Slain Police Officer Sicknick lies in honor at the Capitol. House managers file brief with case against Trump, his attorneys submit documents outlining defense. Most Senate GOP voted to dismiss Trump impeachment trial. Some House GOP want to penalize Rep. Cheney for voting to impeach. House GOP Leader, Kevin McCarthy is under pressure to rebuke Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. Senate Democrats move to fast-track Biden COVID Aid Bill. Axios detailed Trump Oval Office meeting on conspiracy theories that went off the rails.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Well, good evening once again, day 14 of the
Biden administration and this day ended indeed on a somber and emotional
note, as we`ve been reporting moments ago, President Biden left the U.S.
Capitol after paying his respects with the first lady at his side to U.S.
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, whose remains lie and under in honor
under the rotunda. Officer Sicknick, who was also a U.S. military veteran
became only the fifth civilian in our nation`s history to be afforded this
honor. He was of course, one of five people who died after the violent
attack that looted and desecrated our very Capitol building on January 6.
We are also one week out from the former president`s second impeachment
trial, this time on the charge of inciting that insurrection at the
Capitol. We now know how House impeachment managers plan to make the case
to convict the former president and what his own attorneys plan to offer as
This morning, those House managers filed a sweeping 80 page pre-trial brief
that lays out in rather stark terms. The events leading up to that riot
that day, noting "Trump`s singular responsibility for that tragedy. After
losing the 2020 election, President Trump refused to accept the will of the
American people. He spent months asserting without evidence that he won in
a landslide and that the election was stolen. President Trump announced a,
`Save America Rally` on January 6. He promised it would be wild. He
summoned a mob to Washington exhorted them into a frenzy and aim them like
a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue."
So hours later, Trump`s defense attorneys filed a 14 page response of their
own to the House article of impeachment, which, by the way, included a typo
on the cover page addressed to the U.S. Senate and misspelling the United
States. Trump`s lawyers asserted the constitution, "requires that a person
actually hold office to be impeached and that Trump exercised his first
amendment right to express his belief that the election results were
suspect. Insufficient evidence exists to conclude that the 45th President
statements were accurate or not, and he therefore denies they were false
and denied that the phrase, if you don`t fight like hell, you`re not going
to have a country anymore, had anything to do with the action at the
Capitol, as it was clearly about the need to fight for election security."
The majority of Senate Republicans agree with at least one part of this
argument that the trial is somehow unconstitutional because Trump is no
longer in office. Last week, indeed, they voted to toss out the trial on
those grounds despite the fact that their chamber, some of their own desks
were ransacked. Today their leaders signal that issue could be a deciding
factor against convicting Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you go into the impeachment trial still having an
open mind about the president`s conduct?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY MINORITY LEADER: Well, look I want to
listen to the arguments. The issue upon which we already voted, I think
it`s an interesting constitutional question. They would listen to the
lawyers argue the question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: On the other side of the Capitol, the House Republican leader
Kevin McCarthy is under pressure to publicly reprimand Georgia
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, the QAnon believer who spread
conspiracy theories and endorsed political violence. Greene who also has
Trump`s backing met with McCarthy just tonight. McCarthy is also facing
calls to punish Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney for voting to impeach
Donald Trump. Cheney in the leadership, number three Republican in the
House. Her fate as well as Congresswoman Greene`s will be discussed at
private meetings among Republicans on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer moving forward on Biden`s
nearly $2 trillion COVID relief bill. The Senate today voted right along
party lines with Democrats edging out Republicans 50/49 to open debate on
the bill. This comes just a day after Biden met with a group of Senate
Republicans in the Oval Office proposing a much smaller they were $600
billion measure. Today Schumer revealed what Biden told him about that
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK MAJORITY LEADER: He said that he told
Senate Republicans that the $600 billion that they proposed was way too
small. I think it is his belief, it is Secretary Yellen`s belief, it is our
belief. If we did a package that small, we`d be mired in the COVID crisis
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: NBC News reporting the White House wants to get a relief bill
passed by the 14th of March. That`s the date when extended unemployment
benefits run out for millions of Americans. And if necessary, they are
willing to do it without Republican support.
