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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  December 22, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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wa like blah, blah blah. tell me about it. i'm going to a silent retreat next weekend. my niece got kicked out of one of those. -for talking? -grand larceny. how about we get back to the savings? [ everyone agreeing ] hello, everyone. it is 4:00 in new york system i'm john heilemann in for nicolle wallace. jim jordan, call your office! we've got breaking news, fresh from the january 6th select committee's investigation into the attack on our capitol. last hour, we learned that the committee has sent congressman jim jordan a request for information. it is the second such request made of the republican congressman after pennsylvania congressman scott perry received a similar request n. a letter to jordan, the select committee chairman wrote, quote, we
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understand that you had at least one, and possibly multiple communications with president trump on the 6th. we will like to discuss each such communication with you in detail. jordan was specifically asked about those communications in a local ohio tv interview back in the summer. if jordan ever does sit down in front of the 1/6 committee, he might want to make sure his answer is a little more polish than this. let's take a listen. >> on january 6th, did you speak with him before, during, or after the capitol was attacked? >> i would have to go -- i -- i -- i spoke with him that day after. i think after. i don't know if i spoke with him in the morning or not. i just don't know. i would have to go back and -- i mean, i don't know that, when those conversations happened, but what i know is i spoke with him all the time. >> let me translate that for you, hammina, hammina, hammina.
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like i said, practice that answer before you go before the committee, if you do. a federal judge in florida denied a request from former trump national security adviser michael flynn who is asking for a temporary restraining order to block subpoenas from the january 6th committee. the judge said flynn failed to follow procedure and there is no basis, zero basis, nada, nil, no basis to conclude that flynn faces immediate and irreparable harm. that's a mouthful, especially for someone who needed a full pardon from donald trump because he lied to the fbi, something he admitted to under oath twice. remember, mike flynn even tried and failed to get a judge to toss the conviction insisting that those fbi agents entrapped
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him. apparently, entrapment means asking you to tell the truth. joining us now, jonathan lemere. reporter for politico, and host of way too early. also with us, eugene daniels, coauthor of politico's playbook. and amber phillips political reporter for the "washington post." lemere, i rarely like to start with you. in this case i am going to. tell me your reaction to this jim jordan news and we will go from there. >> i didn't recognize you in a jacket and tie. looks good. nice change of pace for you. this jim jordan news was sort of inevitable, he is someone we of course know was one of president trump's closest allies in the house while trump was in office.
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you just played the video clip there. the stammering dodging effort to not confirm when he spoke to the then president on january 6th. we know he was someone floated by kevin mccarthy who could be a gop even representative on this committee. he was -- there was few more rabid attack dogs for trump in the house than jim jordan who of course is no stranger to scandal of his own from his time at ohio state. what was unknown, of course, is whether he will actually cooperate. so far seems like no one -- none of the real trump brethren have. the other congressman said he won't do so, we expect jim jordan to do the same. but it puts him square in the spotlight here and gose to show -- it seems to be -- the latest reinforcement of the fact that select committee is in a new phase a far more aggressive
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phase, one that is not afraid to call sitting lawmakers, an unprecedented thing here, as well as play more of the litigation game. something you and i and democrats throughout washington have wanted them to do, play more for the headlines, reinforce in the public imagination exactly what happened on january 6th, get to to bottom of it from that day. and now we are just a few weeks from the anniversary. >> lemere, thank you for the comments on my wardrobe. i am also wearing pants. not sure the same can be said of you. the committee is now -- i don't want to say going for the jugular, that suggests mog more maligned than is in play here. but it seems they understand they are on the clock and they need to get to the bottom of stuff, need to move faster. is that the sense up there on capitol hill that the screws are tightening and the committee is taking the position in addition
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to the playing the pr game that jonathan mentioned, we need to answers we need. and if that means taking on someone as high-profile as jim jordan that's what we are going to do. we are not going to stop until we get what we need. >> they have taken on high-profilers, steve bannon, mark meadows. they are taking on a path to get them in jail. now they are doing something equally unprecedented. i think we lose sight of all the partisan bickering here in washington of the fact it is not normal for a committee in congress to investigate its own colleagues, its own lawmakers. that's normally the domain of the house ethics committee which deals with internal drama within the house. this is unprecedented. it would be even more unprecedented if yorn and perry, a lawmaker from pennsylvania the committee wants to talk to decide they're not going to talk
