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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, 4/28/21

Guests: James Carville, Daniel Goldman


President Joe Biden lays out agenda on eve of 100th day in office. Biden pushes paid family leave and child care coverage. Biden signals he`s open to working with Republicans. Biden pitches plan to help American families. Federal investigators search Giuliani`s home and office. Prosecutors obtained the search warrants as part of an investigation into whether Rudy Giuliani broke lobbying laws when he was President Donald J. Trump`s personal lawyer. Astronaut Michael Collins, a member of the Apollo 11 mission that landed on the moon, has died at 90.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: All right, a special edition of "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts right now. Thank you for being with us tonight, our live coverage here on MSNBC continues.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: And good evening once again, day 99 of the Biden administration on this eve of his 100th day in office, which arrives technically at the end of this hour, President Biden delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress tonight looked much different than previous presidential addresses in that huge House Chamber. Only 200 people were allowed to attend instead of the 1600 people it was built for because of the pandemic obviously. And for the first time in history, two women, Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi greeted and sat behind the president as he delivered his remarks to a national audience.

The 65 minute speech give or take hit all the important issues that have dominated these early days of the Biden presidency. The President highlighted progress made on the pandemic and the economy but also called for action on other issues like infrastructure. He said that means jobs, childcare, police reform, here is just some of what we heard from President Biden tonight.


JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: After just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again.


Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength. We all know life can knock us down. But in America, we never stay down. Tonight, I can say because of you -- the American people -- our progress these past 100 days against one of the worst pandemics in history is one of the greatest logistical achievements, logistical achievements this country has ever seen.

The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America. That`s what it is. It recognizes something I`ve always said, in this chamber and the other, good guys and women on Wall Street, but Wall Street didn`t build this country. The middle class built the country and unions built the middle class.

We also need to make a once-in-a-generation investment in our families -- in our children. That`s why I`m introducing the American Families Plan tonight. American Families plan will provide access to quality, affordable child care.

My fellow Americans, we have to come together. To rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve. To root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system, and to enact police reform in George Floyd`s name that passed the House already. As I`ve told every world leader I`ve ever met with over the years, it`s never, ever, ever been a good bet to bet against America. And it still isn`t.

We`re the United States of America. There`s not a single thing, nothing, nothing beyond our capacity, we can do whatever we set out minds to do -- if we do it together.


WILLIAMS: So that was tonight. We are also of course following the breaking news today that FBI agents executed search warrants at Rudy Giuliani`s Manhattan apartment and office to seize electronic devices. News of the early morning raid on former President Trump`s former personal lawyer first reported by the New York Times, we will have much more on this story and the federal investigation into Rudy Giuliani later in this hour.

With that we have a lot of business to take care of. And with that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests on this Wednesday night, Philip Rucker, Pulitzer Prize-winning Senior Washington Correspondent for The Washington Post, Alicia Menendez, host of American Voices weekends at 6 p.m. Eastern on this very network, also happens to be host of the podcast Latina to Latina, Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning Columnist, also with the Washington Post, and A.B. Stoddard, Veteran Washington journalist, Associate Editor and Columnist for Real Clear Politics.

Eugene, I`d like to begin with you, the president tonight spoke in the way presidents have spoken to the American people, traditionally over the years over the generations, stylistically, one difference an extraordinary amount of the use of tone, at time speaking to a whisper, that may have owed to the sparse population of that cavernous chamber, and it may have translated very intimately to television viewers on the content, in your view, did he hit the mark?

EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: On the content, I really think it was a pretty extraordinary speech and certainly extraordinary in the sense that it`s -- that it was a speech that we have not heard from a president in the last 40 years, and could not have heard in the last 40 years since the Reagan era.

And, you know, I was struck by something, actually, the Tim Scott said, in response, he said, there was a feeling that this nation is sliding office chaired foundations. And, you know, there was that same feeling in the country at the end of the Jimmy Carter administration. And so in came, Ronald Reagan, he used that moment, to shift the center of gravity of our political spectrum substantially to the right. Government was the enemy. The idea was to get government out of your business and trickle down economics was the only economics that work. And that`s kind of where we begin until now, or at least until now, in Joe Biden`s vision. This was a speech in which he spoke expansively of the role that big government can play in making our lives better, in making a safer and healthier and more productive and more secure. He said trickle down economics have never worked even though that`s been the reigning orthodoxy for 14 years.

