tv Alex Witt Reports MSNBC August 28, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
timeline, so there's also questions, alex, about whether there will be additional strikes before that tuesday -- before we hit that tuesday deadline. so they are watching these scenes of chaos playing out at the airport, and we are looking at the numbers from this evacuation. they are now acknowledging that we are in what is called the retrograde phase, which is pulling our people out, pulling our equipment out. so we're winding up this mission, but it is in the words of the white house the most dangerous part of the mission because the pentagon said this morning that the same threats that the president was briefed on yesterday, which were very serious, very credible and potentially imminent, remain the same today. so we have thousands of people, alex, who view these departing flights as really their last ticket out of what could become a short-term hellscape here with
the taliban trying to instill a sense of calm but with all of these al qaeda fighters, isis cells being released from the prisons, they pose not only a short-term threat to this evacuation operation but also to the taliban's ability to create a calm environment once we pull out and they no longer have even most likely a working airport there, alex. so right now the white house is saying that they stand by the original mission, the original timeline, which is tuesday. at the same time they're saying that we are not leaving and we will not end until we get everybody out. >> okay. heidi przybyla at the white house. thank you so much. all of you, we are past the top of the hour, so stay with us here on msnbc. as we bid you all a good day from msnbc world headquarters here in new york, welcome to this hour of "alex witt reports." we are just past 2:00 p.m. in
the east, 11:00 a.m. pacific time. we will bring you an update on what we learned from afghanistan, breaking news from the taliban in the last hour. it has condemned the u.s. drone strike pen gone officials say killed two isis planners. it happened near jalalabad, a spokesperson telling nbc news, afghanistan is now an independent country and if there is any issue we are here to handle it. this is direct violation of any sovereigty of our country. that strike was in retaliation for the killing of 13 u.s. service members outside the kabul airport on thursday. the department of defense has now updated the full list of those killed. while the big six nato allies have ended their evacuation misses, u.s. forces have committed to evacuation efforts until that withdrawal deadline. that is, of course, tuesday. state department officials are telling us they've heard from 350 americans, they are still trying to leave the country. another 280 americans are not yet ready to leave at this time. conditions on the ground, they remain treacherous.
that airport is still under a huge security alert with troops bracing for a second terror attack. americans are being advised to avoid the gates. there is a bit of upbeat news to share so we're glad to do it. a baby was born in mid-air over kuwait. this happened on board a turkish airlines evacuation flight. that plane was on its way from dubai to the uk. we are happy to say mom and baby are said to be doing very, very well. let's get right to nbc's dan deluce joining us from the pentagon. let's talk about the drone strike that killed the two isis-k planners. what kind of impact could it have on relations right now? >> the taliban are issuing this statement saying that they condemn the strikes, that they weren't consulted about them beforehand, that they see it as a violation of the country's sovereigty, and that if this happens again after the tuesday withdrawal deadline that they would respond. but, of course, it is more complicated than that.
first of all, isis-k, the group that carried out the attack last week, is actually an enemy of the taliban and they have clashed with them before. so in some ways this is kind of for domestic/political consumption to convey the idea they're in charge and they're not tolerating these kinds of things. also, the u.s. reserves the right to go after terrorist groups that have attacked americans. so i think we could see more strikes like this in the future if the opportunities present themselves and if u.s. officials believe that they're worth taking against this group that carried out that horrendous bombing last week. in the meantime, the u.s. military is beginning to withdraw. what the pentagon calls retrograde operations, and the pentagon press secretary, john kirby, was asked about this today at the briefing. let's hear what he had to say. >> reporter: have u.s. troops begun retrograde withdrawal from
the airport? >> we have begun retrograding. >> reporter: can you say anything about the number who have left? >> no, i cannot. >> that's the pentagon acknowledging that the withdrawal process is starting. 5,400 troops there on the ground in kabul, and they're due to leave by tuesday. so that process is beginning. in the meantime, tens of thousands of afghans desperately trying to get out, including those who worked as interpreters, drivers and other jobs for the u.s. military. a question is looming over all of this, alex. how many more afghans could have been evacuated if the evacuation had started earlier while there were more u.s. forces on the ground? >> yes, that is an open-ended question. there may even be investigations into figuring out an answer to that. dan de luce, thank you so much from washington d.c.. joining me is massachusetts congressman who is a marine corps veteran and who served in afghanistan. congressman, i'm glad to welcome
