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tv   Stephanie Ruhle Reports  MSNBC  August 25, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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chris jansen picks up the coverage right now. hi, there. i'm in for stephanie ruhle. it is wednesday, august 25th. and we start with breaking news on capitol hill where house speaker nancy pelosi is about to speak any minute now, and the house foreign affairs committee will be briefed about afghanistan by the deputy secretary of state. last night, we learned congressmen went to afghanistan without any government approval. it comes after president biden said he's sticking to his pledge to withdraw u.s. troops by august 31st. he made the announcement after a virtual meeting with our allies, in spite of their arguments for keeping troops past the end of the month. it's also what the taliban wants, after they called that date a red line. and warned of consequences if we keep troops there any longer. but it does come with a contingency.
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biden told the pentagon and state department to be prepared with backup plans in case things go wrong. and it's not just the taliban he's worried about, the u.s. is also tracking threats against the kabul airport from an isis a affiliate, giving americans and afghan allies even more of a reason to get out, and fast. >> every day we're on the ground is another day we know that isis-k is seeking to target the airport and attack both u.s. and allied forces and innocent civilians. >> here are the latest numbers as wes know them. the u.s. has evacuated nearly 88,000 people since the end of july, including about 19,000 yesterday. what that doesn't tell us is how many americans are still there, waiting to get out. we have reporters covering every single angle of this story. richard engel back in kabul for us. courtney kube at the pentagon. geoff bennet at the white house. we have to start on capitol hill. what can we expect from speaker
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pelosi and what's the latest on these congressmen and the trip to kabul? >> reporter: speaker pelosi put out a letter yesterday reminding members of congress in no uncertain terms that they are not to travel to afghanistan without government approval, which our sources say that these two members of congress did not receive. and there are a couple of reasons for this. first, the united states government has to know their whereabouts in order to be able to guarantee the safety of these members of congress, and second, the united states is in the midst of a massive evacuation plan, tens of thousands of individuals from afghanistan are coming out, and every resource used to protect these two lawmakers is a resource not being used to evacuate americans, u.s. partners, and afghans from that region. we should be hearing from speaker pelosi pretty soon, but there has been a backlash from members of congress, including democratic congresswoman sarah jacobs, who accused her
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colleagues of traveling to a danger zone for the sake of their ego. they say this was an oversight mission they were conducting and they say they should be ashamed of how they're treating military members. >> so they had no government approval when they went there. what is the pentagon saying about this? >> reporter: so nothing officially at this point, but defense officials are saying this was a distraction, it's just not helpful at this time. as you mentioned in the intro, the military is fully focused on this major massive evacuation effort, and they have really ramped up the number of people they've been able to get out in the last three days or so. right now, with the deadline still holding of august 31st, there is a frantic effort to get as many people out as they can. really they're looking towards the end of this week, because that's the time when they're going to have to start pulling some of those 6,000 u.s. troops out of kabul airport. once that happens, as they start to bring some of the american
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troops and the rest of those embassy and staff at the airport, once they bring them out there's not going to be as much room on the flights for evacuees. what we're going to see is more and more flights that have a lot of troops on them with some evacuees until the point where it's going to be all troops who are leaving. right now there is a frantic effort to get as many of the seats on those evacuation flights filled with afghans and americans and anyone else. and the reality is, if you're taking any seats, even if it's just two for these congressmen, those are seats that didn't go to the evacuation efforts. >> on the ground from the very beginning we've seen the literal desperation, you can read it on the faces of the people coming to the airport, many with children and babies. talk to us, now that we know it's clear that the president is determined for there to be an end date, the urgency you're
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hearing, feeling on the ground. >> reporter: we're not seeing a mad rush to the airport. people are going to the airport, people are camped in front of the airport. but this announcement didn't change things profoundly here in kabul. there was not a light switch moment where people started to stampede toward the gate. many afghans have been trying to get out. right now there are hundreds at one of the gates, according to witnesses that we've spoken to. the taliban are trying to maintain calm. they are allowing people who have documentation to go through. other people, they are stopping. they are handing out diapers, they are handing out water, handing out fruit, cookies, they're trying to keep the situation calm because the taliban at this stage do not want a stampede. if people here in kabul might not have been watching very
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closely what was happening last night in president biden's speech, they certainly were, and they do not want to slow this process down. they want the americans to move because this is now being called the islamic emerite of afghanistan, they are trying to get the street cops back functioning, they are trying to move on from the 20-year american chapter in their history. and the sooner that the americans can leave, the better it is from the taliban's perspective. so calm so far on the streets. they are not blocking american citizens as far as we are aware from getting there, but there is inconsistency, because multiple gates getting into the airport or multiple different taliban checkpoints and some are more aggressive than others. but, generally, the taliban is really going -- i don't want to say out of its way, but doing a great deal with the amount of
