President Joe Biden leads nation in remembrance of COVID victims.
Senate committee begins confirmation hearing for Biden Attorney General
pick Merrick Garland. Supreme Court denies Trump`s final bid to shield
taxes. Trump repeatedly and falsely claimed an IRS audit kept him from
releasing tax returns. Trump to make first public appearance since leaving
office at CPAC. Joe Manchin announced Friday he will vote against Neera
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Well, good evening once again.
Day 34 of the Biden administration. Tonight to mark the sorry occasion of
our nation`s loss of over half a million souls to a controllable virus. The
president and vice president did something we have not seen from an
American leader in the full year. Since this pandemic took hold of our
country. They took note of the devastating toll with a moment of silence
and a candlelight ceremony to honor the dead.
Moments earlier, as Joe Biden spoke of the need to remain vigilant against
the virus, he acknowledged the enormous loss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: That`s more Americans who have died in one
year in this pandemic than in World War One, World War Two, and the Vietnam
War combined. That`s more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on
As we all remember, I also ask us to act, to remain vigilant, to stay
socially distanced, to mask up, get vaccinated when it`s your turn. We must
end the politics and misinformation that has divided families, communities,
and the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Exactly one year ago, no COVID deaths have been reported in this
country and there were about 35 known cases. As of tonight, the death toll
stands at over 502,000 Americans confirmed cases now top 28 million.
While vaccines do now exist, the CDC says fewer than 6% of Americans have
received the shots. As this president works to get this pandemic finally
under control, he`s also trying to get his cabinet nominees confirmed. This
morning his Attorney General Nominee Federal Judge Merrick Garland
testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee almost five years after he
was supposed to testify before that committee after his Supreme Court
nomination was instead blocked by Mitch McConnell in the Senate
Republicans. Today Garland invoked the Oklahoma City bombing as he promised
to go after the rioters who desecrated our Capitol January 6.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: I supervise the
prosecution that the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City
federal building, if confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white
supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6, a heinous
attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy. This will be
my first priority and my first briefing when I returned to the department
if I`m confirmed. We are facing a more dangerous period than we faced in
Oklahoma City. At that time, I come from a family where my grandparents
fled anti-Semitism and persecution. Country took us and protect us and I
feel an obligation to the country to pay back. And this is the highest best
use of my own set of skills to pay back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Republicans tried to get Merrick Garland to make promises about
Special Counsel John Durham`s review of the FBI is 2016 investigation of
the Trump campaign. Garland would only say he saw no reason to stop
And because Republicans apparently believe Hunter Biden would be a central
issue for any Attorney General, Merrick Garland was also asked about the
current investigation into the president`s son.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, (R-IA) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: Have you
discussed this Hunter Biden case with the president or anyone else?
GARLAND: I have not. I would not have taken this job if I thought that
politics would have any influence over prosecutions and investigations. I`m
not the President`s lawyer. I am the United States lawyer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Meanwhile, just across from Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court today
cleared the way for Manhattan prosecutors to get their hands on Donald
Trump`s tax returns. The former president has fiercely fought to shield
those documents from prosecutors and the public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: It`s underwriter. I`ll release
them when the audit is completed.
At the appropriate time, I will release them but right now I`m under
routine audit, nobody cares.
While I`m under audit, I would not get my taxes. There`s no law whatsoever.
Actually, I paid tax but -- and you`ll see that as soon as my tax returns.
It`s underrated. They`ve been underrated for a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: That last comment referenced reporting from the New York Times
last year revealing that Trump had paid no taxes for a decade and then
seven $150 in taxes the year he won the presidency and his first year in
office. Today Trump responded to the Supreme Court order and the ongoing
investigation with a statement that read, as did his last one like a series
of tweets it reads in part, "This investigation is a continuation of the
greatest political witch hunt in the history of our country."
