tv Morning Joe MSNBC July 21, 2021 3:00am-6:00am PDT
room, runs out of time, to say one word, that one word, democrat. >> mike allen, thank you so much for that great reporting. and thank you all for getting up way too early with us on this wednesday morning. mike barnicle, sorry, we ran out of time. "morning joe" starts right now. tom brady is a very good friend of mine. he's a great guy, for those of you who don't know him. he's an honorable guy and truly great athlete. he's a great friend of mine. i spoke to him a little while ago. he's so thrilled and so happy. >> that might not be what donald trump is saying now after brady cracked a joke at the white house about the former president's false claims. we'll show you what brady said straight ahead. this is the kind of stuff that really bugs trump, and speaking of sports, the biggest hurdle for athletes at the olympics may be avoiding covid. it's already hitting the games
in tokyo, and vulnerable communities here at home. and back to the former guy, one of donald trump's close friends busted by the feds and it goes straight back to what was happening inside the trump administration. we'll get to that developing legal story in just a moment, and a lot more on this wednesday, july 21st, but first, willie, let's begin with the very latest on the virus. >> good morning, mika, the dangerous, highly contagious delta variant as of this morning was responsible for 83% of new covid infections, a full seven months after the first highly effective vaccine became available in this country. hospitals are inundated with a surge of patients who are very sick, and the number of cases is climbing across the country. this latest wave is impacting the most vulnerable states and communities that have low vaccination rates. in a moment, nbc's gabe gutierrez will report from louisiana on why people are
deciding not to get the shot. first, miguel almaguer with the latest numbers. >> inside a growing number of hospitals across the country, there is little doubt our nation has already entered a fourth wave, an explosive summer surge in covid cases few predicted, fueled by the highly contagious delta variant, accounting for 83% of new cases. the u.s. is averaging 26,000 new infections a day, over 1,000 an hour. >> the reason it's so formidable is the fact that it has the capability of transmitting efficiently from human to human in an extraordinary matter. >> on capitol hill, the nation's top pandemic doctors say it's the unvaccinated accelerating the pandemic as deaths skyrocket by nearly 50%. >> we have things open at 100%, nobody is wearing masks. >> reporter: with the highest infection rates in the nation, states like missouri, arkansas
have hospital vaccination centers that empty and hospitals are full. >> how concerned are you that children will be at the next surge in the fall? >> there's that concern. >> reporter: at the university of alabama birmingham, the pediatric care unit was nearly forced to shut down after a flood of children suffering from respiratory viruses that usually spike and spread in the winter. cases of rsv are surging as restrictions loosen and more children gather together, the same way covid came. >> be smart, be safe. try to protect yourself. >> reporter: now fearing a widespread fall surge, even vaccines are no guarantee against delta's serious threat. we learned a fully vaccinated white house staffer and an aide to house speaker nancy pelosi also tested positive for the virus after meeting with fully inoculated democratic texas lawmakers who flew maskless to
washington and suffered breakthrough infections. an evolving threat as the unvaccinated face a future that looked more like our past. john bartucci got the covid shot he put off for months. >> what was kind of holding you off before? >> i didn't see the need for it. i'm young and healthy, and i thought maybe i wasn't going to be as affected as more people as risk. >> he's described as the movable middle, adults that may have been skeptical of the vaccine but aren't dead set against it, people like sharon landry. >> i felt like i was being pushed into it, and when someone pushes, i push back. >> who became convinced after her adult son got sick. >> why did you get it today as opposed to say a couple of months ago? >> i just didn't feel like it was -- with everything going on, i didn't know what to -- i didn't do any research. >> reporter: around the country,
roughly half of americans are fully vaccinated but daily vaccinations have dropped below 1 million. louisiana is among the states with the lowest rates. 36% of the population here is fully vaccinated. but some parishes are below 20%. >> i think there's a lot of misinformation that came out initially when the vaccine came out. >> reporter: for those getting the vaccine now, it seems, the choice is all the more personal. john bartucci is expecting his first child later this year. >> reporter: that kind of raises the stakes a little bit, right? >> absolutely. >> gabe gutierrez, joining us from lafayette, louisiana. that hospital has 260% more covid patients than it did two weeks ago, and as doctors talk about the movable middle, public health officials say there are people in the middle who can move. that's where they want to go, and it looks like some members of congress may actually be in that movable middle. >> yes, we'll get to that in a moment. on the movable middle, this is
so interesting because there is a group of americans who perhaps as we heard the woman in gabe's piece say, i felt pushed into it. she was listening to all sorts of information, perhaps they followed donald trump's followers, and there's a lot of distrust, and disinformation even though trump himself got the vaccine. he didn't push it. he pushed a lot of distrust in the vaccine and even recently has done that. and what the movable middle has now is they have been able to watch science play out before their eyes. and they see that the vaccinated are safer from this virus than the unvaccinated. now, those who are dying now, are predominantly unvaccinated. those who are getting sick, and those who are having the delta variant rip through their communities are unvaccinated and younger and sicker, and that is the science they can see before their eyes.
over the course of months, over the course of this year, it helps. and as willie mentioned, the number two house republican finally got his first dose of the vaccine. congressman steve scalise of louisiana got his first shot this past sunday. he had previously tested positive for covid anti bodies but now with the delta variant on the rise, he said quote when you talk to people who run hospitals in new orleans or other states, 90% of people in the hospital with the delta variant have not been vaccinated. that's another signal the vaccine works. the house minority whip added that the vaccine is safe and effective and thank you, steve scalise, for getting out in front of that. it doesn't matter when. it's important you do it. >> let's bring into the conversation, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at brigham and women's hospital, dr. paul sacks. good morning, it's good to see you.
lets get your snapshot of where we are. we took a tour of the country focused on louisiana. some of these states with very low rates of vaccination seeing the biggest problems, hospitalizations through the roof in some of those places. where are we right now as a country, and where do you think we're headed as we move into the summer and fall when schools open again? >> what this delta variant has done is it's really exposed the unvaccinated people to getting quite sick from the virus, and we have seen this from practically the entire world. there was a prelude to this in the united kingdom, and israel where they had high vaccinate rates and we started to see hospitalizations in unvaccinated people go up and then cases in vaccinated people too. there are cases in vaccinated people are much milder or sometimes they're just completely asymptomatic, but nonetheless, the danger is real, the delta variant spreads very
easily, and unvaccinated people are at high risk. >> can you under line what the numbers are in terms of who is ending up in hospitals right now, who is dying tragically at this point in the pandemic. is it 98%, is it 99% unvaccinated? what are the numbers? >> it depends on the proportion of the population that's been vaccinated but i can tell you that even in a state that's heavily vaccinated like our own state here in massachusetts, the people who are sickest in the hospital right now are those who have been unvaccinated. by and large. the other group i worry about are people whose immune systems are weakened by the underlying illness that they have. maybe they're taking medicine for cancer or other problems, that suppress their immune system. they're vulnerable, and we really owe it to them to try to get as many people vaccinated as possible because it protects not just yourself but also protects others. i really worry about that population, too. >> dr. sax, i'm concerned about
those who have been vaccinated carrying and passing along the delta variant. is that possible? >> while it's possible, it's far less likely than someone who is unvaccinated passing the virus on to other people. several studies have now shown that the vaccines do this remarkable thing. they prevent people from getting sick from covid, and they also reduce the likelihood that they'll have high amounts of virus to spread to other people. one of the primary benefits of getting the vaccine is it protects everybody so it's a public health initiative as well as a personal health initiative. >> wow. confidence in the vaccine has got to be going up as we learn these details, although, a new study released yesterday suggests the johnson & johnson covid vaccine is proving to be much less effective against mutations of the virus, including the delta variant. the new study has not yet been peer reviewed nor published in a scientific journal but "the new
york times" notes the conclusions add to the evidence that the 13 million people inoculated with the johnson & johnson vaccine may need to receive a second dose. ideally one of the mrna vaccines made by pfizer, biontech or moderna. what do you hear about that, dr. sax, what would you say to a patient who came to you and said i got the johnson & johnson vaccine or somebody who came to you for advice and should i get a booster. >> the official guidelines are not to get a booster. on the other hand, we have had concerns about the j&j vaccine for some time, and there's quite a bit of chatter in the scientific community that this may be necessary, driven not just by the data that you mentioned, which have not been peer reviewed but by studies who have shown people who have received a vaccine, either the j&j vaccine or the astrazeneca vaccine, and if they receive an mrna vaccine, they have a
tremendous boost to the strength of their vaccine, so it would not surprise me if ultimately there is a recommendation, especially with delta circulating for the mrna vaccines to follow the j&j vaccine, but we'll have to see. >> and just really really quickly, dr. sax, where do you stand on somehow people showing that they have received the vaccine. do you think the fact that you can't tell who has been vaccinated and who hasn't, it could cause more problems in this country right now? >> well, one thing that public health officials and infectious disease specialists really do support is so-called vaccine mandates. it's something that we have already in the united states and in school systems, and we can start using that in other settings, for example, in hospitals, in universities, in places where people have to work very closely together, where there have been outbreaks. >> right. >> vaccine mandates are an extremely effective way of getting to the middle, undecided group or people who say i haven't gotten around to it.
if you say you need to get this vaccine in order to go to work, in order to go to school, then that does get a significant proportion of people that are just sort of shrugging their shoulders about the vaccine. that's one thing we strongly do support. >> it would change the game. dr. paul sax, thank you very much, he's clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at brigham and women's hospital in boston. it looks like team usa will lose another member, taylor crabb tested positive while in tokyo. so far no replacement has been named. around 80 cases have been connected to the games ahead of friday's opening ceremony and a top olympic official is now saying there's still two days out, a chance the games could be cancelled if cases spike further. as tom llamas reports from
tokyo, the focus in japan is on delivering a successful olympic games. >> the world's greatest athletes, including japan's naomi osaka have two goals, win a medal, and dodge the virus. tokyo reporting a spike in covid cases. more than 1,300 new infections. skateboarder, naja houston says so far he's enjoying his sport's first olympics. >> it's better than what i expected. we have to be safe and take precautions because of covid, but it's amazing to be here. >> reporter: around the city, venues are preparing for an olympics like no other, making sure athletes are safe. here in the men's locker room for swimming, you'll see covid rules. you can see right here, in japanese, and also pictures. over here, every other sink is closed off to keep the social distancing, and on the mirrors, more rules. >> do you feel like you're ready and the swimmers are going to be safe. >> yes, of course. no doubt. >> reporter: the most dramatic
covid measure, no spectators, even though tokyo is full of crowds from packed trains to semifull baseball stadiums. i asked tokyo's governor why the olympic games were being signalled out. >> why can people go to the baseball game and not go to the olympics. >> translator: the olympics is not a local game. it's an international game. therefore the medical sector has asked us not to have spectators do to their being more passionate cheering. >> reporter: olympic organizers say it will be a different type of event but promise it will still captivate the world. >> all this with the opening ceremony 48 hours away. an olympic play is underway in tokyo as the u.s. began its quest to regain the olympic softball gold medal yesterday opening with a 2-0 win over italy. also this morning, australia named to become a three-time olympic host as the international olympic committee awarded the city of brisbane the
summer games in 2032, mika. tom barrack who chaired donald trump's inaugural xi was arrested yesterday for acting as an agent of the united arab emirates without registering as a foreign agent. he's accused of influencing the foreign policy positions of the campaign and administration between april of 2016 and april of 2018. this is according to the justice department. the 7-count grand jury indictment says barrack used his friendship with donald trump to get language inserted into the then candidate's energy speech in 2016 about the importance of working with quote our golf allies on behalf of the emirates. it also says barrack provided uae government officials with sensitive, nonpublic information about the positions of multiple senior united states government officials with respect to the
qatar blockade. also faces counts of obstruction, and lying to law enforcement. a spokesperson for barrack said he is quote made himself voluntarily available to investigators from the outset. he is not guilty, and he will be pleading not guilty. two other defendants were charged with unregistered foreign agency along with barrack. joining us now nbc news correspondent foreign investigations, tom winter. former u.s. attorney and msnbc contributor, barbara mcquaid, and white house reporter for the associated press, jonathan lemire. i want to start with you if you want to add anything to what i have reported here. who else in the campaign might this touch given the types of dealings tom barrack was having?
