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tv   Stephanie Ruhle Reports  MSNBC  December 9, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PST

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hi, everybody. i'm aaron gilchrist in forrester stephanie ruhle today. it's 9:00 eastern and hered what's happening. later this hour former senator presidential nominee and world war ii hero bob dole lying in state at the u.s. capitol. we will take you there live. and a new fight over january 6th. trump's former chief of staff mark meadows now suing the committee for trying to carry out its investigation. that is where we start this morning. i want to bring in nbc's senior capitol hill correspondent garrett haake. eugene daniels politicos white house correspondent and co-author of the politic coe politico playbook and mark
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meadows, what is his argument exactly? >> his argument is in two parts. basically says the subpoenas sent against him by the january 6th committee are overly broad and too burdensome, not targeted enough. essentially accusing the investigative committee of investigating too hard. he also makes a privilege claim here and says he can't decide whether he needs to follow the subpoenas from the committee or need to follow the guidance from former president trump that he is subject to executive privilege and doesn't have to testify. the committee looks at this, though, and sees a classic trump tactic. which you don't have the goods you stall for time and you stall for time by suing. so they're trying to force the issue, force contempt proceedings to move forward on him and hopefully get something from mark meadows beyond some documents they say they have already received. >> talk about that in a minute. chuck, you say the committee's
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flaw. >> may well be flawed, but to garrett's point, the reason he filed suit just to stretch out the proceedings. look, he's entitled to go to court, to ask a judge for a decision. i don't know that the lawsuit is meritorious. subpoenas tend to be quite broad. that part of the lawsuit strikes me as frivolous, but there's a non-frivolous question about a former president's residual executive privilege. i think the answer is that a former president doesn't have executive privilege, if a current president refuses to support it. as mr. biden has done. that said, it's legitimate, i believe, for mr. meadows or others to ask the court to decide that question, and so it may serve two purposes. one, it may delay the proceedings as garrett described and, two, it allows meadows likely to avoid a contempt charge from the department of justice.
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if he's litigating in good faith, even on a claim that he's likely to lose it doesn't strike me an contemptuous. >> eugene, garrett pointed this out. the committee pointed out meadows already shared a lot of information at this point including what? 1,000 text messages, we've heard one actually showed him texting with a member of congress who said, appointing alternate electors would be highly controversial. meadows responds, i love it. so what's odd here isn't that he's not cooperating, but that he started cooperating and then stopped cooperating. what do you make of that? >> yeah. i mean, it's interesting that his stopping the cooperation that he had already been doing comes after reports of donald trump being upset with him, because he kind of, last week the revelations from his book started to come out and he talked how then president trump tested positive before the first debate with joe biden last year. right? and when trump is pissed at you, the best way to do something is
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to, or best way to get on his good side again is to make sure that you go out of your way to be trumpian in that way. show you're on his side and this seems like a part of that aspect, but as was just said, they are continuing to lean on this executive privilege argument. it's one that may run out of steam. it can only be taken away if there's a ruling on that. that's what we're see and really interesting is mark meadows is a former member of congress, and what he knows is that congress has to be able to investigate, a subpoena, and to do its job of oversight, and the more you chip away at that the more it makes it hard for republicans likely a the some point, maybe if not next cycle, the cycle after that or the cycle after that, to have control of congress and then the impacts on that i think are really important. >> chuck, can you talk a little about how difficult it might be to prosecute meadows for contempt? we know steve bannon seemed a
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little more of a slam dunk, and we know that trial won't even start until next summer. for mark meadows. the guy who ran the white house for all intents and purposes. is this a more difficult task? >> absolutely, aaron. it's a much more difficult tank, i would think, to prosecute mr. meadows for contempt than mr. bannon. bannon refused to cooperate at all and meadows cooperated with some documents, and they've been helpful. bannon has no exist because he wasn't in government, wasn't a senior government adviser. to the con traef, mr. mecontrar privilege cover conversations
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with someone like meadows. much more difficult, i would think, for the department of justice to prosecute meadows for criminal contempt than bannon. the mere fact they refer to department of justice does not at all require the department of justice to initiate charges. as an executive branch decision wholly within domain of the department of justice. congress can only make a referral and no authority to prosecute anybody for anything. >> garrett, talk a little about mike pence. his chief of staff marc short is cooperating with this committee. what is pence saying about that? >> pence in new hampshire, random place for someone contemplating, maybe or not, running for president. punted saying, we'll see. short, you mentioned in touch with the committee, and i think the word "cooperation" is one to handle carefully. my sources say that while they're talking to short, they want to make sure he has the goods. that they don't get put in a
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situation like with meadows. start talking to someone and pull back. pence would be the biggest fish yet certainly. if indeed he decides to cooperate with this committee, but, boy, you want to talk about someone who has both trump issues and potential privilege claims, i can't think of anyone more the case than mike pence. >> all right. garrett haake, eugene daniels, chuck rosenberg, gentlemen, thank you all. also developing this morning, new pushback to president biden's vaccine mandate for private businesses. overnight the senate voted to block it. that resolution now heading to the democrat-controlled house where it faces much more of a challenge, and president biden has already said he would veto it. meanwhile, month are than 200 million americans are fully vaccinated against covid-19. more than 60% of the population. at the same time, though, the numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all rising. majority unvaccinated. to date more than 796,000 americans have died from covid.
