tv Way Too Early With Kasie Hunt MSNBC December 11, 2020 2:00am-3:00am PST
tonight with trevor noah. i will mention, there is a mention of crook onbush, also how to sand a wooden bench. it was a fun discussion. i'll be talking about my book "bag man." see you there and tomorrow night. "way too early with kasie hunt" is up next. the covid vaccine clears a major hurdle with the fda as the u.s. suffers a second straight day of all-time highs for new cases and deaths. the question is, how bad will things get over the next few months? plus, the number of americans filing for unemployment jumps as lawmakers hit another logjam on covid relief. with so many in need of help, the question is, will congress come through? and battle lines have been drawn in the latest effort to overturn joe biden's presidential win as more states and republican lawmakers get behind the texas lawsuit. the question is, how long before we hear from the supreme court?
it is definitely "way too early" for this. good morning! and welcome to "way too early," the show that's had to negotiate a lot of things over the past year, along with all of you. you'd think congress could do the same thing. i'm kasie hunt on this friday, december 11th. we'll start with the news. pfizer passed a critical milestone after an independent panel of experts overwhelmingly voted in favor of recommending the fda authorize its covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in people ages 16 and older. the vote came yesterday afternoon after the committee spent the day scrutinizing data for the vaccine, which indicates, so far, that it is safe and 95% effective. in all, 17 members were in favor of the authorization, four against, one person abstaining
from the vote. one committee member urged continued studies after two people in the uk had severe allergic reactions after receiving the vaccine. according to federal officials, the initial shipment of 6.4 million doses will leave warehouses within 24 hours of being cleared by the fda. and the agency is likely to do so within days, giving health care workers and nursing home residents first priority to begin receiving the first shots early next week. meanwhile, u.s. deputy marshals say they're working hand in hand with "operation warp speed" personnel to provide security for covid-19 vaccines from the facilities where they're manufactured to distribution sites. well, nice, a little bit of good news to kick off your morning, because a lot of the rest of it is pretty grim. all of this comes after a second straight day of all-time highs for cases and deaths. nbc news data shows that the u.s. added more than 225,000
cases and 3,100 deaths yesterday. the cdc director gave the sobering news yesterday that covid-19 is now the leading cause of death for americans, surpassing heart disease and canc cancer. >> probably for the next 60 to 90 days, we're going to have more deaths per day than we had in 9/11 or that we had at pearl harbor. and the reality is, the vaccine approval this week's not going to really impact it i think to any degree for the next 60 days. >> the u.s. covid project also reports a record number of people were hospitalized with the virus yesterday -- 107,000. several states continue to roll out heightened coronavirus restrictions amid this surge. in pennsylvania, governor tom wolf, who tested positive for the virus on wednesday, announced a halt to school sports and other extracurricular activities. he closed gyms, theaters, and casinos, and banned indoor dining.
governor ralph northam ordered virginians to stay home between midnight and 5:00 a.m., to wear a mask in indoor and outdoor settings, and to limit social gatherings to ten people. in rhode island, governor gina raimondo will be extending the state's two-week pause by one more week. that goes until five days before christmas. and in delaware, governor john carney announced a stay-at-home advisory until january 11th. he put most establishments under a 30% capacity requirement, limited larger retail establishments to 20% capacity, and issued a 10:00 p.m. curfew at restaurants and bars. and despite this promising news on the vaccine front that we started with, hospitals across the country are struggling to care for the sick. nbc news was granted rare access inside one of the busiest icus in los angeles to see the current surge firsthand.
nbc's miguel almaguer has that story. >> reporter: every day, thousands more arrive at hospitals across the country, fueled by another single-day record of new infections. medical centers like providence st. joseph near los angeles have seen covid admissions triple. >> i think ten has to go on a vent. he doesn't look good. >> reporter: nbc news given exclusive access inside their covid ward. >> we have never had to treat so many sick patients at the exact same time. >> reporter: every bed in this icu wing is filled. doctors -- >> can you recycle? >> reporter: nurses, and a web of drips and pumps struggle to keep a growing number of young patients alive. how quickly can people go from sick to icu? >> 24 hours, and even less. i've had patients come in, not requiring any supplemental oxygen, just high fever, don't feel well. within 24 hours, they're intubated in the icu. >> reporter: across the country, a record number of americans died wednesday.
