tv Way Too Early With Kasie Hunt MSNBC September 21, 2020 2:00am-3:00am PDT
my daughter jane reminded me a few hours ago in a good luck call from australia of a sign of the change we have had the good fortune to experience. in her high school yearbook on her graduation in 1973, the listing for jane ginsburg under ambition was to see her mother appointed to the supreme court. the next line read, if
necessary, jane will appoint her. >> remembering supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg from brilliant legal mind and champion of legal rights to pop culture icon. the question is can the country handle the bitter battle over how soon to replace her? plus, the u.s. passes 200,000 deaths of covid-19 even as we stair dow the battle with the flu. the question is does the president still think he's done a very good job handling the pandemic. and power graham the director of human health and services over the fda. what does it mean for the administration's rush to approve a covid vaccine snit is "way too early" for this. good morning and welcome to
""way too early,"" the show that never really went away.
i'm kasie hunt on this monday, september 21st, and we'll start with the news. supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the nation's highest court died friday at the age of 87. the court said ginsburg died, quote, surrounded by her family at her home in washington, d.c., due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. ginsburg served 27 years on the supreme court. in a statement marking her passing, chief justice john roberts said, quote, our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. we at the supreme court have lost a cherished colleague. today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember ruth bader ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice. standing at just over 5 feet tall, she was larger than life, both on and off the bench as she
became a cultural idol to a much younger generation.
viewed as a feminist icon, she broke countless barriers, dedicating her legal career to challenging laws and regulations that diskrimm nalted on the basis of sex. along the way, she never shied away from making contentious comments, earning the nickname notorious rbg by her devoted fan base. diagnosed with cancer four times, ginsburg had numerous health scares including several recent hospitalizations, and her death will open a pivotal seat on the court less than 50 days before the prltal election. according to nmr's nina totenberg just days before her health waned dictated this statement to her grand daughter, kwoelt, my most fervent wish is that i will not be replaced until a new president is installed. and now to the political fight. the president says he will nominate a replacement, and
senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said the nominee will get a vote. what's different now from 2016 when mcconnell denied barack obama's nomination of merrick garland in the find year of obama's term. mcconnell claims it's because the party is both in the presidency and the senate. mcconnell wrote, over the coming days we are all going to come under tremendous pressure from the press, us, to announce how we will handle the coming nomination. for those of you who are unsure how to answer or for those inclined to oppose giving a nominee a vote, i urge you all to keep your powder dry. there are already at least two republican defections. democrats would need four. senator susan collins, who's in a tough re-election battle back in maine and senator lisa murkowski of alaska said they oppose voting on a replacement before election day.
meanwhile senator chuck grassley said in july, quote, if i were chairman of the judiciary committee and this vacancy occurred, i would not have a hearing on it because that is what i promised the people in 2016. we're also watching senator mitt romney. he has not yesterday indicat in stands on this question. the president has said he will nominate a woman. three sources tell nbc news that fellow appellate court judge amy coney barrett is on the short list. she was on the list to replier anthony kennedy in 2018. barrett svelted and of known quantity giving her sitting on the bench. chicago thought she performed well and defend her views that her religious beliefs as a catholic would color her legal
judgment. two others are on the list. barbara lagoa is on the sir caught court of appeals for the 11th district based in georgia. the other is for the sixth circuit in senate, amul thapar. joining me to talk about this, jacqueline alemany and "new york times" reporter jeremy peters. it's great to have both of you so early this morning on our premiere edition of "way too early." jackie, let me start with you to set the stage here in terms of what your reporting is or under amy coney barrett as the emerging front-runner. what are the dynamics around her specifically but also between the white house and the senate in terms of who prefers her. >> hey, kasie, well welcome to the 5:00 a.m. club.
