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tv   Meet the Press  NBC  July 31, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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this sunday, a big deal. >> we're taking a giant step forward as a nation. >> joe manchin and democrats finally agree on a bill to spend billions on climate, energy, healthcare, and to cut the deficit. it is a political win, but do democrats have the votes they need? >> we'll be talking and hopefully we'll have 50 votes. >> i'll talk to the man at the center of it all, senator joe manchin of west virginia. plus, senate republicans block a bill they formerly
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supported to help veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. >> i'm used to the lies. i'm used to the hypocrisy. but not used to the cruelty. >> democrats say republicans switched their votes because they were angry about the manchin deal. i'll talk to veterans advocate and comedian jon stewart on the politics of helping vets. also, those catastrophic floods in kentucky. dozens dead, thousands without power or water and some of the worst flooding in kentucky's history. >> when it comes this fast, there is nothing you can do. >> we'll get the latest from kentucky's governor andy beshear. joining me for insight and analysis, kristen welker, former republican congressman carlos curbelo, democratic strategist adrienne elrod, and white house bureau chief for politico, jonathan lemire. welcome to sunday.
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it's "meet the press." from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. we're going to get to all the politics, my interviews with joe manchin and jon stewart, all of that in a moment. but we need to begin with this historic flooding in eastern kentucky, the worst flooding there in decades, it has left dozens dead. four children from one family are dead. officials expect the number to rise in the days ahead. as of yesterday, some 1300 people had been rescued by air or boat. 14 counties have been declared disaster areas and tens of thousands of homes are either without power, running water or both. sadly more rain is in the forecast. now climate experts say global warming is -- has not increased the number of floods, but what it has increased is their severity due to more powerful rainstorms. this is extreme weather in action. i'm joined now by kentucky's
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governor andy beshear. governor beshear, sadly, this is not the first time i had you lead off our show due to natural disasters in your state. first, give me an update. you have expressed fear this death toll is going to rise. what is the status this morning? >> it's tough. this is one of the most devastating deadly floods that we have seen in our history. it wiped out areas where people didn't have that much to begin with. and at a time that we're trying to dig out, it is raining. i'm about two hours from the first hard-hit county and it is really raining. it is going to continue to rain throughout today. our death toll right now is at 26. but i know of several additional bodies and we know it is going to grow with the level of water, we're going to be finding bodies for weeks, many of them swept hundreds of yards, maybe a quarter mile plus from where they were lost. thus far, just those four
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children, i feared that we'll find at least a couple more as well. water, a big problem with some of these areas. power, and even when we get over the rain, it is going to be really hot in this next week. so we're still in an emergency phase. even as we work towards what it is going to take to get people stable, we got our first travel trailers to help shelter people as well as opening up our state parks. i've been seeing some real progress on that. at least one good sign. >> do you are a sense of how many people are missing because you obviously fear the death toll. is there a sense you have your arms around that? >> it is really hard when the answer is probably no. cell phone service still incredibly spot. and in some of these hollers, think gullies, we don't have a firm count of how many people were there to begin with, how many people were visiting. we have multiple kentucky state police posts that are taking calls from loved ones that can't
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connect with those that they are worried about. but it is going to take some time to get a firm grasp on that. we still can't get into some areas to check on people. we're doubling our national guard. we're going to work to go door to door, work to find, again, as many people as we can. we're going to work through the rain. but the weather is complicating it. >> anything you're not getting from the federal government that you're still asking for? >> federal government has been responsive. the fema administrator was there on day two on the ground. the president called and said whatever you need, i said, mr. president, we need individual assistance whereby people can apply directly to fema. he got that done in about three days. i haven't seen that before and i'm grateful for it. definitely cut through a lot of red tape there. >> look, you said you don't know why kentucky has been hit more than others. obviously these extreme weather instances are becoming more
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frequent. you had tornados in december. we don't usually see that in december. this flooding is worse than we have ever seen. what about long-term? what do you need for mitigation, for adaptation, because it is pretty clear these extreme storms are not going to end soon. >> well, we have to build back stronger. we have got to make sure that our roads, our bridges, our culverts, our flood walls can withstand greater intensity. a lot of this has to do as well with water and waste water systems that get overwhelmed. rural water is already such a tough issue, the infrastructure is so expensive, i will say both arpa and the bipartisan infrastructure bill are a good start. they're helping us do things before this that we haven't been able to do before. but if we truly want to be more resilient, it is going to take a major federal investment as well as here in the state.
