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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  December 20, 2020 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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and perfect for enhancing yoga and pilates. and safe for all fitness levels. get gym results at home in just 10 minutes a day. no expensive machines, no expensive memberships. get off the floor with aerotrainer. go to to get yours now. good day, everyone, from msnbc world headquarters here in new york, welcome to "weekends with alex witt." here's what's happening right now for you. we have some breaking news to share on capitol hill. any moment now congress could finally reach a deal on coronavirus relief. this morning both democrats and republicans expressing optimism after senior lawmakers overcame a major hurdle late last night. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell just last hour addressing this on the senate floor. >> i'm relieved that we appear
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to be just hours away from legislation that will finally do that. when we get this done, congress will not deserve any special praise. not with this relief having waited until late december. meantime at the white house after countless legal failures, the president is reportedly taking extreme and, in fact, unprecedented measures to try to overturn the election results. nbc news now confirming that they want to investigate allegations of fraud. but first at this hour a massive vaccine rollout is underway. millions of doses of moderna's covid vaccine are on the way to thousands of locations nationwide. officials expect those shots will start being administered tomorrow. let's start on capitol hill. nbc's leigh ann caldwell is joining me now. okay. it's the $900 billion question. what is the latest senator mcconnell has said that we're
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just hours away from a deal? do you think that time line's realistic? >> it does seem to be realistic, alex. the reason is, is because what is happening now is that leadership is talking about all of these issues with their members. we know that earlier in the afternoon treasury secretary steve mnuchin and kevin mccarthy had a conference call with their members going through the legislation. and house speaker nancy pelosi is on a conference call with her leadership team also going through the details of what is in this bill. because, let's be honest, alex, these members do not have a lot of time to digest a $900 billion bill combined with a $1.4 trillion government funding bill that they're going to have to vote on in just perhaps a few hours if things do come together as quickly as people are saying. and that is a really hard pill for some of these lawmakers to
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swallow not being able to read the details and go through the minutia of this legislation themselves having to take the word of their leaders. and so there is a lot of explaining that has to be done from leadership to their members about what is in this legislation. but people here are still optimistic that a deal is in reach and is going to happen very soon. let's play a clip of senator chris coons, a democrat from delaware and your conversation with him a little bit earlier. >> right now the very final text is being resolved, and then that will go to congressional offices. it is always the case here that any one senator who has some concern can slow us down. so, look, i am committed. many of us are committed to not leave until we get this deal done. that could stretch out a few more days. but every signal is that we have finally addressed every last issue, and we should finally be delivering this relief.
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>> so, you heard it. he said it quite well that they are working through every last issue explaining it to their members and preparing to release the text of legislation which we have not yet seen. >> i got to tell you i'm looking at all your very copious notes about what to expect, how it's going to go. the bill text being released, that is a big one. because that is very, very detailed and time consuming process. okay. thank you so much for keeping an eye on things for us. joining me right now msnbc contributor and washington anchor with bbc news and co-author of "the confidence code." and jeff mason, white house correspondent for reuters, good friends both, nice to see you. congress has not passed any relief bill since the c.a.r.e.s. act. that was like nine months ago now. any bill passed now won't have americans technically speaking
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until next year. can you describe the frustration right now that americans may have with lawmakers? >> it's enormous because we are facing a series of deadlines that mean that american people who are already suffering, the millions who are already suffering, things are about to get worse. the moratorium on evictions is about to be lifted. you could have the prospect of people being thrown out of their homes because they can't pay their rent because they can't get a job in the middle of winter. this is the holiday season, and people could be about to lose their home. so you've got that going on. you've got the fact that the unemployment benefits are about to disappear as well. that's also going to hurt people. you've got all of these things coming together at the same time that congress is unable and has been unable to offer people some relief. and if you are unemployed and you can't pay your rent and you can't pay your bills and you can't put food on the table, you are looking at washington and
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thinking, why is this so hard? i don't think people are thinking this is a republican problem or a democratic problem. they just need a check and they need it very fast before they're thrown out of their homes. >> absolutely. there seems to be just a horrific disconnect really between the population and their elected officials. it has been quite extraordinary to have to cover. jeff, we had the president tweeting last night that congress needs to get it done on a deal. but he says, rather, he has been on the sidelines for this entire process. has that been a benefit or a detriment to the negotiations? >> well, that's a good question. it's hard to say. his administration has obviously been involved in negotiations and critical to those negotiations. and he sort of had a standback role. he has indicated that he'd like to see a greater amount of money going out in stimulus checks. but that doesn't have enough support on capitol hill. so they've coalesced around the amount of $600 per person and
