or too far on the -- in favor of the woke crowd. And I just wonder what part of that he`s willing to say should be deferred another 5, 10, 15 years, while we placate moderates such as himself?

WILLIAMS: We will, in due time have Mr. Carville on and put to him all the questions you have asked here tonight.

Susan, I got one more for you. And it goes back to the sub theme of branding mandates, they have, of course become red meat, the word is radioactive. It is viewed differently. Surprise, surprise in the two nations we have become, is there an alternative?

DEL PERCIO: Well, the alternate -- it`s not necessarily an alternative. The fact is, is that we will see people, more people getting vaccinated, we will have our children going to schools, probably with a math -- with a vaccine mandate come September. But it is a sensitive issue that mobilizes people because it has become representative of the sense of less freedom of big government.

Right now, people are tired, they`re tired of COVID. They don`t want to be told what to do. Even if they`re vaccinated. They`re against the idea of a mandate. And, you know, even in New York City, we had a mayoral election, and Eric Adams who won was going to win by huge numbers, everyone knew it. But he wouldn`t get into the issue of mask -- of vaccine mandates. And I find that very interesting, because it goes to show you that there is a strain of the electorate out there, that they could be with you on a whole host of issues, but personal freedom. It`s a different thing.

Now, just for the record, Brian, I actually look at it this way. You are not allowed to drive drunk, you`re allowed to drink, and you`re allowed to stay at home. You`re not allowed to go on the road drunk because you can kill me or yourself. Therefore, you should be required to also have a vaccination if you want to go to the work on the subway, et cetera because you have to keep everybody safe. This is a societal issue.

WILLIAMS: You are you all heard it at home, don`t drive drunk, get the vaccine. What a Rock `em Sock `em night to be on the air after the House. I hope you`re sitting down voted tonight. Our thanks to Don Calloway, Susan Del Percio for talking about all of it. We`ll do this again.

Coming up for us, Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian to ever walk in space, one of the first astronauts to go truly viral. Now he`s the author of a new thriller. He is standing by to talk with us.




WILLIAMS: That was our next guest arguably next to Buzz Aldrin, the most famous living astronaut in the world that was shot back when he was living on the International Space Station about nine years ago. These days, thankfully for all of us, thankfully for all of us, he is back on Earth watching civilian space travel become reality. And so, with us tonight, retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, he`s the first Canadian to walk in space, flow on to shuttle missions, served importantly, as commander of the International Space Station. He`s a pilot, engineer, thinker, writer, author of several books, his latest is the Apollo Murders.

Commander, it`s a great treat to see you and talk to you again. So, I`m reading the book, having never lifted off and left the surly bonds of Earth, I come to Chapter 22, it felt like I was experiencing lift off, I have never read a more gripping or graphic account of 3400 gallons a second of rocket fuel burning 300 feet beneath where you`re seated. With that as our takeoff point, tell the folks at home who haven`t had the pleasure about the book and the idea that led you to it?

CHRIS HADFIELD, RETIRED ASTRONAUT: Brian, great to talk with you, you haven`t got to anything yet in that book, wait to see what`s coming. As you say I`ve flown in space three times and commanded the space station. And I just thought it would be such a rich way to share the experience of spaceflight to tell it not just through the factual books that I`ve written, but through fiction, to let see how different personalities would react, you know, and to have the tension of all of the things that just might have happened. And my objective, Brian, was to weave it in with so many real events of history so that you`ll find I think as you`re reading the book, you`re going to have a hard time sorting out, did this part really happen or not? And there are some things in there that even I was surprised to discover through recently declassified documents when I was putting the book together. And I`m just loving the fact that it`s out now and the reaction all around the world, a great article in The New York Times about it and it`s the best seller in several countries. So, I think you`re going to enjoy the rest of the book as well.


WILLIAMS: Indeed, congratulations to you. I noted those good reviews and knowing you were going to come on tonight. I`ve also been thinking about you a lot vis-a-vis what we`ve seen happening so called billionaire space travel. It occurs to me that when cars came out, there was some horror humping when people said, you know, not everybody are going to be able to drive in these things, they`ll get killed or take an eye out, did oh, when civilian started going up in biplanes, there were grumpy pilots saying, you know, this isn`t for everybody like that just right, right along, you`re going to get killed or take an eye out? Is this the dawn of a new era?

HADFIELD: Yeah, I think it`s really easy to get distracted by the lightning rod personalities of some of the billionaires in the world right now, that`s naturally distracting. But the technology is the really important thing, just like the car and the airplane. And what`s happened, the reason now, it`s no longer only trillionaires flying in space, you know, the Soviet Union, the United States, like in the book, but the fact that the price is coming down is because the technology has gotten so much better, and simpler and safer, just like with cars and airplanes, that it`s opening all sorts of new opportunities for space commerce, the stuff that we count on, you know, for, for GPS for navigation, and weather forecasting, and communications and internet from space and understanding the changes to the world. That`s what this really is allowing, and maybe some space tourism as well.

