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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, 4/13/21

Guests: Melissa Murray, William McRaven


Hundreds of people protested in front of the police station for the third night after the death of Daunte Wright. A curfew is set to go into effect at 10 p.m. Officer who fired shot and police chief both resign. Defense calls more witnesses in Derek Chauvin murder trial. Defense`s use- of-force expert claims Chauvin`s actions were justified and followed department policy. "New York Times" is reporting that indicted Matt Gaetz associate is cooperating with DOJ. President Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months. Biden`s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan splits Congress, but not just on party lines. Trump administration had brokered a deal with Taliban last year to pull troops by May 2021. The FDA is asking states to temporarily halt using J&J`s COVID-19 vaccine after six people in the U.S. developed a rare blood-clotting disorder.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: MSNBC`s breaking news coverage continues now with "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams. That`s right now.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: And indeed, good evening once again. While this happens to be day 84 of the Biden administration, we begin yet again this evening in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota just north of Minneapolis, where it is now 10 p.m. local time and that curfew has just gone into effect.

Protesters remain on the streets, however, for a third night as anger and outrage are growing after the deadly police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Wright was shot and killed on Sunday, when police pulled his car over and tried to arrest him on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant.

Kim Potter, the 26-year veteran officer who fired that single fatal shot has resigned, as has Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon. He called the shooting accidental after viewing Potter`s body camera video, which he said indicate she thought she was deploying a Taser and instead fired one shot with of course her highly lethal and vastly different nine millimeter service weapon. That single shot fatal and now a 20-year-old Daunte Wright isn`t alive anymore.

This afternoon, the mayor of Brooklyn Center reacted to Officer Potter`s decision to resign.


MAYOR MIKE ELLIOTT, BROOKLYN CENTER, MINNESOTA: The officer stepping down has the effects I think of speaking to one of the things that the community, that folks who have been out here protesting. I have been calling for and that is that the officer should be relieved of her duties. This case needs to be given to, appointed to the Attorney General.


ELLIOTT: And so I am calling on the governor to exercise his authority and to move this case from Washington County to the jurors under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General.


WILLIAMS: Daunte Wright`s family also spoke out this afternoon as members of George Floyd`s family looked on. Wright`s mother described seeing and speaking to him before he was shot.


KATIE WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT MOTHER: That was the last time that I see my son. That`s the last time I heard from my son and I have had no explanation since then.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My nephew was a lovable young man. His smile, oh Lord, the most beautiful smile. Y`all took that.


WILLIAMS: Again, this is all unfolding about 10 miles north of the city center of Minneapolis where former Police Officer Derek Chauvin is of course on trial for the murder of George Floyd. This morning, the prosecution rested its case after 11 days of testimony, 38 different witnesses. The defense then began laying out their case among the witnesses, a use of force expert who defended Chauvin`s actions.


BARRY BRODD, USE OF FORCE EXPERT HIRED BY CHAUVIN DEFENSE TEAM: I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified and was acting with objective reasonableness following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement and his interactions with Mr. Floyd.


WILLIAMS: The defense also introduced video of Floyd`s arrest in May 2019. It happened in North Minneapolis, and called the EMT who responded to that scene.


ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR DEREK CHAUVIN: Were you able to learn that Mr. Floyd had consumed some narcotics that day?


NELSON: What did he tell you specifically about what narcotics he had taken? And when he had taken them?

MOSENG: He had told me that he had been taking multiple, like every 20 minutes. And it was -- I don`t remember if it was Oxy or Percocet, but it was opioid-based.


WILLIAMS: Also tonight, there are new developments concerning the federal sex trafficking investigation into Trump acolyte and Florida Republican Congressman, Matt Gaetz. The New York Times reports that indicted former Gaetz Associate Joel Greenberg, he`s cooperating with the feds and "has been providing investigators with information since last year about an array of topics including Mr. Gaetz`s activities. Joel Greenberg disclosed to investigators that he and Mr. Gaetz had encounters with women who were given cash or gifts in exchange for sex."

One of the authors of this Times story tonight Katie Benner standing by to join us in a moment. Times also out with another breaking story, a new yet to be released report on the insurrection, January 6 from the Capitol Police Inspector General, "Capitol Police had clear advanced warnings about the January 6 attack than were previously known, including the potential for violence in which Congress itself is the target. But officers were instructed by their leaders not to use their most aggressive tactics to hold off the mob."