>> that's a good question, and contained in the indictment, there's not a lot of information about other individuals involved. in some respects you can look at this indictment and say, in fact, the president and the trump administration, the trump campaign were the victims of this if they were not aware of it. and there's no indication at least contained in the documents that they were, but i think the indictment raises some key questions. you've laid out the overt acts or the things that tom barrack did in plain english but i have some other questions, looking at the time line, the conduct is from april 2016 to april 2018 and on top of that, the fbi interview is in june of 2019. that's over two years ago, so why did it take them until yesterday for us to hear about this, and why did it take until yesterday for charges to be brought? i think there's some questions that deserve to be asked there, and we are asking them because this seems like a long period of time. another question i have is why
didn't they just file the foreign agent's registration paperwork. why not let us know. what tom barrack did is not necessarily illegal. it is not illegal for him to work on behalf of a foreign government, to try to lobby the president of the united states, whether he's one of his best friends for 30 years or not, it is illegal if he doesn't disclose it. that's all that really needed to occur here. i think that gets us to the third question that i have which is what did tom barrack receive in any sort of compensation, any sort of preferential business assistance that he received from the emirates. i think it raises serious questions. you don't need to prove he received compensation that's not included in that. it's not something that needed to be contained in the indictment. we have scant details about that and all three of those questions deserve to be asked here. it's confusing, that it's two years after he allegedly lied to
the fbi all over the place, including about a separate phone that he had to conduct these communications, and encrypted messaging apps, which is why we're hearing about it yesterday. >> lets remind people how close tom barrack is to donald trump. tom barrack spoke on the last night of the 2016 republican convention. tom barrack, ivanka trump, and donald trump accepting the nomination. that's where he stands in donald trump's life. as a former federal prosecutor reading through the indictment, what do you see exactly to cut to some of tom's questions, what exactly in plain language is tom barrack accused of doing here? >> i think one of the points that's very important here, willie, is this is not a paperwork violation. i know tom said that he could have filed notification with the attorney general and been permitted to lobby on behalf of the uae, that's absolutely right. there's a reason people don't register in a situation like
that. if he registered and everyone knew he was acting on behalf of the uae, he would never have received the access he got. some of the allegations are that he had drafted of president trump's speech on energy and shared it with the uae government officials, got their edits, and then gave it back to president trump. that he took credit for getting the uae omitted from trump's travel ban in 2017. he wrote an op-ed in favorable terms for the uae because he got input from the uae, representing these things as his own judgment and opinion, when in fact, he was doing it on behalf of a foreign government, and the reason that that is a crime isn't because he made a paperwork error. it's because it permits secret undue influence by a foreign government. and in fact, to willie's question, he's right, to tom's question, it does not allege a motive because they're not
required to allege a motive. they don't want to make it harder to prove their case than they need to. there's reporting in the "new york times" that his firm was paid $1.5 billion by the uae and saudi arabia, so there's certainly a very powerful financial moment that may be at stake here. the other thing i see is the potential for cooperation. we know that the eastern district of new york is also investigating fraud in the trump inaugural campaign, which tom barrack shared. and so he has the opportunity here to come in and share information with prosecutors about that investigation if he wants to work off some of his time. >> barrack and trump reporting has grew a little more distance, tom, during their time while the president was in office, but let's remember in 2016, 2017, he was rumored to be chief of staff. that shows you how tight they wasn't were. barbara hinted at where i want to go with you, the $64,000 question, as it always is,
anytime we see and learn about investigation into a trump associate and there have been quite a few, what sort of risk does this pose to the former president himself? what do you see as potential for cooperation, will barrack flip, and do you think we'll see congressional hearings? >> i think that's something that need to be looked here. prosecutors in their federal detention memo yesterday said something specific to that point, the conduct in this case quote strikes at the very heart of our democracy. there's a lot of people that say, well, you just file your paperwork, you're all set and this is a prison sentence for five years. nobody even gets charged with this. robert mueller was special counsel, this isn't something we would hear criminal charges about. when you look at this type of behavior i think it's something that mika mentioned in the intro that he was giving nonpublic sensitive information back to uae about how some of the people in the trump white house felt about what was going on in the
middle east. that's really serious. the flip side when you talk to people in law enforcement, this is somebody who lobbied directly on behalf of the uae to the highest levels of government, based off of their friendship. this is stuff that people should be concerned about and be worried about. will congress address that? are there more tools that law enforcement should have from a standpoint of statutes and regulations, that's something that will be to be determined, i think. as far as the question about tom barrack cooperating in any sort of way, there's nothing at least initially about the inaugural that necessarily draws the president's conduct into question from a legal standpoint. there was certainly, and we heard about it from the special counsel's investigation. there was certainly a number of transactions that occurred and tickets that were purchased that raised some questions about foreign nationals and their donations to the inaugural, that doesn't mean they were solicited
by the former president or anybody this his inner circle. i think that's a big question mark, if that's the case, could tom barrack be helpful. i think time will tell. >> tom winter and barbara mcquaid, thank you both very much for your reporting and analysis this morning. and still ahead on "morning joe," president biden's bipartisan infrastructure deal could be in peril. a vote is scheduled for later today but lawmakers are still at odds over how to pay for the package. plus, republican senator rand paul ramps up his feud with dr. anthony fauci. we will show you their latest heated exchange. also ahead, 50 points from their biggest star earns the milwaukee bucks their first nba title in 50 years. we'll take a look at last night's big game. and tampa bay buccaneers quarterback, tom brady shares a
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turns, shoots, fires, shot won't go. tucker, the rebound, and that will do it. it's over. the bucks have done it, the long wait has ended after a half century, the milwaukee bucks are nba champions once again. >> the milwaukee bucks were crowned nba champion after defeats the phoenix suns 105-98 last night in game six of the nba finals. yannis -- giannis, 50 points and
14 rebounds in that deciding game. he was the unanimous choice as finals mvp joining michael jordan as the only player to win nba mvp, finals mvp, and defensive player of the year in their careers. >> this is my city, you know, they trust me, they believe in be. i could go to super team and do my part and win a championship, but this is how we do it, and we did it. we did it. we did it, man. >> so jonathan lemire, giannis was drafted 18 years ago, people not sure what his game was, how he was going to fit into the league, and he's become the most magnetic star, and putting a fine point on things with a legendary 50 point game when his team needed it most. said he wanted to win on the home court in milwaukee.
obviously the arena packed but the shots last night of the city who had waited 50 years for an nba title, people filling the streets outside the arena to watch the game on big screens. thrilling for the city, and down on the back of that guy right there giannis. >> he was drafted out of greece, and he has transformed into a megastar, a charismatic guy, and who turned down the opportunity to leave for a bigger market, to join forces with other nba stars like we see so often, lebron james in miami, and what was happening with the brooklyn nets, he wanted to stay in milwaukee. this is what he wanted to do, and he built this championship, and there was some neigh sayers about the nba players but we ended up with a compelling finals between the bucks and the suns. as you know, and i as someone who roots for the boston red sox
who went a long time without a championship, i'm partial to a fan base who hasn't won in decades. in this case, it would have works either way, the bucks 50 years, and phoenix suns have never won. a great scene yesterday, a great title. >> and we saw a guy holding the trophy, chris middleton, another crucial part of the championship team and all star as well. congratulations to the great city of milwaukee, 50 years in the waiting. president biden welcomed the super bowl champion tampa bay buccaneers to the white house yesterday. >> you know, a lot has been made about the fact that we have the oldest coach ever to win a super bowl and the oldest quarterback to win the super bowl. i'll tell you right now, you won't hear any jokes about that from me. as far as i'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with being the oldest guy to make it to the mountain top. that's how i look at it. >> biden, the oldest person to become president comparing
himself to bucs coach bruce arians and tom brady. his first visit to the white house since 2005 when george w. bush welcomed the patriots. brady has won the super bowl during four different administrations but skipped visits with the patriots in 2015 when barack obama was president and in 2017 when donald trump was in office. the patriots as a team chose not to attend after winning the title in 2019. here is what brady had to say yesterday. >> it's nice for me to be back here. we had a game in chicago where i forgot what town it was, i lost track of one down in 21 years of playing, and they started calling me sleepy tom. why would they do that to me? not a lot of people, you know, think that we could have won, and i think about 40% of the people still don't think we won. >> i understand that. >> do you understand that, mr. president? >> i understand that.
>> yeah. so jonathan lemire, you're a long time patriots fan, a tom brady fan, of course, he knew exactly what he was doing yesterday. there's been sort of in the background for him this question of whether he was a trump guy, robert craft, the patriots owner gave him a make america great again hat at one point which was sitting in his locker behind him during a series of interviews. he has dodged any political questions but certainly made his statement yesterday at the white house. >> yeah, brady, and trump were friends before trump really got into politics, you know, on the golf circuit and so on, but brady has quietly and consistently distanced himself from trump, even though we heard trump talk about brady, praise brady, suggested that ivanka trump should have been with brady. meanwhile, his own wife made clear in interviews that the two of them did not vote for trump but this was remarkable that brady was so public about this
yesterday, and to do so in a really amusing manner. he was funny, also handsome, and i think the sound we just heard was the remote being hurled across the living room residence in bedminster, new jersey, and this will not go over well by donald trump. his biggest fear is to be laughed at and ridiculed and the subject of the joke by someone he is fond of, brady, and someone who beat him, biden standing in front of the house he used to live. that's a tough combination for donald trump, and i guess we should be grateful he's no longer on twitter. >> definitely the kind of thing that bothers him instead of the, you know, hundreds of thousands of people who have died from coronavirus and the, you know, chaos he's left in his wake in washington. he cares about this kind of stuff in a big way. it bothers him. coming up, the mysterious havana syndrome is thought to be the
result of attacks on u.s. officials overseas. and now case numbers are growing. plus, billionaire jeff bezos can officially add astronaut to his resume. what his history making flight means for the future of space travel. "morning joe" is coming right back. travel "morning joe" is coming right back my plaque psoriasis... ...the itching ...the burning. the stinging. my skin was no longer mine.