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personnel that it has deployed in kabul to get this process going smoothly. >> and, geoff, let me ask you about the white house and i may have to interrupt you if we see nancy pelosi. but talk about the calculus inside the white house behind this decision. >> reporter: in explaining why he's sticking to his self-imposed deadline of august 31st, the president expressed the grave and growing threat to u.s. forces and coalition troops if they remain there beyond that deadline. and i have talked to administration officials who say, if the president were to extend the deadline or expand the operation, he would effectively have to surge u.s. troops to expand the perimeter and perhaps retake kabul and that would draw u.s. troops into direct confrontation with the taliban, especially since the taliban said that august 31st is a red line. the president is not going to do that and it's not clear the american people would support him if he did. the white house and pentagon have stressed repeatedly they believe they have enough time to
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evacuate all of the remaining americans. it appears as if there won't be enough time to evacuate all of the afghan allies and those at risk. the president said yesterday that we would hear more about that from the state department and we know antony blinken is set to talk to reporters around noon earn. more than 80,000 people since the start of the process since august 14th and reiterated the core beliefs when it comes to this. one, he believes the mission has already been met and he believes the evacuation would have been chaotic in the best of circumstances, and he does not believe it's right to send american men and women into afghanistan or any other place where they're risking their lives in a futile operation, as he views it, where the interests of the national security are not being met. >> and of course the argument on the other side, geoff, is that it's not right to abandon people
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on had, what they believe, was a promise that they would be taken care of. look, the polls are very clear, a majority of the americans back the president on his decision to withdraw, but in a recent poll, nearly two-thirds do not approve of how he handled it. talk about the politics of this and how critical it is for the president to get these next six days right. >> reporter: look, it's going to be a nervous week for this white house, this administration, just waiting to see if this strategy pans out. certainly if there are any sort of terror attacks in afghanistan, if there are, god forbid, american casualties, this would turn into a full-blown policy tornado for this president, so they're certainly watching things very carefully. >> to that point, you have new reporting about how the cia and pentagon, members of congress are disgusted that we're leaving afghans behind. tell us a little more about what you're hearing behind the
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scenes. >> reporter: this is with my colleagues, we're all hearing from our respective agencies that we cover that there's a lot of frustration. as you mentioned, even disgust, at the fact that there are potentially thousands of afghans who have been supporting the u.s. effort there for two decades, and it's not just the individuals who worked directly for the u.s. government. it's also their families and their extended families, who will potentially be at severe risk. once the taliban take over and once the u.s. leaves. there's already reports all over the country of these individuals being hunted by the taliban, at times being killed by them, and there is a real concern. and there's frustration. one thing -- i don't know if our viewers really -- >> i need to interrupt you, courtney. nancy pelosi is taking to the podium, including, obviously, she'll get questions about the two members of congress who went to kabul. let's listen. >> again, it was a team effort for us for the vote, i want to
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thank all of the members of the leadership who worked so hard on this, because it wasn't just about that vote. it's about how we proceed and make it the law within the next couple of months, six weeks, whatever. really, the vision of the president, he had said i want to do what i can in a bipartisan way on infrastructure, but it is not the totality of my vision. my vision is to build back better, not only with physical infrastructure, but with personal infrastructure. i'm paraphrasing now. that wasn't a direct quote. so in our legislation we deal with the climate crisis in a more important way, we'll deal with the building back better for women, child care and child tax credit, universal pre-k,
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home health care, and workforce development. these are not just about women, but women will predominantly benefit because women predominantly bear the responsibility for many of those important priorities in our society. so i'm really very excited. i always had confidence, i never doubted that the president's budget would prevail, because of the commitment that our caucus has to america's working families. that is what unifies us, whatever our differences at the end of the day, our commitment to america's working families is the unifier. people say, well, you keep them together now, our values keep the house democrats together. so i'm very much excited about that. what also happened yesterday was historic. we passed the voting rights act on the floor of the house. now it will go on to the senate, and hopefully it will see
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success there. this is called the john lewis voter advancement act. it is historic in that -- when we were in the minority, to put this in perspective, when we were in the minority in 2006, we wrote the bill, worked in a bipartisan way, the black caucus taking the lead, to present the voting rights act that passed at that time, signed by president bush and became law in 2007. it was almost -- i think it was unanimous in the senate, but it was almost unanimous in the house. we had nearly 400 votes for it. not even a question of any partisanship. unfortunately, yesterday you did not see that bipartisanship and it was really sad. this is fundamental to our democracy that we respect the
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sanctity, that was what john lewis' life and risk of death was about. so in any event, all the more necessary because of the assault on the voting rights act that was made by the supreme court in shelby county versus holder, the then attorney general, and, again, the more recent decision earlier this summer by the supreme court on section 2 of voting rights act. what could they be thinking? thinking, caring, i don't know. but whatever it is, if they're just saying that the constitutional basis for the legislation was not ironclad enough, then we made sure that it was. congresswoman sewell has been working on this issue. as you know, she represents selma in the congress, so her
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connection to john lewis, to voting rights and sacrifices made is a great one and i was so proud that she prevailed. the john lewis bill also had the great support of the chairman of the judiciary committee, mr. nadler, the house administration committee, lofgren, the good work of mr. butterfield in collecting the data, as well as now secretary marcia fudge. she did that before she left. now, even with the election in 2020, we see even more need because of the actions taken during the election in 2020 and since. all the more need, not just for h.r. 4, but for h.r. 1, now s. 1 in the senate.