you here. i cannot imagine what it has been like for you all this week, watching what has happened in afghanistan. it must have been like a gut punch learning of the deadly airport attack. just describe what you have seen and how you have been feeling. >> i think there are a lot of your viewers who remember vietnam and were watching these scenes unfurl and asking how do we do this again as a country. and as a veteran, as you said, as a young member of congress, i just feel a special responsibility that the next time a bush-like president tries to blunder and bluster their way into an endless war like this that we stop it. barbara lee has some support. >> yeah. again, she was the long congresswoman who -- congress person who voted against the authorization for that war some 20 years ago. let me ask you, sir, about the president's national security team that warns there is another terror attack in kabul that's likely. the u.s. embassy there is advising citizens avoid those
four airport gates, so what worries you most for our u.s. service members in the lead-up to tuesday's withdrawal date? how best can americans who have to work alongside the taliban as they try to process these evacuees, that is the situation under which that terrible tragedy took place with the suicide bomber two days ago. how do we prevent further attacks? can we trust the taliban with american security in this moment? >> i can't be an armchair tactician and explain or give guidance to how american forces can best handle their security perimeter at hkia right now. what i can say is this atrocity several days ago and the credibility of imminence of further terrorist attacks really underscore the criticality for getting these evacuations completed as soon as possible. we have the through-put to get all remaining americans out before august 31st. we have diplomatic and economic leverage to continue evacuations
for afghan allies after august 31st. it is time that the last boots off the ground in afghanistan. >> we heard the president saying america is going to hunt down the terrorists behind thursday's attack at the airport. the u.s. military now successfully carrying out an airstrike, killing two isis-k planners. what their relevance was to this particular attack we're not sure yet, intelligence hasn't revealed that. but do you expect more attacks like this, and after this week how can we effectively go after isis-k without any resources on the ground and, in particular, you just heard the remarks from the taliban, those official words that said they're not happy about this attack. they feel it is an attack on their sovereigty over afghanistan. >> the taliban don't have veto power over u.s. counterterrorism operations. the war in afghanistan is going to end the way it began, bringing terrorists to justice. we will strike isis-k targets wherever they exist throughout
the world. that is well within the u.s. counterterrorism mandate. and if there is credible intelligence taliban members are aiding and abetting terrorists, we maintain our prerogative to kill them too. they need to know that. we are not trying to nation build in afghanistan. but counterterrorism remains a core u.s. strategic priority. we will not allow a base of operation for terrorists to strike the u.s. homeland or anywhere in the world. >> you have the president and the pentagon committed to tuesday's withdrawal deadline, so what does wednesday look like? how do we get our afghan allies and other at-risk afghans out after tuesday? >> i think the most important legacy of wednesday is going to be that for the first time in 20 years american boots are no longer on the ground in afghanistan. this president came into office facing a wrenching decision. he could have gone big or gone home, and he made the high
integrity call that we had to turn over afghanistan to the afghans. so while the withdraw from the graveyard of empires has been rocky and while we do need rigorous after action and congressional oversight over the decisions made for the last 20 years, the hallmark of wednesday is going to be that this president got us out of a war we could not win. >> in fact, you wrote that op-ed in "the washington post" where you said the president made the hard choice in afghanistan. he made the right one. but you also wrote, sir, that the national interest will be also best served by an after-action review of the withdrawal. tell me what you think that review should look like. >> it should cover the entire scope of the 20-year war in afghanistan from invasion to withdrawal. it should presumptively declassify all decisionmaking around afghanistan. it should build on the work done by "the washington post" with their afghanistan papers where they layout in excruciating detail the bias that caused national security officials in