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as many as 200 americans have come forward to describe symptoms of directed energy attacks. part of a wave of reports that includes newly identified incidents around the world in what officials believe to be the so-called havana syndrome. nbc's andrea mitchell has more. >> u.s. officials telling nbc news as many as 200 americans have now reported possible cases of that so-called havana
syndrome. mysterious neurological symptoms, sometimes brain damage, first reported by diplomats at the u.s. embassy in havana in 2016, then appearing in russia and china. this year, two dozen new cases in vienna, another in berlin. u.s. officials say potential victims on every continent but antarctica. >> we are investigating and reviewing reports of incidents from all around the world. >> reporter: including personnel from the state department, cia and pentagon, but no proof of the cause. in 2018, nbc news reported u.s. intelligence officials suspected russia. russia denies it. but mark palamoropolis said he had to quit the cia because of symptoms that started in moscow. >> i had incredible nasea and ringing in my ears. i was terrified. >> we sat down with cuban
investigators who denied blame. >> cuba doesn't possess this technology. cuba has never produced these types of weapons. >> joining us now is columnist and associate editor for the "washington post," david ignatius, let's start there, what's going on, and why can't at least the american government pinpoint what is happening here? there seems to be so many parallels in these reports coming in, and the fear i'm hearing and feeling is for our diplomats overseas. >> i share that, mika. i have talked to some of the same people that andrea did for her reporting. what was troubling was for many many months, years really, the u.s. government wasn't taking the reports of this havana syndrome, of the neurological symptoms seriously, and people suffering from it just felt that they were being ignored. they were being told this might be psycho somatic, stress related, we don't know the
problem. finally they're taking it seriously. it's a really good thing that the new cia director bill burns did as soon as he got in. the problem, obviously, mika is that at a sen point when there's something attacking them, people get worried to take their families to postings like moscow, and beijing, where you might be targets of this sort of attack. again, there are all kinds of technologies for surveillance. you can beam a laser at a window and measure the vibrations as people talk and all sorts of very very eccentric technologies. is that what's going on here, and the simple point is we need to know and demand this stop. >> as you say, this has expanded far beyond havana now, and the government looking closely at it. you just returned from a reporting trip to baghdad and you write about the government in place there. the government in iraq has a long way to go but at least it's a start.
in it david writes this, kadhimi is a rare leader in a region where most political leaders are autocrats, crooks or both. he doesn't have a part b or militia, he has tried but filed to curb. he has made reform promises that so far he has mostly been unable to keep, with trim suits and, sharply drawn features, he could play an arab spy master in the movies. he still lives in the stylish but relatively small house he inhabited before taking office. his strength and weakness both is that he is not a politician, so david, what did you see over there, what did you find in baghdad, not just with khadami. there was a terrible suicide bombing in the stability in the nation, and what he wants from the united states here?
>> it was fascinating to travel around the world again, to spend five days in baghdad, kind of thing journalists are used to doing, but it's been difficult during the pandemic. what i found was, first, there are a lot of brave americans who are serving there. our embassy has been a target of the iranian-backed militias, on the day i went to the american embassy, they said it's great, this is really calm. we haven't had a rocket or missile fired at our embassy in four days, and i thought, wow, that's an unusual measure of calm. they've got great big military guns, gateway to the embassy firing, shooting down mortar rounds, missiles, so this is kind of a war zone. the iraqi government, the prime minister that i went to interview is being as tough as it dares to be in fighting these militias, while i was there,
kadhimi arrested the iranian backed militia men who had killed one of his friends, an iraqi intellectual who had done courageous writing about iran's attempts to influence iran. he had been assassinated and kadhimi sent his forces into the center in the east of baghdad, and arrested him, took to justice, that took a lot of guts and something i admired. the final thing briefly that i saw is that the very small numbers of american forces that are still there under 2,500, not doing combat missions now, training iraqis, providing intelligence support, make a big difference. kadhimi, the leaders come at end of the month, he's going to ask for continued support. the iraqis out there doing the fighting really would like to have americans alongside to help
them. >> yeah. david, you've been very prolific these days. you have another column, one of your latest, it's entitled russia and china are trying to control the internet, even as they censor it. russia' align the with china on dampens whatever hook the biden administration might have had that it could split the two countries even as russian and chinese intelligence operatives escalate their attacks on the west. they are trying to claim the high road as internet cops and denouncing western technology companies as dangerous monopolists. the internet is the high ground of the 21st century in terms of economic, political, and even military power. but however advanced the technology, the battle for control is trench warfare fought in obscure meetings and forums and standard setting bodies.
i'd like to hear more, david, about russia and china banding together here, creating a challenge for the united states from the get go in dealing with these two countries together or separately? >> mika, as i said in the column this morning, to have russia and china proposed to write the new rules for safeguarding cyber space is just a stunner in terms of hypocrisy. even by russian and chinese standards. these are countries that according to the latest revelations by our intelligence agencies have been mounting deliberate attacks against microsoft software used by tens of thousands of companies. ransomware operations that are putting the u.s. pipeline and other infrastructure companies in jeopardy. these same countries that are tolerating these actions by
hackers within their midst sponsored directly in the case of china by the intelligence service are proposing to be the cops, to write the rules and complaining that the united states is an irresponsible monopolist and is seeking to control the internet. the fact that the two of them have come together to try to, as i said in this piece, control the high ground of technology in the future should concern us. i'm glad that the biden administration is taking it seriously. it is going to be trench warfare. you got to fight it in obscure body you've never heard of like the international telecommunications industry, where the rules for the internet, the governance system that we use, work, live in, will be written over the coming years. >> david ige, thank you very
much for being on. even though the legislation is not yet finished, 60 senators will need to vote in favor for the motion to move forward, but republicans are united in opposition to the move, even negotiators of the bill say they are willing to vote against their own legislation. a bipartisan group of senators met until late last night trying to resolve the last few issues. republicans are asking majority leader chuck schumer to move the vote to monday now to give them some more time. "the washington post" is reporting that several republican senators were preparing a formal letter tuesday to schumer saying they would be prepared to vote to advance the infrastructure package monday. that's according to people familiar with it contents. >> what i'm told is that senator schumer will delay the vote until next week. so if the majority leader would just agree to delay the vote until very early next week, make
it the first vote on monday, then i think we could have language to show our colleagues and be able to. >> if the senate does not get enough votes to move forward, majority leader schumer can change his vote and bring the legislation back up later. joining us now white house editor for politico, sam stein, this gets a little confusing on this procedural vote when we're talking about some of the republicans who are actually working on this bipartisan piece of legislation might vote against it at first just to kick the can down the road. explain a little better what's going on here. >> so essentially these guys have a framework of a deal that lacks the binding details to fill it in, and schumer has more or less called their bluff. he said if you're going to get a deal done, you will have done it by now. let's vote on this. that's going to happen today. the republicans are saying, no, we need more time, we've got to
fill in essentially the pay fors for this bill. give us a few more days. democrats are wary of this. they have long memories. they know what happened in 2009, 2010 with the construction of obamacare and how that kept getting pushed back and back and back, and they want to get the action going. we'll see what happens today. they're going to bring it to vote to start the amending and debating process. it has been done before where the parties pass a bit of legislation that is not finalized and then finalize it, and then get it off the floor with the second vote. that's what could happen today. in all likelihood what happens today is republicans say we're not ready to vote on this bill that we have negotiated. we're not going to give you the 60 votes you need to start the amended debate process, and schumer will have a choice, let it fail, and tuck it into one big piece of legislation that they can pass with party votes or cede to the requests and move to monday, you promised me 60
votes then. let's do it on monday! hi, sam, jonathan lemire. >> hi, sam. >> it's impossible to ever know and be confident that any piece of legislation will happen. things can fall apart at any time. we know how congress works, you better than most. so let's just say hypothetically it does, and you kind of looked at this. do we think that whether it's today or maybe schumer gives them a few more days, and it falls apart early next week and the republicans take the ball and go home, will the democrats be able to do this by reconciliation. there are concerns by moderate democrats about the size of the reconciliation bill without the infrastructure piece of it. if you put them together, it's only going to grow. what do you think that looks like? we know how desperate the white house is to have a bipartisan deal. they'll forge forward if they can't have it with republican support on their own. can they make it happen? >> i think so. i know that schumer has been
working behind the scenes to get a 50 vote from his party. i don't think it will be problematic, look the infrastructure component needs to be tucked in. they knew in advance they were going to have to take the two votes. if they have to do it in one vote, i'm assuming it will be fine. does the size of the package get too big where the moderates say this is too much money, and secondarily, this has been getting little attention but my colleagues at politico have a good piece about it this morning, house democrats say we have little input on the policy and the process to this point. we only have a four-vote majority here. you're going to need all of our votes. do things get complicated when this thing goes back to the house? >> so sam, politico morning polls are taking a look at biden's approval ratings. how is the president doing, and
also maybe it's a little early but looking ahead to the midterms? >> it feels early but probably not too early. biden's approval rating is at 52%. a little bit lower than it has been, but still fairly good. the baseline here is trump never was above the mid-40 ranges, biden is consistently in the mid-50s to high 50s. you can see across the board he gets great marks from democrats, republicans are opposed to the job he's doing. midterm numbers, grain of salt, we're far away, and also we have had some experiences with horse race polling in elections to say the least, but right now you look at this and say okay, enthusiasm is pretty good across the board. democrats and republicans share it. but if you look at extremely enthusiastic, republicans seal more extremely enthusiastic to
vote. midterm elections tend to be good for the party out of power because of turnout. they're more enthusiastic to vote. if that's the case, democrats are looking at what is historic trends in losses in midterms. that could be the case here sfl politico's sam stein. thank you very much, and still ahead, more than 2 until adults in new york city are still unvaccinated against covid. mayor bill de blasio is hoping to change that with a new policy. he joins us ahead with the details. plus, western wildfires are causing hazy skies and air quality concerns thousands of miles away along the east coast. "morning joe" is coming right backment f nt f .
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over the last week, we have averaged 239 deaths per day, an increase of nearly 48% over the prior week. each death is tragic and even more heartbreaking when we know that the majority of these deaths could be prevented with a simple, safe, available vaccine. >> with hospitalizations and deaths on the rise, the cdc director says the highly contagious delta variant now accounts for 83% of new covid cases. have we entered a fourth wave in the pandemic. welcome back to "morning joe," it is wednesday, july 21st.
joe has the morning off, along with willie and me, we still have the ap's jonathan lemire, and msnbc contributor mike barnicle joins us as well. let's begin right there with the dangerous delta variant. as we said, now responsible for most new covid infections. a full seven months after the first highly effective vaccine became available in this country, hospitals are, again, inundated with a surge of very sick patients. and the number of cases is climbing across the country, and now more elected officials are working to get people vaccinated. last hour we mentioned congressman steve scalise of louisiana. at first in april and in may when he was asked if he was getting the vaccine, he said soon, soon, he finally got his first shot this past sunday. and publicized it saying quote when you talk to people who run hospitals in new orleans or
other states, 90% of people in the hospital with delta variant have not been vaccinated. that's another signal the vaccine works. the house minority whip added that the vaccine is safe and effective. willie. >> meanwhile, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, again, is encouraging americans to get vaccinated as the united states sees that surge in covid cases. mcconnell has been one of the most outspoken members of his party urging vaccination to stop the spread of covid. >> these shots need to get into everybody's arm as rapidly as possible or we're going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don't yearn for that we went through last year. >> meanwhile, more than 200 missouri pastors are teaming up to promote vaccination, the christian faith leaders will launch an advertising campaign
and issue a plea for missourians to get vaccinated quote as a way of following jesus's command to love your neighbor as yourself. the idea was spearheaded by a christian magazine in the state of missouri. let's bring in director of the center for infectious disease research and policy and a professor in the medical school at the university of minnesota, dr. michael osterholm, it's good to see you. i'm curious what you think about the importance of the trusted partners inside these communities, inside christian communities, someone as prominent as mitch mcconnell or steve scalise who has been hedging about whether or not he thinks people should get vaccinated, not just getting vaccinated but posting a photo of himself getting vaccinated, a statement about how serious things are getting across the country. >> let me put one number to begin the discussion with, which i think should be our focus.