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the suppression of the vote -- not only the suppression of the vote, the nullification of elections that they are putting forth, there are probably 20 bills that had become law that had been enacted, hundreds that had been introduced to suppress the vote. you just have to wonder why would they not want to make it easier for people to vote? just because they want to suppress the vote among people of color, they are also suppressing the vote for everyone else by their, again, suppression of number of polling places, hours, the list goes on and on. so we're very optimistic about what we said, we, the people, it has to be the people doing this, and over time, over time there are efforts to expand freedom and now the republicans want to contract freedom.
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this week we are observing women's equality week, when 101 years ago women won the right to vote. at the time they said women given the right to vote -- not given, fought for, starved for, marched for, worked so hard over decades to achieve the 19th amendment. so last week was the day in tennessee when the vote was taken in tennessee to take us to the number of states needed to ratify, this week is the enactment. so for one week we celebrate. but as we celebrate, we have to protect the vote, not only in terms of ending suppression, but ending nullification. martin luther king, he talked about nullification in his i have a dream speech. so this is something that had been there in the jim crow world that they want to resurrect.
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so, again, i salute terry sewell and all who have worked to the legislation, steve cohen's committee who put forth the legislation. the list goes press conference on it yesterday, we had the honor of the presence of the legislators from texas there who are seeing firsthand the brutal attempts to suppress the vote in their state. we were honored by their presence, inspired by their courage, and determined to get this to become the law of the land. i talked about how proud i was of my caucus and their commitment to america's working families, and i just want to talk about where we go next. we now -- we have been for a while, but now coming to closure on some of the particulars within the bill, the president
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and the senate sent us legislation about a budget resolution of $3.5 trillion. within it are some of the things i talked about before that relate to -- >> nancy pelosi on two votes in the house. they broke the internal impasse on the $3.5 trillion budget bill, but also the john lewis voting rights act now goes on to a sharply divided senate. we're waiting to get questions and we'll go back to her when we hear that. we're waiting to hear what she has to say about the two members of congress who went to kabul. i want to bring in afghanistan veteran and congressman jason crow, democrat from colorado and a member of the armed services committee. let me ask you first about your colleagues who went to kabul without government approval. steve scalise, congressman, indicated today more members want to go. so a couple of questions. have you talked to either of them, and do you believe, as some do, it took resources away from people who desperately need
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them, or was this necessary congressional oversight? >> good morning. i was pretty shocked to hear this. i actually think this was a pretty irresponsible thing for these two members to do. the bottom line is we are just trying to secure our troops and soldiers, we're trying to get as many people out as possible. the only thing i thought about is how many afghan women and children were not able to be evacuated because they had to pull marines out of line to provide security for vips. it shouldn't have happened. >> and as you know, already we're starting to see members of the military who are getting on those planes, which means that there are fewer evacuees who can get on those planes. the president really wants to be out in the next six days. i understand that you don't think there's enough time to get everyone out. as you look at the new numbers, getting more people on planes, getting more people out, how do you assess the situation right now and what needs to be done?
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>> yeah, i'm not seeing a scenario, after all the briefings, the information i've reviewed both as a member of the intelligence committee and the armed services committee, as well as the congressional briefing that we received, i'm not seeing a path for us to get out our afghan partners between now and the end of the month. the numbers just don't add up. the security situation is deteriorating and getting worse. the risk of attacks by isis and the other related groups, as well as other terrorist organizations is increasing by the day. that's why i said we need to put resources and combat troops in that we need to to make sure we can secure against an attack and put the perimeter out beyond the airport and we can continue to expedite the evacuation operations. we have a moral obligation to afghan partners. they protected me, they protected hundreds and thousands of men and women across this country who served in afghanistan. we have an obligation to them and their families to bring them to safety and we have to do what's necessary to accomplish that.
