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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  September 22, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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tomorrow night, he doesn't want to raise the debt ceiling, he wants to repeal it. that is tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams" starts right now. starw ♪ and good evening once again. day 246 of the biden administration and briefly, our breaking news tonight, has to do with those booster shots. the fda has signed off on a third dose of the pfizer vaccine for people 65 and older, as well as those at risk of severe disease. the cdc is expected to weigh in with more specific guidelines within the next day or so. it's complicated. that news as pb is on a
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full-court press to save his first-court agenda and the stakes, as we keep reporting, could not be higher. he spent the day trying to bridge differences between members of the home team. this afternoon, he held three separate face-to-face meetings in the house and senate, as well as moderates and those on the left. >> this is a messy sausage-making process. the president is bringing people with a range of viewpoints on big important packages. he's going to be deeply engage would getting bills and legislation across the finish line. >> he doesn't have a whole lot of time to broker a truce with members of the home team. his trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill and the 3.5 trillion social safety net package seem to be on a collision course. democrats voting which to vote first.
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progressives say they'll vote no unless the larger bill is passed. pelosi, who was mobbed by cameras, seem to suggest everything was on track. >> are you still planning on holding the bipartisan infrastructure vote? >> we're on schedule, i will say and we're calm and everybody's good and our work's almost done. >> nothing to see here. democrats in congress are facing another critical deadline. how to avoid another government shutdown october 1 and keep the u.s. from defaulting on its debt shortly after that. senate republicans say the democrats are on their own and have vowed to vote against a house bill that addresses both issues. mitch mcconnell is pushing a competing short-term funding bill that does nothing about raising the debt limit. >> so, my advice to this
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democratic government, to the president, the house and the senate don't play russian roulette with our economy. step up and raise the debt ceiling to cover all that you've been engaged in all year long. >> rather remarkable, considering he's not offering one vote in support. earlier today, senator elizabeth warren slammed republicans on the stance on the debt ceiling. >> it's called the republicans out over this. are you kidding me? on the debt ceiling. when donald trump was president and needed to raise it over and over again, democrats said we get it. and what are we trying to raise the debt ceiling for now? for the debts incurred during the trump administration. >> "washington post" has an assessment from the folks at moody's. it says a failure to come to an
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agreement on this debtd ceiling, brings the u.s. into an immediate recession. can wipe out as much as $15 trillion in household wealth and cost our economy up to 6 million jobs. it will be interesting to watch schumer get this done and in a moment we have a guest on who can talk about just that. amid all this, we learned another item on biden's agenda will not become law. bit partisan police reform bill talks have collapsed. the effort had gained widespread support after the killing of george floid, but after cory booker, democrat of new jersey, tim scott, republican of south carolina, well, they announced there would be no deal. white house says it will look for other ways to hold the nation's police departments more accountable. but as the "wall street journal" points out, quote, without legislation, the administration is relying largely on the justice department in its efforts to change american
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policing. meanwhile, the pandemic continues. you know the statsz. we've been losing north of 2,000 soul as day. most estimates are 95% or so of the patients in icu beds are unvaccinated in the hardest hit states. today during the virtual global summit on the virus, the president announced the u.s. will donate half a billion doses of the pfizer vaccine to other countries around the world. with that, let's bring in our stellar starting line wednesday night, veteran journalist and author, chief white house correspondent for the "the new york times" and former democratic senator from the great state of new jersey and eugene robinson, pulitzer columnist for the "the washington post" we'll start with your beat. what do we know about these meetings today, how they went and the fix joe biden finds himself in presently?
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>> well, he is in a fix because he has gambled so much of his presidency on this very narrow window that got in front of us the next few weeks. this 3.5 trillion bill isn't just about spending. it's as if fdr put his entire deal into one bill. it's not just spending. it's on free community college for students, child care for parents, climate legislation. he wanted to include immigration legislation. what he's finding is the real trouble is within his own party, among his own democrats. he will tell you what the white house will tell you is this is just a stage. every time it looks like the train is about to crash into another train, the tracks change and things get back on course. and this will in fact, also head towards a resolution that they think will be acceptable. they can't tell us how they'll get there yet.