100 million. there are 100 million americans right now who are not vaccinated or who have not had covid yet and developed their own immunity. some of these are obviously kids that can't be vaccinated yet. it gives you an idea how many people left for this virus to infect. we need all the help we can get. right now, we really have three different groups of people in this country with regard to vaccine. the vaccine affirmative, people like myself who couldn't wait to get the vaccine. then we have the vaccine hesitant, people who really are thinking about it. they want to get it, but they still have concerns about its safety, and then there's the vaccine hostile. i'm not sure we're going to change the vaccine hostile, but i think there are vaccine hesitant right now that we could move and the leadership of the republican party, of certain media venues can only do nothing but help us with the vaccine hesitant group. >> doctor, you have always been incredibly straight and blunt with us over the last year and a half as we have walked through
this pandemic together, so in your estimation, where are we right now? >> well, we are in an area of uncertainty, but i would like to, i think, add a context to a lot of the comments. people are worried about, we got to get vaccinated now for the fall. you know, i don't know that the fall is going to be it. i think it could be right now. for the first time in the pandemic, we're seeing cases increase substantially in all 50 states. surely less in the midwest and upper northeast, but we're actually seeing right now 42 states have had over 100% increase in cases in the last two weeks. this variant is a bad, bad virus. it's a thousand times more virus produced when someone who is infected, it clearly is much more infectious than the previous strains and it's a virus that will find you if you're not vaccinated. you can't wait out the clock on this one. this is not one that one day i can say i avoided it. this virus will find you. you have a choice. get vaccinated and be largely
protected or not get vaccinated and run the risk of being hospitalized in intensive care or even dying, and even last but not least because we can't vaccinate our kids right now, you want to bubble those kids as much as you can. don't bring the virus home, and infect one of your kids. i know of personal experiences where adults have brought the vie viruses home, the kids have gotten infected and become seriously ill. you don't want that to happen. doctor, mike barnicle has a question for you. mike. >> doctor, as you just artfully described we are dealing with the delta variant. the globe is dealing with the delta variant. my question to you might be unanswerable but are these variants going to exist for years and years? are we going to be dealing with potential vaccinations for these variants four, five years from now? >> this virus is here to stay, mike, it's not going to go away. our job is to control it the
best we can, and you know, i know that people are concerned about variant development here in the united states among the unvaccinated. let's put that into context. there are 6.4 billion people that live in low, that have no access to the vaccine at all. every time we see one of those horrible situations, obviously we think about the number of people ill and dying. i also think about the number of new variants that are spinning out of that various situation. you're right, delta is the worst we have seen so far, but it hardly means that it's the last one we're going to see. i think that this is our challenge and why with the vaccines as many people as we can get vaccinated, we not only obviously prevent illness and hospitalizations and deaths but we prevent the possibility of new variants developing. so this is why we need a manhattan project in getting vaccine to the rest of the world, and we need a marshall plan to deliver it. >> doctor, it's jonathan lemire, good morning. i want to get back to something
you just said about bubbling the children of the country, and that's a striking phrase. i wanted to ask you two things about it, first, what can you tell us right now about the impact of the delta variant, are kids getting sicker with this particular variant than earlier strains of the coronavirus, where it seemed like with exceptions children were largely affected and secondly, and importantly, are you recommending that this fall, parents across the country are gearing up for the start of the school year again, the children should not be going back to school for in-person learning, even if they are wearing masks and other mitigation factors? >> well, first of all, the epidemiology of the virus in kids, the way that it's transmitted, who gets infected, how many people get infected has changed from the beginning of the pandemic. if we were having this conversation a year ago today, kid rarely get infected or if they do, they rarely get sick, and almost never spread it to anyone else. when the alpha variant emerged,
b.1.1.7 last december and january in the united states, that began to change the situation for kids and delta has changed it. we are seeing widespread transmission to and by kids. many of the recommendations are outdated and not helpful because we now know that the delta variant can in fact cause more illness in kids. look at the number of reported outbreaks in summer camps that are occurring right now with this in kids. so i think this is something we surely have to take real concern about in terms of what it means for kids. now, kid are still getting infected at a rate that's higher than last year, but we're not seeing large numbers of ill kids, meaning that in the sense, the rate of serious disease is still relatively low, per hundred people getting infected as a child. i think it's fair to say at this point we need to think about the fall. what is this going to mean? what's going to happen with the rest of the summer?
you know, we may see a major, major surge of cases this summer that could surely change how many people are infected and recovered before school starts but i think that kids are back on the table as an unknown in terms of this pandemic. >> what's the risk at this point dr. osterholm of sliding back to where we were before the cdc issued its guidance, it's safe to take off the masks, certainly outdoors. los angeles county was doing well, put its mask mandate in for indoor settings. do you think we're at risk for seeing that nationally? >> well, i think one of the things, willie, that's really important is we can't be lulled into a false sense of security. i can tell you, much of the last three months, very few people in the media wanted to deal with a bad news story about this, and what was happening with delta in other parts of the world and what it would mean when it came here. it was all about a celebration, you know, and fourth of july, we celebrated, you know, basically
getting past covid. i think people are now realizing that was a premature consideration and even to the extent that some of the scientific experts on the media have been saying this is going to be a seasonal disease, fall and winter, it's going to skip the summer. well, look what it's doing, it's not skipping summer. this virus is going to do what it's going to do. on one hand, we have made major end roads with the level of vaccination we have in the united states, but again, i put that hundred million out in front, and say we still have a long ways to go, and so i think that the challenge is, you know, we can't let this virus freeze us into inaction, and a lock of every day life. at the same time, we have to understand it's not going to go away soon, and if you're in places right now such as the south, you are seeing the worst days of the pandemic to date, and i think by the time this summer is over with, we're going to see other parts of the country where this is going to happen too. >> doctor, thank you so much for
being on this morning. we hope to see you again soon as we continue to cover this story in an effort to increase the vaccination rate, new york city will be requiring all health care workers at city hospitals to be vaccinated or get tested on a weekly basis. and new york city mayor bill de blasio joins us now. i guess my first question is you were hesitant to do this in the past, what changed? >> mika, we're watching the delta variant and the impact it's having and it's time for a change. it's time for a new approach. i'm proud of the fact in new york city, 9.7 million vaccinations have been given. that's about 58% of our population has gotten at least one dose. that's really good, and there are still people, 10, 20,000 every day coming in and getting vaccinated. the vaccination effort is going to continue. the difference is the delta variant, it's virulent, strong, making an impact. it's time to do something
different. what we do is mandate for the folks who work in public hospitals and clinics. they need to be safe. the people they serve need to be safe, so we're saying get vaccinated or get tested once every week. it's a fair choice. i think what's going to happen, mika is a lot of folks are going to say, okay, now it's time to get vaccinated. a lot of folks have been ready. we know this. a lot of folks have been hesitant, but still ready, and now it's going to be that moment or after they get tested for a while, you know what, it might be easier to go and get vaccinated. >> not sure if i'm nitpicking but why not just get vaccinated or don't come to work. if you get tested every week, you risk exposing people if you test positive? >> look, we want to keep moving this in phases as much as possible, getting more and more people acclimated to vaccination. there's so much misinformation, this is the underlying reality. unlike any time in our history,
this angers me. people have been lied to consistently. when we were growing up if you said you had to get a vaccination to go to schoo no one would have blinked and a lot of lives were saved. the notion that people for their own political aims are spreading misinformation, and people are believing it in an era where there is so much pain and mistrust, we have to fight back. we have done voluntary to 9.7 million doses. we have given amazing incentives, you could have gotten vaccinated under the blue whale at the museum of natural history, every bell and whistle, and that has been great but it's time for something more focused, it's time to say, okay, starting with our health care workers, here's a very fair choice. and again, i think it will move a lot of people to get vaccinated and others over time. but at minimum, we will be sending a message constantly, it's time, it's time, it's time,
and we'll have a good sense if there is any problem we have to address. >> mayor de blasio, good morning, as you know well, los angeles county put back into effect a mask mandate indoors regardless of vaccination status. that was seen as a big step back when things had been moving in the right direction. how close are you in new york city to implementing something similar. >> we're not there now, willie, it's a good question. i'll tell you, overall in the city, i'm very pleased to say hospitalization rate remains very low. the recovery of the city is very strong. you can see it, i call it the summer in new york city, amazing things are happening out there, so much cultural activity, restaurants, you name it, and thank god, even with the delta variant, very few hospitalizations. we're going to look at of course any and all options will be led by the data we see and the science. let me tell you right now i appreciate why some talk about the mask mandate. here's what frustrates me.
that's not where the impact is. health care leaders say that might be marginally helpful, not something to take off the table but the impact is vaccination. it's like, you know, why are we using the thing that is only a marginal impact when you could go for the main event. why the side show instead of the main event. we could right now in this country reach tens of millions of people and let me just talk to you about health care workers for a moment. there are 22 million health care workers in the united states, and we think about 50% of them are not vaccinated. what new york city is doing today, i hope will create momentum for both public and private health care. to go reechl those millions and -- reach those millions and millions of health care workers and get them vaccinated and go from there. the only way we're going to stop the delta variant is vaccination. the only answer. >> before you were on, dr. osterholm said children
should almost be put in a bubble effect. he's concerned because the delta variant has them more ill than with previous strains. with school looming, i wanted to ask you about that, you have committed to five-day, in-person school. nothing has changed this. will there be a remote option for parents to opt out? >> we need our kids in school. our kids have been through so much. we have not even begun to take stock as a nation of the trauma our children have experienced. and the loss in every sense, including the learning loss. i feel for kids, i talked to kids, partners, you know, they want so much to be able to get it back together, get it back on track. also in schools, and our health care leaders say this, kids get physical health care, mental health care, regular nutrition, the fact that so many kids have been disconnected from that is unacceptable. we're coming back, all of our
kids together, but with an extraordinary series of health and safety measures which kept covid levels very low in new york city public schools when we didn't have any vaccination. what we're going to do is do a blitz to get kids vaccinated who are eligible 12 and up, against the backdrop of 10 million vaccination doses around the city. a whole different ball game than where we were last year. we want our kids back in school. >> mike barnicle. >> mr. mayor, you're absolutely right, kids all over this country have been through a lot. loss of education, loss of an element of their future over the past year and a half, so they're all going back to school in new york city in september. my question to you is given the fact that they have been through a lot, why don't we make mandatory vaccinations for teachers mandatory, in order to not let them put kids through a virus: >> first of all, mike, i'm looking at you there with that
great fireplace backdrop, i feel like voting for you, you should just run for something, man, you look very trust able. i'll do the voice over, mike barnicle is the solution. i'm there for you, man. he looks presidential to me. but. >> oh, man. thanks. >> america would never be the same, i guarantee you. america would never be the same. >> that's for sure. >> mike, look, i think this is something we do piece by piece, but this is the wave of the future in my view. this idea of you get vaccinated or you get tested very constantly. now, our educators and school staff were getting tested regularly all last year, by the way all the unions agreed to that in new york city, so the notion of regular testing we have already, and we're going to need that going forward, obviously. when you say vaccinate or get tested, that's a very fair deal, i think that's something we can apply in many many areas.
over time we got to see what works, and i do think people are going to respond if thankfully people get vaccinated and delta variant is pushed back, that's a good news story. if people don't get vaccinated and delta grows, i think a lot of people will come to the conclusion rightfully that we have to be more aggressive. what we're trying to do today is say let's start with the most obvious piece of the equation, health care, 22 million health care workers in america, 600,000 in this city alone, 1.2 million in the state of new york, and only 50% on average vaccinated. let's right there go to work and then from there we can take additional steps. >> new york city mayor bill de blasio, thank you very much. you had me until you talked about barnicle being presidential. >> i got a little crazy there, mika. i think he should stick to what he's doing now, he's good at it. >> he's perfect. thank you for your efforts to keep new york city safe. you know, what we're seeing with
the delta variant, it's really isolated the problem to those who choose not to be vaccinated and we have to look at why. i read a really sad story in the cape cod times of a republican leader, a community activist who endured a long and painful death from covid. this is a woman who worked tirelessly in the community to improve education, guarantee safe drinking water and improve the community's recycling efforts. she cared about health. she was also a republican activist who championed conservative causes for decades and actually when joe read about her death from covid, he looked at her picture and said that this was the type of person who helped him get elected, his people, when he was running in politics. unfortunately there isn't a kind
way to tell people what they need to know next. those who choose to be unvaccinated. this woman was led terribly astray by corporations who make billions of dollars publishing and circulating lies and propaganda. she was led to her death by politicians. and cable news talk show hosts who spewed out a daily barrage of garbage, making her and millions of other americans believe that the vaccine that would have saved her life should be avoided at all costs or they didn't talk about it, or they avoided the conversation. they avoided the facts. it's just as bad. this woman was surrounded by former conservatives who were sucked into a cult over the past five years, and turned their political party over to a game show host to promptly lost them the white house, the senate and the house of representatives. tragically, he also cost so many americans' lives.