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>> what's your message to them right now, given what we've heard from the president? we know there are a lot of members of congress who agree with you. we know there are a lot of people who are running organizations, including veterans, who are trying to independently to get people out. we know other governments, like mexico, who are trying to facilitate giving people a place to go. and yet this is the situation that we're in. what is your message to the folks who at great personal risk worked alongside you? >> well, our message is to the afghans that there's a lot of people who care about you, who are trying to protect you and we're going to continue to fight to make sure we can bring you to safety. >> what does that mean? what can you do? given the president's stated stance. >> we can push the administration. that's what i've been doing since april. i've been one of the leading voices to push for the expansion and ex sfa indict the siv program. we're going to let the
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administration know that song is broadly and deeply in a very bipartisan way supportive of this and that's reflective of the american people. the american people are supportive of this because they realize this is a moral issue, they realize that our credibility as a nation is on the line and they realize this is a national security issue so that we will protect our friends, that we have future friends who are willing to stand by us as well. so we're going to continue. >> so let me ask you about that. tens of thousands of afghans applied for those siv special immigrant visas, but i want to read how "the new york times" describes the program today. quote, while the united states has ramped up its evacuation flights, the politicized and bureaucratic american immigration system has struggled to meet the crisis. congressman, you know this was not a surprise. we knew this was coming. i know you've had trouble getting visa numbers yourself. how do we get this right if we can't even get the paperwork done? >> i couldn't agree more.
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who is going to defend our immigration system right now? i'm certainly not going to. we've had problems with this for a very long time. we've known that. that's why i, back in april, i started screaming from the top of my lungs, talking to anybody who would listen to me, and far fewer people were listening to me back in april or may than they are right now, saying we have to start the evacuations. let's get them out of the country and get them to safety, whether that's guam or a u.s. military installation overseas. get them out and we can sort it out later. that window is now closing. if we don't get them out of afghanistan, they're going to die. that's the bottom line. let's get them out and then worry about the bureaucratic issues and the streamlining later. >> you, in fact, have said that you've heard stories of afghans making suicide pacts because they don't want their children to be enslaved by the taliban. is it really that dire? what happens to those folks if
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we don't get them out? >> yeah, it is that dire. the taliban have not reformed themselves and i think they might be temporarily trying to project a face of reform to the rest of the world. but the indications that i'm seeing from my reporting and what i'm reviewing, they are extreme and they're the same as they've always been and i'm seeing reports of terrible abuses throughout afghanistan. so this is dire and that's why i'm working so hard t 24/7, because the minute the last u.s. plane leaves that country, the people that are remaining are going to be in a very difficult situation. that's why we need to extend that deadline for the american people, as congress reports, and we need to do what's necessary to get people out. and that's not without risk. that's the other message.
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people need to understand that's not without risk. but we've been fighting for 20 years there. we have been on the ground doing what's necessary since 9/11. military operations are not without risk. we have the biggest, strongest military in the world. and if we're not willing to use that to protect american citizens and our partners and friends, then what are we willing to use it for? >> congressman jason crow, thank you. we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us this morning. we also have other breaking news that's new this morning. johnson & johnson just releasing new information, saying a booster of its one-shot vaccine raises the level of antibodies ninefold against the coronavirus. the company says it's going to submit that data now to the fda. for those who haven't gotten even one dose, there are new and disturbing numbers, showing that unvaccinated people are five times more likely to be infected with covid, 29 times more likely to be hospitalized. maybe that's what's triggering an uptick in jabs. the white house says the number
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of people getting their first dose of the vaccine is up more than 70% since mid-july. on average, about 450,000 americans a day are getting their first shot, up from 260,000 a month ago. and as to where all this began, the "washington post" reporting, president biden received a classified report tuesday from the intelligence community that was inconclusive about the origins of the coronavirus. the report falls short of concluding whether the virus jumped from animal to human, or might have accidently escaped from a lab in china. joining us now, shaquille brewster live in illinois, gabe guterres in florida, dr. paul offit, is a member of the fda vaccine's advisory committee. good to see all of you. let's start with the j&j news. you said before you think boosters might eventually be needed, but not yet. but since this was a single