congrats on the new show. as you rightfully and notably noticed out, amy coney barrett was on the list the last time around. the vetting and questions surrounding her have already been taken care of. she's someone who's safe. mitch mcconnell said he could achieve the 51 votes necessary in order to push her through as the nominee in what will probably be a contentious vote before the election. that being said, the white house has taken in recent days, especially over the weekend, a liking to barbara lagoa, who they believe could be a real political asset in florida, which the president really needs to win in his presidential election in november. aides say that the president might get along with lagoa. she would have -- she's been described as a feisty -- he likes her ivy league credentials. again, that being said, amy coney barrett might be the safer pick here.
but, mcconnell is going back and forth with the president's chief of staff mark meadows on the vetting process and how to move forward as quickly as possible, and those conversations are happening right now. they're also waiting on a number of senators to actually stake out their position on whether or not they support holding a vote prior to the election. >> jeremy peters, you've spent a lot of time covering conservatives, the conservative movement, and i'm curious what your early reporting is telling you about how these dynamics are playing out. it seems as though the president is leaning -- if he is leaning toward la goya, it has do with winning florida as jackie said, and in the context strictly of the presidential race, mitch mcconnell's calculation seems to be that, well, i need the votes in the senate, and amy coney barrett is somebody who already seems like a known quantity. that should make things easier for me, perhaps even voting on evangelical voters where he's
got senators up for re-election. what's your take and reporting on how this ultimately shakes out? >> that's exactly right. i mean, let's not lose sight of the fact that if republicans do not control the senate, they do not control who gets to sit on the supreme court, and that's of paramount importance that you've seen over the past few years, past few election cycles, their power, their ability to win the majority in the popular vote waned. they really are dependent on these countermajorian institutions that allow them to hold onto power without winning the majority of votes in the country. so you have that going. you also have the fact that there are an awful lot of senators who are going to do be
nervous about having an election day. it's about six days away. it would be a rushed process it. would make senators like cory gardner in colorado who's in a tight race for re-election, worry that they are angering the electorate in third home states and further endangering their prospects for re-election. interestingly, though, you had other republican senators who came out over the weekend who are in tight races saying, you know what? let's go forward. i think president trump deserves a vote on this right away. senators like thom tillis in north carolina, and we know he's in a political fight of his life right now. this doesn't break down easily along any particular line, partisan or whatever. it's hard to game out, and it's even harder to tell who it could benefit politically if the republicans did ram this through at the last minute.
>> well, and jackie, my early reporting suggests that mitch mcconnell seems to want to with hold the fight until after the general election, which is what jeremy is talking about here, that moderates like susan collins and others don't have to make a decision. but at the same time, they want to move forward with a confirmation hearing. we've heard early reports that the white house wants a different time line. is there tension between the white house and the hill and what's your reporting on the timeline? >> the political calculations are definitely a hot topic at the moment. there's been a lot of back and forth. i think there's been a lot of debate how these things will pan out politically. as jeremy noted, there are a number of vulnerable republican senators who most of which, aside from susan collins and lisa murkowski have supported
holding the vote prior to the election and confirming trump's pick of nominee without knowing who that nominee is. then you have someone like senator gardner who hasn't made his mark clear. he's in a tight race in clo, and he could be that extra defector that prevents mcconnell from pushing someone through. so those calculations are being debated. you know, the president himself, known to be an opportunist, it's fairly possible that he believes that holding this vote right after the election would actually incentivize more republicans to turn out for him on election day. but that being said, that's why barrett is actually such a -- being pushed by mcconnell. she is a devout catholic, and mcconnell seems to think she'll make people like susan collins more comfortable with the decision with holding the vote asap. >> all right. jackie alemany and jeremy
peters, thank you both for getting up early with us this morning. it's great to have you. still ahead, we've got much more battle over the supreme court. senator lindsey graham was pretty bold in 2018 when he said they should not vote on it. and i'll speak with senator joe manman chin from west virginia. "way too early" back in a moment. est virginia "way too early" back in a moment federal dollars are spent on schools, hospitals, and restorations in our neighborhoods. - funding is at stake for marginalized communities. - so make it count to be counted. the more you know.
