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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 29, 2020 12:00pm-12:30pm PDT

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good day. brian williams with you on a busy wednesday afternoon. 3:00 p.m. here in the east, 12 noon out west. thankfully, nicolle wallace will be with us in a moment. we begin with some of the top headlines at this hour. the coronavirus took the lives of another 1300 americans just yesterday. that's the largest daily death toll in several months in our country. over 151,000 americans have now died from the virus. another 4.4 million have become infected. one of those infected, congressman louie gohmert, seen during yesterday's house judiciary hearing with attorney
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general barr. nbc news learned he refused to wear a mask, tested positive this morning before he was going to travel on air force one with the president to his home state of texas. it comes as "new york times" obtained a federal report showing 21 states have outbreaks serious enough to put them in what the feds call the red zone, except for vermont, every other state is in the yellow zone which means they're at risk for another outbreak. nbc news learned the white house plans to wrap up public health messaging aimed at those states, encouraging people to wear masks, avoid crowded bars and restaurants to stop the virus from spreading, but the president seemed to step on those efforts when he urged states to keep reopening businesses. he doubled down on his support for using the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, even though his own fda says there's no proof it is effective. an assertion that dr. anthony
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fauci made clear during an interview with our colleague andrea mitchell. >> you look at the scientific data and the evidence and the scientific data, the cumulative data on trials, clinical trials that were valid, namely clinical trials that were randomized and controlled in the proper way, all of those trials showed consistently that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in treatment of coronavirus disease or covid-19. >> there are also mixed messages about the standoff between protesters and federal law enforcement officers in portland, the camouflaged militarized variety. the oregon governor says the trump administration agreed to withdraw federal agents accused of escalating tensions in recent weeks. however, homeland security says they will stay in the city until it is secure. we'll have much more on this story as coverage continues later in the hour. but the president is providing
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clarity about an issue that dogged him several weeks. "new york times" was the first to report over a month ago that the u.s. had intelligence that russia offered bounties to taliban linked militants to kill our troops in afghanistan. axios national political reporter jonathan swan asked the president during an interview scheduled to air in full next week if he brought up the issue in his phone call last week with russia's putin. >> no, that was a phone call to discuss other things and frankly that's an issue that many people said was fake news. >> who said it was fake news? >> i think a lot of people, if you look at some of the wonderful folks from the bush administration, some of them, not any friends of mine, were saying that it is a fake issue. but a lot of people said it is a fake issue. we had a call talking about nuclear proliferation, a big subject, where they would like to do something and so would i.
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we discussed numerous things. we did not discuss that, no. >> thankfully, nicolle wallace joined us prior to today's broadcast of "deadline white house." nicolle, we're beyond saying the quiet part out loud, this is more confirmation of many people's worst fears. >> you know, i was thinking, i always try to think of something when i get to listen to the headlines as you summarize them for us. i was thinking maybe we erred in applying conventions like fact checking to donald trump because the primary message is almost always a lie and the facts, if there are any, that's what slips out. and hats off to jonathan swan who very respectfully went at this president, very much like chris wallace revealed new information. so this election will i think challenge even trump's own base if they want to vote for him again to consider new
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information such as his indifference to intelligence deemed credible enough to put in the pbb about russian bounties on the heads of american soldiers. and just in the nick of time, joining the conversation, two good friends, axios reporter jonathan swan that conducted that interview with the president and frank if i gluz ee, assistant director for counter intelligence and nbc national security analyst. jonathan, i will say congratulations and move on to a question. you did get the president to acknowledge that he doesn't accept his truth, the contents of the pbb. >> thank you both, i appreciate it. to me there are a few things that stood out in that exchange and i hope people can watch the full exchange and full interview on monday on hbo, but the thing that struck me was it would be
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reasonable and also defensible for the president to say look, this intelligence was in my original brief, there's some dissent within the intelligence community about it, we need to do due diligence but it is worrisome, which is the message that's come out of the pentagon. what was striking, he dismissed it on its face. he was incurious about the intelligence. he said it was fake news. nobody at the pentagon level is saying anything close to that. that was the least shocking part of the exchange. about 30 seconds later, i said okay, fine, you don't accept this piece of intelligence, but the fact that we know that the united states intelligence community knows that russia is supplying weapons and money to