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we're ready to do our part. >> governor beshear, i know it is never easy to deal with situations like this, we're all thinking about you, and we hope this ends soon. >> thank you. if you want to be helpful here to the kentucky flood victims, the governor's office suggests contributing to the team eastern kentucky flood relief fund. you can find that web address on the "meet the press" twitter and facebook pages. let's turn to politics. senator joe manchin breathed new life into the democrats' reconciliation bill and into joe biden's presidency when he agreed to hundreds of billions to fund climate programs and bring down the cost of healthcare. the helpfully named inflation reduction act of 2022 cobbled together with senate majority leader chuck schumer also calls for increased tax revenues from high earners and businesses to help trim the deficit. it is a long way from the president's far more ambitious build back better plan, and democrats still need to pass it without any republican help.
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the good news stops there, because the administration had to argue we're not in a recession, despite a second straight quarter of negative economic growth that usually foreshadows a recession. still, as democrats face strong head winds in november, this deal gives mr. biden a big victory to brag about and campa. as disaffected democratic voters >> i think we must stay in session for as long as it takes to get this plan done. >> we're in a recession. and it is not the time to increase taxes or spending. it is going to feed the fires of inflation. >> and joining me now is senator joe manchin of west virginia. senator manchin, welcome back to "meet the press." >> always good to be with you, chuck. >> so let me just start with this, two weeks ago you said you were adamant you needed to see the july inflation numbers before you were ready to talk
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about this bigger budget bill with the democrats, called reconciliation, and then abruptly you didn't need to see those inflation numbers. what changed your mind? >> we have been working and negotiating off and on very quietly because i didn't know if it would ever come to fruition. i didn't want to go through the drama that 8 months ago that we went through for so long thinking we would negotiate, get close, it fell apart, this and that. never could get there on the build back better. it was too much. i never could get there. on this one here, we started in april and kept working and working and working and back and forth and all of a sudden inflation went from 6 to 8.1 to 9.1 and i said, hey, chuck, listen, we better wait and see what's coming in july, numbers come in august before we do anything more. and that was the point of where we had been talking and negotiating. that's when chuck got upset with me and i understand that and he said here we go again, everything. i said, no, chuck, i'm being very cautious.
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i'm not going to be responsible for inflaming the inflation rates. i'm not going to do it. so then got a hot weekend, we all cooled off a little bit and talked on monday. i said, chuck, i never walked away, we're still working on it. he says, okay, let's do it. i said, let's start talking. to chuck's credit, our staffs kept talking. we didn't know if we would get there or not. but the bottom line was we reduced it and scrubbed it clear down to 739. nothing inflammatory in that piece of legislation. >> the initial criticism of this bill from republicans is in some ways to some people a predictable response, simply this, you should not increase any taxes during a time of recession. why is now the right time to hit certain businesses with a tax hike? >> first of all, chuck, i agree with my republican friends. we should not increase taxes and we did not increase taxes, chuck. that's what we scrubbed out from that thursday when we shut down until we started talking again on monday.
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the only thing we have done is basically say that every corporation of a billion dollars of value or greater in america should pay at least 15% minimum corporate tax. many people in west virginia don't -- couldn't believe corporations aren't paying anything. and some of the largest in the country. and with that being said, it was at 35% in 2017 when my republican friends took it to 21. we thought it should stop at 25. it went to 21. 14% savings. you would at least think they would be paying 15%. most businesses and all corporations that i know pay 21%. so that's not a tax increase, it is closing a loophole. >> the name of this bill some would argue is a bit misleading, the inflation reduction act. can you explain where in this bill inflation will be reduced for folks in the next six months? >> first of all, we got the highest gas prices right now. inflation is killing. it is hurting everyone in west virginia right now. and it is hurting all working
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people across america. and if you want to get the gasoline prices down, you've got to produce your way out of it. we have got to bring more manufacturing to -- back to america. let me tell you what the bill does. it gives us a strong fossil energy that is going to produce the cleanest forms of fossil energy in the world. that's carbon reduction, when you replace the dirtiest oil right now that is going into the climate and atmosphere. that's something we can do. you are producing in america, we become energy independent, you're going to reduce because of supply. next of all, we paid $300 billion down on debt. the first time in 25 years that we have ever done this. next of all, we're reducing $288 billion in drug prices because of what we're doing. this is a bill that basically does everything, someone says it is not going to reduce inflation, we have never done anything like it, we have done everything and we have accelerated our permitting processing to where we can get -- >> i understand it doesn't -- i
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understand it doesn't add to inflation. here is what the folks at penn wharton said, the impacts on inflation is indistinguishable from zero, isn't calling it the inflation reduction act sort of politically cynical and a bit misleading? >> not at all. if you're producing more, and have more demand -- more supply and that supply drives basically satisfies demand and the prices come down because there smor is more people shopping for the products, that's capitalism. that's who we are. we haven't done that. they're not looking at the long game at all. but, you know, chuck, you talk to different economists, they have a different opinion. they told me the 17 laureates were saying it would be transition, transition. it wasn't transitory it was permanent. we have a serious problem and inflation and we have got to defeat it. >> are you convinced that senator sinema is going to support this bill? or if she ends up changing some