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also for children. but the president apparently interested in more than that based on what he has said in his tweets. but that hasn't had an impact. it's hard to say whethers that helped. he's been more focused on his attempts to overturn the results of the election than he has on the -- >> governing, absolutely. katty, both sides have agreed that this deal needs to get done. and yet it still took this long to reach an agreement. how does that bode for the incoming biden administration to work effectively and get things done? >> yeah. democrats' frustration is that they have proposed a bill that they think's helped people and they will say, well, the republicans are trying to put into that bill things that could hamper president-elect joe biden when he takes office and his ability to maneuver. i think it's that part of it
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that doesn't bode particularly well for relations post january the 20th between the biden administration and the republican administration. i do think that joe biden is coming in speaking to members of the transition team wanting to have effective government and has the potential in this particular environment of crisis to try to get some big win through particularly on things like infrastructure spending. we'll have to see whether mitch mcconnell, who has a better relationship with joe biden than he did with barack obama from all those years in the senate, is prepared to cooperate with the biden administration in order to get things done. >> but to that point i want to pick up on that tenor that you're describing and what jeff was just saying. mitch mcconnell reportedly urged his caucus not to object to the election results when congress meets in january. but we have incoming alabama senator tommy tuberville who's implied he's going to do just that. that could potentially force republicans to vote against president trump. how big a headache would that
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pose for mcconnell? what does that say about mcconnell's influence over his caucus? >> well, certainly to your first question, it's a big headache for mcconnell. and the fact that he's trying to prevent that from happening is telling particularly after he spent so many weeks not acknowledging the win of president-elect joe biden. it does show the extent of the control that president trump continues to have over the republican party, which isn't a surprise right now. but it also shows how much he's going to have in the future. and that's why it's a headache for mcconnell and for many other republicans who may be faced with that choice. >> okay. guys, stay right there if you don't mind because we're going to get a bit more on this as we go to the white house. that is where the president is considering using a controversial ally in his attempt to overturn the election. let's go to nbc's josh letterman. so what's going on there, josh? >> well, alex, the president is clinging to those voices in his orbit that are still maintaining some hope that this election is
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not over, that there is some chance for president trump to win another term. but as this process marches day by day closer to president-elect joe biden being inaugurated on january 20th, those voices are fewer and more and more extreme. and so now the folks that are still left in that bucket are people like sydney powell who just a few weeks ago was distanced from the president's legal team when she was floating conspiracy theories about a venezuelan intrusion in our election that were so far fetched that they were undermining what credibility the president's legal team had left. but now she is back according to reporting in the "new york times" it has now been confirmed by nbc news, she was in the white house on friday for a meeting with the president and his aides where the president discussed naming her as a special counsel to look into alleged voter fraud in this election. also included in that extraordinary meeting were folks like michael flynn who the president recently pardoned
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who's been talking about the president imposing martial law. the situation in this meeting getting so concerning that we are told by a person familiar with the meeting that at one point chief of staff mark meadows and white house counsel pat cipollone actually cut off the meeting because it was going in such an alarming direction. the other person in that meeting participating by phone was rudy giuliani who's been talking about seizing voting machines to inspect them for some type of evidence of being rigged. here's what the president had to say this morning when he called into rudy giuliani's radio show. >> rudy and his team and myself and a lot of other people and frankly millions of people all over the country, we have uncovered voter fraud. the greatest voter fraud in history. it's the most corrupt election this country's ever had by far. we've already found the answers. now we have to get the support from politicians. >> and when the president talks about politicians, he's referring to people like tommy tuberville, the incoming senator
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from alabama, the president disclosing that he spoke with him last night and a tuberville spokesman confirming that call took place as the incoming republican senator saying he may pose an election to the affirmation of that electoral college vote for joe biden when a joint session of congress meets on january 6th. >> that'll be one way to kick off his new job. okay. thank you very much. appreciate that, josh. let's bring back katty and jeff. i'd like to get a picture of what's going on inside the oval office. how did the notion of donald trump trying to appoint sydney powell go over? what exactly did the president say from what you know? >> i can't give you many more details than what josh just expertly went through. but i think it is worth underscoring how unusual and alarming it must be to the people who were there listening to it and to just people listening to this reporting now. roughly 30 days before a new president is slated to take
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over, we have the phrases martial law and the considerations that the president is apparently looking at for discussion in that room. >> you mentioned martial law. let's listen to now pardoned michael flynn who he also reportedly has given advice on that topic to the president. take a listen, everyone. >> within the swing states if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states and basically rerun an election in each of those states. there are people out there talking about martial law like it's something we've never done. martial law has been instituted 64 times. >> what goes through your mind, katty, when you hear that? >> michael flynn has spent his entire career dealing with america's national security. he was a general. he was the national security adviser.