down the hall, this nurse is losing another patient. >> there's a very good chance that he may pass without the family being able to say good-bye. >> reporter: how much time do you think this patient has? >> i don't think past midnight. >> reporter: the team here is aware of the mobile morgues outside dallas, the six hospitals reaching capacity in michigan, and the ten rural counties in california out of icu beds. the staff here, like at so many other hospitals around the country, are exhausted. the days are 12 hours long, and the shifts are 12 in a row. the sacrifices made are also personal. >> i don't get to see my mom because i'm scared they might get something from me. so, we're all doing our part and we're just hoping everybody will do the same. sorry. >> reporter: inside one of the hospital's most restrictive areas, we met jose bonilla, who says he felt like he was drowning when he was admitted. so many on the front lines feel like they're under water. what's the hardest part?
>> i think not knowing when this is going to end. >> reporter: the end still far from near. >> well, that was really, really difficult to watch. our thanks to miguel almaguer for that report from that hospital and our thoughts are with all of those health care workers and all health care workers across the country as we all battle this in the holiday season. let's go now to congress. just when it seemed like things were progressing on a relief deal, it now looks like we may be right back to the beginning. democrats are laying blame with the majority leader. >> everyone knows that this bipartisan proposal is the only real game in town at the moment, except leader mcconnell, who continues to stand in the way of bipartisan progress and who seems to wake up each morning with a new round of outlandish reasons why democrats are somehow to blame for all of the world's ills. >> i can say this unequivocally, what mr. mcconnell is putting
forth in terms of liability is such an assault on america's workers that i hope the group goes nowhere near where he is presenting. >> speaker pelosi was talking about one of the biggest issues that still divides republicans and democrats, liability protections for businesses from essentially being sued if workers get sick from the virus because they don't follow the rules. it's one of the two big issues that lawmakers can't agree on. the other is state and local funding. senator mcconnell's solution has been to eliminate both from this bill in order to get everything else passed. for more on where things stand, we are joined by nbc news correspondent leigh ann caldwell. leigh ann, you have been tracking this all week, minute to minute, and it does feel like, while on monday, we were pretty optimistic that this week could be the week, we are right back where we started five days later as they still are negotiating how to get this done.
i know nancy pelosi said they're going to stick around until they do it, but what is the path forward, in your view and according to your reporting at this point? >> so, kasie, i have one source who is involved in these negotiations and told me yesterday they are just stuck on this issue of liability. and i have a second source who is always optimistic, but then they admitted yesterday that they get their heart broken every single day because they're just -- they just cannot reach an agreement, especially on this issue of liability. you know, i'm told that there's a lot of progress, and they have come, figured out how to work this issue of state and local funding, you know, money for firefighters and teachers and first responders, et cetera. but this issue of liability is just one that is perplexing these negotiators and complicating efforts, as they have to have buy-in from the chamber of commerce and the business groups, they have to have buy-in from the lawyers and
the trial lawyers. and of course, they have to have buy-in from leadership. and you know, as you've said, mcconnell is sending these really strong signals that he's not going to accept any of the compromise proposals that are being floated around on this issue. so you know, like at the beginning of the week, it seemed really, really possible that something was going to get done, but now here we are friday, and i don't see how they get out of this, kasie. >> so, i mean, let's talk about that for a second, because obviously, there are families out there, so many families. we got another difficult jobs report. people are trying to buy christmas presents for their kids, hanukkah gifts, starts this week. and they don't know if their benefits, many of which expire literally the day after christmas, are actually going to come through. and pelosi yesterday seemed to suggest that they would stay in through christmas, if they had to. but i guess i'm having trouble