Biden now has two more cabinet members Senate has confirmed Alejandro
Mayorkas as Homeland Security Secretary while Pete Buttigieg was confirmed
as Secretary of Transportation, thus becoming the first LGBTQ cabinet
member in our nation`s history.
The President also issued three more executive orders today dismantling
Trump`s America first immigration agenda. Part of that includes
establishing a task force designed to reunite families separated at the
U.S., Mexico border. Today while signing the orders, the president defended
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: I want to make it clear, there`s a lot of
talk we could reason about the number of executive orders that I have
signed. I`m not making new law. I`m eliminating bad policy, but we`re going
to work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration
that literally not figuratively rip children from the arms of their
families to remove the stain on our reputation for what these separations
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: With that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests on this Tuesday
night, Ashley Parker, Pulitzer Prize-winning White House Bureau Chief for
The Washington Post, Melissa Murray, she`s an NYU Law Professor and clerked
for Sonia Sotomayor while she was on the federal bench, the U.S. Court of
Appeals, and we welcome to the broadcast Josh Wingrave, White House
Reporter for Bloomberg News.
Good evening, and welcome to you all. Ashley, I`d like to begin with you
some real emotion and solemnity in the Capitol tonight. And the timing, of
course, is interesting, a week from tonight, the first day of the second
Senate trial will be over, we`ll be talking about that. Given the fact that
the new president really wants the support of the other party, what is the
atmosphere if you had to sum it up in the capitol city tonight?
ASHLEY PARKER, THE WASHINGTON POST, WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF: Well, what
we`re seeing tonight, in some ways is a bit of what the impeachment
managers would like to put on display during the Senate trial. And again,
as you saw tonight, as I think we should expect to see you next week, you
don`t need to guild this. You don`t need to over produce this. You don`t
need to hype this, the horror and the devastation of that day, that January
6 day, the insurrection against the United States Capitol by an angry mob,
egged on by a president spewing misinformation and conspiracy theories is
sort of enough the solemnity and again, the horror, that`s what they hope
they can get these senators to not even understand but frankly to remember
and relive that gravity as they are weighing how to vote in this
WILLIAMS: Professor, I`ll say this, so you don`t have to speak ill of a
fellow lawyer. The President has struggled to get top tier legal
representation actually for some time now. As we saw over this past
weekend, five lawyers walked off the task. Today, it is an unpardonable
offence to misspell the United States in your lead brief laying out your
defense in a Senate trial. That aside, I also want to read you a quote from
the President`s attorney, Mr. Schoen. This is from the New York Times. He
added that he believed that a conviction of Mr. Trump by the Senate risked
shilling the rights on any passionate speakers. We can`t control the
reaction of the audience, he said. Mr. Schoen pointed to another potential
argument that could help Mr. Trump won not related to free speech that at
least some of the Trump supporters who stormed the capital plan their
attack in advance, suggesting that Mr. Trump was not inciting force. Of
course, Trump was part of the build up four days prior to that.
Professor, once and for all let`s talk about limits on free speech because
we`re going to be talking about this probably for the next two weeks. Where
do my limits, my word is my right to free speech impinge upon your rights
as a free citizen?
MELISSA MURRAY, NYU LAW PROFESSOR: So the first thing to remember, Brian,
is that the First Amendment is a restraint on government from imposing on
the rights of private citizens. So there is a broader question of whether
the First Amendment is indeed a defense for a government official facing
accountability for his actions while in office -- in response, irrelevant
that though, is the broader question of what are limits on the First
Amendment? And it`s very clear that the First Amendment is not a defense
for speech that incites violence. And so arguably, that is what we have
here, for which even if the President was not a government official, there
would be no defense that would fall under the First Amendment.
WILLIAMS: Josh, it`s great to have you on the broadcast. So the White House
is on the record today as saying they will go this alone, if need be
straight up and down party line vote, but they really would rather get some
crossover support from across the aisle?
