tv MSNBC Live MSNBC July 25, 2020 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
good evening, i'm jonathan capehart. tonight we are watching the con ver convergence of history. the man who withstood police brutality and other forms of state-sanctioned violence is being remembered as his funeral gets under way inside brown chapel, the historic church that was the staging point for the voting right march that would take him over the edmund pettus bridge and into the history books. you see the flag-draped coffin of john lewis being marched into
the front doors of the historic brown chapel in selma, alabama. this is an important moment for that city, where the congressman made history and an important moment in american history, as a country he fought for by marching remembers him and lays him to rest. meanwhile, at the same time, for eight straight weeks there has been protests in the streets of major american cities. in louisville, three members of the nfac, a black armed militia group were hit by gunfire from one of their own members and in portland federal agents set off fear gas to disperse crowds.
and the trump administration is readying to deploy more federal agents to cities despite resistance and condemnation from their mayors. joining me to touch on all of these topics is former national security adviser to president obama and former ambassador to the united nations susan rice, who is author of "tough love: my story of the things worth fighting for." madam ambassador, thank you for being with us tonight. >> great to be with you, jonathan. >> as we saw live from selma, alabama, the flag-draped coffin of john lewis being brought into the capitol, i'm sure in your times, the times you spent in official washington, you met him, you knew him. tell us about him. >> jonathan, i was so proud to have had the opportunity to know him a bit and to work with him
and to admire him enormously. he was such a kind, gentle man, a happy warrior for justice and that spirit of optimism, that spirit of, you know, we can do this and make this a better country never left him. and he was inspiring to be around. and he saw the struggles that we have been through, he knows -- he knew firsthand because he was so brutalized by it, just how painful our past has been. but he also understood that as much progress as we've made, we have so much further yet to go and we're in a moment of setback in many ways. and we lose him at a time when we need him most. so his legacy is one that must inspire us and motivate us and compel us to move forward for freedom and real justice. >> ambassador rice, you wrote in your recent the "new york times"
op-ed about this moment in time that we're in, that we're basically at an inflexion point. and you warned take the next step toward racial justice. you viewed this moment as a moment not to be squandered. talk more about that. >> well, jonathan, we're in this incredible point of history where we have this multi-racial, multi-generational movement now for racial justice that's touched every state in our union and so many diverse people, and we have an opportunity to translate this moment, this movement into lasting and meaningful change, and yet so far most of what we have seen has been largely symbolic. you know, with the removal of some confederate flags from nascar or from the mississippi state legislature. the removal of some statues, some unfortunately through violence, others through agreed mechanisms. but that is not the level of
substantive change that this moment requires. we need to take a look at the systemic racism that still pervades this country and bring to this systemic reform. and so what i'm arguing for, given that we are paralyzed unfortunately for the moment, in congress we have the george floyd policing act come out of the house, it stalled in the senate where mitch mcconnell is not going to do anything serious. and yet beyond even the criminal justice reform, we need to get to the root causes of our systemic inequality, and that which leaves not just african-americans behind but people of all different colors and people of low income, of all races. and so i argue for reform that will touch on things like housing and health care and education and environmental inequality and job opportunities and the opportunity for economic
mobility. all of these things won't be dealt with if we have in the white house leadership that case, as we don't know, and we need that in joe biden and in the senate where there could be with the right leadership a willingness to seize this moment and make us more equal. >> we'll talk about joe biden in a moment. let's stick to what's been happening on the streets of some american cities right now. we've got the president putting in federal troops in portland, he's sending them to chicago, he's sending them to albuquerque. is this an appropriate use of federal resources, and what should be done to quell from the administration's point of view the protests in these cities? >> well, jonathan, no, it's absolutely not appropriate. it's an abuse of power, an abuse of authority for purely political means. what the president is trying to
