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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, 4/27/21

Guests: Melissa Murray, Irwin Redlener, Mark McKinnon, David Plouffe


President Joe Biden touted the latest guidance from health officials, suggesting fully vaccinated people don`t need to wear masks outdoors. Biden said the new recommendation is "another great reason to go get vaccinated." New video released shows Pasquotank County sheriff`s deputies arriving at the home of Andrew Brown Jr. to serve an arrest warrant before the Black man was shot and killed. Brown family releases independent autopsy results. Health officials urge Americans to get COVID vaccine. Misinformation threatens COVID vaccination efforts. Jonathan Chait sees Biden`s success so far as the result of his avoidance of intense partisan conflict, which means "Republicans can`t stop Biden because he is boring them to death." Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina will deliver Republicans` rebuttal to President Joe Biden`s joint address to Congress next week.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Programming note tomorrow night, I will be joining our special coverage of President Biden`s first address to Congress. MSNBC Special Coverage begins tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Eastern with President Biden expected to begin his speech at 9 p.m. That is tonight`s LAST WORD. "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Well, good evening once again. Day 98 of this Biden administration, a president who by the way, came into office hoping on our behalf, that by July 4, it might feel a whole lot like normal around here. Well today a big step in that direction as the CDC finally relaxed its guidance on masks for fully vaccinated Americans. Health officials say the drop in cases, the rise in vaccines both show the risk of infection is declining. Today the President welcomed the relaxed recommendations and use them to make a pitch for vaccines.


JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: If you`re fully vaccinated, and you`re outdoors, you need -- and not in a big crowd, you no longer need to wear a mask. Gathering with a group of friends in a park, going for a picnic -- as long as you are vaccinated and outdoors, you can do it without a mask. The bottom line is clear, if you`re vaccinated, you can do more things more safely, both outdoors as well as indoors. For -- so for those who haven`t gotten the vaccination yet, especially if you`re younger or thinking you don`t need it, this is another great reason to go get vaccinated, now.


WILLIAMS: Few minutes after that, Biden was asked about his decision to come outside with a mask on.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You chose to wear a mask as you walked out here. What message were you sending by wearing a mask outside alone?

BIDEN: By watching me take it off and not put it back on until I get inside.


WILLIAMS: Note that Biden will be permitted to speak in the House Chamber without a mask tomorrow evening when he addresses Congress. Right now, 26 states still have masked mandates on the books.

Biden also noted coverings are still recommended for big and packed outdoor events, much more on all this ahead in the hour. Now however, to the latest in the fallout from the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Demands for the entire body cam video have escalated protesters were on the streets for seventh night pass the 8 p.m. curfew.

Tonight the town council there released surveillance video that at least shows us militarized looking SWAT deputies loaded into a truck arriving at Brown`s home to serve a search warrant on a drug charge. The video does not show what happened next. Earlier today, Andrew Brown`s family revealed the results of a private autopsy. His relative say, it shows he was first shot four times and the right arm, but a single bullet to the head took his life.


WAYNE KENDALL, BROWN FAMILY ATTORNEY: He was hit in the back of the head, here. And that is the fatal bullet wound that was described in the death certificate as a penetrating bullet wound to the skull. And that was the cause of death.


WILLIAMS: To the relief of many who have lost all faith in the local officials there, the FBI has now opened a civil rights investigation. The State of North Carolina additionally is examining Brown`s killing.

White House officials are telling NBC News policing and racial justice will be a featured portion of the President`s speech to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night ahead of his 100th day in office. He`s also expected to make a big push for the Police Reform Act named after George Floyd.

Axios reporting tonight, he`ll ask Congress to pay nearly 2 trillion for his plan to boost health care, childcare education in our country.

Tomorrow`s address will be the first big event inside the Capitol since that January 6 insurrection and looting. There will be a significant retightening of security with fencing remaining around the Capitol and a National Guard presence around the Capitol. Health restrictions mean that about 200 people in all will be in that house chamber. It`s huge. It is big enough to house 1600.

As we mentioned Biden will give his speech at the exact location where the insurrection has tried to prevent him from taking office. Prosecutors have now in fact charged two rioters in connection with the death of the U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. However, the feds now say they attacked Sicknick with a chemical spray. Not believed to be bear spray as first reported.

