tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 27, 2020 12:30pm-2:00pm PDT
unfortunately as you've heard from sam, the teams are all taking individual approaches and we've been talking, you and i have spoken about a national strategy. we need mlb to act as one entity. so we're going to have to delay this season, even for teams that have had no cases and i just want to point out, arizona, one of their head scouts, they experienced a death on the team. their scout died and it was actually, they thought he contracted it from his wife who had coronavirus that they discovered around childbirth, so this hits home for baseball, for everyone, and it should be taken seriously. >> i'm looking at the map up on our screen and it looks like maybe just the yankees and mets could play each other for 60 days. i have a question about the infections reaching deep inside the west wing as well. and the similar kind of line of inquiry for you. if we can't protect the most senior national security adviser to the president of the united
states who works deep inside the west wing, who has open access to the oval office, how are we, how are we having a conversation about safe returns to school? >> right. this is another prime example where it's the lack of a national strategy is hitting home everywhere including the west wing and not only one i think it's critical to understand that again, even in the west wing, they have access to that rapid testing, nicole, that most of the country doesn't have. i think schools and parents would be willing to take a chance if they knew their child could get a rapid test result. the west wing has something that even the rest of the country doesn't have, but on top of that, they believe from reports from nbc, that he contracted the virus from his college age daughter who he was kind of staycationing with. this just shows you all the
layers, all the testing, how complex this is, and how we have to take it seriously when we say this virus knows no boundaries. again, we're talking about schools, but the same holds true, we've got americans who work and have no choice but to go to work. so we need to think about all the strategies to keep them safe and hopefully as congress thinks about this stimulus package, testing, testing, testing. we've got to do better. >> all right, doctor, please stay with us because we're going to dig a little deeper on this topic we started querying you on. how we get our schools back to school safely. our friend, randy, of the american federation of teachers joins us again for that. stay with us. joinuss again for. stay with us
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there is no good choice. i feel like it's not a, if you get covid, it's when. when am i going to get it? >> i'm still waiting to hear back on what they have planned for us. >> i want to be with my students, but i don't want to affect my family. >> with schools set to reopen, either in person or in some hybrid manner very soon, teachers across the country say they are unprepared and
uninformed about reopenings even as donald trump calls for schools to do just that. we welcome back to the broadcast the american federation of teachers and nbc news medical contributor, dr. patel. so, randy, where are we? >> so, you know, where we are is that you need as you and i have talked about a lot and the doctor whether reenforce, you need three basic things to reopen schools, school buildings. one, that the covid is under control. that you're not surging cases and with that, you have some kind of testing, tracing, and isolation process so that an outbreak doesn't become a surge. number two, you need the safeguards that are in place, embedded in schools so that a virus doesn't get transmitted
and that includes the six that i've talked about over and over. masks and physical distancing, cleaning and ventilation, reasonable accommodation and obviously washing hands. and third, you need the resources to be able to do all of this. and so what's happened is without the resources from washington, with covid surging in different places, as people have started to plan, you saw fairfax county, articlington, s we can't do it. you saw l.a., houston, atlanta, say the surge in cases require us to start remotely. the only real outlier, which is unconscionable right now, is florida, where they can't start in person and yet, they'll close a convention for adults, but they won't actually ensure that kids start remotely given the spike and that's why we sued last week in florida to stop
desanctis from jeopardizing kids and teachers lives. >> randi, what is the second line of the e-mail from the school nurse? every parent knows that e-mail. every parent knows the school nurse and you get a that e-mail. pink eye in kindergarten. vomiting and the parent flu in third grade. what is the instruction if the e-mail comes home from the school that says case of covid diagnosed in second grade. do what? what is the second sentence? school shutting down? get your kid tested? stay home for 14 days? >> so the second sentence is, so, just like what baseball is doing in terms of closing, but they have the tests, this just happened in westchester county this weekend. which is a child came up with covid. they have to stop summer school. and then they're doing the tracing and see another child has covid. so you have to, the second line
is, this is part of the reason why we have isolation rooms in schools if they reopen. this is part of the reason we need nurses in schools, which we don't have. but the second line is, your child is safe in isolation. please come and we need the then make sure all the other parents and teachers know. the school needs to be closed down to really, really, really clean it then we have to find out if you know, how much of an outbreak there was. but this is part of the reason why tif you reopen buildings, there has to be this six foot physical distance iing and everybody has to wear, they're not going to wear an a eft mask, but they have to wear a mask and have the cleaning and ventilation. we're in an unprecedented moment. the only reason we're going through all of this is because we know how important inschool learning is for kids and we know how important it is for kids and
we know how important the digital divide has been. but in this moment of time, if we don't have the resources and we don't really make the safety, then how are we going to do this? even if places where there's not a surge. >> dr. patel, is there any way of actually realizing what randi just laid out, that the average test result in new york, it's nine days. across the country, it's eight to 14 days, takes that long. and especially an asymptomatic kid, you get a result back 14 days later, you could have taken down a 1,000 person school. >> yeah, that's right, nicole. and that's the point. it's not, it's not useful to have test federal government it takes honestly even more than 48 to 72 hours. we have technology where we could get the test results faster but we're still facing those same supply chain and
reagents and swab issues. so you can't make any of this happen as randi said, without those pieces in place. but i think more importantly, you know, we all want the economy, we want everything to kind of get back to as close to normal as possible and i think what we're all underscoring is that getting children back to school is part of that, but it can only be done when we feel confidence that we can be healthy. and that means teachers, parents, students, workers, all of us. we have to feel confidence in being healthy. and everything you've heard from randi, her colleagues, my own kids teachers, they're very nervous that they cannot stay healthy. and i think that's where we have to have a full stop and deal with the issues that randi outlined. >> dr. patel, could i ask you to make a prediction. what percentage of school kids do you think will experience in person learning in the fall? >> yeah, i mean, you know, i've learned over past election
cycles not to get in the business of predictions but here's what i can tell you. >> me, too. >> if you look right now at criteria of positive rates in states, we only have about four states, nicole, that have a less than 5% test positivity rate. and that includes our own district of columbia, maryland and virginia. so we are definitely not looking in four weeks at reopening huge parts of this country and what makes me really sad, randi mentioned this digital divide. i am so concerned that we're going to have just extreme losses in all sorts of accomplishments all because we couldn't as adults and a nation get our act together and that's, my prediction is that we are going to have an incredibly stressed parent workforce. incredibly stressed education community and that we will see some pockets in some states where they are in person or have hybrid models that work successfully, it will not be a
large part of the nation and it certainly will not be the vulnerable communities that really deserve the best chance at this. >> dr. patel, randi, thank you both so much for having this conversation with us. it's so important to so many kids and just so many families. coming up for us, protests in portland, oregon now for the 60th night in a row and now demonstrations have spread well beyond the northwest as protestors stand up to donald trump's surge of federal law enforcement around the country. that's next. al law enforcement around the country that's next.