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the taliban, an enemy force killing u.s. soldiers, the fact that your own head of u.s. forces in afghanistan who worked for you, general john nicholson said russia was doing that, isn't that enough basis to confront vladimir putin about deaths of u.s. service members, and he then in his very remarkable exchange says well, we armed them too, and he is referring to the 1980s. and i sort of said what's that got to do with anything. then he said i haven't really heard this, then takes a shot at nicholson, and says it hasn't reached my desk. i heard it from somebody, it hasn't reached my desk. it was a remarkable -- it takes a reasonable amount for me to describe anything as remarkable, but this i think fits that
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category. >> it had an echo of his claim to joe scarborough during the election that, or maybe bill o'reilly, i think bill o'reilly, we're killers too when o'reilly challenged him, he said that russia kills dissidents and journalists. let me play the exchange you described, jonathan. >> that they're arming the taliban, russia? >> i don't know. when you say arming, is the taliban paying or -- >> russia is supplying weapons and money to the taliban. >> i have heard that, but again, it's never reached my desk. >> he said it on the record. >> russia doesn't want anything to do with afghanistan. let me just about russia, russia used to be a thing called the soviet union. because of afghanistan, they went bankrupt. they became russia, just so you do understand, okay? the last thing russia wants to do is get to which involved with
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afghanistan. they tried that once, it didn't work out. >> jonathan? >> the phrase it didn't reach my desk, i actually didn't understand, it didn't compute. i'm not sure what else you need apart from your top military officer in afghanistan saying publicly this was happening. so i don't know, does that reach the desk? i was sort of flumoxed in that moment, i didn't know what to say. that was genuine surprise you see registered there. >> what do you hear? zb >> listen, there's every evidence that the president essentially lied to jonathan. cudos to jonathan for asking the hard questions.
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when he says this intel hasn't reached his desk, that it is fake news, that it is behind the bounty intelligence, he is lying to jonathan and to the american public. there's no legitimate reason for this president to continue to protect russia. there's no legitimacy to it. if as i heard on another network it is a masterful business deal he is working on nuclear strategy with russia, then he has switched from taking hydroxychloroquine to hallucinogenic mushrooms. the russians aren't going to dismantle their nuclear program in any way, shape or form because president trump is being nice to them, just as north korea hasn't done a thing to dismantle their nuclear program because president trump is in love with north korea. it's not going to happen.
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that's the good side of the possibilities. the more sinister part of the spectrum is we have a president joined at the hip with russia in some kind of deal making that he doesn't want exposed, that he doesn't want us to know about. and we're heading into an election where all he wants us to do is focus on china and not look at russia at all, and what essentially is happening here, nicolle, over the tenure of this president, he has given what property lawyers would call squatter's rights, adverse possession, an easement is what happens when you let someone use you repeatedly and trespass repeatedly on your rights, they now have something called an easement on you. and he's given putin squatter's rights on the united states as we head into an election. >> jonathan swan, it is probably useful to ask you to reset our viewers who are watching about
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the history of the modern republican party. they used to be tough on russia, that used to be their stock and trade until just a couple years ago when they realized the gruesome threat of getting tweeted about by this president and decided to become his party. >> i think donald trump has, i mean, public opinion polling within republican voters shows that donald trump has changed republican voters' views of putin and russia to be more favorable. in that sense there has been a shift. you still see on the hill remnants of the cold warhawkishness, but it is definitely suppressed because donald trump is a mighty force, overwhelming this party. you do not want to cross him if you're a republican senator, even if like lindsey graham, you spent your whole life believing
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a set of things, standing for a set of principles, donald trump is such a powerful figure overseeing that party that you do not see that sort of emerge about the acceptance except little bursts. with all that said, there have been a few instances congress asserted itself, democrats and republicans on the issue of russia. 2017 was a good example. they basically forced sanctions upon donald trump and he had to very reluctantly sign it. he actually put out a statement complaining about having to sign those sanctions. there have been episodes where congress forced his hand on russia and he has gone along with it, but only because he didn't have a choice. there was a majority waiting there to override him.