like this republican on cape cod who lost her life to covid. like the worst russian prop propaganda, donald trump, his political minions, facebook, and cable news hosts viciously attack public health officials who are desperately trying to save people's lives like this cape cod republican, along with thousands of others who are refusing to get vaccinated and we have to look at why. they're led by the same liars that tried to jam hydroxychloroquine down the throats of millions of americans last year, the same ones who talked about putting bleach in americans' bloodstream to kill the virus, and jamming uv lights inside americans bodies to kill the virus, the same ones who lied repeatedly saying it would be safe to open america by
easter, by memorial day, by fourth of july, by labor day, and now the same liars or those who won't defy the lies, the same merchants of death, the same cult leaders who have the opportunity to see america reopen, and americans move past this plague are standing in the way and misleading tens of millions of americans. and this delta variant is isolating the problem and showing who you are. in fact, they're even celebrating the ability of their cult to stop americans from getting vaccinated. did you see the applause at cpac. they applauded that biden didn't meet the 70% goal. it's really sick, and unforgivable. maybe that's why mitch mcconnell spoke out as aggressively and clearly as he did yesterday telling his constituents to get a vaccine. he has done it before, but he was really clear. maybe that's why steve scalise
finally got his vaccination and was good enough to do it publicly while sharing the picture. we appreciate that. something about the bloated ex-president was too afraid to do, he was too afraid to show himself getting the vaccine fearing that he might lose a few votes while saving thousands of lives, perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives. maybe that's why sean hannity is really pushing the vaccine now, why evangelical leaders and preachers in missouri are getting off their tails and finally telling their parishioners the truth, that it is unchrist like to not protect your neighbor as well as yourself. god tells us that our bodies are a temple to be protected. that does not mean that you are to protect that temple unless facebook and talk radio freaks tell you otherwise.
this community activist in cape cod, a republican is dead, and i really don't know how the blame for her death could fall on anyone other than those cult leaders listed above. the greatest tragedy is of course that this all could have been prevented with a five-minute vaccine. but that fire hose of falsehoods has been spewing propaganda and lies for well over a year, and it's time to turn that spigot off. it's time to deprogram the cult leaders. it's time we do whatever we can to save their lives. we'll be right back. to save their lives. we'll be right back.
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cheer on team usa with xfinity x1. say "show me the olympics in 4k" so you can watch in stunning 4k ultra hd. welcome back to "morning joe," it's 7:30 here on the east coast. disgraced movie mogul harvey weinstein was extri dieted from new york to california, the new york department of corrections confirmed the move to los
angeles county where weinstein is accused of attacking five women between 2004 to 2013. he had been fighting the extradition on medical grounds claiming problems with his back and vision. weinstein is appealing his conviction in new york where he was sentenced last year to 23 years in prison for separate charges. if found guilty of the california crimes, weinstein could spend the rest of his life in prison. earlier this week, we took a look at jeffrey epstein and the mystery behind his wealth and influence. now, almost three years after investigative reporter julie kay brown's award winning reporting for the miami herald helped put the convicted sex offender behind bars again, she is out with a new book titled "perversion of justice the jeffrey epstein story," congratulations on the book. great to have you with us again. it was your reporting that set this off that helped bring
justice to a lot of women in this country. as you sat down to write the book, i'm struck reading through it. how many times over the course of this man's life, people in positions of power, government officials, attorneys, protected jeffrey epstein from what you helped finally to deliver over the last couple of years, which is justice. why? why did so many people look the other way or much worse for jeffrey epstein? >> well, there's a couple of reasons for that. one thing that isn't covered a whole lot is the fact that at the time that this happened the prosecutors and a lot of the people that looked into this case, unfortunately, treated these girls who just to remind people, these were young girls who were 13, 14, 15 years old, they felt that these girls were prostitutes, and they, you know, down played this crime as of
course jeffrey epstein's lawyers played into this, the fact that these girls had themselves possibly committed a crime because in florida there was still a law on the books, believe it or not, calling child, you know, enabling people to arrest children who prostituted themselves. so that's number one. number two is he had a whole network, a whole ecosystem of people who helped him. he couldn't have done this alone. everyone from the butler who answered the door to the schedulers, to his lawyers, people who really enabled him to some degree. of course not everybody who associated with knew. but probably a good deal of them did and looked the other way. >> julie you go into some detail about how this all began, in fact, going all the way back to his job, a strange hiring of him as a mathematics teacher at an
elite private school in new york city, and showing signs back then, we're talking about the mid-1970s of inappropriate behavior of young girls at the school, i didn't go a bizarre science fiction novel, i think it was wealthy space aliens coming to earth and taking women back as sex slaves while he's teaching at a high school. when did it turn toward the criminal for jeffrey epstein? >> well, the first that we know that this whole scheme began was in the early 2000s. he was really close and at some time boyfriend of ghislaine max maxwell, a bring dish socialite, indicted accused of being part of this sex trafficking operation but we know that way back in the early 2000s, she was recruiting young girls from various places around florida,
for example, spas, health clubs, even schools, you know, she went to colleges. and giving her business card and basically saying that she had a wealthy man who was interested in hiring them as an assistant or a massage therapist or as someone that he could help with their careers, and that's our understanding of how the whole thing started. >> congrats on the book, and good look with that. i want to talk about ghislaine maxwell, give us an update where the case against her stands, what's the time line, what are we talking about, and what more, there's always an air of mystery around this entire proceedings, what more we could learn about the other people in epstein's world? >> it will be interesting to watch what she does because she's so far seems to have taken a page out of jeffrey epstein play book. one of the things that he had success with was pressuring prosecutors back when this whole thing started and he used his lawyers that he tired a number
of very powerful, influential lawyers, he was strategic in who he hired. he hired kenneth star who was, you know, this is the time when george bush was in the white house. he hired people who were attached to certain prosecutors who had personal relationships with prosecutors involved in the case. so he was very strategic. and maxwell is also being strategic, hiring, you know, a former u.s. attorney. hiring people who are also filing motion after motion after motion, just, you know, papering this whole they think and giving them so much material that, you know, it delays things because they have to answer all of these motions, and that's somewhat what epstein did as well. >> julie, mike barnicle has a question for you. mike? >> julie, thinking about all the
work you have done on this at the miami herald, it occurs to me it's not only possible but it's probable that jeffrey epstein could have skipped on everything that he was liable for, criminally liable for but my question to you reverts back to the first time that he really encounters heavy duty law enforcement in terms of federal intervention, the u.s. attorney's office, and he basically gets a slap on the wrist from the u.s. attorney's office, so i'm wondering was there any ripple effect within the professional staff of the u.s. attorney's office, career assistant u.s. attorneys who were outraged at what happened, and if you could please explain for viewers exactly what happened with alex acosta. >> up at the time that this deal went down or after my series? >> both. >> okay. well, at the time that this happened, the lead prosecutor, federal prosecutor in the case was a woman by the name of marie
villafonta, and she felt strongly this case should be prosecuted. she did fight for these victims. she went up against her bosses, essentially, and the fbi was the same. the fbi agent who was a woman also did due diligence, and really worked to get him. they had some very good evidence against him. they had, you know, they didn't just have a handful of victims, they had 34 victims. all of these victims' stories were the same. what we now know is that she faced, you know, opposition from her bosses in the u.s. attorneys office and it wasn't just alex acosta, it was her immediate bosses and i go more into this in my book. >> so julie, we have heard over the years lots of possibility of high profile names of men that
jeffrey epstein provided these young girls for, and worked and, you know, catered to or was friendly with. we have seen the pictures. they're high profile. democrats and republicans. does your book reveal anything more about the web that he weaved around people with power? >> i think so, to some degree. i think we were not as certain, for example, how many people were involved, number one, and number two, the kinds of people. he really, you know, he had a lot of academic people and ask deem -- academia, people with pulitzer prizes, people in his circle. it's hard to identify people who committed, if they committed any crimes because these women are still afraid to talk. you know, i've heard that some of them have corroborated the fact that there were very powerful men involved but they don't want to say anything because the few women that have
come out have been publicly, you know, attacked, you know, by certain individuals connected to epstein. so you know, it remains to be seen whether any of the men that were involved will be held accountable. >> julie, obviously there are many questions and conspiracy theories swirling around the death of jeffrey epstein in jail. i'll just read the title of one of your chapters, jeffrey epstein didn't kill himself. what was your reporting around that for the book? >> well, you know, there are just so many, like everything else to do with this case, unfortunately, there are so many things that are still being kept secret. and one of the things that we still don't know is exactly what happened the night that he killed -- allegedly killed himself or i always say authorities say he killed himself because they haven't laid out the evidence to how they made that conclusion, and epstein's brother, his lawyers,
and a very well known forensic pathologist do not believe he killed himself. i've reviewed some of the things that the medical pathologist has examined, but unfortunately the coroner's report has never been made public. the two corrections officers who worked that night are now pretty much silenced because they have a plea deal. i mean, why did they get a plea deal? it seems to me that it's just more -- another way that they're kept silent on exactly what happened. and so i'm skeptical of this conclusion. he also -- you know, he had people that did everything for him, almost down to tying his shoe laces so to me, it's just, you know, it's hard for me to believe that he had the wherewithal to do something so violent that he was solely, by himself able to break three
bones in his neck. it just doesn't, he wasn't a large man, and it just seems -- if anything, i think perhaps it might have been an assisted suicide, that's the only other option that i believe is possible. >> yeah, the prominent forensic pathologist shares your skepticism that this was suicide. a fascinating new book. we just scratched the service, it's called perversion of just, the jeffrey epstein story from award winning investigative reporter for the miami herald, julie k. brown who set off so much of this story with her series in the miami herald. thank you so much for being here this morning, we appreciate it. coming up next here, amid the growing unrest in cuba, the united states is preparing for a potential influx of migrants on florida's coast. nbc's kerry sanders takes us along his ride with the u.s. coast guard searching for cubans fleeing the communist government
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after last week's major protests in cuba against its communist government, the u.s. cases a potential surge in cuban migration. joining us now from florida's east coast is nbc news correspondent kerry sanders who traveled alongside the u.s. coast guard. kerry, what did you see? >> reporter: well, good morning, mika. what we saw was first conditions that are perhaps perfect for anybody trying to make that very dangerous journey from the island of cuba to the united states in a raft or a boat. but we also saw the u.s. coast guard prepared to interdict anybody who tries to make that dangerous journey by any means necessary. the u.s. coast guard headed on
patrol over the florida straits towards cuba. commanding the flight today pilot lieutenant. >> we're trying to save lives, enforcings laws of the united states and saving lies are the top two priorities. >> reporter: the crew on this 8 c 144 newly stepped up patrols after violence erupted in haiti when the country's president was assassinated earlier this month. while in cuba, just a week later, protesters took to the streets, the largest challenge to that island's communist government in more than 30 years. protesters demanding liberty, freedom. haiti, and 800 mile sail from florida, cuba at its closest, only a 90-mile float to key west
in the fast moving gulf stream. the u.s. coast guard now on a heightened state of alert, aware of when there are problems in cuba, they can fast become a crisis for the united states. in 1980 and again in 1994, the cuban government released pressure on its problems, allowing cubans to flee the island. more than 100,000 took to the seas, the flotilla of immigrants overwhelmed florida. before president barack obama normalized relations with cuba, any cuban national who made it to the u.s. was allowed to stay. but under current u.s. policy, cubans interdicted at sea are repatriated. >> nobody coming from the sea is staying in the united states. they will be returned to their country. if they have a credible fear, then other arrangements will be made. >> reporter: as the mayor of this city, what do you do if thousands beginning arriving by boat? >> we'll do what we have always done. we have always taken people in. >> reporter: in miami, cuban
americans in solidarity with those who protested on the island say they are hopeful after 62 years of communist rule the anger on the island will now lead to change, but many worry if president biden were to soften the u.s. embargo on cuba or allow a mass migration, it would only help cuba's regime. came to the u.s. from cuba when he was 8 years old. >> the crisis is what cuba uses as to get the pressure off. that's what they do all the time. they did it with in 1994. that's not what the cuban people want. the people that are on the streets in cuba want freedom. it is not about high prices. it is not about lack of medicine or food. it is freedom. >> reporter: back over the florida straits, no signs of any rafters, but there is growing anticipation, the u.s. needs to be at the ready to spot those who may not want to be spotted if they're just going to be sent back to cuba.