do is to stoke more violence and to pit americans against each other so that he has photo opportunities that he can convert into commercials to terrorize people that he thinks will be moved by his, you know, manufactured law and order message. so it's a terrible abuse of p power and it's having the opposite of the intended effects. the protests in portland and state of oregon were diminishing and dying down and then the feds come in and spark a bigger response because people understandably feel like it's absolutely outrageous to have, you know, federal forces on the street arresting people, taking them off the streets without probable cause, using vicious force, tear gas, batons. so this is terrible and the american people need to understand it for what it is. this is donald trump in a last gasp effort and we're going to
see more of this over the next several months, to use every tool at his disposal, legal or illegal, to try to win reelection. >> when you and i spoke back in april on my podcast at the "washington post," fit was at te beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and you told me then that you were being kept up at night worrying about how long it would take to start to get over the curve there. here we are, what, four or five months later. are you still losing sleep or are you placated by what's happening now? >> i shouldn't laugh. i'm not placated, i'm horrified, as we all are. we american souls, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, nurses, doctors, first responders, people on the front lines in our factories and it
didn't need to be this way. it didn't need to be this bad, jonathan. and how many more are going to die before we have leadership that cares about trying to stop the rise in cases and the rise in deaths? our country is going absolutely in the wrong direction and it is largely because of failed lead leadership at the top. we need to take the steps to bend the curve and keep it down in all the states of this country. and instead because the president was cheerleading a premature reopening and many states following his lead, they reopened way too early and now we're seeing the consequences of that. the president seems to think through sure force of will and che cheerleading from the podium, he
can turn the curve around. no. we have to wear masks, act judiciously and be responsible to one another, as americans, as fellow citizens. >> i just want to note for the audience that the laughter from you and from me was rueful laughter given the situation the country is in. check my twitter feeds and a lot of people's twitter feeds, folks think you should be joe biden's pick to be vice president. we have talked about this before. one of the, quote unquote, knocks against you is that you've never run for elective office before. why -- what would you bring to a bid biden/rice ticket that other people may not bring. >> first of all, jonathan, the
vice president has to make the choice that is right for him and right for the nation and he's got an enormously talented group of women that he's considering and i'm honored just to be reported to be among them. each of those women has different strengths and backgrounds. it's true, i have not run for elective office, even though i've worked on behalf of others on three presidential campaigns and i feel like i've run on other people's behalf but my comparative strength, jonathan, and we each have our own is my many years of service at the high levels of the executive branch. i know how to make government work and produce results that will be beneficial for the american people. and the moment that the new president if thankfully we have joe biden elected, is going to come in and confront a pandemic, an economic crisis, a global leadership crisis, a racial justice crisis. this is a moment where the government and leadership matters more than ever. and what i think i could bring
to the team in whatever capacity, jonathan, not only as vice president, but is my experience and skills in getting things done and delivering results. >> ambassador susan rice, thank you very much for spending part of your saturday night with me. >> thank you very much. >> joining me now is michael steele, former chairman of the republican national committee and msnbc political analyst, elise jordan and nicole hannah jones, pulitzer prize winning, the "new york times" staff writer, the brains and the umph behind the 1619 project. thank you all very much for being here tonight. so i just interviewed ambassador susan rice. i'm going to start right there since we just -- i just said good-bye to her. michael steele, if susan rice were to be the choice of joe biden, what would that do to
republicans? does that make her an easy target for them or actually a slippery target for them? >> they'd lose their mind. they would absolutely lose their mind. >> flesh that out. why? >> well, because for a lot of them and this should i think in no way affect the vice president's decision, in fact a lot of women that i've talked to in the last three or four weeks are really high on ambassador rice. so there's a lot of interesting momentum around her potential elevation. but for a lot of republicans, this would be an effort to rehash her time at the u.n., her time in the administration, all sorts of things that they would love to chomp into to replay the 2008 to 2016 presidential era of barack obama.