understanding how, you know -- you and i have covered a lot of things like this together over the years. if they haven't been able to figure it out so far, how just a couple of extra days through christmas is really going to help. i understand they're deadline motivated and that deadline of benefits expiring is a big one, but the fundamentals of this haven't changed, and the losers, if they can't agree on their priorities here, the losers are people out there who would otherwise get money in their pockets to take care of their families. >> yeah. and we talk about this all the time off camera, right, kasie? i mean, they, at the beginning of december, we thought there was going to be all this pressure to get something done because of these cliffs that are coming at the end of the month. and so, it got these bipartisan rank and file negotiators to get together and come to an agreement, but we haven't seen any willingness from leadership to really sit down and hammer this thing out. you know, a republican told me
that the fact alone that they are willing or looking at including the state and local funding component is compromise enough for republicans, so they don't feel like they should have to compromise or water down any of the liability provision. so, they can't even agree on really what to include in this legislation. and yeah, the big losers are the people who are going to be impacted and who aren't going to get these unemployment checks at the end of the month, kasie. >> if we can't get something done here amid the crisis of our generation, i think it's going to reflect pretty poorly on congress for many, many years to come. nbc's leigh ann caldwell, thank you, as always, my friend, for getting up really early with us. it's going to be a long day for you, so thanks for being here. >> thank you. still ahead, more than 100 house republicans signal their support for a texas lawsuit
aimed at overturning the results of the election, but a growing number of gop lawmakers are voicing opposition, too. plus, vice president mike pence appears to acknowledge joe biden's win during a campaign stop in georgia. we'll have those stories and much more when we come right back. much more when we come right back the first fda-approved medication of its kind, tremfya® can help adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis uncover clearer skin that can last. most patients who saw 90% clearer skin at 28 weeks
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in the same ball game, that's an nfl record. second down, newton setting up a screen. he's picked! back the other way and down the sideline is kenny young. he makes a move and ends up in the end zone with a pick six! >> wow! time now for sports. and the rams hosting the patriots in the start of nfl week 14. for many fantasy football managers, it means the playoffs are here. you saw that 79-yard pick six thrown by new england quarterback cam newton. he was also sacked four times
last night before being benched in the fourth quarter, as los angeles dominated the patriots on both sides of the ball. rams' rookie running back cam akers broke out with a 171 rushing yards in the game, while qb jared goff ran for a score and threw for another on the way to a 24-3 victory. ouch. >> touchdown! boston college, meanwhile, is now the first school to forego the postseason. while its football schedule was one of the few that's gone largely unaffected by the pandemic, the school announced it's going to pass on the opportunity to play in a bowl game so that players can spend christmas with their families. in a conference call yesterday, bc's athletic director told reporters, a lot of these young men haven't hugged their loved ones since june, adding "i'm very, very proud of them and the sacrifices they've made." it comes as a total of ten major college football games originally scheduled for tomorrow have been called off because of coronavirus concerns.
this is also affecting basketball. duke's men's basketball program has canceled the remainder of its nonconference regular season games. according to a release from the university, the decision was made out of an abundance of caution amid the pandemic and to allow players time over the holidays to spend with their families. in a statement yesterday, head coach mike krzyzewski said, "this is the best decision we could make as a program in making sure we are doing the right thing for our players." the move comes two days after krzyzewski called on college basketball to consider whether it's best to continue playing at all during the pandemic. duke will return to the court on december 16th for the acc opener at notre dame. and finally, a sport close to my heart, the world's top female golfers teed off in the first round of the 75th u.s. women's open in houston yesterday. and we may have already seen the shot of the tournament. swinging from the box on the 139-yard par 3 16th hole, american amy olson's shot lands
on the green and rolls into the cup for a hole-in-one. and if you liked that, how about another? 20-year-old ugin sung holed her tea shot on the par 3 4th hole. these two holes-in-one are the 28th and 29th ever recorded during the event. congrats to both of those ladies. and still ahead here, president-elect joe biden weighs in on the defund the police movement in newly leaked audio. what he's saying about that and how it impacted the election. we're back in just a moment. imn we're back in just a moment.
