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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, 2/4/2021

Guest: Ben Rhodes, Mike Murphy�


Representative Greene defends herself in House floor speech, no

apology from her. Greene backed violence against Dems, QAnon and other

conspiracy theories. House debated Greene`s removal before vote. 11 GOP

reps vote with Dems to push Rep. Greene. President Joe Biden breaks with

Trump foreign policy agenda. J&J asks FDA for emergency authorization for

its single-shot COVID vaccine. Donald Trump`s legal team has said the

former president will not voluntarily testify under oath at his impeachment

trial in the Senate. The Biden White House is considering sending masks

directly to American households.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I believe he`s a hero too. And I know

it`s not just him. He`ll be the first one to say that, but to every one of

our house clerks, we thank you. To our Capitol Police, we thank you. To our

food service workers, our custodial workers, every person here that was

standing to fight for our democracy, we thank you. And with that, Madam

Speaker, I yield my time.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets Tonight`s

Last Word.

The 11th Hour with Brian Williams starts now.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, once again, day 16 of the Biden

administration. As we come on the air tonight there is major news that will

no doubt raise the temperature of our politics, along with the possibility

that we may soon see another coronavirus vaccine in this country.

As we all watch the Republican Party in the process very publicly of

deciding what it wants to be, who its leaders are, what it wants to stand

for? Tonight, the House voted to remove the QAnon Congresswoman Marjorie

Taylor Greene of Georgia. From both of the committee she served on as

recently as this afternoon, the Education Committee and the Budget

Committee, despite near unanimous opposition from her party. Vote was 230

to 199. It came amid mounting outrage over the crazy conspiracy theories.

She has endorsed and repeated, 11 Republicans chose to cross the aisle to

join the Democrats. Here they are in injecting Greene from those

committees, which essentially sends her into a kind of legislative exile.

In remarks on the House floor this afternoon, Greene apologized for none of

it. She expressed regret for her comments and said she quote stumbled into

QAnon after doubting media reports.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): The problem with that is though is I

was allowed to believe things that weren`t true. You see school shootings

are absolutely real, 9/11 absolutely happened. I never went said any of the

things that I am being accused of today during my campaign. I never said

any of these things since I have been elected for Congress. These were

words of the past. Shall we stay divided like this? Will we allow the media

that is just as guilty as QAnon of presenting truth and lies to divide us?


WILLIAMS: Here for the record, the briefest reminder of some of Greene`s

Greatest Hits that led to today`s vote.


GREENE: Many Americans are like blind sheep just going through life, not

paying attention. There is an Islamic invasion into our government offices

right now.

How do you get avid gun owners and people that support the second amendment

to give up their guns? Maybe you accomplish that by performing a mass

shooting into a crowd. The so-called plane that crashed into the Pentagon,

it`s odd there`s never any evidence shown for a plane in the Pentagon. Q is

a patriot. We know that for sure. Many of our government are actively

worshipping Satan, or they call Malok (ph). Q is saying that they

participate in pedophilia, and spirit cooking. There`s a once in a lifetime

opportunity to take this global cable of Satan worshipping pedophiles out.


WILLIAMS: Sorry to interrupt your meal of cooking. Satan Greene today

blamed her problems on the media when as you saw those were her words not

the product of any media, cabal or cable as she prefers it. During the

debate before the vote, Republicans argued that punishing Greene would set

a bad precedent, while Democrats kept their focus on the substance of her



SEN. STENY HOYER (D-MD): The conduct we are judging today continued to

occur even after Representative Greene became a candidate, and even after

she was elected. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to look at this image.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL): We are dealing with conduct that

brings shame on this House. It is exactly the kind of conduct that helps

fuel domestic terrorism.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Who`s next? Who will the canceled culture attack

next, now they`re coming after Ms. Greene?

REP. TOM COLE (R-OK): I fear that if we open this particular Pandora`s Box

we will not like what happens next.


WILLIAMS: The House impeachment managers who will present their case

against Donald Trump on Tuesday of next week have sent him a letter asking

him to testify at the Senate trial. Trump`s lawyers have rejected that and

added there will be no written statement. They also say they expect the

trial to end either next Friday or Sunday and they`ll file more legal

briefs Monday.

Today one Senate Republican leader expressed an eagerness to get this trial

over with.


SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): I think it`s in his best interest not to testify,

and I think most of the senators on both sides would like to expedite this.


WILLIAMS: Meanwhile, smartmatic the voting technology company that became

the target of misinformation and voter fraud claims has filed a $2.7

billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, some of its hosts and two of

Trump`s lawyers.

Here they are, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Rudy Giuliani,

Sidney Powell, have all been named in the suit. And at various times all of

them trafficked in claims about the election and the company that were just

made up. This is a serious lawsuit. The company says it has identified at

least 100 false statements and implications made on Fox News programs.



company that was founded in 2005 in Venezuela, for the specific purpose of

fixing elections. That`s their expertise, how to fix elections. They did it

a number of times in Venezuela, they did it in Argentina, and they messed

up an election to a fairly well, in Chicago.

SIDNEY POWELL, ATTORNEY: We know that one of the smartmatic people has went

to Tarrant County, Texas and turned that county blue after having been an

executive with smartmatic. And all of a sudden, this one election, Tarrant

County is purportedly blue.


WILLIAMS: Joe Biden took his campaign to rollback Trump`s agenda. The State

Department today was his first visit to any government agency as president

and this one meant to symbolize a lot. Biden laid out his administration`s

priorities and its approach to dealing with a longtime adversary.



back. Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy and leading

with diplomacy means standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies and key

partners. Once again, I made it clear to President Putin in a manner very

different from my predecessor that the days of the United States rolling

over in the face of Russia`s aggressive actions, interfering with our

elections, cyberattacks, poisonous citizens are over.


WILLIAMS: The President said he will stop Trump`s plan to withdraw our

troops from Germany, a move that let`s face it, all serious military

commanders instantly viewed as a mistake, but we`re powerless to stop.

Biden is also ending arms sales and other support to Saudi Arabia and its

war with Yemen.

As Biden pushes for a passage of his coronavirus relief bill, there is news

on the vaccine front and it`s big, Johnson and Johnson has officially

applied for that emergency use authorization from the FDA for its vaccine,

which is administered let`s remember in a single shot, if the application

is approved, it would be the third brand name vaccine authorized for

emergency use in our country.

It`s a lot and with that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests on this

Thursday night, two veterans of journalism, one of foreign policy. Jonathan

Lemire, White House Reporter with The Associated Press, A.B. Stoddard,

Associate Editor and Columnist for Real Clear Politics, and Ben Rhodes,

former Deputy National Security Adviser for President Obama.

Good evening, and welcome to you all. A.B., I`m going to read you a quote

from Steve Schmidt yesterday. Extremism is the brand of the GOP. We have a

dangerous autocratic movement in this country. Its home is the GOP. Do you

agree and will what happened today make this Congresswoman a rallying cry

or a martyr or a disgrace or some mixture of all three?


difference between a secret ballot vote for Liz Cheney, the conference

chair in the House last night versus this public vote today, where 11

Republicans joined Democrats to say that this woman does not deserve to sit

in committee in the House of Representatives tells you all you need to know

she sent it out a triumphant tweet tonight around 9:30 saying that she

wanted to thank all of the "real Republicans" who stood with her today. And

in Trumpian fashion she said that each of you will be remembered.

So, she`s going to be watching her fundraising totals in the days to come.

I`m sure she will achieve mega martyr status even more than she was in 48

hours ago when she had raised nearly $2 million. She was not as Senator

Bill Cassidy of Louisiana a Republican forthrightly said expressing regret

is different from disavowing and condemning. And she did not do that, as

you noted in the open. She`s trying to have it both ways, just like Kevin


And the truth is, Brian, that the Republican members and representatives

and senators are not in it, particularly choosing radicalism. People like

Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, congressmen, they believe this stuff. They`re

unplanted, Rudy. I love listening to Rudy Giuliani talk. I want to be where

he is. It seems like a happy place, but it`s not here.

The problem is most of the members are realizing that their voters have

been radicalized with Trump off the stage and off Twitter. They`re still

going home and their brother in law, and their high school roommate, and

the lovely people at church tell them all this stuff, and they believe it,

and the pushback is rejected. So even though we have an escalating

disinformation crisis, when these members of the Republican Party trying to

say that stuff isn`t true, they are told this is a free country. And I`ve

heard this myself. We are free to think the way that we want and we don`t

appreciate the media and the Democrats saying the Trump supporters need to

be deprogrammed. So once the voters been this radicalized, this is where

their representatives will follow.