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and he is talking in a way that is very damaging for america's national security at a time when the country is facing its biggest cyber attack ever. and we know from history, alex, that transitions are vulnerable times in american politics for transition periods in modern american history since carter and reagan have been times when there have been american national security chris crisis. america's adversaries know that these are difficult vulnerable times when national security teams are changing hands. and we are in one at the moment with this signer attack. and there is michael flynn undermining america's security by talking about martial law, by making it evident that this transition is particularly vulnerable. and of course america's adversaries are watching what is going on here politically and wondering if they can make some kind of benefit, get some benefit to themselves out of this moment when the president
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is distracted focused almost exclusively on whether he won or lost the election and on his grievance about that and not on the attacks that the country is facing. >> let's take a listen, and, jeff, i'll have you react on the other side to what utah senator mitt romney had to say. >> it's really sad in a lot of respects and embarrassing because the president could right now be writing the last chapter of this administration with a victory lap with regards to the vaccine. and instead he's leaving washington with a whole series of conspiracy theories and things that are so nutty and loopy that people are shaking their head wondering what in the world has gotten into this man. >> do you think, jeff, that this is something that many republicans, most people in fact think but in terms of republicans many are afraid to say? >> yes. and i think mitt romney has been sort of brave in terms of people in his party to be able to say
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things out loud that many others are just afraid of doing. and it's remarkable to say that given the fact that president trump did lose the election and mitt romney is a former presidential nominee for the republican party. but that is the state of play, and it goes back to our discussion earlier to the point that president trump continues to have so much sway over his party and potentially over many of these republican lawmakers in the future. >> well, i look forward to many more discussions with the both of you. guys, thank you so much. happy holidays. maybe i'll see you next weekend but certainly in the new year. the future of flying after the covid vaccine. will you need proof to board a plane or a flight anywhere? unli, unli, i now earn even more cash back? oh i got to tell everyone. hey, rita! you now earn 3% on dining, including takeout! bon appetit. hey kim, you now earn 5% on travel purchased through chase! way ahead of you! hey, neal! you can earn 3% at drugstores.
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we'rewelcome to a -wbetter way to live.s. ♪ welcome to my house the croods are coming home. kinda big, isn't it? that's the mirror. -sorry. and the world will never be the same. what is this? uh, we call that a window. window. dun, dun, dun. make it a croods family movie night with "the croods: a new age". go to now to the very latest on the coronavirus pandemic and the fight to slow its spread, thousands of doses of moderna vaccine are making their way across the country. the first shots are expected to
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be given as soon as tomorrow. more than 270,000 americans have already been vaccinated from health care workers to residents of long-term care facilities and some elected officials, nearly 8 million more doses will make their way to states this week. but the u.s. reports record-breaking new cases each and every day and hospitals in some states are running out of icu space. total cases nationwide approaching 18 million. although health officials are asking people to stay home this holiday season, airports are seeing an uptick in travelers willing to take the risk. nbc's scott cohn is joining me from san francisco. what can you tell us about the cdc guidelines for people who are planning to travel? >> reporter: alex, you said it. it's really supposed to be just essential travel. and you can see this is america's seventh busiest airport on the sunday before christmas. people do seem to be heeding that to some degree. they say that traffic today is about a quarter of what it would
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normally be. so some people are certainly heeding that. at the same time, there are plenty of people who still are traveling. so what they have done is tried to transform the airport to some degree. this they say was the first airport in the country to require masks universally. they're still giving away about 300 masks per day. they have the social distancing markers, they have the plexiglass. they have so-called ambassadors throughout the airport. this is for the people who are leaving through sfo. but at the same time people who are arriving, they're trying to get the word out that people coming into the bay area are supposed to be quarantining for ten days. >> the state of california in general has recommended quarantine, but now san francisco and santa clara counties actually mandate it. so that's very important to people -- for people to know. i guess the other way that we look at this is any time you travel, it's important to be well prepared.
