tv Deadline White House MSNBC December 11, 2020 1:00pm-3:00pm PST
hi there, everyone. it's 4:00 in the east as millions of americans are watching as though our lives just might depend on it, for the fda to make it official. the landmark approval of the first coronavirus vaccine in the united states. "the new york times" reporting that an emergency use authorization could come as soon as tonight, which according to hhs secretary alex azar would mean shots in the arms of the americans who need them most in the coming days. >> in the next couple of days probably, as we work to negotiate with pfizer, the information doctors need to prescribe it appropriately, we
should be seeing the authorization of this first vaccine. we will work with pfizer to get that shipped out, and so we could be seeing people getting vaccinated monday, tuesday of next week. >> it's an historic moment, no doubt, and an important scientific victory for millions of suffering americans, and it collides once again today with donald trump's desperation, it would appear, for political victory. a crush of new reporting out just this afternoon, including from axios and "the washington post" say that donald trump and his chief of staff have signaled to fda chief stephen hahn that his job is on the line if he doesn't get the vaccine approved by the end of the day today. a rush that is unlikely to make a meaningful difference in when the vaccine makes it to everyday americans. "the washington post" adds this. quote, the warning led the fda to accelerate its timetable for clearing america's first vaccine from saturday morning to later friday. dr. hahn denied the report in a statement to nbc news.
quote, this is an untrue representation of the phone call with the chief of staff. the fda was encouraged to continue working expeditiously on pfizer's request. the fda is committed to issuing this authorization quickly as we noted in our statement this morning. the white house telling nbc news, quote, we don't comment on private conversations. but mark meadows regularly requests updates on progress toward a vaccine. the reports follow a pair of tweets from the president this morning, his first acknowledgement of any sort of the virus since wednesday, first lashing out at the fda for not getting a vaccine out even sooner, complete with a misspelled swear word, it would appear. and then a demand that he get credit for the vaccine. credit is where donald trump has focused almost all of his public attention when it comes to the coronavirus despite another new single-day death record. surpassing the already unfathomable record from the day before, 3,110 souls lost
yesterday. that staggering reality as the president lashes out at the agency that could bring this year-long global nightmare to its end is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. former white house health policy director under president obama and practicing physician dr. kavita patel is back. also joining us, white house reporter for the "l.a. times," e eli stokols is here. and president of the national action network, our friend the reverend al sharpton is here. dr. patel, first take us inside where the approval of the vaccine stands and how quickly after approval is granted, which seems to be the trajectory we're on, could be the vaccine start to be administered? >> yeah, nicolle, great question. by the way, it's one that hospitals around the country are anxiously awaiting for. but what's happening right now is the fda staff is trying to craft the very careful language for the emergency authorization. remember, this is not a full
approval, but at least kind of a temporary permit for a very specific use, and it will be that specific, nicolle, and they are likely to even include some warnings about people who have had a history of allergies to vaccines, et cetera. that will happen maybe by tonight as we've already heard, and then literally that moment, pfizer will begin kind of the, you know, beginning of the distribution. at the same time there is already kind of a set of third-party distributors ready with kits, with gloves and other supplies like needles, and hospitals have already been made aware whether they will be in that first batch to get the vaccine. so we could, as secretary azar mentioned -- we could start to see that happen this weekend. pfizer has been waiting, and hospitals have been doing practice drills for days now to make sure that no vaccine doses are wasted whatsoever. i think the other thing that's happening just for people to understand is this weekend the advisory committee for the cdc,
different than the fda and separate from its actions, will also be making some recommendations for doctors such as myself about who should receive the vaccine and within how many days, et cetera. so there is a lot going on for a weekend, and i'm really looking forward to coming back next week and saying, the first shots have been given, especially when we see that death toll, nicollnico. it weighs heavily on our minds. >> i want to turn to that. i have one more question, though, about this first wave of vaccinations. do the two doses get earmarked for an individual patient? so a hospital gets sent not just the first round but both of them so that we know vaccination will be complete? >> yeah. great question. i can tell you've been studying on how these doses are complex in the delivery. this first wave will be the first doses. i think the smart thing that operation warp speed did is they
actually reserved the second half of doses so that we wouldn't have a situation where i, for example, got the first vaccine but we didn't have enough doses for me to get my second shot. so what is getting shipped is just that first part, and that's really because it's a logistical nightmare of epic proportions, and they want to make sure they get the first doses out as quickly as possible. and i'll tell you, nursing home residents are the target demographic. we've had about -- since pfizer released their data on november 19th, we've had approximately 170,000 nursing home patients get diagnosed with covid with 20% of them dying. so this is incredibly tangible and real today and now. >> oh, you just gave me the feels for anyone with a loved one in a nursing home. help is literally on the way. eli, i want to bring you in on this reporting about the white house and their involvement and
their threat. this is a white house that every day since election day has taken a pass on engaging in the policy process and engaging with the public, frightened and more battered by the virus than at any point since it arrived. this reporting is one of those trump stories that isn't surprising but is still shocking, that while we're on the cusp of approval for a vaccine and all the folks like dr. patel and scientists have said one of the greatest hurdles will be stripping away the politics that have pervaded the debate in this country for the last ten months, stripping that away from the vaccine and the vaccination process so that people are willing to get vaccinated. what was your reaction when you saw the reporting about the white house threatening dr. hahn with his job if it's not approved by the end of the day? >> well, the usual reaction, nicolle, the face palm. it's the usual stuff from this president who, you know, right here at the finish line has to
inject more politics into this just as he has all throughout this pandemic, whether it was pushing the fda on hydroxychloroquine or whether it was about politicizing masks and state governments and cities and counties, you know, implementing decisions to keep things closed. he's injected politics throughout this, and now he's doing it again here at the end in terms of the vaccine and undermining potentially the public's confidence in a vaccine that has gone through a long scientific process. and yet, you know, people who tune in today and see this may ask themselves, did this get all the way to the end? is this safe, or was it fast-tracked before, you know, all the ts were crossed and the is were dotted by the fda because the president wanted it to be pushed out a day earlier? i mean he's putting this pressure on the fda, and for what? we're talking about the fda scheduled to get this thing authorized tomorrow. now the president making it clear that he wants it today.