situation room after situation room to ask for more time, more troops, more treasure, despite knowing there was no political end game to wind down a counterinsurgency. it should be bipartisan, it should be pain staking, it should be in detail and it should give a roadmap for the next generation to prevent future failed forever-wars. >> i picked up on your word bipartisan. as you are well aware a number of republicans have called for president biden to be resigned or to be impeached over what has unfolded in afghanistan. what is your response to that? >> that the party of donald trump would call into question the integrity in areas of national security and foreign policy of this president is laughable. this president, as i said, came into office and for the first time in three commanders in chief made a decision with a clear-eyed assessment of the national interest as opposed to short-term news cycles. he deserves credit for that. again, it does not mean he is spared accountability for scrutiny for his decisionmaking, but the republicans call for impeachment or resignation is a
political stunt in service to donald trump, not in service to the nation. >> massachusetts congressman jake auchincloss, thank you for time with us. we have new news to report. a massive united front is forming around the country as thousands are making their voices heard and standing up for voters' rights. right now rallies and protests are being held across major cities, in part to commemorate the 58th anniversary of martin luther king's "i have a dream" speech. we have several reporters covering the gatherings for you across the country. as we see those three we will show you the scene in d.c. and that is where to the left of your screen trymaine lee is covering the national voting rights action rally. tell me what you have been hearing. >> reporter: first of all, thank you for having me, aleb. we had a number of speakers, most notably for me at least paying attention to the weight of the day is martin luther
king jr.'s granddaughter, a young lady emerging with the flame of justice. on this day 58 years ago her grandfather talking about his dream of an equal society, but pushing for jobs and freedom and so many other issues. that's what folks here today, we had on stage representative al green and sheila jackson-lee, the r & b singer, al b. short, so many folks using the moment as a rallying cry. what they did was seed the ground for us to remember that this has been a long journey, a long fight, one that didn't end with the march on washington 58 years ago or the passing of the voting rights act, that there are still fights to be had and fight they are. you think about the john lewis -- the john lewis voting rights advancement act, restoring what was taken out of section 5 of the voting rights act, which really helped secure the franchise for so many people in the south. then today they're pushing for hr1 in the senate to really organize how we're thinking about voting but how we're voting in the country. so the list of speakers today, the thousands of people who
poured into washington, d.c. to push and put pressure on the federal government has been a sight, but to see martin luther king jr.'s granddaughter take the stage was really something, alex. >> indeed it was. thank you, so much. i'm always glad to have you on the show. we go from there to nbc's shack brewster at the king center in atlanta. shaq, as i welcome you, i understand you got a chance to speak with dr. martin luther king jr.'s daughter, bernice king. i think she was on stage in the last hour when we were talking with you. tell me what she was tellings you. >> that's right. she was on stage, alex, as i was talking to you in the last hour. i pulled her aside. she talked to some reporters and i asked about the connection with the fact it was her father 58 years ago was in washington, d.c. gathering people together for a social justice movement there. now she is kind of doing the same thing. listen to what she told me. >> it is really frustrating that we are at this place, but in
spite of that i'm encouraged about the level of consciousness and coalition building that's happening around this nation. not just around voting rights, but issues of social justice in a way that i haven't seen it since my early adult life when we were dealing with apartheid. >> reporter: you know, i have been talking to a lot of people. they have been repeating that and reflecting that same sentiment here, but there's also a sense of realism here. that's the idea they are calling for the federal legislation you heard trymaine bringing up that they're calling for in d.c., but they understand the hurdle it is to get the legislation. one of the chants you heard here was, hey, hey, hey joe, the filibuster has got to go. they understand that. they want legislation. they're calling for the legislation and they have not gotten it. it will take some real big change in order for them to get that at this point. so that's what you are
expecting. i will tell you now the crowd is waiting for ludacris to take the stage. >> that will be exciting and entertaining there. thank you for that. the latest on the weather, everyone. hurricane ida has just been up grated from a category 1 to a category 2 storm. we will get you what president biden said about that just a short time ago. get outta here. everybody's a skeptic. wright brothers? more like, yeah right, brothers! get outta here! it's not crazy. it's a scramble. just crack an egg. (motorcycle running) ♪ ♪ don't be fooled by the bike. or judge him by his jacket. while ted's eyes are on the road, his heart stays home. he's got gloria, and 10 grand-babies, to prove it. but his back made weekend rides tough, so ted called on the card that's even tougher. and the medicare coverage trusted by more doctors. medicare from blue cross blue shield.