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parts of the tax structure, because she votes with republicans, would that impact your support of this reconciliation package? >> let me say, kyrsten sinema is a friend of mine and we work very close together. she has a tremendous, tremendous input in this piece of legislation. this is things that everyone has worked on over the last eight months or more and she basically insisted that no tax increases, we have done that, she was very, very adamant about that, and i support and i agree with her. she was also very instrumental in making sure that we had drug prices that medicare could compete on certain drugs to bring it down so there wouldn't be an impact on individuals on medicare across. she has a tremendous amount of input in this piece of legislation. and i would like to think she would be favorable toward it, but i respect her decision. she'll make her own decision based on the contents. a good friend of mine. i respect her.
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>> what is your case for democrats to keep control of the house and the senate this election year? >> if you look back through history it makes it very difficult, especially in the most toxic times we have ever seen. it is up in the air right now. >> do you -- would you like -- do you hope democrats keep control of the house and the senate? >> i think people are sick and tired of politics, chuck. i really do. i think they're sick and tired of democrats and republicans fighting and feuding and holding pieces of legislation hostage because they didn't get what they wanted or something or someone might get credit for something. why don't we start doing something for our country? why don't we just say this is good for america? i've always said the best politics is good government. do something good, chuck. but i'm not going to predict what's going to happen. >> i'm not asking you to predict. >> i want to make sure we do something good. >> that result do you want? do you want the democrats to keep control of the united states senate and the house of representatives? >> i would love -- you know, i'm not making those choices or decisions on that. i'm going to work with whatever
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i have. i've always said that. i think the democrats have great candidates in the running, good people i worked with and i have a tremendous amount of respect and friendship with my republican colleagues. so i can work on either side very easily. >> you don't care the outcome? you don't care about the outcome this year? of the elections? >> whatever the voters -- whatever the voters choose, i can't decide what is going to happen in kansas or california or texas. i can't. i've taken the approach whoever you send me, that's your representative and i respect them and i respect the state for the people they send, an give it my best to work with them, to do the best for my country. i don't play the politics that way. i don't like it that way. that's not who i am. >> there was a new third party organized and announced just last week. a centrist third party, christine todd whitman, andrew yang, david jolly. is that something that seemed appealing to you, based on the answer you gave me, i'm starting to wonder. >> well, i'm starting to wonder when we ought to start worrying
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more about our country than we do our political parties. that's what scares me. i think we have to come back to what our purpose of being in washington for and who we're working for. we're not working for any party. we're not working for any political idealism. we're working for basically right now very challenging world that we're in. we have got what's going on in europe right now, geopolitical unrest, threats from china to taiwan and all this going on, and here we are bickering over political outcomes and who is going to be in charge of what. right now let's take care. the american people, inflation is killing them. it is killing them. >> senator joe manchin. >> we have to take care of that. >> the democratic elected senator from west virginia, senator, always good to have you on. thank you, sir. >> thank you, chuck. good to be with you. when we come back, i'm going to talk to jon stewart about why he's so angry that there is even he's so angry that there is even a fight over healthca [whistling]
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welcome back. one month ago 84 senators voted for a bill to aid veterans who were exposed to toxins like agent orange, or in burn pits in iraq and afghanistan. this past week 25 republicans who had voted yes on that bill switched their votes and blocked the bill from passage. why? republicans claim the issue is how the bill is being funded. >> it is a budgetary gimmick that has the intent of making it possible to have a huge explosion in unrelated spending. this is not what this bill was about. we can fix it. we can do it immediately. >> the democrats suggest another reason, that republicans were simply retaliating over the surprise announcement of the manchin/schumer deal on climate and healthcare. among those most outraged was comedian and veterans advocate and jon stewart and jon stewart who hosts "the problem with jon stewart" on apple tv joins me
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now. welcome to "meet the press." >> thank you very much, chuck. appreciate it. >> let me start, you were so blind sided by this, i believe, correct me if i'm wrong, you were organizing essentially a thank you press conference, saying this is what we needed to explain why this bill was so important, and all of a sudden this happened. walk me through that shock and tell me whether you feel any better about this bill being passed today. >> well, it was devastating. i mean, the bill passed the house in march. 256-174. right? got sent to the senate. there were some changes that needed to be made. there were some legitimate concerns about implementation, how the va could handle the new influx of patients, the specialized care they need, so the senate veterans affairs committee went to work on the bill. and they approved it. they cut about $40 billion of spending out of it, made it more accountable, more direct. then it went to the senate floor, passed out of the senate veterans affairs committee unanimously.