And yeah, we`re still going to put some eyes out, it`s still early days, and then we need a lot more regulation. You know, just like had to happen with cars and with airplanes to make it safe. But we`re at a pretty interesting time in history. And to listen to Bill Shatner come back and just pour forth emotion of how this shifted his whole perception of the fragility of our atmosphere and the kind of the perspective of the world and he only had a 10 or 15-minutes spaceflight, I think that side of it is really important too. Brian.

WILLIAMS: To our viewers, a couple of notes, if you want to read the nonfiction real deal, what it`s like in space, look at Chris Hadfield, his previous books, if fear is something you deal with in your life, look up Commander Hatfield`s TED talk on that same topic. It`s been viewed millions of times and also before we say goodbye, look at his lapel that is the order of Canada, which means he`s probably the greatest Canadian export to the world since Marty Short.

Commander, it`s great to see you. It`s great to have you. The book is in my hand. It is called the Apollo Murders. It is in stores. It is wherever you buy your books right now. Great honor to have Commander Chris Hadfield back on our broadcast tonight. Thank you so much.

And coming up for us, the news today from the world of sports, it had nothing to do with sports. It had a lot more to do with vaccines.



WILLIAMS: As we mentioned earlier, number 12 there Aaron Rodgers is in the news not for anything good. He just happens to be having a spectacular season. He`s been thrilling to watch this year. By extension, his Green Bay Packers are having a great year. But don`t look for him in the lineup Sunday when they take on Mr. Mahomes and the Chiefs because Aaron Rodgers is in trouble and has COVID, oh, and he`s also unvaccinated. Our report tonight from NBC News Correspondent Miguel Almaguer.


MIGUEL ALMAGUER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT MIGUEL (voice-over): Former Super Bowl Champions League MVP and the face of the NFL Aaron Rodgers is breaking his silence after testing positive for COVID.

Aaron Rodgers: I didn`t feel great yesterday.

ALMAGUER: On the Pat McAfee show the 37-year-old Green Bay Packers quarterback discuss taking monoclonal antibodies and ivermectin, a drug the FDA advises against using because of the risk of serious illness. It`s often used to treat livestock.

RODGERS: I believe strongly in bodily autonomy, and the ability to make choices for your body.

ALMAGUER: Roger says he consulted with controversial podcaster Joe Rogan and revealed he never took one of the three authorized vaccines.

RODGERS: I`m not, you know, some sort of anti-vax flat earther. I am somebody who`s a critical thinker.

ALMAGUER: This after telling the media over the summer he was protected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you vaccinated and what`s your stance on vaccinations?

RODGERS: Yeah, I`m in immunized.

ALMAGUER: Today Rodgers who said the woke mob tried to cancel him insisting he was not misleading the public.

RODGERS: My plan was to say that I`ve been immunized. It wasn`t some sort of ruse or lie it was the truth.

ALMAGUER: He says he`s allergic to ingredients and mRNA vaccines and was concerned about J&J side effects. So, he received an immunization protocol not scientifically proven to provide immunity against COVID. Now sidelined for at least 10 days, Rogers` loss may stretch beyond the football field, impacting his public perception after fumbling his handling of his vaccination status. Miquel Almaguer, NBC News.


WILLIAMS: And coming up for us, it turns out listening to a leaf blower would have made more sense than what the news media was actually invited to this place to hear.



WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight, where were you when you first heard of four seasons total landscaping, more than perhaps any other single campaign event the press conference in front of their garage door in Northeast Philadelphia, nestled between a sex shop and a crematorium was truly emblematic of the makeup as you go along ethos of the Trump campaign.

Rudy Giuliani the Black Goo secretor in chief standing in front of microphones at a yard care business. We hardly had time back then to ask why what with them busy trying to steal an election and us busy trying to cover all the crazy. But now it`s all neatly explained in a new documentary airing on this network this coming Sunday night. It`s centered around the owners and employees of four seasons total landscaping, who were just living their lives, quite literally minding their own business in northeast Philly when they got the call that they had been selected somehow to host a press conference for the President`s campaign. Four days after the election. Here`s the trailer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re a landscaping company. We`re experts in ground maintenance, irrigation, seeding planning, not press conferences.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would the president`s lawyers hold a press conference, a landscaping company?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a pretty quick setup. Obviously, you saw it was on TV. It was a landscape construction yard.

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER ATTORNEY TO DONALD TRUMP: Wow. What a beautiful day. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just had no idea what we were in.

GIULIANI: Oh, my goodness, all the network.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember, yes. can we make a mistake?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a lot of haters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have 1010 new messages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It created a lot of fear of what the future holds for four seasons total landscaping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got put into a corner and we use our humor to get us out of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, all the networks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They made a joke out of everything because it was funny to us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s an American underdog story.


WILLIAMS: For good reason, it is called Four Seasons total documentary, it airs 10 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday night. The new time after we all turn our clocks back don`t forget one hour this weekend.

On that note that is our broadcast for this Friday night and for this week with our thanks for being here with us, have a great weekend unless you have other plans. On behalf of all our colleagues at the networks of NBC News, good night.