you're there to save lives, but they're playing a little game of cat and mouse. >> correct, they are. because half the time we try to find them, we try to get them safe, but they don't want to -- they don't want to cooperate. >> reporter: in the last nine months, the u.s. coast guard has interdicted 554 cubans trying to make their way from the island to the florida coast by boat. compare that to the previous 12 months where they only picked up 49 cubans. so we have seen a huge increase just in that period of time. and all of that, of course, was before the most recent protests in cuba. mika? >> and, kerry, understand the government shut down internet for the cuban population due to the protests. what's the status of that and how has that impacted the cuban people? >> reporter: well, you know, communications on the island, of course, is very important. and without the internet these protests were not just in havana, they were across the
island. so there is a real push by cuban-americans to try to get a piece of technology that was effective, though very costly, in africa where they fly these weather balloons, essentially well above where airplanes fly, and it sends down a signal allowing people to access the internet, to give the folks on the island access to the internet to continue to communicate. the problem is, a, it is a very difficult technology to deploy, and, not only costly, but the cuban government could then jam the signals and prevent people from getting it. but there is a real push to try to give people the internet because there is a belief that if they have access to the internet, it may help them in their efforts to push for freedom. mika? >> nbc's kerry sanders, thank you so much for your reporting. we appreciate it. and still ahead, a long time friend of former president trump is hit with federal charges. we'll dig into the arrest of tom
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there was a heated exchange during a senate health committee hearing yesterday between republican senator rand paul and dr. anthony fauci. senator paul stepped up his months long fight with dr. fauci, accusing him of lying to congress about the role played by the national institutes of health in funding lab research in wuhan, china. take a look. >> dr. fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to congress, do you wish to retract your statement of may 11th where you claimed that the nih never funded gain of function research in wuhan. >> senator paul, i have never lied before the congress. and i do not retract that
statement. >> animal virus and increase transmissibility to humans, you're saying that's not gain of function. >> that's correct. and senator paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly. i want to say that officially. you do not know what you are talking about. >> all the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab, and there will be responsibility for those who funded the lab, including yourself. >> i totally resent -- >> please allow the witness to -- >> i totally resent the lie that you are now propagating, senator. you are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals. i totally resent that and if anybody's lying here, senator, it is you. >> wow. okay. we'll leave that there. still ahead, have we entered a fourth wave of the pandemic? the cdc director says the highly contagious delta variant
accounts for 83% of new covid infections. plus, with unvaccinated americans driving the new surge in cases, we're taking a closer look at why so many people are still deciding not to get the shots. "morning joe" is back in a minute. e shots. "morning joe" is back in a minute i'm searching for info on options trading, and look, it feels like i'm just wasting time. that's why td ameritrade designed a first-of-its-kind, personalized education center. oh. their award-winning content is tailored to fit your investing goals and interests. and it learns with you, so as you become smarter, so do its recommendations. so it's like my streaming service. well except now you're binge learning. see how you can become a smarter investor with a personalized education from td ameritrade. visit tdameritrade.com/learn
♪ tom brady is a very good friend of mine. he's a great guy. for those of you that don't know him, he's a very honorable guy and honest guy and truly great athlete. he's really a very good friend of mine and i just spoke to him a little while ago, he's so thrilled and so happy. >> that might not be what donald trump is saying now after brady cracked a joke at the white house about the former president's false claims. this is the kind of stuff that really bugs trump. and speaking of sports, the biggest hurdle for athletes at the olympics may be avoiding covid. it is already hitting the games
in tokyo. and vulnerable communities here at home. and back to the former guy, one of donald trump's close friends busted by the feds and it goes straight back to what was happening inside the trump administration. we'll get to that developing legal story in just a moment and a lot more on this wednesday, july 21st, first, willie, let's begin with the latest on the virus. >> good morning, mika. the danger is highly contagious delta variant. as of this morning, it is responsible for 83% of new covid infections. a full seven months after the first highly effective vaccine became available in this country, hospitals again are inundated with a surge of patients who are very sick. and the number of cases is climbing across the country. this latest wave is impacting the most vulnerable states and communities that have low vaccination rates. in a moment, nbc's gabe gutierrez will report from louisiana on why so many people are deciding not to get the
shot. but, first, miguel almaguer with the latest numbers. >> reporter: inside a growing number of hospitals across the country there is little doubt our nation has already entered a fourth wave. an explosive summer surge in covid cases few predicted, fueled by the highly contagious delta variant, now accounting for 83% of all new cases. the u.s. is already averaging 26,000 new infections a day, over 1,000 an hour. >> the reason it is so formidable is the fact that it has the capability of transmitting efficiently from human to human in an extraordinary manner. >> reporter: on capitol hill, the nation's top pandemic doctors said it is the unvaccinated accelerating the pandemic, as deaths skyrocket by nearly 50%. >> we have things open at 100%, nobody is wearing masks. >> reporter: with the highest infection rates in the nation, states like missouri, arkansas, and florida have vaccination
centers that are empty and hospital beds that are full. how concerned are you that children will be at the center of the next surge in the fall? >> yes, i think that there is that concern. >> reporter: at the university of alabama birmingham, the pediatric care unit was nearly forced to shut down after a flood of children suffering from respiratory viruss that usually spike and spread in the winter. cases of rsv are surging as restrictions loosen and more children gather together. the same way covid can. >> people just be smart, be safe, try to protect yourself. >> reporter: now fearing a widespread fall surge, even vaccines are no guarantee against delta's serious threat. we learned a fully vaccinated white house staffer and an aide to house speaker nancy pelosi also tested positive for the virus after meeting with fully inoculated democratic texas lawmakers who flew maskless to
washington and suffered breakthrough infections. an evolving threat as the unvaccinated face a future that looked more like our past. john bartucci got the covid shot he put off for months. what was holding you back before? >> honestly i just didn't see the need for it. just thought, well, i'm young and healthy, i thought maybe i wasn't going to be as affected as other people that would be more at risk. >> reporter: he's called the moveable middle, adults who were skeptical of the vaccine but not dead set against it. >> when someone pushes, i'll push back. >> reporter: she became convinced after her adult son got sick. why did you get it today as opposed to a couple of months ago? >> just didn't feel like it was -- with everything going on, i just didn't know what to -- i didn't do any research.
>> reporter: around the country, roughly half of americans are fully vaccinated, but daily vaccinations have dropped below 1 million. louisiana is among the states with the lowest rates, 36% of the population here is fully vaccinated. some parrishes below 20%. >> i think there is a lot of misinformation that came out initially when the vaccine came out. >> reporter: for those getting the vaccine now it seems the choice is all the more personal. john is expecting his first child later this year. that kind of raises the stakes a little bit, right? >> absolutely. >> gabe gutierrez from lafayette, louisiana. he notes that hospital in lafayette, louisiana, has 260% more covid patients than it did two weeks ago. as doctors there talk about the moveable middle, public health officials say there are people in the middle who can move, that's where they want to go. it looks like some members of congress may be in that moveable middle. >> yes, we'll get to that in a moment. on the moveable middle, willie,
this is so interesting because this is -- there is a group of americans who perhaps as we heard the woman in the -- in gabe's piece say, i felt pushed into it, she was listening to all sorts of information, perhaps followed donald trump's followers and there is a lot of distrust and disinformation, even though trump himself got the vaccine. he didn't push it. he pushed a lot of distrust in the vaccine and even recently has done that. and what the moveable middle has now is they have been able to watch science play out before their eyes. and they see that the vaccinated are safer from this virus than the unvaccinated. and that those who are dying now are predominantly unvaccinated. those who are getting sick and those who are having the delta variant rip through their communities are unvaccinated. and younger and sicker and that is the science they can see before their eyes, over the
course of months, over the course of this year it helps. as willie mentioned, the number two house republican finally got his first dose of the vaccine. congressman steve scalise of louisiana got his first shot this past sunday. he had previously tested positive for covid antibodies, but now with the delta variant on the rise, he said, quote, when you talk to people who run hospitals in new orleans or other states, 90% of the people in the hospital with the delta variant have not been vaccinated. that's another signal the vaccine works. the house minority whip added that the vaccine is safe and effective and thank you, steve scalise, for getting out in front of that. it doesn't matter when, it's important you do it. willie? >> all right, let's bring into our conversation clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at brigham and women's hospital, dr. paul saks. good morning. good to see you. let's get your snapshot of where
we are, we sort of took a tour of the country there, focused in on louisiana, some of these states with very low rates of vaccination now, seeing the biggest problems. hospitalizations through the roof in some of those places. where are we right now as a country and where do you think we're headed as we move through the summer and into the fall when schools open again? >> what this delta variant has done is it has really exposed the unvaccinated people to getting quite sick from the virus and we have seen this in practically the entire world right now. there is a little prelude to this in the united kingdom and in israel, where they had high vaccination rates and we started to see hospitalizations in unvaccinated people go up and then cases in vaccinated people too. there are cases -- vaccinated people are much milder, or sometimes they're just completely asymptomatic. nonetheless, the danger is real and the delta variant spreads very easily and unvaccinated people are incredibly high risk. >> so dr. sax, can you underline
for our audience and maybe some of the people watching in that moveable middle what the numbers are in terms of who is ending up in hospitals right now? who is dying tragically at this point in the pandemic? is it 98%, is it 99% unvaccinated? what are the numbers? >> so depends on the proportion of the population that has been vaccinated. i can tell you even in the state that is heavily vaccinated, like our own state here in massachusetts, the people who are sickest in the hospital now are those who have been unvaccinated. by and large, the other group i worry about are people whose immune systems are weakened by the underlying illness that they have, maybe they're taking medicines for cancer or for other problems that suppress their immune system. they're vulnerable. we owe it to them to try to get as many people as vaccinated as possible. because it protects not just your self, but protects others. i worry about that population too. >> dr. sax, i'm concerned about those who have been vaccinated,
carrying and passing along the delta variant. is that possible? >> while it is possible, it is far less likely than someone who is unvaccinated passing the virus on to other people. several studies have now shown that the vaccines do remarkable things, they prevent people from getting sick from covid and reduce the likelihood they'll have high amounts of virus that spreads to other people. so one of the primary benefits of getting the vaccine is it protects everybody. so it is a public health initiative as well as a personal health initiative. >> wow. so confidence in the vaccine has got to be going up as we learn these details. although a new study released yesterday suggests that the johnson & johnson covid vaccine is proving to be much less effective against mutations of the virus, including the delta variant. the new study has not yet been peer reviewed, nor published in a scientific journal, but "the
new york times" notes the conclusions add to the evidence that the 13 million people inoculated with the johnson & johnson vaccine may need to receive a second dose, ideally one of the mrna vaccines made by pfizer, biontech or moderna. what do you hear about that, dr. sax? what would you say to a patient who came to you and said i got the j&j vaccine or somebody who came to you for advice and should i get a booster? >> well, right now the official guidelines are not to receive a booster. but on the other hand we had concerns about the j&j vaccine for some time and there is quite a bit of chatter and scientific community that this may be necessary. and it is driven not just by the data you mentioned, which have not been peer reviewed, but by studies that have shown that people who have received a vaccine either the j&j vaccine or the astrazeneca vaccine, if they receive an mrna vaccine, one vaccine, they have a tremendous boost to the strength of their vaccine.