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and now leads the series, three games to none. and now to the nfl. russell wilson matching a career-high five touchdown pass. this game came down to a final play at the goal line. >> here we go. cam's going to take it himself. he doesn't get in. and the seahawks win the game. >> they stuff cam newton on the one yard line. the seahawks win it, 35-30. in pro golf, a new u.s. open champion as bryson dechampion wins two shots ahead of matthew wolf. he pulled away a long a flawless back nine pulling a seven-putt. he captured a three under, 67.
didn't allow another round under par. major league baseball's shortened schedule is coming to a close with the playoffs now over a week away. several teams have punched a ticket for the expanded format includingizati includi including san diego padres. they had an 11-inning rally yesterday. i'm so glad baseball is back. but now we want to turn to the weather and the devastating wildfires on the west coast that are continuing spread. california's bobcat fire has grown to 103,000 acres, making it one of the largest wildfires in los angeles county's history, and that fire is only 15% contained. crews are hoping lower temperatures and calmer winds might give them an upper hand on the blaze. meanwhile in oregon,
officials reported more progress in the plan to contain wildfires across the state. 700 firefighters are working on the effort. cooler weather, and higher rainfall is helping to make the progress. the number of confirmed fatalities remain at nine and there are five still missing. let's bring in nbc meteorologist bill karins. bill, it's good to see you "way too early" on this monday morning, this obviously a difficult story. >> it's back. >> i know. it's back. it's great. but we've been seeing smoke here in washington obscuring the sun at different times over the past few weengs this. is tough. is there any end in sight for these fires? >> it depends where you're talking. we're going to get rain looks like tuesday to wednesday in the northwest. maybe oregon and washington state. but for california, their rainy season doesn't arrive until like november, so not much relief for
them. it looks like we're going to get another pretty big heatwave in about eight to 12 days in the west too. so the fear of additional fires and large fires is there. let me -- the big weather headline today is tropical storm bay tachl we have tropical storm warnings on the coast. thankfully this one is not a big storm. no big concerns with the wind, but we do have to worry about the storm surge, which we're getting right now, about 1 to 3 feet in many areas. we're having minor problems with that. but this storm is going to linger along the coastal areas for two our three days between victoria and houston. if you're familiar with houston, you have problems on the highways with flooding. this could last two to three days. that's the issue with this storm. we have a flash flood threat from new orleans all the way back to houston and victoria. 10 million people are at risk, and it looks like people could see as much as 3 to 6 inches of
rain today and tomorrow. that's the concern, kasie, with this storm. it does seem to be huge and punishing, but we'll watch houston closely. >> keep an eye on all of it. thank you very much, my friend. still ahead here, the president said back in march that a covid death toll below 200,000 would mean the administration did a very good job handling the virus. we're going to explain that coming up next. we're going to explain that coming up next in the middle of the darkest night it's true, i will rescue you oh, i will rescue you
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>> i give ourselves an "a." but the grade is incomplete, and i'll tell you why. if we come up with the vaccines and therapeutics, then i give myself an a-plus. >> welcome back to "way too early." that was president trump in conversation with journalist bob woodward, who last night shared previously unreleased audio from one of their interviews in late july. as you heard, the president says he deserves, quote, an "a" grade for his handling over the covid-19 crisis. the coronavirus death toll in the u.s. has now sur paezed 200,000 lives lost. that grim threshold was met on saturday by nbc news official count. the striking number of deaths comes nearly six months after infectious disease experts first warned of dire consequences if the trump administration did not act on the rapidly spreading
virus. yesterday washington's national cathedral marked the solemn occasion by tolling its mourning bell t200 times, one for every 1,000 american lives lost. secretary alex azar has barred the health agencies including the fda from signing any new rules regarding food, medicines, and other new products including vaccines. according on to a memorandum obtained by "the new york times," power is reserved to the secretary. it's unclear or how it would change the approval vetting for the coronavirus and vaccines in the u.s. health and scientific agencies are undergoing deep politicization. but before we go to break, we want to know why are you awake?
email us your reasons for being up with us watching@"way too earl early"@nbc uni.com. and still ahead, senator joe manchin will be our guest as the senate continues to battle over the supreme court vacancy left by justice ruth bader ginsburg. we're back in just a moment. rug we're back in just a moment. you hope the more you give the less they'll miss. but even if your teen was vaccinated against meningitis in the past... they may be missing vaccination for meningitis b. let's help protect them together. because missing menb vaccination could mean missing out on a whole lot more. ask your doctor if your teen is missing meningitis b vaccination.