Also today, a federal judge decided that the rioter who posed for a photo with his feet up on the desk and Speaker Pelosi suite of offices should be released from jail to await trial. A judge ruled that he did not present the kind of danger to society that would require pre-trial detention.

With all that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests on this Tuesday night led by Ashley Parker, Pulitzer Prize-winning White House Bureau Chief for The Washington Post that we couldn`t help but note was an answer in the New York Times crossword puzzle last week, Carol Leonnig, Pulitzer Prize- winning Investigative Reporter, also with the Washington Post, she is also the author of Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service out next month, available now on pre-order, and Professor Melissa Murray of NYU Law School who was law clerk for Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the federal bench prior to her nomination to the Supreme Court.

Good evening, and welcome to you all. Ashley, I`d like to begin with you. And I`ll begin by playing you some comments by Lindsey Graham this evening on Fox News.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R-SC) SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: If we don`t win in 2022, we should have our ass kicked, because they`re destroying our country. People are dumbfounded about how liberal Joe Biden has been. It`s going to be a blowout year for Republicans. If this election is about policy, we`re going to win.


WILLIAMS: So Ashley, I know you recently spoke to the Senator for your latest piece on the pandemic and the intersection with the Biden agenda. Is there anything about Biden`s style and governance and his agenda that could make Lindsey Graham wrong that could propel a democratic victory? James Carville, in a featured interview today is certainly nervous that 2022 is going to be a long and bad night for his party?

ASHLEY PARKER, THE WASHINGTON POST, WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF: So there is and I will tell you what that is. But I do first want to say that a lot of Democrats, including White House officials, share Senator Graham`s assessment, not that they are going to lose because Biden is driving the country into the ground as Senator Graham said, but that they`re looking at a very tough map in this particular election, and just the way historic swings go, oftentimes, a party wins the White House and then as President Obama said, they get a shellacking in that next midterms. That said, the thing that Biden is doing quite well so far is that he has been very bold and ambitious, and in progressive in a lot of his agenda items in a way that is really heartening, the progressive wing of the party. But he`s also getting some support out in the country against this backdrop of crises where Americans are willing to accept a bigger role for government than they might have just a year or two ago, but at the same time, President Biden`s sort of by nature, by temperament, by resume, his career in the Senate is moderate in tone and temperament. And that makes a lot of the stuff that he says and does, as his critics, frequently frustrate them, it seems reasonable, and they`re having a tough time demonizing him as sort of a radical liberal socialist in the labels that stick to some of his fellow Democrats have not quite stuck to him yet. So again, bold and ambitious on one side, but very moderate and talks about bipartisanship and deal making even though his first big package he passed with not a single Republican vote.

WILLIAMS: Carol Leonnig, tomorrow evening`s visual is going to be striking and it`s going to be a first a president of the United States, with two women behind him, Vice President and Speaker of the House. People who haven`t seen Capitol television since 1/6, may be struck by the fact that someone else is at the Dyess other than the QAnon Shaman wearing the Chewbacca mankini with horns. But speaking of 1/6, and what happened in the neighboring Senate chamber, tells me they`re doing everything possible to make the Capitol safe tomorrow night?

CAROL LEONNIG, THE WASHINGTON POST INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: I think we can all rest easy that they are actually doing everything physically possible, Brian. And I think that, you know, everyone is on keen alert. This is essentially, again, the inauguration all over again, when there were 25,000, the House and National Guard and federal law enforcement forces surrounding the Capitol to make sure that a headline could be written later that day, which nobody would have imagined would need to be written. President Biden returns to White House safely after inauguration. That`s the kind of protection although not that number of forces obviously, but that`s the level of basically on guard quality that we`re going to see. Part of the reason for this, Brian, is not just that January 6 happens and people know now that that kind of attack is possible. We no longer have the failure unfortunately of imagination we can imagine what that was like with the man, with the horns, with the people storming with some -- some people who were in militia gear taking flagpoles into the chests of police officers. So that failure of imagination is not going to happen again.