it's an insignificant difference, and it just is happening because this is a guy who demands to be the protagonist in every scene of the story, who demands credit. he doesn't want to give credit to the scientist who's have developed these vaccines. he wants the credit for himself. we see this in all of his public tweets, and we're seeing it in the reporting about this private conversation that obviously isn't that private anymore. this story was first reported by "the washington post," has been confirmed by countless other outlets. that tells you, one, it's likely true, and, two, somebody, the white house, wants it out there because the president wants to be seen as the one who's pushing this out there, who is getting americans vaccinated more quickly. and it's consistent with the behavior that we've seen from this president for four years, nicolle. his thirst for credit, for affirmation, for attention. that thirst is unquenchable. it continues, and it's injecting more politics into the distribution of this vaccine
toward the end of his presidency. >> you know, rev, i will take eli's analysis of this insatiable desire for credit, but it has to be held up against a pathological refusal to acknowledge the loss of life that dr. patel referenced and that we mentioned at the top of the hour. i mean more than 3,000 people have died in this country from covid over the last two days. we're setting records for the casualties, having a mass casualty event every day in this country, and they're among the deadliest in our country's history. more people died the last two days than died in the attack of pearl harbor and in the attacks of 9/11. but the president is so pathologically or i don't even know the right word, but incapable of tapping into that or even acknowledging it, but is running this very ham-fisted -- i guess eli's theory is a strategic leak that he's the one bullying the fda into approving
this tonight instead of tomorrow. >> we must really make sure we don't normalize this kind of bizarre insensitive behavior by the president. we're talking about over 3,000 americans dying a day. donald trump and i both lived in new york during 9/11, and we saw that many die in one day and how numbing that was and how a whole city and a whole nation, the whole world was numb. he is acting like 3,000 people dying a die is a non-issue, a day. and we must not let him bring us to a position where we think that is normal. to reduce it for him to tweet give donald trump credit, credit for what? not listening to the experts in january where you could have avoided a lot of this? we'll give you credit for being incompetent and for, in many ways, leading to the disaster and catastrophe we're dealing
with now. it is so insensitive and arrogant in its insensitivity that it is absolutely unthinkable that the man who could have avoided this and could have warned us and not misled us, that said it's going to be 15 people and it will go away and it didn't, now wants to get credit for trying to deal with something that has gone and escalated to the point of 3,000 people a day? the man who told us to put bleach in our arms? he wants us to give him credit? i think that we need to really focus on trying to solve the situation and bring it down because our loved ones are dying while this man in the white house is running around trying to take credit for something that he should have done his job and we would not be at this point. i'll give him credit for one of the biggest disasters in human history. >> i mean, dr. patel, the facts
bear out what the rev has saying. he's been at odds with the scientists, most publicly dr. fauci, but news reporting from eli and other reporters on the white house beat have suggested that dr. birx has been ostracized as well for hewing to the data. so it is an interesting moment to want to be associated with this scientific feat. but i want to pull in the reality of where we are right now and something that you said. you said this on this show, and i tried to put this into practice in my own life. it's harsh, you but it's a good way to protect your family, and i want to come back to it. you said, we have to act like everyone we come into contact with has covid, and we are going to have to make the kind of sacrifices beyond what we were asked to make in march and april. it's going to get worse unless we're willing to make severe restrictions of our own movement. i'm not just saying cancel your air tickets. i'm talking about not having
people over or going to someone's house for christmas and hanukkah. i want to unpack all this. but act like everyone you come in contact with has covid. the first time you said that, it was really jarring. but it just changes the distance you keep around yourself, having your child wear a mask, you know, even when you go to the park in case you might run into someone. because if you're thinking because of the way it's circulating in all of our states and all of our communities, it's certainly possible that someone doesn't know they have covid. so protect yourself as though they do. but talk about just the mind shift that's required to lift that way. >> yeah. it's an incredible mind shift. i've had to do it myself, and it's heartbreaking to tell your children that they can't have a play date. it's incredibly isolating, and so i've also tried to be mindful that even when i'm trying to avoid others, and i also am trying to find a way to meaningfully connect with other people because the fatigue is real. the depression is real. so we have to just substitute what normally would happen in an embrace or in kind of having a
smile because you can't see it under a mask as easily, you have to find ways to do it differently. and that can come in a number of forms. but be clear. i mean you're right, dr. birx has been silent. i'll give dr. redfield credit. he said we are going to continue to see deaths that equal kind of mass catastrophes every single day. so you have to really act like your life depends on it. and i'm hoping that people will take that to heart going into the holiday season. and we didn't have to be here. the reverend is right. we did not have to be at the stage we are at, but it is where we are at, and we have to do everything possible to protect ourselves and our loved ones. if any of you know people who are planning on inviting or visiting people that are at higher risk from dying from covid of a certain age, chronic conditions, people who live in nursing homes, try to find ways to meaningfully engage with them without getting them into high-risk situations.
we have to decrease our contacts, and i would say anything over the next several weeks that you were planning to do that involved going to a restaurant, going someplace even to have a cup of coffee, just think about your movements and how you can minimize interactions but still support small businesses, still support the restaurants that need financial support, and do everything possible to protect the ones you love. >> i mean can i ask you just bluntly, like for how long? i mean for how long do you think we have to live like that? >> yeah, it's -- i do think that until we start to see the numbers come down, and then even past that. unfortunately we are not going to have enough of the population vaccinated until probably -- i'm being a little more cautious in my estimate, and i'm trying to say that we might get to 70% of the population getting vaccine or having been infected by the summer, kind of may/june timeframe. so, nicolle, the world as we know it, until that time, at
least through the holidays and this darkest period of kind of january, we are going to have to act like this because of the numbers, because of the threat of hospitalization. and then i do hope that after january -- and we will see tens of millions of people having had the vaccines already in their first doses, and then we will understand how we can get out of this, and you and i can talk in months about having been vaccinated, still wearing masks but then in a year, i am looking forward to having a holiday season where i hug everybody i know as tight as possible, and i do think that's within reach. i do. >> gives me a lump in my throat. eli, dr. patel made an important point, important for all of us to keep in mind. it didn't have to be this way. let me show you some of donald trump's greatest hits at contribu contradicting the scientists and experts. >> a lot of people don't want to
wear masks. a lot of people think the masks aren't good. >> who are those people? >> i'll tell you who those people are. waiters. >> i'm not going to comment directly about the president, but i am going to comment as the cdc director that face masks, these face masks, are the most important powerful public health tool we have, and i will continue to appeal for all americans, all individuals in our country, to embrace these face coverings. we have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense. i might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against covid than when i take a covid vaccine. >> so, eli, imagine for a second -- close your eyes if you have to -- having a president that isn't constantly undermining and contradicting and putting out through his bullhorn, which far exceeds the bullhorns of the head of the cdc or fauci or birx or anybody else, contradictory information. i mean we're about to have a
president who agrees with that statement, that masks are the single most effective public health tool we've got right now. >> right. you don't have to work too hard to imagine that because you can just rewind an hour to joe biden onstage in wilmington, and he unlike donald trump was talking about the catastrophic death toll. his words were "we are in the teeth of this crisis right now." he is delivering a sober message to the country that it's going to be a long few months until maybe we're through the worst of this. and it just is so -- so clear of a contrast from what we've heard from president trump. so, yes, that will be the new reality of the presidency come january 20th. but biden -- you know, all those statements that the president made going back to january and february when he said, oh, it's just going to disappear, and all the sort of hedging about masks and all the criticism of democratic officials and people who wanted to keep the economy down, turning this into an either/or rather than rallying