It was -- he`s -- we`re at a moment, because of the tumult of the Trump years. And then the catastrophe of COVID when I think he believes that nation is receptive to this sort of message, and needs the sort of message, and so he really went big in the speech.

WILLIAMS: Great point about Jimmy Carter, who came back after a Camp David sojourn gave a speech to the nation about our decay, including our moral decay, but did not exhort the way a Joe Biden used exhortations tonight, in that speech to our better angels and to our better history.

Alicia, I have something for you, Joe Biden could not help but reference behind him tonight.


BIDEN: Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President. No president has ever said those words from this podium, no presidents ever said those words, and it`s about time.


WILLIAMS: Alicia that was not a superficial thing. That was an important moment the President chose to highlight.

ALICIA MENENDEZ, MSNBC HOST: Yeah, hard to overstate the significance of that, Brian, I mean, the American public watching, expanding our sense, our definition of what a leader is, who will leader is, what a leader can look like, who is worthy of power, who is capable of pulling off elbow bump and still looking exceptionally cool. I think though, all of that would have fallen a little flat, or would have felt a little empty, if there also wasn`t so much in this speech, both policy wise, and rhetorically that really spoke to the women of America.

So I`m of the belief that any issue is a women`s issue, immigration is a women`s issue, climate change is a women`s issue. But when you talk about the American families plan, there was a lot in the speech tonight that was really, really targeted at women. So we talked about a historic investment in child care. That`s an issue for women on both sides, both because women rely on child care in order to participate in the workforce. And because women are very often the ones providing that care, they`re a big part of the care economy. And so it is an economic issue for them on both sides.

You talk about paid family leave, paid medical leave, making that universal and guaranteed. Women are the majority of Americans who do not currently have that type of paid leave, even something like universal pre-K, which of course is for our children and making sure that our children are educated and competitive. It also has an impact on women. It`s very often a determinant of whether or not they participate in the workforce. So I go back to the framework, Brian, that he offered at the beginning of the speech, which was this idea of crisis and opportunity, he used that, he wove it throughout the entire speech.

When it comes to this question, in particular, the crisis for women in this country is crystal clear, he laid it out. 2 million women lost their jobs during this pandemic, a quarter of women in this country say that their family`s financial situation is worse now than when the pandemic began. The crisis is very real to American women. What he began to do tonight was to lay out and offer up what the opportunity for deep structural change could really look like.

WILLIAMS: Phil Rucker, where are we on unity, something the President touched on in his remarks often using that frequency modulation when he reduced his voice to a whisper still extraordinary in that chamber. It was often to try to get Republicans with him just as often it was to make a point to the audience at home, that he is trying to get support for these initiatives.

PHILIP RUCKER, THE WASHINGTON POST WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF: It`s exactly right, Brian, I think the President was looking straight past those members of Congress in the chamber and talking directly to Americans at home, he was talking about bipartisanship, he was talking about trying to listen to where what Republicans want to do, trying to find some compromise. He knows many of those Republicans stayed seated throughout the speech. They didn`t agree with him on different things. And yet Biden talked about not wanting to be confrontational, for example, on the issue of gun control. And then when you look at the substantive elements of his jobs plan, which is a massive, a massive plan on the scale of the kind of growth in this country we saw 100 years ago during FDR, so many of those elements are very popular. Polling will tell us with the American people and Biden tried to drive that home. He said this is a blueprint, a blue collar blueprint for America. He talked about jobs, about creating better jobs for people, giving them a better livelihood and a better foundation for their families.

He knows that Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy and their members in their caucuses do not agree ideologically with the substance of those policies, and yet he was trying to sell them I think tonight to the American people listening at home

WILLIAMS: A.B. Stoddard it falls upon you to comment on something just handed to me from social media from the insurrection curious Trump acolyte Republican Leader in the House, that would be Mr. McCarthy of California who wants so very badly to be Speaker of the House. This whole thing could have just been an email, poetic, artful, perhaps, A.B., for those who did not listen to every word of Tim Scott`s rebuttal. Where does this Biden speech put the Republicans?

A.B. STODDARD, REAL CLEAR POLITICS ASSOCIATE EDITOR & COLUMNIST: Well, to touched on what Phil was talking about, I think that the administration worked extremely hard, and strategically to send a message to voters outside their coalition who may be voted for President Trump once or even twice, by American stand up to China, lower prescription drug prices, a blue collar blueprint for new jobs that do not require a college degree or an associate`s degree. It went on and on. And he went over the kind of liberal progressive, a wish list priority list in the second half of the speech, and he prioritize reaching the median voter in the middle of the speech.