the fight for racial equality has taken center stage as demonstrations unfold across the west coast this weekend. crowds flooded the streets of los angeles, oakland and seattle, renewing a call to end police brutality and in portland, the week's long stand off between protestors and federal agents alongside local law enforcement reached a boiling point.
portland police declared sat night's protest a riot after they say protestors breached a fence to a federal courthouse and threw fireworks at officers. law enforcement fired tear gas to break up the crowd. joining our conversation is the creator, co-host an executive producer of the circus on showtime, mark mckinnon. also joining us, cornell belcher from brilliant corners research. both of you i'm sure about wag the dog. thomas friedman wrote a column last week that trump is doing exact ly that, except declaring war in this instance, inside his own country. mark, i wonder if you think that's what we're seeing and if you think folks on both sides, both the federal law enforcement officials and the protestors themselves, are pawns in all that. >> i don't think there's any question about it, nicole. in a week in which just recently donald trump had to a announce
that he was not holding his convention in florida and he started about wearing maskmasksu know he did that for sections of strength. he wanted to be perceived as a strong man. so draw those things on which he had to retreat, i think he's doubling down on this notion of bringing law enforcement to local communities, where there are protests of racial justice. and the tragic irony here is on a day when he refuses to pay his respect in person to john lewis, he's just announced that he's paying more federal troops or federal law enforcement officers to go into these cities. and i just think it's hypocritical, too, just from an ideological standpoint. let states and localities make their own decisions, like on covid, for example, which there should have been more federal leadership. in this case, he's saying, you know, we're going to bring in troops, even though the local officials in many cases don't want that help. >> you know, cornell, the
only -- it's so cynical, it's so dark, just asking the question feels icky, but it seems the only protection from this is the kind of ground swell of public support for the original cause. the protest started after the killing of george floyd and you've got anywhere from 67 to 74% of americans identifying themselves as agreeing with the aims of black lives matter. but i wonder with your expertise and your eye towards public opinion and images, if democrats, you think, have any concern or should have any concern about these images? >> well, yes, i think we should have some concern about these images, because, look, there's a reason why trump is pushing this. you'll remember, going back to 2018, when they said that we were basically being invaded by a hoard of immigrants coming from south america, and day after day, we were bombarded by this news that we were going to
be invaded. and he literally moved armed forces to the border to stop an invasion. driving this fear of the other is central to central donald trump. it didn't work in 2018 and i question whether it will work in 2020, because you do see, to your point, i think that 2020 is going to be really about the george floyd voter. and you know, you do see large majorities of white voters, particularly white suburban voters right now, in line with the protests. and supporting the protests. and i will point out that although when you look at a place like portland, that's not huge black populations. so i think it's harder to scare suburban moms about protesters when they're protesting. however, that said. i do worry that sort of the fear tactics that he's trying to use here, this ideal that the country is out of control and there is people out there to
destroy your way of life and look at them, and i'm the only one who can stand up to that has historically worked in the united states of america. we have a whole history of it, of law and order candidates, you know, being the ones who come out on top. the good news, though, is -- and it's why i'm hopeful this time is going to be problematic for republicans. it's good news, when you look at battleground districts across the country, the police reform candidate is actually doing about 20 points better than the law and order candidate, but certainly, i'm going to be watching to see as they escalate this up, do we get suburban voters pausing and falling back into where they once upon a time were? >> i mean, mark, cornell makes the perfect point, right? i mean, this worked for donald trump when he scared enough of a coalition, electorally speaking, with promises of whoever was on
the other side of a fictional wall that mexico was going to pay for. he tried and failed in '18 with that slow-moving phantom caravan, that somehow miraculously disappeared the morning after the midterms. but i want to ask you specifically about some brand-new reporting in "the washington post" by carol l leonnig. there's a whole lot of morning-after remorse by all the participants and that's why i started asking both of you of whether or not this is all for show. if the human beings on both sides of these clashes are the victims. "the washington post" reported that national guard police suddenly moved on lafayette protesters, used excessive force before the trump visit. it's a new statement by an iraq veteran who now serves for the national guard. here's what he said about the june 1st protest at lafayette square. he said that demonstrators were behaving peacefully and that tear gas was deployed in an
excessive use of force. and i guess the point of this body of reporting and this important new development from carol leonnig is that this is a playbook revealed, right? >> well, i think the big question for most voters, nicole, is whether or not donald trump is bringing federal troops to actually try to quell violence or if he's using it as a political weapon. and that kind of reporting just suggest that it's being used for politics. and i think the big question that most people have when they look at portland or other areas, where there's some conflicts and protests is the question of whether or not bringing in federal law enforcement is making the situation better. it's really just throwing gasoline on a fire. just making the problem worse. >> cornell, my last question goes to you. and it's almost like the opening of a bad joke. how bad is donald trump? he's so bad that the ronald reagan foundation asked him to stop using their likeness in