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welcome back to "way too early." it is 5:30 here on the east coast, 2:30 out west. i'm kasie hunt. we begin this half hour with the contentious debate over the fate of the vacant seat on the supreme court with just 43 days until election day. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has vowed to hold a senate vote on a trump nominee. meanwhile democrats have warned republicans to follow the precedent they set back in 2016 when they refused to consider barack obama's choice for the court on the grounds that it was an election year. in early 2016, mcconnell said he would not give merrick garland his confirmation proceedings because, he argued, voters should get to decide the election. its also worth noting the day after justice ginsburg's death, senator lindsey graham, the chair of the senate committee said he's dead set on confirming
the president's choice for a seat. this comes after he said he would hold off on confirmation. >> if there's a republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say lynn guy graham said, let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination, and you could use my words against me, and you would be absolutely right. >> i'll tell you this. this may make you feel better, but i really don't care. if an opening comes in the last year of president trump's term and the primary process is started, we'll wait until the next election, and i've got a pretty good chance of -- >> you're on the record. >> yeah. >> all right. >> hold the tape. >> so there it is. over the weekend, senate minority leader chuck schumer
held a conference call with congressional democrats starting with a moment of silence for the late ruth bader ginsburg, but the then proceeded to highlight the stakes in the aftermath of her passing, saying, quote, our number one goal must be to communicate the stakes of this supreme court fight in the american people. everyone americans value is at stake. health care, protections for pre-existing conditions, women's rights, any rights. let me requote. nothing is off the table. not is off the table. house speaker nancy pelosi struck a similar note. >> well, we have our options. we have arrows in our quiver that i'm not about go discuss right now, but the fact is we have a big challenge in our country. this president has threatened to not even accept the results of
the election with statements that he and his henchmen have made. >> joining me now, democratic senator joe manchin of west virginia. senator, thank you so much for getting up "way too early" to be with us today. >> well, it is "way too early," kay circumstance but it's good to be with you on your show, and i think you're going to do a great job. i'm getting ready to go to d.c., and it helped me to get on the road a little sooner than expected, but thank you. >> of course. thank you so much for being here. we're glad we could help you get your morning started off right. let's begin with the news though. we heard from senate minority leader chuck schumer, and i know i'm starting to hear democrats talk about health care. yes, abortion is part of that conversation, and obviously there are a lot of pro-abortion voters who are focused on a piece of that.
what argument are you going to make to the american people about this, just handful of days ahead of the electie ahead of the electilectioelecti? >> you know, i think the argument is going to be about the american people holding people accountable for what they sachld my friend lindsey graham made a pretty bold statement way back then. he said he would hold himself accountable. you can hold him accountable. and you have to see if the people of south carolina are going to hold him accountable and demand that he keep his word or basically his sincerity, and if there is any integrity. when we say something, people want to believe public officials. i really believe that. public officials should understand the importance of when they say something, they should mean what they say and do what they say. so it's the people holding it. it doesn't matter, it doesn't change anything, i guess, they'll go on and continue to say things that they don't intend to keep their word on. but we'll see what happens. i think this is in the hands of the american people.