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but especially traveling during a pandemic requires additional homework and preparation. >> there is no enforcement mechanism for that quarantine. so there are a list of questions that the centers for disease control has put out if you're still thinking about traveling this week. first of all are you or your family the people that you're visiting at increased risk? do you have other underlying conditions, for example? are cases high at the place that you are traveling to? how about the hospitals? are they overwhelmed with patients? we're hearing so much about that. are there restrictions locally on travel? have you had contact with people outside your household in the 14 days or so before traveling? and are you traveling by bus, train, or plane where it's difficult to social distance? the cdc says if the answers to any of those questions are yes, you really should reconsider your travel plans for this christmas holiday. a lot of people are dead set on
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traveling and so just be careful, wear your mask, social distance and the like. >> absolutely now is not the time to let down your guard. so thank you so much, scott, for that. well, during this turbulent time as the travel comes along, tens of thousands of airline workers are being furloughed. joining me now the president of the association of flight attendant cwa sarah nelson. sarah, good to see you once again. right now, as you know, we are waiting for the house to pass a relief package. you tweeted today that this is not stimulus. it's emergency relief. we are still in the middle of a raging pandemic, we have to get a true stimulus recovery in place next year. what will this relief package mean for the airline industry? >> well, this is going to be $15 billion for payroll support program. this is the exact program that we got in place in march. many people are confused about this. but we're 80% union in the airline industry. we actually had enough power to create a relief program that was workers first.
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so what it said was all of the money had to go to payroll support and benefits for the workers. there could be no fur loafers. it actually puts a cap on compensation after the year ends. and make sure that people stay in their jobs connected to their health care, able to pay taxes and pay back into our economy. so when that expired on september 30th, thousands -- tens of thousands of flight attendants and other aviation workers were furloughed. more went without a paycheck. and as you've talked with our friends, they lost their health care too. so this will get them back on the job, alex. this is going to be december through march 31st that people will be reconnected with their paychecks and their health care. and we're also going to have the people, planes, and routes in place to be able to distribute the vaccine. >> that's all great. but how quickly will this happen? you said december. we don't even have the vote passing this bill yet. i was speaking with senator coons of delaware earlier. he said there are a couple little glitches that may take
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yet a few more days. so we're talking realistically january. how is this affecting airline workers, those that have been furloughed who are looking at the holidays, that's not going to be delayed? >> the holidays are not going to be delayed. you're exactly right. and we've got to get this passed into law so that the airlines can get those paychecks out. airline workers are paid after the month the work is done or after the apay the acquired. for december we'll get paid in january. some of the airlines are going to try to get checks out the door sooner than that. but every day counts here. if congress gets this in place by tonight, there are some airlines that can get people their checks christmas eve. and i'm calling on congress right now to get it together and get this done today. >> absolutely. do you know when airline employees will get vaccinated? are they considered front line workers, given how closely they are in contact with passengers? >> we're also in contact with
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people on the flight. we are serving everyone on the plane. but think about the hotel van drivers who drive us to the hotel and the people we interact with at the hotel and where we need to go get something to eat. so we are more likely to spread the virus if we have it than almost anyone else. and that's one of the reasons that in addition to our health we are saying that we need to be at the top of the list for getting this vaccine for public health considerations. >> okay. we'll see if they take that to heart and put you guys in that place. what about the airline industry, the potential for making a vaccine having had a vaccine, a requirement in order to travel in the future? >> it's too early to say. there are other countries that may require this, and these are going to be things that we're going to have to have some place. the good news is that the airlines are planning for anything. we're having management systems to be able to deal with this. but really it's too soon to tell. what's really extraordinary is that we are going to have an administration that is going to put having a plan for