their advertising. your thoughts about divisions on the right, about the cisitting president? >> oh, nicole, i think your old party has got to have a reckoning come november 2020. >> you think? >> because, look, i think we'll probably talk about this, also. but when you look at the battleground states and look at the way suburban voters are reacting to this and look at -- you look at the way minority voters are asking to it, i think republicans are going to have to get off of this train and save themselves fairly soon, because you can't win the future, doubling down on these sort of politics of division. >> nicole, rule number one in -- >> cornell belcher -- go ahead. >> rule number one -- >> especially after he's left -- >> rule number one -- >> especially after he's left
this earth. god rest his soul. mark mckinnon, cornell belcher, two of the smartest people to talk to about anything, especially our current politics. thank you both so much for spending some time with us today. coming up for us, how donald trump made a bad problem worse. "deadline: white house" next. pe "deadline: white house" next
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pandemic is bringing parts of our country near a breaking point, with the u.s. on track to surpass 150,000 deaths within the week, a shocking human toll, especially when you consider that just a few months ago, scientists and experts were projecting a total death toll that could remain as low as 60,000, if we did all the right things. we didn't, but at that time, even that loss of life seemed unfathomable. and now, at the end of july, we've more than doubled those projections and we're on track to triple them by the end of august. and the painful truth, the painful truth looming over all of the human suffering, the economic catastrophe, the array of terrible choices about the coming school year, it didn't have to be this way. and if we had a more competent president, lives and jobs and futures might have been spared. following months of denial, gaslighting, misinformation, and disinformation from the president himself, a brand-new
report in t"the washington post reveals that even some of trump's closest political allies are in disbelief over the degree of carnage the president has created, asking, why didn't trump try harder to solve the coronavirus crisis? from our friends, phil rucker and ashley parker, quote, both allies and opponents agree, he has failed at the one task that has helped him achieve all of his goals, confronting the pandemic with a clear strategy and consistent leadership. people close to trump say that the president's inability to wholly address the crisis is due to his almost pathological unwillingness to admit error, a positive feedback loop of overly rosy assessments and data from advisers and fox news and a penchant for magical thinking that prevented him from fully engaging with the pandemic. those failures have cost tens of thousands of american lives that didn't need to be lost. but if trump can only appreciate the fallout through the lens of his own politics, then the news is bad for him there, too.
a mere 32% of americans approve of trump's handling of the pandemic. i personally wonder who they are. in the latest poll from the associated press, as a record number of americans now say the u.s. is heading in the wrong direction. joe biden taking the lead against trump in four key battleground states that trump won in 2018. and in his scramble to plaster band-aids on his political wounds, trump's inner circle is giving in more and more to trump's most authoritarian impulses. trump continuing to stoke racial tensions across the country, marshaling federal troops to take up positions against american citizens, and many peaceful protesters in the ensuing unrest. veteran reporter dan balz of "the washington post" writes a sobering piece in today's paper that trump has done lasting damage to america's standing in the world. he writes this. quote, from abroad, the united states is seen as having lost confidence in itself, as it grapples not only with the pandemic, but also with long-standing political
divisions and a racial reckoning over the treatment of black americans. the last time this country's standing was in decline, it was because of fears that the united states would exercise its vast powers excessively and unilaterally. that is not the issue today. instead, it is a worry that the united states is no longer prepared or willing to use the powers it still has for the good of the world. that is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. dr. vin gupta, global health policy expert and msnbc medical contributor is back, plus associated press white house reporter, jonathan lamir is here, and former democratic senator, our friend, claire mccaskill is back. jonathan lamir, i want to start with you. the two covid breaking news headlines today both intersect your life and interests. the most senior national security adviser to this president, robert o'brien, has tested positive for covid. when i worked in a normal white house, there was no one who had more occasion to be in the oval
office more than the president's national security advisers, first condi rice and stephen hadley. i do not know if that's the case in this white house. you can tell me. and second, in an organization that has almost unlimited funds, almost unlimited access to quick tests, a major league baseball team, the florida marlins, having to stop games just four days after the baseball season started. how does the white house suggest we throw open all the country's schools? >> yeah, the events of today, nicole, show that the virus can reach anywhere. it can reach into the inner sanctum of the west wing, into the highest levels of professional sports and endanger that baseball season. we'll start with the white house. the president, when he left for north carolina a short time ago, we asked him on the south lawn when he last had spoken to robert o'brien. like, was there a possibility that he had come into contact with him while his national security adviser was positive? and trump suggested that it had been several days since he had seen o'brien. that he was going to call him
later today. and i think, nicole, to your point, that is such an extraordinary statement in itself, that the national security adviser, who has such nearly unfettered access to the president, and yet the president couldn't recall the last time he had seen him. o'brien apparently has relatively mild symptoms, is expected to recover, is working from home. the white house has said he contracted it from a family member, but it should be noted that he was also in europe recently and was not seen wearing a mask or being socially distant while he was meeting with leaders over there. the president is putting a lot of eggs in the basket of a vaccine. that's what this event in north carolina is about. he's saying that the united states is ahead of schedule in developing that vaccine. but of course, it's an entirely different matter to create a vaccine and have it manufactured and distributed and reach all the people who need it. that's going to be quite some time, even if things continue to move along at a good pace, like they are now. and the major league baseball, let's remember, it was just a couple of days ago where the president really sort of aligned