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and we want to take all of you right now to the national action network rally in washington, d.c., of course, pushing for voting rights across the country. you are looking at martin luther king iii, the son of dr. martin luther king jr. let's listen to what he is saying. >> when the civil rights act of 1964 was signed and my father visited the white house and he told president johnson, this is not enough, we need a voting rights bill. because at the time states could
pass all kinds of laws designed to keep people from voting, but president johnson told my father, "i can't do it, i used up all of my political power to get the civil rights act passed." so that day when my father walked out of the white house, people said, "well, what are you going to do, dr. king, now?" and he said, "we gonna go back to the south to get him some power." now, i won't pretend that it was simple. people were beaten. some were killed. police turned dogs and fire hoses on peaceful marchers who just wanted to vote, but every day the voices got louder, the demonstrations got bigger, the reporters showed up in greater numbers, and the moral outrage grew. that's how the voting rights act happened, through the power of the people. >> and that is something we are seeing again today, the power of
the people in rallies across this country, marches and rallies and exactly what we're listen to from, again, martin luther king iii there at the national action rally in washington, d.c. we will keep an eye on that rally and the others under way. but we have to talk about the breaking news relative to hurricane ida. it has just now strengthened into a category 2 storm. the winds are now topping 100 miles per hour. president biden was briefed by fema in the last hour and has a warning for americans directly in the path of the storm. >> i'm urging the people of the area to pay attention and be prepared. i want to say it again. pay attention and be prepared. have supplies for your household on hand. follow the guidance from local authorities. if you have to move to shelter, make sure you wear a mask and try to keep some distance because we're still facing the highly contagious delta variant as well. >> that cannot be lost on all of this. the president reminding us that we are in a covid pandemic.
but let's go right to bill karins, nbc 4 meteorologist, as you focus on the storm. it was bumped up, it was not unexpected, from a category 1 to category 2. talk about where it stands right now and its potential to hit a cat 4. >> right now the forecast is to go to a cat 4. i think it easily will be a category 3, possibly a category 4 at landfall. we're not going to mention cat 5 at this point. we don't think it has enough time to do that. we are about 24 hours away from landfall right now. last hour if you were with us i was watching two things. one, obviously the high was getting better defined, we thought it would intensify, which it did. it went from 85 to 100-mile-per-hour winds and that's an estimate right now. we don't have planes flying in the area right now. they will get there in two to three hours and then we will get a new estimate of the exact intensity of the storm. the other thing, that northeast little wobble we have seen was happening. it wasn't just my eyes fooling me, so that new position a little bit to the right of where the forecast line was supposed to be, will probably have
implications when the new forecast comes out at 5:00 p.m. that will be -- you know, especially if you are in the new orleans area, if you have any interest at all in this storm you have to pay attention to that forecast. speaking of new orleans, listen to this. this is from the new orleans national weather service. they said if you are under any evacuation order and can, please leave. some areas may be uninhabitable for weeks, weeks. widespread power outages in our area are guaranteed. preparations need to be completed by tonight. pretty dramatic wording there from our government agency, that the national weather service that is responsible for all of the lives in the new orleans area. here is the latest update from the hurricane center. 100-mile-per-hour winds, 380 miles southeast of houma, louisiana. again, this is the 11:00 a.m. path. that red line is the center line. now we are close enough we will focus on the center line where the greatest impacts are going to be. i think with the next update the red line will be over the top of
houma, shifting a little bit to the east. that will actually bring it a little closer to new orleans, too, which is not what anyone in new orleans wants to hear. then that storm will rain itself out and it will be a painful rain event for mississippi and louisiana. our computer models, we continue to get these new mo models in every six hours. a bunch of them still port towards morgan city, houma, but, again, these did not take into account the jog the storm is taking to the northeast. they will likely shift closer instead of morgan city to houma going throughout the afternoon. the storm surge, still forecast at 10 to 15 feet, devastating, close to historic for the area. 7 to 11 feet, the mississippi coastline and southeastern louisiana, and the rainfall will be the big story all the way through monday, maybe even into tuesday. that is up to 20 inches of rain from baton rouge to new orleans down towards the coast. so you have the storm surge and then you have like 1 to 2 feet of rain. there will be water everywhere, and the peak wind gust, we're going to update that graphic with the new information when we