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more than the number of people who died in the civil war. america's deadliest conflict. nbc's antonio hilton is live at a vaccination site in connecticut for us today, and dr. gupta, a health and policy expert. seeing a 60% uptick in cases, hospitalizedations up there. what are state officials doing trying to respond to this reality? >> reporter: good morning, aaron. you know, in addition to those cases, in terms of hospitalizations, they now have 575 people state-wide hospitalized. that represents more than three time what's they were looking at just a couple weeks ago. so officials are scrambling now 20 get this under control to get a message of precaution out there as we get closer and closer to christmas and new year's and well aware people are going to spend much more time inside. already they think that this spike is dupe to the level of time that people are spending indoors with loved ones. uptick in travel we saw around
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thanksgiving. so the response is focussing on vaccination and on boosters. i'm at the park in stanford and people ages 5 and up are able to get those shots today, and from what i'm hearing from locals here, these lines have been long the last several days as people are really trying to get additional immunity before the holidays come around, before their plans get here. it's that boosting shot that is really key here, and an important part of the messaging. they're starting to see a serious amount of waning immunity those with two shots a long while ago. and the folks hospitalized right now still majority are unvaccinated. 76%. meaning a critical population experiences breakthrough cases. so it's that boosting piece that is key and we're hearing from many folks in line with me here today, aaron. >> thank you. dr. gupta, your perspective on a few things here. it's been about 24 hours since pfizer many report on its booster showing that strong protection against omicron. i want to play some of what dr.
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fauci could andrea mitchell here on msnbc. >> basically everything we said about effectiveness of the pfizer can be applied to moderna. quite comparable. i would be surprised if we didn't see the same effect with moderna as is now reported with pfizer. >> what do you think of that explanation, dr. gupta? is that how you see it, too? >> good morning, aaron. good to see you. basically what dr. fauci is saying here is that the initial data on pfizer and its two-dose effectiveness with regard to this omicron variant we can expect something similar with moderna. if we're watching and have two shots moderna and yet to be boosted, that third shot of moderna half dose, still really
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important to prevent a positive test. critical for all viewers to recognize, whether two or three doses, or maybe down the road at the end of 2022 when we're down, might be due for a fourth dose, and all of these virus -- vaccines against respiratory viruses are to keep you out of the hospital. getting a prescribed regimen but may not prevent a positive test. that's the complexity of the vaccine against a respiratory as contagious as coronavirus. >> and immune compromised people. what impact? >> consequential. i get outreach from folks with blood cancers on high doses of steroids know they don't have the same time level of antibodies to the vaccines as somebody without those conditions. this therapy is for you. you think you should have this
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conversation with your doctor now. the therapy from astrazeneca a available and available in most parts of the country hopefully in the coming days. a subcutaneous injection, get it in nor thigh, like a vaccine into your arm and provide you six months added protection and believed to be about 85% protective in preventing a positive test. meaning, it's pre-expose herb pre-exposure prophylactics. >> you've been straight with us how you and your colleagues are doing. hearing a lot about burnout. hearing a lot about frustration among health care workers now and heard of people walking away from a job in health care. is that what you're seeing among your peers and maybe more importantly, what's going to stop that exodus of folks that we need in our hospitals? >> you know, aaron, the trend lines are really concerning. 40% of nurses that currently are
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in the workforce we expect to leave the workforce by 2030. 30% of doctors. we do not have enough nursing school seats to replace those that are leaving. we don't have enough seats for respiratory therapists to replace those leaving much less docs. biggest challenge of our time. our health care workforce crisis. we don't have enough of them and in the months ahead, when you hear about icus being full, not because of enough beds. because we don't have enough staffed beds. a lot of potential solutions here. there is a medicare limitation around how many slots we can fill for training programs to train docs that, that limitation should be removed by congress, and hasn't been for many years. hazard pay. i can't tell you how many nurses and respiratory therapists say, you know what doc? you get hazard pay, i'm in the reserves, when you're deployed as a doc in the military. we don't get hazard pay when we
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get deployed as a civilian to areas in need in crisis because of covid. we need to increase pay for especially wage workers in health care doing the hard work. we don't do that right now, and there are many other solutions we could think about to increase education and increased pay for those that need it. >> a lot of different avenues to look at. we need those in the health care to take care of us in our worst times. thank you both. we want to take you live now to capitol hill. right now, lawmakers, military officials, all arriving for a ceremony to honor the life and legacy of senator bob dole. we're going to take you there, and also talk to one of his closest friends, when we come back. stay with us.