Meantime, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance full statement was simply, "The work
The Supreme Court also dealt Trump allies a blow today when it declined to
hear a dispute in Pennsylvania over whether absentee ballots received up to
three days after election day should have been counted in the 2020
presidential election. Tomorrow the investigation into the riot at our
Capitol moves into a new stage with the first congressional hearing on the
topic for high ranking law enforcement officers, three of whom have by now
resigned, will testify before two separate Senate Committees. They include
the former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, former Senate Sergeant at
Arms, Michael Stenger, who both stepped down after the insurrection and
have never spoken of it publicly. Some of the rank and file officers who
came under attack that day, are just now speaking out. Here`s what one
officer had to say about that day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRY DUNN, CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER: I call it (beep). A couple dozen times
today, protecting this building, is this America? They beat police officers
with blue Lives Matter flags.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: With that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests on this Monday
night, Ashley Parker, Pulitzer Prize-winning White House Bureau Chief for
The Washington Post, Melissa Murray, she`s an NYU law professor who clerked
for Sonia Sotomayor while she was on the U.S. Court of Appeals, and Dr.
Nahid Bhadelia, Infectious Disease Physician, Medical Director of the
Special Pathogens Unit up at BU School of Medicine during ebola notably,
she worked with the WHO, which we note the U.S. has since rejoined under
this new administration.
And Doctor, because of the urgency of the matter we marked today in terms
of a death toll of half a million, I`d like to begin with you. Do you ever
allow yourself a kind of what if thinking, what if we had been competent at
this? What if our president had not been a denier? What if we had buckled
down and done the hard work required? Not let politics get in the way of
mask wearing or not? How would our nation look different tonight?
DR. NAHID BHADELIA, INFECTIOUS DISEASES PHYSICIAN: Every day that, you
know, I think that to say that to say that this pandemic is going to alter
and it has already altered the course of history for our country. But
really our entire world is not hyperbole, because we mark that 500 deaths
that we`ve had here and we`re rolling towards this other horrible tragedy
with just soon we`ll mark two and a half million people who died globally
of this disease. And that`s not even, you know, the entire number is
thought that the deaths, both here in the U.S. are underestimated directly
from COVID. And that`s not even counting the second wave, Brian. In every
single epidemic that I`ve been part of the people who are -- whose lives
are affected, medical care is affected because of, due to second, you know,
other diseases that could not be attended to because of the pandemic. And
globally, things like dropping vaccination rates, not even taking into
account the fact that this is the biggest economic shock since the Great
Depression. And you`ve already seen 100 and 15 million people being pushed
into extreme poverty globally. To me, as you know what President Biden said
today about remembering as part of healing, that`s important, but we also
will have to rebuild and what we rebuild, you know, we`ll have to not just
pandemic proof our society, but we`re going to have to politics proof from
here on out our pandemic response.
WILLIAMS: Ashley Parker coming right off the doctor`s answer quoting Joe
Biden today, he also used special language designed to resonate with all of
us who have suffered losses in our lives. I just kept writing down
humanity, sympathy and empathy.
Last time we spoke I asked you about this transition in tone and tenor what
it must be like to cover this new presidency. I don`t think his most
vehement critics would accuse him of insincerity on this front and in a
way, he is wearing the pressure of what he sees as job one?
ASHLEY PARKER, THE WASHINGTON POST, WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF: That`s
absolutely right. And that`s what made what we saw earlier tonight. So
moving it wasn`t just him, addressing the incredibly stark almost hard to
fathom of human life but it was sort of talking so personally and movingly
about it and we all know his past history with his own grief and in some
ways where those wells of empathy come from. But those moments in the
speech where he talked about the empty chair at the kitchen table, opening
the closet and having a certain scent walked out, remembering the bend and
your loved one smile. That was all so personal.
And it was even perhaps more resonant, when you sort of couldn`t help it,
contrast it with former President Trump and not just his handling of the
virus that got us here but keep in mind today, Donald Trump did put out a
statement, it had nothing to do with the half a million Americans who died
from this virus it. It was, as you said, basically a tweet thread about the
Supreme Court decision. So it`s sort of those adjectives you lay down for
Biden, empathy, sympathy, and then also just that contrast to the
president, who is no longer there, but in many ways got us to this place.
WILLIAMS: Professor, the court of last resort was not enough for the former
president today, the most transactional president in our history, the man
who came to the job, with the least knowledge of the three branches of
government of any president in our history, probably expected way back when
his three appointees to go his way. They of course, as no one needs remind
you did not. My question to you is, what will the public see? Or what will
the public find out as a result of the Supreme Court ruling today? Or will
its impact really be limited to a grand jury room in New York?