This report is going to be the subject of a Capitol Hill hearing on Thursday of this week. As you know, one Capitol Police Officer died as a result of injuries sustained during the riot. Today, the president, members of Congress gathered on Capitol Hill to honor another officer who lost his life defending the U.S. Capitol. William Billy Evans served on the Hill for 18 years. He was killed April 2 when a driver rammed his vehicle into a barricade slamming into Evans and another officer.

With that, and before we bring in our other guests in this first segment tonight, we want to start in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. And our correspondent Cal Perry is with us live tonight. He`s been watching it all back and forth.

Cal, in watching your reporting, it appears that things have calmed down a bit with the arrival of the curfew?

CAL PERRY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, absolutely. And I think police slowly ratcheted up that pressure. I`ll get out of the way. They started with that sort of CS spray, that chemical spray that red irritant through the fence. Then police actually moved out of the compound that fenced in area that comprises now the police station here. And the moment that really we saw the crowds thinned out, the police back by National Guard, I would say about 500 of them just running as fast as they could, flat out, down this road, arresting a number of people. And that`s when a lot of people decided that was it to go home.

There are basically a handful of protesters left. I would say there is about 10 times as much media here as there are protesters. And really, Brian, just a small group, a handful of people dancing in the middle of the street, trying to antagonize the police. But again 500 to 1000 law enforcement officers completely overwhelming, the small amount of protesters that were here on the ground tonight. Brian.

WILLIAMS: Cal Perry, thank you for that report, A snowy night north of Minneapolis this evening.

With that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests on this Tuesday evening, three friends of this broadcast, Ashley Parker, Pulitzer Prize-winning White House Bureau Chief for The Washington Post, Katie Benner, Justice Department Reporter for The New York Times, again whose reporting has led the way on the Gaetz scandal and Professor Melissa Murray of NYU Law School. She was law clerk for Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the federal bench prior to her nomination to the Supreme Court.

And in fact, given the news we`re talking about, Professor, I`d like to begin with you. How may the law approach this case of Mr. Wright? We have seen him get killed. We know a police officer took his life. We have now seen it on video. What is the legal approach? Do you expect the charge? What do you expect that charge to be?

c NYU LAW PROFESSOR: Brian, I think a lot will depend on what the investigation of this incident uncovers. It`s still pretty early days right now. But one of the cases that was raised today in the Chauvin trial, Graham vs. Connor, which is a 1989 Supreme Court decision really makes it pretty easy for the police to be acquitted on these charges, because it takes into account the view that police officers take inherent risks in the conduct of their work. And because of that, when we think about police misconduct, we have to view it through the lens of the reasonable police officer, what sorts of things would they have been thinking of given the kinds of pressures that they face in that particular moment.

With a standard like that, there`s a wide range of latitude that I think jurors and courts are willing to give the police in those circumstances. So, you know, some of this is already set up in ways that I think advantage the police officers given the inherent risks of that kind of work.

WILLIAMS: Does that all mean, Professor, something -- people should be prepared for something less than a straight up charge of murder?

MURRAY: It may be the case that it`ll be less than a straight up charge of murder. I`m again for any kind of homicide and all of these homicides are graded in Minneapolis and/or in Minnesota and in other states. It really depends on the state of mind that the actor had when the act was undertaken. And so here where the officer claimed to have mistaken her taser, or her gun rather for her taser, it`s not clear that this is going to rise to the level of murder because she may not necessarily be assumed to have the state of mind for murder, but instead it might be something where negligence or some lesser standard for intent might be indicated. So maybe a manslaughter charge, but a lot will depend on what she can claim as her state of mind and what can be proven given the circumstances in the investigation that concludes.

WILLIAMS: All right, thank you for that explanation. Again, to our viewers we may learn whatever charge as early as tomorrow.

Katie Benner, before we get to your reporting tonight, let`s talk about that giant building and department you cover in Washington at DOJ. And I note there are still several top tier vacancies. The incoming Biden administration, of course was not allowed the usual transition time to gear up and get ready and make nominations. How closely do you think the feds are watching what we`re watching tonight, the streets, the circumstances, the case in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota?