as if they wouldn't get to do that with joe biden but joe biden has already proved himself to be a somewhat slippery character. you can't just peg him because the country knows him. with susan rice, it would open up in the view of some an opportunity to come after her. again, i don't think that's dispositive of anything other than the normal crazy that would be in a campaign. i think miss rice would acquit her very well and bring a lot that would be problematic for republicans as well. >> i laughed at normal crazy because i thought you were going to say normal crazy from the trump campaign but you didn't go there. elise, you come from the george w. bush white house, that wing of the republican party.
given the way the president has performed this week, this past week, is it too late for the trump campaign to pull the plane out of what seems like a very steep nosedive? >> we still have a hundred days but a hundred days a long time, a lot of time that he doesn't have actually to reverse a pandemic. and this is going to be an election about the coronavirus, about the administration's horrific response to the crisis, about the denial that there is a problem, about a pandemic that has at this point killed as many people as died because of the atomic bomb hitting hiroshima. a hundred days is a lot of time but barring that something
really crazy crazy happens, i don't see how donald trump avoids judgment or how horrible his administration's response has been, as reflected in the polling we've seen. >> nicole, i think it's really incredible the moment that we're in in this country at this time given the president that we have, the trials and tribulations that we are going through, the demonstrations that we have seen that have sprouted up all over the country as a result of people protesting on behalf of black lives and then in the middle of all of this, we have the passing of congressman john lewis. can you given your expertise with the 1619 project and how important that was put into perspective, if you can, the moment that we're in right now and how important it is, you think, the passing of john lewis in terms of proropelling, helpi to propel this nation forward? >> yeah, we are clearly in unprecedented times, at least in
my lifetime, across several fronts, not just the pandemic and economic catastrophe that we're in but also this is the most sustained protests for black rights and civil rights in my lifetime. and when you see someone like john lewis who has long been this country's north star when it comes to these issues, to lose him in this moment it is a time for us to then reflect clearly on what nation we want to be and whether we are going to be the nation that john lewis was fighting for or the nation that john lewis was fighting against. and i hope that this moment of reflection will lead us to be the nation that john lewis was fighting for. >> i love what you just said there, nicole, what nation we want to be. and i'm just going to throw this out there. secret police out there on the streets of american cities, whoever wants to jump in, jump
in. is that the america we want to be? is that the america we're going to be? >> well, i think it's a good question -- just real quick, i think it's the seminal question because i think it is the america we are at the moment. and i think it is something that we're going to have to come to grips with over the next 100 days when we ask ourselves what kind of country do we want and what kind of leader do we want to lead it because that is the ultimate reflection of who we are, what we believe and what we want to be going to the future. so that's going to be a powerful moment, i think. >> elise, why aren't republicans speaking out about this? everybody watching knows that if this had happened under president barack obama, if he had tried this, i mean, where are the republicans? >> they should be raising holy hell about what's happening and what's unfolding, the use of
these weapons of war on american streets. if they were true conservatives, if they were libertarians who cared about the divide between the federal and local authorities and having local authorities -- having them empowered to deal with the crisis at hand. but, no, you're seeing how cowardly so many republican lawmakers are and so high-ranking republicans just because they're afraid of donald trump. we see the little murmurs of hope when different members start to speak out about things they aren't so happy for because it's been pretty incredible watching the lack of dissent and how scared republicans have been to speak out. and at what point is donald trump going to be so desperate politically that more republicans are actually going to decide that this isn't the future they want to hit their wagon to? >> and with that, nicole, you're going to be here all night so i'm going to ask you questions
later on in the show. but still ahead, season two of president donald trump's coronavirus briefings, this time with an appearance by a medical expert and a hall of fame relief pitcher. the highlights and the low lights next. and as we go to break, we listen in to the memorial service for congressman john lewis. looks like they picked the wrong getaway driver. they're going to be paying for this for a long time. they will, but with accident forgiveness allstate won't raise your rates just because of an accident, even if it's your fault. cut! sonny. was that good? line! the desert never lies. isn't that what i said? no you were talking about allstate and insurance. i just... when i... let's try again. everybody back to one. accident forgiveness from allstate. click or call for a quote today.