acount the country around measures backed by scientists, all of those things have taken root in this country. so the country that joe biden inherits will not uniformly look at those clips of president trump and think to themselves what lunacy. they have internalized a lot of his own beliefs about mask wearing, about democratic politicians. and joe biden has a very tall task ahead of him, getting a republican senate and a very divided american public that lives in these hermetically sealed media worlds to all pull together and agree to the public steps that, you know, maybe the current cdc director articulated very clearly in september, but that have just been, again, just like the vaccine distribution, polluted with politics for months. and that is going to make the president-elect's job very difficult. >> rev, there's a lot of skepticism on different points in the ideological spectrum and
especially in the african-american community. will you get a vaccine, and will you do it publicly to help inspire confidence if the biden administration asks for that kind of help? >> if -- if is proven to be safe, i would. and i have been convening conferences, virtual conferences with civil rights leaders and ministers around the country saying that we need to set a place that we think will convince that it is, in fact, safe. and then we all ought to set an example. i'd like to see a national day where influencers stand up in the community and do it once we're convinced. i think that is the task we must take on with president biden and vice president harris once we're convinced ourselves. we're talking about saving the very lives of people. there was a report cdc had talking about the disproportionate impact on the
african-american community and other communities of color. so we have a responsibility to not duck the issue but face it head-on. and the way to do that is it believe it ourselves when this vaccine comes out that this, in fact, is good, and then go out against the cynicism and say that risking our lives is not an option by not doing whatever we need to do to combat this virus. that's not an option. and those are what influencers must use. >> would you be convinced if the fda approved the pfizer vaccine and tony fauci said it was safe and the three former presidents who said they would get vaccinated at that point got it and the president-elect got it. would that convince you that it was safe? >> i think the fda and dr. fauci have a lot of credibility. there are some doctors that have been on the commission that -- or the group that biden has put on and black doctors, and i think if all of them signed off
on it, that would give me great comfort, and i would move forward. but, again, i think people need to understand that it's not out of anywhere a lot of people, particularly in the african-american community, are skeptical as given history. but we must deal with the precedent and deal with it with confidence and know why people have this skeptskepticism. we're talking about over 3,000 deaths a day. this is the reality right now. >> rev, thank you for your frank answers there. it's a really important part of this conversation. dr. kavita patel, eli stokols, thanks to both of you so much for starting us off today. when we come back, president-elect joe biden introducing more of his new team today, building a team of familiar faces to him and stressing that they are the ones to held build this country back up again. and there's still a chance that congress can break for the holidays without securing one single dollar for all of the
americans struggling through this extraordinary year of tragedy, unable to pay rent or put food on their tables. plus the person who is spearheading that lawsuit to overthrow a legal election has found himself in a bit of his own legal hot water. we'll look at that story and if maybe it could have possibly come in his meeting with trump yesterday. all those stories still coming up. don't go anywhere. ♪ ♪ you're all, you're all i need ♪ ♪ you're all, you're all i need ♪ ♪ as long as i got you then baby ♪ ♪ you know that you've got me, oh! yea...♪ ♪ with sweet potato fries. eating a falafel wrap ♪ you know that you've got me, oh! yea...♪ (doorbell rings) thanks! splitsies? ♪
american history. some of them are familiar faces. some are new in their roles. all are facing new circumstances and challenges. that's a good thing. they bring deep experience and bold new thinking. above all, they know how government should and can work for all americans. >> that was president-elect joe biden today formally introducing five of his latest picks for his new administration. with exactly 40 days left, i don't know why that makes me smile, until inauguration, and biden's team almost complete save for a handful of picks, a clear picture is emerging of the next administration. it's a team whose careers add up to decades and decades of experience in government, many of them with strong and long personal relationships with the president-elect. joining our conversation is jonathan lemire with the associated press, who is covering team biden today. and errin haines, editor at large of the 19th, both msnbc
contributors. jonathan, you are very much on the job in a moving vehicle. where are you going? what are you doing? >> hi, nicolle. we just left the event at the queen theater in wilmington. we're heading back towards the biden riz dense now. we saw a furthering of what the president-elect is building from his team, which includes a lot of familiar faces. he stressed for a number, i believe three of the appointees he introduced from the stage today, he stressed how long he had known them. they were good friends. denis mcdonough, former white house chief of staff, who now he has named to run the veterans affairs department. we have susan rice, who is former national security adviser under president obama, who now will be part of the domestic policy leadership team. and of course tom vilsack, who was once secretary of agriculture and now again will be secretary of agriculture in the biden administration. he spoke starkly about the challenges ahead, and a sharp
contrast from the politics we're hearing from the white house about the coronavirus vaccine when instead biden opened his remarks talking about the staggering death toll. 3,000 a day, american lives lost to this virus and how it requires really leadership, real presidential leadership. and while trump was not mentioned by name, it was clear he was suggesting the current president is not doing that. >> well, errin hanes, i don't think even the current president was say he was doing that. he just rage-tweets about an election he lost and today threatened to fire the head of the fda if he didn't approve the vaccine tonight instead of tomorrow. i mean i think that this country is in store for one of the most abrupt transfers of presidents in our country's history. i mean and i'm thinking president obama disagreed with former president bush on just about every policy, foreign and domestic, but it was a smooth --
you know, there was no lag in terms of getting one president's policies sort of sewn up and handed over to the other. this is a white house that has basically gone awol from the fight against covid. they haven't addressed the loss of 3,000 lives yesterday or the day before. and other than bullying republicans in congress, not that that's an excuse for any of their conduct, and bullying the fda, it's not clear that there's anyone doing any leading in the trump administration. >> yeah, nicolle. and i have to say i'm a little distracted there by jonathan, who my former a.p. colleague, you know, we at the a.p. do love a good dateline, so on the bus is definitely among -- i got to give you your props for that visual, my friend. but, no, nicolle, look, to your point, you're right. as you were saying just a few minutes ago, 40 days from now,
governing at the highest levels in our country is going to look very different than it does now. part of what you get with a peaceful transfer of power is a kind of getting ready for that transfer of power, right? you know, and understanding from, you know, the outgoing administration to the incoming administration that the baton is about to be passed. that is not what this moment feels like in our country because you have, you know, the president saying openly, you know, whether it's at a holiday party or at one of his rallies, you know, that he won the election, or on twitter. he is still asserting that. he's still, you know, trying to assert that in courtrooms although he has not been able to do that with very much success. so, you know, because that is the dynamic, it probably will feel like quite a jolt, you know, from january 19th to january 20th. just the way that our government has been operating and the way that it will be operating after
that day is going to feel very, very different. and it's going to kind of come all at once depending on how long the president continues, you know, with his current kind of pattern of operating in his final days in office. >> jonathan lemire, on the bus -- i'm never going to get that out of my mind. i feel like leslie jones' head will explode when she sees this one. i want to ask you about this "time" cover, not just because it's a big deal that president-elect joe biden and vice president-elect kamala harris are "time" magazine's people of the year. it's impactful culturally. a lot of people talked about the health care workers being in line. but it's a marker that matters a whole lot to donald trump, so much that he made a bunch of fake covers of himself on the cover of "time." and i want to show you some of the president-elect and the vice president-elect talking about each other as part of this coverage.