and so it would not surprise me if ultimately there is a recommendation, especially with delta circulating, for the mrna vaccines to follow the j&j vaccine .. we'll have to see. >> and just really, really quickly, dr. sax, where do you stand on somehow people showing that they perceived the vaccine, do you think the fact that you can't tell who has been vaccinated and who hasn't could cause more problems in this country right now? >> well, one thing that we -- public health officials and infectious disease specialists really do support is so-called vaccine mandates. it is something we have already in the united states in many school systems and we can start using that in other settings, for example, in hospitals, in universities, in places where people have to work very closely together, where there have been outbreaks, vaccine mandates are an extremely effective way of getting to that middle undecided group or people who just say i haven't gotten around to it.
if you say you need to get this vaccine in order to go to work, and in order to go to school, then that does get a significant proportion of people who are just sort of shrugging their shoulders about the vaccine, that gets them vaccinated. so that's one thing we strongly do support. >> dr. paul sax, thank you very much. and still ahead, fans are packing ballparks, but when it comes to the olympics, it is a different story. we'll look at the covid complications hitting the summer games when "morning joe" comes right back. games when "morning joe" comes right back ♪all by yourself.♪ you look a little lost. i can't find my hotel. oh. oh! ♪♪ this is not normal. no. ♪♪ so? ♪♪ right? go with us and find millions of flexible options,
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♪ dream until your dreams come true ♪ looks like team usa will lose another member of its olympic delegation because of coronavirus. u.s. beach volleyball player taylor crab tested positive while in tokyo. she was scheduled to play in a match on sunday night. so far no replacement has been named. around 80 cases now have been connected to the games ahead of friday's opening ceremony.
and a top olympic official is now saying there's still two days out the games could be cancelled if cases spike further. as nbc's tom llamas reports from tokyo, the focus from japan still is on delivering a successful olympic games. >> reporter: the world's greatestathletes, including japan's naomi osaka, have two goals, win a medal and dodge the virus. tokyo reporting a spike in covid cases more than 1300 new infections. still, this skateboarder says so far he's enjoying his sport's first olympics. >> it is better than what i expected. we still got to be safe and take precautions because of covid, but it is amazing to be here and see this all happen. >> reporter: around the city, venues are preparing for an olympics like no other. making sure athletes are safe. here in the men's locker room for swimming, there are covid rules from the moment you walk in. you see here, they're in japanese but also they have some pictures. over here, every other sink is
closed off to keep the social distancing and on the mirrors, more rules. you feel like you're ready and the swimmers are going to be safe? >> yes, of course. no doubt. >> reporter: the most dramatic covid measure, no spectators. even though tokyo is still full of crowds. from packed trains to semifull baseball stadiums. i asked tokyo's governor why the olympic games were being singled out. why can people go to the baseball game but can't go to the olympics? >> translator: the olympics is not a local game. it is an international game. therefore the medical sector has asked us not have spectators due to there being more passionate cheering. >> reporter: olympic organizers say it will be a different type of event. but promise it will still captivate the world. all this with the opening ceremony 48 hours away. an olympic play is already under way in tokyo as the u.s. began its quest to regain the olympic softball gold medal yesterday. opening with a 2-0 win over
italy. also this morning, australia named to become a three-time olympic host as the international olympic committee awarded the city of brisbane the summer games in 2032, mika. coming up, american businessman tom barrack was close to the government during the trump administration, but which government? federal prosecutors say he was working as a foreign agent without disclosing it. we'll talk about the legal implications just ahead on "morning joe." implications just ahead on "morning joe."
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tom barrack, who chaired former president donald trump's 2017 inaugural committee was arrested yesterday for acting as an agent of the united arab emirates without registering as a foreign agent. he's accused of influencing the foreign policy positions of the campaign and administration between april of 2016 and april of 2018. this is according to the justice department. the seven-count grand jury indictment says barrack used his friendship with donald trump to
get language inserted into the then candidate's energy speech in 2016 about the importance of working with, quote, our gulf allies on behalf of the emiratis. it also says barrack provided uae government officials with, quote, sensitiveenr united stats government officials with respect to the qatari blockade conducted by the uae and other middle eastern countries. the former trump fund-raiser also faces counts of obstruction of justice, and lying to law enforcement. a spokesperson for barrack said he is a, quote, made himself voluntarily available to investigators from the outset. he is not guilty, and he will be pleading not guilty. two other defendants were charged with unregistered foreign agency along with barrack. joining us now nbc news correspondent foreign
investigations tom winter, former u.s. attorney and msnbc contributor barbara mcquaid, and white house reporter for the associated press, jonathan lamier. tom, if you want to add anything more to what i already reported here, but also who else in the administration or the campaign might this touch, given the types of dealings tom barrack was having? >> well, it is a really good question, mika. right now, contained within this indictment there is not a lot of indication of other individuals in the trump orbit that were involved in this, and in some respects you can look at this indictment and say, in fact, the president in the trump administration, the trump campaign, were the victims of this if they were not aware of it. there is no indication, at least contained in the documents, that they were, but i think the indictment raises some key questions. you've laid out the overt acts or the things that tom barrack did, and in plain english, but i have some other questions, looking at the timeline of this,
the conduct is from april 2016 to april 2018. and then on top of that, the fbi interview is in june of 2019. that's over two years ago. so why did it take until yesterday for us to hear about this and why did it take until yesterday for charges to be brought? i think there is some questions that deserve to be asked there and we are asking them because this seems like a long period of time. why didn't they just file the paperwork? why not let us know? what tom barrack did not necessarily illegal. it is not illegal for him to work on behalf of a foreign government to try to lobby the president of the united states, whether he's one of his best friends for 30 years or not. it is illegal if he doesn't disclose it. that's all that really needed to occur here. so i think that gets us to our -- to the third question that i have, which is what did tom barrack receive in any sort of compensation, any sort of
preferential business assistance that he received from the emiratis. i think it raises some serious questions to prove you don't need to prove he received some sort of compensation that is not included in that, so it is not something that needed to be contained in the indictment, but we have scant details about that, mika. i think all three of those questions really deserve to be asked here. it just is a little confusing that it is two years after he allegedly lied to the fbi, all over the place, including about a separate phone that he had to conduct the communications and encrypted messaging apps that why we're just hearing about it yesterday. >> so, barbara, let's remind people how close tom barrack is to donald trump as tom mentioned. friends for 30 years. tom barrack spoke on the last night of the 2016 republican convention. tom barrack, ivanka trump and then donald trump accepting the nomination. that's where he stands in donald trump's life. but as a former federal prosecutor reading through the seven-count indictment, what do you see exactly, a cut to some of tom's questions, what exactly
sort of in plain language is tom barrack accused of doing here? >> well, i think one of the points that is very important here, willie, is that this is not a paper work violation. i know tom said he could have filed notification with the attorney general and been permitted to lobby on behalf of the uae. that's right. there is a reason peopleittion that, it is because if he had registered and everyone knew he was acting on behalf of the uae, he would never have received the access that he got and some of the allegations are that he had drafts of president trump's speech on energy and shared it with the uae government officials, got their edits and gave it back to president trump, that he took credit for getting the uae omitted from trump's travel ban in january of 2017. it is that he wrote an op-ed in favorable terms for the uae because he got input from the uae, representing these things
as his own judgment and opinion when in fact he was doing it on behalf of a foreign government. and the reason that that is a crime isn't because he made a paper work error it because it permits secret undue influence by a foreign government. and in fact to willie's question, he's right, it doesn't -- to tom's question, it does not allege a motive because they're not required to allege a motive. they don't want to make it harder to prove their case than they need to. but there is reporting in "the new york times" his firm was paid $1.5 billion by the uae in saudi arabia. so there is certainly a very powerful financial moment at stake here. the other thing i see is the potential for cooperation. we know that the eastern district of new york is also investigating fraud in the trump inaugural campaign, which tom barrack chaired. and so he has the opportunity here to come in and share information with prosecutors
about that investigation if he wants to work off some of the time. >> barbara mcquaid and msnbc's tom winter, thank you both for being on this morning. and coming up, the prime minister of spain is standing by. we'll talk about his visit to the u.s. and europe's ongoing struggle against the pandemic. "morning joe" is back in a moment. the pandemic. "morning joe" is back in a moment
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bezos and three other passengers blasted off on an 11-minute ride, rocketing three times the speed of sound to an altitude of 66 miles above the earth. the passengers experienced several minutes of weightlessness before safely returning through the completely automated flight. msnbc's stephanie ruhle got first interview with bezos after the landing. >> for all those millions of americans who are watching this who are saying this is a joyride, it has nothing to do with me what did you experience that matters to all americans? >> well, listen, we have to build a road to space so that our kids and their kids can build the future. we live on this beautiful planet. we saw this, i mean, you can't imagine how thin the atmosphere is when you see it from space. we live in it and it looks so big, it feels like, you know, this atmosphere is huge and we can disregard it and treat it poorly. when you get up there and see it, you see how tiny it is and how fragile it is, we need to take all heavy industry, all
polluting industry, and move it into space. and keep earth as this beautiful gem of a planet that it is. that's going to take decades and decades to achieve. but you have to start, big things start with small steps. >> and stephanie is back from remote west texas. and joining us now live. stephanie, great to see you. what was it like to be there first of all, and also what is jeff bezos planning concretely? what is the next step as he talks about building this road to outer space? >> it was absolutely extraordinary to be there firsthand and see it. and, willie, i'm not traditionally a science or space person. but just think about yesterday, and a week and a half ago, richard branson having a successful launch, it is great for america. name any other country where you would have two independent private businesses, three if you add elon musk, making these kind of investments and advancements in space travel. it is extraordinary.