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what?! ♪ whatever you have at home, knorr sides can turn nutritious veggies into mouthwatering meals. ♪ veggies taste amazing with knorr. welcome back. while campaigning for georgia republican senators kelly loeffler and david perdue yesterday, vice president mike pence appeared to acknowledge that joe biden will, in fact, be our next president. >> we need to send them back,
because a republican majority could be the last line of defense to preserve all we've done to defend this nation, revive our economy, and preserve the god-given liberties we hold dear. we need to hold the line, georgia! >> president-elect biden will head down to georgia next week to rally for jon ossoff and raphael warnock, the two georgia democrats running in that incredibly high-stakes set of senate runoff races. meanwhile, new polling highlights a huge partisan divide over the legitimacy of the 2020 election. the latest quinnipiac poll finds that 60% of registered voters think joe biden's election victory was legitimate. 34% think it wasn't. while breaking those numbers down along party lines, just 23% of republicans think biden's win was legitimate, compared to 98%
of democrats and 62% of independents. just 38% of registered voters think there was massive voter fraud in the 2020 election. 58% do not. but along party lines, 77% of republicans think there was widespread voter fraud, while only 3% of democrats and 35% of independents agree. it's unfortunately a pretty good snapshot of who is listening to all of these things that president trump is saying as he undermines everybody's faith in our electoral system, or tries to, anyway. meanwhile, in a leaked audio recording, president-elect joe biden said that republicans used the slogan "defund the police" to defeat democrats down the ballot in last month's elections. biden made those comments in a virtual meeting with civil rights leaders on tuesday. the audio of that private meeting was later leaked to the intercept, which aired excerpts on its deconstructed podcast. let's listen. >> i also don't think we should get too far ahead of ourselves
on dealing with police reform in that, because they've already labeled us as being defund the police. anything we put forward in terms of the organizational structure to change policing -- which i promise you will occur, promise y you. that's how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we're talking about defunding the police. we're not. we're talking about holding them accountable. >> pretty interesting. lines up with what he has said in public, but certainly with some stronger words there from the president-elect. and still ahead, president-elect joe biden continues to add to his cabinet. we're going to take a look at his latest picks. plus, hunter biden says he's under tax investigation, and it reportedly has to do with his business dealings in china. nbc's julia ainsley is going to join us with more on that. but before we go to break, as always, we want to know, why are you awake? email us your reasons for being up and watching with us to email@example.com or drop me
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♪ welcome back to "way too early." it's 5:30 here on the east coast, 2:30 out west. i'm kasie hunt. "time" magazine has announced its 2020 person of the year. well, this year it's two people, president-elect joe biden and vice president-elect kamala harris took this year's honor, beating out other contenders
like president trump, dr. anthony fauci, and frontline medical workers, as well as the racial justice movement. "time's" person of the year is selected based upon how influential they are, and it should be noted, it's not an endorsement from the magazine. later on today, we're going to get a look at more key members of biden's cabinet, specifically those dealing with domestic policy. he's going to officially introduce his picks for secretary of agriculture, hud, and veterans affairs as well as trade representative and director of white house domestic policy. all these positions need senate confirmation, except for domestic policy adviser, which susan rice will lead. the incoming administration likely wanted to spare rice from having to undergo what was sure to be a contentious confirmation battle over her comments about benghazi, the benghazi attack while she was u.n. ambassador. i'm pretty sure there was wide understanding that she was not going to get senate confirmation. meanwhile, earlier this
week, president-elect joe biden's son, hunter, disclosed that federal authorities are investigating his taxes. now a source familiar with the inquiry tells nbc news that those investigators are examining hunter biden's business dealings in china and that the probe started back in 2018, before joe biden even announced his candidacy for president. in a statement, hunter biden said in part that he is confident a review of the matter, quote, will demonstrate that i handled my affairs legally and appropriately. for more on this, let's bring in nbc news correspondent julia ainsley. julia, good morning. always great to see you. let's start with the facts of this matter here. what did our sources say about the tax probe and which of the business dealings in china that hunter biden was involved in are the focus here? >> good morning, kasie. well, i can walk you through what we know, but of course, there could always be a universe we don't know, and this always