Of course, it was not a good look, when Kevin McCarthy and the Republicans stayed seated for cutting the child property in half, but they`re not going to vote for that. And that game is no surprise. I did think that, you know, Senator Scott`s response was extraordinarily well done. Some of the things that he said, you could differ with his policy points on but setting him up, A, as the responder and not picking some, you know, Andy Biggs from Arizona type of Republican member to respond, and then having him kind of be the person who potentially might be going up against Stacey Abrams on these voting rights measures, I thought was very shrewd.

But you`re going to hear from Republicans that this was all too expensive. And it`s impossible now that Trump`s out of office to do expensive things, but I think it will be really tough for them to be to be fighting back on a lot of the provisions that Biden made a point to highlight that they knew and fold well and they knew reach across the aisle and they knew would be attractive to members of the Trump coalition, support for elderly caregivers, all these things that he made a point beyond just ending cancer, of really speaking to the needs of the social safety net, and the challenges, economic challenges to the middle of the country, and not just voters and the democratic coalition. So it was clear that that was their goal. I think they did that effectively.

WILLIAMS: Fantastic analysis from our four friends, so much so that we would like more. We`re going to take a quick break. We have asked all of our guests to stay with us.

Coming up, now that the speech is over and the plan is laid out, look at how the President is already selling it. James Carville will join us with his take on the night, and those now famous comments on wokeness within his party.

And later the day`s other top story, as we mentioned this federal raid on Rudolph Giuliani, all of it when our special coverage continues on this Wednesday night.


BIDEN: American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America to create American jobs. That`s the way it`s supposed to be that will be this administration.




BIDEN: My American Families Plan guarantees four additional years of public education every person in America starting as early as we can.

We guarantee that low to middle income families will pay no more than 7% of their income for high-quality care for children up to the age of 5. The American Families Plan puts money directly into the pockets of millions of Americans.


WILLIAMS: President Biden laying out a bold and pricey agenda tonight, now it will be a matter of trying to get it passed in Congress. Still with us, Phil Rucker, Alicia Menendez, Eugene Robinson, A.B. Stoddard.

Phil, I want to talk a question that is straight up stylistic. He arrived at the Dyess said to the Speaker of the House. Thank you for having me, like an eight year old coming over for a play date. And as he handed a copy of his speech to the Vice President said, I`ve waited a long time to do this. After the speech, it looked like he would be perfectly fine if he could just stay there for a couple of hours and linger with the folks who have always been his favorite and that is elected members of Congress. It is home to him in so many ways. It`s where he gets his comfort level. It`s something about the pandemic that has really hampered his style of governing and getting along in Washington. And I think, Phil, Republican or Democrat, if you`re looking on you have to concede, that`s pretty much who this guy is.

RUCKER: I think that`s right, Brian, we should keep in mind, this is the president for whom that`s not only home, but it`s where he grew up. It`s where he came of age. He arrived in Washington as a very young man, and has spent decades in the Senate sitting year after year, in that very chamber to listen to a series of presidents deliver the State of the Union. He wanted to be that President three times. And it wasn`t until now that he that he got elected. And so this was a moment that he knew he would be waiting for.

Clearly, obviously, when he ran for President decided to run for president two years ago, he did not know it would be delivered in a in a nearly empty chamber with everybody wearing masks. But that is the reality of the pandemic that we`re living in. But a special moment for him, and as he left he lingered for a while with a number of those lawmakers, Rosa DeLauro, in particular, the house member from Connecticut, who had spent so many years fighting for some of the policies that Biden is now embracing, as part of his agenda here. But with so many others as well, including some Republican Senator Rob Portman, it`s clear that he is a congenial president who likes to have relationships with these lawmakers, even if they`re not going to agree at the end of the day, Portman, along with every other Republican voted against the COVID relief package. And yet, it`s still having a communication bear with Biden.

WILLIAMS: Eugene, to substance and the pressing issue of our current time, and that is social justice, and policing. The White House, of course, promised us there would be a substantial portion of the speech devoted to that here now a sampling, we`ll discuss on the other side.


BIDEN: We`ve all seen the need and justice on the neck of black Americans, now is our opportunity to make some real progress.


WILLIAMS: Eugene, did he hit the issue squarely enough for the audience watching for that issue?