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>> can you believe in your lifetime public opinion polls have softened and the public has taken on a more benevolent view of russia. we all know the arguments, yes, their gdp is smaller than the state of texas but they are very skilled budget bargain basement adversaries in every other way. look at their minimal exposure in the last election, what we expect to be a minimal expenditure in this election, they get a lot of bang for their buck. >> any break that americans want to give to russia is a huge mistake because i think those people are saying hey, i can look the other way because they're buddies with my guy in the oval office and i like my guy in the office, and i'm going to like russia because they're helping him out. i'm here to tell you 25 years of counter intelligence experience, russia is not helping your guy.
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they are hurting the united states. their goal is not to get president trump elected but rather to create chaos and discord in this country. they will not stop until they've done it. next time it is going to be the other person. and you're not going to be happy about it at all. this is a country that essentially is hacking into our coronavirus research. this is a country that even this morning we get government reports that they're putting out propaganda about the coronavirus. and we hear from the president he is removing up to 12,000 u.s. troops from germany. guess who is thrilled with that? vladimir putin. >> that's a huge item on vladmir putin's wish list. we're giving him that one. thank you. can't wait to see the rest of the conversation on axios, on hbo. a break for us. when we come back, president trump once again pushing
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hydroxychloroquine, falsely claiming large parts of our country are coronavirus free, while cases of the virus remain dangerously high in many states across the country, the president back to sounding something more like he did in mid pandemic. plus, the governor of oregon announces all federal law enforcement officers will leave downtown portland tomorrow. we'll talk with retired lieutenant general about what he calls misuse of law enforcement on the streets of our cities. in atlanta, at this hour, mourners gathering to pay respects to the late congressman, john lewis, lying in state at the georgia state capitol, ahead of his funeral tomorrow at the ebenezer baptist church. ow at the ebenezer baptit church hey, kids!
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they did their very best to put the best protocols in place to protect the safety and welfare of the employees and personnel, but one of the things that came up in the discussion is what happens if you get a cluster like this. that's something you need to keep an eye on. hope it won't mean closing the season. i don't think it necessarily has to be that, but we better keep our eye out on that. if it happened to the miami marlins, it could happen to the other teams. >> fresh from the pitcher's mound, dr. fauci with andrea
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mitchell this afternoon, talking about the coronavirus outbreak within the miami marlins baseball team, an outbreak that has appropriately put the major league baseball season on alert, has the shortened season in jeopardy. let's get the facts on the coronavirus facts from washington as we know them. in washington, congress remains divided on the second coronavirus relief package. nbc news learned the house speaker will be hosting a meeting at this hour with schumer of new york, treasury secretary mnuchin, white house chief of staff mark meadows. "new york times" is reporting congressman jim clyburn is investigating whether the white house is suppressing state by state assessments of the pandemic. the congressman is demanding the white house coronavirus task force make its internal assessments public. all of this as the virus continues to run rampant in
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florida. the state has shattered yet another record, over 200 deaths recorded in one day, just days after surpassing new york as the state with the second highest number of cases. with us from ft. lauderdale, veteran nbc news correspondent kerry sanders. hey, kerry. >> reporter: hey, brian. that record of 217 deaths is an ominous number. it shows the deadly nature of the virus but that florida is maintaining its position of an epicenter in this country. the total number of new cases in the state today, 9,446. i am in ft. lauderdale, part of broward county. broward county that sits just north of miami-dade county. memorial health systems that runs the hospitals in the southern part of this county is now reporting many patients are making their way from areas like hialeah, crossing the border, coming to hospitals there.
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overwhelming the hospitals. what they had to do is pivot and take auditoriums, conference rooms and open them as places to treat patients. they brought in 100 new nurses they're using to supplement the staff already there, and training 100 more in the coming days. all an indication, brian, that the problem is only continuing here in florida and especially in south florida, brian. >> kerry, thanks. >> joining us, medical director of boston medical center, special pathogens unit, dr. bedelia, and lucky for us, she's a medical contributor at nbc news. joining us, prize winning columnist eugene robinson, also an nbc news politically analyst.