JOSH WINGRAVE, BLOOMBERG NEWS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah, and they`ve also
said today, that 1.9 trillion still remains their number. Of course, that
is a big gap from what those Republicans who the President hosted yesterday
are looking for. They did sort of plant some flags today. Jen Psaki, the
White House press secretary said, for instance, they think dual income
household making 120 grand should qualify, that could be a bit of a
negotiating point, because right now, the threshold is 150. So you kind of
have to sift through it here. And there, you see chances for negotiation,
maybe, or at least a show. It`s unclear to me whether Republicans were
attempting to use the president with yesterday`s meeting, or vice versa.
But at the end of the day, there are all kinds of signs that the Democrats
are prepared to press ahead unilaterally on this. I mean, they just see it
as so core to not only their agenda and their campaign message, but to
success, excuse me of Biden`s presidency early on in these early months.
Remember, they inherited a pandemic that was much worse than they thought
it was going to be on Election Day.
WILLIAMS: Ashley, this next question is a little bit off your beat, but it
deals with something we`re going to discuss later in the hour. And that is
the Republican brand these days. When you think about it, Leader McCarthy
has this dual problem, a push in his membership, to punish his number three
and management, daughter of the former Vice President, at large
Congresswoman in Wyoming, there`s only one congressional district and she`s
it at the same time, a push from larger society at all, to perhaps punish
by removing committee assignments for a full on QAnon believer, and I guess
that sums up the Republican caucus in the House in a nutshell.
PARKER: It sure does, Brian. And it is sort of the existential crisis
facing the Republican Party. And what it reminds me of to reach back to the
sort of near past is the 2010 Tea Party movement, right? Where you had --
there was sort of a Faustian bargain and some political opportunism there
with the Republican Party because they saw these candidates, who were not
necessarily in the mainstream of the party were on the fringe in certain
ways. And they saw a way to win.
And so you had two things happen. One was in solidly conservative
districts, states that should have gone for Republicans. These outlier
candidates won primaries and then lost in a general election, hurting the
Republican Party, of course.
And then you did have some victories, right? They won a lot of seats. But
what that led to with the Republican caucus, was John Boehner, who was
speaker at the time, he was in power. And he was always getting stymied and
having to negotiate with the House Freedom Caucus, these hardline members
who came in on that wave and sort of did not espouse traditional
conservative principles in language and behavior. And that very well could
be the case again. It`s too early to tell, right? McCarthy is grappling
with this in real time, sort of in very highly public fashion, but that
very much seems where the party is headed. Because even though members
privately will say what, someone like Marjorie Taylor Greene is saying with
QAnon, and all the other deeply problematic statements they don`t agree
with. They`re so terrified of alienating her supporters who are sort of
writ large Trump supporters in many ways that they may let the party get
pulled in that direction. That is not just dangerous for the country,
potentially, but dangerous for the Republican Party.
WILLIAMS: Hey, Professor, AOC last night, shared a personal moment on
Instagram Live, part of extended comments her experience on 1/6. As a
result, she had what I think was received as a real moment of personal
power, and it was matched today by several members of Congress. I want to
play for you, Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California who of course
survived multiple gunshot wounds in Jonestown Guiana, and talked about that
day and all of it in context.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JACKIE SPEIER, (D) CALIFORNIA: I was on that gallery floor and told
to, you know, lie down on there. And then I heard the shot ring out and it,
yeah, of course, it took me back in time. And I remember lying my cheek on
the cold marble floor and thinking, can this be happening? Am I going to
die in my own country in this sacred temple of democracy when I survived in
the jungles of Guyana?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: So Professor, I guess my point is, we`ve heard from these two
powerful members of Congress and 24 hours. So many members of Congress are
witnesses to what happened. This is going to be tried with senators sitting
at desks that were rummaged through. What about calling witnesses? What
should our viewers know about that decision about that choice?