i'm an associate here at amazon. step onto the blue line, sir. this device is giving us an accurate temperature check. you're good to go. i have to take care of my coworkers. that's how i am. i have a son, and he said, "one day i'm gonna be like you, i'm gonna help people." you're good to go, ma'am. i hope so. this is my passion. if i can take of everyone who is sick out there, i would do it in a heartbeat. [camera man] actually anyone 50 or over is at increased risk for shingles. the pain, the burning! my husband had to do everything for weeks. and the thing is, there's nothing you can do about it! [camera man] well, shingles can be prevented. shingles can be whaaat? [camera man] prevented. you can get vaccinated. frank! they have shingles vaccines! -whaaat? -that's what i said. we're taking you to the doctor. not going through that again. [camera man] you can also get it from your pharmacist! talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting vaccinated.
heal and the violence that rose up in opposition to his peaceful efforts, to make right so many wrongs. he loved this country so, so much and may his love and his moral courage ripple from this place through the hearts of young americans everywhere, white, black and brown. to reach beyond the current chaos and division, just as john did, and lead us to come together as a community to end in justice and inequality. it is the young among us that can fail what we failed to heal in our lifetime no matter how hard john tried. in the last few weeks, john saw requests to help bend the mark of moral justice.
he confidently looked around and said all is well, it is time for the torch to be passed, it is time for me to let go. so let us remember that charge that john gave us in the final passage of his autobiography when he quoted the old african proverb, when you pray, move your feet. john said as a nation, if we care for the beloved community, we must move our feet, our hands, our resources to build and not tear down, to reconcile and not to divide, to love and not to hate, to heal and not to kill. in the final analysis we are one people, one family, one house, the american house, the american family. carry john with you and finish his life's work. patriots for equality and an america that lives a reality closer to our deals.
rest in peace my old friend. >> and you were just listening to senator doug jones, who is in a tough reelection fight for a full term to the united states senate, eulogizing his old friend and late friend congress naun jo congressman john lewis. and meanwhile, dr. anthony fauci, reassuring you in a way that the dauk is no longer barking at the mail carrier. >> i noticed a real shift in his tone as he's been holding these coronavirus briefings, a much more sober assessment as opposed to the rosey projections he was giving us earlier this year. >> that's true. i think you'll seeing an evolution of the reality of
what's going on and i believe he's adjusting to that right now and acting accordingly. i'm very, in many respects, positively responding to that because that will set a good example for the rest of the country. >> actually that's dr. fauci. while the reboot of the coronavirus briefings might have started out less erratically than those back in april, things devolved quickly when the president was asked in the first briefing why experts like dr. fauci and dr. deborah birx were no longer in attendance, he claimed they were giving him, quote, everything they know and he was passing that along. dr. birx did show up later in the week with a mask, with the president not in a mask. all of this as the u.s. hit a new single-day record, even as the president continues to
insist the virus will just disappear. back with us are michael steele and elise jordan. thank you all for being here. heather, let me bring you in since elise and michael have been here already for the hour. the president has rebooted these coronavirus briefings for the purposes, i suppose, of looking in charge and in command. from your perspective, is it too little too late? >> it's absolutely too little too late, but at the same time, like with a child we have to say good job be do more of that in order to at least have him being sort of trained in the right direction. but right now overwhelm ily, americans are not looking to trump for their information and unfortunately as we just learned the white house has been rewriting the cdc guidelines on a number of issues, they can't
reliably look to the centers for disease control. this is a resort of breaking point and my dear republican friends that are on with me, i'd love to hear what they have to say about this, but this feels like a breaking point from a multi-decade trend of not listening to science. global warming is obviously the biggest example of this where we've had a fossil-fueled campaign to undermine and the vaccine resistance is another front of this and now we have this place where we actually have leaders who are undermining science while the american people are dying for lack of access to that quickly evolving science. i don't know how we can trust the republican party to lead. i could have said that about something like taxes or something like infrastructure investment, things that i think are very important to our country's future, but now it's become very clear that this is a life-and-death issue and the way donald trump is acting, i wish
it were more anonymous. i feel it is sort of the final iteration of something that was started much earlier from the fringe of the right wing and has moved into the most powerful seat of the free world. >> elise, the republican party used to pride itself on being the party that knows how and likes to get things done, the party that does things by the books and can do it better and more efficiently than democrats can. where is that republican party now? when it comes to coronavirus, to be clear? >> well, you look at florida as one example. they're saying go to the beach, go to the bar. they seem to be much more concerned with reopening bars than long-term planning for fall school reopenings. and you see that reflected in the latest quinnipiac poll that had biden ahead of trump by about 13 points that's way past the margin of error.