KATIE BENNER, THE NEW YORK TIMES JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REPORTER: Absolutely, even without top people in place, including the head of a civil rights division. We`re seeing that happen tomorrow. We`re hearing Kristen Clark`s hearing will be tomorrow. We`ll see if Biden gets his Civil Rights Division nominee through.

But even without somebody like Kristen Clark in place, Attorney General Merrick Garland has made clear that he`s closely watching every single one of these incidents. Keep in mind, the Justice Department has an investigation into Derek Chauvin himself. It has an investigation open into the killing of Breonna Taylor, has an investigation open into the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. The Justice Department is going to take seriously killings of unarmed black people. And so this is going to be one that`s on the radar. Certainly we don`t know yet where it will where it will go. We do know that under this Justice Department, the federal government will say that if its own interests around civil rights are not satisfied, but the state will enter.

WILLIAMS: Ashley Parker, let me play something for you because I have a question surrounding it after we hear it. This is Senator John, no relation, Kennedy on Fox News tonight.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY: If You Hate Cops Just Because They`re Cops, the Next Time You Get in Trouble, Call a Crackhead.


WILLIAMS: As I always remind people at moments like this, that man was educated at Vanderbilt UVA law and Oxford. This is a persona he plays and intellectually he knows better. But having said that, Ashley, is the Biden White House up to the job of countering the narrative coming out of the Republican Party, getting fuel and free airtime from networks like Fox?

ASHLEY PARKER, THE WASHINGTON POST, WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF: Well, they certainly feel that way. As Katie was just saying all of these issues are things they take incredibly seriously. When then candidate Biden announced his bid for the presidency, he said one of the key reasons was because of what happened in Charlottesville with a white supremacist rally, which is again, it`s not police brutality, but it is all tied to this broader bucket of systematic racism and society. And Biden came into office, identifying four major crises. One of those was racial inequity. Today, when he met with the Congressional Black Caucus, it was a meeting that was scheduled for one hour, it ran to two hours, now how successful the White House will be encountering and this still remains an open question.

Again, we just saw another death of an unarmed black man while we are witnessing the trial for George Floyd. So the administration is far from declaring any sort of successes, but it is absolutely something they are committed to and that this President feels passionately about.

WILLIAMS: And Professor about the Floyd trial, something we will point out 1000 times between now and when whatever verdict arrives, the defense case is underway. The prosecution needs a unanimous jury, the defense needs to peel off, but one doubting juror, one no vote on that panel to get an acquittal. With that having been said what did you make of the defense case day one, Professor?

MURRAY: I think the defense did exactly what we expected them to do. The real critical issue here is likely to be the cause of death and failing that whether or not Officer Chauvin used reasonable force. And today we saw the defense pressing on both of these things, raising the point that Mr. Floyd had drugs in his system when he was arrested, raising his pre- existing medical conditions and again, putting someone on the stand who could make clear at least in the defense`s view, that there was a reasonable use of force here and that the officer did nothing untoward with regard to Mr. Chauvin`s, or with regard to Mr. Floyd.

So, again, it was pretty predictable. And we`ve seen this in their cross of the prosecution`s witnesses. And we saw it raised here again today. And as you say, the defense has a pretty much easier case to make relative to the prosecution. They just have to peel off that one juror who believes that there`s reasonable doubt here.

WILLIAMS: And Katie Benner, finally to your reporting with Mike Schmidt tonight in the New York Times about the Gaetz matter, are we okay in assuming that exactly two people, maybe more know exactly how much potential trouble Gaetz is in and that`s Gaetz himself and his friend or former friend, Greenberg remind us, just for how long Mr. Greenberg has been sharing things with the Feds in this case?

BENNER: Absolutely. So, Joel Greenberg has been sharing things with the Fed since at least December. And what`s interesting about that is it`s given the FBI and the Justice Department plenty of time to vet his claims he`s been talking to them. We don`t know how truthful he`s been. And we don`t know how carefully he`s been. We`d have to look at Joel Greenberg`s overall record to assume that there is a chance that he might have been totally truthful. And that`s going to have a huge impact on whether or not you can nail down this cooperation deal at the middle of next month. Because if the department really feels that he`s been lying to them, they won`t give him his deal. At the same time, they`re still going to take any piece of information he has given them and run it down and try to use it to make other cases.