But there is another issue besides whether or not a siege happens, and that is that law enforcement is very concerned about the constant rhetoric that you are hearing in different news channels, and including from the former president, that is manifest in people taking out their rage, their violence, because they believe that the election is legitimate, and they believe the President is illegitimate. And that leads people who are not stable or are upset, to do things that are really dangerous to get rifles, to figure out places where they have a clean shot. And so of course, everyone is going to be taking every precaution possible for this night, even though the risk may be relatively low, compared to January 6, when the President urged followers to come to the Capitol and stop the certification of the vote.

WILLIAMS: It`s a chilling business, suddenly. Professor Carol just used the word imagination in her answer. I`m going to ask you to use yours and your life`s work at the highest levels of the law. What would you like to hear from the President of the United States on the topic of social justice tomorrow night?

MELISSA MURRAY, NYU LAW PROFESSOR: Well, I think we`re going to hear and I think it will be welcomed by many constituencies are more talk about policing, the need to build trust within communities of color and marginalized communities around the country, with the police. And that really depends a lot on more transparency, and more accountability. So I think that will be a big, a big point.

Other questions of social justice don`t necessarily have anything to do with criminal justice. But again, the sort of economic concerns that we`ve seen plagued this country throughout the course of this pandemic, and we know that the President will unveil his American family`s plan tomorrow night. That`s a really important piece of policy for a lot of people, including many of the women who left the workforce in record numbers during this pandemic, so much so that it was termed as she session, thinking about infrastructure in terms of the scaffolding of care work that people need in order to be able to do their jobs is vitally important to all Americans who work and for their families who depend on their work. And so, again, those questions of social justice, economic justice, racial justice are inextricably intertwined. And I think we`ll see a lot of that tomorrow night.

WILLIAMS: Ashley, think of what we`ve seen unfold in that chamber just over the past couple presidential terms. We have heard the words you lie shouted out, heckler member of the House of Representatives while the President of the United States was speaking. We have seen the Speaker of the House very publicly and theatrically rip up the President`s speech behind him on the Dyess, none of that expected tomorrow night. But talk about what you might be listening for from Joe Biden about how he plans to govern post 100 days?

PARKER: Well, I will be listening for all of that because that is the key question. President Biden and his team came in with a very rigorous and thorough plan for his first 100 days. They had tracked every single one of his campaign pledges and promises and had executive orders and legislation and bits of policy ready to go to try to make good on them. They came in believing correctly, probably that his presidency would rise and fall on his handling of the coronavirus crisis. And they immediately made that a top priority. He had very specific 100 day benchmarks wearing a mask for 100 days, 100 shots in the arms in the first 100 days, getting the majority of schoolchildren back to school in the first 100 days. And after that is a really open question. There`s like all presidents he is grappling with this stuff that you can`t pledge and promise in pre-script. There is a crisis on the nation`s southern border. He has upset, the activists wing of the party with how he handled refugee camps. He is still dealing with issues with systematic racism and policing and gun violence. And those are all things that don`t have overnight solutions and can`t be solved with an executive order. So anything he says on any of those topics will be fascinating.

The last point is of the fourth crises he mentioned when he took office he has made real strides he can point toward coronavirus. The economy and climate change, the thing that is the biggest challenge for him and eludes him is the racial equity racial justice part. We know he plans to address that in the speech but what he says and what road map he lays out will be particularly of interest.

WILLIAMS: Thank you, a useful preview we will put to work tomorrow night. Carol, it strikes me that you and our mutual friend, Phil Rucker, straight up wrote the book on the Trump administration. Try to express for us how stark the difference is to you as an observer, as a journalist, between the last guy and this guy?

LEONNIG: I hate to quote a general but I think General Mattis may have said one part of this best, which is, you know, what really stands out about Donald Trump was that he really stoked division. He stoked fear and he stoked distrust. He pitted two sides of the country, which are rarely fractured against each other. And as we see with Joe Biden, even though clearly he knows which part of the country is on his side, he`s speaking to the whole country. So that is a very stark difference. It`s been a singular difference about Donald Trump in this modern presidency.