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>> we can't default on the debt ceiling. it is remarkable. if you can fog up a mirror to watch mcconnell say, with a straight face, that the democrats have to do the right thing here. he's telling his entire caucus to sit down during the vote. so, now the pressure goes to one charles schumer of new york. if you're schumer, claire, how do you get this done? >> well, i think he may have to separate the reconciliation and all of this stuff going on with that and continuing the government. he's rrb got three things he's got to worry about now. he's got to figure out how to get the reconciliation bill through without biden's package and figure out how to continue to fund the government. mitch mcconnell has amazing nerve. i mean, the republicans did this three times during trump, they raised the debt ceiling. and i think it's time to do away
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with this. you know, it seems to me when you vote to spend money, you are voting to raise the debt sealing because that's what they're defending. that americans won't understand what this is. it sounds like to americans that they're raising the limit on their credit card. no, they're not doing that. all they're doing is paying their bills. that's all they're doing. so, the notion they want to play political gains with america paying its bills is astounding to me. that they are trying to withhold every single vote. democrats always gave them votes on the debtd ceiling, always. >> so, eugene, tonight, among other things, we're thinking of george floyd. so much for the most impactful summer of protests thinl history of this republic, being the imitous for police reform. if you ask senate negotiators, not so much. and so it ends with a whimper.
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>> and one of our major political parties didn't notice or care and i'm talking about the republican party because they're the ones who don't want to really do anything substantial in the way of police reform. they move a few inches towards something that might be acceptable but in the end, cory booker the senate congresswoman, karen bass on the democratic side were extremely flexible and extremely -- working extremely hard just to bring the republicans to just a minimal acceptable place where some actual reform could happen and they couldn't. so, it's up to the justice department now, as you said and as they continue their pattern and practice investigations of police departments in their interventions there, that's basically what we're left with at this point. >> peter baker, back over to the white house.
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compared to our -- it turns out fatal exit strategy from afghanistan, compared to the diplomacy speak of pissing off the french, where does the debt ceiling rank in terms of the problems joe biden is looking at? >> well, look, the debt ceiling is a more immediate crisis at this point. if they were to fail to pass it, as you wrote about the study written about by the "washington post," it would be economic consequences of a great and enormous damage to the country. that's a higher priority, i think, at the moment. afghanistan is something biden would assume put in the rearview mirror. he's trying to smooth things over with the french. but the debt ceiling, looms in front of him. in the end, washington constantly plays this game of chicken and so far has not gone over the ledge here. but there's always a first and the first time is what biden
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doesn't want to have happen on his watch. he needs to find a way, he and chuck schumer too, navigate this so they're not jeopardizing the country's credit standing and putting the economy into a tail spin at the very moment he's trying to boost it forward. >> claire mccaskal, what was it? a test vote on tarp back in the day when all the constituents of all elected republicans in the senate called in to washington to remind them that their finances and 401(k)s were on the line. staying on brand here for mcconnell, could really, i know it's not your leading concern, extract a huge cost when you're trying to take over the senate? they can't really go back to their home states and campaign on we actually the voted to tank your 401(k). >> and keep in mind if mitch
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mcconnell actually pulls this off, it will be their fault the country defaults. everyone in this country knows it's an evenly divided senate. we've had enough focus on the filibuster it needs 60 votes. this idea that mitch mcconnell gets to sit down and say we don't have to worry about the country's economy tanking or our world stand dg minnishing. it will be his fault. and you're right, brian. you know what mitch mcconnell cares about? all that dark money that funds the elections. and it doesn't come from mom and pop down the corner drugstore. it comes from major corporations in this country. and i can assure you he is going to have a moment where his stomach will clinch over whether or not he's going to get the money he needs, dark money to take the senate, if he does this to the economy. >> eugene, give me an on-the-fly