>> i looked for someone who if, in fact, something happened to me, i knew they could take over. that's kamala. look, she is straight as an arrow. she is really, really bright. she is tough, but yet she has a heart that understands what it's like to be on the other side of prejudice. >> he understands that we have different life experiences, and i think that's what makes ours a very full and very robust partnership. >> jonathan lemire, you know, again, just talking about contrasts and going from the 19th to the 20th, i mean the most redeeming quality of mike pence in donald trump's eyes is his blind loyalty and servitude to everything he says and does. and i'm not sure anymore other than fear what drives mike pence's public statements about donald trump. but it is such a change in the dynamic. i mean with trump, there's
always such a -- there's a daily measure of the degrees of loyalty that have been paid, and pence always seemed to try to make every effort to race to the top. this looks like a real partnership, just another contrast. >> well, first of all, nicolle, you'll be happy to know we're off the highway. that should help with the live shot here. but you're right. >> i love the shot. >> very few people on the planet probably spend more time thinking about the "time" person of the year award than donald trump, who of course as you noted, installed fake covers at at least one of his country clubs in bedminster, new jersey. we saw on twitter this morning he was not particularly happy to not receive that honor this time around. but you're right about the partnership here. it was telling this was a biden/harris joint victory because they do seem to be sending out the message that they will be a team, a united front, when no one would suggest that is the case in the white house, the current white house,
where certainly mike pence is going to follow whatever president trump says. and we saw pence yesterday in georgia campaigning for the senate runoff elections there as the republicans try to keep control of that chamber of congress. we have heard from pence -- one thing we have not heard from pence, in fact, is the same sort of rhetoric about the fraudulent election, these baseless claims of election fraud. >> mm-hmm. >> that is something that pence has not gone all the way with trump. and otherwise he also hasn't bucked with him either. he has not been a dissenting voice in the room. in fact, people close to the vice president are anxious. he himself of course is eyeing a 2024 presidential run. that's a lot hard to do if president trump is freezing the field with talk of his own candidacy. >> i bet my last dollar that there are at least a few packing boxes in the naval observatory. jonathan lemire, we are going to leave you on the bus, but this is one of my most favorite live shot locations. errin and i are going to stay on
solid ground a few more minutes. up next for us, a long delayed round of pandemic relief should be a no-brainer, right? no. lawmakers on capitol hill appear to be unable to reach a deal, any deal, to help the millions of americans simply trying to get by. and if you're looking . we made usaa insurance
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first time just last week, millions are also forming long lines at drive-through food banks around the country, seeking help putting meals on the table. and thousands more are watching loved ones die or become sick every day from covid-19. and still the elected leaders in washington have made little actual progress in many months now toward providing more economic aid for any of them. a year-end deal looks even less likely with the house now adjourned until next week after mitch mcconnell's apparent lack of interest in an emerging bipartisan proposal. joining our conversation is chief national correspondent with "the new york times" magazine mark leibovich. errin is still with us. mark, why isn't there any political pressure on republicans to come back to the table? i mean this is not a partisan situation out in the country. if you look at the images of the food banks, which i find riveting, these are people who did not have food insecurity before the pandemic hit, and
they are now on hours-long lines to put food on the table. why are they not interested in helping people? >> i think you have to look at two factors here. the question is how badly does mitch mcconnell really want to do this? if you recall in early 2009, he was on record very early after the economic crisis and after obama first got in to say, look, we want to make him a one-term president. that is basically our priority. and, you know, helping juice the economy on the eve of him coming into the white house might actually not be something he wants to do despite the incredible need, the incredible bipartisan interest in doing it, and the incredible pain out there in the country, which is apparent. i think the other piece of this is the white house isn't involved. donald trump isn't remotely involved here, and he could be. he could create the political will certainly of the republican party by just, you know, saying something, doing something, tweeting something, getting minimally involved in the negotiations here. but right now, i mean, he has just taken up so much oxygen around the disputed election.
it seems to be the only thing he cares about. you would think also that this is the last impression he is going to leave in his term, if he's aware this term is about to end because, look, he could go out on a pretty high note. say a trillion dollar package or something like that even lower who juice his beloved stock market. it would usher in some kind of hope at the end of the year going into the inauguration, and, look, it would actually probably accrue very well to him. but he also at this moment, at least, doesn't seem interested. the dynamics seem to be shifting a momentum that is not amenable to a deal. >> you know, errin, the president-elect has put his capital and, you know, the prestige of his win when it's not a disputed election, donald trump disputing it does not make it so -- on the line by involving himself very much in the stimulus negotiations. let me sew you something he said in the last hour. >> it has to get done before they go home.
millions and millions of americans simply can't wait any longer. we shouldn't. we can't get bogged down in issues that don't help people. this relief package won't be the total answer even if it gets passed, but it's an important first step. >> errin, you know, we'll get to the substance of what's in the bill and what's holding it up in a second. but just in terms of what mark just detailed, that there's no incentive, no motivation, it speaks to a craven lack of empathy for what's going on in the country. but on the political point, mark's exactly right. there's a political argument that this is exactly what trump should do, and yet he doesn't. there's a political argument for the opposite. joe biden extending himself here when getting his cabinet confirmed looks like it could be a challenge. but he's sticking his neck out and involving himself that there are divisions on both sides of the aisle frankly. what do you think about that bet that he's making? >> well, i think that it's in
keeping with his other behavior in response to this pandemic as he prepares to take office in the next 40 days. what is he doing as he continues to, you know, have this transition team and stand up this administration? he, you know, has his covid task force. he's talking with frontline workers. vice president-elect harris talked just this week about how she had spoken with frontline workers and other americans who are being directly impacted by this pandemic. they're continuing to follow social distancing guidelines. you have dr. jill biden, you know, just this week putting together care packages with the defense secretary nominee, lloyd austin, and his wife, charlene. so i mean, you know, having this kind of modeling, keeping the pandemic front and center for americans, letting americans know that this is something that joe biden sees as his top priority from the day that he takes office and even before day one, i think is -- you know, it's no surprise that that is
also something -- a message that he is trying to take to congress even before he becomes the next occupant of the white house. >> mark, i didn't mean to tease your description of a disputed election. obviously we're coveraging driving under the influence who is disputing the result of the election. you covered john mccain before. you understand joe biden's role when he was in the senate and when he was president obama's vice president. what is he going to find different or changed from that body that he knew so well in your estimation on january 20th. >> yeah. i mean, you know, that's one of the sort of big $64,000 questions floating over everything. i mean what kind of partner will joe biden have in his old workplace, the u.s. senate? and what will the appetite be to actually return at least somewhat to the country over party, you know, philosophy and just sort of sensibility that john mccain brought with him, that biden took with him, that a
number of republicans who awere in the senate who are gone or on their way out would take with them. joe biden, i think, would love to work with someone over there. he has not had any sort of substantive discussions with leaders over there. it doesn't seem he's talked to anyone in the white house or the current white house. so i do think that the abrupt transition here is going to be on many levels. one is it's a physical transition. people are literally moving out of the their offices on the morning of january 20th. this happens very quickly. >> right. >> and add to this the pandemic prep and disinfecting places, i mean it's going to be very challenging. but the other thing is you just don't know what you're going to find when you get there both physically and, you know, what kind of partners you're going to have. >> nicolle, can i just add to that for a second because, you know, in joe biden's absence, in the years that he's been away from the senate, you know who
has been there? vice president-elect kamala harris, who is in the senate even as we speak and has had a front-low seat to the climate that exists in the senate and, you know, is probably, you know, giving joe biden quite an update on the senate that he, you know, may now be about to work with or not be able to work with, you know, based on the up-close view and involvement that she has had in trying to, you know, see how democrats can potentially work with republicans. she is somebody that has had direct experience with the exact players that he is going to have to attempt to reach out to and attempt to maybe restore bipartisanship with. if anybody knows the potential for that, i think this is another potential way in which she can be an asset to him. >> there's a perfect missing point to be made in this conversation, and errin, i think both on substance and
relationships there's the fist bump that was seen around the world with lindsey graham that suggests while she doesn't agree with lindsey graham's view of the world or even which way is up and which way is down, she does have relationships on both sides of the aisle as well as on substance. i think she's a champion of some legislation around food insecurity, one of the crises that doesn't get nearly enough attention in this country. errin haines, mark leibovich, thank you both for spending some time with us today. up next for us, the fbi serving a federal subpoena on the republican attorney general who is waging a war to help donald trump overthrow the election. a look at how serious his own legal troubles could be just as he opens up this very public and soon-to-fail case for his friend, the pardon-loving president.
ken paxton was not a national figure until this week. he's the republican attorney general from texas who filed the lawsuit seeking to overturn president-elect biden's wins in four battleground states. but he also happens to be under investigation himself by the fbi. the austin statesman reporting, quote, federal agents served one subpoena wednesday on the office of texas attorney general ken paxton in an ongoing investigation into allegations that paxton abused his authority by helping a friend and campaign donor. the reporting goes on, the issuance of a federal subpoena on a state agency and involving the state's top attorney is a
highly unusual move that likely would have required higher level of approval from the u.s. department of justice. the fbi visit to paxton, who now appears to have some very serious legal problems just happened to be the day before he went to the white house to meet with president trump. joining our conversation is tony, the investigative report who are broke the story and a senior reporter for the abc affiliate kvue. tell me what the theory of the case is here. donald trump loves his pardon power and this guy looks like he might need one and this lawsuit is donald trump's favorite fantasy right now. >> well, certainly, a theory that we're hearing not only in the ground here in texas but across the country at this point is that ken paxton is pursuing this case hoping to get some sort of pardon from president trump. keep in mind that ken paxton has not been charged by the fbi. the fbi is investigating him at
this point. but there is also conversation here in austin and really across the state about the extent to which a pardon would actually help ken paxton. he could potentially face state charges here in travis county, texas. we have a new district attorney who is taking office in january. and there is a lost conversation that even if a federal case gets sidelined, that that new district attorney may be interested in taking up state charges here in texas. >> what is the reception across the state of the lawsuit? i know in georgia one of the places that the attorney general there is suing to overturn, even republicans are up in arms calling it immoral and not legal, a lot of republicans in the senate saying the same thing and yet trump still has that grip on the trump base.