MURRAY: Well, to be clear, it was never going to be the case that this
impeachment trial was like any other ordinary criminal trial or any other
civil trial or proceeding, it always had an element of political theater to
it. It didn`t have the same kinds of standards as criminal trials or the
same evidentiary requirements. It was in a completely different animal, and
this one will be even more so. We have never had an impeachment trial of a
former president that was based on claims of an insurrection against the
And so the trauma of that day is certainly part of the narrative. It is
laced in the briefs that the House managers filed. It is part of the
defense that the President himself has lodged in his own defense. And it
will be part of the narrative here. And these are jurors who are not like
ordinary jurors. They are partisan in many different respects. But they are
especially partisan in that, they were there. They saw this. They knew what
happened. And unlike any other American they more than anyone else can bear
witness to what happened on that day. And it would be relevant, I think,
for the American public to hear what exactly it was like to be in that
chamber on that day.
WILLIAMS: Josh, also relevant sometimes is APMEX atmospherics, if I can get
the word out, the stuff we can`t see at home, but you can feel being there.
I noted, you and Jen Psaki got into it a little bit today at the briefing,
but I`m tempted to ask what is it like? What`s the contrast like? What is
the vibe, like? What`s the information flow like covering this still 14 day
old White House?
WINGRAVE: Yeah, I think the jury is still out a little bit, the proverbial
jury, you know, the daily briefings obviously, have made quite a
difference. But this White House still hasn`t really decided what kind of
distinction it wants to draw compared to Trump. They, you know, even in
cases where they have a very clear distinction, like managing the pandemic,
which the President -- then President Trump took every opportunity he could
to minimize, they have been caught over their skis a couple times. And you
know, today, the incidents you mentioned, was about whether they`ll keep
the space force and entire branch of the military, which I, you know, I
obviously didn`t think was an out of the realm question. And they`ve since
clarified that they might bring folks up to do a briefing on that. So they
seem to be settling in, right, you know, the rallying cry for Democrats in
particular, the sort of factions of the party with get Trump out. And since
they`ve taken over, I think they`re sort of trying to figure out a new
Northstar for themselves. But I mean, it definitely is different, you know,
fewer people, for instance, they have Plexiglas barriers on their desks.
They have masks, often to mask at all times. Needless to say, this is a
sharp divergence from yesterday, and just tonight, we were with the
President when he went to the Capitol of course, with Officer Sicknick`s
lying in the -- in honor in the in the rotunda.
And in bringing the press pool, I don`t remember a lot of times traveling
with President Trump where he left the press pool.
WILLIAMS: Interesting, all of it, interesting, all of it relevant. Terrific
to have our big three with us to start off tonight, Ashley Parker,
Professor Melissa Murray, Josh Wingrave, again, welcome, and our thanks to
the three of you.
Coming up, the White House says your chances of getting the vaccine will
increase, in just a matter of days. I`ll ask one of the President`s
coronavirus advisors if that`s fast enough, considering the needs.
And later, you know a story is going to be good when the first sentence is
for conspiracy theorists walk into the Oval Office. We will bring you
details from a new report about what might be the most troubling meeting of
the Trump presidency if indeed such a thing can be determined. All of it as
our broadcast is just getting underway on this Tuesday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: Starting on
February 11, the federal government will deliver vaccines directly to
select pharmacies across the country. This will provide more sites for
people to get vaccinated in their communities and it`s an important
component to delivering vaccines equitably.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: This may be a slow rolling game changer here, this new effort by
the administration to get more vaccines into more Americans. The goal isn`t
just to get them distributed but also getting them into underserved
Political reporting today, just 5% of all vaccinations have gone to black
Americans despite equity efforts. For more we`re happy to welcome back to
the broadcast tonight Dr. Celine Gounder, Clinical Assistant Professor of
Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the NYU School of Medicine and Bellevue
Hospital in New York. She serves on the President`s Coronavirus Advisory
Doctor, let`s talk about this racial disparity. No one paying attention in
the year 2021 should really be surprised by it, but we also know it`s not
like we`re going to just start treating everyone equally starting tomorrow.
So how do you combat it? And is your local CVS, Walgreens one way because
it makes this vaccine more approachable?