himself with its reopening. we had mariano rivera, the yankees pitcher here on the white house. he played catch with the president on the south lawn with some little leaguers, really celebrating the return of sports. another symbol of a return to normalcy, that the economy is picking up again, and so on. and now today after i believe 11 or more miami marlins tested positive, their game was canceled. they had just been in philadelphia, so the phillies had to cancel their game against the yankees today. and there's real fear that even though major league baseball is saying publicly that they're going to continue with the season, they're going to move forward, but there's real fear that it may simply improve impossible because this country has not been able to get its hand on the virus and no have adequate testing and we're seeing it surge in so many states, including florida. >> dr. gupta, should we be opening anything while our country is in this, as jonathan la mir just said, surge phase of a global pandemic? >> certainly, if you look at the
state level, nicole, we shouldn't be opening schools in florida, texas, arizona, and in california. schools should not be reopening in these states. but in arizona, the school districts are opening up in a month. and they don't have, nicole, i have in front of me here, something that abdulmutallab has no problems getting his hands on. a point of care device. my colleagues and i luckily have access to it. we can test ourselves. this is a device where any professional sports team has access to it. but you know what, schools need access to it. teachers need access to it. nursing facilities need access to it. this is what we need. we need the right type of testing. because we don't have the right type of testing. we don't know who needs to be quarantined. are we willing to tolerate a grand social experiment like the nba and major league baseball seem intent on willing to try, that even if you're positive, we're going to tolerate the effects of having a bubble and seeing what happens, because they're generally young, healthy individuals that are turns positive. we just don't have the testing infrastructure right here,
nicole. we need more point of care devices to actually restart society with safely and normally. >> dr. gupta, hold up what you're holding. tell me more about what that is. >> so i'll refrain from naming the company, but this is a device called a point of care device. and i have the swab here with me. what you would do here is you would stick the swap in your nose, circle it around, tickle your nose for about ten seconds, put it into a little test tube, surge around for about five seconds, and basically pipette it into this detector. in 30 minutes, you get an answer whether you're positive or negative. here's the thing, nicole. this equipment is very sensitive. it's a really good piece of equipment. it's about $250. the actual testing equipment is about $20. and we can do about 50 individuals a day per equipment piece. i mean, it's sample math here
that if we just invested the right amount of money up-front in helping these companies, there's many trying to develop similar technology, that we would have the right type of infrastructure for schools, for universities, for workplaces, for professional sports leagues to say, this is the testing that you need to get a result within 30 minutes, so you know who is positive, who is negative, do what you will with that information. either you do a giant social experiment and create a bubble like major league baseball or you identify, you isolate, and you contact trace. but this is the key here, until we have a vaccine. and we're not going to have a vaccine anytime soon. >> reporte >> you know, claire mccaskill, i've seen the future and it only underscores donald trump's colossal failures. in that extraordinary piece of reporting from our friends phil rucker and ashley parker includes this detail. in the past couple of weeks, senior advisers began presenting donald trump with maps and data showing spikes in coronavirus cases among, quote, our people
in republican states, a senior administration official said. this new approach seemed to resonate and he closely prescripted remarks, so to me he only cared when his voters started getting sick. it is a stunning symptom or cause or whichever end of the chicken and the egg you want to stick donald trump at this point in this mess, that the tribalism, even when it applies to the lives of his fellow citizens is coming from the president. >> yeah, this is a president who just refused to listen to the science. he refused to accept the science. and two realities are present now. one, it didn't disappear, and two, it moved from blue states to red states. and now he is blocked, boxed, trapped, zpaand instead of lead,
he is folding. he is capitulating. and that's what these voters are seeing in these red states. and particularly the elderly voters in georgia, in texas, in florida, in north carolina. these states are going, wait a minute, you have blown this, buddy. and we are in big trouble. and he really has no way out of this mess, because it's a matter of leadership, the chaotic leadership is costing lives and the people in these states know it. >> claire, i want to read you another piece of reporting, because i feel like this gets at something even i sitting next to each other for the months of impeachment talked about and talked around and this is a pretty good diagnosis of it. it's a piece in "the washington post" and it says, quote, the saga of trump university showed just how far trump would go to deny rather than fix a problem, a tactic they've now seen him reuse as president many times,
including now in the face of a worsening pandemic. for months, president trump promised something wonderful, but extremely unlikely that the virus would soon disappear. why did the country have to be donald trump's version of what a normal person might have dealt with in therapy? >> because he never thought about this, as a moment of leadership, to do the right thing based on science and protecting the health of americans. he always looked at it as, how can this help me? how can i avoid having this impact my re-election. it is -- i mean, look at the conventions. this is a perfect example, nicole. the democrats proactively listening to science said, you know, we're not going to do this. congress, stay home. delegates, stay home. there has not been chaos around the democrats. there hasn't even been that much coverage of the democrats canceling their convention. meanwhile, trump has wasted millions of dollars, weeks with the charlotte and then the
