tv MTP Daily MSNBC July 6, 2020 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
welcome to monday. it is a special two-hour edition of "meet the press daily." i'm katy tur in for chuck todd. virus cases continue to soar over the holiday weekend, at least 18 states hit records in new cases. hospitalizations or both. the white house, meanwhile, is digging in with the presidentle all cases are totally harmless,
continuing top flout mask guidelines and also desperately trying to shift the narrative on to something else. in a pair of july 4th weekend speeches, official white house speeches, he urged americans to rally around the flag and basically vanquish his political enemies on the left, which he painted as an angry mob trying to literally destroy america and indoctrinate your children. and today, he and the white house are trying to defend confederate flags and racial slurs. we'll have much more on that in a moment. but right now, it is becoming increasingly clear that the white house's new message to the public, as cases soar, hospitalizations climb, and testing lags in a number of states is "live with it." cases are soaring across the south. hospitalizations, too. the only silver lining of good news is that deaths have yet to climb. but as dr. fauci testified last week, the death toll is going to be disturbing if these trends
continue. in florida today, governor desantis downplayed the spike in cases, but local officials in miami-dade today said that they were reclosing restaurants and gyms. and hospitals around the tampa area today said they were suspending elective surgeries to better handle an influx of patients. the outlook in california continues to worsen, as well. cases are climbing there. they saw a record number of hospitalizations for 12 days in a row through sunday. we have got reporters all around the country with the latest and a top public health expert with us to start this hour sw, so les dive in. and we'll go to texas, where it continues to grapple with one of the country's worst outbreaks. as the "houston chronicle" reports, the largest medical campus in the world has exceeded its base intensive care capacity. in the rio grande valley, elected officials pleaded last week for military intervention to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
and in several major cities, testing sites are overrun with appointments disappearing in minutes and hundreds waiting in line for hours. so let's turn to some of the folks on the ground for the latest. nbc's gatti schwartz is outside of a los angeles testing site that might look familiar to you. that's t so gotti, i am going to start with you. that testing site at dodgers stadium is closed today, which is surprising. what can you tell me about californians' ability to get tested right now. >> reporter: right now there's a lot of frustration. the people who have come here say they've. trying to get testing appointments for the last several days and have been unable to do so. sweec we've seen a steady stream of car every few minutes. they come up and they think there's no line. they think they hit the jackpot
and they get up here and they realize that dodgers stadium is closed right now. and they are not processing any tests. this is july 6th, not july 4th. which has a lot of people frustrated, saying that this is not a holiday. that they are being told that there is a surge, they are being told that there is a spike. they should be testing as many people as possible. and now more than 6,500 people every single day that are normally tested here are not tested. in fact, you've got somebody else probably coming up here with the same confused look that we've seen throughout the day. they've got their phone out, they're probably going to be trying to figure out what's going on. and again, when we called the city of los angeles, they said that this seamed to have something to do with the staffing levels, with the nonprofit and the fourth of july. however, now we're hearing that there may be some problem with funding on the county level and getting some of the reimbursement to keep this open. we are told that this will be opened tomorrow, but for now, a lot of people frustrated, coming
up this road, seeing dodger stadium, supposed to be open in their mind, supposed to be testing people at the levels that we've seen so far, in the middle of this surge. again, katy, this accounts for about half of the 14,000 people that are tested every single day in los angeles and then all of a sudden, today, none of them are being tested at this site and we are told that there are only three city sites that are open. the rest of them are going to be your cvs, your urgent cares, those smaller places, those private places where it is getting increasingly difficult to get those appointments. katy? >> yeah, it would seem surprising to close a testing site in the middle of a pandemic, no matter if it's a holiday or not. let's go over to florida, st. petersburg, where we find kerry sanders. kerry, cases are up in florida, there are more closures happening. and hospitals are seeing icu capacity dwindle. what is happening in your state. >> well, clearly, there is a problem in terms of containing