CELINE GOUNDER, MEMBER OF BIDEN`S COVID-19 TASK FORCE: Brian, I think
before we start proposing solutions, we need to understand what the source
of the problem is. And is this a problem of access? Is this a problem of
vaccine hesitancy? I suspect it`s some of both based on what I`m seeing on
the ground among healthcare workers who can get the vaccine in their place
of work at the hospital, we are seeing significant differences among
different racial groups as to whether they`re getting vaccinated. And I
think that is a marker of hesitancy. You cannot steamroll through what are
very legitimate reasons for not trusting the system. And the really the
only way to repair that trust is to make real change, to address long
standing historical inequities. And that`s simply not going to happen
WILLIAMS: Yeah, that`s going to take up continued public education
campaign. You`re right. I want to play you some of Dr. Fauci`s comments to
Chris Hayes on this network earlier tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND
INFECTIOUS DISEASES: One of the wildcards, Chris, that we have to keep an
eye on the mutations, the mutants that are out there, because if they
become dominant, that then could lead to another surge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Doctor, I don`t need to tell you these mutations scare the hell
out of everybody. They scare the hell out of people who`ve already perhaps
had their first shot, people hanging all their hopes on their two vaccine
shots. How should people view this?
GOUNDER: Look, I`m not an alarmist. But this is as scared as I have been
since the beginning of the pandemic. We have several variants that we`re
worried about. We have one from the U.K., which is more transmissible, so
that means it spreads more easily from one person to another. That means
more cases, more hospitalizations, more deaths. We have two other variants,
one out of South Africa, one out of Brazil, those are concerning, because
the immune response triggered by the vaccines seem to be less protective,
still effective, but less protective, trending in the wrong direction
against those mutant strains.
And now we`re seeing a hybrid mutant, which has some characteristics of the
U.K. variant as well as some of the South African variants. So not only
more transmissible, but also evading some to some degree the immune
response triggered by the vaccine. So this is really a problem. And we need
to be slowing spread of the virus, whether it`s through vaccination, or all
of the other things we`ve been doing all along as quickly as possible.
WILLIAMS: Is there also going to come a time of people living in various
states are waiting for all their seniors and frontline medical workers to
get the vaccine? Will there come a day when in your state they say, OK,
ages 16 to 65, general population, come on out, it`s all yours.
GOUNDER: There will eventually come a time perhaps later this summer, but I
think right now, my key message would be, especially with the rise of these
variants. This is not the time to let down your guard, you absolutely need
to double down on the masking, the social distancing, the good ventilation,
sticking to your household bubbles, all of that stuff needs to continue
until we can get everybody vaccinated.
WILLIAMS: I have not heard you quite as alarmed. You`re right since the
very start of this coming up on a year ago, Dr. Celine Gounder, thank you
as always, for coming on the broadcast and taking our questions. We always
Coming up for us, new reporting on what`s being dubbed the craziest meeting
of the Trump presidency. And yes, it is tough to pick just one.
WILLIAMS: Axios is out with a stunning new piece of journalism on what it
calls the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency. It is the work of
Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu and it must be read to be believed.
The December 18th meeting included lawyer Sidney Powell and Trump`s newly
pardoned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Axios reports
Trump was obsessed with election conspiracy theories, while White House
staffers considered at all quote, an unending sea of garbage churned up by
the bottom feeders. They go on to say what Flynn and Powell were proposing
amounted to suspending normal laws and mobilizing the U.S. government to
seize Dominion voting machines around the country. That gang is how close
For more, we are joined by Mark McKinnon, former adviser to both George W.
Bush and John McCain, among others. He is now one of the co-hosts, one
would say co-stars of the circus on Showtime. And Michael Steele, former
chairman of the Republican National Committee, former lieutenant governor
of the great state of Maryland. Now the star of the Michael Steele Podcast,
gentlemen, good evening to you both.
Mark, I`d like to begin with you. I am indeed a loyal circus viewer.
Hopefully, in this atmosphere freed of John Heilemann, you`ll be able to
let your flag fly. I`ll start with this cuckoo Axios article along the way,
they mentioned what many people feared and suspected that during this time,
Trump had basically cast aside the business of being president, the
business of our country, and indeed was obsessing over this and just this.
George Conway said tonight, we are watching the moral collapse of the
Republican Party. Mark, do you concur with that?