florida and oh, we're going on and we're going to have a big -- we're going to build stages outside and it's going to be great. and then he's trapped by reality. and he looks like a fool. and that's happening in florida. headlines all across florida. that's why you're seeing record poll numbers in biden's favor right now in this presidential election in the key, key state of florida. >> i want to ask you about just that, jonathan lamir. donald trump's poll numbers are god-awful and we all know the uselessness of national polls, but having worked on campaigns, you only point to their uselessness when you're losing in those polls. they are undeniable trend lines and for the president, the trend is awful. has reality set in, either on his part or on the part of anyone around him, jonathan? >> in short, not really. just moments ago, the president speaking in north carolina said that in his polls, which we assume means internals, it shows
him up in a number of states, including north carolina and florida, where all the public polling as him down, and down significantly. bill stepien, the newly minted campaign manager spoke on friday in a briefing with reporters and said that they believed -- they did not believe most of the public polling. they pointed the old polling is skewed argument, suggesting it wasn't sampling enough republicans, suggesting there were hidden trump voters out there who were not going to talk to pollsters, who were not going to pick them up. and to be fair, there was a degree of that in 2016. i certainly know, having been to probably more than a hundred of those campaign rallies that year, that we certainly would encounter people in the crowd who had said to us they had never spoken to a pollster, they hadn't voted in decades. yet they were turn out for this guy, donald trump. but it's a tall order to ask even more of those people to emerge this time around, after 3 1/2 years of the president in office. there is a recognition in the trump inner circle that he is losing. they suggest that it is much closer than the public polls
portray, but they also recognize that he is down and he's got work to do, which is why they're already banking on some sort of event to change the narrative. they've lost the ability to have rallies, they're not going to have a big convention like they had hoped. they're pinning a lot of their hopes on the debates, they're pinning their hopes on the possibility of vaccine or a joe biden implosion. and that's a hard thing when you have to ask for your opponent to foll fall on their face like that. and nicole, as a final quick unrelated note, also on the president's remarks as we came on air, he was asked about russthe conversation with russia's vladimir putin last week and was asked if he brought up the story about russians putting bounties on american soldiers and the president wouldn't address it. he said, i don't talk about what i speak with vladimir putin about. a significant dodge when pressed on that matter today, nicole. >> claire, i've got to give you the last word on that pap president that firmly says to the russian leader, fur putting bounties on the heads of american soldiers, i'm coming
for you, usually doesn't hesitate to make that clear to the military or the public. why the dodging? >> yeah, especially when he was in helsinki, he didn't hesitate to say, well, you know, putin said that he gave a very strong defense that he didn't interfere in our election and i see no reason not to believe him. so clearly he was willing to talk about what putin said in those instances, about their conversation. you know, our global standing is in the pits and i think this president has really, doesn't understand that that affects our safety, it affects our national pride. it affects our economy. and him playing footsie with putin and refusing to stand up for the values of this country, including bounties on our soldiers is just another nail in the coffin. >> politically, of course. politically. >> claire is sticking around.
doctor -- exactly. dr. gupta, thank you for from bringing a visual aid today. i think everyone is struggling to understand how we get to the other side of this, how we get to normal, and that helped me understand it a lot. thank you so much. and jonathan lamir, thank you for your all-star reporting on i think five or six different threads that we're covering. thank you very much. when we come back, protesters return to the streets this weekend. now many say they are protesting the federal response to the original protest. trump putting in motion and escalating a dangerous dynamic as an attempt tio aid his ailin re-election effort. also ahead, house speaker nancy pelosi joins us live to talk about john lewis who is being honored on capitol hill today as well as the race to protect funds for unemployed americans. we also ask her what democrats plan to ask attorney barr about when he testifies on capitol hill tomorrow. that's coming up for us.
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this country is still very much in the grappling phase around issues of race and police brutality, the reckoning that followed the killing of george floyd saw protests explode this weekend in cities from los angeles to denver to louisville. tensions boiled over with some protests turning violent. police declared riots in portland and seattle and a protester was shot and killed in austin, texas. this weekend fueled in part bay the recent conflicts with
federal agents in portland, oregon, where unclearly marked officials have been using force against mostly peaceful protesters. trump for his part has seized on the clashes between protesters and federal law enforcement, using the images and stoking fear as he sharpens his re-election message. yesterday, he called the protesters on twitter anarchist who is hate our country. joining our conversation, former rnc chairman, michael steele. claire is still here. michael steele, let me start with you. i started this conversation with mark mckinnon and cornell belcher, who know a whole lot about campaigns. and i haven't had a chance to ask you about this, but thomas friedman last week wrote a pretty pointed piece that donald trump is seeking to wag the dog, but as opposed to in the fictional, dark comedy, his war to distract from crisis is one being waged on americans in the streets of american cities. do you see it that way? >> i do, not only does he want
to wag the dog, but break his legs as he's doing it so he can't move. and can't come back. and that's the ultimate takedown here. and it still frustrates me to no end how folks out there across the country continue to play into a narrative that they're being set up to play into. there are plenty of other sites and areas inside portland and across the country that aren't federal. do not give the president the link he's looking for to connect that dot. go to state property, go to a mall, go some place else, but you don't have to open up that pandora's box of crazy that trump wants to open and have a cell phone there, ready to videotape your actions and reactions and play it back in his campaign commercials to say, see, i told you, this is the america they want. and so there's a different way to approach this conversation. and it starts by being smart about who your opponent is.