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column of 60 seconds or so, reminding everybody that joe biden was elected, having been there on his experience and his competence. and while folks like us have learned never to draw conclusions about a moment in time because tomorrow everything can change. if time stopped tonight, what would your column say with his agenda frozen? what happened? is there a leading reason to you? >> well, i guess i'm not quite sure about the premise. it's unclear to me that the agenda is frozen to stop tonight. we wouldn't know how it ended, right? we wouldn't know what eventually happened. and my position has always been, and i've been right so far, that nancy pelosi and joe biden and chuck schumer are pretty good at what they do. they're pretty good at this
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passing legislation thing. they're pretty good at this counting votes thing, all of them. and a lot of experience at it. and so, you know, we've been to the brink several times already, leading to this huge brink. but so far, they've managed to pull it out again. past results do guarantee performance. so, you never know. but i certainly would not be writing any sorts of pitch wares for the biden agenda, for the democratic party, and let's see how the next few days and weeks play out. >> and indeed, you've written more a1 and political analysis stories than all of us put together. you've learned the same lesson about obituaries on the fly. >> that's right. you know, at this point in history, you would have said
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ronald reagan's presidency was not going very well. bill clinton's presidency was not going very well. we should be careful about judging a presidency at this stage of the term. obviously, looked terrible over the summer with the afghanistan withdrawal. it looked good before that with the infrastructure package and covid relief bill. we'll see what it looks like a year from now. it's a lot of time left to be judging here. and so, it looks terrible right before it looks great and viceau versau. i think they're right. let's not assume we know where it's going to end because we're still a few days and weeks away. and nancy pelosi and chuck schumer have shown they know what they're doing. >> thank you to our stellar starting line. all friends of this broadcast, with our thanks for starting us off. coming up, peril authors rob
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woodward and kosta on the state of our democracy and what's next for the only twice impeached retiree in the state of florida. and a green light for pfizer booster shots. but what if you're not 65, what if you got the moderna or the j & j? we'll ask the leading expert as "the 11th hour" is just getting underway on this wednesday night. underway on this wednesday night.
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i think democracy is hanging by a thread, not just the president's agenda. i don't mean to be hyperbolic. i really think this is democracy's hour of danger. >> our next two guests echo that sentiment. details trump's dark, final year in office. it is 400 plus pages, it's all on full view. the new reporting they offer on how close the vice president came to overturning the election and how concerned the chair of the joint chiefs was thatture country would end up somehow at war. but the book's final two words may paint the most ominous picture of all, quote, peril remains. we are so pleased to have with us the co authors of "peril." celebrated author, journalist and associated editor
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"washington post" and ed costa. i know you would give anything for hours of uninterrupted sleep and appreciate you being with us. mr. woodward, i seem to remember you having a coauthor a few years back and then wrote a couple of dozen solo books. tell us how you came to take on a co author again and did you bump into him in the newsroom? >> no. it goes back to 2016, when bob costa, who's less than half my age, said we should interview a presidential candidate named donald trump and we interviewed him at his hotel in washington.
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costa realized he should be taken seriously in that moment. i went on to write a couple of books on trump. turns out costa is the expert on trump in so many ways. and congress and the democratic party. and i looked for someone more experienced that i could lean on. he is an engine of perspective and balance and i do maybe one or two interviews a day and he'd do six or seven. >> let me tell you, bob, mr. costa -- oh, no, you're not going to jump in here. you're not going to jump in here. i was going to say to bob that mr. costa is the rising tide that lifts all votes and that's why he was a frequent guest because he all made us look better.