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shot, does the j&j booster make sense to you? >> well, we certainly know from earlier studies by j&j, when they did work in experimental animals, that the second dose of neutralizing antibodies, and this isn't very surprising. the critical question is does that second dose dramatically enhance protection against disease? and hopefully johnson & johnson will be able to provide the data, which would then provide a basis for recommending a second dose. >> if we do have boosters for johnson & johnson, does it make a difference if it's j&j, or could they go to moderna, pfizer? >> again, not until the studies are done. can you then use one vaccine and boost with another, i think one can only do that if the studies are done and then the fda authorizes that. >> if all of you can stay with us, i want to go back to nancy pelosi for a moment. she's talking about the two
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congressmen who went to kabul. >> we need to be evacuating as many people as possible. it's not just about them going to afghanistan, going to the region, because there's a call on our resources militarily in the region as well. so this is deadly serious. we do not want members to go. >> are you disappointed in them specifically? >> i haven't heard what their -- in other words, let me just say i think my letter speaks for itself in terms of people shouldn't be going there. >> madam speaker -- >> yes, ma'am. >> have you spoken to them since -- >> no, i haven't. i guess they're back now, are they? i haven't spoken to them since, no. >> do you see their trip as a distraction? >> the point is that we don't want anybody to think this was a good idea and that they should try to follow suit. again, i haven't -- i've been busy, it's an important thing,
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we want to make sure they were safe for themselves, but also for what consequences, ramifications, if something happened to them while they were there. so they have to make their own case as to why they went and this or that, but it was not, in my view, a good idea. >> are you going to speak with them? >> we'll see. they have their committees. see, this is not just like i think i'm going to go to afghanistan. you need the approval of your committee chair in order to do that. and we've put out the word to committee chairs, that ain't going to be no planes or this or that or people going to the region, or any facilitation. see, the defense department has to protect, but the state department has to facilitate. really? we're trying to get people out. so, again, without having a
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fuller knowledge of -- i don't think they had any committee approval. i don't know that. i don't know what happened on the republican side. but my understanding is they didn't have committee approval on the democratic side. in any event, interesting, i don't think a major distraction because we put an end to any thought that anybody was going there right away. >> to that end on afghanistan, with this herculean effort to try to get people out safety and evacuate them, what does it say about the fact that two members, a democrat and republican, and i've talked to a number of offices who are working to get people out, that they feel so desperate that people need to be evacuated, they need to freelance on their own? does that speak to this problem about the evacuation? >> no, i think it speaks to that they wanted to freelance on their own. i would not make anything bigger
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of this. we have a big challenge to get people out safely and to get them -- to get them -- i talked to mulallah last week, you know her, personal sacrifice, great leadership. we talked about women and girls, which is part of what her foundation does. she basically in our conversation and in a follow-up letter said, most important thing right now is for us to have -- the u.s. to have a strong military presence at the airport and the opportunity for people to get to the airport. it is not in furtherance of that strength for us to have members going over there. >> mr. crow, who you mentioned is leading the effort in the caucus on this. he said yesterday he's against withdrawing our troops by the 31st. he said if we aren't willing to use the military to protect u.s. citizens and our partners and friend's, then what do we use it for? do you think that this is the wrong decision to stick by this
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deadline, when there are potentially thousands, tens of thousands of afghan partners that are left behind? >> we obviously made a promise and we want to honor it. i have the enormous respect for mr. crow. he's been a leader, just visionary. you saw what happened early on, a leader in passing the legislation in a way to facilitate. the judgment about leaving is about judgment that the president has made, and he has to balance the equities of what is the threat to our military and the people at the airport, versus the advantage of staying, and that's kind of what he said yesterday. but i think we may -- more will unfold in that regard. so i'm not -- i think -- i can't go into what happened as a caucus yesterday, but one
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impression that one might take of people coming out, which i was there for, but people coming out, is that people really wanted to encourage the president to stay longer. but he has to, as i say, weigh the equities of the danger versus the advantage, and i trust his judgment. >> i'm curious about the reaction to your reflection of the gottheimer crew. you've been through a lot of these in the last several years. i'm curious on what they claim is a deal and you say is not so much of a deal. >> it's a clarification. it's a clarification. look, we have a vision about how we go forward. there are those who would like to see the reconciliation be smaller and some of that from the outside. >> we're going to continue to listen to nancy pelosi, but i