MARK MCKINNON, FMR. ADVISER TO JOHN MCCAIN AND GEORGE W. BUSH: Oh, I do,
Brian. I think the party has been clawing its way to the bottom for a while
now. We`re at completely a dysfunction junction. The story that of Axios is
incredible. If we pitched the circus as fiction five years ago, we would
have been thrown out. But I guarantee you there`s 10 Hollywood pitches
based on the story from Axios in the last 24 hours, it`s a stunning story.
And what`s amazing is a first of all, what you said is that the President
checked out completely was not running the country, he was trying to figure
out a way to save himself. And if you think about the --secondly, I`d say
that I think Axios is bugged the White House. I mean, that`s sourcing they
have, it`s just incredible.
So I recommend everybody read it to believe it, and you still won`t believe
it. But it strikes me that if you had a medical equivalent of lawyers, but
it was that you had a bunch of medical physicians in the White House, who
said, you`re going to die. And so Trump refuses to believe that and brings
another physician said, give me a second opinion, give me a third opinion.
And then you had these legal freaks come in and basically say, well, yeah,
just inject a bunch of chlorine in your veins or put light in your, your
eyeballs or something.
And so he was just willing to bring in anybody who would tell him anything
he wanted to hear, no matter how crazy it was, in order to overturn the
WILLIAMS: Michael Steele, I don`t remember much about high school psych
class. I do remember cognitive dissonance, and that`s a term we`re going to
be dusting off a week from now when think of it, Republican members of the
Senate, some of them sitting at desks, that were ransacked in a chamber
that was ransacked, are going to tell themselves not to buy the case, the
democratic impeachment managers are making. Michael, what if Trump faces no
MICHAEL STEELE, FMR. RNC CHAIRMAN: Well, that is very likely, Brian that he
won`t face consequences, because members of the U.S. Senate will sit at
those very same desks. And they will continue to do the bidding of Donald
Trump. They think that their political calculation as they begin to set up
2022 is that by just letting it go away, ignoring it, not drawing a lot of
attention to it, it will keep Trump relatively at bay, it will keep the
Trump base that rabid part of his base, relatively at bay. Because they
don`t want to see happen in their states or in their districts what`s been
happening to Liz Cheney, who is an honorable member of Congress, who was an
honorable Republican who took the risk of standing up for her country, over
the insanity of this president and his insistence that the election was
They unlike her will fall duly in line. The fact that is taken speaker
McCarthy, I mean, he gives Hamlet a whole new storyline to be or not to be
to, do what I do. I mean, dude, get a grip. This is not complicated.
And to very much what Mark was talking about, you can`t script this out in
real life, yet. In fact, it is real. And we saw the dire consequences from
what Trump has wrought on January 6, and yet still, you will have a
significant majority of the Republican members of the Senate say it really
didn`t happen that way.
WILLIAMS: Hey, Mark, quick question before a break, when you think about
it, they took the Capitol, the writers took the Capitol, they took
possession of the building temporarily. Is there any in your view? Any
getting Republicans to conviction votes?
MCKINNON: I don`t think so, Brian. I mean, I think they`re locked in we had
the Rand Paul vote, which was, you know, kind of a smoke signal to the
chimney to all Republicans. And so we know that 45 senators are very likely
to vote against. I don`t think I, you know, I can`t imagine what will
happen between now and then it`s going to change that outcome.
WILLIAMS: All right. Both of these good gentlemen have agreed to stay with
us while I fit in a break. Coming up, Congresswoman QAnon and the fate of
the party that welcomed her to Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL ROVE, EPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: If you believe that the Jews control a
space laser that starts fires in Northern California, and that there`s some
unnamed high ranking government official who`s got a heretofore unknown
security classification called Q and all the nutty things that flow with
that you should be taken off the prestigious House Education Labor
Committee and confined to the dark recesses of the furthest building away
from the House floor, and then let the voters decide in the next election.
She has a problem for our party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: What a shame we have to get religion mixed up with our space
lasers, longtime Republican political strategist, Karl Rove on his party`s
Marjorie Taylor Greene problem. Tonight remaining with us, Mark MacKinnon
and Michael Steele.