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and i'm going to cut you off from saying and i remember of your lead traits, the size and depth of your roladex, including many conversations and so much reporting pertaining to mr. bannon. and it strikes me that mr. bannon has had an undercelebrated and certainly under reported role in everything that came to be 1-6. am i correct in that? >> you're spot on a and thanks bob and brian for your generous words. it's a pleasure to be here and work with both of you. when you look at the bannon story, for example. we said to ourselves we're going to go back to january 6th and what happened in this dangerous transition period and ask further questions to dig deeper. and as we started to sit down with sources for five, six,
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sometimes 10 hours, longer interviews add length, you started to realize there were other players in this whole period who had significant influence, a conservative lawyer draft said about kennedy and essentially give the election to the house republicans to give to president trump. and steve bannon. he's known as a conservative figure, popular on the right. and we learned he was talk to tag president trump, even january fifth, the eve of the insurrection. and saying kill the biden presidency in the crip. these were moments that had not been reported. and it shows how -- so often we
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ask the question on your show, where is leader mcconnell and mccarthy? that's not always the story in this modern gop. it's about outside figure whose wield significant power in these times. >> so, bob woodward, this may call for analysis on your part. but this last pointed robert raised, what was it about the republican party that left it so open, so vulnerable to a complete and total hostile takeover that, of course, remains to this day? >> well, in the republican party, the old order was dying. and i remember talking to president trump about this and said you seized that, you seized literally history's clock. and trump kind of jumped in his chair in the oval office and said yes, that's exactly what it
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was. the power of trump exists. the polling clearly shows that he heads the republican party and you see all of these figures. he's got support support for the republican party and he's -- costa and i have talked about this. looks almost certain he's going to run and he struck a cord that 20 or 30 years from now, people will write analysis on what happened in 2016.
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but he did it. he lost in 2020. by, you know, if you look at three states, arizona, wisconsin, and georgia. if you flip 45,000 votes, he would have been elected president. so, he's there. and we're continuing the reporting on in this book. what he did. i don't want to dwell on it too much but there's a scene in the book military man called for remove of all forces in somalia.
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this is while trump is still president. milley did not know about this. he marched over to the white house, barged in on the national security advisor, robert o'brien said what the f is this? do you know about this? the national security advisor did not know about it. others did not know about it. o'brien, the national security advisor, took it to trump and said you can't just -- the procedure and law requires that you have a meeting of the principals and the national security council and trump agrees to nullify this memo. so, here milley's looking at this and say oh, it's not some fantasy that trump is going to go rogue. he's seen trump go rogue. trump signed that memo. because of a couple of
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underlings took it to him and he went along with it. so, trump, a dangerous man, as we know a dangerous president. >> i would call it third-world politics. i don't want to offend the third world. both these gem gentleman have agreed to stay on for another segment. the book ends with a stark warning. more on the peril that remains. more on the peril that remains rr and she's wearing my robe. mom: ahem ahem ahem we're out.
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the twice impeached, retired former president will be back out it again, on the road at a "save-america rally in georgia. trump again tried to get the secretary of state to declare him the winner there. bob, this isn't the kind of question that lends itself nicely to a 60-second reply but i'll try. a lot of the people in my life who are smart and thoughtful, some recognizable faces and names from our broadcast have been in touch with me to say, in their view, now, right now is the time to worry. your book makes it very clear, down to the last page that we came close. how close are we right now?
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>> well, you can't predict the future. but what bob costa and i found in eight or nine months of reporting, just going off line, not writing for the "washington post," or going on television, is that there was a national security crisis in this country. that war with china was dangerously possible. there's a call we have the transcript of between nancy pelosi, the speaker of the house and chairman milley in which, on january 8th -- now, this is two days after the insurrection at the capitol, in which she -- and i don't know if you've had a chance to look at it. extra ordinary transcript of the leader of the house, the speaker of the house saying i'm worried
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about president trump's control of nuclear weapons. what guaranteed can you provide? milley says there are procedures. at the end of the call he realizes nancy pelosi was right. this is dangerous and he takes action, calling in the key people doing essentially what happened in 1974 with nixon, when the secretary of defense put the word out, don't take word from president nixon or the white house, without involving slessinger. milley took that bill and took parallel action on his own and i've never seen a scene like this where he calls in the people who run the war room in the pentagon and said you will
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not act without making sure you talk to me and consult me. so, there was very serious worry about two of the catastrophes that could befall this country. some sort of use of nuclear weapons and a war with china. >> so, robert costa, when you and bob reported it was senator lee and graem graham who were vetting trump's false claims, there it is. they're very trumpy members of the republican caucus in the senate. tonight trump went after both of them. your republican presidential candidate won in a landslide -- that's a lie -- but has so little backing, they should be ashamed of themselves.