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senators tester and moran, democrat and republican, put it all together, it came out unanimously and in june it went to the floor of the senate. and it passed 84-14, which in this senate, you can't get this senate to pass the ice cream is delicious law 84-14. it was a landslide. there was a technical issue in it, so it had to go back to the house. one sentence, so nothing was added no gimmick was put in, nothing was changed, when it came back to the senate to what we thought was just a procedural vote, then they shot it down. but nothing had changed in the bill from the one that they had passed 84-14 in june. so none of us understood it. and i asked senator cruz why, what had been inserted into the bill, what gimmick, what budgetary flip had they inserted in there that caused you to change your vote from yes on
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june 16th to no in july. and do you know what he said, chuck? >> go ahead, i was going to play his clip for you, but you beat me to it. so tell me. >> he didn't say anything. he can't point to anything specific that was changed. they all just got this mumbo jumbo about a budgetary gimmick, but nothing changed. this isn't my opinion. it is on the text of the bill they voted for june 14th is the same bill. >> let me get you to react to him. here is what ted cruz, directing it to you. >> as the democrats played a budgetary trick, which is they took $400 billion in discretionary spending and they shifted it to mandatory. the reason they did that is they want to spend $400 billion more discretionary funds on completely unrelated matters, so it is just part of the out of control spending from the left. and -- >> before i get you to respond, the unrelated matters is just not true. this money, even when you create the bigger pool, still only
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could be spent on veterans. but anyway, go ahead. >> that's correct. but the difference between mandatory and discretionary is -- he's just -- that's just a word salad that he's spewing into his coffee cup on his way to god knows where. as veterans sit in washington, d.c. and the sweltering heat, demanding that they pass this legislation that they have been fighting for, for 15 years. look, anybody can say anything, you know. we can say elvis presley is still alive, but at some point we all have to live in reality. and what he is saying is just factually incorrect. the bill that ted cruz voted yes on had the exact same funding provisions as the bill he voted no on. it is the exact same bill. none of this makes any sense. >> have you spoken -- >> and -- >> have you spoken to any other of the republican senators? was it really due to their being
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upset about the manchin deal? >> oh, i mean, honestly, i have no idea. i don't -- i'm not up there. i'm only -- i'm watching it from the outside. i don't know why they did it. but i do know this, the explanations that they have given thus far are scatter shot, they're all over the place, and none of them make any sense. the thing that people have to realize is the bill that came out of the senate wasn't a democrat-funding gimmick, it came out of the senate veterans affairs committee, with jon tester and jerry moran, a democrat and a republican, it came out of that committee unanimously. republicans and democrats. and then it went to the floor and the senate approved it 84-14. there has been no funding change since then. there has been no gimmick inserted by anybody. none of this makes any sense. >> you know, it is interesting, you always have been very
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cynical and in some ways correctly so about how washington operates, how politics operate. here you have thrown yourself in the middle of it on a couple of different bills, how much more more cynical are you now, if that's possible? >> it is a pretty difficult place to see how it works because they're so insulated and isolated from the real people whose lives are affected by these various provisions. look, you know, government by the people, of the people, yes. but the clause they seem to forget is for the people, for them. and there are -- these are real people. i've been with them for four years fighting through this. i've seen them through their defeats and their victories. here is the other thing, chuck, i've seen them die. we had veterans who were advocates alongside us, sergeant wesley black, captain kay hendricks thomas, who died while
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fighting for this bill. sick, utterly incapacitated by the injustices and the illnesses that they have been dealing with. and yet they decided to spend this last precious times of their lives fighting so that the other men and women that they were brothers and sisters with in the military never have to go through this. and so the outrageousness of their inability to see the human toll that their parliamentary and i'm trying desperately not to curse -- >> i hear you. i appreciate that. >> i'm on a respectable network. >> the fcc does have a little -- >> nationally televised. i'm desperately trying not to curse, but the injustice that is being done is so outrageous, and the reasons for it so utterly unrelated to any of the funding or any of the other things. you know what this is, chuck, they basically said to the veterans on june 16th, the 15-year fight that you never