triggered, as you said, when hunter biden, himself, got in front of this earlier this week, where he said he had been subpoenaed, he understood that his taxes were under investigation. now, sources say that part of that, at least, is his business dealings in china. as you know, he had business dealings around the world. and what we know of his business dealings in china is that he sat on the board of an investment fund company, bhr, an equity fund investment management company. and he started that in 2013 when his father was vice president. he stepped down in october of 2019 after his father had announced his bid to run for the presidency. now, this probe, though, started in 2018. so it predates bill barr, and i think that's something this justice department is going to want to reiterate as they continue to try to show that this was not something bill barr started, perhaps at the behest of the president when he got under way in that presidential campaign, because it started in 2018, during jeff sessions' and
before biden decided to throw his hat in the ring in april of the following year. so, that's what we know about it so far, but it could include other things. but we know that they are looking at his taxes and his business dealings and that part of this began as a money laundering probe. now, what that really means is just when you look at someone's taxes and you figure out if there was an income that they made that they did not disclose to the federal government and what that might mean. this is something we became very familiar with during the mueller probe. they looked a lot at, for example, how paul manafort disclosed his taxes. they're going to be looking at the very same things now with hunter biden to see if he kept all of this above board. >> so, julia, you mentioned bill barr. i mean, what would he know about this federal inquiry? and obviously, the timing of this, incredibly sensitive. i mean, republicans were trying to focus on hunter biden before the election. certainly, i think, we're going to be revisiting the focus or
lack thereof on that for months to come as republicans zero in on this and joe biden prepares to take office. so, i mean, what more might we learn about how the justice department handled this in the context of the 2020 race? >> well, i mean, it is being run out of the u.s. attorney's office in delaware, but you can imagine with an investigation, with this kind of political sensitivity and the high profile, that the attorney general would know about what is going on in that office, and that office would also have to work with the irs to get access to his tax records. now, the piece that i know bill barr would be involved in was actually what the justice department would do to try to keep any what we call overt investigative steps from taking place leading up to the election, because typically, the justice department does not want to allow any steps that could become public that are close enough to a campaign, to a
candidate, to come out and influence the election. of course, we can think back to famous lessons learned in 2016, when it was revealed that the fbi was looking into hillary clinton's emails. they wouldn't want another repeat of that. so, what i am told is that while this investigation did continue and they could take covert steps, the overt steps were paused during the election and the window leading up to it. >> all right, i'm sure we're going to have much more on this story in the coming days and weeks. nbc's julia ainsley, thank you for breaking it down for us so clearly at such an early hour. we really appreciate having you. and still ahead here, comedian leslie jones takes her political commentary off twitter and onto her television debut on msnbc. the highlights from her interview next in "the cooler." "way too early" back in just a moment. ck in just a moment
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time now to gather around the water cooler for some of the things that are going to have people talking today. "saturday night live" alum leslie jones has been grabbing attention for her off-the-cuff commentary posted to twitter about msnbc's hosts and guests ever since the election. if you've missed it, here's a little taste. >> he's doing a little dip in the front, then he's doing a little side poof, and then he's doing the part. you are a hair icon, sir. >> her backsplash, i really do like her backsplash. i know this guy's name, steve kornacki. i know i'm saying it wrong, but i like this guy. this is how i like my reporters to look, disheveled and concerned. is those santas? well, aren't you just festive this morning, ain't ya? you've still got those two big [ bleep ] coffee makers in the back, though, letting people know, oh, it may be christmas, but [ bleep ] i still drink coffee. >> amazing.
yesterday, she appeared on "deadline white house" with nicolle wallace to discuss the 2020 election and further thoughts on some of our friends. watch. >> leslie, i have a surprise guest, because i love you, two of my favorite humans, claire mccaskill is going to join. >> what? [ laughter ] >> i'm having some of that gd coffee! [ laughter ] >> claire, did you pull up with the mug? did you pull up with the mug? >> i pulled up with the mug, leslie, and with my dishes and my dangerous wiry stairway! >> ha ha! >> hey, hey, listen, here's what i've got to tell you. first, my friend, nick k. is the best in the business. nick k.! always, nick k. >> oh, claire, claire, you are definitely my favorite cupcake, baby. >> there you go.