coronavirus. if you consider the fact in the first three to four months, we had about 100,000 and now 200,000 in the last two weeks. you can see that the numbers are, indeed, exploding. the question is, is it a result of the fact that maybe younger people are now getting tested? florida's governor, republican ron desantis says the average age of those now being tested is 36 years old. those who are waiting in line sometimes wait all day to get tested. but he suggests with the lowering of the age, the number of people who are testing positive should not be as concerning, because the younger, not 100%, but the younger patients do not have as a severe reaction as somebody who was 65 or older. but that belies the case that in florida, we've had patients with coronavirus as young as 11 years old who died. so it is like all medicine, unique to each individual, but when you spread it out across
the board, the governor is suggesting that going up to 200,000 is not as concerning to him, as it might be to the public. and then you have the hospitals. well, this is one of the hospitals of 44 that have reached their icu capacity. this is part of the ach chain. they work with other hospitals in the area. this is unusual, where you see competitors getting together, sort of in a war room every morning, discussing patient loads, how they'll move somebody from one to the other, or more importantly, if somebody comes in and there's not space for them, putting them in a hospital who can handle them. and at the end of the day, you have the nursing question, which is, are there numbenough nurses handle the increase in number of patients. that's the same problem they had in new york, as you well know, katy. >> it's just surprising to not be concerned about those numbers. kerry sanders, thank you. let's get over to zack despart
in houston. zack, the governor of your state has now issued a mandatory mask order, reversing himself. there are also other officials who want see him do more. harris county judge lina hidalgo is urging houstonians to stay home. she's asking the governor to make that an order, as well. do we have any idea what the status of that request is? >> so far, the governor has not budged to local officials, asking to be able to put in more restrictions, including stay-at-home orders, in texas those largest cities continue to be hard hit. remember, it was the governor that took control of the reopening of texas in early may. and when he did that, local officials no longer had the authority to have restrictions of their own. now, the story we did on sunday focused on how the reopening of texas unraveled in the eight weeks from the beginning of may to the beginning of july and a big part of that, some of the
other correspondents talked about testing. texas did not meet its testing goals until the end of may. and part of that, in talking to health experts, we realized that that left state leaders blind to the invisible spread of the virus here, and really complicated things going forward. we focused in particular on a crucial 30-day period between memorial day and june 26th, when we had a sustained rise in new cases and hospitalizations. now, like you mentioned, the governor finally reversed part of the reopening two weeks ago, when he suspended some elective surgeries and closed bars again. last week, he put in the statewide mask order. we're not going to receive the full results, the full effects of those orders from the governor for another week or so. so that's part of the reason why we're likely to see new hospitalizations here. we just set a new record yesterday, 8,200 texans in the hospital with covid.
>> are people taking to the mask order? are you seeing more people outside wearing those masks and complying? >> i'm seeing more people wear them in the cities. i think people here have taken it a little bit more seriously. you also have some portion of texas leaders, some members of the legislature, there was a poll from the university of texas recently that i think found that one third of members of the legislature said they were not going to wear masks. and you have to think, what kind of message does that send to their constituents throughout the state, when they are not going to wear masks. >> it has been hard. the mixed messaging from the top on down has been confusing for a lot of americans, allowing you to say, if you don't want to wear one or if you think it's a political statement, you have officials on your side who agree with you. zach, thank you very much for joining us. kerry and gati, thank you as well. let's go now to dr. vin gupta.