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or coprayed in any way and then the committee might consider taking legal action against them. do you try to hold a fellow member of congress in contempt? these are all remarkable things that could happen with this january 6th committee. and you are right, they are watching the clock. they are thinking about november of 2022. if they lose the house, democrats, then it would be likely kevin mccarthy as the next speaker would disband or sideline this committee and they might not get to the answer they are really really searching for, which is how involved was the president of the united states in getting this insurrection going. >> eugene, we have seen these two requests for information from republican congressmen. amber is right. this is not the way things normally work on capitol hill. also in the case of perry there was the suggestion maybe subpoenas could be issued. i don't expect that we won't now hear that surrounding jim
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jordan. do you sense that donald trump committed a crime, something against the federal code. do you think that's what the committee is intent on getting to, the truth, but whatever institutional polli tests that ever kept congressmen from going after each other hammer and tongues is now gone, partly because of the stakes involved for our democracy but also because of this thing of the ticking clock? >> absolutely. i think that's right, that they are looking at this as larger than just january 6th. lemere said it a little bit, but how this is about the future, making sure something like this doesn't happen again. and people have to remember, congress cannot by itself throw people in jail. members of korngs committees can't do something like that. liz cheney's thing, what she said, that is -- that is a signal telling the people who could sue and look into and fine
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criminality, actual criminality in some of the things that maybe then president trump did, or his allies to say, hey, this is something you guys should really look into. pay attention, if we get to release a report on this, we will have some of this stuff in there. i think that is something that most of us can't fathom or couldn't have fathomed before january 6th, that concept of this investigation and any kind of villity or legal ramifications. because one thing that is for sure for the republican party is that there won't be political ramifications for january 6th. we saw the whitewashing hours after the insurrection took place excite the facts that some of those people who are now doing the whitewashing were texting mark meadows, begging donald trump to do something about the insurrection. right? and so with no political ramifications, the only question is, how does congress help to make sure that something like this never happens again, that they tell future presidents,
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future members of congress, our fellow citizens that you can't do things like this with no consequences? they are going to have a tough time i think figuring out how to do that and making it heard for people. but that's something they are interested in doing, leerl. >> lemere, you know, you were a close student of the trump administration, i recall. you covered it closely. you were inside that building a hot when donald trump was would sentencebly president of the united states. if you and i were getting out our chisels and doing a rogue's gallery mound rush more of the trump era we would have jim jordan up there. among the biggest rogues of the trump gallery would be michael flynn. the january 6th committee subpoenaed him. they wrote, you reportedly attended a december 18th 2020 meeting in the oval during which time it was discussed --
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continuing to spread the message that the 2020 election was tainted by widespread fraught. right around that time general flynn appeared on something called news max and said the following. let's listen to him. and we will talk about flynn on the other side. >> he could order the -- within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states and basically rerun an election in each of knows states. it is not unprecedented. these people out this are talking about martial law as if it is something we have never done. martial law has been instituted 64 -- 64 times, greg. i am not calling for that. we have a constitutional process. we clearly have a constitutional process. i think you highlighted some of that in your previous segment. that has to be followed. >> so we had a lot of freak-outs in this period, but there were times when people freaked out more than when michael flynn
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calked about martial law being part of the military being deployed to swing states, et cetera. if the committee can get ahold of michael flynn and get him to talk, how important could he be to what they are trying to find out? >> michael president clinton is a first-ballot hall of famer for trump's rogue gallery. he had a decorated military career. then people in the obama administration warned the incoming trump team that flynn had taken a dangerous turn and that he should be avoided at all costs. trump of course didn't listen to that. flynn had become an attack dog on the campaign in 2016. in fact, he is the lock her up chant that became so popular and pervasive began with a speech by michael flynn. then he was drummed out after his contacts with russian and