The other major differences that the bully pulpit, that Biden ascends to tomorrow night, is one in which he`s trying to be a moral authority, one in which he`s trying to be a soother and an empathizer. And that is also a role that Donald Trump did not see. His was more often the sort of circus leader and salesman, the pitch the pitch artist, but in this case, I think we`re going to hear Joe Biden talk a lot about the importance of beating through 100, 200 years pattern of systemic racism in our country, beating through why there are no consequences for the deaths of black men and women at police hand, why we -- what we are going to do about civil unrest in the country, what we`re going to do about the fracture that divides this country still, so that`s something that Donald Trump didn`t really want to address other than stoke, and I think actually summaries so good on that point.

WILLIAMS: I agree, Professor, you get the last word, that killing of Andrew Brown just hit everyone already numb to the series of them in the news that we`ve been covering. And it seemed, for a while, like we had seen this movie before. So many people were cheered by the news that the FBI was going to swoop into this case, tell us what happens exactly when the Feds arrive in a case that`s underway?

MURRAY: So when the FBI orders a civil rights investigation of something like this on police violence against a citizen, the question really is will they actually find evidence in order to bring civil charges against the officers or find more evidence that perhaps might fuel an investigation of the police department more generally, but it`s not a criminal investigation, per se, these are civil charges that with a civil investigation, that means civil charges would likely flow from it.

Again, it`s worth emphasizing that although the federal government has quite awesome powers, policing is a quintessentially local and state activity. So again, this may be an avenue for dealing with this particular incident, but it may not necessarily be a broad conduit toward the kind of reform and accountability that people are seeking across the board for police violence. So again, that kind of work really does need to percolate at the state and local level. And while this can be a catalyst to that kind of change, it`s not likely to bring that kind of change on a broad scale.

WILLIAMS: That and I guess a lot of people hoping that this will kind of have publicity wise, a kind of positive chilling effect if that`s possible on policing, and chiefs of police across the country.

We are much obliged to our big three on this Tuesday night, Ashley Parker, Melissa Murray, Carol Leonnig, thank you all for starting us off.

Coming up for us, a hopeful step back to normal as the CDC gives the go ahead, as we mentioned, to relax mask wearing, why our doctor who is on standby says these new guidelines deserve some caveats.

And later, does the Democratic Party have a wokeness problem? One of the questions we`ll tackle later in the hour as THE 11TH HOUR is just getting underway on this Tuesday night.



DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: There are some people who feel that the risk is so low, that they would in fact go and take a step into that yellow or that red zone because they feel as far as they`re concerned they`re willing to take the risk. You don`t live in a vacuum, right, and we have tried to get an outbreak under control.


WILLIAMS: Public health officials continue to stress the need for vaccinations to return to any semblance of normalcy in our country. We are so happy to have back with us again tonight, Dr. Irwin Redlener, founding Director of Columbia University National Center for Disaster Preparedness who advises us on matters of public health.

Doctor, the color coded chart that Fauci was referencing, it takes a while to decipher if people have free time, I recommend it. But basically, green is good. Red is bad. Once you`ve said to the American people about masks, go ahead and take them off. It`s tough to get their attention again, with any details or caveats. In your view was today`s announcement of lacking anything? Are they getting any of the messaging wrong respectfully?

DR. IRWIN REDLENER, EXPERT ON PANDEMIC INFLUENZA: Well, I think, Brian, that they are getting a lot of it right at the moment. And there are some caveats that we need to discuss. But in effect, if you look at that graph, it`s actually pretty interesting. You go to the right side, if you`re a vaccinated person, and you look down the list there of things you could do indoors and outdoors and things that you can`t do, there`s no real can`t do except when you`re indoors, you can do but you must be wearing a mask. If you look on the other side, if you`re unvaccinated, there`s still quite a few things that you cannot do and basically what this is, is a message saying, get vaccinated and things will start to open up. What`s not really on here, though, are some caveats. So we`re assuming here that things are opening up for vaccinated people, assuming that there aren`t any more new developing vicious, rapidly replicating variants of the virus that we have to worry about. And second of all, that we`re living in a community where the spread of the coronavirus is relatively under control. So under those conditions, yes, things are looking up. And I think this is a pretty good faith effort by the CDC and the administration to help people start to think about why it`s so critical that they get vaccinated in terms of getting back to normal, Brian.