but also, what's reflected in that, a state that so many analysts had thought was reliably red, how is it going blue this year in such force as these polls are reading? you look at seniors, you look at who covid is really affecting and you see how so many seniors voters, the senior voters that donald trump needs are looking at the incompetence and looking at how their lives have changed and it's a critical part of the electorate that donald trump may not be able to pull and it may be the reason he loses. >> imichael steele, i'm going t end with you. the polls do show that joe biden is way out ahead of president trump, but polls shrink. counsel our democratic friends who are watching now on what they should be mindful of when those polls shrink? >> well, first off, keep your head screwed on straight.
it's july. you've got conventions to go through and there's a whole lot of runway between now and the kick off of the official campaign on labor day weekend. so focus on what you do know. you know donald trump. stop being surprised, all right? stop acting like oh my god, i'm so amazed and we've got to address this. you just methodically go about from the voting piece to the organization piece, make sure you have your plan of action focus. but here's the big piece i think the democrats need to be aware of. donald trump is not going to play your game. he's going to play an asymmetrical game. he's going to play a game that you haven't seen before, so start treating this like it's going to be a conventional election. you know? we won't know who the president-elect will be on november 3rd, that evening, because of absentee ballot and vote by mail and a whole lot of other things that are going to be going on. we have to be prepared for that. >> voter suppression.
>> all of it. it's all in the bucket. so you have to have a bottom-up and top-down strategy that meets where donald trump is, not where you think he's going to be, not where you hope he is because he's not going to give you that. you're going to have to pace your campaign in a way that you aggressively go after him. and if biden is prepared to do that with his vice presidential nominee, they can make this a race. it july, folks, it ain't september yet. you got a lot of work still to do. >> all right, preacher steele. thanks for all of you for being on tonight. when we return, 100 days and a few hours from now americans will go to the polls. what will this country look like when they get there and how many voters will show up? ta-da! did you know liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need? given my unique lifestyle, that'd be perfect! let me grab a pen and some paper. know what? i'm gonna switch now. just need my desk...
polling has joe biden leading the president by nearly 10% nationwide, but in an unprecedented year upended by an ongoing pandemic and racial unrest, the ordinary benchmarks that mark an election year feel almost useless. by now in 2016 the republican benching was well over and we were on the first day of the democratic convention, but due to concerns over the coronavirus, both of this year's conventions have been moved and postponed until next month. last month we also saw the university of michigan withdraw as hosts of the second presid t presidential debate. so the home stretch of the election 2020 is going to be lit. joining me, johnny sykes and guy cecil, who is currently chairman and chief strategies for priorities usa and back with us is nicole hannah jones. thank you all very much for being here.
charlie, i want to start with you. the polls are incredible for joe biden. i mentioned he's ten percentage points ahead in some polls. in the fox news/michigan poll, joe biden is up over by 9 points. in minnesota, my math is bad but it looks like 13 points. over and over and over again. is this sustainable for joe biden? is there any way for president donald trump to come back? >> you know, i agreed with everything that michael steele said in the last segment about not being too optimistic, but time is running out. i think the time and patience is running out for donald trump. this last week did feel like perhaps the week he lost the presidency. he's no longer controlling the narrative. when you think about what's happening with the coronavirus, with the economy, he was hoping to turn around the momentum with this convention. that's all gone.