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lying to vice president mike pence. each if they briefly fall out of the trump order they never go far. flynn remained a outside adviser and a key figure around the election and up until january 6th. you just heard him talk about martial law. no big deal. it's not unprecedented, he says. it would have been a big deal. i didn't happen. but flynn has taken a -- he is now a full-blown conspiracy theorist. he has been caught on video giving the fledge to qanon whatever exactly that means. and he's someone who helped fill the vacuum there in the white house, the holloed out west wing. that's important. the grownups had all gone home after the election and trump was left with the giulianis and sidney powells and the mike al flynns of the he would be a key figure if he was in front of the committee. he may not do so. he would likely have to face the consequences but he is a close,
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close contact of the president's and remains to this day. >> i talked about the rogue's gallery and the mt. rushmore of them. yesterday i talked about scott perry, the pennsylvania congressman who has gotten a request for information and there is a big threat of a subpoena coming out of the 1/6 committee, they said he was a bargain basement jim jordan. i said, no, he has an esteemed military career. on the resume now we can add insurrectionist. but indulger of conspiracy theories going back long before 2020. a "washington post" story, scott perry promoted groundless theories. in the falling of 2017, perry claimed a former house aide to debbie wasserman schultz orchestrated massive data transfers that resulted in a security threat. the pakistani american staffer was later cleared of stealing
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government secrets. around the same time perry suggested cuomo was making up the lack of electricity in hurricane devastated puerto rico. hurricane maria, tied to 3,000 deaths. he also tied islamic state to the shooting in las vegas resulting in over 50 deaths. what are we learning about him? >> well, congressman perry is someone that the january 6th wants to talk to because he was one of those people, they believe, he was texting mark meadows before the insurrection, suggesting ways to overthrow things, to perhaps connect him with top justice department officials like jeffrey clark who eventually would be in trump's year, just like michael flynn, just like this random army
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colonel who produced a power point essentially advocating for some kind of coup, some kind of overthrow using the military. reporting by my "washington post" colleagues and books and elsewhere suggests that military leaders were really worried about this. we probably got very close to that. and that'sing? the january 6th committee is locking into as well. perry was not a household tham before november, before january 6th. on the right he was, but he wasn't like jim jordan, he wasn't the face of trump's allies in congress right now. we are learning he was a key figure. and i think it's -- scott perry is emblematic of a huge problem for the republican party going forward. establishment figures like mitch mcconnell in the senate and others in the house who are much more quiet about this worry that figures like perry who are more prone to conspiracy theories are what the republican party is becoming in congress. while that might perhaps be popular among right right now, it might help them win the elections in the mid terms next
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year, certainly republicans are looking pretty good right there, it raises a question of how the republican party moves forward with this kind of trumpism ethos dominating them. and perry's a marquee figure on that front. >> look, the jim jordan news today is big news. there have been for a year basically people who have been focused on this question this said jim jordan knows something. he got a komenation by trump after the insurrection took place. there are questions what he did to earn the commendation. jim jordan is somebody a lot of people who like to see in the cross hairs this congressional committee. they also wrote -- ote --
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eugene, on the pinocchio meter, my favorite meter in these case, how many pinocchios does jim jordan get for saying he has been straightforward and has nothing hide? same question i asked lemere, how important could he be to what this committee is looking for terms of figuring out really the truth of what happened on january 6th? >> i don't know about the straightforward part of that, the meter would probably break
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because we saw him -- in that interview with that reporter when they were asking him how many times did you talk to president trump? this is someone, jim jordan, who has spent a lot of time speaking possiblecally, he doesn't have a an issue with it. seeing him stammer like that was a clear sign there was something he didn't want folk to know. i think it speaks to the larger issue that the republican party has of making sure they don't piss off donald trump, making sure they don't get attacked into him whether they are seen as an ally or not. sometimes loyalty can be a one-way street. jim jordan, he is at the intersection of what the committee wants to look at. they want to know what happened on january 6th, what the president was doing, his allies, what they were saying. and importantly they want to know what what was leading up to. how the lie about 2020 led to
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january 6th. they want to know about all of these meetings we are hearing about, what was said in those meetings, how high up were the aides of the white house that went to those meetings, and what was said to president -- then-president trump. i think all of these things, jim jordan possibly has information about. the committee clearly thinks so of it would be difficult to see how someone who is so close to trump even now wouldn't know a lot of these things that happened on january 6th and moving up and toward it. >> lemere, when i saw that jim jordan clip from the ohio tv it reminds me of every time i ask you about the red sox. hammina, hammina, you have nothing to safe. i think you probably have something to say right now about the thing looming on the calendar horizon, the anniversary of january 6th. i want a serious answer. what do you think the former president is thinking about, the