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this morning we are remembering a giant in the political world and in just a few hours bob dole, the world war ii veteran, longtime senator, former presidential nominee will lie in state at the u.s. capitol. he died sunday at age of 98. lee ann called dwell has the latest on capitol hill. also with us think hour richard norton smith, bob dole's longtime friend and founding director of the robert j. dole institute of politics. leanne, start with you. what can we expect as sayre more
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thanes get under way this morning? >> reporter: good morning. dobb bole died 98 but spent 11 years as republican leader both majority and minority leader. the late senator is going to arrive in a casket with his family at 9:45 a.m. the ceremony in the rotunda behind me will start at 10:00 a.m. where he will be greeted by defense secretary lloyd austin. symbolizing the service of bob dole. he was a world war ii veteran who was badly injured, and stayed with him the rest of his life. speaking today is going to be speaker pelosi, leader mcconnell, leader schumer and president biden, who served with senator dole for 24 hours in the senate. it's going to be a short ceremony. just about 45 minutes. and after that time, then members of congress, staff and friends and family can come and visit his casket in the rotunda
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until 8:00 p.m. tonight, but we can expect to hear some themes during the speeches today including civility, humanity and bipartisanship, things they will say represented senator dole. aaron? >> robert, i know you worked for bob dole -- i'm sorry. richard, you worked for bob dole, but you also were friends for decades. what should we be remembering about your friend today? >> oh, gosh. there's so much. i look at that picture in the rotunda. of course, the memory that comes back immediately is just a couple years ago now, if you recall when president, the first president bush passed away, and the image a lot of americans have, probably the last time there you see, the last time they saw senator dole, when he came to the rotunda and with considerable assistance, hedged to his feet so that he could salute his former commander in
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chief. what people don't know, the story behind that picture is as remarkable as the picture itself, but when dole ran against bush in 1998, a bitter campaign and no love lost between the two camps, before it was over, and yet the moment bush was elected, as he was the first to say, bob dole became his most loyal supporter on capitol hill, and indeed they became very close friends. something that the second president bush alluded to in his statement earlier this week. that was typical of dole. he was a fierce competitor. he certainly could be a fierce partisan, but once the campaign was over, and it was time to govern, he knew that there was a bright red line between the two, and i think that's probably one of the things that you will hear alluded to today. one of the things, it isn't just
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that we've lost that bipartisan willingness to work across the aisle, which at its best was a dole characteristic. it's that we seem to have lost the distinction between campaigning and governing. it's as if we campaign all the time now. and i think that's -- one of the things that we're breathing this this -- grieving this week, not just the loss of an american figure in american politics but the brand of politics that he represented. >> you know, he played a big part, as you noted, and leanne noted as well shaping so much policy for this country. foreign, tax policy, too, but also worked hard to help other people with disabilities. what should be sort of a headline of his legacy, if you will, as it relates to that? >> well, of course, you're absolutely right. one of the pieces of legislation
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with which he has endowably is associated and of which i think he felt great pride was the americans with disabilities act, again, passed during the first bush presidency. i often thought that dole was the first compassionate conservative. you know? it's not just what he went through after the war and the permanent scars that that left on him. this was a kid who grew up in depression era kansas, in the dust bowl. he's talked about his paper route, he interrupted by great rolling clouds of topsoil, you know, that were heading for russell, kansas, and a signal to head home and stuff wet towels under the doors in the hope you could keep the dust out. this was a family that famously had to move into the basement of that small house in russell,
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kansas, and rid up the upstairs because they needed the money, as many people did in the depression, but he was county attorney of russell county. one of the more unpalatable tanks he had to perform. he, on more than one occasion, signed welfare checks for his grandparents, and what all of that did was to create a different kind of conservative, if you will. there was a real streak of the kansas populist in bob dole. i mean, he really could identify with people who, like his grandparents, rugged individualists, classic midwest conservatives, through no fault of their own found themselves in a way victims of forces, whether farmers and the weather, or whoever. in any event, he brought that with him to washington, and as you said. he spent over 35 years in that
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building, but in a real sense, i think that one of the keys to understanding bob dole is that he brought russell, kansas, with him, and in a very real sense, emotionally, he never left russell. >> beautiful sentiment. we appreciate you, richard, sharing some of your memories and perspective on your friend, the former senator, richard norton smith, lee ann called dwencaldwell, thank you, both. a stark and unprecedented warning to president vladimir putin. a key vote that could prevent the first debt default happening today. how avoiding the economic disaster. that's next. ster that's next. to make-a-wish and meals on wheels.