WILLIAMS: And finally, Ashley Parker, four years of covering Donald Trump made you something of an expert, a title I`m not sure you were looking for going into this job. Are you curious about the reaction of Trump and his circle? To Gaetz, I think it`s safe to say they`ve been cautious on this subject.

PARKER: I was curious, and I started asking around people in the President`s orbit and the answer I got as to why there has not been the surface defense of them. And quite the opposite, frankly, was sort of twofold. One is that the allegations involve an underage girl. And number two, if someone put it to me is that Matt Gaetz was kind of a jerk, although just generally a jerk, although this person used a more colorful descriptor. But this is also an orbit where they are used to, two things, loyalty only flowing one way towards the president. And they`re used to having people go to jail, get cast out, get in trouble, they sort of have a playbook and they have become sort of muscle memory equipped, to cut people loose when it no longer serves them. And that`s very much what we`re seeing right now.

WILLIAMS: Much obliged to our big three tonight, to Ashley Parker, Katie Benner, Professor Melissa Murray, thank you all so much for starting off our broadcast.

Coming up, he called Minneapolis a breaking point that was last year. I`ll talk with the author and reporter Wesley Lowery about what`s unfolding there now and what to make of it.

And later, abundance of caution or overreaction as the FDA and CDC hit pause on the J&J vaccine based on a one in a million, literally, one in a million chance of something going wrong. We have a doctor on deck to walk us through it all. All of it as THE 11TH HOUR is just getting underway on this Tuesday night.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s just a lot of chaos going on right now. We`re just trying to wrap our heads around the situation and try and create some calm.

COMMUNITY MEMBER: You can`t wrap your head around it. But you go home and you wrap your arms around you kids every day. Every day. I`m going to need you to wrap your mind around it. I`m going to need you to (inaudible). I`m going to need you to put your boots on the ground and act like you care about Black, Brown, and Indigenous bodies.


WILLIAMS: Some background here. That happened on live television. Those two officers are temporarily running the department as senior officers in lieu of the chief who has turned in his resignation. And as you can tell emotions are running high and frustrations are correctly boiling over in the wake of another police shooting in the state of Minnesota.

For more we welcome to the broadcast Wesley Lowery. He is a veteran of the Washington Post, where he was part of the team that won a Pulitzer for the paper`s fatal force project examining police shootings in our country. He`s now at 60 minutes as a correspondent for 60 minutes plus, which streams on paramount plus, importantly, he is the author of, They Can`t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America`s Racial Justice Movement.

Thank you very much for coming on. And Wes, after Floyd was killed, you wrote about the horrible cycle. It starts with the killing of a black man. Then come the protests, then come what I believe you refer to as small changes, then too often the cycle repeats. And we are in that now. Meantime, the family of a 20-year-old don`t have their son to hug anymore because he is gone, dispatched by a police weapon. Is it possible to overstate the level of frustration right now?

WESLEY LOWERY, CBS NEWS 60 MINUTES CORRESPONDENT: I`m not sure it is, Brian, you know, as in the break, as I was waiting to come on air with you, I was watching on my phone an Instagram video from an activist I know in Minneapolis. And she was saying to the camera, this is why we can`t accept the promise that we have to get a real change. We have to get big systemic shifts. And I think what we`re seeing is a generation of activists, many of whom entered this space in the Obama era, who came into adulthood in a way in 2009. They were upset and enraged by what happened with Travon Martin and Jordan Davis. They were frustrated a new with Eric Gardner and Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, they get to 16 and 17. And you`ve got Philando Castile, and Botham Jean. And you have a city now in Minneapolis that as the entire city as well as the entire nation is glued to their televisions watching this trial asking, would there be some semblance of legal justice and a case in which we all watched George Floyd under a police officer`s knee for more than nine minutes. And even in that moment, in the two weeks to three weeks that that trial was happening here we have yet another case where a law enforcement officer has taken the life of a young black man, under circumstances in which the average viewer and certainly the average black viewer finds himself outraged, finds themselves upset, is looking at this case and saying this should not have happened. This is not what we want policing to be.