doctor gupta, you among others were really concerned about this fourth of july holiday weekend and what we might see and the spread that might result from get-togethers. and there were images over the weekend of crowded beaches, images from here in new york of crowded parties. what are you -- there's the president in mt. rushmore holding events as well. what are you expecting or what's your reaction to what you saw? [ inaudible ] >> i think we're having some audio issues -- oh, there you are. will you restart your answer? we lost your audio up top there. >> sorry about that, katy. you know, unfortunately, we're distracted again. we're talking about -- we have to live with it, when we need our guard up. and so, katie, to answer your question directly, we need the governors of arizona, governor doocy, who has no icu
capabilities right now, go to -- viewers should go to covidactnow go gov.. there are zero beds available. we're talking about the south dakota rally. we're talking about who knows what? we're being distracted again. and so the governor of arizona needs to deploy the national guard. and i say this as a doctor trained in the federal reserves. dweechb it in west africa for ebola. we're not doing it here. why aren't we actually marshaling every capability we have to bolster icu beds in texas, in florida, and in arizona. we're not having that discussion, because we're distracted and rightfully so. we're really alarmed by what we're hearing from the white house. so that's the initial reaction, katy. >> so why aren't we more concerned? and why does governor desantis, for instance, say that he's not as concerned about the rising case numbers, because they're affecting younger people and
they're not affecting the older, more vulnerable proposition of florida. >> you know, if i could understand what's going on in the head of governor desantis, i would be the first to try to translate t. it doesn't make a lot of sense, to your point, katy. we should be alarmed by the exponential increase in cases in florida. it doesn't matter if the median age is 35 as opposed to 65 back in march. because we know young people can still end up in the icu. i have cared for a slate of them in the last week. we know that young people are incredible vectors for transmission. we saw the scenes on beaches across the country on july 4th. so the fact that this is happening. the fact that there's exponential growth, and the fact that young people are now transmitters of this disease should concern us all. but does this even matter if we're talking about ages. hospitalization rates are increasing, at untold levels in florida. and that's the thing that matters more than anything else. again, it doesn't matter about median age. it matters on what we're seeing in terms of hospital system
overload, and that's what's concerning. there's no state level leadership, unfortunately. so mayors and county commissioners are having to take the lead, as you're seeing in miami. >> let's talk about how this virus is spread. doctors now say it is airborne. is the science settled on that? >> i'm glad you raised that question. we're so neck ooh deep in terms, that i think it's hard for the general public to wrap their head around. what's droplet versus general transmission. we have to have signs reminding folks like myself and my nurses to tease between what's airborne versus what's droplet. let me deep dive there. droplet are arrange droplets, greater than ten microns. and we think that if somebody with the flu or with covid-19 coughs without a mask, that most of those droplets will fall to the ground within 6 feet of the body. airborne transmission is typically we see it with tb,
tuberculosis, and measles. where somebody can cough with one of those pathogens and those droplets are very small, much smaller than what we see with flu, typically. and they can last in the air for multiple feet and for a large period of time. that's why you need an n95 mask if you're interacting with those patients. with covid, we don't know. the science is still very much pending. what we do know is that covid is being transmitted in indoor settings with poor ventilation to the tune of 19 times the rate of outdoor transmission, which makes banning indoor dining unfortunately a requirement. we need governors, mayors to take the lead, follow what governor murphy have done. we need to stop congregating unnecessarily in places like indoor dining, where we have poor ventilation, that's indoors and we know covid can persist. whether it's droplet or airborne, it's probably somewhere in the middle. that there is some degree of airborne transmission, but i think that terminology confuses the american public.
we need to avoid indoor congregation, if we can avoid it. >> this has all been confusing and you have a president who's saying that 99% of people who get this are not going to be badly armed by that. you've called that a threat to public health. i want you to comment on that further, if you can, very quickly for us. >> i think it's an irresponsible statement, katy, i mean, it's completely baseless to use that terminology. how is he defining harmful versus harmless? what we know now is that the case fatality rate is about 5%. so to say that less than 1% of cases of covid-19 are harmful is completely devoid of any evidence i've seen. it's, again, it's part of this misinformation campaign to pourt gurnd when we need our gourd up. we need governors to marshal their national guard. we need a whole of society approach. and again, as a member of the military, i would say, let's get our military forces out there. that's why we train. >> it is surprising every single day to think of a pandemic of
being a political issue and having a divided response from our elected officials on how to keep americans safe. it's surprising, it's shocking and it's frustrating. dr. vin gupta, thank you so much for joining us today. we appreciate it. ahead, president trump stoking partisan divides and fanning the culture war flames, playing down the coronavirus and playing up racial tensions. we are in an election year. also later, a unanimous decision from the supreme court today on a case that some hoped would move this country closer toward electing a president via the popular vote. esident via the popular vote