Michael, this was notable this quote because of where it originated, The
Wall Street Journal editorial board tonight and I quote, If bowing before
all things Trump is the litmus test for being a loyal Republican, the party
should get used to continued losses in the suburbs. This falls right in
with the conversation we were having before the break. What do you say to
suburban voters when you`ve got to be on a national ticket in four years?
She was -- we were just -- we were kidding about the space lasers?
STEELE: Well, let`s put this all together this way. If you continue on the
road, you`re on it. And if you believe that, that you`d rather have
Marjorie Taylor Jones, over a Liz Cheney, that you would prefer to embrace
QAnon, and Proud Boys and white nationalism, if you would prefer to ignore
the realities of what Trump incited on January 6, and you plan to go into
2022, 2024, 2026 on the net to say is lose baby lose. Because that`s
exactly all, that`s all you got left. Because there`s no way the country
looks at you and say, you can govern anything, if that`s the kind of people
and leadership that you want to get behind and support.
WILLIAMS: So Mark McKinnon, are you capable of surprise anymore where this
party is concerned? And I`m joking, but it`s a serious question. What`s
going to be the brand, because sooner or later, they`re going to need to
run on something. And as the journal notes, it`s suburban voters that they
have to concentrate on look at the numbers from last time.
MCKINNON: No question, Brian. And that`s coming out and Trump`s own polling
now that`s been leaked. That shows that he lost the election not because
there was election fraud but because he had problems in the suburbs.
Exactly what you`re pointing out.
And here`s the problem for the Republican Party, there was actually an
opportunity here because you take Trump off the ballot. And you look at
what happened in 2020. Republicans exceeded expectations by a lot in the
House and by a good bit in the Senate, even though they ended up losing it.
The fact is, Republicans without the Trump overlay have a lot of
opportunity and a lot of possibility in 2022. But if you put Trump back
squarely in the equation, which he is doing, and then you overlay Marjorie
Taylor Greene, and her ilk, you`ve got a huge problem. And that`s why Karl
Rove and others are speaking out very forcefully.
I`m actually encouraged by the extent to which not just sort of
establishment Republicans, but even like, kind of the young leadership of
the Republican Party, people like Dan Crenshaw, and others, they`re
throwing a flare as well. I think everybody realizes, and are realizing
quickly and Republican Party that she is a big, big problem.
WILLIAMS: So Michael Steele, give me 30 seconds your prediction of what
comes out of the meeting with leadership, what happens to her in the House?
STEELE: It just -- it really depends Brian on just how much internal
pressure there is within the whole caucus House and Senate for Kevin
McCarthy to sit her down. And Karl Rove`s words, set her aside in the
farthest building away from the House floor.
But the problem is, you have 140 some members of that House caucus, who
stand with her who are just as QAnon crazy and Trump obsessed as she is.
And so I don`t know how he weathers that, how he has that kind of a force
inside his own caucus, because at the end of the day, he still wants to be
speaker of the house.
WILLIAMS: This is why I think of you guys all the time. Along with all of
our other guests. These are strange times we`re living in. Mark McKinnon,
Michael Steele, what a pleasure having you gentlemen together and on our
broadcast. Thank you. I`m tipping my figurative hat back at you.
Coming up, the world`s richest man is quitting his day job when THE 11TH
WILLIAMS: Let`s talk about a guy. He knew what the internet could do before
most Americans knew how to send an email. Harnessing its potential made him
a very wealthy, very famous man, who also left a string of small businesses
in his wake.
Jeff Bezos announced today he is stepping down as CEO of Amazon and make no
mistake for all the critics. Amazon changed the world and kept millions of
American households afloat during the pandemic to the tune of $100 billion
in sales just the last quarter. More on the Bezos announcement tonight from
NBC News correspondent Jo Ling Kent.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
JO LING KENT, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After more than 25 years
and billions in sales, Jeff Bezos is leaving his post to CEO this summer
handing the reins of the massive disrupter he built to Andy Jassy, the
current head of Amazon Web Services, and an internal email. Bezos, who will
become executive chair said I intend to focus my energies and attention on
new products and early initiatives. I`m excited about this transition.