WILLIAMS: Jonathan Lemire, trigger warning. I`m going to ask you a question

about the last president you covered not the current president you cover

for a living. It is February 4, his allegiance to Trump in the Republican

Party as strong today as it was November 4?


only wavered maybe a little, Brian. This is still Donald Trump`s Republican

Party. That is clear. Yes, there were some Republicans who today voted to

strip this Congresswoman of her committee status far more revolted against

Liz Cheney last night, in the wake of her vote to impeach President Trump.

The point, A.B. just made is exactly right. Yes, Donald Trump is out on

Twitter that his voters still out there. Polls suggest his popularity in

the Republican Party. It slipped just a little, just a little. It is, he is

still very popular among Republicans.

We know this set the trial in the Senate that`s going to start next week

that outcome is already preordained. Only five Republicans even voted to

have it the proceedings move forward. The rest, including Minority Leader

McConnell have said no, it shouldn`t even be happening in the first place.

And we`ve seen a silence from the former president, you know, he is going

to pass on the opportunity to appear before the trial. And he`s also we

know he`s off Twitter. But he stayed quiet, he stayed low. They know people

around him. The outcome is done. They don`t want to do anything to mess

around. They know this is still his party.

WILLIAMS: Ben Rhodes, we`re going to have to ping pong back and forth

between your bailiwick and our two journalism guests. But I`ll say this,

the spine of the superb book you wrote about your experience in the Obama

White House, stares at me on the shelf across from where I do my work. And

you were nice enough to come on during the depths of the Trump years when I

would routinely asked you what must our allies and adversaries make of us

now? So it`s a new day, this February 4, the headline of our President`s

speech at the State Department, America is back. What else did you take

away from that appearance today?


he wanted to reassure the rest of the world that we are going to ditch the

kind of radical approaches taken under Donald Trump. And they were once

again going to stand for set of values that we share with our allies. And

he spoke about specific policies, they`re going to move us in that

direction, obviously, consequences for Russia for what it`s been doing,

including the poisoning and imprisoning of Alexei Navalny, the suspension

of military assistance to Saudi Arabia`s war in Yemen that has been a

complete catastrophe, the U.S. opening the door to refugees. But really

just hitting the notes of what the world would want to hear from an

American president.

I think the challenge, Brian, to link these conversations, is the world was

very pleased to hear that certainly our allies were very pleased. But they

were kind of looking over Joe Biden`s shoulder at the craziness that

continues to infect a major American political party. So, Joe Biden has

challenges on the one hand, he needs to revitalize democracy around the

world. Democracy is under assault, not from Russia, from China from all

manner of adversaries around the world, and our own democracy is bad in

need of repair here at home. So for Joe Biden`s credibility to carry

through on the world stage, not only does he have to demonstrate that he`s

following those words with actions in his foreign policy, he has to

demonstrate that he`s making progress and fixing this democracy at home.

Because remember, it was a Republican President Ronald Reagan, who talked

about America being a city on the hill, just think of the city that the

world has been looking at for the last four years. And even that they see

in the comments of this Congresswoman who is by no -- you know, way out of

the mainstream of any democracy in the world today.

So I think Joe Biden hit the right note state but as he said, foreign

domestic policy and frankly, foreign policy and domestic politics are now

very much tied together.

WILLIAMS: A.B., Ben as a diplomat, they are forever finding linkage between

topics. And he correctly has done it again.

A.B., you invoked the name Kevin McCarthy, who I suppose could be called

the weather in Hawaii of politicians. If you don`t like what you`re hearing

or seeing wait a couple of minutes and it will change. Before I asked you

about him, we have a look here at the many faces of Kevin McCarthy.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Let me be very clear, there is no place for

QAnon in the Republican Party. I do not support it.

QAnon, I don`t know if I say it right. I don`t even know what it is.

This House overwhelmingly voted to condemn the dangerous lies of QAnon last


The President bears responsibility for Wednesday`s attack on Congress by

mob rioters.

I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility.


WILLIAMS: So, A.B. the question is in delicate, does he think we`re stupid?

And has he made a deal with the devil as leader in the in the House?