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coronavirus first. and we really have to eradicate the threat here, which is the pandemic, which is still raging right now. and we've got to have a clear plan for getting rid of it, containing it, and getting our economy recovered. and so i'm very hopeful for that especially as we're getting this emergency package in place to get us the strength to be able to fight for what we really need. >> one last question. that is this may not be particularly in your purview. but a lot of airlines are beginning to ease the blocking of middle seats. the cases are just surging across the country. have you heard anything about trying to re-implement that and keep that going for a little while longer? >> i think that we have to be really clear that on an airplane with people traveling, there's no way to properly socially distance. you can go to our website and look at all the layers of safety and security that we need to have some place in order to minimize the risk. and the truth is that we have not really had a confirmed case of spread of the virus on planes. it has been about the community
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spread. so we've got to get the virus contained. and we got to keep those layers of safety in place in airlines. the masks are most important. the service procedures so that we have less interaction between people between each other and the crew members, and the cleaning and the air filtration on the planes. and if we have all of those things in place, it's one of the most controlled environments outside of your control. >> sara nelson, let me just suggest that call you got during our interview was someone calling telling you you did a great job. happy holidays. so what is still at stake after a russian cyber attack hit multiple government agencies and why the president is continuing to finger point at china, even against the word of his own cabinet? ♪ you can count on me ♪ i'll be home for christmas
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♪ if only in my dreams ♪
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for the president to be once again so deceitful to essentially through twitter give a statement that putin could not have said better himself casting doubt on attribution.
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it just underlines our deterrent for what the russians do and it's an eerie echo of the president's utter deceit when he also suggested when the russians hacked the elections in 2016 that that might've been china. >> part of my conversation with congressman adam schiff on president trump's response to the massive cyber attack that infiltrated dozens of government agencies. the president breaking his silence on the hack yesterday pointing fingers at china and directly contradicting his own secretary of state who says russia is the one to blame. joining me now elizabeth newman, former department of homeland security assistant secretary for threat prevention and security. and the managing director of the cyber readiness institute. ladies, thank you so much for being here. elizabeth, first to you. what do you make of the president's reaction? first of all he was silent for days. and then once pompeo came out and said russia did it, he goes out and says, well, china might be to blame. is there any credibility to that? >> no, of course not.
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and it doesn't surprise me at all. this is what we've come to expect of the president. there is something there that we don't know that makes him either susceptible to wanting to kowtow to putin. he's compromised in some way. numerous people have asserted this. it's just the latest example. i think the only reason i kind of brush it aside at this point is because there's only about a month left where he gets to wreak havoc with our system, and the people in government know this. the biden administration is looking into this, and putin will have to be dealing with this pretty soon here once biden is inaugurated and he doesn't get to have trump cover for him anymore. >> well, that's true. let's take a listen to what senator romney said this morning on "meet the press." >> you can bring a country to its knees if people don't have
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electricity, don't have water and can't communicate. what russia appears to have done is put themselves in our system. they don't need rockets to take us out. they potentially have the capability to take out all of those things and doing it remotely at very small cost. >> listen to put that in perspective, it's like they could wage war on us without ever dropping a bomb if you think about it that way. what are your thoughts on the gravity of this cyber attack and just what might be at stake here how wide ranging is it? >> alex, thanks for having me on. and i think that's the question, it's really the range. at this point we don't know, but it's important that we anticipate what is happening. and so what we do know is that our networks are compromised, that we are identifying it as cyber espionage. but the challenge with cyber espionage and signer attacks right now is that they are espionage right up until the point that malware that was put on a network is activated to destroy our infrastructure.