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should have had to go through to get the healthcare and benefits that you earned from your sacrifice and service in the defense of this country, here it is. and then a month later they went, april fool's. >> there is so -- >> it is cruel. >> you have shamed them i think to the point they seem to be back tracking. you have some optimism this bill will pass on tuesday? >> i mean, i don't have a sense of that. i don't know. i do know this, rosy torres burn pits 360, they're camping out on the capitol steps until this goes through. i will join them and we'll do our best to make sure that justice is done and that these veterans get not an entitlement, but what they earned and that this country has to live up to these veterans lived up to the oath they made to this country and our country has to do the same. >> it is the one issue we all
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thought was above politics, supporting our veterans when it comes to healthcare. jon stewart, big advocate on this front, appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective with us, sir. >> thank you, chuck, for putting this up. >> thank you for not cursing. that i appreciate. that i appreciate. when we come back, democrats what if you were a global bank who wanted to supercharge your audit system? so you tap ibm to un-silo your data. and start crunching a year's worth of transactions against thousands of compliance controls with the help of ai. now you're making smarter decisions faster. operating costs are lower. and everyone from your auditors to your bankers feels like a million bucks. let's create smarter ways of putting your data to work. ibm. let's create in a recent clinical study, patients using salonpas patch reported reductions in pain severity, using less or a lot less oral pain medicines. and improved quality of life.
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confirmation hearing is an impeachable defense. >> what is your barometer for success? >> if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." welcome back. panel is here, nbc news chief white house correspondent kristen welker, politico's white house bureau chief, jonathan lemire, author of the new book "the big lie," carlos curbelo and adrienne elrod, welcome to all of you. lots to get to. let's get to unpacking joe manchin, kristen, you have news this morning from the other senator who is the star, kyrsten sinema. >> all eyes on kyrsten sinema. she and her team said they would review the bill over the weekend. i've been talking to a source close to the senator, though who points to the fact that this new reconciliation bill includes the carry interest provision, that she has long said that she
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opposes. now, manchin's team says tough, they're not taking it out, but this could be where battle lines get drawn. the question is, though, chuck, there is too much pressure on sinema, does she need to find a way to support this, does she find compromise in some other area like prescription drugs? that's where you have some democrats saying, look, they might be able to move a little bit and give her a win. she wasn't a part of the final rounds of discussions, and that could create a last minute snag here. >> jonathan what do you think? >> it is an extraordinary thing if she were to be the lone vote that sinks a package that has so many democratic priorities and they have been trying so long and so hard to get done. we know that the white house, largely hands off approach to the deal struck between manchin and schumer, though they were in contact with the senate majority leader's team, interesting to see if joe biden wants to step in and play the role of the closer, but right now they just suggest they feel like this needs to get done. there is almost existential need
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for the democrats to post this victory. not just because of what it would mean for the biden presidency, but give them something for november. >> adrienne is this that something and didn't seem like joe manchin was that interested in seeing democrats keep power. so what are we supposed to take away from this? >> i think as a long time democratic strategist and most people in the white house and most people in congress, democrats, we would like to see democrats keep control of the house and the senate. >> why do you think joe manchin doesn't care? >> is there a reason why he's been re-elected multiple times and one of the reddest states in the country. he's always keeping both sides guessing and does a good job of making both sides relatively happy. he would like to keep that chairmanship. we'll see what happens. but, look, i think what we need to do is take a step back and look at the fact that president biden posted more wins, more legislative victories on the board than a lot of presidents before him. he's already passed three major economic packages, with the chips act this past week. and, yes, i think this inflation reduction act is going to get
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passed. but i think we also need to look at what we have done so far and take those victories into account. >> will it matter in november? >> well, look, two things, republicans are going to attack this bill, number one, because inflation reduction act is a bit of a gimmick. this bill does not actually address any of the fundamental causes of inflation. and number two -- >> you get schumer and manchin in the room, you'll get some crazy names. >> like couples get together to name a baby. this was the last thing on the list. so that's number one. number two, it does raise taxes and if voters remain frustrated about the economy, that is an attack that will resonate. in terms of the climate provisions, i think they're fairly popular. certainly something in this bill for fossil fuels. it was the product of a negotiation. and i think the healthcare provisions will be popular too. i think more importantly for democrats it seemed this week for first time in a long time chuck schumer and not mitch mcconnell was in charge of the united states senate. >> yeah, everybody is shocked that the majority leader got the best of the minority leader, but, yes, everybody was shocked.