And so no, I don`t think we can`t overstate the frustration, the exhaustion, and how miserable this cycle for those who work in this space, and who do this type of activism, much less just black Americans broadly, whether they work in this space or not watching this time and time again, and each time thinking that could be my child, that could be my daughter, that could be my uncle, that could be my father.

WILLIAMS: It`s no comfort and no solace, but at least we have the body camera technology and a mayor who released it quickly, that shows a police officer taking the life of Daunte Wright. Again, it`s no comfort, it`s no solace, but at least we know how he died and at whose hand.

I want to read you the statement that came out today, from former President Obama. The fact that this could happen even as the City of Minneapolis is going through the trial of Derek Chauvin and reliving the heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd indicates not just how important it is to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but also just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country."

If that point seems familiar to our viewers, our guest just made a seconds ago. And Wes, the question is, what does Biden need to do on a policy public education standpoint, that perhaps the duo Obama-Biden was unable to do during their time?

LOWERY: Certainly, it is a remarkable statement from President Obama, who had to, when he was in office, really walk a tightrope on these issues to the frustration of many of the activists and to, frankly, many black Americans who thought that he had to pull his punches a bit because, as happened time and time again, when he would weight in, there would be demagogued. And there would be such backlash from the right you can think of the Gates (ph) incident and Travon Martin where for saying things as straightforward as, if I had a son, he`d look like Travon Martin. President Obama was basically -- was almost run out of office by congressional Republicans, or at least even made it sound like they were willing to.

In this case, it`s going to be really interesting. And really, I`m very interested to watch and see what the Biden ministration does. As the earlier guests were noting, if they can get them confirmed, they`ve got people like Kristen Clarke and Vanita Gupta, who are veterans of this space, who know these -- who know, these issues like the back of their hand, who, frankly have great track records, not just with activists and reformers, but with the police themselves, people who are willing to work on these issues. What`s difficult here, you know, I believe the Biden administration and their officials, when they say they care about these issues, that this is a top priority for them. What is difficult here is that the United States of America, policing is a local and state government issue. It`s not an issue in which the Department of Justice or the presidency and White House can just come in and in a sweeping piece of legislation, change how policing works in America, we have 18,000 police departments, many of whom operate as relatively independent local militias. It`s weird to think of them that way. But that`s what it is, in reality, they report to their police chief and then to whoever`s higher to them via City Council, or mayor, you they have state laws they report to but those vary of 50 different sets of laws. And the Feds do have limited power in terms of what their real oversight is.

And even the conversations that are had, whether it be about the George Floyd justice and policing act or other congressional potential fixes, or things that when you dive in, actually, while it takes steps many people would like to see in policing do not reimagine policing in their fundamental and foundational way.

And so what`s going to be interesting here is if the Biden administration can find a way to put their foot on the scale to facilitate, I don`t want to say a national conversation. We`ve been down that road many times, but to facilitate a type of change across these departments in localities, which is how this has to happen.

The other thing that I think is worth noting, I think I mentioned this loosely in that Atlantic piece you referenced from last year, was that following Rodney King, one of the things that the Congress did is it gave itself and gave the Department of Justice, more power to oversee police. And so when you see these investigations that are launched to post Ferguson, post Eric Gardner in Minneapolis, the patterns and practices investigation so people like Vanita Gupta were expert at and let, that power didn`t exist until post Rodney King or the Feds give themselves more power to oversee the police.

One thing that hasn`t been discussed, at least publicly very much, but that might end up being on the table is this Congress, especially democratically controlled Congress, grant itself or the executive, the Department of Justice, more oversight of local policing, which might add new tools to their toolbox to help reform some of these issues that come up time and time again.

One thing I always know is that even when it`s not in the headlines, we`re not paying attention to it. The work of myself and my colleagues, The Washington Post killed, still keep the fatal force database going, finds that three people are shot and killed by the police every single day, whether they make the headlines or they don`t.

But this is something that is always present in our society. And so therefore, something that, again, even when it`s not the political issue of the moment, even when a street is not on fire, this is something that`s happening protecting American families.

WILLIAMS: Our thanks to our guest tonight, Wesley Lowery for coming on and talking about these issues that are continuing to lead our broadcast. West, thank you very much.