MELISSA MURRAY, NYU LAW PROFESSOR: Well, as you know, Brian, Grand Jury
proceedings are secret. And any of the evidence that are used in a grand
jury investigation would remain secret unless there is a trial or some
further investigation where those documents are made public, what the
public may see in time is the path of this investigation, gathering steam
and taking on more contour. So we may see more information about witnesses,
some witnesses may make deals with the prosecution that will become public.
And so this is just the beginning. And that`s the thing. We`ve waited five
years to get to the beginning. And this is what this long process, this
long, arduous process has been about.
WILLIAMS: Dr. DR. Bhadelia, I want to read you a quote from an article back
in your bailiwick from three physicians from Mass General, they wrote this
in the hill, it`s about the virus and the effect the threat of the
variants, "This is a very serious warning to the rest of the world.
Immunity is not absolute, and may have an expiration date. The bottom line,
we are far from being out of the woods, even while there is reason for
This dovetails, Doctor, somewhat with what you just said about how it`s
changed our society and global society. Do you go as far as these three
BHADELIA: I do. And I think no perfect example exists to show us how
dependent we are on the rest of the world as they are on us. Because part
of getting to the end of the acute phase of this pandemic is I think most
of us in my field will say I don`t think this virus is going to be
eliminated, at least not in the near future. But to get to a point where we
can keep this variance from, new variants from growing and growing and
addressing all of us, reaching all of us is that we need to stop the
transmission everywhere. And so we need to think about this as a global
fight. So that new variant once we update our vaccines, they will become
quickly outdated unless we make sure that vaccines get everywhere in the
WILLIAMS: Ashley Parker, back to politics. I don`t want to insult the bar
scene in Star Wars with a useless comparison to CPAC coming up this
weekend. But it`s really going to be something. Can Donald Trump with his
first public appearance before that group insist upon his leadership role
in this party going forward? We already know that one Mitch McConnell and
others may disagree?
PARKER: They certainly May. But he can also absolutely insist that and he
probably will. And in some ways CPAC was where it all started for Donald
Trump. And it`s been an open question. We don`t really know the answer to
what sort of power Donald Trump still wields in the Republican Party. We
know some polls where his approval ratings are still quite high among
Republicans, although they have dropped after the January 6 attacks.
There`s some disconcerting polls as well about the number of Republicans
who believe his lie to the election was stolen. But until he comes out and
speaks to a crowd and again, this is a very specific crowd. This is very
much sort of a MAGA nation crowd his base and see not just how they react
but how lawmakers react who are up for reelection to Donald Trump, and what
he says this very well could be the first past of, does he have the power
he hopes to have and claims he has, or by dint of the fact that he is an
ex-president. And frankly, he is an ex-president who helped egg on an
insurrection against the government he led at the time. Does that in any
way, diminish his clout?
WILLIAMS: And Professor finally to you, while it`s not a term from the law,
by all accounts, Judge Garland crushed it today at his hearing simply by
being a modest man of the law and talking about his family`s history in
this country talking about how he would and would not approach cases. Tell
me about it is believed he actually picked up Republican votes today, if
indeed, he goes on to be confirmed as A.G. Tell me about what he`s going to
find at DOJ what they will find as a kind of new culture, remembering that
he will be the first Attorney General in four years to not view himself as
the President`s lawyer, as he put it today, instead, the lawyer for the
MURRAY: Well, this was a winning performance from Judge Garland. And again,
this was the performance that I think many people would have expected to
see in 2016, when he was President Obama`s appointee to replace Justice
Antonin Scalia, on the Supreme Court, he obviously did not get that hearing
before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But here we are five years later.
And this was an amazing performance, evocative moving poignant, but then
also really clear eyed about the difficulties facing the Department of
Justice. He spoke about the morale at the department. It is at the lowest
it`s been in a number of years, that people are questioning the
independence of the Department of Justice, all of that needs to be
restored. And at the same time, there are external threats that have to be
dealt with. And he faced those head on today talking about his own history,
fighting domestic terrorism within the United States and Oklahoma City and
elsewhere. And the fact that these strains are proliferating in the United
States today, and they need to be addressed by the Department of Justice,
that is reinvigorated and ready to take on that task.