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>> that's right. >> seems like this is still mitch mcconnell's senate. not this week. >> including mitch mcconnell, outmaneuvered for first time. this can't be overstated. this is a significant week for president biden no doubt about that. i think the question becomes how does he keep this momentum going. we know he was eager to get back out on the trail, had a trip planned to michigan this week, now a rebound case of covid. the doctor says he has no symptoms. he's eager to get back out, though, and really to reset his messaging because as we have been talking about, i think now for months, his messaging hasn't been breaking through on the economy, for example. i think the big question comes down to one thing, will prices start to come down? will this legislation, if it passes, help that to happen? that's the argument the democrats are making. but they now have something to run on. and they didn't have that three days ago. >> still got to pass it. >> that's right. >> still got to pass it. >> they have to pass it. it was a mixed week on the
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economy. some encouraging signs and also very much not so. the white house engaged in semantic battles over whether the word recession should be applied here or not. they say this bill will have some impact but it will be a while. there is only so much the white house or the congress can do to combat inflation. it is about how voters feel. and right now we know the polling. they don't feel great. they don't feel great about the state of the country, they don't feel great about the state of the white house. biden and his team believe, once he recovers from this covid bounceback they will have a message they can drive forward. >> carlos, republicans seem so rattled that what were they thinking on this toxic burn pit bill? it does feel like the ultimate in the phrase unforced error. >> that's why i'm telling you this week was a very different week in the united states senate. republicans, i understand, they're talking about some accounting provision, but at the end of the day, they cannot win the messaging war on this issue. they're going to have to capitulate and vote for it. senator rubio, who is in a re-election fight, voted for the bill. that's how you know that there
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is some perceived political peril there. this was a big mistake. and just feeds this narrative that democrats are mounting a bit of a comeback. >> adrienne this is a big fossil fuel bill as well. gives a lot of the fossil fuel industry. progressives seem will be to eat that crow a little bit, whatever you want to call it, seem to be willing to eat it for the other investments. are you confident that's going to pass the who us? >> the sausage making is never easy, but $369 billion bill, the most historic investments we ever had in our country when it comes to climate. and activists may not be thrilled with the entire package, but that's part of the bill. you're seeing both progressives and moderates coming together and saying we need to get something done. >> i want to pivot. we have primaries this tuesday. it means donald trump, which means we'll bring up your book, jonathan. it seems to go together. because the initial -- you call it "the big lie" throughout this thing.
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you talk about it, it started so early, initial false claims, subsequent embellishment, repetition, clear signs he knows the truth, and it began in 2015. >> yeah, it did. soon after he became president, presidential candidate it really accelerated middle of the summer in 2016, where he and an unremarkable rally in october in ohio says he doesn't think the general election is going to be conducted fairly and the seeds were planted then. it was amplified by the conservative media, amplified by other republicans, especially once he took office and he was willing to tell lies to condition them to go along with whatever he said leading up to january 6th. >> now he's divided the republican party. i think arizona governor might be the greatest example of this split between trumpist, let me play kari lake, karen robeson, show you the two wings of the party right now. >> we don't get the right person in there, we don't vote kari
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lake, we're going to get an open boarders rino or open borders socialist. >> as governor i will secure our border. i have a tough six-point plan that begins by calling our legislators into an emergency session. >> carlos, it really felt like somebody was following the mitt romney playbook. i got a six-point plan and someone is following the donald trump playbook, open borders socialists. that's the party now? >> it is a reminder of the toxicity that donald trump inserted into the republican party. some are fighting to take that out. mike pence picked up that flag now. will they succeed or not? we'll see. there have been successes by more establishment type republicans this primary season. it doesn't appear donald trump is the totally dominant, you know, force in the party anymore. he does have some competition. but, you know, these days he's also getting support from democrats who are funding some of these maga trump candidates which i think is a big problem
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and i think a scandal hasn't been discussed enough, but these candidates, they're getting amplified, getting heard, and the more that message is out there, the more it intoxicates our politics. >> adrienne, are you comfortable with that strategy, the dccc did this week, not first time sort of helping essentially somebody illiberal, small d democrat? >> democrats and republicans have been doing this for a long time. you want to make sure you are running against the weakest opponent that you possibly can. i'm not seeing all the empirical data but i have faith that the strategists and we're seeing something that says if we can help get these crazy insurrectionists over the finish line to being the general election nominee -- well, look it a risk. let me also say this, chuck. democrats are often criticized for not being tough enough or not being, you know, aggressive enough when it comes to strategy. here is an example of us doing that and we're getting criticized.