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white house around 10:30 today about additional sanctions around anti-corruption they'll put in place related to the summit of democracy the president is having today. certainly looking to see if there's anything specific to russia in that announcement. more broadly, people close to the administration outlined a few things on the table. biggest one called sort of the sanction of all sanctions, nuclear option of sanctions is kicking russia out of this banking network called swift. basically the way banks communicate amongst each other. being excluded from that would make it very difficult for russian businesses, russian banks, to engage in sort of the international finance community. so that would have big implications on the russian economy, and then there's other tools that are being used sort of things like regulating russia's access to the bond market, which would make it difficult for the country, the government. or banks to borrow. things that could be done towards russia's currency. all broader levers that the u.s. and its allies and europe could
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pull to sort of squeeze putin to tighten the screws on the russian economy, and in addition they're looking at things that could be done to specifically target individuals in russia, oligarchs close to putin to pus pressure other than them as well in hopes it puts pressure on putin himself to de-escalate the situation on the ukrainian border. >> quickly, the president will talk to president zelensky later today. what do you know about that? >> reporter: a very important call that comes, of course, two days after the call with putin. we expect the president to outline steps he is taking. among those is going to be delivery of military equipment as early as this week to ukraine to help ukrainian forces there. one thing we heard from the president yesterday that's off the table for now would be sending additional u.s. troops to ukraine. in addition to this call, talking to other eastern european states reassuring them the u.s. is willing to take do whatever is necessary to help
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stabilize the region. >> all right. from the white house for us. shannon, thank you. that's the story from the american side of this issue. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel has the latest now from the battle zone inside ukraine. >> reporter: the front lines along ukraine's border with russia hearken to world war ii or even earlier. miles of narrow paths, flanked by land mines and trenches. muddy today, be often frozen solid. >> so we've been -- >> reporter: these positions designed to slow down a russian advance or stop and hon high alert now. russian troops around 100,000 and tanks and artillery amassed along three sides of the ukrainian border and in addition to the regular russian army, there are pro-russian militias already operating inside ukraine. this is the most dangerous flashpoint. ukrainian troops occupy these trenches 24/7, and pro-russian
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forces are just about 50 yards away and according to the ukrainian soldiers here those russian-backed troops fire on them almost every day, and it wouldn't take much for an escalation here to trigger a much wider war. >> we have trench with guys they have trench with guys. below this locate mine fields. so basically some site, stop that attacking, it's have casualties no matter what they do. >> reporter: this 30-year-old lieutenant has been serving on the front for eight years. >> putin, i think not stop in ukraine. >> reporter: do you think russia's going to do it? >> in our language we have some words like -- hope for the best and get ready for the worst. >> reporter: this is one of the forward lookout positions? >> reporter: nearby this squad commander showed me where the
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enemy is. those pro-russian militias on ukrainian territory, backed and armed by moscow. >> not very far away. >> reporter: an all-out ground war could expand beyond ukraine. the u.s. state department warns neighboring belarus, putin's closest and increasingly dependant ally could also be drawn in. >> thanks to richard engel for that report. to the capitol, a big step towards raising the debt ceiling and hopefully avoiding a deficit disaster. reaching a one-time deal to make this happen. the clock is ticking with less than a week until our government is set to default on its debt. from capitol hill for us now what can we expect today, and how soon can congress get this all wrapped up? >> reporter: aaron, a little after noon once the bob dole services behind me are cleared up, the senate is expected to take a an important proposal vote on approving a bill setting
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up a fast track for democrats to pass debt ceiling increase on their own. the vote requires 60 votes in the senate. at least 10 republicans. that's the biggest pitfall here to keep an eye out for, but senate republican leader mitch mcconnell appears confident it will pass and a number of allies on the record supporting it. once this happens, sometime between today and tomorrow early morning, the senate will vote on final passage of the bill. once president biden signs it, it sets up a special process where the senate can raise the debt ceiling on a one-time basis with no filibuster. the bill suspends the filibuster one time just for this issue to lift the debt ceiling giving democrats a chance to do all of that in one day. before the december 15th deadline, after which treasury secretary janet yellen said the u.s. risks breaching the debt ceiling and potentially defaulting on the debt. single biggest thing to keep an eye on here, some republicans are fearful democrats could use the suspension of the filibuster on other issues like voting