STODDARD: Well, I wrote a long piece on McCarthy that came out earlier this

week before he dug a tunnel for himself last night when he came out from

these hours long conference meeting, and had the nerve. He`s very cheeky in

his walk backs and his reversals and his protection of Donald Trump, very

cute is the way -- it is sort of the way I would characterize his style.

Come out last night and try to pretend it was called QAnon, and he was

confused about how to pronounce it because he doesn`t know anything about

it. When next to the President of the United States, he and Mitch McConnell

and Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the top four leaders in the Congress

have the most important intelligence on the planet. And he knows everything

about QAnon. And not only should he have known everything about it six

months ago, he should have known everything about it following January 6,

an attack on our government during which he panicked and desperately begged

the commander in chief to send reinforcements and told him straight up, no,

this is not left wing agitators or Antifa. We are we are being attacked by

people who are trying to overthrow the government to change the outcome of

the election.

So, he knows better but to see him red face saying that last night,

pretending that he isn`t really certain about it. So it must not be a big

deal, shows just how unfit he is to throw his members under the bus and

make them take a vote for something he should have handled by himself five

days ago and was getting loud phone calls from corporate donors about the

mess he should be cleaning up is just all you need to know about how weak

he is and how he wanted the members to take on what he just couldn`t face


WILLIAMS: Jonathan Lemire, are you surprised at the degree to which Donald

Trump has gone silent, of course, absent any presence on Twitter he

released a comical letter today full of rich material resigning as a member

of the screen actors guild and as many pointed out on the web with kind of

a homemade ersatz, not quite presidential seal at the top, which looks a

little bit more like a seagull grab some stuff in flight. Are you surprised

at the degree to which I`m sure at the advice of counsel, he has gone away?

LEMIRE: First of all, Brian, let`s give the former president his due, he

was terrific and home alone too. So therefore, losing his part, his place

and his --

WILLIAMS: As we pointed out today.

LEMIRE: -- certainly a blow to that. He did, he did correctly. So, this is

a blow to that organization to lose his membership. So, we should take a

pause there. It is striking to see how silent he has gone. It`s throughout

Washington, that since his Twitter account was taken away from him a couple

of days after the insurrection, just the change and feel everything seems a

little quieter, and not just reporters covering the White House, but for

members of Congress who are members of his own party, who don`t always have

to be asked what they think of the latest tweet.

Having said that, though, silent, as discussed, his hold over the party

persists, and very few Republicans dare defy him. Certainly we have

reported that he is being quiet despite the odd press release, because of

this looming trial, because he doesn`t want to do anything to inflame the

situation further that could get any Republican senator to change his or

her mind. He and his team know he`s going to be acquitted. They don`t want

to run the risk of that changing. They don`t want to run the risk of him

being barred from ever running or holding for office again. That`s key to

whatever his next act may be. This silence will persist at the end of the

trial. After that, I bet it ends.

WILLIAMS: Ben Rhodes, look around government, Pentagon hollowed out stomped

on, CDC stomped on and that sadly includes the State Department. So, it was

big symbolism that the president and vice president made it their stop

today, I was reminded tonight, try this on for size, it perhaps you`d

forgotten as well. Trump`s first foreign policy speech was delivered in

Saudi Arabia as one does.

RHODES: Yes, quite an infamous moment there where he could stand next to a

bunch of dictators and put his hands on a glowing orb. And that sent a

message to the world of the kind of leader that Donald Trump was going to

be a man who found affinity with dictators like Mohammed bin Salman of

Saudi Arabia, like Vladimir Putin of Russia.

And I think Joe Biden going to the State Department today was doing two

things. The first thing is, as you said, Brian, trying to buck up a

workforce that has been decimated, there was an exodus of foreign service

officers, some of them were purged, there were political attacks on them

from the president of United States. And the Secretary of State under

Donald Trump did not get the back of his own personnel when they were

attacked. So Joe Biden wanted to go over there and send a message. And

frankly, find any of us who talked to people who were on that transition

team will tell you that these agencies, including the State Department, it

was even worse than they thought when they got in there in terms of the

morale in terms of the attacks had been made against U.S. government


And again, including and perhaps most prominently, our national security

agencies intelligence community, in the State Department, first and

foremost. But in addition to being a message to those diplomats, it was a

message to the world. You know, the world is going to watch the first

speech that an American president gives on foreign policy very closely.