i came home this morning with all my kids talking about science. we need these american moments that bring people together. and right now as i say this, people are hate tweeting at me, you know, and flooding at me saying screw this guy, he doesn't pay his taxes, he doesn't pay his workers, you can hate jeff bezos personally, you and i can debate why he isn't paying his taxes and how terrible that is, but it doesn't take away from what an extraordinary event that was, and from a sense of science, research, development, mu howe amazing it is. the government didn't pay for that. private industry did and now the government gets to use the commercial vehicles rather than what the government has been doing traditionally our astronauts have had to hitch rides with russia in order to get to the international space station. good to see them doing business with other americans. >> so, stephanie, you're right, obviously we can hold two thoughts at the same time. we have been critical for years about jeff bezos and amazon not paying taxes, but it was impossible to stop for those 11
minute and just marvel at what was happening, just as we did with richard branson nine days before that. so what next here? this is -- as he described it in his interview, this is sort of the first step on a road that should be built for future generations. what are his next plans? >> i'll tell you what he didn't mention, not one single time, amazon. this is now his day job. he's going full time and focusing on space exploration, at the same time addressing climate change. do we wish that you had these billionaire boys with the same kind of enthusiasm for solving other issues that plague the globe, like climate change, like racial inequality, like income inequality, sure. do we wish they weren't just spending it on these boys and these big rockets, yes. right now he's saying when you see earth in the rear view mirror, your commitment to per serving its awesomeness has never been greater. he wants to focus on how we take
heavy industry and move our waste off planet earth and how we continue to advance this. yesterday they announced, and, again, you'll go, big deal, just for rich people, 100 million in sales as far as people who are signing on to take these flights. >> fascinating. just looking at these pictures, it is something to marvel at. stephanie ruhle, thanks so much. thanks for giving us your account from the ground there in west texas. we'll be handing off to you coming up in a few minutes at 9:00 a.m. mika? >> thank you, stephanie. the global market is working on making a comeback from the pandemic. one country to watch is spain. the prime minister of spain pedro sanchez is here, in the u.s., advocating for global cooperation in meetings with business leaders such as apple's tim cook and prime minister sanchez is our guest. thank you for making "morning joe" one of your first stops on your american tour. and i note that you're going to new york, los angeles, san francisco, cupertino, i
mentioned a little bit of why, but if you could explain more about the purpose of your visit here to the u.s. and why not washington? >> well, thank you very much. i believe that in the aftermath of the pandemic in spain we are now defining our road map for the modernization of our economy. and for that we need and we would like to have the u.s. private sector on board. and that is why we're here. we are going to meet very important investment folks, also flying to l.a., san francisco. i think we're in europe in spain especially we're leading momentum after the pandemic, we have public investments to make greener our economy, to digitalize our economy, to modernize our educational system, and therefore we look forward to engage private investments in spain. >> so it is hard not to talk about the economy, whether it be
the world economy, or spain's economy, without talking about the pandemic. where does spain stand in terms of coronavirus? >> well, we have high figures today unfortunately. that's why we're calling for prudence, to be prudent in spain. but fortunately we are not having any kind of rejection movement against the vaccination. 50% of our population is fully vaccinated. we're looking forward to reach 70% of our population before the end of summer, vaccinated. so, you know, vaccination means, of course, economic rebound. this is what we are witnessing and how it is is in spain, but what we don't want is to get to the previous stage of the pandemic. we understood that digitalization, that ecological transitions are the main revolutions we have to face. and we wanted to do it in a very inclusive way. social, territorial and also on gender equality because
unfortunately women are very touched and harpharmed because this pandemic. >> i want to ask you about the numbers you say are still high. you say there is no rejection movement to vaccines. explain what you mean by that and then what is the problem? is it getting vaccines to the people? is it still actually a physical problem? >> no, it is not. what we -- what we did in our vaccination campaign is to focus on those generations that are more vulnerable, so to say, to the covid-19. now it is mainly among the youth. those generations that unfortunately didn't have the chance to get the vaccine, but fortunately we are now opening that vaccination campaign to our youth and they're responding quite positively. we're confident we're going to reach that goal. 70%, to get the group immunity
that our scientific team is looking forward. so we are very confident and, you know, the debate that we are facing not only here, but in the u.s. and elsewhere is, you know, we are facing a kind of ideological battle, partisan battles when we are facing is a global public health challenge. so the major mistake that us politician could do is to idealize this pandemic fight that we're facing. so, you know, this is not a question of progressives, of conservative, this is a public health matter, public health question, and it is very important to tell our people, our citizens that we need to be safe and we have to get vaccine because the vaccine is safe, and it protects us against the virus. >> mr. prime minister, thanks for being here.
president biden has been in office now for six months. he made his first trip to europe a few weeks ago. his message was america is back. i want to get your assessment of that. how do you compare and contrast this administration to his predecessor and in particularly on the issue of climate change, is spain doing enough? is the united states doing enough? >> i think that when president biden says america's back, i think it is good news, not only for you, but also for the world. because on the climate challenge that we face, it is important to have the u.s. on board. so, you know, going back to the paris agreement, i think is a great news for all. in europe, we're very committed with this transition. in spain we are devoting 40% of the european funds, which means from my country, $162 billion for the next six years, devoting 40% to ecological -- and 28% to digitalization.
which means in the end the same because these transitions are completely linked. i think it is great news. i think it is very important after this pandemic that the relations between the u.s. and the european union, you know, are more close or in the future, and unfortunately the situation that we have before with the previous administration, the u.s. administration was, you know, i would say very difficult to understand, to see a president of the u.s. say that european union is a kind of enemy, against the u.s. interests, i think it was completely a mistake. >> when the president was -- president biden was in europe at the g7, he was warmly received. there were a few areas of friction, in particular on relations with china, where president biden defined the rivalry with china as defining economic one of the century,
suggesting the democracies of the world need to prove they can still do big things to compete with china. where does your country stand with its relationship with china? do you think president biden has a point or is this a partner you're willing to deal with? >> i think he has a point. china for us as europeans means a competitor, and also a rival, a systemic rival on the democratic values. but it is also true that we need to speak with them, we need to open dialogue with them on major challenges, global challenges that we have, for instan. but we understood something after the pandemic is one of the lessons is the importance of the digitalization, the importance of cybersecurity. that's why in spain we are looking forward to be like a kind of global leader on cybersecurity. we are devoting more or less over $600 million apart from --
$4 billion on digitalization, and i think it is very important to, you know, to strengthen our cybersecurity system in spain and europe and of course elsewhere. >> mr. prime minister, before you go, just looking at some numbers that have been presented to me about women in leadership in spain, spain has the highest share of women in any government in the world, 63.6%. all three vps are women. does this translate to other aspects of spanish life, business, education? >> absolutely. absolutely. we're very proud. we pass a law on equal payment between men and women. also we are very committed against gender violence. we also increase the minimum wage by over 30% in last year,
somebody said it was very important for women. and also what we did, it was to increase maternity and paternity leave for both parents over 16 weeks. so we're very committed with gender equality. we don't understand these, you know, political movements that try to identify the challenge and commitment to a kind of ideological question. this is not an ideological question. this is a fundamental question. this is human rights question. and that is why i'm really proud that my country is so very committed with gender equality. >> you said you passed equal pay laws. how does it work? how are they enforced? >> it is. it is getting better. unfortunately women are, you know, receiving less salaries than lower salaries than men, but still we have that public commitment and we're speaking
with the companies, we are also speaking with the major companies in order to, you know, first to have these equal retribution and, of course, to have more presence of women on the boards, so to say. >> all right, prime minister of spain, pedro sanchez, thank you very much for being on the show this morning. we appreciate it. and up next, the effects of western wildfires are being felt across the country. we'll take a look at the smoky haze being seen for a second day in new york and elsewhere along the east coast. plus, plus, the department of justice released more footage yesterday from the january 6th insurrection at the capitol. this one of a retired special forces officer hitting a police officer in the eye with a flagpole. that is next on "morning joe."
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♪ born to be wild ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ born to be wild ♪ see disney's jungle cruise. applebee's and a movie, now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. from prom dresses now t to workouts good and new adventures you hope the more you give the less they'll miss. but even if your teen was vaccinated against meningitis in the past they may be missing vaccination for meningitis b. although uncommon, up to 1 in 5 survivors of meningitis will have long term consequences. now as you're thinking about all the vaccines your teen might need make sure you ask your doctor if your teen is missing meningitis b vaccination. vo: the climate crisis is here. berardelli: these temperatures are almost unbelievable even for a meteorologist. vo: and the solution is here too:
clean energy. like wind turbines and solar panels. now, congress has to invest in it and the millions of workers ready to install it across the country. because in america, we don't hide from problems like climate change. we take them on. we innovate. we lead. because if we invest in these workers, and their future at this moment, that's how we build back better. smoke from the wildfires across the western u.s. and canada is now affecting the east coast. new york city was among the cities that saw thick haze and a blazing red sun yesterday because of the smoke tinted sky. officials issued an air quality health advisory, and extreme weather has turned deadly in china. devastating floods overtaking a city in china. we'll get the details from sky news's asia correspondent.
>> reporter: people were making their way back home after work when the water burst in. it happened so fast that the trains were still running. inside the carriages, commuters were trapped. it quickly became the stuff of nightmares. the train stopped, the water rising up to their necks, and nothing they could do but wait and hope. social media showed apparently lifeless bodies in the carriages and on the station platforms. this man is saying that hundreds of people are trapped and at least some of them were rescued. hunan province is home to nearly 100 million people. it has been hit by heavy rain since the weekend. nearly a year's worth fell in one day on the capital
yesterday. it is the rainy season, but the ferocity of the flooding took everyone by surprise. across the city, dozens of vehicles were swept away, made to look like toy cars floating in the water. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: a huge rescue operation was in place and chinese state media reported that 100,000 people have been moved to safety. more than 150 students and teachers were trapped at this kindergarten. the army warned that major dams could burst, wreaking for havoc, and it is still raining. this has been a week of climate disasters, wildfire in the u.s.,
catastrophic flooding in europe. now china, too. there's no place on this planet that will go untouched. sky news, beijing. >> absolutely breathtaking pictures out of china. back here at home the department of justice released footage yesterday of a retired special forces officer hitting a police officer in the eye with a flagpole and then lobbing it at the officer during the january 6th capitol attack. the video shows the retired green beret emerging from the mob of president donald trump's supporters to jab at a dc metro police officer in the face with a flagpole before hurling it at him like a spear. the department of justice has charged him with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers with a deadly weapon and violent entry, arguing in court documents, quote, the defendant assaulted multiple sworn officers protecting the u.s. capitol on january 6th, 2021, with the apparent intent
to facilitate the breach that imperilled not only the lives of public servants, but the heart of this nation's democracy. according to the army times, he worked as a contractor for the cia as recently as 2018. he pleaded not guilty, but was denied bond. so jonathan lemire, we're getting a steady stream of videos coming out publicly concurrent with the establishment of the select committee in congress, which will hold its first hearings next week. it seems to me, it seems like to a lot of people that some of these videos and some of the people we're hearing about in these videos will become witnesses and evidence in front of this committee. >> i think that's right. and first we should note the preponderance of seemingly ex army, ex police, ex law enforcement officers who were part of this mob that stormed the capitol that day, which certainly has worried authorities and led to real questions about exactly how
those bodies should continue going forward after something like this. but in terms of the committee next week, i think we'll see some of them as witnesses and it remains remarkable that seemingly by the day we have more horrifying and harrowing video footages of images of january 6th, but it questions whether it will change the proceedings at all. we know leader mccarthy just put his picks in place. we don't believe that spouse speaker pelosi will object, and some of the republicans on board, three of them, voted to not certify joe biden's election. jim jordan, the congressman from ohio, was one of donald trump's biggest supporters and i think there's a real fear that it will be a sham proceedings, at least from the republican side, when it starts next week. >> between this, jonathan lemire, willy, and the delta variant, we're seeing several lines all pointing to one cause, and that would fall under the umbrella of trump conspiracy theorists that have really
promulgated situations like this, in both cases deadly, and the question to our leaders in washington is what side of this do you want to be on. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. hi, there. i'm stephanie ruhle. it is wednesday, july 21st, and we are covering a lot this morning. lawmakers working late into the night to hammer out the details of an infrastructure bill. the senate is set to vote this afternoon on whether to move forward, but what happens if it fails? that is the big question. also this morning, another member of former president donald trump's inner circle behind bars, at least for now. tom barrack, chairman of