WILLIAMS: I want to play a something that Joe Rogan said to his millions of listeners, it`s important for that reason, well discuss on the other side.


JOE ROGAN, PODCAST HOST: If you`re like 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I go, no. If you`re a healthy person, and you`re exercising all the time when you`re young, and you`re eating well, and like, I don`t think you need to worry about this.


WILLIAMS: So, Doctor, with all due respect to the noted public health expert, Joe Rogan, and for that matter, Tucker Carlson, who this week is equating putting masks on children with child abuse. What to all the folks on the sidelines, who aren`t physicians, who aren`t in the business of public health? What do they need to know about those comments?

REDLENER: Well, those comments were unleashed by a president who left some very, very malignant leg this legacies, Brian, you know, obviously, inciting people to the insurrection that we saw on January 6, was a major problem left to us by the former president. But the other legacy he left to us was this ability for people to speak probably the worst misconceptions, the worst mistruths, the most dangerous messages to the public you could possibly imagine.

I imagine and I`ve been talking to colleagues about this. We`re not for Donald Trump, even the likes of Tucker Carlson, or Joe Rogan, or the school in Miami that won`t hire vaccinated teachers would not be getting away with this absolute nonsense that they`re getting away with right now. So he`s left us Donald Trump, a poison pill that is really undermining our ability to get this pandemic under control. And a lot of blood and a lot of lives are on his hands and on the hands of people who continue to propagate this nonsense to the American people. If I can make a plea, it would be turned away from these charlatans, turn toward the CDC and other legitimate sources of information. If we don`t do that, a lot of us are going to face some terrible consequences in the near future, Brian.

WILLIAMS: This is why we`re so grateful to have you on and ask you the questions we do, Dr. Irwin Redlener, our guest tonight, along with our thanks as always.

Coming up for us, as his first 100 days come to a close, Joe Biden returns America to a simpler time when we used to go hours and maybe sometimes days without thinking about the president or wondering if he`s competent up to the job. Two have our tip-top political pros standing by to talk with us about a forced return to boredom.


WILLIAMS: As the President nears his 100th day in office, Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine sums up his time in office this way right in, "Biden is relentlessly enacting an ambitious domestic agenda, signing legislation that could cut child poverty by more than half, expanding Obamacare, injecting the economy with a stimulus more than twice the size of what Obama`s Congress passed in `09 while arousing hardly any controversy. There`s nothing in Biden`s vanilla-ice-cream bromides for his critics to hook on to. Republicans can`t stop Biden because he is boring them to death". Remind me to ask Jonathan what he`s got against vanilla-ice-cream.

Back with us again tonight. David Plouffe, former Obama campaign manager and senior advisor to the former president. He`s also on the board of directors of the Obama Foundation. And Mark McKinnon, former adviser to both George W. Bush and John McCain. He is, of course, among the co-hosts of The Circus on Showtime. Gentlemen, thank you both for coming on.

Mark McKinnon, is our friend Jonathan Chait writes that during a pandemic and the resulting economic dumpster fire, little boredom is a good thing goes a long way if your goal is governing.

MARK MCKINNON, FORMER ADVISER TO BOTH GEORGE W. BUSH AND JOHN MCCAIN: Make America dull (ph) again, that`s why Joe Biden is the President of the United States. You know, every time we elect a president change party is what -- what is usually success is when you get the exact opposite of what you had and that`s why we got in Joe Biden. David Plouffe and his friends in the Democratic Party should be down on their knees every day, thanking their stars that Joe Biden was a nominee because I don`t think anybody else would have won that primary given the way this turned out, so yes.

And I think what surprised all of us, maybe including Biden, himself, is that we all expected him to be a transitional President, and he`s turning into a transformational one. So what`s amazing is that he`s doing all that he`s lowering our blood, or blood pressure across the country, unlike travel (ph) everyday tried to raise it. He`s become kind of a healer and chief. And, meanwhile, the thing that he`s done is really surprised me, Brian, is he`s been able to both animate progresses by what he`s doing on the policy side, and disarming conservatives on the other side, because they just can`t -- because they can`t hate Joe Biden because he`s such a likable guy and he`s so low key. And on the policy side, there`s actually a lot that therefore, including the pandemic package, even though they didn`t vote for.