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political and legal exposure that he might have as he gose before the cameras on that day to answer questions? and will you be there? >> i'll ignore the red sox dig, but on a serious note here, this is fueled by politics and the former president's need to be the center of attention. pelosi said january 6th will be a day-long commemoration of what happened a year ago. we know the white house is going the mark it as well. there is debate in west wing how big they want to go with it. they don't want to elevate trump's lies. we should hear from president biden that day marking those who lost their lives praising the heroism of the capitol police and using it as a means to defend democracy and push for etd voting rights. as far as his predecessor gose, how it iffing on the day when the nation is going to be stopping pausing and frankly looking back in horror on what
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happened on january 6th the president is going to mark the insurrection, too. he says the nurse, of november 3rd, meaning election day, and he says the big lie is what happened on january 6th. this is his need. people i talked to said this took them by surprise when he made this announcement over email day. people in his orbit. news conference in the lexicon of trump doesn't mean taking questions from reporters. that's what he usually means. for him, he would advertise a news conference as go up there, make a same and walk off. i won't be there. but news organizations have to make a decision how to cover this. he needs to be fact checked and kept in context throughout. >> no doubt about all of that. jonathan lemere next time you come on this program, it is not too early here, please next time wear pants. as usual, great to see you.
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thank you to all of you for starting us off today. when we come back, communism, tell nichl and the cancel culture of the mccarthy era, those are the running themes in a new movie about lucille ball and dezzy arnez written and directed by aaron sorkin. we will talk with the screenwriter about the artistics -- >> later in the show, with joe manchin's relationship with the democratic party hanging by the thread, hanging on the rocks, republicans are trying to play home wrecker. there is an effort by republicans to bring the west virginia democrat over to the gop side. all those stories and more when "deadline: white house" continues after this. you will not want to miss it. continues after this you will not want to miss it
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i think absolute confirmation has to be the rule when we are talking about public panic. >> are we sure also going to be public panic if ear only saying there is a chance. we think maybe usually it is negative. >> i do. because we are not talking about sushi, it's hamburgers. i am not kidding around. it's -- these things, the every day things, the everyday american things, the 99 cent things that when you suddenly have to be afraid of them strike at the center of our equilibrium. >> the public will not forgive a president who withheld information that could have helped them or saved lives. second n a crisis, people need to feel like soldiers, not victims. third, information breeds confidence, silence breeds fear.
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that's my argument. >> if only politics worked in real life the way that aaron sorkin writes it. west wing's president hearing out his advisers on how to deal with a different kind of infectious disease outbreak in the united states, mad cow. that clip got circulation in the spring of 2020 because of its resonance in the covid crisis. diebler talking about the 99 cent things, when you have to consider how destabilizing it is. and the contrast of how bartlett and the cast was handling mad cow and how trump was hamging the covid pandemic, not like martin schenn or as andrew douglass or sorkin's version offed a cuss finch in "to kill a mocking bird" on broadway or even as public newsman on the
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newsroom a few years ago. aaron sorkin is now trying his hand at telling the story behind the beloved 1950s sit come i love lucy centering around the careers and lives of lucille bar and dezzy arnez, her fears of his infidelity and her fierce of getting cammed with accusations she might be a member the communist party. >> do not tell these people i checked the wrong box. if i am going to die i would rather die standing up. i am not an idiot. i didn't check the wrong box. >> you saw the headline. >> you can see the headline from outer space. grandpa raised me from age 4. he cared about the little guy, workers rights. it was a tribute to him. to say that i checked snooshs grandfather was wrong. yes, he didn't tell you the part
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where they throw your father in prison for the crime of being the mayor of a city. i was chased to this country, leasy. believe me, you checked the wrong box. >> and if they don't applaud? >> they will. and the press will write that they did. >> you are going to tell them i was accused of -- >> they are going to read it in the morning anyway. >> we will talk about that scene in much more with writer/director of "being the ricardos", aaron sorkin, coming right up. aaron sorkin, coming right up to balance risk and reward. with one element securing portfolios, time after time. gold. agile and liquid. a proven protector. an ever-evolving enabler of bold decisions. an asset more relevant than ever before. gold. your strategic advantage.