They`re going to try to discern from what he says, but also where he says

it. And I think by going to the State Department, Joe Biden is signaling,

look, we`re back, we`re going to be back in terms of playing the

traditional role of American leadership that you have not seen in the last

four years, we`re back as an ally, we`re not going to do crazy things like

withdraw our troops from Germany, which are a symbol of America`s 70 year

commitment to Europe, which is the anchor of our presence in the world.

We`re back in support of the democratic values that the state department

needs to defend everywhere around the world day in and day out.

And again, to draw on our other conversation, we`re back in acknowledging,

and I thought he said something very interesting today, America has got

problems. The world has seen, particularly in January 6, the problems we

have with our own democracy. But if we can show that we can fix those

problems at home, in some ways, it makes us a more credible voice abroad.

You know, we, like other countries have had corruption in this country.

We`ve had conspiracy theory-based extremism in this country, we`ve had this

kind of nationalist authoritarian trend, the Trump represents that Vladimir

Putin represents.

And I think what Joe Biden was doing at the State Department today is

saying, not only we`re going to defend American values in the way that you

would expect an American president to do around the world, but we`re going

to do so informed by the experience of having to fight for democratic

values in this country as well. And so I think, you know, is the right

setting to send that message not just to the workforce here in the United

States, and embassies around the world who are clearly watching this, but

also to all the foreign governments and foreign publics who are consuming

this as well, and most of whom were probably breathing, very deep sigh of

relief that he was standing there, the State Department delivering that

message, instead of standing with some dictators over glowing in Saudi


WILLIAMS: Our thanks to Ben Rhodes, to A.B. Stoddard, to Jonathan Lemire

for starting us off this Thursday night.

Coming up for us, Marjorie Taylor Greene may be out of her committee

assignments, but what did today`s vote tell us about the future of the

political party, some are calling QOP or the GOPQ. Political Veterans,

James Carville, Mike Murphy standing by to talk about it.

And later, as the White House considers putting masks in every mailbox,

there has been a big debt vaccine development as we mentioned that has

potential game changer written all over, the 11th Hour just getting

underway on a Thursday night.



HOYER: The Squad`s worst enemy, AR-15 in hand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sounds like the guns I fled.

HOYER: I have never ever seen that before. Is this a precedent-setting

event? It is.


WILLIAMS: We`ve never seen Steny Hoyer like that before either. Tonight,

Marjorie Taylor Greene no longer serves on any House committees.

Today`s vote dramatically reduces any cloud she had in Congress. It means

by the way she can`t bring home the bacon for the people of her district

who put her in Congress. House Budget Committee members can bring stuff

home, not her. She is doing a lot of fundraising by painting herself as a

victim, so she has that going for her.

Back with us tonight, James Carville, Veteran Democratic Strategist who

rose to national fame with the Clinton effort and he`s co-host of the

politics War Room podcast, and Mike Murphy, Veteran Republican Strategist

and strategic advisor to Republican voters against Trump. We saw how that

went. He is also co-host of the Hacks on Tap podcast.

So, Mike 61, Republicans voted to oust Liz Cheney from her management post

secret ballot, 11 republicans cross the aisle voting to oust QAnon

Congresswoman from her committee assignments. Do they fear extremists or

welcome them these days in the Republican Party?


the faction. I guess I`ll be a spin doctor and say 10 Republicans voted for

impeachment, now we`re surged to 11. So, we`ve had a 10 percent increase in

and brave Republicans. But, you know, it`s grim business, Brian. She`s

absolutely out of her mind, wacko. And, you know, they chose to kind of

look the other way, which is politically dumb, because she`s, it`s not like

they could give her and crazy pills, and now she`s going to turn it into a

respectable member of Congress, she`s going to keep doing her stuff. And

the Democrats are going to gleefully lay the republicans for de facto

endorsing or crazy positions by not going on the record against her.

So, you know, Kevin McCarthy strategy seems to be to get the next week, not

to, you know, do what they need to do to win the majority and purge this

kind of stuff. That`s all about fear of Donald Trump primaries.

WILLIAMS: James Carville, at the end of the day for people who are actually

patriots, this is sad. All of it. As a political matter, how should your

party play this going forward?


they can`t live without this vote. It`s like 30 percent of self-identified

Republicans think favorably of QAnon.