donald trump will always tell you what he's going to do. he doesn't shy away from that. you know why, because he believes you can't stop him. he believes you can't beat him. and consistently, from mueller to right now, we've watched countless institutions and individuals, groups and organizations play into his hand. these down now, but there's a great piece in the atlantic that talks about, he's not out. and there's a lot that can happen between now and september, let alone november, that repositions donald trump to get the upper hand in this campaign. and that biden up by 12 could very quickly become biden down by 5. >> i do not disagree with anything that you said, but here's my question. how is he getting away with blaming anything happening, anywhere in america, on anyone other than himself? these are images of donald trump's america. these aren't images of joe biden's america. he's literally at the moment not in charge of anything.
>> because he's the grand master of writing the script and the narrative, painting the picture. he is pt barnum on steroids, recognizing that not only is there a sucker born every minute, but there are countless suckers born every minute. so he keeps playing this narrative over and over again, and in his speech to me, the one thing that i think nicole we can't lose sight of about this election, there are a lot more people who like what trump is doing than we want to accept or want to acknowledge. and he knows that. and that's why it works. and that's why it continues to work. these people aren't -- they're out there protesting donald trump. he flips the script and makes it as if they're protesting against average everyday americans, hard-working americans, who are just trying to get a paycheck. oh, by the way, you had a hand in cutting off those paychecks because of how you responded to covid-19, and how you responded to the economy, but that's not part of the script. and that's what we need to be
smart about, i think. >> claire, are democrats being smart enough about it to guard against what michael steele describes, a turn, a change of fortunes in the polls for joe biden. >> well, donald trump is going to his playbook that worked in 2016. in 2016, he had to create an enemy, and he made mexicans and muslims the enemy in 2016. now he's trying to make americans -- he's declaring americans the enemy that are protesting racial injustice. so how do we keep from allowing him to make americans the enemy? well, one of the things that has to happen here is we in the media also have an obligation to tell the story accurately. i saw in ferguson, there was a tendency of the media to play the same b-roll over and over. and the b-roll, many times, was the most dramatic. but there was not a lot of
footage of hour after hour of grandmothers and children peacefully protesting, hundreds and thousands of them. i know that is going on in portland. it's by and large a peaceful protest. but what is being put in front of the american people is way too much of the footage of the fireworks and the shields and, you know, tearing down the fence. and that's ati teeny portion of the people. i'm with michael. it's not smart for them to be picking a federal building. i'm all for the protests. i think it's great, but the people who are doing violence and the people who are destroying property are really damaging the legacy of john, that wonderful man that is lying in state right now at the capitol, and they're also helping donald trump. >> claire, i take your point on the images we show and i take all of your points on any topic, but especially this one.
i wonder how far you think donald trump is willing to take this, though. because i think you're exactly right about what he wants out of it. >> well, that will remain to be seen. i mean, the biggest -- one of the biggest mistakes he made in this plan, to make the american people the enemy and paint people who are peacefully protesting as some kind of enemy was, in fact, lafayette square. because america all focused and they saw what happened there. he wanted a photo op. they used chemicals to damage people that were doing nothing other than using the constitution to speak out. so i think there is a preconceived notion that he's inappropriately using federal authority, that he's trying to create drama, when there doesn't need to be. that he is inciting this kind of violence, by the way he's handling his responsibilities. so i don't think that he's making progress here, but it's very important that people realize, if you want to respect john lewis, you've got to make
sure it's a non-violence, peaceful protest. >> michael steele, claire brought us to the other topic under this umbrella of donald trump and his authoritarian impulses and it's based on some new reporting in "the washington post" about that clearing, using military, and featuring the most senior military official in the country, general millie. carol leonnig writes this about a national guard commander who says police suddenly moved on lafayette square protesters, used excessive force, before trump visit. an army national guard commander, adam demarco, who witnessed protesters forcibliry moved from lafayette square last month is contradicting claims by the attorney general and the trump administration that they did not speed up the clearing to make way for the president's photo op minutes later. demarco said that, quote, demonstrators were behaving peacefully and that tear gas was deployed in an excessive use of
force. i thought two things. one, if we have the capacity to pay attention and not get distracted by shiny objects, using the military on his own people to clear peaceful protesters outside the white house should be a seminole moment, not just in the history of this presidency, but in the history of this country. and two, i don't think we've heard the last from the military, which is so loathe to speak publicly, but which i understand from my own contacts is feeling an extraordinary amount of churn, both around this incident and around the prospect that if he loses, donald trump may not leave office. >> yeah, i've heard a lot of that as well, nicole, from a variety of faces and voices inside and outside the administration, particularly within our dod community. and there is a genuine concern. and i think what you're seeing or starting to see is more and
more of those voices sort of girding themselves for what may lie ahead. and laying down the predicate argument that refutes a lot of the narrative that's being spun out on the american people right now, to make them believe that somehow, this president has not just their best interests at heart, but constitutional principles guiding their every action. that he's the guy who's going to bring the law and the order under the constitution. they see that as an apostophe and something that goes counter to their own oath that they've taken. look for more of that to come as more and more members in that community begin to assert their voices in whatever way they can obviously, to protect their own self-interests. they want to stay employed. they don't want to get fired or want retribution, but they also put that up against saving the country, as some have said to
me, from what could be a very terrible fate in a post november 3rd environment. >> it's such a careful and important distinction that you're making people from within the community, because active duty military really do live by that sort of reverence for the chain of command, so it takes longer for their concern, i think to get -- to be something that we're aware of, as members of the public. claire mccaskill, my friend, thank you for spending some time with us today. michael steele is sticking around a little longer. after the break, saluting the conscience of the congress. house speaker nancy pelosi joins us for a tribute to the late, great american, john lewis. that's next. late, great american, john lewis that's next. this is my body of proof. proof i can fight moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. proof i can fight psoriatic arthritis... ...with humira. proof of less joint pain...