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rights and immigration. of course that would take 60 votes as well and would be a long shot to get done. aaron? >> for us at his post at the capitol. thank you. breakings news now. a detroit attorney just filed two separate $100 million lawsuits against the oxford school district and several school employees there in michigan. that's after last week's deadly school shooting that took the lives of four students. the attorney filing the suits on behalf of a student shot in the neck and her sister who was next to her during the shootings here. we expect to learn more about this during a news conference later this morning. we'll bring you any new details as we get them. in just a few minutes, testimony in the trial of former minnesota police officer kim potter will resume. this comes after an emotional first day with the first witness called here. daunte wright's mother breaking down repeatedly on the stand. potter faces two counts, first degree and second-degree manslaughter after she shot and
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killed 20-year-old daunte wright during a traffic stop last april. potter claims she confused her handgun for a taser. outside the courthouse in minneapolis and shaq, yesterday we know an emotional first day of testimony there. what can we expect today? >> reporter: well, based on opening statements we know we can expect to the hear from nor law enforcement officers perhaps use of force experts in the next couple days of testimony. you mentioned that emotional testimony we heard from the mother of daunte right yesterday who was not only a spark of life witness, someone who could speak to the character of the individual who was lost, daunte wright, but also a fact witness because she was on the phone with her son as he was being pulled over, and then got a call minutes later, saw what she described as his lifeless body. listen to what she said in court yesterday. >> i wanted to protect him, because that's what mothers do. you protect your children. you make sure that they're safe.
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>> reporter: now, we also saw a brand new body camera video in court yesterday. not only of when his mother arrived to the scene but in the moments after the shooting. we saw kim potter. looking at it right there. the officer now facing two charges of manslaughter immediately broke down, face down in the grass. she was sobbing in response to that shooting. prosecutors are saying she should have known the difference between her gun and her taser. aaron? >> shaquille brewster in minneapolis today. shaq, thank you. in just a few minutes from now the ceremony to honor bob dole will begin at the u.s. capitol. you can see motorcades moving into place here outside the capitol on the east front here. the late senator is set to lie in-state at the capital rotunda in the capital which he served. jose diaz-balart will pick up our special coverage of that right after a short break.
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prosper during their most important time of year. when you switch to t-mobile and bring your own device, we'll pay off your phone up to $1000. you can keep your phone. keep your number. and get your employees connected on the largest and fastest 5g network. plus, we give you $200 in facebook ads on us! so you can reach more customers, create more opportunities, and finish this year strong. visit your local t-mobile store today. ray loves vacations. but his diabetes never seemed to take one. everything felt like a 'no'. everything. but then ray went from no to know. with freestyle libre 2, now he knows his glucose levels when he needs to. and... when he wants to. so ray... can be ray. take the mystery out of your glucose levels, and lower your a1c. now you know. try it for free. visit
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age of 98. in the next few moments, a congressional tribute ceremony will begin. the former senator will then lie in-state at the u.s. capitol rotunda as president biden and lawmakers pay their respects to the former republican presidential nominee, who in so many ways symbolized a bygone era of american politics. dole was known by his colleagues as someone who reached across the aisle to work on behalf of the american people and push administering of bipartisan legislation including the americans with disabilities act and a complete revamp to the nation's food stamp program. now as former friends and colleagues honor his service with a variety of tributes and remarks scheduled through the day. let's begin with nbc news capitol hill correspondent leigh ann caldwell, live at the capitol where dignitaries are arriving and there we see the
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hearse just in moments will be brought out of the car. lee ann, talk us through today's tributes. >> reporter: good morning, jose. that's right. the hearse just arrived just a couple minutes ago. in just a moment chairman of the joint chiefs of staff milley will greet mrs. dole, elizabeth dole and escort her into the rotunda. the ceremony inside will begin at 10:00 a.m. speaking at the ceremony speaker pelosi, leader mcconnell, leader schumer and president joe biden who served with the late senator for 24 years. they were good friends, and that is an example of how the two both reached across the aisle in what you mentioned, this forgone era of bipartisanship which is a theme what people talk about today when speaker pelosi speaks. she's likely to talk about civility and how, what a great
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person senator dole was, and that he was a man of his word, and so those are going to be themes throughout people's speeches today. also in this ceremony is, he's going to be greeted by pentagon secretary lloyd austin. of course, that represents the service of the late senator in world war ii where he was severely injured, and those injuries carried with him for the rest of his career, and influenced his policy and his thinking, and that is part of the reason why he was so instrumental in the passage of what you just mentioned, the americans with disabilities act, in 1990. so the ceremony's going to be short, jose. about 45 minutes. and then the casket and the late senator will lay, lie in-state for the remainder of the day for friends and family. members of congress, senators and staffers to come and pay their tributes. jose? >> leigh ann caldwell, thank you very much. let's go right there to just
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the outside of the capitol. we see the ceremony begin.