So make, you know, go after the other 70 and remind them that it was -- it

was the Congress as a whole that had to institute this action, Republican

caucus still on mute in some of the stuff she had about the (inaudible)

like sending space beams down to start fires in California.

I mean, this is not just some loony stuff. She`s a Looney in a tune. And

they won`t do anything about it. So, I will tell the Democrats extract

every piece of political capital you can out of that the fact that they`re

just terrified of offending these crazy people. And that`s a totally

legitimate thing to do. And they should pursue it but great bigger as they

did today.

WILLIAMS: Mike Murphy, how will the topic of Jewish space lasers play in

the battle for the suburbs in all the congressional races two years from


MURPHY: You know, I it doesn`t sound like a big winner to me. In the whole

Parkland didn`t happen. I mean, today`s she basically said that, whoops, I

was tricked by that inner web. And, you know, I`m the victim here. There`s

no real apology.

So you know, she`s going to be a moneymaker for the Democrats. She`s going

to be a problem for the Republicans, you know, it`s trouble. And they

decided to kind of punt. I mean, McCarthy went to the caucus, with the

easiest cheap applause message you can have in politics, which is, hey, we

all got to stay united. So let`s not fire Mary Cheney. And that`s the

secret ballot by the way, so you can actually vote your heart and it went

two to one better than that 70 percent for Cheney.

And here I brought, you know, Congresswoman crazy pants and stand up and

pretend to apologize for while, it`s all solved, and they clapped and felt

good, but nothing changed, not her. And as James said that the Democrats

going to beat this like a government meal forever. And in suburban

districts where we`ve been put out of business by Donald Trump, it`s a big,

big machete and they`re going to use it.

So my guess is Greene will say something else crazy, you know, it`ll be,

you know, is god I can`t even speculate because I need to put a, you know,

a bolt in my head to think like her, and then the thing will start up

again. And then we might have another vote like this.

You know, in the old days with the Steve King or whatever, we had member of

the caucus, we handled it. Now we`ve lost the courage to that because of

the fear of Donald Trump.

WILLIAMS: By the way, Carville, Mike`s Wi-Fi strength in a roadway and is

stronger than yours at home. So we need to rectify that problem. Both

gentlemen have agreed to stay with us. We`ll be right back for more of our

conversation after we fit in a break.

Coming up, the challenge of pushing the Biden agenda in the middle of all

this going on.


WILLIAMS: We are back and still with us our James Carville and Mike Murphy.

James, I was asking about the Democrats because it might get dicey now.

Next week we`re going to be in the post-Super Bowl period we start an

impeachment trial. I`m tempted to ask you how many Republican votes to

convict? Would there be if it was a secret ballot? But what do you think is

the best outcome here for the party?

CARVILLE: It`s always going to be tied up. I mean we got 50-50 senators

(INAUDIBLE) on the vice president, we`re like plus five in the House. So,

this kind of go from one type thing to another.

I don`t see. I don`t see that changing. I actually do think we`ll pick up a

couple of more Republican senators, I think people are going to be stunned

at how powerful the presentation is of the House impeachment managers.

Just everything that I see, and I hear is this is going to be a compelling

case they`re going to make and I suspect that they`ll do better than 55

than the original 55. I really do. And it`s going to be some riveting

television. It`s going to be riveting sound bites, and it`s going to be

riveting video, I promise you that. People have put this together all of a

very smart. They`re very committed to this and I think you can do a great


WILLIAMS: Mike Murphy, as I`ve said, it may define cognitive dissonance to

sit behind a desk that was ransacked by someone under the MAGA banner in

your sanctuary that was ransacked by rioters defiled, looted, and, and vote

in effect, that there`s nothing to see here.

But that aside, our friend Tim Miller wrote this week that Trump should

testify and if not be called out as a coward. Do you think that gets the

Democrats anything?

MURPHY: Yes, I mean, they ought to call Trump a coward. He is a coward. I

mean, I think what Trump will do is his lawyers won`t let him testify,

testify. But he`ll go on a rival network named after a furry animal and,

you know, to Hannity or somewhere safe and he`ll do a little running

commentary, because it`s an egomaniac, he can`t be in front of the camera.

He`ll just -- they`re no battleship changes that`ll hold him but he won`t

do it in any binding way.