get it in. alex, the bottom line is if your emergency manager has told you to evacuate, this isn't a storm to say, maybe i will, maybe i will do it last minute. if your emergency manager tells you to leave, you have to leave and save your life and your family's life. i have seen pictures from the airports. a lot of people are trying to get out. the question is, you know, is it too late. also, the people that can get out, you know, tend to be the ones that have, you know, the greatest ability to get out with cars and money for airplanes and hotels. how about all of the people that are, you know, don't have the means to get out of the way of this storm? that's going to be a story in the days ahead. >> okay. there's going to be a lot of stories coming from this one i fear. thank you so much, bill karins, for that one though this hour. meantime, new reaction as a capitol hill police lieutenant speaks publicly for first time about opening fire during the january 6th riot. and one we explore one that's been paved and one that's forever wild
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the capitol on january 6th is revealing his identity for the first time. this in an nbc news exclusive. during a sit-down interview with nbc's lester holt, capitol police lieutenant michael byrd described the moment he decided to discharge his weapon as trump supporter ashli babbit attempted to breach the chamber where members of congress were sheltering in place. >> have you continued to question your actions that day? >> i knew that day, i followed my training and i spent countless years preparing for such a moment. you ultimately hope that moment never occurs, but you prepare as best you can. i know that day i saved countless lives. >> joining me now is clint watts, msnbc national security analyst and distinguished research fellow at the foreign policy research institute. welcome to you. what is your reaction to what you just heard from lieutenant byrd? >> alex, one of the most
interesting things having watched january 6th unfold live and then having watched since those officers, if someone hadn't shot earlier, knowing from my own training when you see a model of people rushing you like that and your mission is to defend the members of congress, that someone wasn't shot and killed earlier in that, that they showed such restraint, i think at that point where you listen to the lieutenant there and he is talking about his experience, he did rely on his training. i think he did exactly what his training would have taught him to do. anything else in terms of these excuses you sometimes hear from those trying to defend what was going on there is absolutely ridiculous. there were direct death threats against the vice president of the country, the speaker of the house. you know, to think that he did anything other than what he was supposed to do is just really hard to get your head around. >> yeah. hey, clint, with big apologies, i'm going to ask you to stand by, let the control booth if you are able to stay with us. we need to take everybody right now to listen to the president of the national action network,
of course, reverend al sharpton at the national action network rally in washington, d.c. on voting rights. let's take a listen. >> and march on martin luther king iii, andrea king, and my northeast, yolanda king, and the march on family. give them a big hand. let us say a couple of things and then we're going to bring out some closing speakers. first and foremost, 21 years ago martin luther king iii was president of sclc, and i was in my eighth year at the national action network. we came to washington with his mother, coretta scott king, the wife, widow, co-pilot of the movement with dr. king.
she would not speak that day. she introduced he and i, and every year we have found our way back in washington to stand on the state of the dream. we were here last year with george floyd and had hundreds of thousands. we were not going to do anything this year, but andrea said we need to do something around voting, and we began organizing. we decided not to go to lincoln memorial but to go where you could see over our heads the capitol building of the united states. the reason you needed to see that building is because in that building the senators will decide whether to continue the segregationist filibuster or
whether they're going to give the people of this country the right to vote with no prohibition. that building is the target of our social justice movement, not 58 years ago but today. the second reason we wanted to come in front of that building is on january 6th you saw an insurrection against people's right to vote. today you saw 20,000 walk through the streets to the capitol to represent dr. king's resurrection of the right to vote. the insurrection versus the resurrection. no windows broke. nobody harmed. no disorder. this is how you come to the capitol.
we supposed to be the radicals, but we were the peace makers. we were the ones that had no incidents. we were the ones that came to the mall in best behavior. we are the real patriots showing america how to be at its best. secondly, we are met, martin, andrea and i, with senator manchin, with senator graham, with the speaker, with the majority leader. let me tell you something, this filibuster cannot be their excuse not to reissue the voting rights act as the john lewis voting advancement act. john lewis's brothers was with us today. we want this act passed and we
want them to come with a carve-out to make sure that it passes majority vote or you can repeal the filibuster, but either way we will not sit by and allow you to filibuster our rights to vote. we paid too high a price. people died to give us the right to vote. people spent nights in jail to give us the right to vote. people lost their lives to give us the right to vote. -- evers was shot down in his driveway with four children inside to give us the right to vote. there is no filibuster that can stand in the way of a people determined to get their rights, and that's why the blistering heat we came to washington to say we are not going to let you filibuster away our voter protection.