ROBINSON: You know, I think he did. I think he hit it as squarely as he could, because on the one hand, he wanted to be straightforward and bold in his remarks. On the other hand, he wanted to leave room for a negotiation, the negotiations that are ongoing between Senator Tim Scott on the Republican side, Senator Cory Booker and Congresswoman Karen Bass on the Democratic side, to try to reach to get to something that will actually pass the Senate. And so he, if he held back a little bit in that part of the speech, I think it was to give room for that negotiation, to perhaps bear fruit. And throughout the speech, he kind of kept that in mind. You know, he wanted to leave room for a negotiation that fell somewhat short of the maximum he`s asking for, but that actually made progress.

WILLIAMS: A.B., there`s been a lot of column inches spent on the fact that something about Biden has flummoxed the opposition party, certainly where attempts at personal attacks have fallen flat. Senator Cruz trotted out the attack phrase, boring but radical, which went over a lot like Senator Cruz`s last attempt to add a vacation. Is that all there is, are they left to simply attack him on substance on the merits?

STODDARD: Oh, absolutely. Look, they`ve all admitted though, privately in some of them publicly that, you know, you just can`t attack your grandpa. He`s the nicest guy. There was an incredible cartoon from the -- I mean, meme from the onion tonight that Biden`s new childcare program is just let everyone drop their youngsters, their toddlers off between eight and five at the White House and he`s got wandering the front pack and they`re all painting the curtains and jumping on the desk. It`s the way that he speaks to everybody, no attack, no who it is indulgent partisan digs tonight at trying to appeal to everybody as in the most common terms as he and speaking of shared pain, the way we feel about caring for elderly people, the way we feel about our children falling behind in school, the way we feel about disease. It`s just what he does best. And that`s why, you know, he has met the moment in terms of a being elected president handling these dueling crisis. It is going to be extremely difficult for him to get these proposals pass. But as I said, in terms of the polling approval ratings he has so far they`ve lacked outlasted what people don`t usually have long before the 100 day mark is usually a plunge. And if the way that he spoke to those middle voters, middle of the voters tonight, continue to keep them popular. That`s tough for Republicans.

WILLIAMS: Alicia, one of the toughest spots he was in going in tonight was on immigration. What do you make of what we got from him?

MENENDEZ: I think that there were a lot of advocates who would have liked to have heard the President talk about families and children who are still being kept in detention. That`s that I think they were also knew there was the possibility that immigration didn`t even get touched tonight. And I think the way you heard the President approaching it is exactly right, which is the status quo is not working. That is something that every American can agree on, you can agree that the system is broken, we know that there are things that are wildly popular, you know, preserving protections for DACA recipients, extending protections for those who have temporary protected status, a pathway to citizenship for foreign workers who were deemed essential during this pandemic. So that doesn`t get you to the 11 million undocumented, having a pathway to citizenship that most advocates would like to see, but it gets you a part of the way so I think the fact that he`s willing to say, hey, guys, we agree about all of this. Let`s come to the table and get this done. It was a good starting point.

WILLIAMS: Best analysis in the business we have offered you tonight, so appreciative of these four friends to stay up with us and start off our hour, Phil Rucker, Alicia Menendez, Eugene Robinson, A.B. Stoddard, many thanks.

Coming up after our next break, we discussed his concerns about democratic wokeness last night. James Carville happens to be here tonight with more advice on what Democrats should do to make their agenda become a reality.


WILLIAMS: President Biden addressed Congress for the first time as president with fellow Democrats holding just the slimmest of majorities. With that in mind, our next guest has a warning for his own party telling an interviewer with Vox quote, Wokeness is a problem and everybody knows that it`s hard to talk to anybody today and I talked to lots of people in the Democratic Party, who doesn`t say this, but they don`t want to say it out loud because they`ll get clobbered or cancelled.

We welcome back our friend James Carville, veteran democratic strategist who rose to national fame with the Clinton presidential effort and his co- host of the politics War Room podcast.

James, first of all with what we witness tonight, let`s start there. Earlier today, you said the Biden presidency has been in its own quiet way. Revolutionary, I look at that speech tonight. And in terms of its scope, it is either Johnsonian or Roosevelt in

JAMES CARVILLE, VETERAN DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, and you might be more than both. I mean, if you look at the actual proposals that were in there, I mean, that did very dramatic and very bold when I think the President probably thinks the fabric of the country is, you know, we`re losing it. And we need to do something like this to try to bring people together and get people out of poverty and get the middle class jobs move in and education and things like that. So I`ve given him a lot of credit.