And, you know, this is going to be down to the presentation because if it

was a secret ballot, I think the Republicans would quickly do them in. But

that fear magnet is turning them into cowards and the treasonous way, it`s

the great tragedy of the party I`ve given 30 years to working for.

So, you know, the other problem is, if they don`t, if Mitch can`t get to

17, that`ll be three. You know, nobody wants to take the shot at Trump and

miss -- getting to the goal by two votes. But if Mitch in the caucus at 15

or 14 firm commitments, I`ll bet he find the other four or five if it`s a

good presentation.

You know, nobody wants to do the near miss because the political price

they`re afraid of pain. So why this Ben Sasse video up to date senator from

Nebraska is so important, because he`s writing the playbook on how to push

back on this stuff. And not just go into defensive crouch about Trump in

the Republican base world. People are looking at that in the Republican

Party and learn from it.

WILLIAMS: I will say if this lawsuit against Fox News is successful, they

will rename themselves as the marmoset network within the week. Our thanks

to James Carville and Mike Murphy, always a pleasure having you guys. Thank

you very much.

Coming up for us. Our next guest has drawn intense fire from the political

right because of his insistence, the temerity of insisting that we all wear

a mask to protect ourselves and each other and he`s not backing down nor

should you. Dr. Vin Gupta standing by when we come back.


WILLIAMS: Johnson & Johnson has now requested emergency authorization from

the FDA for its Coronavirus vaccine. If approved, it would become the third

available in the U.S., it only requires one injection. It is easier to

store and transport and let`s say this place, one shot will keep you out of

the hospital and keep you from dying full stop.

We are pleased to have back with us tonight Dr. Vin Gupta, critical care

doc, also an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, educated at Princeton,

Cambridge, Harvard and Columbia med, also a member of the US Air Force

Reserve. Doc, how do you sum up? What`s your reaction to the J&J news?

DR. VIN GUPTA, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Good evening, Brian. You know,

it`s great news for the reason that you just pointed out, Brian, that it

will keep all your viewers if they get that vaccine from seeing me and my

colleagues in the intensive care unit. That is the key piece here.

I`ve been part of a few vaccination clinics in the last few days. And what

-- people are confused, because we`re throwing around all these percentages

from different companies have on efficacy.

But here`s the thing, all these vaccines will save your life if you receive

them, if you`re willing to take them when it`s your turn, it will keep you

out of the intensive care unit from severe pneumonia. And that`s the key

piece there. So that`s great news, Brian.

WILLIAMS: We keep hearing the by the administration wants to send masks to

every American household, we keep hearing the Biden administration wants to

accelerate the at home instant tests. And I said to somebody tonight, it is

almost as if they were listening to you, during April, May, June of last


GUPTA: Well, you know, if you`ll humor me, I as always like I like to show

things to your viewers just to show how easy for example at home testing

is. So I have the test that the by the administration is about to scale.

Let me show to all Americans out there. Everybody who`s doing this, how

easy at home testing is. You just pick your nose with one of these guys for

a few seconds and both nostrils about 10 seconds each, there`s a little

liquid that you put into one of the ends into this dropper. And then all

you do is dunk this in here, like so. You let it sit for a second. And then

this becomes a dropper into this test sensor. You put five drops in there,

I`m not actually doing it and then it connects to Bluetooth to your

smartphone. 15 minutes later, you get a positive or you get a negative.

That`s how simple this is Brian.

So at home testing is not just the future for right now, the present and

the future. But it`s going to be how we test ourselves. I think going down

the road into the future for the next pandemic, God forbid, that actually

happens. But this is how we`re going to be arming people with knowledge so

they can test themselves. That`s the right thing to do.

With masking, just since you brought it up. For everybody out there, they

should be looking, I know we`ve been talking a lot about double masks. At

the minimum, we`ve been talking about this for months, Brian, fit is

important. If you get this blue mask, this blue mask is great, but then

maybe tie the ear loop so you have a tighter fit. Or get one of these cloth

masks, multilayer cloth masks with these zip ties here that you can make

the tighter fit around your ears. That`s going to be key here. High quality

mask with the appropriate bit vital.

WILLIAMS: Is there a way to sum up in 45 seconds how bad it has gotten for

you by dint of the fact that you`ve been out there ahead of this really

advocating mask wearing for all based on the notion that we could save?

What 80,000 souls?