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so we are really in this gray area, and this is a big challenge that we've had with cybersecurity in. 2016 i was executive director of president obama's commission on cybersecurity. and we were grappling with this definition, how do you define cyber war, what warrants a response and how much? and we're still grappling with this. but what we absolutely know is that a response of some kind is warranted, and it's a greater question about how we defend and how we engage in tactics to respond to this type of attack. >> elizabeth, it seems like your thoughts that you just expressed and those of senator romney are mirroring one another to a certain degree. he did have this to say though. take a listen. >> the president has a blind spot when it comes to russia. and so you can expect that that's the response that he would have. what it underscores is russia acts with impunity with regards to these cyber attacks because they don't think we have the capacity to respond in like measure. they also recognize that our defense is inadequate. >> what do you make of that,
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that russia thinks we don't have the capacity to respond and that our defense is inadequate? >> look, the concept of deterrence which kirsten was just referencing is so critical when it comes to our adversaries and especially in cyber space. and there was a commission that put out a report after a year of looking into what does the government need to do to strengthen our cybersecurity. they point-blank said we are dangerously vulnerable when it comes to our systems and how networked and reliant the u.s. is on technology. and they advocated for a strategy of layered deterrents. and there are a lot of aspects that go into deterrents, but certainly attribution and condemnation of hostile acts like what russia has done is an important part of deterrence. so, for the president to not be willing to condemn these actions
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is hurtful. and of course we watched what happened in 2016 with our election. we've watched russia do any number of acts, not necessarily cyber related. and the u.s. for years has not responded under trump. and now we have a new president that's going to be coming onto the stage. and i have every assurance that the biden administration will rightly condemn and start that process of building a layered deterrence approach which will make us more secure. >> okay. more secure with what biden administration has planned. but, kirsten, how did something like this happen? how did it go undetected as far back as, speculation is march is when this began. >> it's a great question, alex. and actually it looks like they sort of laid the groundwork in october of 2019, and then they started to implement in march of this year. and the issue is that we had sensors on our network to detect what we know.
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but the novel nature of these athatting abouts of these tools, these intelligences, we were not prepared for them. and so when we look to what happens for the future, we absolutely have to upgrade our tools, we have to upgrade our detection capabilities to not just detect what we know but to be able to anticipate what we don't know. we can't let the innovation of our adversary outwit us, which is what happened. >> but when security agencies are saying this threat's ongoing, what does that mean? does it mean the worst is yet to come? how use do you see this ending? >> we don't know. with any type of attack, it's sort of like a hurricane. we're in this response and recovery, except the challenge is that we're still figuring out the breadth of this. we don't know if something more significant is going to happen. and it's very hard to remediate on systems that we continue to need to use for operations and government functions. so it is a very challenging time that we're about to confront and figuring out the breadth of this, where it is on our networks and how do we keep
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operating while we're remediating. >> thank you, ladies, for sharing your vigilance. restaurants across the country are hurting big time because of lockdowns. in new york alone an estimated projection about half of those 24,000 restaurants in the city may close next year. a new ambitious project to save restaurants and the struggling small businesses around us. roun. you inspired us to make your humira experience even better... with humira citrate-free. it has the same effectiveness you know and trust, but we removed the citrate buffers, there's less liquid, and a thinner needle... with less pain immediately following injection. ask your doctor about humira citrate-free. and you can use your co-pay card to pay as little as $5 a month. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections,... ...including tuberculosis, and cancers,
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well, with christmas just days away, new insight now into how many small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. in new york city alone, one-third of all local shops might never reopen due to the pandemic. i'm joined right now by my colleague who is in the bronx in new york there. cory, let's get to the latest from business owners what they're telling you about their ability to survive. >> yeah. and one of the key factors of that, alex, is actually having in-person customers. that is especially important in this community. we're here at the bronx night market, now the bronx holiday market. this is basically it. it used to be much bigger. in fact, it would span pre-pandemic days this entire area. you'd get five times the amount of vendors and five times the amount of customers. one of the organizers and founders tell me that they have had an 80% drop.