welcome back. while president trump is dismissing the seriousness of the virus and downplaying the threat it poses to americans, he is playing up the threat, he says, his political opponents pose to this country. today, he leaned even further into the culture wars, criticizing the washington football team, which we will not name and the cleveland indians
for looking into changing their names out of respect to native americans. that tweet came days after the president while standing in front of mt. rushmore on the eve of dependence day warned that democrats and liberals were threatening to destroy the american way of life. >> our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. make no mistake, this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the american revolution. the violent mayhem we have seen in the streets and cities that are run by liberal democrats in every case is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination, bias, journalism, and other cultural
institutions. >> joining me now from the white house is nbc news correspondent, carol lee. also with me is ashley parker, white house reporter for "the washington post," and also an nbc news contributor. ladies, welcome. ashley, i want to start with yo. i was talking to some trump campaign sources and allies today and they basically threw their hands up in the air. and i imagine they were doing this, because they sounded that way. we were talking on the phone and said, hey, listen, donald trump is going to be donald trump. he's going back to his 2016 playbook. he believes that this sort of rhetoric resonates with his base and it will fire people up in november. what does your reporting suggest on how effective this is being? >> i'm hearing the same thing that trump is going to trump, so to speak. this is a septuagenarian that is very set in his ways. he's not going to learn new tricks. but he's not just going back to
2016, he's going back to someone even earlier. someone who ran ads about the central park five. someone who came to political power in 2015 on the racist lie of birtherism. this has been a very effective strategy for the president. and what's interesting, this is something the campaign early on, the culture wars broadly they thought was helpful for him. so for instance, the campaign making money and selling non-paper straws. but what happened is there's a difference between that sort of culture war and what we're seeing now, where these rifts that these very clearly staking a line on are driven by racial animus and sometimes racism. so today, the press secretary repeatedly could not offer, speaking on behalf of the president and the white house, a stance on where the white house and where the president stands on the place of the confederate flag in society in 2020. that is what the president's trying to do.
but what is different is the ground on where the country is has shifted so quickly that for the first time, his gut is out of lockstep. >> and he's out of line with a lot of republican lawmakers who are his allies, as well on that stuff. carol lee, let's talk about where he's at with the polling. somebody today said the internal polls in the trump campaign match the public polling. it is not good right now. and they felt for the first time that they weren't entirely sure that re-election was certain. so what do you make of this wobbliness within the trump campaign and how they are potentially going to try to turn it around, or if they can. >> well, your point about the polling is exactly right. and if you talk to people close to the president, they'll tell you he himself will say privately that he knows there's a real chance that he could lose in november. and i think what we've seen is a
campaign that's really struggled to find its footing since the coronavirus pandemic started. we've thought they could run on an economic message. that is not a message that's obviously going to work. they then thought they could brand joe biden as somehow corrupt or sleepy or not at all with it. there's a lot of frustration among the president's team that they can't really land a dplogl on him. they haven't been able to define him yet. here we are four months before the election and there's this effort to reach back to 2016 tw, to a playbook the president felt worked for him then and he felt will work for him now. the line he's trying to walk and the problem he's getting into, where you hear even from allies from the president is when he does things like what ashley with was mentioning about the confederate flag. when you have the white house press secretary asked repeatedly if the president would denounce the flag and basically said, we're not taking an opinion on that. that is something that even people who are very close to the
president, who support the president are not willing to get onboard with. if you contrast that with what the president is trying to do in terms of saying, there's a left-wing mob, that's a message they can get onboard with it. the president is taking it to a level and a space that a lot of people who are allies of his are not comfortable with. >> let's talk about that left-wing mob, ashley. david hock murrah made this point that during 2016, it was all about the outsiders, the migrants crossing over the border who were the threat to the american way of life. remember that campaign ad showing immigrants pouring over a wall, no matter it wasn't an american wall, this was somewhere else in another part of the world, this threat of others coming in. what he seems to be doing now is warning of the threat from the inside. the liberal mob, the extremists in the democratic party who want to take your way of life away and indoctrinate your children.