Coming up for us, the man who led the team that took down Osama bin Laden, we`ll ask the retired four star Admiral what he thinks about Biden`s plan to remove all American troops from Afghanistan by the 9/11 anniversary after this break.


WILLIAMS: Some lawmakers are not happy about President Biden`s expected announcement tomorrow that all U.S. troops will be leaving Afghanistan by September 11. That will officially and America`s longest war.

Let`s talk about it. And with us again to do that tonight, Admiral William McRaven, the retired four star Admiral commanded us, all of us special forces, including supervision of the raid that killed bin Laden. He is also the author of his newest book out just today called "The Hero Code: Lessons Learned From Lives Well Lived."

Admiral, my friend, it`s great to see you and great to have you back on the broadcast. And I`m going to begin with a very smart guy. You and I both know, the estimable head of the Council on Foreign Relations. Richard Haass, who said this, about the withdrawal tonight on Twitter, disappointing that the Biden administration opted for calendar rather than conditions based withdrawal from Afghanistan. Costs of staying are relatively low, 3,000 troops know us combat deaths since February of last year, cost of leaving terrorism revival, spike and repression by the Taliban, hit to U.S. reputation he views as high.

So Admiral a bunch of questions stem from that, what instead would victory look like? How long would we have to hang out to see that, but what does this withdrawal mean, to the families of the troopers and sailors under your command who didn`t come home? What does it mean about what the longest war we`ve ever fought was all about?

ADM. WILLIAM MCRAVEN, RET. U.S. NAVY: Yes, thanks, Brian, as always good to be with you. Well, you know, the, the Biden ministration clearly has come to the decision that there is not going to be a military victory in Afghanistan. And so from the military standpoint, all we can ask for is that the President listens to and considers our advice.

So the advice of folks like John Scott Miller, who was the ICF commander, in charge of Afghanistan, so Frank McKenzie, at CENTCOM, Joel, Mark Milley, and of course, Secretary Austin, all of those men have had extensive experience in Afghanistan.

So from the military standpoint, we have the opportunity to speak to the president to talk to him about all those issues that that Richard Haass raised. But at the end of the day, this is a decision for the civilian leaders, we are a professional military, our job is to follow the orders of the civilian leadership. And at the end of the day, we will do that.

WILLIAMS: For all the Republicans hopping up and down on Capitol Hill, this, this new withdrawal date supersedes the date from the Trump administration that they set in May. I don`t imagine you are a big fan of hard and fast withdrawal dates or times off of any battlefield.

MCRAVEN: Yes, in general, no. But here`s what I would offer to you. Based on, you know, some of the sources I`ve been talking to, I think they`ve come to the understanding that they can do a thoughtful withdrawal. Again, recognizing that there aren`t that many troops left. You know, we`ve got to think about how do we get the American troops out, how do we get our allies out, and ensure that we do show in an orderly fashion.

So I don`t know that September 11 was, you know, was the best of all possible dates, but I do understand there is some significance to that. But I know that the consultation and the discussions that have gone on in the Oval Office with the military leaders took a look at the additional four months from the original Trump request or direction and thinks they can do it.

So if the military leadership thinks it can be done in that period of time, and the political leadership is supportive of that, then we move forward.

WILLIAMS: I am always happy telling our viewers recommending that our viewers read your books, and this one is no different. I`m happy to have a copy. It was sent to me by a guy who looks suspiciously like the author, talk about the 10 parts of the hero code. And two qualities specifically jumped out to me humor and forgiveness and what you`ve learned about the hero code from the people in your path as you`ve lived your life.

MCRAVEN: Brian, I`m thrilled to do that. But before I do so let me go back to one of the questions you had on Afghanistan. You`re asked about, you know, how will the families of the fallen react to this? I will tell you that the sacrifice of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, civilians, everybody that was over in Afghanistan, that sacrifice not one single iota of that sacrifice will change as a result of the political outcome in Afghanistan. Their heroics won`t change, their bravery won`t change, and their sacrifice will not change completely irrespective of the outcome. So I want people to make sure they understand that

And in terms of the hero code, you know, I`ve been fortunate in my 40 years 37 in the military, and then my time as the Chancellor of the University of Texas to encounter some remarkable heroes in uniform and not in uniform. You talked about the humor, you know, I saw it time and time again when these young men and women who were severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, they huge, huge tumor all the time to tell the enemy look, you may have beat me in that firefight, I may have lost a leg, I may have lost an arm, but I can still laugh about it. Humor sometimes is this great source of strength.