he's thrown everything into this new law and order campaign and that is not working. so you really have to ask yourself, what would it take for him to turn this around? maybe you can hope for some unforced errors by the democrats, an unvetted veep or some gaps by joe biden or something in the debate or more unrest. but at this point i think that america has made up its mind and is close to having a verdict on this failed president. >> guy cecil, do you agree with charlie that america has made up its mind? >> i would love to share his optimism, but i would remind everybody that it is in fact july. the other thing i would remind you of is that history tells us when people cannot win with the electorates they have, they try to choose the electorate. this is why the republican national committee is recruiting 50,000 poll watchers, while they are suing the state of pennsylvaniaeliminate no
excuse vote by mail. we are going to enter into three months of some of the most aggressive voter suppression we've seen and democrats should be vigilant on pushing back on this. >> well, guy, you just mentioned about voter suppression efforts in pennsylvania. your organization, priority usa, you just intervened. talk about that. >> we've seen over the last three months the republican national committee has allocated almost $30 million in voter suppression lawsuits. in this particular case they are trying to essentially eliminate dropoff locations and no excuse vote by mail through satellite location. so we intervened to try to stop it because at the end of the day, the choice between the two parties on this front is clear. on one hand you have a party that's trying to provide for fair, equal access to the ballot box and on the other hand you have a party that is intentionally trying to suppress
the young vote, black vote, latino vote, essentially any vote for democrat and we are committed to fighting back wherever that happens. >> nicole, i don't mean to put you on the spot as a political prognosticator or political operative but i've spent this hour asking questions about president donald trump. i want to ask you what do you think is the affirmative message for democrats? i'm thinking about this because the fox news poll when they talked about issue, joe biden is ahead of president trump when it comes to race relations, ahead of president donald trump when it comes to the coronavirus. you can see it there in the graphic on the screen and a little ahead by one point of the president on the economy, which the president was running on before the pandemic hit. is there an affirmative case for joe biden to make that could help him maintain this lead in the polls? or is what's happening on the
streets even beyond joe biden, that the american people are the ones who are going to dictate what they care about and who they want in office? >> so i appreciate you saying you didn't want to put me on the spot because i am not a political pundit. so i try to stay within my own realm. but what appears to have been working is for joe biden to largely just chill. i think the best thing he can do is continue to run the type of campaign that he's running. he is another older white guy, he is a moderate, everything that trump tries to throw at him to kind of scare the electorate just isn't going to stick because we know joe biden and no one believes that he's some flaming radical that is going to lead to a darker america. i think he just has to stick it out. what i'm actually much more concerned about is what guy is talking about, when we see these
pollings, they're looking at likely voters but i fear likely voters will have a hard time voting. if they have a hard time voting, we could see very different results. we know if you looked at the races in wisconsin and in michigan, there was voter suppression happening in the last election. and those states were won by very small margins. i think that is the thing that we really have to be concerned about, are voters who want to vote all able to vote in this election? >> and, guy, i'll bring it back to you. how worried should the american people be overall about voter suppression efforts by republicans and by the president? >> from my perspective, it is one of the top two or three issues we're dealing with a pandemic and a president who is
embassy exacerbating racial tension in the country and a president who is seeking to essentially suppress the vote in not just the deep south but in michigan, in pennsylvania and so i think this issue is real. so every democrat should have this issue going not just into the ballot but how they're organizing in terms of this election. >> and charlie, quick thought. >> i agree with that. i think democrats ought to worry about all of these things. i'm particularly worried about the logistics of the election and what's going to happen between november 3rd and january 20th because this is a president who is not going to leave graciously and will do everything possible not merely to cast doubt on the election but to really challenge the legitimacy of our democracy. i think that's going to be a real stress test for us. >> that is a very good point. thank you, all of you, for being on this evening. coming up, we'll go back to