>> well, any case that the president and the trump campaign makes is they will tell you will involve demon izing someone els. not just joe biden, but potentially an other. and even allies close to the president will say, if this is a referendum on donald trump, he is not going to fare very well. and so what they are doing, again, those scare tactics, that notion of the other and when the president talks about heritage in some ways, of course, it's a dog whistle, a lot of people will say, but the sort of views it as, you know, making america great again, preserving a certain way of life. this is how the president is comfortable talking. and i think one challenge for him, again, is that there's a number of attacks that might be quite effective against joe biden. but so far, they have not been able to take joe biden in his basement and turn him into
antifa. that is just not the hit on joe biden that the public is willing to believe. and i was talking to some people close to the trump campaign who were saying, the best attacks and the best messages are rooted in a bit of truth. something people always believe. and while the public is willing to believe any number of potentially negative things about joe biden, it is not that he is an anarchist or a member of antifa. and that is why that approach is having so much trouble getting traction against the person donald trump is running against in just four months. >> and they've conceded that it's really hard to run against joe biden, while neither of them are out on the campaign trail and joe biden is not having the same exposure that he would be getting had there not been a pandemic and had he had more chances to potentially put his foot in his mouth, ways that they could try to paint him as unfit for office, if they were to try to do that. they concede that joe biden is not an easy candidate to run against, same way hillary clinton was. and right now, it really is a referendum on the president, who now has a record.
carol lee, thank you very much. ashley parker, thank you, as well. good to see you ladies. ahead, arizona just hit an unwelcome milestone. 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. i'll talk to the state's former top health official about the surge in cases there and what can be done to stop it. here anda can be done to stop it
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abbreviated season, but that plan got thrown another curveball today. the washington nationals and the houston astros were forced to cancel today's workouts because of delays in testing. on friday, staff and players on both teams were tested for coronavirus, but today, they're still waiting on those results. the mlb requires that players are tested every other day with results coming back within 24 to 48 hours. and without those results, both teams decided to cancel their workouts. as of friday, 31 players and 7 staff members have tested positive for coronavirus. and of course, it's not just professional baseball players dealing with testing trouble and delays. arizona residents are also facing long lines and long waits for test results as the state topped 100,000 cases today. that is nearly double the number of cases from two weeks ago. arizona has reported record hospitalizations for ten days in a row, as well. and the state is setting records for the number of ventilators in use, as well as occupied icu
beds. according to arizona's health department, there are fewer than 200 available icu beds for the entire state. joining me now is the former director of arizona's health department, will humble, who is the executive director of the arizona public health association. so, will, when i hear the number of ventilators on the rise, when i hear the number of icu beds on the rise, i think about what happened here in new york and i start to wonder if that death toll really is a lagging indicator. >> well, the death toll for sure is a lagging indicator. and i think what our hospitals here and in arizona have been doing for the last two or three weeks is really ramping up their surge plans. they have all in place surge capacity plans. and they've been busy implementing those. and the critical control point that often isn't discussed is the amount of staffed beds. because a bed doesn't provide any care to anybody. it's staff that does that. these covid patients are
extremely labor intensive. and it takes a lot of icu nurses to manage a patient. so one of the things they've been doing is trying to find as many out-of-state icu-trained nurses as they possibly can. the vice president was here last week. we promised 500 folks that would come into arizona and provide assistance, icu nurses, respiratory therapists, et cetera. this week is all about building up hospital capacity to have this surge plan in place and being able to treat patients. >> what sort of surge should they be expecting? how many patients? >> well, i think most of them are in the process of implements their 25% surge plan. at the beginning of this pandemic, they were ordered by the governor to come up with a surge plan. one of those plans was to increase capacity by 25%. the other is 50%. so they're in the process now of implementing those surge plans and have been, as i mentioned, over the last few days. and so, you know, a lot depends
on other factors. you know, how -- does testing improve? you're looking at frames of long lines for testing. another goes back to the story you just covered around baseball, which is the turnaround times. the turnaround times have been in the six, seven, eight-day range. which really impairs your ability for contact tracing to work. >> is how quickly can you ramp that up and get that to where it's a day traurnd urnaround or two-day turnaround? >> so i don't have an answer to that question. what i can say is, testing capacity has been increasing in arizona over the last three weeks. the problem has been that the community spread vastly is outstripping the testing and supply capacity. the demand for testing is so much greater than supply, and as i said, it's not just number of tests, it's that turnaround time is actually very crucial and that needs to improve a lot. i don't have an answer for what needs to happen. you think it's -- hopefully it's
something that the executive branch is working on right now near arizona. >> can you explain to us what activating crisis care would mean in arizona? >> yeah. so, as i mentioned, we're in the process -- we, the hospitals are in the process of implementing their surge plans. that's adding staff, adding capacity, adding beds, being able to manage nor icu patients, et cetera. beyond that, when your capacity is stretched beyond what you're able to do, within your surge plan, using the normal standards of care, what the state has done is activated, as of last week, crisis standards of care, and that authorizes hospitals that when they go beyond their ability to treat patients using the normal care standards that they're authorized to use this crisis care standard. and essentially what it means is you grade patients one by one and determine which of those patients are more likely to survive and put your resources towards those patients that have a higher likelihood of living.