there you go. >> you've got the best back splash in the business, boo. >> nicolle wallace is going to be nick k. forever to all of us. we love that, leslie. meanwhile, the sitcom "it's always sunny in philadelphia" is making history. the gang is going to be back for four more seasons, and it's going to make it the longest running live-action sitcom by season count, shattering the previous record. the show's going to run through season 18, far surpassing the previous record holder, "the adventures of ozzie and harriet," which ran for 14 seasons on abc starting in the 1950s. while "it's always sunny" has yet to win any awards, it's got a large fan base and a dedicated cast and has been described as the little show that could. and dust off those fedoras and grab your bull whips, because "indiana jones" is coming back one last time. lucasfilm announced yesterday that preproduction is already under way for a fifth and final
"indiana jones" movie. harrison ford, who is now 78, will be reprising the title character for the first time since 2008. oscar-nominated writer and director james man gold will be directing the final installment, and the film is set to be released in july 2022. can you believe harrison ford, still playing indiana jones. anyway, still ahead, the latest in the texas lawsuit aiming to overturn the election results that's now gaining a wave of support from republicans. and as we go to break, let's take a look at this date in history. back in 1997, more than 150 countries agreed to try to control the earth's greenhouse gases at a global warming conference in kyoto, japan. the climate treaty came to be known as the kyoto protocol. >> this is a very good agreement. this is going to be possible for us to do this and grow our economy. it is environmentally sound. it's a huge first step, and i did not dream when we started that we could get this far. e st that we could get this far
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welcome back. the hail mary texas lawsuit to overturn the election of joe biden got another wave of support yesterday. 106 house republicans signed on to a filing with the supreme court to back the effort to invalidate votes cast in four battleground states, even though all 50 states have certified the election. the brief alleges that voting irregularities, quote, necessitate careful and timely review by the court. the high-ranking members signing include house minority whip steve scalise of louisiana and national congressional committee chair tom emmer. notably absent was house minority leader kevin mccarthy of california and house republican conference chair liz cheney of wyoming. msnbc contributor and friend of our show, sam stein, pointed out in a tweet that for these 106 house republicans, quote, the logical question is, do they believe their own elections are
fraudulent? opposition to the texas suit against four battleground states gained a few gop voices yesterday. nebraska senator ben sasse told "the washington examiner" that the suit was a publicity stunt, that the supreme court would probably, quote, swat away. sasse added that, to him, it looked like texas attorney general ken paxton filed, quote, a pr stunt, rather than a lawsuit, in an attempt to gain a pardon from president trump. paxton, currently the subject of an fbi investigation for illegally using the power of his office to benefit an austin real estate developer. texas congressman chip roy outlined his opposition in a string of tweets that read in part, quote, the case itself represents a dangerous violation of federalism and sets a precedent to have one state asking federal courts to police the voting procedures of other states. texas congresswoman kay granger called the case a distraction and told nbc news she's not supporting it. meanwhile, senator john cornyn added to his previous statements, telling nbc news,
quote, i don't want other states having a chance to change the texas law based on similar efforts. idaho's republican attorney general, lawrence wasdan, echoed the sentiment. in declining to support the suit, he said idaho is a sovereign state and should be free to govern itself without interference from any other state. joining us now, republican consultant matt coramin, vice president at the firm targeted victory. matt, good morning. always great to see you. can you please help explain to me and all of us why there are so many republicans signing onto this? i mean, what we just read through from cornyn and from others is very clear. conservatives have said for years that elections are the subject of states, the federal government shouldn't be terribly involved in it. certainly, one state should not be telling another state what the results of their elections are, but president trump is again seeming to pressure these republicans in ways that have
them completely disregarding their previous positions. what is going on here? >> look, i think you hit the nail on the head here. republicans want state-based control of elections. they always have wanted it. but i think when you talk to some of the republicans, it cost them very little, almost no political capital, to sign on to these sort of things. it joins up the base. it shows that they're fighting. and they can do it in a passive way. and i think ben sasse highlighted it, made a very good point about ken paxton. and you know, at the top of your show, the headline i believe the "washington post" called it paxton's fight. that is exactly how he wants to frame it. and if you notice, right, paxton versus many of those house republicans, versus many of the ags that also signed on to this brief. paxton is really the only one who's going out on, you know, cable news, being extremely vocal. and look, he's very clearly trying to get the attention of trump and get a multitude -- get
one of the multitude of pardons he is reportedly going to issue between now and inauguration day. >> so, the question that was raised is the question that wa raised is also do these house lawmakers who signed on, do they believe their own elections are fraudulent? if they're calling this into question. because obviously the four swing states they didn't just elect presidents. they elected members of the house, members of the senate obviously all kinds of down-ballot races. i mean, at what point -- i understand completely what you mean i from a political perspective they feel like, okay, it doesn't take much for me to again avoid the wrath of the president or get a little bit of credit for this with the republican base. but do they -- do they not feel that there is significant danger in telling this base that they can't trust the system? i mean, especially let's just take georgia for example where republicans are in this bizarre position of having to say, oh, yes, the election was rigged but you should definitely vote in the next one because we need you