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doctor, i am among many parents on pins and needles, waiting to hear what my school's plan is for the fall. i started to wonder today as i watched all of this tragic news, as brian said at the top of the hour, we're back to march, april level numbers of deaths in the united states of america and i wonder if we're having the wrong debate. should we be debating whether or not to shut down the country completely a second time to get this under control everywhere? >> nicolle, thanks so much for having me. i do wonder the same thing that you do because we have in some ways squandered all of the sacrifices in may and march and april. we squandered a lot of the gains. we find ourselves in a position the system can't keep up with the increasing number of cases and increasing number of states becoming red zones. the thing that comes to my mind is one of the biggest obstacles
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developing to our ability in this country to control the pandemic is us. it is our behaviors. it is our deep division in a way that we have not been able to unify, even in the face of this actual and existential crisis of the pandemic. a huge part of that is the fault of our political leadership. 21 states as was mentioned have become red zones, 13 of those don't have statewide mandates. dr. fauci said that governors feel like they can't enforce it. well, when we passed indoor smoking bans, indoor smoking went down. click it or ticket rules for seat belts, seat belt wearing went up. 100 people die every day of car accidents. a thousand people died yesterday of coronavirus. this is as important to enforce and support in every way possible, not just this, but out there, debunking every conspiracy that exists so we can
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unify behind this cause. that's what our political leadership needs to do now. >> eugene, it sounds so clear, it sounds so black and white. it sounds like something that should be beyond debate, yet everything dr. bedelia said is subject of fevered debate, mask wearing, whether or not to convene indoors. you have a member of congress who's basically a mask denier, said the covid infection may have come from wearing a mask. are we not a country that can do difficult things or can unite behind a simple black and white scientific fact that being in proximity to one another is what spreads the coronavirus? >> at this point you have to say obviously not, we're not a country that can follow logic, that can do what obviously needs to be done. you heard the doctor layout the question, as you laid it out,
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should we be debating a total shutdown again to get this under control the way countries in europe and asia did, so we can then reopen properly. and the answer is fat chance. that's not going to happen. there is no debate about that. the president of the united states is still basically a covid denier. he retweeted, you know, this crazy doctor who says hydroxychloroquine works and by the way, rambles on about demon sperm and alien dna. he continues to say that this drug that doesn't work does work. he says states should not shutdown again. therefore, without federal leadership it's not going to happen. so we are stuck with this sort
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of patchwork of state rules, state programs, state quarantines. if i wanted to go to new york right now, i would, coming from my state, i would have to quarantine two weeks because case numbers are higher here than new york. it is just crazy. but i think it is going to stay this way because the leadership we have now is just crazy. >> doctor, because of who we are, what we have become, children growing up today are becoming the first generation of americans to have reason to doubt things like health statistics from our government, the kind of unquestioned math of our upbringing as americans. do you believe that someone is cooking the books? do you think we're getting the right numbers? do you fear it is worse than even we know? >> well, brian, we actually do have evidence that it is likely
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worse than we know. the numbers are on mortality, there's a buffer number that says more people are dying than we expect any one year, like this month last year. and all of that cannot be accounted for by covid-19, so the remaining deaths that can't be explained are partly covid deaths not diagnosed, some part of deaths caused because of the pandemic and strain that it is putting on health care systems. i do think that the alteration of data going from cdc to hhs has lead to confusion. i know that covid tracking project and other places including hospitals talked about that that led to us not getting timely data. and should we have done this. going back to the point about lack of numbers, the tough part, the reason it is political is because it is along a political divide. less than 50% of republican
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americans believe that covid-19 is a serious health threat to the united states. majority of the current red zone states are gop leaning states. by the way, pew research says republican americans believe the president over any other source for data and facts on this covid-19 pandemic which means it is so critical. anytime the president misspeaks or pushes the controversy, it is directly impacting or setting us back in our fight in the pandemic. >> thanks to our friends. another break for us. when we return. after another night of violent clashes in portland, the governor of oregon has announced all federal law enforcement officials will leave the city's downtown area tomorrow. we'll talk to retired general that calls deployment of the federal officers a misuse