plus, there's a part of that formula that looks at life expectancy. if you're in that 85-plus range, and if you recover, you may only have a few years left. those points would be counted against you, as well. again, i don't think they're making those triage decisions right now. but as the surge plans get maxed out, that's what ends up happening. and i hope other states learn from us and avoid the situation that we're emerging into throughout the month of july. >> well, you're saying that, but this same thing happened here in new york, it happened in italy, in italy where they were, as you said, triaging patients for who's more likely to survive the virus and who is less likely to survive and treating them accordingly. there were similar reports of things happening here in new york that were like that. new york was a month and a half or more ahead of what we're seeing in arizona. the expectation that other states were paying attention. it seems like, if you were going to pay attention, you should have been paying attention two months ago, a month and a half
ago, three months ago, to italy zplp that's right. andic the big missed opportunities in arizona came at the end of our stay-at-home order, which was, by the way, very successful. it ended on may 15th. and by memorial day, you could see that it really wasn't working, because the bars and restaurants were totally full. the compliance with the cdc mitigation measures within businesses was actually not that good. the time to act was right then, so that there would have been some interventions to improve compliance at that point. and nothing really happened until the very end of june, which was too late. so the take-home message to other states is that, you know, stay on your elected officials and make sure that they're putting together plans in place that encourage and mobilize businesses to use those cdc mitigation measures, especially in your bars and restaurants and places like that, because if you don't, you could end up like arizona. and we had plenty of time for
prevention. now we're in the treatment side of things our hospital system. >> will humble, thank you so much for coming on and joining us today. thank you again. coming up next, supreme court justices stand united in a decision impacting the 2020 election and beyond. keep it right here. 2020 election andey bond. keep it right here
welcome back. today, we got another one of the big supreme court decisions we had been waiting for and in a rare move nor a closely watched case, it was a unanimous decision. at issue, electoral college voters and whether they could be so-called faithless electors, voting as they choose, rather than executing the will of voters in their state. the court ruled that electors cannot go rogue. today's decision comes as we wait for the supreme court rulings on other major cases of the term, including the release of president trump's financial documents, his taxes, and the
obamacare birth control mandate. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams is with me now to tell us more about the ruling. so pete, what does it mean for the electoral college and those who want to get rid of it? >> it means business as usual for the electoral college. if it had gone the other way, it would be a big deal, and here's why. when you go to the polls in november, you're choosing a slate of elector who is will vote in the electoral college in december. in most states, they are required to kanscast their ball for whoever won the popular vote in their state. the question was, what if on election day, they decided, we're going to vote for somebody else. and the supreme court said today, yes. they disagree a little bit on which part of the constitution compels that answer, but the majority opinion said that when the constitution gave the states authority to appoint electors, the power of appointment
includes the power to set conditions and one of those conditions is that they will vote as the state does. now, you can easily see what would skr happened if it had gone the other way. you have an even number of electors, it was really close, some electors decided at the last minute, i'm going to vote for somebody else, they could change the result of the election. so clearly that's not going to happen. and one of the goal of the challengers here was hoping to call more attention to the electoral college and get more interest in changing it and doing away with it. skma and as a matter of fact, the challengers say today they're going to start a campaign in all the states to get rid of the electoral college, which would require a constitutional amendment. >> pete palms, thanks for explaining it to us. we appreciate it, pete. coming up next, the politicization of patriot uchl and the troops. we'll talk about the dangerous double speak in the president's proclaimed love for the military, right after this. proclaimed love for the military, right after this nce m. i wasn't sure... was another around the corner? or could things go a different way?