WILLIAMS: David Plouffe, over to you for some tough love. I know you have by now caught up with the Carville interview with Vox in which the writer writes this. "Wokeness is a problem," he told me, "meaning, Carville, and we all know it". According to Carville, Democrats are in power for now but they also narrowly defeated -- only narrowly defeated Donald Trump. "A world historical buffoon", says James, "and they lost congressional seats and failed to pick up state legislatures. The reason is simple. They`ve got a messaging problem".

Indeed, David, there`s a piece in The New York Times today about how the Democrats lost Iowa. No one in that piece says what a lot of people believe is the problem. The Democrats have forgotten how to speak Iowa. It`s been theorized. They have forgotten how to speak to people who correctly view Cale as a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and not an inedible, leafy green, your response.

DAVID PLOUFFE, FMR. OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: It`s a lot, Brian. Well, first of all, it wasn`t the election of Democrats dreams. But we did what we had to do, which is winning back the presidency. And then thanks to the voters in Georgia, and all the great organizers down there, delivered those 16 electoral votes to Joe Biden won the Senate. So I agree with Mark.

You know, Joe Biden, it turns out that basically, when you elect leaders in government, that`s great when they take the governing part seriously. So Biden`s just doing his job quietly, intensively, taking care of business with a very full agenda. It`s actually quite a political feat to have an agenda this progressive, that I -- but at the same time, you`re kind of calming everybody down.

And before I get to James`s comments, the fact that the Republican attack against Joe Biden over the last 100 days is basically bad, and he`s going to get rid of Dr. Seuss. You`re not going to be able to eat hamburgers, maybe you won`t be able to eat beer, you won`t be able to drive your car. And they`re just grasping for straws, except for the one serious exception that which is in about half the country in the states, they`re trying to take elections away from voters and give them to Republican politicians. So they`re deadly serious about that.

But at the end of the day, listen, to win a presidential race, Brian, to win competitive House and Senate races, you need it all. Yes, it`d be great if we could do as well in Iowa, as we did in the Obama years with some of those rural and exurban voters. But you also have to max out your suburban vote share, African American turnout, Hispanic turnout, Latino turnout. So, particularly when you`ve got a Republican Party right now, that`s not shy that a cornerstone of their efforts over the next couple of elections is going to be basically based on white supremacy.

So we have to fight that back with everything we`ve got. But you have to remember where you`re a young African American in Philadelphia, or you`re retired, still work in Iowa, most people are living on absolutely a financial edge. And we`ve got to deliver for them each and every day. And that`s where Biden I think, has been great. Because he speaks the language -- what I care about is your pocketbook, your healthcare, your schools. And that`s one of the reasons I think he`s off to such a great start.

WILLIAMS: Mark McKinnon on the communications issue, everyone was all caught up, obviously, in the race for the White House. But it was Joe Scarborough, who said the day after the election, that the election results had been a repudiation of the Democratic brand. He was looking at the bloodbath in the House, especially where compared to projections. Where do you come down on how the Democrats need to communicate their message?

MCKINNON: Well, that`s -- it`s a great point that James made and David touched and, you know, you`re pointing out, which is that while Donald Trump was defeated, Republicans weren`t. I mean, Republicans damn near won the House, can close on the Senate, but they`re only five votes away in the House. And so -- and that`s -- that was a -- you know, Republicans did much better than Donald Trump did. So what that says is that there are Republican policies and Republican messages out there that are resonating, or conversely, democratic messages.

And this is where I think James is ringing the bell. James is a canary in the coalmine. I did my first campaign with him. I learned more from James than anybody in politics. So I listened when he speaks. And he`s got his thumb on the pulse of kind of mainstream America. And what he`s talking about is you run around out there and let this pendulum swing too far and start talking again about defunding police. Lookout bar the door, we`re going to have Republican congressman and maybe Republican Senate, and that`ll be, you know, party`s over.

WILLIAMS: On that note, both gentlemen have agreed to stay here while we fit in a break.