>> well, keep in mind that texas did not go blue during the presidential election. that is something that a lot of democrats here in texas had hoped for. but at the same time, it really depends on who you ask here in texas. even among some republicans, they see this as a waste of time, as an effort by ken paxton to curry favor with donald trump for whatever reason. but at the same time, as you could imagine, too, in a largely conservative state, there are people who were cheering ken paxton on and saying, no, he is doing the right thing by pursuing this. >> we appreciate your reporting on this case. and we will keep checking in on you. sadly, i think the story is going to be around for a few days longer. tony, thank you so much for spending some time with us. the next hour of "deadline: white house" starts after a quick break. don't go anywhere. we're just getting started. - [narrator] this is steve.
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that doesn't sound like a very republican argument to me. our position, my position, republicans believe that states are in charge of elections. and texas is a big state, but i don't know exactly why it has a right to tell four other states how to run their elections. so i'm having a hard time figuring out the basis for that lawsuit. >> hi, again, everyone. it is 5:00 in the east. it is not just you, and let me go one step further than republican senator lamar alexander did just there, donald trump's campaign to over turn the results of an election in which he lost now rests on a frankly insane legal argument from the texas attorney general who is asking the supreme court to throw out a whopping 10.4 million votes from four states. the bid is so ill-conceived that one election law expert call it's a masquerade as a lawsuit and the attorney general of pennsylvania called it a sad itious abuse of the process and
such a blatant assault on our democracy that no public servant in their right mind would go along with it. right. nearly two-thirds of the caucus has signed on a document backing that lawsuit. the insane one. 126 of them in total. 20 just in the last hour added their names including the top republican in the house of representatives, kevin mccarthy. let that sink in. 126 members of congress. we're putting their names up on the screen for you to read because they are 126 of your elected officials. they were just up and all of them were on the ballot and now actively involved in a bid to disenfranchise millions of voters, just like you and me. they appeared on some of the same ballots they're trying to toss out. michigan attorney general dana nestle put it this way. >> i believe that each and every one of them has violated their oaths of office and this is a
very shameful moment for us here in american history. no question about it. i believe that these individuals have sold their souls to support a man who stands for nothing and who could care less about anybody but himself. >> what would possess so many elected republicans to debase themselves by signing up for donald trump's coup atem tempt, our friends at the bulwark have an answer. because donald trump said so. this is the definition of an autocracy and once you understand that the gop itself has become an autocracy, it becomes easy to understand a lot of what is going on. an autocratic gop all in on donald trump's attempt to wreck our democracy is where we start this hour with our most favorite friends. former rnc chairman michael steele is here, also joining us former democratic congresswoman donna edwards. michael steele, i know we're ten
train stops past the prize, but where is the condemnation from anyone who wants to continue to say that they govern in a democracy. >> well, they're not governing in this democracy. they haven't been governing for a while now. they've ceded that. you're talking about a party that has no ideology morings that couldn't sit in a room to come up with a platform to decide and define for the country who we would be and what we would say to the country in this most previous election cycle. so, the realities are one of, you know, as the secretary of state said, what does donald trump want us to do, the only question we have is how high. and that is what we'll do. how high do you want us to jump? we'll jump. how low do you want us to go, we'll go. and this is probably the lowest
that any elected official could go, particularly as senator lamar alexander put it for a party that prides itself on the supporting the tenth amendment, state's rights, the individual decisions made by the states. if there is any inkling of anything saying anything remotely close to federalizing elections or having across the board standard for states to follow in federal elections, they're now advocating for just such a proposition because that is what it amounts to. they're saying we all agree that we should aggregate the vote of countless citizens in the last election because we don't like the result. that is autocratic and it is stupid and they are hurting themselves going forward with the public. >> so that is all the ideological and patriotic reasons that it is foolish and dangerous. but donna edwards, it is also
just rank stupidity and executed incompetently. this is a stupid coup. this is one that will fail. and people that have debased themselves as part of a failure. what is the sort of indictment to make sure that the republican party pays a political price for their what know seems like campaign to destroy the democracy itself? >> well, nicolle, the first thing that i did when i heard about the list is i decided to look at each individual name. and there were names on that list of people i disagreed with on policy when i was in congress, but they were not nut cases. and today what we see is a republican party filled with nut cases who are willing to throw away our democratic system. i mean, there is silly little concepts that get in the way like federalism and state's
rights they're willing to shove aside in order to stay in sync with the president of the united states who is executing a nut case strategy. and as you point out, it is not even being well executed. it would be one thing i suppose to lay out a case that could make its way up to the supreme court that was, you know, legitimate under our constitutional framework, but this one doesn't even pretend to do that. and so i don't know where the republican party goes after this. at one point i thought that maybe it could be rebuilt. and now i the whole thing just has to be thrown out. because there is no way that you come back from having debased democracy to then say you want to run on democratic principles. >> you know, michael steele, i think that despite the appetite to spend all of our energy and efforts focused on the new
administration, there isn't -- there should be people in the street protesting against the anti-democratic leaders of the republican party for this reason. you now have one of the two political parties in this country corrupted at the highest levels, they no longer are trying to hide that they are not representatives of the people because the people, every four years, get a chance to vote. ant that is what they're trying to throw away, the votes of people who sent all of them back. so it feels like it is gone beyond stupidity. it is gone beyond the slavishness to donald trump. it has reached a level of corruption that i am surprised hasn't disturbed more people. and i wonder what you think the dynamics are sort of pressing republican people into
complacency, into settling for this. >> that is a good question. but you know, i'm going to take it a little bit further. don't think it is just republican people. remember donald trump picked up almost 12 million more voters from 2016. so that means there were 12 million more americans who looked at last four years and said okay. republicans now are in a space where they picked up 11 house seats. despite everything that has been said and written and experienced over the last four years, especially in the last ten months with covid-19 rampaging our country, killing our citizens and worse than marie antonnette and the party sat there, well we picked up 11 seats. so that must be him, not us. so you have this disconnection here to the reality on the ground in many respects, that really goes to the fact that a
lot more people kind of bought into this and that is why the republican party is acting the way it is. it would be different had they lost 11 seats, not picked up. if they had lost the senate without question or doubt. and the white house. maybe that would have been that moment where it is like, oh, okay, we get it. but now this is why you have 126 members of congress signing on to this crazy act of supporting, you know -- undermining our democracy. >> what do you think the same republicans, i want to put their names up one more time, what would these people have done on this list that we're about to put up if hillary clinton had refused to concede and packed a moving van and driven down and started to move in in january of 2017? >> well, these people would pass out by now.