to. >> no, that is certainly a trap -- right. the past elections a month ago, the republicans did very well down-ballot. the senate and the house, i think better than anyone expected in the house. and you're absolutely right. and republicans i talked to especially in georgia are very, very worried about that. they haven't seen an enthusiasm gap show up in polling yet, but they're keeping a very close eye on it for that exact reason. you have lin wood, sidney powell and others making that case. and many of them like trump's son, don jr., and others are scrambling to really put the kibosh on that because they need badly the base to show up. this is a random tuesday in january. this will be a battle of the bases and republicans want to win and keep the senate, they need to tamp that talk down and it is a trap a little bit considering as i said how well
republicans did down-ballot election day. >> i guess we're going to find out in pretty short order here just how potentially effective the messaging from trump supporters was for democrats trying to win control of the senate. matt gorman thank you so much. thank you for bringing christmas cheer, we like the decorations behind you. thank you for being up early with us. earlier on in the show, we asked why are you up so early? today is my husband's birthday so i'm up baking macaroons. rick said i'm up to stay informed watching you and joe and get the girls ready for squirrel watching. eager to resume reading john
grisham's "a time for mercy" in a failing attempt to take my mind off of this nation's state of affairs. as you can see i failed because i'm here, not there. i got this overnight from a viewer who points out they're going to make rogue squadron a movie. "star wars" movie, i should try to be in that. attention directors, i would love to be in a "star wars" movie. please call me up. unemployment claims rise to the highest level in months. we'll get a live report from cnbc on that. as the fda approves the use of the coronavirus vaccine, a look at the potential time line and rollout plans when the president of the u.s. conference of mayors, louisville mayor greg fischer, joins our conversation. "morning joe," just moments away. our conversation. "morning joe," just moments away oof- and every backache is telling you: you cannot do this. pain says you can't. advil says you can.
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to draw down u.s. troops from afghanistan and germany. according to the associated press, the one-week spending measure would keep the government open through december 18th. the house has passed the stopgap measure but a shutdown would occur if the senate doesn't act by midnight tonight. the kentucky senator said he would drop the objective if gop electors allowed a final vote on the national defense authorization act on monday. we have seen this movie from rand paul many times before, but this one of course just a week or so before the christmas holiday. time now for business. jobless claims last week rose to 853,000 bringing the weekly report to the highest level since september. for that let's bring in cnbc's joumanna bercetche live from london. good morning to you. let's talk about these figures from the labor department. pretty rough and underscore just
how bad things have gotten. >> yes, exactly. so as you mentioned we saw a big jump in the jobless claims numbers yesterday bringing the total to 853,000 and that is the highest level of applications since september. but still some good news though and that it is still far from the peak we had back in march when it was up at 7 million. so there has been a big recovery that has taken place, but it's begin to slow and that echoes what we had out of the nonfarm payroll which was slightly disappointing. but elsewhere there's another story we're following very closely which is that treasury secretary steven mnuchin is coming under fire from both republicans and democrats alike this time over a loan the treasury department gave to a troubled trucking company called yrc. back in the summer in july, the treasury department gave a $700 million loan to this
company under the guise of a pandemic emergency response. and that this company was crucial to national security. it's emerged that it actually is backed by a private equity company called apollo which has ties to the white house and more specifically to jared kushner because they inked a deal back in 2017 over real estate. now, the treasury secretary mnuchin has denied that he's had any communication with kushner and the team. but the congressional oversight committee has said that the loan is suspect because, "a," the company was already troubled and "b," it is unclear that this company to begin with was crucial to national security. so a lot of questions about the 7 hundred million dollars loan given out by the treasury department this summer. >> $700 million is a lot of money. cnbc's joumanna bercetche, live from london, thank you for being here. always great to talk with you.
unfortunately we are here on friday still talking about a relief bill for millions of americans that is not finished, congress is still stuck. that's the only thing that matters heading in to the christmas holiday. thank you all for getting up with us "way too early" on this friday morning. don't go anywhere. "morning joe" starts right now. we need to send them back because the republican majority could be the last line of defense to preserve all we have done to defend this nation, revive our economy and preserve the god-given liberties we hold dear. we need to hold the line, georgia. >> oh -- >> wait. i'm confused. >> what he said the last line of defense was just -- >> right. >> well, there's no other line of defense behind him, but the presidency, right? >> so that would mean a joe biden presidency. >> joe biden