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welcome back. keeping with the tradition of presidential speeches on the fourth of july, the president focused on the military for both of his holiday weekend appearances. but it was not the only thing he was focused on. calling out his perceived political enemies in the same breath as he lauded the troops. >> american heroes defeated the nazis, dethroned the fascists, toppled the communists, save d
american values, upheld american principles, and chased down the terrorists to the very ends of the earth. we are now now in the process o defeating the radical left, the marxists, the anarchists, the agitators and the looters and people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they are doing. >> this is far from the first time this president or others before him has politicized our armed forces but this time comes on the heels of reports that president trump may have known about russian bounties on the heads of the u.s. soldier in afghanistan but did not act on it. our guest is host of the podcast called angry americans which
this week had msnbc's willie geist as a guest. i want to get your take on the president, in one breath lotting the troops and then not acting on intelligence or being aware of intelligence that suggested russia might be paying the taliban bou taliban bounties to kill the soldiers. >> and then the disconnect is between president mayhem, is what i like to call him, he lies and disrespect the military and demoralizes the military. this is not new. what is new is he is desperate and doubling down on the popularity and the brand of the
american military. it's not just a pageantry like this when he throws in the navy blue angels and the army band, but it's also on policy. he is pulling troops out of germany right now and funding away from the pentagon and down to his wall. he's pardoning war criminals. time and time again he's actually opposed more and more so with the military. i think it will hurt him politically and it's ripping our country apart. everybody needs to know our military is not the trump military. we are diverse and come from america and we will be bigger than him and be here long after he is gone. >> i want to talk about war criminals, and the pardoning of lieutenant clint lorantz.
he had been in command of a platoon for three days but a military jury found he averaged a war crime a day, and he served by six days, and then fox news said it was an unfair sentence, and donald trump pardoned him and the same thing we saw with eddy gallagher, the navy s.e.a.l. what do you make of that? >> he loves political props. these war heroes they are political props. it's important to remember this lieutenant commanded a unit of 38 or so guys. he opposed them as well. they testified against him and there was a military court that found him guilty so it's trump and one war criminal against the platoon and the entire military justice system. he continues to isolate himself
with radical fridge elements that don't embody the military or values but make for inconvenient political props for him. he will have them on the campaign trail and on fox news and he will say they are great americans and everybody else is a weakling. trump is really hitting guardrails here and i think it's going to make him pay in red states. these folks can hurt him in ways that other political attacks from the democrats or others can't. in the long term it hurts our military and allies and national defense. >> going further into the story of the cursed platoon, it's a difficult story to read because it talks about how a number of these service members have been
reliving the traumas, five of them have died. it's a tough read. when you look at the stories and the effort they took to put this lieutenant behind bars, and then you consider that when you go to trump rallies, i see veterans wearing vietnam gear, i see active service members at these rallies telling me they support donald trump because he is so supportive of american troops. how do you reconcile those two things? >> if you say something enough times some people will believe it. trump has been saying he supports the troops going back to his campaign, and he also says he supports black people. he says a lot of things we know are not true. >> but i see more veterans at rallies than i see black people, to be fair. >> that's what they want you to see. they want the veterans to be out in front. they want them to be politicized
and want them to be onstage and they want you to think they are speaking for everybody but the reality is there's a diverse group of veterans and many are speaking out, republicans, democrats and everything in between. don't fall for it. this is what he wants people to think that he is the guardian of the military and he's not. he's the opposite of that. i think you will see more and more voices coming forward from both parties, and many of the active duty folks can't speak out. trump chose one guy over an entire platoon, and he chooses his agenda against the world stability. he is president mayhem, and every day he causes mayhem on our national security and standing in the world. >> just before we go, you talk to more rank and file active service members than i do. what are they telling you? >> it's constant chaos. i mean, this issue with the russian bounties is another last
straw. we keep saying the last straw is going all the way back to attacking john mccain. i think more than ever before the american military feels abandoned and used by trump. i think that is going to hurt him in the polls, but in the meantime they feel really unstable. they don't know what is coming next and they don't know if they are going to be deployed into places like washington, d.c. for riots. trump continues to puts us in really difficult positions that are more about politics than the well-being of national defense. >> and not to mention the number of cases of coronavirus among active service members is on the rise as well. paul, thanks for being on with us. thank you, everybody, for being with us. don't go away because there's another hour of "meet the press
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