But it was radical, bold, or whatever you want to call it, his proposals, but it was very earthy in its presentation, he actually got up and spoke English, spoke straight to the American people, he didn`t use any to stupid jargon that people have become so addicted to the day. I thought that delivery and his actual demeanor, and his choice of words was really good. But what he was proposing, let`s not kid ourselves. This is some huge stuff here, really big.

WILLIAMS: About jargon, you are right, where up to our next minute, I talked to so many friends of mine who are frustrated to the point of not taking on topics because in their words, they don`t know what to call things, they don`t know the current terminology to use, and they don`t want to offend anyone. Lest you haven`t brushed up on it in the last 12 hours.

Here again, is a bit of what James told Vox. You ever get the sense that people in faculty lounges and fancy colleges use a different language than ordinary people, they come up with the word like Latinx that no one else uses, or they use a phrase like communities of color. I don`t know anyone who speaks like that. There`s nothing inherently wrong with these phrases. But this is not how people talk. This is not how voters talk.

James, it can be worse in terms of causing tumult when Congresswoman Tlaib says, end policing, end incarceration, as I like to say every time she says that another Republican congressional candidate gets their wings. I know this frustrates the speaker that it`s a member of the Democratic Caucus. Are you calling for more party discipline as they used to call it during the bob Strauss days?

CARVILLE: Yes, in that kind of talk, it will guarantee you one thing, defeat. All right. And they know that. And I`m sure she`s a smart person. So I put us out. So look, you`re not advanced in what we`re trying to do here. What you`re doing is making people lose elections. I don`t know. I can`t break through to people that 18 percent of the time. If you have like 52 senators, right?

We have to get more votes. We have 59 United States senators. We have a full vote majority in a democratic House of Representatives. We should have won this election huge. And we come across is just condescending to people. It`s mistaken that he had -- democrats out in the rest of the country feel like that they are being talked down to. And we just got to use straightforward language and dishonest faculty lounge nonsense. Let those people if I want to learn about Beowulf, I`ll go ask them, but they`ll just stay out of trying to get political language because they don`t know what they`re talking about.

WILLIAMS: When and how did the democrats lose that? How did they lose the ability to talk Iowa to talk Louisiana, to talk Montana?

CARVILLE: You know, I think what happened, what is underneath us is our coalition changed, and it became more educated, and it became more urban. And when it did, I think we relaxed in to language that I never grew up with democratic politics. I mean, one thing about Bill Clinton, he never spoke condescendingly to anybody about anything. And you saw that tonight with Joe Biden.

And I think we were letting the faculty lounge wing of our party have undue influence on our message, and I`m glad they`re voting for us. That`s fine. But, you know, Brian, you and I talked a lot of time didn`t you know, sometimes we disagree, but we talk English to each other. We`re not we`re not -- I`m not confused when you asked me a question. And I don`t think you`re confused when I give you an answer.

A lot of this jargon confuses people. And then this is a more normal thing. But Congress more important, the Detroit said, I know mind repeats that. And I thought that we could figure out a way to get that kind of messaging out but that does nobody any good. No one.

WILLIAMS: Well, for my part, I can`t recommend it to others, but I found it best to remain completely on educated and sure has helped me. James Carville, friend of this broadcast and our guest again tonight. Thank you, my friend for coming on and having this discussion.

CARVILLE: Thank you, Brian.

WILLIAMS: Coming up for us. Today`s other big headline this raid on Rudy Giuliani by the feds, the lead attorney in the first house Trump`s impeachment inquiry, we have to itemize them have some thoughts on this. He joins us next.



RUDY GIULIANI, FMR. TRUMP LAWYER: Over the next 10 days, we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent and if we`re wrong, we will be made fools of. But if we are right, a lot of them will go to jail.


WILLIAMS: So here`s how it is, Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, most recently lawyer for Donald Trump now knows what it feels like to have the feds get serious about a criminal investigation.

They`ve been looking into Giuliani`s dealings with Ukraine for a couple of years now, but today was different. Today federal agents executed search warrants at is Manhattan home and office. As we`ve mentioned, the investigation quote focused on whether Mr. Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs.

Authorities say they helped Giuliani dig for dirt on Trump`s political rivals, including Joe Biden and for damaging information on Hunter Biden, who had done business in Ukraine. Rudy`s activity was also linked to events that led to Trump`s first impeachment.