Coming up, something to watch for tomorrow night right after the President concludes his speech and leaves the house chamber.



SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): I`m looking forward to having a chance to speak to the American people about what`s on my heart and about the conservative values that have led to some of the greatest accomplishments the world`s ever known. I look forward to seeing y`all Wednesday night.


WILLIAMS: Tomorrow night, that man Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, delivers the Republican response to the President`s address at the immediate conclusion of the President`s remarks. Still with us are David Plouffe and Mark McKinnon. David, are their hopes among Democrats that Tim Scott can be a decent broker in talks on subjects like social justice and policing?

PLOUFFE: I think we all certainly hope so, Brian. I`m sure that there`s a lot of effort going on to Scott`s worked on these issues for years. Obviously, there`s increased need for action in Washington to address the crisis around policing in the country. So let`s helps them.

Now Tim Scott gave one of the better speeches at the goat rodeo that was known as the Republican Convention of 2020. So, you know, maybe this is always the short end of the stick to respond to the President historically, maybe he`ll do better than most. But at the end of the day, what I`m going to find interesting is, I`m sure he`s going to say Biden`s agenda is super liberal, a socialist, he campaigned as a moderate.

But on issue after issue, including a lot of things Joe Biden`s going to talk about tomorrow night, you know, expanding preschool access, child care, elder care, these things are supported by the vast, vast majority, not just to the American people, but to Republicans. And I think that`s something I`d imagine Joe Biden will talk about tomorrow, is a lot of you in this chamber who haven`t or after your name, may not support what I`m doing, but your voters do, the American people do. So that`ll be an interesting dynamic to watch tomorrow.

WILLIAMS: Mark McKinnon, the Goat Rodeo Association of America just called wondering why David would want to insult them. If you, Mark, were communications coach for Senator Scott, what would you put in as talking points? What should he say in his speech given that he gets a few minutes of national media time?

MCKINNON: Yes, well being in the party of goat rodeos, I think it`s a smart thing first of all for the Republicans to put up Tim Scott. He`s an articulate spokesman for the party and particularly at a time when he`s leading the charge on criminal justice reform, at a time when criminal justice reform is one of the leading issues in the country. And his remaining so week after week, month after month. And so having Tim Scott be the tip of the spear on these negotiations and talking about these issues, I think is a great idea.

What he can bring to the table is what, of course, I miss in the Republican Party, which is compassionate conservatism. And I think he can bring a note of that. Now, of course, he`s going to ring all the bells than we expect, the David point to, including and especially talking about the border policy, which is arguably a place where Biden administration has been caught by surprise, does not have a policy in places dealing with what is a crisis, although they refuse to call it that, or acknowledge that that`s what it is. I mean, the fact is that, that people sense that the policy change, and it was OK to come across the border. And so there`s a problem there.

And, obviously, Republicans will take advantage at. The question is, to what extent is that an issue that really people are going to change their mind? I mean, if you -- a lot of people welcome new immigrants, and by the way, new census policy and population numbers suggests that it`s important that America bring in new immigrants to help pay for the social policies that we need in the future social security because we`re losing population. So getting in an interesting bind on a policy discussion about what immigrants mean, that`s a much bigger question.

But I think that Scott is a good spokesman, he`s a good choice. And I expect they`ll do a good job tomorrow night (ph).

WILLIAMS: All over but the shouting tomorrow evening with our great thanks to two friends of this broadcast, David Plouffe, Mark McKenna. Gentlemen, thank you both very much.

Coming up for us, almost 100 days into the Biden administration`s foreign policy accomplishments. We`ll take a look back at what it`s been like on the world stage.


WILLIAMS: From the pandemic to criminal political extremism, Joe Biden faced a slew of domestic challenges when he took the job right on through his first 100 days. But his administration has also had its share of tests on the world stage. Tonight, NBC News Chief Washington Correspondent Andrea Mitchell looks back on Biden`s first 100 days on that world stage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, Mr. President.

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Biden promised to reach out to allies and punish adversaries.


MITCHELL (voice-over): What`s the record show at the 100 day mark?