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lucy guesses some names. >> teasingly. >> and the script indicates that ricky takes his hands away from lucy's eyes, turns her around and says. >> no, it's me. >> my question again, jess, does ricky honestly, truly, believe that there might be eight different men who routinely walk into their apartment, all of whom sound exactly like desi arnaz? >> you think we are saying ricky is stupid? >> i think you are saying the audience is, and that's something for which they won't soon forgive you. >> do you charge for these lessons? >> a ton. >> another scene from "being the ricardos" from aaron sorkin. it was a career and television show, one with the skplikted marriage of lieu sell ball and
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desi ar naz behind it. aaron sorkin joins us now. it is airing now on amazon prime. good to see you. >> good see you. >> we talked after trial the chicago seven came out. we were in a different stage of life in the pandemic. i want to ask you about the clip we played earlier, to lead into you, a "west wing" clip from season three about how they should handle the outbreak of mad cow. you wrote that, as you often do n the most idealized kind of version of what it would be like inside the white house. i wonder as you sit here now, you were rooting for joe biden and wanted to get rid of donald trump. a year into it, what's your assess men the first year, the first term of joe biden, and particularly with regard to covid. >> my assessment is simple. he's not donald trump. and that's a huge victory.
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so that's all i think about these days. with respect to covid, i don't have any ideas for a better twi handle it. but i wish more people would get vaccinated. >> i think that's really one of the questions, right, that we have. we live in such a divided culture. we have talked about it many times. i feel like there -- people who are fans of joe biden make the point you just made, he's not donald trump, he's trying really hard and he is running up against this division in the country, some of it caused by trump, some of it caused by deeper cultural and political fissures. as a communicator, because you are if nothing else a man who knows how to write words, project images and move people. do you have ideas how joe biden might be able to breakthrough what the key wall of resistance is, the people you just talked about, who don't want to get vaccinated, and we need them to? >> you know, i wish i did have an idea. at this point, it simply
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confounds me why people wouldn't get vaccinated except as a way to stick to it the left. we are still doing that. donald trump -- i think the biggest reason he was elected, because he was an excellent stick with which to poke liberals in the eye. >> do you think there is an appeal to science that would work? an appeal to patriotism that would work? appealing to better angels? are we in a world where some part of the population. >> where that's not possible? >> yeah. >> listen, vocationally and because i like writing romantically and idealistically, sure. i like to think there is a speech that can be given that can change people's mind. and i won't give up hope that that is possible. but i think we need a plan b, too. >> yeah. one of the things we are seeing -- you have got this movie out right now, it is on
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amazon prime, as i said a second ago. i believe it is out in some theaters. and you can go out and see it. the movie business has been taking a beating in terms of theatrical releases. talk about what you think is the future. is the future going to be hybrid releases like you have done with "being the ricardos"? what do you think the damage to the business will be if the theatrical part never really comes back to what it was like before the pandemic? >> by the way, you can still see it in theaters. it is now also available on amazon prime. >> yes. >> you will put this in the same category as my belief that there is a speech that can be written that will change everyone's mind. but i do believe that being -- that there is nothing that replace the experience of being part of an audience. that shared experience of everybody laughing at the same time, silent at the same thing, crying, gasping, cheering at the
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same thing that shared experience with a group of strangers. it's electric, it's different than watching a movie by yourself in your house. so i believe that as soon as it's safe that people will come back to the theater, movie theaters and what we call legitimate theaters, stage theaters, playhouse. >> child the chicago seven, i remember you talking about how netflix kind of saved you in a sense. it was a movie you wanted to get made for a long time. finding a home for it on streaming was the only way to go for it. you got nominated for an academy award. it sort of became a -- it was a lifeline, right? is there ever a moment where you thought you would want to give up the theatrical, where streaming -- you would be content to just have a movie you made just play in people's homes in or are you always be