Back with us tonight. Daniel Goldman, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he also served as General Counsel for the House Intel Committee during that first Trump impeachment.

Counselor a very basic question to start with. What does it mean that a federal judge approved and allowed a raid by the feds on Rudy Giuliani, whose portrait still hangs at the Southern District of New York because he ran the office?

DANIEL GOLDMAN, FMR. ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, Brian, there`s a technical answer. And there`s a more figurative answer. The technical answer is that a judge found that there is probable cause to believe that there was evidence of a crime in his apartment and in his office, but the figurative answer, as you just mentioned, is much more significant.

This is not only the former U.S. Attorney of that office, but it was also the President`s former lawyer, and the most prolific proponent of the bogus investigations that led to Donald Trump. And what we`re really seeing is that this is the flip side of the coin of Giuliani`s activities in Ukraine. We know from the impeachment that he was trying to dig up dirt on Donald Trump`s potential, and eventual political opponent -- presidential opponent, Joe Biden. And he was trying to create an announcement of a sham investigation that would vindicate Donald Trump and the 2016 election. That`s the political side of it.

What we`re now seeing is that the Southern District of New York is honing in on a financial side of this whole ordeal, which is to say that they`re looking at whether or not Giuliani received money from Ukrainians to influence Donald Trump or the U.S. public. It does not have to be an actual government official in order to be a crime, but that for Ukrainian purposes, that Giuliani was paid to do that. And then he didn`t register as a foreign agent, which is a crime.

WILLIAMS: This is probably officially more an aside than a question. It`s not meant to be snide. But go ahead and take a swing at it.

Has it occurred to anyone that if DOJ had not slow walked this under Attorney General Barr as alleged. If they had pulled off this raid, a year ago today, he would have been pardoned by his good friend Donald Trump in all likelihood.

GOLDMAN: That`s a very good point. You raise the issue, which is that there was reporting last fall that bill Barr intervened and squashed the attempt by the Southern District career prosecutors, nonpartisan career line prosecutors to obtain a search warrant on Giuliani and it may have been even more than one time.

Well, the administration has flipped. There`s no apolitical. There`s no nonpartisan reason not to authorize this search warrants. So this new department of justice, playing everything by the book straight down the middle that recognized that there was likely significant probable cause to get this search warrant.

It`s an extraordinary measure. It`s very unusual, not unique, but it`s uncommon to get a search warrant against an attorney. Certainly the president heightened scrutiny for the attorney of the former president, but it does happen and it is a reflection that the other means of getting information were insufficient, such as a subpoena, such as asking for his cooperation, so that a judge recognize that the only way to get this information from Giuliani was a search warrant.

And that`s a significant indication that there`s a lot of information here and there may be often there is some indication that Giuliani has attempted to obstruct justice by either hiding or destroying or disposing of information that would be relevant to this investigation.

WILLIAMS: Condensed to mean in the parlance of the late great Sam Ervin, Rudy Giuliani is likely in a heap of trouble tonight. Daniel Goldman, we can`t thank you enough after all the interviews you`ve given today for staying up late with us to explain this to our viewers. Thank you, Counselor very much.

Coming up for us. There is no substitute for asking an actual presidential historian. What he made of tonight`s speech by the President will do just that with Michael Beschloss after this.



BIDEN: When a democracy was tested. Franklin Roosevelt reminded us in America, we do our part. We all do our part. That`s all I`m asking you. That we do our part, all of us. If we do that, we will meet the center challenge of the age by proving that democracy is durable and strong.


WILLIAMS: Back with us tonight to talk about what we covered, what we witnessed this evening, the celebrated author and presidential historian Michael Beschloss. His latest work is Presidents of War. And importantly, his next book, which we`re all waiting for is about our presidents and race in American society.

Michael, we have talked during our coverage about whether the speech was Johnsonian in its scope, not style, or Rooseveltian in its scope, not style. In its style, it may have been unique, but you get to answer the first part of that question.

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes, I think the style was classic Biden, which is very different from LBJ and very different from FDR, he has his own strengths. But in terms of ambition, absolutely, Rooseveltian and also Johnsonian.

Reminded me and I`ll bet it did you have FDR 1933, in the sense that FDR was dealing with enormous problems, closure of the banks, people were out of their houses, they were out of jobs, they were literally starving. And so Roosevelt said, I`m going to come up with unprecedent government programs where government`s going to be more active than it`s ever been before, to give people relief and open the banks.