And I talked about the fact that these are noble qualities. Humor is a noble quality, particularly in the face of some of the things that the kids have encountered. These great soldiers I`ve encountered overseas and forgiveness. You know, today, we find ourselves in a situation where it is harder and harder to forgive. I think that may be the toughest of all of the heroic qualities.

Everybody seems to be aggrieved today, you know, the smallest slight, and people get angry. And yet I have seen time and time again, people, families who have lost loved ones, forgive they have forgiven, sometimes the unforgivable act. And if we see those heroes that can forgive some of these unforgivable acts, surely we ought to be able to forgive some of the slides that occurred to us every single day. And I think that will make us a better society, a better people.

WILLIAMS: He has proven to be as good an author as he was at the admiral business. William McRaven has been our guest tonight. His newer -- newest work out just today is "The Hero Code: Lessons Learned From Lives Well Lived." Admiral, thank you. Great to see you. And as always, hook them horns.

Coming up for us after our next break. A big name vaccine has been paused, based on a one in a million chance of a bad outcome. An update on the pandemic fight right after this.


WILLIAMS: The CDC Advisory Committee meets tomorrow to investigate to discuss the J&J vaccine after today`s decision to temporarily pause shots in arms. But the six, six reported cases of a rare blood clotting disorder linked to the vaccine amount to less than one in a million.

Back with us tonight to talk about it. Dr. John Torres, NBC News Senior medical correspondent also happens to be the author of the new book, Dr. Disaster`s Guide To Surviving Everything," something we could use right now, Essential Advice for Any Situation, Life Throws Your Way" as if we could be thrown any more than what we`ve got right now.

Doc, I am so happy to have you because this is a tough one. Literally, if you are a woman and a certain sliver age bracket, your chances are one in a million, if not greater, that you will have this blood clotting disorder. And yet in the interest of full transparency, they`ve paused to the otherwise fully effective J&J vaccine. This can`t help the issue of vaccine hesitancy however.

DR. JOHN TORRES, NBC NEWS SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: And Brian, you`re exactly right. And in a given year, without the vaccine, around four to five people in a million end up getting this type of blood clots. So it`s a rare blood clot to begin with. But they have found six women who got the vaccine and then ended up getting this blood clot. What they don`t know is there a connection between the two, but they want to make sure and like you said specific age ranges 18 to 48. They develop the blood clots within six to 13 days of getting the vaccine.

And they don`t know if the connection is there. But they want to make sure so they`ve started to -- they`ve withdrawn the vaccine, they`ve recommended they not use the vaccine at this point, the Johnson & Johnson one. So you can look into it in an overabundance of caution. But they`re also telling doctors, hey, if you do happen to see this, look for certain signs. And if you do think a patient has this, don`t treat them like you normally treat blood clots because they need different types of medication.

So there`s two things going on here again, one is that overabundance of caution. The other is telling doctors you need to treat this a little differently. So just be aware of it, Brian.

WILLIAMS: Of course when the Salk vaccine for polio came out, there was a famously bad batch. Memory serves, I think we lost a dozen Americans killed by that bad batch. But everyone pressed forward because of the benefits of the vaccine. And in this case, as a public health matter, don`t you have to stress these vaccines, any of the brands out will keep you out of the hospital and keep you from dying from COVID.

TORRES: And Brian, that`s an important point because in the study, they found out that when people were fully vaccinated, regardless of which one of the three they got, zero of the people ended up in hospitals, zero ended up hospitalized, 100 percent effectiveness at preventing hospitalizations and preventing deaths. And so that`s very important considering the toll that COVID has taken on this country and on individuals.

And as one expert put it, your chances of getting injured in a car accident are astronomically higher than your chances of getting any kind of reaction that could be long term or have long term complications when these vaccines.

WILLIAMS: On that front, let`s sell some books you deal with car accidents and animal attacks and active shooters. Anything in today`s society that could kill or injure us, drawing on your experience as an ER doc, as an Air Force veteran, you also touch on history. Tell me the lesson you learned from the 1918 flu.