this is not a law. this is a senate custom. well, sitting in the back of the bus was a custom. making us drink from the colored water fountain was a custom. making us stand in the gutter while others walked on the curb was a custom. we are the custom breakers. we are the filibuster busters. president biden met with some of the civil rights leadership, and we reminded him -- and i want to say in public -- you said the night you won that black america had your back and that you were going to have black america's back.
well, mr. president, they're stabbing us in the back. in 49 states they've got their knives out stabbing us in the back. you need to pick up the phone and call manchin and others and tell them that if they can carve around the filibuster to confirm supreme court judges for president trump, they can carve around the filibuster to bring voting rights for president biden. it was that carve-out that had the supreme court vote 6-3 against the whole moratorium on evictions. it was that carve-out that put that supreme court where it is. you know how to carve when you want to carve, so we come to washington to tell you we going to stay on you until you get
your carving knife out again. when we came out the white house that day we said it would be a summer of discontent and it was and it still is, but now we're going to call for a fall of action. believe me, some folks -- congresswoman sheila jackson-lee and congresswoman beatty and them went to jail, but we may decide to pitch tents here when the senate come back in. we may decide to pitch a tent and stay right here, all of us, martin and i and hundreds of us, the filibuster busters. we might decide to go into civil disobedience in the fall. we are not going to stop until we protect our right to vote.
let me -- let me close by this and bring on some people. we all are in mourning and we are all very sensitive to the loss of life in afghanistan, both of americans who were there whether we agree with the policy or not, they were there defending us and standing up for us, and those afghans that helped us. but how bad is it to bring home people that you do rescue and they got to go through all kind of impediments to vote? how embarrassing is it to bring afghans here and have to tell them that the people in the capital of the united states doesn't have the right to a federal vote that will matter in the congress? you cannot bring people to america and not deal with the shame of what you have done to the voting policies right here in washington, d.c.
we want democracy in kabul, but we want democracy in washington, d.c. so let's talk out of one side of our mouth and let's act like we got good sense. let me say this in closing my statement. i heard martin tell a story about his father, and his father saying we had to go down south and get lyndon johnson some power, but i thought of another story martin told me that i have used the last couple of weeks. martin told me that there was this class that was an english class and there was this young student that was an expert student, an honor student, and they got to the end of the
semester and the teacher said, "i have one more assignment, i want everybody to write an essay of their pets at home." the honor student kind of shrugged his shoulders, it was easy for him. went home over the weekend, he sat down and worked out his prose and his poetry. they came in monday morning, put their papers down on the teacher's desk. she is going to grade them at lunchtime and give them their papers back at the end of the day. at the end of the day she came out, gave everybody their papers. got to him, gave him his paper. everybody looked at their grades and was walking out. he was sitting there in shock because for the first time that semester he got an "f" on his paper. he never got anything lower than
an "a-minus" but he got an "f". he could hardly move because he was so shocked. he finally got up and walked to the front of the class as the other students had left and he said, "can i speak to you a minute, teacher?" she said, "sure." he said "i don't understand how you graded my paper, i always got a's, i have been your best student and i worked all weekend on my essay, i put in the right prose and used the right references." she said, "no, it was well written." he said, "why did you fail me?" >> she looked at him and smiled and said, "the problem you got is not that the paper wasn't well written, not that you didn't have the right prose and poetry, the problem is that three years ago i had your brother and your brother wrote an essay like this." this time the young mankind of smiled and said to her,
"ms. teacher, you got it mistaken, you think i just copied off my brother." he said, "the problem is not that i'm copy, the problem is that my brother and i have the same dog and we wrote about the same doggish ways." i come to washington recounting what martin just guy the history, to tell you that the same doggish ways that they had in the 1860s, the same doggish ways they had in 1924, the same doggish ways they had in 1942, the same doggish ways, we had to fight strom thurmond and had to fight talmadge, we in washington, you may have on a suit and tie, but we fighting the same dogs. we know who you are because our older brothers and sisters and our mothers and fathers dealt with you and we're going to deal with you the same way.