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if he's talking about that to the loyalists and he's mulling over an attempt to be their presidential candidate in 2024, doesn't that equal to burning the house down before attempting to redecorate? >> it's an expression of his power within the republican party. this is someone, senator graham, who we documented is trying to rehabilitate president trump's image to run again in 2024, playing golf with him very frequently. and tonight in a statement, a public statement, trump is saying senator graham and lee should be ashamed of themselves. that comes from reporting from "peril" where you have senator lee and graham realizing in the january 2nd, third, fourth period that all these claims are not accurate. there's no meat to these claims of election fraud. but president trump tonight, even though he's in political winter, he's signaling he's in
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control. and if you come at him, even if you're a political ally, a friend, you're going to pay a consequence and he's going to take you on. >> the name of the book, again, is "peril" and that's not an accident. we are so grateful to the authors, bob woodward and robert costa for spending time and staying up late with us. tonight. thank you, good luck along the way. it's official. pfizer booster shots are coming but only for some. and we will talk about that issue with one of the leading vaccine experts in our country. y scientific clean here. and you need it here. and here. and here. which is why the scientific expertise that helps operating rooms stay clean is
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quote, roughly 22 million americans are at least six months past their second dose of the pfizer vaccine, according to the cdc about half of them 65 and older. millions of americans who received the moderna and johnson & johnson vaccines are still waiting to learn whether they too can get boosters. dr. peat arhotez is a vaccine scientist working to develop a low cost vaccine for global distribution. he's at texas children's and the dean of the school of tropical school at baylor college of medicine. tis is where our beloved federal government becomes really clunky. you and i both know people of means and access are scheming to find a way to get that third shot. it's happening all across the country every day.
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second of all, the use of the government nomenclature, which is for the public safety, this emergency use authorization, that has been seized upon as no one needs to remind you, by the antivax community so they can label the vaccine experimental and scare people. should the u.s. ever be in the business of saying no to deserving, worried, responsible people who may be 55 and maybe seven or eight months past that second shot but want this third booster? >>. >> back in early part of this year, i said on multiple occasions i thought this was going to be a three-dose vaccine. because we came them so close together. three weeks for the pfizer and
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four weeks for moderna. we have to fully immunize the american people and it saved a lot of lives. it was the right thing to do. the problem was we forgot the public communication on this, both from the companies and from the federal government, failed to articulate and say, by the way, like any vaccine, given that close together, we're going to see wayning immunity and get ready for the third immunization. this is going to be a three-dose vaccine. so t caught people by surprise when israel started showing data over the summer or earlier that we were seeing waning immunity and decline of efficacy from over 90% to 40 to 50% and that got people worried and scared, even though it we knew it was going to happen. now we're slowly coming up to where israel is at. they presented data last week
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showing that 60 people over the age of 60 clearly benefitted from a third immunization and restored a lot of the protective capacity and in the cdc that was done as well. that's a long way of saying we're finally getting there but we could have gotten ahead of this to explain it and we're still not quite there. because this -- none of these discussions and deliberations at the fda seem to look at the long-term effect, the neurological effect the u.k. has shown, even in 40 to 50 year olds. we're getting a half-baked approach of saying 65 and older with an asterisk. if it's to be determined, you can get it as well. but i think we would have done much better had we message this from the beginning, like some of us have recommended. and go down to a lower age
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group, as you rightly point out people in their 40s and 50s. >> well, brag on your work for a moment, while the rest of us talk for a living, talk about the work you've done to vaccinate the wider world, importantly beginning in india and indonesia. >> yeah, thank you for that opportunity. our texas children's center at baylor has been working on global health vaccines for a couple of decades. we started working on coronavirus vaccines, developing sars and mrs vaccines. and all vaccines are low cost that could be made at very low cost and no limits to the scale you can produce it. sim lr to the hepatitis b vaccine. marry lin, we turn that around
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and made a covid vaccine. that didn't get a lot of help from either the federal government or international agencies. but countries are so desperate for vaccines because they knew mnrna vaccines aren't coming. we successfully work with -- in india, they're producing 100 billion dose as month, with the hope it will be released next month and in indonesia. and this checks all the boxes. we think around a 1 to $2 a dose. the simple refrigeration, safety equivalent to the hepatitis b vaccine. it checks a lot of boxes and we're hoping we can scale this up for the world. but we do need more help from the federal government and other international agencies.