WILLIAMS: Indeed, he called 1/6 the worst attack on our democracy he could
imagine and said that getting inside these groups rooting it out and
investigating that would be job one for him. Can`t thank our big three
guests tonight enough, Ashley Parker, Melissa Murray, Dr. Nahid Bhadelia
much obliged. Thank you very much.
Coming up for us, as Texas puts itself back together, I`ll talk to a Member
of Congress demanding answers about what he calls a total meltdown. And
later, will the big lie lead to the Great Divide inside what is left of the
Republican Party? We`ll ask to campaign veterans what the former
president`s iron grip means for the GOP. After an emotional day at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue, the 11th Hour is just getting underway on this Monday
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOLI AMMONS, TEXAS RESIDENT: We had a $1,800 total for Monday and a $2,000
total for Tuesday and I was just shocked.
SCOTT WILLOUGHBY, TEXAS RESIDENT: Every day, they took a little bit out a
little bit more a little bit more until when it was all said done. It was
almost $17,000. There was no disclosures, there`s no warnings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: It`s unbelievable. It`s adding insult to injury for the 1000s of
Texans now being blindsided with exorbitant electricity bills following
last week`s deadly winter storm. The governor has ordered companies to
temporarily halt cutting off power for non payments. That`s big of him.
Several investigations are already underway into the state`s energy crisis,
including one led by House Oversight Committee member Ro Khanna who
promised this, "Once the dust settles here, I also plan to hold a hearing
with the leaders responsible for this total meltdown."
For more we are happy to be joined by the aforementioned Congressman Ro
Khanna, Democrat of California. And Congressman, thank you very much for
coming back on the broadcast. I guess I`d start this way when members of
Congress from Texas you know who they are, they tend to be a vocal bunch.
And politicians back home in Texas asked you, what`s a liberal Democrat
from the Bay Area in California doing, heading a hearing on our problem in
our state? What`s your answer?
REP. RO KHANNA, (D) CALIFORNIA OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: I`m a Member of
Congress for the United States and the subcommittee I chair on the
environment. The oversight committee has jurisdiction over the United
States. This is our responsibility. And one of the most outrageous aspects
of this crisis is politicians getting up there and lying to the American
people that somehow this was caused by renewable energy when the facts are
so obvious that the failure was actually of the natural gas pipelines. Yes,
there were some failure of wind. But wind is such a small percentage that
Texas has been largely dependent on natural gas. They failed to weatherize.
They have this problem in 2011. There were reports saying they needed to
weatherize. They didn`t make those investments. They`ve been selling the
country on deregulation, and now we see the consequence.
WILLIAMS: Sooner or later, we`re going to realize that infrastructure
should be an enormous challenge and enormous goal for our country. Are we
calling it by the wrong word? There`s nothing unsexy other than
infrastructure, as I always say, FDR had a different word for it. He called
KHANNA: Brian, that`s absolutely right. And it`s actually one of the few
places where we should be able to get bipartisan agreement. I mean, when
you have that kind of public investment in jobs, you`re absolutely right.
That`s what FDR said. You`re creating opportunity for people in
communities, you`re building the foundation for economic growth, and you`re
protecting people from natural disasters, like we just saw. So if there`s
ever a clarion call for having that kind of politics, it`s now Adam Serwer
at a great piece in The Atlantic and he said, look, the politics of
cultural grievance can win you elections, but when you have real crises,
like a power outage like a pandemic politics of grievance does not work.
You actually need competence you actually need vision and that`s the moment
WILLIAMS: Congressman, while you`ve done nothing to deserve this fate,
please join us in listening to Ted Cruz on Hannity Tonight, we will discuss
on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, (D) TEXAS: Texas has some of the lowest energy prices in the
country, its cost of living is affordable. There`s a reason people are
fleeing the state of New York. There`s a reason people are fleeing the
state of California, the grid failed 4 million Texans. And so we need to
have a serious examination about why that was, why the grid came short, but
one of the major elements of that is actually the policy that Schumer is
pushing for the whole country, which is the Green New Deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Congressman, there`s so much there. I don`t think he wants to
commission a new marketing slogan Texas comm. for the low cost of living
stay for the cold and dark. I do think he might be alleging that Chuck
Schumer somehow turned out the lights, what do you make of that?