and in the swing states right now with all the elections going on, every candidate running for re-election or e'er challenger is going to be able to put it forth to the voter to see how they feel about this. it's not going to bed.c. but back home. they're going to sark listen, you told me one thing and now you're telling me another. it's hypocrisy. >> it seems very obvious when you watch the clips and lindsey graham was so straightforward in saying hold me accountable for saying this. i think most people watching this say that's completely hypocritical to do it this way. now, i understand the precedent arguments that mitch mcconnell and others are making the decision that this is different, but do republicans in your view do, they care that they seem so hit critical? do they care at all? they seem full steam ahead regardless. >> kasie, you've known me a long time. you know i'm as bipartisan as i possibly can be and i'm going to
do everything i can to keep the spirit of the founders bipartisan. that means we have to reach out, work with each other, and be direct and sincere with each other. there's not anything in the rule book that has anything about decency and integrity and dignity that we should conduct ourselves. a r and as we think about ruth bader ginsburg, she was all about that. she's such an icon. my granddaughters, my daughters, all the women in my life that think basically that this trailblazer gave them a chance. shouldn't we at least show the dignity of the family to celebrate her life and maybe take a week? can we do that until we lay her to rest and her soul rests in peace and then we move on? because there's plenty of time for the political bickering back and forth. >> yeah. >> i think the public is tired of that. but let's see what happens. >> senator, i'm speaking of the political back and forth.
chuck schumer has said nothing is off the table if the republicans go through with pushing through if the event of an election or they did it in a lame duck session that suggests that they would potentially add justices to the supreme court. would you vote to add additional justices go the supreme court if republicans move forward with this and put trump's nominee on the court? >> kasie, i'm going to do everything i can to protect the institution. i'm sitting in the seat that robert c. byrd held for 50 years, and there's no person that did more to protect the institution than robert c. byrd. he wrote the rules. so i have that to be considered and to live up to. i'm going to do everything in my pow eric whatever i vote on, whatever i support, whatever i speak out on is going to be basically to save the integrity and save the bipartisanship. our founding fathers created the
senate and said we need the senate like a saucer needs to cool off hot tea. well, if we don't, we'll be just like the house. it's like majority plus one, kasie, and that's not p.r. any decision i make will be to protect the institution and basically in a bipartisan way. i think we owe that to the people. i owe it to west virginia. >> all right. all right. senator joe manchin, that sounds a little bit like a no to me, but thank you very much and thank you so muff for getting up so early with us. it's great to have you on our very first show, so thank you. as we mentioned, the -- as we mentioned, the supreme court fight is weighing on the 2020 election, not just for the white house, but also in several key battlegrounds for the u.s. senate. if you want to sound smart tell, tell your friends democrats need a net gain of three seats to flip the senate if they also win the white house since the vice
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forward with providing fair, balanced, accurate information to the american people about the coronavirus response and preparedness opportunistics. >> fair, balanced, accurate information. where have i heard that before? possibly the president's preferred news network. maybe it's just a coincidence. who knows. still ahead, president trump givens the green light for a potential deal on the popular app tiktok. that and other stories driving your business day coming up next. ng your business day coming up next mrs. o'connor appeared after the vote. thanked several senators and paused in front of the capitol. >> i'm absolutely overjoyed with the expression of support, and my hope is that ten years from now after i've been working for
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business. president trump has offered his blessing to move forward with a tiktok deal, but the final details have yet to be agreed upon. for that, let me bring in cnbc's reporter julianna tatelbaum live from london. what's the latest on the deal? >> good morning, kasie. president trump said he approved the deal in which oracle and walmart will partner with tiktok to avoid an absolute shutdown. president trump said the arrangement guarantees absolutely security and separates the u.s. operations from the chinese operations this. is the far cry for the initial call from president trump for an outright sale of the operations. under the deal, oracle and walmart are to slit a slice of
the global app with operations outside of china. bitedown, the owner of tiktok, will in turn own 80% of the company but has confirmed they have plans for a future with c chat also in focus. a u.s. judge in california halted the trump administration's ban of downloads of we chat early on sunday. the department of commerce announced a ban on we chat appears in stores on sunday so effectively shutting down the app. the trump administration alleged the app threateneds national security. the judge in california said the ban raises serious questions around free speech. kasie? >> cnbc's julianna tatelbaum. thank you as always. live from london, we really appreciate it. earlier on in the show we asked, why are you awake?