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>> there we see elizabeth dole. his daughter robin.
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>> present. >> present arms.
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>> as we continue to follow these events, with me now to take a closer look at bob dole's life and legacy is a great group of people, former wyoming republican senator alan simpson who served with bob dole in the senate, "usa today" washington bureau chief susan paige, and jonathan alter, author, columnist "the daily beast" and
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presidential historian and msnbc political analyst and linda tufts, chair of the center for equal opportunity and former director of the white house office of public liaison during the reagan administration, as we see here the rotunda getting ready to receive senator dole. senator simpson you served with bob dole for almost your entire tenure. what was is like to work with him as a colleague and as a leader? >> well, he was a leader, and he was always a leader. for me, in my 50 years in politics and rather checkered career, i look, he was the inspiration of my life. i deeply regret that i'm not right there in that rotunda. i had hip surgery, broken hip in july and i'm doing nicely but
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tottering around. it was a tough decision, and i asked to participate in ways and anyway, enough of the sadness. he was, i never worried about him. he was a leader. he called, he talked -- he named his dog "leader" and i thought, i was on the infantry, a first lieutenant in germany at the end of the occupation and he was a tremendous captain of the ship and i told him, i said you don't have to worry about me. there are no footsteps behind you waiting to take your job, and just know that i will go
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over the hill for you, or wherever you want to go, and i was always loyal to him and he was loyal to me, but i saw sides of him that other people did not see. he had a powerful sense of humor, sometimes acerbic. he said something in humor, one time something about agnew and i said bob, that really hurt me. his jaw hit the floor. he said i wouldn't do anything to hurt you. you've been as loyal as you can be to me. you served me and done all the heavy work and doing the whip stuff and i said i know, but to you it didn't seem like
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anything. to me it did. he grabbed my arm and said i never ever would do anything to hurt you that was a part of him. anyway. >> senator, it's almost as though he was very much a man of the senate, as are you. it seems as though that spirit that you could cross the line and go and have bipartisan work done. it's almost as though it's so difficult to see nowadays. what was it about those years that made this possible. >> it was his persona, russell
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kansas, you know, to fort hayes and join nancy casablanc. it was like, he had total respect for robert byrd. we didn't call robert byrd bob byrd. it was robert byrd, and ronert byrd knew, bob dole knew that robert byrd knew everything about the senate. he was awed by him. we were all awed by him, maybe some of it was fear. he immediately went to robert byrd and said you're a student of the senate. you're the institution here. you're the hallmark and let me know about her procedures and protocol and robert really
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appreciated that when he became assistant leader, i became assistant leader and i was with cranston and wendell ford. so that was his charm and then it came to pass also with george mitchell and tom daschle and he would get that smile on his face and say how i'm going to make this work. the job is to make it work, not to be a republican or a democrat, and we are, but make it work, show something for the american people, which he did, americans with disabilities act, on immigration and nuclear energy, lots of things, social security, which everybody knows is going to go belly-up in 2034, and if you rip into that one,
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aarp will tear your shorts off, but that's another thing. anyway, he confronted big issues with good humor and he knew his adversaries. he one time, this was a little confidential, he went to byrd and he said why don't we go overseas, the two of us, and show the european countries and the countries of the world how two men of opposite parties can make this show of work and put up and byrd might have known toward the end that byrd had parkinsonnian syndrome. he could hold the microphone to his chest and never have a quiver, but he sat with bob and he said, bob, i


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