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it's amazing to see them in the wild like th-- shhh. for those who were born to ride, there's progressive. a memorial service is being held right now in selma, alabama for legendary civil rights leader and long time democratic congressman john lewis speaking now is charles muldon who was there on the bridge on march 7th, 1965. >> a march to montgomery was made. c.t. and andy and hosea and a lot of other people were there. when we -- one of the things that many people don't know is that i was close enough to john on bloody sunday, i was maybe number five or six depending which way you're counting and
when the colonel basically told us that was an illegal march and that we should disband and come back to our churches and go to our homes ct said give us some time to pray. at that time the time we kneeled down the state troopers took their billy clubs like this and began to push us back. that was the time that people have always said that john was basically attacked then. i was close enough to john to hear that crack. i'll never forget it. i was sensitive about bringing it up with the family but i think there are little things i knew that i'd like to share with you. although we knew that was a tragic time we were all soldiers, nonviolent soldiers, and we knew john was down but we were happy to find out within a week or so he was on the march in montgomery and that was the type of person john was. i've heard -- another thing i
want to share. i've heard john say several times on tv that he's not sure how he got from the bridge to really back to this church. and i was close enough and knew what type of resources we had to know there were very few resources so probably, the they brought him here for some reason. when he got here he was sitting up here. and worth long who had been a medic in the military had been sent to selma early to scout selma and see if selma would actually be ready for some type of movement here and he saw that john had a concussion and was afraid that he needed to have his legs lifted so he would not get a blood clot. he did that.
he and w.c. robinson was the first person to shed blood for the selma movement down at carter drug store. they came in, got john, took him out to the streets where the state troopers were, and they said, we have a soldier down. and we request permission to take him to the hospital. that is how john got from here to the hospital and probably what saved john's life. i hope i'm sharing something you'll appreciate it. i was sensitive about doing this because i know this is a time of great reflection but i want to share that because many people don't know that. john went home from there and we know the rest of the story. thank you. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the voice of selma to sing for us now as she did so often during the marches.
selma and, boy, what a voice she has. over the next few days, a grateful nation will say good-bye to john lewis, the boy from troy as martin luther king called him. but the most poignant moment will happen tomorrow morning when lewis is shepherded one last time over the edmund pettus bridge. i have crossed that bridge with lewis four times. the last time was just four months ago. on march 7th, 1965 lewis helped lead a march for voting rights to the state capitol in montgomery and at the foot of that bridge they were beaten, tear gassed, and chased back to brown chapel where his body now lies. when america saw what happened there, america changed. the voting rights act was signed into law just five months later. over the ensuing years our nation would change again for the better and also suffer setbacks. there for it all was lewis. you saw the election of our first black president. he saw the gutting of the voting rights act. he literally bled for it.
then he saw the election of president trump whose policies and appeals are rooted in white supremacy. yet lewis never lost hope even as black lives matter protests surged through the streets of america last month lewis urged the demonstrators in an interview with me to, quote, give with me until you can give no more. that is exactly what he did. john lewis was a decent and humble man. a great man. how lucky we were to have an angel among us. that wraps it up for this hour. i'm jonathan capehart. joshua johnson continues coverage next. ♪
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i'm joshua johnson. good to be with you tonight. from nbc news world headquarters in new york it is a busy saturday night. we are watching hurricanes off our coasts, honoring the life of john lewis, and bracing for more protests in america's streets. let's start there in louisville. three people were accidentally shot ahead of a black lives matter march. the injured were with a black militia group and the damage is reportedly not life threatening. that group and a similarly armed far right group are both part of the ongoing protests over the killing of breonna taylor. contrast that with a scene in selma a city well acquainted with protests. a week of formal ceremonies began today honoring a man who devoted his life to peaceful protests. friends and family of the late congressman john lewis remembered him as a brother, son, and