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congressman lewis' body made stops at key locations in washington, d.c. today, including the martin luther king jr. memorial and black lives matter plaza. it is the place, the spot of congressman lewis' final public appearance. yesterday, in a moving scene, the congressman's body was taken over the edmond pettus bridge in selma, alabama, one last time. it was his march over that same bridge 55 years earlier on what would become known as bloody sunday that inspired the passage of the voting rights act of 1965. joining us now, his colleague and friend, speaker of the house, nancy pelosi. how are you doing today, madam speaker? >> well, we're happy that he's getting such a beautiful sendoff. we're sad that we'll be losing him. i served with him for 33 years in the congress, as my dear friend. but all of us consider this a death in the family.
>> do you think that his vision is realized in what we still see on the streets of so many cities, these protests after the murder of george floyd, the black lives matter memorial popping up around this city, new york city and washington, and does it make his mission, does it make this election more urgent to you? >> well, of course this election is urgent for many reasons, but what we're talking about here is our democracy. what john lewis was always about was a more perfect union, about bringing people together. so, yes, this is a continuation of his values, to see these young people out on the street. he knew that his work was not done, that more needed to be done. and that's why it was so happy that he went, that the last thing he did, action he took when he left washington, d.c.
several weeks ago, he left the hospital, he went to black lives matter plaza, met the mayor of washington there, and then his picture is there, looking to the future. there he is, john lewis, standing on the black lives matter tapestry. it was a connection from when he was here, speaking in 1963 at the march on washington and then passing the torch on to the future. >> i want to ask you about this standoff, really, with the white house and with republicans over unemployment help, for so many americans, who are still out of work, with really no sign of that changing anytime soon, as the pandemic is spiking in most parts of this country. how is that going? and people are really scared. can you reassure them? >> people are very scared.
i said john's loss was like a death in our family. well, nearly 150,000 in our country have had a death in the family. over 4 million people have had -- been infected by this virus. we must defeat the virus if we're going to open our economy and open our schools. in the meantime, children are food insecure, millions of children are hungry, many people cannot pay their rent, some of them single moms. some family will have their unemployment insurance inspire. and ten weeks ago, two and a half months ago, we passed a bill, the heroes act, to improve that situation and the republicans said then that they need to pause. now they have still not produced anything. we'll see this afternoon what they'll come up with, but what they describe it as is piecemeal. you can't. people are hungry.
they need rent, they need unemployment insurance. our state and local governments need assistance that they deserve and need, because of coronavirus. again, testing, testing, testing. the president said he's going to do everything he cannot to have testing in the bill. how about that? i mean, what do they say in the white house? don't let science stand in the way of sending our kid to school. what is this? so anyway, let's just find our common ground. this morning, i issued a challenge to the administration. i said, within a half an hour of their putting forth their proposal, i want to see them in my -- in the speaker's office with chuck schumer there, as well. so that we can compare our bills and see and i think it will be a contrast, but nonetheless, see where we can find our common ground. again, how withk you say, let's
have trickle-down, let's have trickle-down, when people are hungry and again, food uncertain, rent uncertain, no money in their pockets. our bill, the heroes act, it does, it honors our heroes, state and local government, teachers, health care workers, food suppliers, sanitation workers, transportation workers and the rest. and attacks the virus, testing, tracing, treating, distancing. therefore opening our economy, and third, puts money in the pockets of the american people. not by trickle-down, but by bubble up. >> i -- so there are -- i just want to understand where things stand right now and where you're willing to go. they proposed $200 a week. you are holding at $600 a week. do you see a compromise or you going to hold the line? >> well, let's just put it this way.