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so in a typical 5,000 customer tay during their normal times of running this, they only get about a thousand customers. this is not normally here during the holiday. one of the founders told me that the reason that they opened up during the holiday is because they got word from their local businesses in this community that they need holiday sales inin order to survive. they're cheerful and hopeful that these sales can come up. listen to what one of them told me. >> i think people really want to try and find some new normal, and it is a holiday season, so i'm not surprised seeing people walk around. they're doing a great job in kind of keeping the crowd controlled and people are just kind of leisurely coming by. >> you mentioned that a third of these businesses likely won't survive. and, alex, 75% of businesses not just here in new york but nationwide say they need holiday sales to return to some normalcy if they're going to survive into 2021. >> she's trying to be optimistic
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but it's heartbreaking to listen to. but thank you nonetheless. restaurants as we know in particular, they are facing a dire situation. in fact a survey by the national restaurant association says more than 110,000 restaurants have closed permanently or long-term across this country. joining me now is marcus lemonis, host of cnbc's upcoming series "the profit." got to tell you, marcus, i can see you nodding when i was talking about how heartbreaking this whole thing is. 110,000, it's stunning. do you think the scope of the pandemic's impact could be even bigger than the survey suggests? >> well, i think the 110,000 number to be totally honest with you assumes that everybody's registered in this coalition. there's a lot of people that have small restaurants that we don't even know exist in the marketplace. and when you look at what's happening and i was watching cori out on the street, we're
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sending mixed messages to people that we want them to stay home, it's definitely people over profit. but these restaurants i think are at the top of the waterfall of who's being affected through all of this. a lot of other businesses can pivot. they can sell things online, there's a variety of other ways to generate revenue. these restaurants don't have that same ability. >> and considering all the employees and suppliers and deliveries and everything that goes with that. there's more pain that could be certainly ahead from coast to coast. we know new york city the indoor dining is shutting down north carolina aprcalifornia indoor a outdoor dining. takeout only. how long can these businesses survive? >> the domino effects are going to be much bigger. the commercial real estate market is going to be totally devastated as these restaurants close and these landlords try to backfill that. all of us are in the mindset of
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the giving mode. come the 26th of december and on january 8th and on january 19th when it's cold and it's quiet and the lights come down, that's when you're going to see the greatest impact hit if funds don't start to flow. and this idea that the ppp process is just going to be triggered back up again. i know you heard from a number of people, and stephanie talks about it all the time as well. that process wasn't easy. while it even hasn't been approved yet, when is the money going to show up, after payroll's due, after the rent is due? >> so what can be done to help these businesses get to the other side of this? this relief bill you're talking about, congress is working on it. they expect to pass it. we're just going to assume for this conversation that they are going to pass it. but that's not enough, right? >> it's probably not enough because i don't think that anybody's really sat down with specific restaurant owners to understand the different levels of problems that exist. so as citizens like myself and there's a ton of people out there doing this are doing what they can to try to drive as much
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revenue through these businesses. and about a month ago my wife and i came up with a program called plate of change. and all we're trying to do is solve two problems. one, drive revenue. >> it is it only two million. we are talking about billiops, if not a trillion that needs to go in the market place. without needing a impacted.
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there are some businesses impacted, but less impacted. restaurants, salons, gyms, those types of places, have been totally wiped out. nobody is arguing at least i am not, just to open them back up. it puts people at risk. what we are arguing for is a thoughtful process. i have a place in california, i am trying to figure out how eating at a picnic table outside 10 feet apart is a problem. >> i am curious if you have concerns. you mentioned dates in january. january doll drums, winter doll drums, people don't typically go out to restaurants, pick up when, valentine's day. there is a drought. what is the advice for survival there? >> what we see during the holidays are corporate events. those are not happening. when we get into january, if we
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don't have funds flowing through local restaurants by no later than the first week of january, the owners are going to throw the keys on the table. you will have an employment problem, and the vendors, suppliers that aren't able to be paid. it is a domino effect that is massive. >> restaurant, all they bring in the culture of this country. family members. >> birthday parties, anniversaries, everything we can think of. wiped out. >> keep on keeping on, is what i have to say to you, my friend. >> for all of you, watch any episode of "the prophet." check out the new stream. and meantime, we are waiting for official word of a deal for covid relief.
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