up, you mighty race. stand up and fight back. don't you get tired. don't you get weary. we can win. we always won if we kept god on our side. thank you and god bless you. >> doing -- >> let me bring to the stage some of our prominent civil rights leaders that joined us in the fight. i'm going to let all of us go in a minute. i know we sent some back already because of some fainting, but let me bring on the head of lulack who has coalesced with us, our latino brothers and sisters. brother domingo garcia. give him a hand. >> well, the reverend al sharpton there. we have just listened to him as the president of the national action network doing what he does best. he was preaching there to that
crowd. he was reviewing milestones in history. he was offering stories and anecdotes to make his points, but he's also saying that they will not give up as we would never expect him to do, but clearly energizing that crowd there at the national action network rally. there at the rally is my colleague, nbc's trymaine lee. i have to tell you, it was the marquee moment listening to the reverend do his thing. what about the action -- oh, aim he sorry. i understand he may not be ready to go and hooked up. we will get to him in a moment as i bring in msnbc analyst and chair. eddie glaude, i was wondering if you had to fail a student, three years later, a younger sibling of somebody because you thought the paper they presented was so much like the previous one. i was like, oh, i wonder.
>> well, not so much that specific example, but i have encountered plagiarism over the course of my career, indeed. >> unfortunately, because we want your students to learn. taking a class from you they certainly are able to do that. let me ask you what you have thought about today on the 58th anniversary of the march on washington, eddie. what are your thoughts on where this country is today and what can we learn from history? >> well, you know, i'm thinking about, you know, falkner's formulation for none, that the past is not the dead, the past is not even past. i'm thinking about the ten demands presented as part of the march on washington in 1963, which called for legislation for public accommodations, which called for legislation for voting rights, which called for a living wage, a national minimum wage. to think about the ways in which that political agenda, all right, still an mates our agenda
today. i'm also thinking about the response to the march on washington in 1963. we talk about that in relation to the civil rights act of '64 and the voting rights act of '65, but just two weeks after the march on washington there was the bombing of the 16th street baptist church in birmingham, alabama, that the nation was still resisting that message and that activists had to return not only to the bowels of the south but to the segregated cities of the north and west in order to continue to push for genuine multi-racial democracy. here we are 58 years later still fighting that same battle. >> indeed, we are. what about the voting rights marches, what you see happening in cities across this country, the grassroots efforts as well? are you confident that this may be or at least optimistic this is the momentum right now we are experiencing? this is what will help push the john lewis voting advancement act over the finish line? >> it all depends on what the
democrats in the senate will do. we need to understand that senator joe manchin and kyrsten sinema are providing cover for those hesitant or not supportive of the act. we need to be clear there are vestiges of the party rooted, that was in some way constituted as a response to reaganism. i want to say this, alex, it sounds abstract but it is important. the age of reagan is collapsing. we see it with the republican party. the democratic party constituted to respond to it is also in trouble. these movements, local grassroots efforts are attempts to respond to efforts at nullification and interposition that king talked about in '63. they will have some impact in galvanizing voters. we also have to put pressure to bear, bring pressure to bear on the democrats to get the carve-out the reverend talked about. >> 100%.