MITCHELL (voice-over): As protesters challenge Vladimir Putin at home, Biden is confronting the Russian leader unlike Donald Trump, sanctioning Russia for election interference, hacking government agencies and U.S. companies, poisoning opposition leader Alexei Navalny and he`s warning Putin against threatening Ukraine. Still he`s invited Putin to a summit in a third country possibly this summer.

MICHAEL MCFAUL, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST, MSNBC: He`s testing the Biden administration and then he gets rewarded by having a summit. And so that I think encourages belligerent behavior.

MITCHELL (voice-over): But an aggressive China is a bigger long-term threat it`s warships threatening Taiwan and other U.S. allies. Committing genocide against the Muslim Uighurs and crushing democracy in Hong Kong.

JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: China is the most significant strategic challenge facing the United States. It is a country that is growing in economic clout, it is advancing its military capabilities, and it`s acting in increasingly aggressive and assertive ways.

MITCHELL (voice-over): The President kept his promises to rejoin the Paris Climate accord and start indirect talks to rejoin and strengthen the Iran nuclear deal. Talks almost sabotage when Iran`s main nuclear facility was attacked, the U.S. believes by Israel.

(on-camera): Would you prefer if no one were to attack Iran`s nuclear facilities while you`re trying to get negotiation started?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We certainly believe that there are certain kinds of activities that are unhelpful to diplomacy.

MITCHELL (voice-over): The President`s biggest decision so far starting the withdrawal from Afghanistan, overruling his own generals. Where is he fallen short.


MITCHELL (voice-over): He lifted the Trump Muslim ban but so far has broken his promise to let in more legally vetted refugees than his predecessor.

(on-camera): And while sanctioning Saudi Arabia for murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the President failed to punish the Saudi crown prince who the CIA says was responsible. Another example where President Biden is balancing his promises versus the reality of foreign policy.


WILLIAMS: Our thanks to Andrea Mitchell for that report tonight.

Another break for us. And coming up, the arrogance of Vice President Harris, the waste of taxpayer dollars or not, the story when we come back


WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight, it was a short live (ph) news story that followed the now standard outrage cycles zero to 60 in 60 seconds. But unless you watch Fox, unless you follow right-wing media, you may not have seen it. It was trumpeted on the front page of the Trump friendly Murdoch own New York Post. Clunky headline writing but the gist of it was immigrant kids at the border were being given copies of the Vice President`s book seemingly against their will. The implication was haven`t these kids suffered enough?

Well, cue the outrage scandal, a waste of our taxpayer dollars, they said. Don`t take my word for it. Here`s Sean Spicer, it`s not like he`s going to lie. He writes, "After four years of the press reporting on every potential theoretical conflict between Trump and his family, barely a peep is made when the Vice President`s book is in a welcome gift bag for migrants entering the country and the White House refuses to answer how or why it happened. Arkansas Republican Senator faithful Trumper Tom Cotton piped in. "Now they`re forcing taxpayers to buy Kamala Harris`s book and give to those illegal immigrants?"

Then it was Madison Cawthorn, the freshmen Trumper Congressman from North Carolina who wrote, "So the Vice President will send her books to the migrants flooding our southern border but won`t send herself? You can`t make this stuff up". Well, actually, Madison Cawthorn, you can make this stuff up. The New York Post made it up.

We know this because the woman who wrote the story resigned today, and she said this on the way out, "The Kamala Harris story and incorrect story I was ordered to write and which I failed to push back hard enough against was my breaking point". Subsequent reports say, one copy of the Kamala Harris book, the addition for younger readers was dropped off at a Long Beach California Donation Center. That was enough for the media properties of Rupert Murdoch to make up and spread a false story as they did so doggedly again this weekend, and alleging Biden was going to somehow take away our hamburgers.

It`s enough to make you think Trump knew what he was previewing back when he became the first American President to call news, fake news. You see that covers any manner of sins. Oh, and there`s a writer opening at the New York Post.

That is our broadcast for this Tuesday night with our thanks to you for being here with us. Final reminder, we`re on the air at 8:00 Eastern Time tomorrow night for the President`s address to a joint session. We`re back on the air with THE 11TH HOUR as usual when it`s all over.

On behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of NBC News, good night.