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want to go to sahil on the hill, and clearly she didn't want to specifically target moulton and meijer on their trip to kabul, but she also says we don't want anyone else to think this is a good idea. she's been pretty clear about the fact, she said, that they didn't have any congressional approval, even though she hasn't spoken to them. what is your twae takeaway? >> reporter: she did refer to her letter yesterday and she said she believes it is not a good idea. she says she has not spoken to those two men, but she believes they are back now. they, of course, voted by proxy yesterday in the series of votes that the house of representatives took, and she said it was not just about them going to afghanistan. she said it was deadly serious and she wants everyone to know that this is not something that members of congress should be doing. and i think based on the backlash that we've seen from
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their colleagues, that appears to be a message that they're getting. pelosi got a little bit into the august 31st deadline for withdraw, said she is deferring to the president, she trusts his judgment on what she described as the equities, the dangers that he needs to balance when it comes to staying and withdrawing. she says promises have been made by the u.s. government and she expects -- and she believes the united states should honor those promises. >> thank you very much. just to let you know, nancy pelosi has wrapped up. we got you the headlines out of that briefing. i want to go back and talk about these developments now in the coronavirus, go back to the doctor, if i may. the fda has obviously given full approval for the pfizer vaccine. what are we looking at for a timeline for moderna? you're on the committee that makes these kinds of decisions. >> my understanding is that
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they're just a few weeks behind. >> i want to go back into the field, if you'll stay with us. important stuff going on there as well. gabe, where you are in florida we have a current wave of infections causing, obviously, new dangers, but it's something we're seeing across the south. talk to us about what you're seeing on the ground there. >> reporter: i'll tell you where we are right now. we're at one of those pop-up monoclonal antibody treatment sites that are starting to pop up across the state. governor desantis has been touting them over the last few days. a few minutes ago there was a long line of cars. it just opened up and that long line of cars is presumably getting treatment a little further down. the reason that these sites are in such demand is because previously monoclonal antibody treatments were given in hospitals. as we've been reporting, several of the hospitals in this area are filled to capacity. yesterday we got an inside look inside one of those covid icus
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at st. joseph's hospital here in tampa, at the time 25 out of 26 beds in that covid icu were full. ambulances were waiting outside the hospital. about half the time they had to be diverted to other hospitals because the hospital was full and many of the health care workers that we spoke with were frustrated that more of their patients were not vaccinated. we spoke to one nurse in particular, she told us about her shift on monday where she had to take four patients in a 12-hour shift to the morgue downstairs. take a listen to what she told us. >> i went home last night and i was mad. >> why? >> because i don't need to be doing this right now. we could have avoided this whole wave if more people in our country had gone and just gotten two shots. i'm still here and i'm still trying, but i want to make people better. that's what i do. and i can't.
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it's awful. >> reporter: and that was the overwhelming sense we got from those health care workers, this frustration that at least some of this latest surge, perhaps, could have been avoided if more people had gotten vaccinated. so, again, we are here outside this monoclonal antibody treatment site that just opened at 9:00 eastern time. already there were people waiting to get it. and this is something that governor ron desantis has been touting, but also yesterday dr. fauci was saying that these types of treatments, regeneron, for example, were underutilized, he said, and could potentially lower the risk of severe hospitalization or death in people that get these treatments by 85%. again, as you just saw, some of the health care workers just wish it hadn't gotten to this point. >> who can blame them? they're continuing to do heroic work. shaq, you've been talking to folks in chicago.
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has the fda's approval changed any minds of vaccine holdouts there? >> reporter: well, i spent some time at vaccination clinics yesterday and i'm outside of one right now that's being held at a high school later today for families here in this community. and, you know, they're saying it's not just the fda approval that got people to go and get their vaccines this week, but it's really the factors. many factors involved in it, including what that approval, and really the anticipation of that approval ultimately led to. and i'm talking about those vaccine mandates. places like restaurants, at gyms, at schools, for example, the fact that it's becoming inconvenient not to have your vaccine, that is what people are telling me have driven them to get their vaccine and finally get over the hump, being pushed off the fence, so to speak. i want you to listen to what a nurse practitioner told me, who he tells me at his practice he saw an almost 60% increase in the number of calls just this week. and then listen to what a nurse who finally got her vaccine