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>> as always, thank you for your work and for the words you've shared on the status of all this domestically and overseas. our guest has been dr. peter hotez. it's always a pleasure. thanks very much for staying up with us tonight. the slow-moving disaster. inr ♪ ♪ just two pills for all day pain relief. aleve it, and see what's possible.
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nature has rumbled to life across the atlantic where, for days a volcano in the canary islands has been spewing molt and lava and ash, forcing
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thousands to evacuate, burning homes and property as it goes. it erupted for the first time in half a century. it's a stark example of that old adage, mother nature bats last. we get our report from msnbc news correspondent, miguel. >> as peck spectacular. for four days, fountains have fire have violently spewed hundreds of feet high. lava engulfing homes. 20s-foot high waves of molt and rock consuming and covering neighborhoods in their path. >> we see it all of our life. we were running into the house, just packing the documents. >> reporter: proceeded by a 4.2 urlgt earthquake, it continues
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to rupture vents, the sky filled with massive plumes of smoke and sulfur, forcing 6,000 to evacuate and now the scramble to save animals as some 200 homes are destroyed. the 1800 degree lava now flowing down hill towards the populated coastline and perhaps with the most significant threat ahead, tonight this incredible display of nature's fury could be weeks and months away from its fiery end. >> and coming up for us here tonight. if america ever really was like the groevr's corners of thorten wilder's "our town" that's not happening anymore. " that's not happening anymore.
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in the red states but ritsz hard to find a jurisdiction anywhere where the antivaxers haven't objected to a public health motioner of late. the folks at the recounted put together some of the most vocal and, frankly, the most imaginative. >> you want to wear not on your face? fine, you do you boo. but don't force that satanic stuff on our kids. >> they are blowing through your veins. >> these are demonic entities and all the schoolboards of all the united states of america go back to medical school. >> by putting masks on these kids faces, you can't identify any of them. voting on this, tells me you support sex trafficking. >> the bill of independent, the bill of rights and the federalist papers and the bible and these guarantee my freedom and yours and our children's to breathe oxygen. >> you dealt with sheep, now
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prepare to deal with lions. >> you poked the cubs. >> go home tonight and take one of the spoons and put it on your vaccination spot. guess what? it's going to stick to you. >> are you asking where you got their science. if you're going to tell me the cdc, come on, guys. >> it's nothing short of child abuse. >> you have any idea what's in a vaccine? e.coli, pig blood. >> this is not a joke. >> it's something the nazis did. >> it's your children and your children's children will be subgeigated. have you been a good little nazi? >> perhaps you remember your first edible. the recount to take us off the air tonight. that is our broadcast for this wednesday evening. on behalf of our colleagues of
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all the networks of msnbc news, goodnight. ♪ we are following breaking news tonight out of the great state of alaska. where alaska can governor


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