TORRES: And the biggest lesson, I think all of us learn there is this is 1918 pandemic, it was essentially a two-year maybe even a longer event, just when we thought we got over it, we ended up coming back again. And that`s because of human behavior. And it`s spreading around the world.

And so the concern is the same thing going to happen here. We have the vaccines now we have more science that can help us so hopefully not. But I think the lessons of no there is that these things the unexpected can certainly happen. So you want to be careful. You want to understand what you need to do. And the best advice in the book that I give over and over again is having that will to survive. Having that understanding that you need something to go back to and then prepare yourself ahead of time regardless of what happens because the unexpected will suddenly happen. And it`s probably going to happen to you at some point in your life. Brian.

WILLIAMS: Ladies and gentlemen of the audience, there`s the title of the book, there is the book cover on the screen. I think if there was a lesson of the year 2020 it`s that it`s the right book at the right time by the right guy. Our guest tonight Dr. John Torres. Doc, a pleasure having you on. Thank you very much and good luck with the book.

Coming up for us, exclusive reporting from the epicenter of the migrant surge we`re going through right now. We`ll go there to show you what is driving people to risk it all.


WILLIAMS: Wrap your head around this number over 22,000 children are now in U.S. custody on our southern border as record numbers continue to cross over. President said his immigration plan addresses the factors that are driving people to leave their home countries and come to ours. Tonight, our own Ayman Mohyeldin has a report from Guatemala tonight with a look at what they`re trying to escape.


AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If abject poverty had an address the village of Florido Aceituno would be it. With her baby in one arm Nicholas Ayapen (ph) is about to make the family`s one meal for the day without any running water or electricity.

(on camera): What do you feed the baby?

(voice-over): Powdered milk or a soup she tells me. Her seven month old son, Juan Jesus, is almost half the weight he should be for a baby his age. 50 percent of Guatemala`s children under five are malnourished. It is dire economic conditions like these that tonight are fueling Guatemala`s migration exodus.

Nicholas says she`s thought about going to the U.S. but is staying to take care of her in laws.

But 21-year-old Samuel told us he`s lost hope of a future here, saying he`s working to raise $12,000 to pay traffickers to smuggle him across the border into the U.S. after hearing President Biden would allow him to stay.

The president would give you 100 days of a free pass window he told me. But while the Biden administration is allowing unaccompanied children and now many families to stay in the US, others including adults like Samuel are not allowed in.

Guatemala`s President told me, Biden`s humane messaging towards migrants early on was confusing.


MOHYELDIN (on camera): This president wants to build a wall of prosperity, jobs, education, health care, but that can`t be done without American help and the fear, corrupt official siphoning off funds before they get to the people who needed here the most.


WILLIAMS: Tough and important story to be covering. Our thanks to Ayman Mohyeldin for that. Coming up what we were reporting on a year ago tonight.


WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight is a look back at one year ago today. Remember that on April 13 of 2020 the virus was just starting to roar. Remember we had just lost the month of February to inaction. We were horrified by what unspooled in March. Trump was already trying to rewrite his own history of virus denial and mismanagement.

When we came on the air April 13, this time a year ago the death toll was 23,000 that night I said this about that day`s White House briefing where Trump called for the reopening of our country. I said quote, upon watching it a good many people thought this was as close to a meltdown as you ever want to see from a US president. The briefing was about him his image and reputation, his slights and grievances news coverage of him settling scores. And he made a declaration of presidential powers that our framers risked their lives to avoid. Here now a reminder of what we witnessed a year ago today.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m going to put it very simply, the President of the United States has the authority to do what the President has the authority to do, which is very powerful. The President of the United States calls the shots if we weren`t here for the states. You would have had a problem in this country like you`ve never seen before.

They can`t do anything without the approval of the President of the United States.

When somebody is the President of the United States, the authority is total. And that`s the way it`s got to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your authority is total.

TRUMP: It`s total. It`s total.


WILLIAMS: That was, of course, all wrong, a kaleidoscopic misreading of the Constitution, on top of a kaleidoscopic mishandling of the virus, which as of tonight has killed 567,291 of our fellow citizens.

And that is our broadcast for this Tuesday evening with our thanks for being here with us. On behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of NBC News, good night.