But also, and here`s the key thing that I think is in common with Joe Biden, Roosevelt also said, I`m not only just going to fix problems, and make deals, I`m going to change the system so that we have a smaller likelihood of having those problems ever again. And a society that`s stronger and freer and more fair.

LBJ did the same thing in 1965, that`s why he called his domestic program, as you know, the Great Society, you know, government would do things in education, and to help the poor, and on Medicare and all sorts of other ways that had not been tried before, to make this a better and even a great society.

Biden may not have used that kind of language, and may not be that kind of order. But he`s very much in that class. And listening to Biden tonight. Remind me a little bit. You and I have talked, as you know, I had the honor of studying under the great scholar of leadership, James McGregor Burns, in his whole thing was our system benefits, when we`re lucky enough to elect a president who is transformational, wants to transform the system, not just fix problems. I think we saw a transformational president tonight.

WILLIAMS: The line he ended with, We are the United States of America, there is nothing, nothing beyond our capacity, nothing we can`t do if we do it together. It`s almost like when you compare that to the last four years, you visit a house under construction, someone struggling to put it together and you say, perhaps it`d be better if you use this hammer, that hammer has been available rhetorically to every U.S. president. People love it when they hear it, but not everyone`s willing to use it.

BESCHLOSS: Well, and you know, we`ve been through this terrible disaster, this calamity, this pandemic for the last 14 months plus, and it`s reminded me a little bit about Lincoln`s saying to General McClellan, if you`re not planning to use the army, may I use it and actually get some progress against the Confederacy. Donald Trump for 14 months, did the minimum in terms of using the presidency, using the vast power of the federal government to help Americans do the most basic thing of protecting themselves from being killed by this pandemic.

Many of the half million plus people who died COVID did not need to die. And that was because he wasn`t a strong leader. And because he didn`t do his job.

WILLIAMS: Let me fit in a break. When Michael comes back, he and I will discuss the loss of a great American just today.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe they are setting up the flag now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess you`re about the only person around that doesn`t have TV coverage of the scene.

COLLINS: That`s all right. I don`t mind a bit.


WILLIAMS: That was Houston talking to Michael Collins, the astronaut who orbited the Earth 60 mile -- the moon, 60 miles above the surface, while Armstrong and Aldrin were down on the surface of the moon.

Michael Beschloss remains with us. We lost Collins today of the three only Buzz Aldrin survives. Michael, my favorite of all the photos I just saw tonight, at age 85. Here is Collins on the floor talking to a class of kindergarteners. Because if you know little kids, you know the best way to talk to them is get down on their level.

This guy was an Air Force test pilot. He retired at the rank of general, astronaut, Gemini missions, Apollo missions, as lovely gentlemanly as anyone you`d want to meet. And he also Michael, stands for a dying idea when America of John F. Kennedy made its effort to go to the moon, we made it under the decade timeline he gave us.

BESCHLOSS: Right, even despite that terrible fire that Apollo suffered in January of 1967. And Michael Collins, you know, he`s such an American figure, you`re the kind of person that we`d want our children to grow up to be like, almost Mr. Rogers like and you saw it in that photograph we just saw when he was 85. And lovely, and gentlemanly are the two words that I would use and also modest.

He was a test pilot, but he was not a swaggering the self-promoter as at least a few of the astronauts actually were. And I always thought that NASA was very shrewd in the people that they selected for certain missions, and certain jobs.

Michael Collins knew that when Apollo 11 took off, the people who would probably be best known by future Americans would not be him, but they would be Armstrong and Aldrin as it has actually turned out to be. At the same time, you would have had no Armstrong and Aldrin unless you had had Collins, not only patiently in that command module circling the earth, but let`s just imagine, if may God forbid, anything had happened to Armstrong and all run on the moon, Michael Collins would have been the one who would have had to return to Earth in that command module and emerge from that capsule and go through a lot of public ceremonies. And I think that the people at NASA chose these astronauts very carefully. They knew that this was someone who, if God forbid that ever happened, would do that with great sensitivity and great dignity.

WILLIAMS: A generation of space geeks joins members of the Collins family and mourning the loss of Michael Collins at the great age of 90 years old.

Our thanks to our friend, Michael Beschloss, as always. That`s going to do it for this Wednesday night special speech edition of our broadcast. Our special live coverage of the President`s joint address to Congress continues live with Chris Hayes right after this.