they'd be on the floor wailing and screaming and crying. if hillary clinton behaved one-tenth of the way donald trump has in the past four years, the republicans would be full of themselves, blow hards on the planet about hillary as they have been about hillary in a lot of things. but whether it comes to donald trump, somehow he gets the pass. somehow he is twisted them in such knots that they believe that if they dare to say anything that is going to be a negative tweet and that is going to be folks back at home screaming at them, well you're an elected official. folks are supposed to scream at you. that is part of the job. you get that with the job. so what are you afraid of? all of these folks in two years time will have to account before the country. not just their districts. but before the country. because what they are doing now is telling us that they no longer believe in the ideals of this nation, they no longer
believe in the democratic principles that gurd this nation and they're willing to circumvent the rule of law and the constitutional rights of citizens, particularly african-american citizens because this is targeted where black folks live. just put it out there because that is what it is. so all of you members of congress need to account to my community and communities around this country why you think their vote did not count in this election. >> and donna, in normal times and i guess that is the point of the story, these are not normal times, i just keep thinking of the bigotry of no expectations, no one expected donald trump to be anything other than autocratic and they sign on to a letter to aid him. but privately we're starting to hear some whispers of discontent. this is a tweet from myles taylor who worked in the trump
administration at the department of homeland security. he turned out to be anonymous and he tweeted this. gop hill staff texted me the below. quote, never thought my work would include trying to destroy democracy. privately they all say trump lost but publicly they're terrified of him. it is embarrassing. no staffer wants their name attached to this bleep show. -- at least one human knows what is happening. >> i think there are many more. when i hear senator pat toomey of pennsylvania say that it is unacceptable, and i think there will will be more. look, i want to point to the 80 million plus people who voted for joe biden and to the whatever -- the percentage is or section of those 70 some million who voted for donald trump who are not down with this program, you know, the fact is he lost, he's going to be gone and i think that what people are is
their exhausted and they're looking forward to and seeing a joe biden and a kamala harris and an administration that is going to stand up for democracy and democratic principles and is going to deal with the pressing problems facing the country. and michael, i wish there could be accountable in two years. unfortunately i do think so many of the districts are sooly drawn that, in fact, these members know there won't be accountability for them and that is why the american people have to step in and say that this is completely unacceptable in a democracy. and for kevin mccarthy, who thinks that he wants to one day be speaker of the house, you can't be speaker of the house under the constitution of the united states and sign on to a frivolous lawsuit like that, that undermines democracy. shameful. >> michael, do you want to respond to that? >> no.
i think she's exactly right. and the congresswoman has made my point. that is why i said, you know, they don't just get to account to their districts. tl they have to account to country. because this is a part of all of us. 126 of our national representatives, yes, elected locally, but nationally decide about who we are and how we govern ourselves have decided to throw out an election. because the guy at the top is pouting over his loss. and they don't have the you know what to stand up and say, dude, you lost. go home. go back to mar-a-lago. look, we'll come help you pack. but that is not what they're doing. they're hiding behind his skirts. and they're acting like petulantly children afraid of their own shadows. grow up, be the congressman and women who were elected to serve and represent the american people, excuse yourself or recuse yourself from this lawsuit, and get behind solving
covid-19 with the incoming administration. get your act together and decide to give the country more than $906 billion because you know they need that. balance the nation's budgets, handle the nation's business, and stop acting like little tru trumplets who can't figure out how to put on their own pants. this is dumb. grow up. we're tired of it. >> i don't know that there is anything better than could be said. go ahead, donna. >> i was going to say, agree. i mean, i think that america is going to move on with or without them. and these 126 members of congress, i just don't even -- i look at those names, i don't even know what to say about them any more and they come from state where's they wouldn't like to have their state's laws an rules abated by an unconstitutional action but yet here they are on that lawsuit. i'm embarrassed to look at those names.
those are not people who believe in democracy. they just aren't. >> some day we'll take the time to read through all of those names and as susan glasser said this is not a time to avert our gaze and we will not. they never avert their gaze and thank you both. when we return, we'll shed a light on why donald trump might be fighting so hard to cling so pathetically and desperately to his power. it could have a lot to do with the legal exposure he's likely face when the leaves the white house and one is picking up speed as we speak. and much more on the texas lawsuit. the attorney general of pennsylvania, one of the states the election results it seeks to nullify, throw out, will join us later in the hour. and with fda approval for fipfir coronavirus vaccine, the head of
even according to allies of donald trump's, one of the reasons given for why he's fighting so hard to overturn the election result is that he's afraid. very afraid. of the legal jeopardy that awaits him once he becomes a citizen again. legal jeopard like the probe into his finances and the finances of trump organization, a criminal investigation already underway in manhattan district
attorney cy vance's office which according to new reporting in the new york times is intensifying from the new reporting, state prosecutors in manhattan have interviewed several employees of president trump's bank and insurance broker in recent weeks according to people with knowledge of the matter. significantly escalating an investigation the president that he's power ms to stop. once he leaves office he still faces a potential threat of criminal charges that would be beyond the reach of federal pardons. joining our conversation, "new york times" business investigations editor david enrich is back. his by line is on the piece of reporter and the author of the book "dark towers." also joining us former u.s. attorney joyce vance. who has been along for all of the conversations about trump's legal troee veils. >> the manhattan de da. has been
conducting this investigation born out of the stormy daniels hush money payments during the 2016 campaign and what it has begun to focus on now it looks like the possibility that the trump organization in trying to get insurance coverage and loans committed fraud with deutsche bank and possibly with aon, the insurance brokerage and they're looking at the fact that trump in seeking these financial services, dramatically overstated the value of some of his assets. in deutsche bank case we understand that bankers were seeing the numbers that was presenting to them and writing down the value of the assets by as much as 70%. so there is -- it is an open investigation. we don't know whether there will be a find of criminality or criminal charges. but it certainly is something -- it is a very serious investigation. and it is seems to be
intensifying. >> so let me read another section of this on this topic specifically. you write employees at deutscha bank and aon could be important witnesses as two of mr. trump's oldest alleys and only the mainstream company ready to do regular business with him, they may offer information about the trump organization. because they too face legal and criminal exposure if they don't cooperate at this point because it has intensified? >> well, yeah. in aon's case, and deutsche bank has been subpoenaed and they have both are that are sitting on what investigates believes are reams and reams of evidence related to donald trump's finances which as we all know he has spent the past several years and succeeding in keeping very secret. so since the election the d.a. office has been summoning employees of the institutions to
come either testify to a grand jury or just be interviewed by prosecutors in the d.a.'s office. and this seems like it is still a fairly early stages an the investigators have not gotten far in the questioning but at least in deutsche bank's case, which the holder of more secrets than anyone when it comes to trump, they are anticipating there is a lot more to come. >> and just for people that aren't as steeped in all of the ways that he did business, i mean michael cohen brought it into pretty sharp relief when he testified before congress basicallyicly saying what you jufd just said, that he plussed his up or down when that was the goal but never told the truth. you tweeted this, one thing that is notable is that there is not a question about whether trump submitted financial documents to deutsche bank that includes very generous valuations but the dispute is whether that
constituted fraud. so it sounds like the investigation has gone on long enough that they have all of the documents in front of them. there is an assessment now in terms of where the investigation is as to whether or not that is intentional and are we back whether the intent was to defraud the banks. >> that seems to be the case. and my question is whether, and clearly the intent to get bigger, more generous loans and insurance coverage. there is no other reason why one would submit financial statements that dramatically overstate your net worth and the value of certain assets. there is not any question about that. i think the argument that we're beginning to hear that the trump side might make that, look, deutsche bank was a sophisticated financial institution and they knew that trump had a reputation and they frankly didn't trust the numbers he was providing so that is the case and deutsche bank wasn't duped, then where is the fraud.