KHANNA: You don`t want sad, Brian. The governor of California, my home
state, Gavin Newsom, he didn`t take a shot at Texas. He said, let`s do
everything that we can do to help our fellow Americans. Representative
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she didn`t take a shot at Texas. She said let`s
do everything we can to help. Here we have people in California in New York
saying people in Texas are our fellow citizens. Let`s put their needs
first. I don`t understand why Ted Cruz at this moment is politicizing it.
It`s almost like he doesn`t believe we`re the United States of America. If
someone is hurting in Texas, it`s as much a concern to be as an American,
as if they were hurting in any other state. And it`s so divisive at this
WILLIAMS: Well, who is buying the argument that this is somehow connected
to the Green New Deal? You correctly pointed out. AOC has raised $5 million
for people in a state other than hers.
KHANNA: It was just such a lie. I mean, the reality is event this was clear
the cause they didn`t invest in the weatherization. They didn`t anticipate
that there would be this kind of winter. It`d be understandable if it was
the first time but 10 years ago they had reports telling them to make these
investments. And it actually is easier if you think the weatherize wind and
to weatherize renewable energy than it is to weatherize natural plants. So
if anything, this should be an argument for having more renewable energy.
And those are the facts that need to come out. But one of the things we
need to explore is this disinformation campaign. I mean, it`s this
information not just about elections, but disinformation, about the
climate, disinformation about renewable energy and it`s an epidemic crisis
in our democracy that`s being fueled by social media and certain cable news
and really preventing good policy.
WILLIAMS: Congressman, thank you so much for coming on. Democrat of the Bay
Area in the great state of California, Congressman Ro Khanna has been our
guest tonight. Thank you. I appreciate you taking our questions.
A private citizen in Florida, the only one to be twice impeached wants to
make it even clearer that the party that`s sold out to him is still firmly
in his grip or should be.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR): I would not support him for reelection in 2024.
He`s going to have a voice but as former presidents do, but there`s many
voices in the party and again, he should not define our future. We`ve got
to define it for ourselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Asa Hutchison of Arkansas trying a new slant and that is vowing
not to support the president in 2024. Donald Trump will make his first
public appearance as a former president when he speaks at CPAC, the
Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday.
Maggie Haberman of the Times writes at this way, quote, Trump has signaled
to several allies and advisors in recent days that he is focused on running
for president again in 2024. Mike Allen over an Axios reports that
according to top Trump allies, quote, Trump plans to send the message next
weekend that he is Republicans presumptive 2024 nominee with a vise grip on
the party`s base.
Lots of talk about we have the two perfect guest to do it back with us
tonight. David Plouffe, former Obama campaign manager, senior advisor to
President Obama also happens to be a member of the board of the Obama
foundation and Tim Miller is back with us contributing to The Bulwark and
the former communications director for Jeb Bush.
Tim, just like the Congressman, you`ve done nothing to deserve this. But
here`s where we`re going to start. Join me and listening to Lindsey Graham
tonight on Fox News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): He will position himself as the alternative to
Joe Biden. He I think will make a speech that will unify Republicans on
policy that I think he has been working the phones I was with him all
weekend. He wants us to win in 2022. And stay tuned. I think you`re going
to see over the next couple of months. Donald Trump lead the Republican
Party on policy and give us the energy we need to take back the House and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: So Tim, it naturally follows he was such a policy guy for four
years in the White House that he would just kind of morph into this role.
TIM MILLER, THE BULWARK CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, , wasn`t Lindsey Graham done with
President Trump on the night of January 6, that lasted about 12 minutes,
right. I guess it was just one trip to the airport getting yelled at by
people in Red Hats and all of a sudden Lindsay was back on board.
Here`s the problem is, I was encouraged by what governor Hutchinson of
Arkansas had to say. The issue with that is that Donald Trump`s former
press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has, you know, declared that the
Arkansas State House hers and clear the Republican field of lieutenant
governor and soon to be the Attorney General of the state of Arkansas,
because all that matters to Republican voters is fealty to Donald Trump.