GUPTA: It`s been tough, Brian, I mean, I`ll say that, for example. You

know, I`ve been advocating that educators across the country just get

vaccination before they go back into the classroom, at least high risk

educators and I get -- I`ve been caught a few kerfuffles just because I say

something that`s common sense.

Because here`s the thing here, most public schools Brian, are not -- don`t

have the resources of private schools, they don`t have testing. They don`t

have the ability to have great ventilation immediately. So the quickest way

to safely reopen schools, in my view, at least for high risk teachers is to

get them shots in arms just like the governor of Oregon did. Common sense

things have now become political. And you know, certainly I`ve paid the


WILLIAMS: Dr. Vin Gupta, our thanks for taking our questions. Our thanks

for all your appearances going back when it`s coming up on a year now. It`s

a sad milestone we`re approaching, greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up for us. The chances are low, but the jackpot is potentially huge

and life saving. We`ll look at some of the people in pursuit of scoring a

COVID vaccine that was otherwise destined to go to waste.


WILLIAMS: As we mentioned this new J&J vaccine will hopefully soon be

available nationwide. Millions of Americans are desperate to get their

shots of any kind. Some are going to great lengths to make sure no vaccine

goes to waste. NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders has our report tonight

on the so called vaccine hunters.


KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They`re the vaccine

hunters the young and old on a scavenger hunt in search of unused vaccines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s any chance I can get it. It`s totally worth

staying in line for all day.

SANDERS: Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are kept at extremely low

temperatures. Once they come to room temperature the vaccine is good for

about five hours.

(on camera): It is unclear how much vaccine has gone to waste but ad hoc

systems have developed online because it`s happening often enough.

(voice-over): and Facebook groups crowdsourcing where to


(on camera): But for the moment this is working.


we`re doing here. Any arm is better than the trash.

SANDERS (voice-over): In Seattle. 65-year-old Kevin O`Keefe is tipped off

by his son that a fridge had broken at the local hospital and doses were

going to spoil.

KEVIN O`KEEFE, SEATTLE RESIDENT: My son sought me, what are the odds.

SANDERS (on camera): They notified you and you ran.


SANDERS (voice-over): Hunters now linger in their cars at sites hoping

today is the day.

MONICA ALKASARA (ph), VACCINE HUNTER: We stay here Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

and today.

SANDERS: You`ve been waiting that long?

ALKASARA: Yes, yes

Monica Alkasara and her 72-year-old friends Sylvia Alvarez (ph) not

eligible to register in Florida because they`re from Mexico. Leftovers

however are fair game. The vaccine hunters with the motto, waste not, want



WILILAMS: Our thanks to Kerry Sanders for that report. He further reports

that many of those same people will be back in that same line tomorrow.

Coming up, the cost of conspiracy theories, the cost of our toxic politics.

We will hear from a woman who has been a target of all of it.


WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go here tonight. We`ve had our fun with

Marjorie Taylor Greene, the QAnon congresswoman whose belief in Jewish

space lasers and RBG`s body double and stage school shootings and Satan

worship at the highest levels of government is all flat out crazy.

It`s what happens after four years of lies and misinformation and

disinformation soaked up by Americans like the Congresswoman, the people

who took our capital by force and millions of others at home, some of them

nursing, anger and grievances, some of whom might think nothing of phoning

in a death threat.

The hatred in our midst is toxic, it`s real. And so, listen to a real

member of Congress Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, targeted by the

QAnon Congresswoman among others. Listen to her telling Congress today what

this has done to her life.


REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): This is so hard because as many of my colleagues

know, my closest colleagues now, my very first day of orientation, I got my

first death threat. It was a serious one, they took me aside, the FBI had

to go to the gentleman`s home. I didn`t even get sworn in yet. And someone

wanted to be dead for just existing.

And so, I asked my colleagues to please try not to dehumanize what`s

happening. This is real. And, you know, many of our residents, from the

shootings, in Charlottesville to the massacre at the synagogue all of it.

All of it is led by hate rhetoric like this.

And so, I urge my colleagues to please, please take what happened on

January 6 seriously, it will lead to more tough and we can do better. We

must do better. Thank you.


WILLIAMS: Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to take us off the air tonight. And

with that, that is our broadcast for this Thursday evening with our thanks

for being with us. On behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of NBC

News, good night.




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