Early in his career, Bezos left his job in finance, founding Amazon in
1994. He spoke with NBC News about that career move in 1999.
JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON CEO: But I might really have regretted not having
participated in this thing called the internet that I thought was going to
be a really big deal.
KENT: And it was what began as an online bookseller grew fast.
BEZOS: Work hard, have fun make history is our motto.
KENT: Ultimately becoming a mega online retailer with more than a million
BRAD STONE, BLOOMBERGE NEWS SENIOR EDITOR AND AUTHOR: He`s almost
singularly responsible for every major thing that they`ve done over the
past 25 years.
KENT: The company is often criticized for undercutting small businesses by
aggressively lowering prices. Bezos is now one of the richest people in the
world. His recent divorce from McKenzie Scott was one of the most expensive
ever after his affair with Lauren Sanchez was splashed across the tabloids.
Bezos says he isn`t retiring, but after decades of overseeing every major
project, he`ll be taking a major step back.
(on camera): Bezos will also stay involved with the Washington Post, which
he owns and Blue Origin his private space company, Amazon, meanwhile, is
facing antitrust investigations that will likely fall to the new CEO.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
WILLIAMS: Our thanks to Jo Ling Kent for that report from Los Angeles. And
coming up, just as elections have consequences, lawsuits due to something
you`re gong to want to see when we come back.
WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight. Spare a thought for Fox News.
They enjoyed the hard earned and richly deserved nickname of state run
television during the Trump years when their anchors seemed to be anchoring
just for Trump.
They still are witness Tucker Carlson last night standing up for the QAnon
congresswoman. But the tragic part is a sizable chunk of their audience has
moved on. After Trump turned on Fox 4 correctly calling Arizona for Biden
and turn networks like OAN and Newsmax they now anchor directly at Trump.
But we learned today even Newsmax has limits, because the folks at Dominion
Voting Systems have real good real aggressive lawyers. Here`s how this went
on Newsmax today when their two anchors welcomed their next guest, the
chopped foam pillow maker and Trump Oval Office advisor Mike Lindell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened with your Twitter account and the
MIKE LINDELL, TRUMP OVAL OFFICE ADVISOR: Well, first mine was taken down
because we have all the election properties, Dominion machines. We have 100
percent proof. And then I -- when they took it down a mighty recycle, I put
it back up my personal. I put it was a minute --
BOB SELLERS, NEWSMAX ANCHOR: Mike, thank you very much. Mike, you`re
talking about machines, that we at Newsmax have not been able to verify any
of those kinds of allegations. We just want to let people know that there`s
nothing substantive that we`ve seen. Let me read you something there. While
there were some clear evidence of some cases of both fraud and election
irregularities. The election results in every state word certified, and
Newsmax accepts the results as legal and final, the courts have also
supported that view.
So we wanted to talk to you about canceling this culture, if you will. We
don`t want to re litigate the case you`re making Mike, because we
understand where you are. So let me ask you this. Do you think that this
should be temporary because it appears to be permanent? Could you make an
argument that it is temporary?
SELLERS: Could you make an argument that this could be a temporary banning
rather than permanent?
LINDELL: No, I want it to be a permanent because, you know what, the
agendas because I`m revealing all the evidence on Friday of all the
election problems with these machines. So I`m sorry if you think --
SELLERS: OK. Mike, can I ask our producers? Can we get out of here,
please? I don`t want to have to keep going over this. We at Newsmax not
been able to verify any of those allegations.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait a minute. Mike, hold on a second. Everybody hold
a second. Mike, Mike, hold one second.
Let`s talk a little bit about just what is happening overall in terms of
LINDELL: My company and myself in this country is canceled culture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Mike Lindell, ladies and gentlemen joined there by Newsmax anchor
and an empty chair. Dominion has already threatened to sue Newsmax for
defamation. As for us, that`s our broadcast on a Tuesday night. Thank you
for joining us. On behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of NBC, good
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