let's bring in nbc's trymaine lee. he is at the rally. you know, galvanizing these people to get out there and continue the fight, the message, not only putting pressure on lawmakers but galvanizing the grassroots efforts, trymaine, how much when you hear a speaker like al sharpton and those who preceded him today, do you have confidence people will leave the rally and continue the efforts with passion and energy? >> reporter: alex, i don't think there's any doubt at all. we heard the reverend al sharpton do so rapturously was lay the ground work for the fight to continue. he eloquently connected the fights of the past, through the 1800s, through jim row, through dr. martin luther king jr. and so many others picking up the mantle and the flame to keep it going. he did it in a way to make the issue of voting rights, and we are talking about full access to the franchise and citizenship and fullness of america to black people. that's what he is talking about. those who gather here today
coming from across the country, not just to hear a bunch of speakers speak, but really connect the struggle to them personally. so when they go back to their communities and they petition their local lawmakers, not just by showing they can come together in an organized front, and speaking of the organization, one thing that al sharpton did so eloquently, the juxtaposition of what we saw on january 6th with the insurrection and what he described as the resurrection of the movement. he also called for more action and perhaps civil disobedience, saying there might be a fall of that where he might organize with other folks and camp out to put pressure on congress for the senate to pass hr1 and continue the john lewis voting rights advancement act. what he did again is not just story telling for story telling's sake. what he did so well is pull together the different organizations with their different issues, voting rights, social justice, racial justice and put them under one banner with one call to action. he did so for folks in the crowd here listening quietly as he really laid the framework for what is to come next. >> yes. you have to wonder, trymaine and
eddie, as i ask you this question if the bull horn of reverend al sharpton reached all the way to texas because this week the house there passed new voting restrictions despite a hard fight by democrats. can you rate this bill, the one being presented to and expected to get the signature of governor abbott there on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the most egregious, what is that bill presenting for texas voters? >> oh, texas is already, alex, one of the most difficult states to vote in. so this is a ten. this is, again, an effort not only to disenfranchise black and brown voters, it is going to have an impact on low-wage voters, poor people. it will have an impact on young people. in so many ways it is a reflection of the all-out assault on american democracy. we need to understand it as such. it is not just a niche issue, it is an issue around democracy. it is not just what is happening in texas, in georgia, in
arizona, across the united states, this is nullification. it is what president biden called voter subversion. it is what dr. king referred to echoing george wallace, voter nullification. it is a ten, alex, in my view. >> okay. trymaine, have you heard from any of the rally goers there at the national action network rally what they want to see happen next? what do they have planned for next? yes, we have the rev as you referred to as well saying there may be actions of civil disobedience come the fall. but before that what is the next step for those people? >> reporter: you know, right now on the ground folks have been coming up to me excited in this moment to do what they can to put pressure on the federal government. certainly at the top of everyone's mind is hr-1 and the john lewis voting rights advancement act, right, that's clear. we know it is an uphill battle. so it is not just a victory in that they were able to come together, but they do believe that by showing a united
front -- again, today we have this march here, there are other rallies happening across the city all day long, right, different people from different places. but the real hope is that their voices are heard, but, hopefully, just maybe this time the pressure, the organizing might make a different rents. but as we all know, the numbers for those who are proponents of these bills is just not there right now. >> okay. eddie, last word to you. how hopeful are you that the momentum is there to get something done and offer the opportunity to vote to every person who is legally able to do so in this country? >> well, you know, alex, human beings are at once disasters and miracles. we often have to protect ourselves from the disasters that we have become, but if we show up, which we are seeing we can do, if we show up we at least have a chance for a miracle. that's where my hope is at. >> that's well said, both of you, as always, guys, my friends, both of you, well said. trymaine, eddie, thank you so much. moving up the timeline for a covid booster shot. those details next. xt es and gri. and if you're looking for...
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dreams are on the line. you got this. refresh... it all, comes down, to this. ♪♪ now to the latest in the coronavirus pandemic. in a major ruling againstful governor ron desantis, a judge says the governor's ban on mask mandates in schools is unlawful. desantis says he is going to appeal. this comes as health officials warn cases in florida are rising again, fuelled by children under the age of 12. more than 26,000 kids tested positive. that is a 30% increase over the last week. right now one in every six hospital beds nationwide has a
covid patient according to nbc news data. that's over 100,000 people who are right now hospitalized from the virus. johnson & johnson says those who received its vaccine would benefit from a booster shot after eight months. the company's data suggests a second dose raises antibody levels nine times higher than 28 days after the first shot. that's going to do it for me, everyone, on this edition of "alex witt reports." i will see you again tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., i will be in for ali velshi and at noon eastern. lindsey reiser continues our coverage from washington, d.c. see you tomorrow. ♪♪ good afternoon. i am lindsey reiser in for yasmin vossoughian. i'm coming to you today from washington, d.c., the epicenter of a national show of force to support voting rights. it is not just here in d.c. there are protests going on around the country right now, thousands of people are raising their voices to argue for the protection of our