ow writes in, kasie i'm up because my favorite anchor is up. thank you. and milo's mom tweeted this photo of her adorable cats saying she's up because these guys wanted breakfast. i woke my dog up a little earlier than usual this weekend. and from cherry cook, i like to get my news before i go to sleep. and andy holland, i'm batman and i work the third shift. coming up next, a look at axios one big thing and "morning joe," a check in with health experts as the u.s. death count surpasses 200,000 lives lost. as the senate prepares to battle over the supreme court seat left vacant by ruth bader
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reporter for axios alexi mchammond. good morning, great to see you. too early. >> good morning, congrats to you. today's 1 big thing is about the fallout for democrats after justice ruth bader ginsburg's passing. we're seeing joe biden come out on the campaign trail yesterday to give one of his rare in-person speeches yesterday in philly to talk about the passing. this was an opportunity for joe biden to step up and provide an ultimate form of leadership to voters in what's becoming a monumental momentum for the country. we've seen joe biden step up in moments of the coronavirus, economic crisis, protests against police brutality and systemic racism. now the case he's making is around health care and the affordable healthcare act which helped democrats in the 2018 midterms and something we'll
hear joe biden and ores making the case to voters that the supreme court vacancy is a lot about health care. >> i find that interesting because it shows that they seem to be trying to play to that center that joe biden was focused on throughout the primary. it was interesting to me that chuck schumer appeared yesterday with alexandria ocasio-cortez at an event around this. it seems like he's saying one thing on his calls with members privately and obviously the biden campaign wants one thing here. but also they seem to recognize that they need to speak to their young base, too. what's your take on that? >> that's a really good thing to point out. because it is a fascinating dynamic we're seeing these two factions of the party, alexandria ocasio-cortez representing the more progressive wing, more aligned with bernie sanders than joe biden. but the thing i've noticed here
is that even before justice ginsburg's passing the bernie wing democrats were encouraging each other to vote for joe biden and the democratic ticket not just for joe biden but for ginsburg's replacement. this is something they were talking about even before the tragic news happened over the weekend. that's what we're seeing with shuk schumer and aoc now, the factions of the party coming together and recognizing the moment is more than the individual interests, but the party getting things done, especially as it relates to health care. and keep everyone happy with this singular goal in mind, which is that it's bigger than joe biden. >> and axios obviously also reporting this morning this is something that perhaps people haven't fully grasped in this sort of frenzied period after ruth bader ginsburg's death but
oba obamacare is in potentially much greater jeopardy because there's a case coming up soon with the lawsuit brought by republicans. can you walk us through it? >> it's brought by republicans and trump allies. they're going ahead of the supreme court to present oral arguments one week after election day, they're arguing to strike down the mandate in the affordab affordable care act that would remove people with preexisting conditions. that's what's affecting so many americans and whether covid-19 qualifies as a preexisting condition and now with justice ginsburg's seat up in the air, and this mandate hanging in the balance means that coverage for millions of americans are hanging in the balance. it's likely if ginsburg is replaced with a conservative
choice of president trump, this individual mandate could likely be struck down and that would cause a lot of turmoil for a lot of people in an already tumultuous situation. >> and, of course, the reality is even if they, in theory, hold up the rest of the law, the economics of that don't really hold up if the individual mandate goes away. it becomes far too expensive to cover people with preexisting conditions. let's talk about the campaign more broadly. this news over the weekend is obviously the first thing in a while that's really shaken up some of these dynamics. you guys are reporting this morning on the increasing focus on pennsylvania from the trump campaign. and this has been something i've been hearing about from my sources in the delegation and kind of across the board. why the focus here? is it because they're concerned about losses in other midwestern states? >> here's a quote from a trump campaign adviser to axios that
will help you understand how they're feeling. initially they thought wisconsin was in the bang and pennsylvania is in the air and now things are verse. they're saying things are looking better in pennsylvania and not so good about wisconsin and they say because of the anti-fracking message with biden is helping with voters there. >> alexi mccam mamondccammond, s always. you can sign up for the news here letter at signup.axios.com. that does it for us. "morning joe" starts now. so what grade do you give yourself on the virus for the last six, seven months? >> other than the public relations which is impossible because it's a fake media. fake. i know you -- >> yeah i