And so when you hear what Lindsey has to say, when you hear it at
Hutchinson, when you hear what all these republicans have to say, what is
undergirding all this is that everybody realizes Republican voters want
Trump and that`s why an open races over the next two years all across the
country, you`re not going to be hearing any Republican voters that are,
excuse me, Republican politicians and sound like me. You`re not going to be
hearing me that sound like how Mitch McConnell said of the day after the
impeachment with his finger wagging speech, they`re not going to sound like
Mitt Romney. They`re all going to sound like some version of Sarah Huckabee
Sanders, like some version of Lindsey Graham tonight over on Hannity,
because that`s what their voters want. And so and they`re stuck and they`re
scared, and they missed their opportunity to get rid of them.
WILLIAMS: So David, for lack of a better term, the burn it all down caucus
is going to be with us for a while. Axios further reports that payback? Is
the president`s chief obsession, his chief motivator, it just makes for a
lousy bumper sticker, does it not?
DAVID PLOUFFE, FMR. OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, this is the problem, I
think for the Republican Party, Brian, is if you look historically, in
national elections, presidential elections, in core battleground states,
whether they be senator or governor, generally, the party that wins those
races is the party whose base is more closely connected to the middle of
the electorate, and the Democratic Party from 1968 to 1992 as you know,
only one of the White House wants 76. And that`s probably only because for
part of Nixon.
So the Republican Party right now, and by the way, they`re putting all
their chips on Donald Trump, who failed to get over 47 percent of the vote
twice. But Tim is exactly right. The people who voted in primaries give
most of the money, who are most active on social media, they would pledge
lifetime loyalty to Donald Trump and his family.
And so if you look at the 22, Senate map, you`ve got key Senate races in
Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, these are places where I
think Trump continuing to be the face of the Republican Party will hurt his
party in those competitive Senate races, much less looking down the road
Now, I think Trump motivation here is obviously he`s the probably the
greatest narcissist ever to be on planet Earth. But, you know, I`m sure he
thinks to the extent he looks like he could run for office and be the
nominee that may help them in his legal issues. I doubt that`s the case.
And that`s the one thing is Donald Trump going to look as attractive the
Republican primary voters two years from now three years from now than he
does now. Maybe he will. But I would definitely take the short on that.
WILLIAMS: And Tim, I sucked at math, but I know he came in second at the in
this last election. I`m asking this because of the new polling that shows
that three out of four, like 76 percent of those who voted for him, would
support it again. And again, caveat with standing on math, that doesn`t
look like a winning number.
MILLER: Well, Brian, that tracks with about 70 percent of people that voted
for him that think that he legitimately won, and is the president in exile
down in Mar-a-Lago and that, you know, Hugo Chavez stole the election from
him. So no wonder they would want him to run again in 2024.
I mean, this is the problem. You`re that disconnected from reality. You
know, you mentioned the CPAC speech. They set this up for him where his
first speech after the presidency will come right after the announcement of
the winner of the CPAC 2024 straw poll that very important straw poll.
Trump will get to declare victory after losing the election. He`s so
desperate as David said, to be a winner and to be a narcissist that he
wants to declare victory and something when he comes back to see you can
sell in Orlando. He`ll be declaring victory in the CPAC straw poll. And you
know, that I think is a reflection of sort of where the mute movement is
WILLIAMS: Wow, way to ruin this suspense. Our guests have both agreed to
stay with us. While we fit in a break, coming up for us, elections have
consequences. The Biden White House sees firsthand the difficulty now of
managing a slim majority in the Senate. We`ll talk about that after the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY) MAJORITY LEADER: Well, everyone heard that one of
our democratic senators Joe Manchin doesn`t want to vote, I vote for her. I
am working with President Biden to find the extra votes so she can be
passed. I think she`d be a very good OMB leader.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: So Schumer is very narrow majority may cause problems for near
attendant that`s Biden`s pick for budget director. Today, Republican
senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney said they indeed would oppose her
nomination after West Virginia Democrat, mind you, Joe Manchin announced he
would vote against her on Friday.
Right now, Tanden needs at least one Republican to walk across the aisle
and support her nomination.
Back with us, David Plouffe and Tim Miller. David so much to discuss here.
Number one, Joe Manchin. As a Democrat, I went through his voting record
voted for sessions Barr, Pompeo, and Kavanaugh, and yet he is offended
apparently by the tweets that this woman has put out over the past several
years viewers of this network know her from her many appearances.