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>> the challenge when i talk to democrats who are really frustrated and worried about this strategy, they say the problem is twofold, one, the person might actually get into office, and, number two, it makes democrats look hypocritical for saying these people are a threat and doug mastriano in pennsylvania is a perfect example, someone democrats wanted to win the primary and now he has in the gubernatorial race and now he's doing better in the polls and that's making pennsylvania democrats very nervous. >> the work of the january 6th committee in many ways as well, it puts this like this is okay, it blesses this behavior. it goes to show that trump, maybe he's been weakened somewhat over the past summer, by the committee, and other things, he's still the loudest voice in the party, the big lie is a litmus test and shaping the politics of the party and it is not going anywhere. we're going to have to live with this through this year and 2024. >> the democrats have a fighting chance, donald trump. doesn't go away and republican party never got to remake themselves.
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we are back. today marks exactly 100 days until the midterm elections. and though the president's first term's midterms almost always go bad for the party in power, this upcoming election is proving to be uniquely hard to predict. we have a lot of conflicting pieces of data. fund-raising, democrats are dominating, particularly in senate races here. pennsylvania, georgia, even ohio. these aren't alone. but these are some of the biggest differences that we have seen between dnr, but across the board, democrats are outraising republicans in the battle for the senate. but when it comes to who is enthusiastic about the midterms? it is republicans that have this advantage. they have been fired up to get to the polls, going back to those off year elections in virginia. democrats are closing the gap, thanks to the overturn of roe v. wade, but it is still a deficit. meanwhile, the generic congressional ballots all over
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the map. we have sort of a more honestly reed aportioned house map than ever before. these numbers are just all over the place. some have democrats ahead, some have republicans ahead. again, more contradiction. and look at this, the two party leaders, joe biden, favorable rating 35%. this is what makes this election cycle unique. the republican party has not moved past donald trump, he's their party leader, could be a referendum on him and he's not very favorable either. that's what makes these midterms so unique. when we come back, with the justice department indict a former president, even one who could be running again for president? that's next. welcome to allstate where the safer you drive, the more you save like rachel here how am i looking? looking good! the most cautious driver we got am i there? no keep going how's that? i'll say when now? is that good? lots of cars have backup cameras now you know those are for amateurs
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for kids like us, and all the amazing things we're gonna learn. through project up, comcast is committing $1 billion dollars so millions more students can continue to get the tools they need to build a future of unlimited possibilities. welcome back. there have been indications in recent days that the justice department is moving more aggressively than first thought in investigating former president trump's actions on and before january 6th. this week the attorney general merrick garland talked to my colleague lester holt about whether he would be concerned about indicting a former president who may be on the verge of announcing his candidacy again. >> we intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for events surrounding january 6th, for any
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attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable. that's what we do. >> pete williams has been covering the justice department and the supreme court for nbc news since 1993. stepping down unfortunately after those brief 29 years here at this network. i'll telling you, for the last time, joining me now is pete williams. mr. williams. i want to start a little substance here with merrick garland. no matter how lester holt asked him a question about investigating trump, he basically gave a version of that anser. >> right. >> what does he want people to take away? what is that rorshok response he wants? >> number one, to indicate the justice department is doing a lot more than it appears. we don't have a good clue of what the justice department is doing. these little glimpses wan we see. and, two, they're quite serious
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they don't know where this will end up. shortly after the biden administration came into power, i asked a senior administration official, can't we just assume that if you do get the goods on donald trump, you'll just decide that's a bridge too far, that it would be too divisive for the country and i was told, no, don't assume that, anything is on the table. now, of course, he did say, you know, people who are criminally responsible. and one big question will be, okay, what is the crime? is it obstructing congress? is it dereliction of duty? that's a difficult thing to say. i would say one other thing here, chuck, there is a principle of federal prosecution, the prosecutors were not supposed to just roll the dice and take their best shot, they're not supposed to bring a case unless they have a strong reason to think a jury would convict. when it comes to charging a former president, there would be an even higher standard, not only you can persuade a jury to convict, you can also persuade the public you're doing the right thing. >> let me take a step back, take the lens back, you've been covering the supreme court since 1993. each feels like about every five