i mean, i just leave it to the american people. there are trillions of dollars being you'd now by the fed and our government to bolster the stock market. the stock market's in good shape, right? and that may be a good idea. why can't we spend trillions of dollars to bolster the middle class. so when they talk about what they're talking about, we're like, why are you quibbling over $600, when people need that to buy food, pay the rent, and again, inject demand into the economy by spending that money, inject demand and create jobs. when they fire the state and local government employees, they're going on unemployment insurance. so where is the savings in all of that. we are at a place -- there is a big difference between trickle-down and bubbleup. and the difference between the two parties in this is drastic. let's put that all aside and see if we can't find our common
ground in this emergency. but let us do so respecting science, respecting meeting the needs of the american people, and understanding that our economy grows when we have consumer confidence, not when we just say, let's just bolster the top end, but not worry about the middle class. >> madam speaker, attorney general barr is making his way to capitol hill tomorrow, to testify about a myriad of issues, but he comes after you and your colleagues have sent a letter asking for the fbi director, who's sort of housed under doj, to offer a defensive briefing to all of you about election interference. and i know there are some intelligence that still classify that you can't talk to us about, but what are you hoping to learn from ag barr tomorrow? what are you going to press him on? >> well, i think it's really important for people to know that attorney general barr is
there to protect donald trump. he's not there as the attorney general of the people of the united states. and i think it's quite self-evident in all of his actions that he has not acted in the people's interest. whether it was in lafayette square, as you referenced, whether it's in portland, whether it was ukraine and his misrepresentation of the mueller report, i'm -- i'm so pleased that some of the former presidents of the aba have been calling for an investigation as to whether he has acted in a way appropriate for an attorney, because i think he certainly has not. so i think that the members tomorrow, of course, it's the judiciary committee. we've hoped that he will show up and that when he does, they will show a standard of what attorneys general's responsibilities are. and how he is not meeting them and get some answers from him
about lafayette square storm troopers going on to the streets of the united states, misrepresenting what happened in ukraine. but right now, it's about the here and now in our country. and that's what we hope to hear from him is, how this president is undermining the constitution of the united states, even suggesting that he might not leave if he doesn't get elected. well, don't worry about that. it's a tactic. you know why they do that? they do that to discourage the vote swob that peop vote, so people say, why should i vote, he ain't leaving anyway. he's leaving, he's leaving. it's a scare tactic. >> madam speaker, will you ask him to commit to the fbi director giving you that defensive briefing that you've asked for? >> i'm sorry? your question was, was i asking? what i'm saying is -- >> will you ask attorney general barr to commit to briefing house
democrats on the intelligence and your concerns about election interference? >> well, that's up to the members of the committee. they have their priorities, but i will say this. we sent that letter because we believe that our electoral system is in jeopardy. the president of the united states has spoken to putin, what, seven times since the end of march and has never brought it up. this undermining of our electoral system is undermining our constitution. so when hopefully, they will ask the attorney general that, they'll have their priorities, because there's so much to ask him about. but i'll say this. since we sent our letter, the intelligence community put out a pathetic excuse for an answer. it was embarrassing for them. they tried to -- well, let me just say, it did not meet the standard at all of what the
american people expect and deserve. now, i see what is happening, because i'm gang of eight. but we want the american people to know what is happening and the intelligence community owes them that. part of the intelligence community is the fbi. part of that is under -- part of the intelligence gathering in our country is under the attorney general. but understand this. he is -- the attorney general owes a great deal of explanation to the american people. the committee will prioritize how they go -- we've already held him in contempt of congress, so our view of him is well known, but the american people's knowledge of what he has done as a disservice to them is something they will find out more about tomorrow, if he even shows up. >> we will be watching, speaker nancy pelosi, thank you so much
for spending some time with us on a very busy day. we're grateful. >> always my pleasure. thank you. thank you. >> thank you. after the break, if you had trump feud with the reagan foundation on your 2020 bingo prize. you win. what they're arguing about and how trump is responding. that's next. responding. that's next. saturdays happen.
president versus the ronald reagan foundation. yes, in another headline, we never thought we would say out loud, but this weekend donald trump attacks the reagan foundation on twitter after this snub, the foundation asked the trump and the rnc to stop fundraising off reagan's legacy after the campaign's most recently attempt to link donald trump to the stand and bearer of american conservatism. joining us now, elise jordan and michael steele is with us. and this falls into the category of stuff you never thought you would live to see. >> well, nicolle, do you remember the bush white house being displained -- displained by the reagan foundation or the rnc, michael, when you were running it, do you remember that being a problem? it really is just mind blowing how absolutely tacky this administration manages to be
consistently. and then just not to say, okay, got your point, we're not going to keep doing this, instead trump has to be nasty and tweet about it. >> you know, michael steele, i think that is the distinction that instead of just saying, oops, our bad, donald trump takes to twitter and lashes out. >> well, of course. because that is trump. someone smacks him and he comes back ten times harder. but it is absolutely laughable that the man who became a republican in 2015 is calling every other republican on the reagan folks and paul ryan a rhino, dude, get a grip, seriously. it is so laughable. it is so ridiculous. it just speaks to just who he is. and we get in these moments and everyone kind of goes around and goes, well, are you surprised by that? no, i'm not surprised by that.
because the reagan foundation and the reagan library and anything associated with reagan defined modern day conservatism. he's bastardized it, he's made it a punchline for even the worst comedians out there, getting a good laugh at the republican party at this point gib the way donald trump has taken it. so i understand completely why the foundation is going, dude, you're not going to raise money off of our -- the good name of this president. because that is not consistent with who we are and what we believe and what he stood for. it makes sense to me. >> and elise, to michael's point, it does appear at least with today's polls as a snapshot, the republican senate majority will at this rate suffer a similar fate as donald trump's. >> who would have thought that even at the beginning of the year that democrats would be on
such seeming glide path to taking back the senate in states, so many states that you just didn't think would be close competition at all. like up for grabs in iowa, you could even look at georgia. georgia. it is mind blowing just how low of a hole donald trump has been able to dig himself into. but it is actually -- i shouldn't say it is mind blowing because we have almost 150,000 americans dead and more than were killed by the a-bomb at hiroshima and it is not surprising that americans are saying please get out of this situation and move on. >> i'm sorry, we were squeezed for time. speaker pelosi was our guest and we went a little over. but this conversation is to be continued. thank you, both. thanks to you at home for watching, thanks for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. our coverage continues with the
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