Susan Collins, I`m just assuming is troubled by the whole thing. And Axios
is saying this, which is what I want to ask you about. House Democratic
leaders are quietly mounting a campaign for Shalanda young, longtime
congressional aide to replace near attendant as nominee for Director of the
Office of Management and Budget. People familiar with the matter tell
David, you know, you`ve been around the block a couple of times. Your first
rodeo, this is not. You don`t get stories like that talking about
alternative candidates when your candidate is in good shape.
PLOUFFE: Right. Well, that seems wildly premature to me. I still think they
have some time to find that one Republican vote and if not, you go to plan
Yes. So listen, first of all, you`d much so yes, there`s a challenge with
having a narrow House Majority and certainly a challenge with having 50
Democratic senators, but that is a far preferable problem than having 48.
And if you look at, you know, within the first 60 days of his
administration, Joe Biden`s going to get a COVID relief package through,
you know, basically his design, perhaps the minimum wage is going to have
just about every nominee sailed through.
So this has reached a hiccup. I don`t understand why Neera Tanden is
immensely qualified for this job. And I think generally presidents when
they put forward qualified candidates should get support from both parties
but certainly unanimous support from your own party. So on substantive
grounds, this makes no sense.
My guess is some of these democratic senators who are in tougher states may
want to you know cherry pick a vote here to, to suggest that you know, they
still retain their independence at the end of the day this is not, you
know, Joe Biden used to say often when I worked in the White House with
him, you know, since dying on a small cross. This one note makes no sense
to me. But I think the big parts of Joe Biden`s agenda are going to get
through, even with that narrow majority. And I think that`s important to
focus on. But I still think it`s worth fighting for Neera Tanden because I
think she`s a special talent. And I think she do an amazing job at OMB,
which is one of the tougher jobs in government.
WILLIAMS: Tim Miller arguing she`s been on Twitter after four years of the
Trump administration. That was last week -- we drove out a laughable
territory a week ago on that, but our mutual friend Bill Kristol said this
same thing on our broadcast last week, he feels like he`s onto a theory
here. I feel like there`s a little bit of sexism going on here. It just
seems like these tweets sound harsher to these old guys, because they`re
coming from a woman, Tim, What say you?
MILLER: Yes, I mean, look, I think that the Republicans, sure there might
be some sexism there, but they`re just looking for any scalp that they can
get. And I think that the Republicans obviously are not arguing in complete
You know, like, if Mitt Romney wants to decide that he is going to draw a
hard line on people`s behavior on Twitter and whether or not, you know,
it`s within the bounds of what he thinks is the appropriate decorum. I`m
going to give Mitt Romney that leash because he`s been doing that for four
years, but the 49 of the rest of those yahoons (ph) have been allowing the
commander in chief of the United States to send out things about how Seal
Team 6 is really dead and alive and yea, white power. And I`m very
concerned about the white genocide that`s happening in this country and
QAnon on and the election was stolen, we could go on and on all night,
So the idea that they care about the Director of the Office of Management
and Budget`s tweets, is something I`m not going to buy. So hopefully, Joe
Biden can bring out the old Senate dealmaker, Joe Biden and get Richard
Burr one of these guys across the line in exchange for, you know, putting
an Office of Management and Budget auxiliary office down there in
Wilmington, North Carolina or something like that. And Neera who`s
immensely qualified to have this job gets appointed for a job that she
richly deserves, and if not, I hope Biden puts her somewhere else in the
administration and, and the Republicans are forced to just deal with
I don`t really see what anybody`s gaining on this except for the
Republicans trying to stick it in the left eye, which is, I guess, the only
thing that they exist to do these days.
WILLIAMS: Well, Burr has a great idea. He could throw that new sensor on
the pile with his old one from the GOP back home in North Carolina. You
gentlemen are both so good at this. That`s why we keep having you on and
having this conversation. David Plouffe, Tim Miller, two friends of this
broadcast, our thanks.
Coming up in a nation with a vaccine shortage right now, I look at the
reason why thousands of doses are going in the trash at the end of every
day. This is a report that we hope will bring about change.
WILLIAMS: Tonight in too many places the vaccine remains in short supply so
many who qualify for the shot at this point can`t find one. But health
officials say leftover doses are going to waste because of an FDA
regulation that prohibits pooling the small amounts of vaccine that are
left behind in the vials. NBC News correspondent Catie Beck has more on
the benefits and risks.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
CATIE BECK, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shots go into arms 4,000
times a day at the Inova Vaccine Clinic in Fairfax, Virginia. For many a
dose of relief.