>> joyce, we have been talking for four years about donald trump's close proximity to legal jeopa jeopardy. i want to show you something that happened on the "view" today. in her view she thinks he'll step down so pence could pardon him. it won't protect him from other investigations but could signal something about trump's own knowledge and concerns about his own guilt. let's watch. >> in all likelihood i suspect he'll pardon his family members, his children, his son-in-law and individuals in his administration. as well as some of his closest associates. and then i suspect that at some point in time he will step down and allow the vice president to pardon him. now, it is important to understand he is pardoned from federal crimes, but he is not pa parded from state crimes. >> that is from tuesday of this week. and i play that because folks on
the law enforcement side of the ledger, and the investigative side of the ledger and those in the trup organization, like michael cohen, there is know request about whether he has potential criminal exposure. his own alleys have described the fundraising effort as a grift to pay for his legal defense fund. where does that leave you in terms of your assessment of how donald trump's potentially criminal and illegal conduct should be treated once he's not the president? >> this is the issue i suppose that we'll face as a nation. the next attorney general will face and the district attorney generals in counties that have jurisdiction over some of the president's conduct will face. it seems at this point in time that there may be a -- assessments about his conduct while in office and perhaps the next attorney general will make an assessment much like eric holder did to let the country move forward. we really don't know the answer
to that yet. but what we're talking about here with the manhattan investigation has nothing to do with the president's time in office. this is purely about his financial conduct as a private citizen and he needs to be held accountable like any other person would be for that kind of conduct. so as in all white collar cases and as david points out, the real issue is never proving that the president or people around him engaged in the conduct that is being alleged, that the paper case, but whether you could prove that he intended to fraud depending on the allegations that emerge, that is where the real fight will take place. could you get into his head and prove what he intended to do. >> and robert mueller was never able to do that, never interviewed him. does he have the same protections in these cases, joyce? >> so you could never really
prove -- rarely do you get to prove intent dreirectly. you might get something on a wiretap or testify to a conversation, but usually it is circumstantial evidence that could come from the people around the defendant, it could come from paper, it could come from how they acted in reaction to other events. bob mueller treaded lightly in this area. he never actually got an interview with the president. but it is not completely out of the ballpark to avoid interviewing a defendant who does have a fifth amendment right. what didn't really happen in the mueller investigation was a full-court press on all fronts. and i think we'll see that now. both in the state cases, perhaps in federal cases where the unindicted cocon spooespirator liability and he won't be able to beg off of these interviews, nor will family members or those
close to him. they will have to submit to grand jury and interviews so long as they're not targets and potentially they subject themselves to perjury if they're not truthful. >> david, one last question for you as you wrote the book on deutsche bank. do you know of or pursuing any lines of reporting to find out whether anyone currently or formerly at the bank is seeking a pardon or at one of these preemptive pardons that donald trump is according to axios handing out in bulk? >> it is funny. that is a really good question and a really good idea and i have not thought about that but i should because certainly a lot of people have been -- might be in the market for a pardon these days. you never know. so thank you for the tip and i will look into it. >> i just think of the reporting that his criminal defense lawyer john dowd dangled pardons in front of manafort and flynn to
keep them quiet. now you see the investigations as they take form whether he's trial the same. donald trump doesn't have a lot of original moves so whether he's try to keep them quiet with a pardon. it is never boring. thank you so much for spending some time with us. when we come back, we'll talk to the attorney general of pennsylvania, one of the swing states that joe biden won decisively whose election results will be tossed out if the supreme court is ruling in favor of texas attorney general were to prevail and that lawsuit now backed by 126 republican members of congress. "deadline: white house" continues after a quick break. when a hailstorm hit, he needed his insurance to get it done right, right away. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa
in response to a texas gop petition to invalidate, wipe out election results across four battleground states, the attorney general for one of those states, pennsylvania, is basically say, over my dead body. as part of a supreme court brief josh shapiro called the effort a sad itious abuse of the text and nothing in the constitution supports the texas view that it could dictate in the manner in which four other states run their elections and nor it is grounded in any precedent. texas does not seek to have the court interpret the constitution so much as disregard it. joining us now attorney general josh shapiro. thank you so much for spending
some time to us. your response to the lawsuit garnered more reaction and coverage than the lawsuit itself. the lawsuit was seemed to be recognized as be ludicrous and foolish, republican counterpart in georgia, i think they called it morally and legally dubious. why do you think 126 republican members of congress signed on to its mission? >> well first off maybe my brief should have been much shorter and just said over my dead body and that does sum up how hard i'm going to work to protect the will of the people of pennsylvania. look, it is actually unbelievable that 17 other attorneys general and 120 some members of congress who swore an oath to the constitution of the united states would instead act as though they've sworn an oath to donald trump. there is no legal basis for this lawsuit that texas has filed.
it is without merit. it is procedurally flawed. and it is ludicrous, as you said. and the fact that so many republicans have gone along with it speaks volumes not about the legal filing from texas, but about the problems in the republican party and frankly the problems with the character of those individuals who have signed on to this. i said the other day and i'll repeat, i don't know if they need a surgeon to repair their spines or a psychiatrist to examine their heads but something is wrong with these people that they're willing to follow donald trump as far as he is trying to take them. >> well, i would add there is something wrong with us for thinking that there was a bottom. people who have covered donald trump and the republican parties total capitulation thought there would be a trip wire and i think a lot of people think it could have been a deadly pandemic or it could have been the killing
of george floyd or anything that happened to the country. but it appears that nothing ever happens to the country in the eyes of toefd today's gop, it happens to their guy, the leader donald trump. and to that end, just address the intellectual dishonesty and there are members of congress seeking to invalidate elections that return them to congress. >> right. right, nicolle. that is the most amazing thing of the 120 or so members of the house, i think seven or eight of them are from pennsylvania. i mean, they literally filed a brief in the united states supreme court saying their own elections should be invalidated which just speaks to their character flaws and speaks to this issue, this grip that donald trump has on them. look, i've said many times that this is an insignificant legal filing. it really is. and i think legal experts on the
left and right have backed me up on that. but this action of supporting something like this is not insignificant. and it is a cancer that exists in our country that is going to require all of us to do our part to repair. donald trump has left an extraordinary amount of damage in this country. and when he leaves on january 20th, as joe biden is sworn in as the next president, that destruction will still exist and it is going to take time to work that through. and i think that is what we're learning from this texas case and from these other circumstances where these individuals are literally willing to put donald trump before country. donald trump before the oath of office that they took. it is both sad and scary and it should be a wake-up call to everyone in this country that there is work to do. >> i want to just pick up on two things that you said. you used the word said itious
and scary. one of the things that scares me is that the lawsuits and i think the trump campaign, a lot took place in your state and you had to fight back and you won all of them. they've all been frivolous and without merit. the trump campaign has lost all of them. but a lot of trump supporters and because of the way they're covered on krerve media still have hope and i wonder if you're concerned about anything on the day that joe biden is sworn in because none of the legal efforts have merit. the life long republican in charge of protecting our elections said this was the most secure election in our country's history with no fraud. bill barr, the trumpiest of all trump, the attorney general said there was no fraud that would have changed the outcome of the election. and yet there is this whacky bonkers lawsuit that is giving hope to the 70 million people who voted for donald trump, false hope.