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yesterday told me about why she decided to do it yesterday. >> yeah, there is some kind of hesitation. but now with the fda earth full authorization i believe people are so confident. >> i just wanted to wait. it was so new. it did just get fda approved. that does make me feel a little bit better about it. but they also -- that got approved really quick. so i don't know if it's just the hesitancy of everyone that isn't getting vaccinated. >> reporter: so you hear the hesitation, the skepticism, even though she went in to get the vaccine. her friend that was standing next to her is an actual nurse and she said that she's hearing more people go and get the vaccine because they have to get it, rather than because they want to get it. >> so, doctor, i can't even imagine how frustrating it is for you when i hear that nurse talking about the number of times she has to go to the morgue and then you hear people
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who are ignoring science, and then i saw -- and i want to share with people a shocking headline from a local pennsylvania paper today, the headline says pregnant, unvaccinated and intubated. doctors are alarmed by a rise in cases. pregnant women with covid are 15 times more likely to die, 14 times more likely to need to be intubated, 22 times more likely to have a pre-term birth. when you look at those figures and you look at the misinformation that is driving a lot of the hesitancy, those early unfounded reports that pregnant women somehow were going to affect their baby if they got vaccinated, which we know now it is safe, what is your reaction? what goes through your mind? >> it's remarkable to me. i mean, you have almost 650,000 people who have died from this virus. virtually 100% of them were unvaccinated. you have the vaccines given to
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half of the american public. there's 170 million people who have been vaccinated. this vaccine stands on a remarkable record of safety and efficacy and frankly on a record of safety and efficacy greater than any other licensed product out there. how much more information do people need? i mean, it's interesting that the kaiser family foundation found that three of ten people will now get the vaccine, but i'm not so sure. i think people who don't want to get the vaccine are just looking for reasons not to get it. the internet provides a lot of misinformation. they say, okay, that's why i'm not getting it. the fact of the matter is there's no good reason not to get a vaccine. when people say it's a matter of personal freedom, if you really want personal freedoms, get the vaccine because that's going to allow you to have freedoms as we move into the next few months you're not going to have otherwise. >> well said. my thanks as well to gabe and shaq. we appreciate all of you. we want to go back to the breaking news, moments ago
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speaker pelosi praising the house's approval of the $3.5 trillion budget resolution, focused on what democrats called a sweeping expansion of the safety net. but, of course, it came after a week of battles with moderates in her own party before finally reaching a deal. i want to bring in texas democratic congressman who was one of those moderate lawmakers, pushing for a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. it's so good of you to be with us, congressman. speaker pelosi has framed the agreement late last night on these bills this way, quote, they wanted clarification about how we go forward and that's what we did. you called it a deal, she called it a clarification. what did you get out of it? >> whatever you want to call it, a deal or clarification, but i'll tell you what we wanted out of this. we are on the same page, it was just a matter of how we get there. we wanted to have a day to vote on the standalone bipartisan
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infrastructure bill that would be a historic investment, the largest one in 100 years, that would bring money for infrastructure across the nation, but also create 2 million jobs a year for the next ten years. so this was important that we have it, and the date september 27th. on the other part, the other social investment, we just wanted to make sure that we worked hand-in-hand with the senate. we don't want to pass something from the senate or president is not going to approve. we wanted to make sure that whatever the house votes on, whenever that is done, before or after september 27th, we don't know, it does take a long time to get this done, that we worked hand-in-hand with the senate democrats and get something that we can send, vote in the house, vote in the senate, and then
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send it off to the president. >> are you concerned at all, congressman, that speaker pelosi simply pressed pause on this until september and that she could push off again down the line? >> well, if you look at the rule that all democrats voted on, we said that there will be a vote on this bipartisan infrastructure on or before september 27th. she gave us her word. mr. hoyer, mr. clyburn, i'm part of the leadership, also, and if they said they're going to do it and all members voted on it, i know it's going to be done on or before september 27th, the bipartisan bill itself. on the reconciliation, let us have an input, and whatever we can agree on, we vote on it together, not a different version from the house or the senate, but together where the house and senate can agree on, and then we can send it off.
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>> we only have about a minute left. before i let you go, i have to ask you about the john lewis voting rights act that moved one step closer to becoming law. members of the texas legislative delegation were there at the press conference. talk about what it means to you as a representative from texas, a state where a sweeping elections bill is making its way through the legislature, what it means to you, that it at least got through the house. and do you have much hope about the senate? >> i was in the state legislature for 14 years. i was also a secretary of state in texas, chief election officer. i was also, with my colleagues yesterday, most of them are former colleagues, and i know why this is important for them. we supported this because it's the right thing to do. notice what happened in the house. it was a great party vote, unbelievable that we couldn't get some of our republican colleagues to vote on that.