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years it gets about somehow more contested, more controversial, or more -- creates more anger. what is your sort of analysis of how the supreme court has einvolved over the last 30 years? >> we had a relatively liberal court when earl warren was the chief justice, a middle court with chief rehnquist and now a much more conservative court with the three appointees. they have a solid conservative majority. you're seeing the goals that people like clarence thomas and samuel alito had in mind for all these years when they had to just sort of, you know, take their lumps in the minority, now they're in charge. and they are not holding back. they're making up for lost time. and i think we're going to see that again in the coming term. >> how much do you think the confirmation process will change based on how things have gone the last couple of years? >> it may change over time. i don't think it is going to change in the short-term.
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because we get this flip back and forth, whenever the other party takes control of the senate, then they want to extract revenge for what happened to them and i think that probably will go on for a while. >> i want to celebrate you, for those of us here and even before i knew you, there was a couple of moments that always stick out, you're, like, thank god for pete williams. here is one of them. back to december of 2000. >> there is no doubt here, tom, there is just no way that the court thinks a recount is possible. and we should say, again, obviously the justices have had more than 24 hours to prepare this rather splintered up opinion. it is in many sections, but there is no question it is a 5-4 vote. >> you did it in that one, the first one to -- everybody is watching and i remember going, oh, pete's got the goods, he's explaining this, you did it with the obamacare one too. you seemed to be the first one to understand it. do y living.
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well, you know, i looked at that bush v. gore opinion many times in the comfort of my own office, with the air conditioning on, and i've always thought this thing is so easy to understand. but when i was standing out there in the bitter cold on that december night, it seemed to be fairly opaque at the time. there was no head note on it, lots of things -- language about what it wasn't, and it did take a while to figure out what it was. >> i've been asked this question before, when you know you don't have the safety net, like, that's a moment you know the safety is not there, is exhilarating or frightening? >> it is exhilarating when it is over, it is frightening in the moment because it does occur to you this is not a good time to screw up. >> so, you've always been able to be sort of -- you've always taken yourself out of the story. give some advice to a young journalist, they want to be ther advice? >> i don't know if that's anything to aspire to or not,
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but i think i've been lucky about coveringcovering. you having to agnostic about who is the winner when it comes to the supreme court. you read the briefs from the first side and you other side ad you think that's a good argument, they should win no i think the test is can somebody looking at your story or reading your story online and if the answer is no, i think you've done your job. >> it is interesting, you bring up the supreme court, i have really enjoyed listening to the real time audio. i'm a junkie for this. i wish i went to law school. i think you've said that before too. >> sure. >> are they going it to take that away from us, take the audio away when they decide covid is no longer an issue? >> they might. remember why they allowed the live audio, the public couldn't come into the court because of covid. so they thought, well, all right, let's replicate the experience of being in the courtroom, you could hear the live audio if you were there, you can't be there, they'll do
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the live audio, i'm sure there will somebody inclination to go back to the program they used to do, release the audio every friday after all the news value is drained out of it. there were a lot of people pushing for it. i guess the good part of it is it doesn't seem to have hurt the court any. that's what they're always worried about. >> you're really going back on the horse you came in on. >> my home state, and, you know, that's the place i love and so, yes. >> what i love is no matter who i meet from wyoming, you're their favorite son. >> it is my home state. >> we'll miss you. >> i'll miss you too. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
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♪ welcome to the us bank nbc sports report. >> the nascar cup series makes its 22nd stop of the 2022 season it brings us to indianapolis motor speedway and the road course for the second time in the series >> well, it's great to be in indianapolis so much history, so much heritage racing on the brickyard is an honor and a privilege. it's a road course we know how difficult it was in the


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