>> yeah. look, this whacky bonkers lawsuit as you call it and i think correctly, so this will be in the rearview mirror soon, within days if not hours. but the damage will continue. it used to be in this country where we would have serious disagreements over tax policy or health care policy or foreign policy. >> i miss those days. >> i miss those days too. that is the healthy part of our democracy. but right now we can't even agree on a basic set of facts in this country and that is something that donald trump is not only seizing on, he seems to take delight and glee in further dividing this nation even after he was rejected at the polls in a safe a a safe and secure election. we're going to be dealing with this for some time, whether people trusting a science behind a vaccine or believing something that is taught in schools and i think we have to get back as americans to a basic foundation, agreeing to a basic set of facts, so that we could then
return to the honest disagreements we could have over policy which strengthen our nation and allow us to move forward and perfect our union. >> i want to keep having that conversation because i think that people have, because of the ur urgent nature of the election and the unprecedented attacks on our democracy from the republican party and the president, i think there is a lot of work to do to get back to agreeing on a set of facts and i would love to enlist you in having that conversation with us if you're willing. >> i would love to, nicolle. one thing if i may just briefly and i know your probably running out of time here. in our brief we specifically asked the supreme court of the united states to send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse could never be replicated. we want to hear from the court that what is occurring here is beyond the pail, that it is in fact seditious, so whoever comes
next and whatever happens next, a clear signal is sent and that healing, that process that you and i are talking about could begin to take root and we could begin to move our nation forward. >> that is a really interesting idea and chief justice roberts seemed to be someone very aware of both this moment and the court's role in this. i'll be watching. pennsylvania attorney general josh shapiro, thank you so much for spending some time with us today. we're grateful. when we come back, the pfizer vaccine is on the way. but not before this country endures what is expected to be a very painful couple of months ahead. we'll talk to one of our most famous experts about how we'll get through it. "deadline: white house" continues after a quick break. e. ♪
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9/11 or we have at pearl harbor. as i said, this is a real going to be a real unfortunate loss of life. as all that we've had so far. >> a real unfortunate loss life for the next two to three months. that is cdc director robert redfield's dire warning about the tragedy that is worst today than it has ever been. yesterday more single day records. 3,110 people died from the coronavirus. and more than 229,000 people tested positive. hospitals are sounding at alarm about capacity with their record high of more than 107,000 covid patients filling beds across the country. so far more than 15.8 million americans have been sickened and more than 295,000 american lives have been lost. let's bring in board member and director for the center for infectious disease and research at the university of minnesota, one of our friends on this
topic, dr. michael osterholm. you warned us and me and viewers of the show in late october that is where we were heading and i wonder what we could do right now, if anything, to change the course we're on or is it a certainty that every day from 60 to 90 days we'll lose upwards of 3,000 americans? >> you know, there is good news. not only the vaccine is coming, but this is within our control. nicolle, if we as a country decide we're not going to swap air with all of our friends, neighbors and people we don't know, we could drive he's numbers down within the next two to three weeks. but we just haven't elected to do that. we saw what happened at thanksgiving where we're seeing the post surge and seeing many people who are infected and who are now dying. and i fear based on what we're seeing with estimates of you who is going to be traveling for christmas, and people getting together that we're going to see
the same thing all over again except now it is a surge upon a surge. so that is up to us. what do we want to do? >> what do we have the capacity to do? in terms of hospitals. if they're maxed out now, i think hospitals are between 90 to 100% capacity across the country, not in one region like it was in the spring in new york. but what happens to us if we don't make those better choices? >> well let's gijust take this very moment. in the time we're doing this interview ten or 12 people will die from covid-19 just in too time right now. and you're right, the hospitals are basically no longer capable of handling these cases in many locations and that is not just about covid-19. today is not a day you want to have a stroke or a heart attack or be in an automobile accident. so again i come back to the message we have to say over and over again, hold on. the vaccines are coming.
we do have light at the end of the tunnel. what we have to do is avoid a train derailment or for that matter a train wreck before we get to the end of the tunnel. and i somehow have to get that message across to all of our residents of this country and for that matter in that matter, the world. hold on or else, in fact, what we just talked about is going to happen. >> you know, one of the things that's confounded me and i've spent a lot of time talking about it is that we had in donald trump, someone who admitted to bob woodward that he intentionally misled the possible about the lethality of the virus, for a variety of reasons, because he did. there's been a crush of credible scientists and doctors, dr. fauci, dr. birx, people like yourself all over, and yet, and but, we are where you say we are because we haven't had the will to do things differently. what impact will a change of leadership have, or do you think the disinformation has so permeated the information
ecosystem? >> well, we have a challenge in terms of that. i have to acknowledge it's become so politicized. i have every hope that the incoming administration will use science as its currency for making decisions. that doesn't mean that the public itself will change how it's looking at this view. but we have to do is face the cold facts. you know, i worry, and i've been heavily criticized, and this is my own personal opinion, not that of the biden/harris group but i've been critical of the advice we're giving people for christmas holidays. you know, if we expect that we're going to get out of this without having a big increase in cases and acknowledge that we're going to have all kinds of new friends, family members who have not been bubbled up, gauquarantd for ten days to our house, i will guarantee you that grandpa or grandma won't be here for christmas next year. we have to get that kind of message out to people. this is our covid year. this is our covid christmas. not like last year, and i really
believe with vaccines it won't be like that next year. but this year, if you love your family, if you really care about your family, we won't have these get-togethers which i know will be difficult. they'll be very difficult. but we've got to start telling the public exactly, you know, you can't sugarcoat it anymore. it's all about human life. >> dr. michael osterholm, the fact you never sugarcoat it is exactly why your voice cuts through and why it's so important. i think a lot of us are wanting to make the sacrifice for the people in our lives but i think when you see other people ignoring it, it affirms their choices to hear you say it. thank you for your candor and spending some time with us. when we return, as we do every day, remembering lives well lived.
bloodiest conflict in the history of humankind. from a casualty perspective, it's a pearl harbor every 18 hours. the death toll in this country now more than 294,000 people. that's more than every man, woman and child living in the city of orlando, florida. 294,000 people. with that number, you could fill the 15 biggest nba arenas to capacity. if you ran one mile in honor of each victim, you'd travel far enough to circumvent the planet almost 12 times. but as we keep reminding ourselves here, the only thing more excruciating than visualizing how many moms, dads, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors, grandparents we've lost is taking a closer look at any one of them. 294,000 people. 294,000 stories. this is melinda rolig.
a talented, promising, caring young woman. a music major and an art teacher. one with a reputation for being a world class gift giver. store-bought, handmade, didn't matter. melinda was the best. in early november she developed a fever. her family says she initially hid the extent of her condition and avoided a trip to the hospital because she wasn't sure if insurance would cover the cost. her mom is a traveling nurse. when she went to check up on her daughter after a week away, she found her struggling to breathe. melinda died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital at the age of 37. now her family is left with the christmas gifts melinda had already bought and prepared. final, thoughtful, unwrapped messages from a truly special person who died way, way too soon. one of 294,000. we will be right back.
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thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. we are grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. >> thank you very much. i'm ari melber. welcome to a special edition of "the beat" featuring an extended interview with dr. anthony fauci. the renowned director of the federal government's institute of infectious diseases since 1984. he is speaking out tonight, the very night the federal government is on track to approve america's first covid vaccine. sending out trucks loaded with the shots to hospitals across the nation. this is big news, of course, for how this pandemic ends while also stoking life and death policy questions, like who goes first, who makes these tough calls? when can you get your vaccine dosage? dr. fauci will tackle these important questions tonight and speak on the challenges as covid, of course, is surging to these record-breaking
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