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we've got to work on this. i've spoken to senator joe manchin and i know he sat down with my texas colleagues from the statehouse and the state senate, and we're hoping that we can get this done. this is a narrow, tailored version that we get to get passed and i hope that this is a bipartisan vote in the senate. >> congressman henry cuellar, great to have you on the program. coming up, nearly 20,000 evacuated from afghanistan in 24 hours, but many thousands still remain. next we'll hear from an afghan journalist who just escaped kabul with his family. inside his journey and his fears for those who don't get out. they drove to safelite for a same-day repair. and with their insurance, it was no cost to them. >> woman: really? >> tech: that's service you can trust. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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♪♪ ♪♪ - [announcer] at southern new hampshire university, we never stop celebrating our students. from day one to graduation to your dream job, that's why we're keeping your tuition low for the 10th year in a row. - [student] the affordability and the quality of education, it can be enough to change your life. - [announcer] as a nonprofit university, we believe in making college more affordable for everyone. - southern new hampshire university, it was just amazing experience. - [announcer] find your degree at we're learning more about the human toll of the crisis in afghanistan. tens of thousands of people fled to start new lives in brand new places, including states like virginia, new jersey, wisconsin,
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texas. but until that can happen, thousands who helped the u.s. are stuck waiting for a new start. including these refugees at an air bass in germany. and there will be an unknown number of people left behind. their lives under threat. i want to bring in a journalist who escaped from kabul. thank you so much for being with us. you saw the taliban fall back in 2001 and you just got out after they came back into power. what has watching all of this been like for you? >> unbelievably painful and heartbreaking to lose everything that the drunker generation worked for over the last 20 years. so many of our friends were killed in the media, so many of our friends in the families were killed in some of the most deadly attacks in kabul. and all the sacrifices, all the hard work went down the drain in a matter of like days.
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i also want to call this the tsunami of brain drain. afghanistan's best and brightest have not only been forced to leave the country, but thousands of others are still in hiding fearing for their lives, they are not able to make the journey to the airport not only in kabul but across many of the prove virnss. and when you talk about afghanistan, when you talk about your home, you are talking about 20 years of your entire life there, your future there, your dreams and aspirations. and when i came to the international airport thanks to the government and the ambassador there, all i could see and think was one word, brain drain. i could see everyone on that bus that represented the last 20 years. there was this popular tv host that would start the morning on
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the show "good morning" and she was there best prernts in the company was there, best artist was there, and we all knew that they were not at the airport to cover the story but instead to flee the country. so we are all devastated, we are all hard-working. and we have left behind, you know, our passions, our proceed efficients. and we'll obviously be starting new lives somewhere in the world, but you know, we can never forget the city of kabul, afghanistan the country, and everything that we work for. >> and you mentioned the best presenter in afghanistan, a woman. for many young women there, they have never really known life under the taliban. they have had opportunities. they have been able to have an education. what is your fear, what will the life for women be now that the taliban is back in power and
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america is about to leave? >> i think there is no doubt that afghanistan is going backwards as much as we are reassured buyer the taliban spokespeople. the reality is that there will be restrictions. already we're hearing that afghan women should stay at home in provinces able from kabul. and i also have this fear that as myself and all of my colleagues are either forced to leave or they are hiding, you know, we are going to have a lot of blurriness, we're not going to see what is happening on the ground. and my fear is that afghanistan will lose all of the freedoms that it had, from music to, you know, the role of women in the afghan society, in the media. and it is also true that the taliban have an historical responsibility to prove to the world and to the afghan people that they can move away from the past now that they are no longer
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the shadow government. and such taliban actions will have consequences for them in terms of international la gitd legitimacy and international funding coming in. we'll have to wait and see if taliban can transition from fighting into governances, but i will also say the 9/11 style commission report must be put in place to find out how the entire state, state institutions crumble, built with american taxpayers' money, built with western taxpayers' money, taliban are in control of billions worth of equipment, sensitive equipment, modern military equipment. so we will have to see. and i want to put it in the category of let's see. because in afghanistan the situation keeps changing very rapidly. >> and i know you must have tremendous concerns for so many people back home for you in afghanistan. we thank you for taking the time to talk to us. our thoughts are with all of
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those folks back there. that will wrap up this hour. i'm chris jansing. garrett haake picks it up next and we're waiting for the latest from pentagon officials. so keep it here. from pentagon officials. so keep it here. to see for hf that new dove breakage remedy gives damaged hair the strength it needs. even with repeated combing hair treated with dove shows 97% less breakage. strong hair with new dove breakage remedy.
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. right now at the white house, president biden is huddling with his national security team getting an
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intelligence update as the clock starts to run out on the mass evacuation effort in afghanistan. the president holding firm on his august 31 deadline for now. what we're hearing from inside the national security community is frustration, fury, even disgust that thousands of afghans that helped the u.s. could be left behind. plus new anger over that secret unauthorized trip to kabul made by two members of congress. what they say they learned on the ground and the blowback that trip is getting here in washington. >> this is deadly serious. we do not want members to go. >> we'll hear from the pentagon on all of these developments in just the next 30 minutes. we'll take you to that briefing live when it starts. meantime i'm garrett haake in for hallie jackson and we start with richard engel in kabul, courtney kube at the pentagon, geoff bennett at the white house and salah


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