DR. STEPHEN JONES, INOVA HEALTH SYSTEM CEO: This is the happiest place on
BECK: But while the clinic`s pharmacy team hustles to keep up with demand,
they are flagging a flaw in the process.
MELANIE MASSIAH-WHITE, INOVA HEALTH SYSTEM CHIEF PHARMACY OFFICER: From the
very first day we`ve noticed that there was waste left in the individual
BECK: Residual vaccine left in vials and forced to be thrown out. A single
vial of Pfizer vaccine used here yield six full doses, but pharmacists say
there`s often a half dose left which under FDA rules cannot be used.
They`re just going in the garbage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BECK: The pharmacist here who prepared the shots decided to measure how
much is being wasted. First, pooling residual liquid in 10 vials than 100.
They found the discarded vials yielded eight to 10 percent more vaccine.
JONES: Ultimately, when there are enough vaccines wasting some at the
bottom won`t matter. But right now we are millions of doses short.
BECK: In this location alone that would be 400 additional doses daily.
Nationally, it could mean tens of thousands more shots in arms every day.
MASSIAH-WHITE: Oh, it`s huge. It`s for such a scarce resource. It`s
significant. And currently we`re just throwing those out at the end of the
BECK (on camera): Those vials ended up here in the basement. Most of them
have visible amounts of vaccines still left inside. And pharmacists
estimate that if combined, this rack alone could come up with somewhere
between 10 and 15,000 doses. Instead of being given out they have to be
(voice-over): The FDA says it`s rule against pooling COVID vaccine is an
infection control measure needed for vaccines made without a preservative,
saying cross contamination using the same needle and syringe has occurred
with other medications when this practice was utilized, causing serious
But pharmacists say there are already sterile protocols in place, and they
are routinely allowed to pull other drugs like antibiotics, chemotherapy
drugs, even the flu shot. They`re urging the FDA to change its position.
MASSIAH-WHITE: It`s heartbreaking. It makes me sick to my stomach. You know
knowing how many people still need the vaccine.
BECK: Many still waiting their turn without time or vaccine to spare. Catie
Beck, NBC News, Fairfax, Virginia.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
WILLIAMS: Something tells me they`ll find a solution. Coming up for us. We
are not used to hearing what we heard today from the man standing behind
WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight, the dead are those for whom the
bells toll. The National Cathedral in Washington striking the bells 500
times for a death toll now over 500,000. They played Amazing Grace at the
white house tonight flanked by a sea of Memorial candles on that South
portico. Flags on our federal buildings will remain at half staff for the
next five days to mark our nation`s deep and ongoing wound.
From our first school textbooks were taught that we are lucky enough to
live in a great nation and we are. We are further taught there`s a phrase
for it and that`s American exceptionalism. But what an unexceptional day
this was in our nation`s history.
We`ve now lost over half a million souls. We in the news media have
struggled to illustrate a number so high it seems a femoral like when we
say we`ve lost the equivalent of the population of Atlanta or Miami. Or
when the New York Times this weekend used a graphic where every last life
was represented by a black dot.
Those lights lining the reflecting pool that we saw on inauguration eve
they represented 400,000 dead. We`ve lost 100,000 of our brothers and
sisters since then. It has killed more Americans as you heard that our
world wars and Vietnam combined. We in the US represent about 5 percent of
the world`s population yet we leave the world in coronavirus. Our death
toll is the highest in the world. And no one should make any mistake about
the malpractice, about the lies that were told to us by our president and
those who worked for him.
The benign neglect as Americans died. Denialism was pushed by adults who
knew better in a country capable of far better.
Here`s what we know about the dead. Most of them died alone. All of them
had hopes and dreams and people who love them.
In the Jewish tradition, it`s customary to save the deceased may their
memory be a blessing. And that has never been more meaningful, really,
their memories and legacies are all we have. How striking it was today --
how striking it was today to hear such personal notes in such hushed tones
from our president, humanity and empathy and sympathy in the face. Have a
loss that makes us all feel so helpless. How many of them would be alive
had the virus that killed them not been first denied? May their memories be
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 my colleagues at the
networks of NBC News, good night.
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