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committed to the idea there has to be a theatrical release in order for your work for appreciated the way you want it. >> i was they would with the way netflix handled the trial of the chicago seven. and i am pleased with how amazon is handling being the ricardos. however, again, just because of the audience experience, i would always want that first. >> being the ricardos is a movie like a lot of your movies, they jess tate for a while, you think about them. i think i heard you say it took five years for you to go from initial interest this this movie to getting it up on the screen. why did it take this long in this case? i understand why others of them took so long. what were some of the impediments to getting this one
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made and how satisfied are you with the outcome? >> i couldn't be happier with the outcome, particularly the performances that nicolle kidman and javier bartm have giving. it, the me about 18 months between being asked to write a movie about the couple to saying yes. 18 months. it takes me a while to commit to a movie because it is a big commitment. most of the writing period is going to being any, misery, i am not going to be able to think of anything, i will be climbing the walls and pacing around my house. so it is a while before i can commit to it. and then it took a little longer than usual to get made because chicago seven happened -- i wrote this, then directed chicago seven, then directed this. and neither of those cases that -- and neither of those cases did i know i was going object the director.
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it took a little bit of time. the timing couldn't have worked out better. we did make the whole thing during covid so i guess the timing could have been better but thank to a great group of health care professionals everything went smoothly. we didn't have a positive test, didn't miss a day. >> you have done straight forward political work. but there is political undercurrents. i want to point to two of them. one is a gender component. i think for a lot of people they will be stunned to watch this movie to learn that the notion of lucy appearing on television pregnant was ever a controversy. play this and then we will talk about it. >> carry a basket of laundry, sit on chairs, have a pillow. >> carrying a basket every scene in. >> lucy and ricky redecorate. the writers can have fun. large ficus teams. >> they would have to be ficus
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and i would have to stand behind them. >> what do you propose. the ricardos are having a baby. >> what do you mean? >> i told you it was going object like this. >> amazing for people younger than us, aaron, they would be stunned to know this was ever a matter of controversy. can you help explain why it was so controversial? >> sure. and people younger than us also would never believe in their broom set that they slept in separate beds. two twin beds in lucy and desi's bedroom. listen, television was in its infancy. it was something that families watched together. and there could not be -- first of all, there couldn't be any hinted of sexiness at all if you were a woman. you could be pretty, but there couldn't be any suggestion of sexiness. and a woman being pregnant was just consideredic icky at the
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time. you couldn't bring that into people's living rooms. like a lot of things, lucy and desi broke that ground. cbs wouldn't allow them to use the word "pregnant". they had to say that lucy was expecting or that she was in a family way. standards and practices wouldn't let them say "pregnant". >> one element of the sexism that still pervades the entertainment industry are some of the scenes where she is told essentially she's too old to be a leading actress and she's in her mid 30s: one other question. this takes place in the middle of the red scare n the middle of the mccarthy era. she is accused of being a member of the communist party. that happened in real life. i guess the question i want to ask you is whether you see elements of that, as people like jon meacham did, as moments of
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mccarthyism and the red scare not not just being dominant in that era but also having echos today? >> of course. the film takes place during one production week of i love lucy when lucy and desi are dealing with three very serious threats to their life and to their marriage, one of which is that lucy has been accused of being a communist. she -- what happened was 16 years earlier, in 1936, as an homage to her grandfather, grandpa fred who raised her since she was 4 years old, since her father died, he was a communist. though he never used the word, he talked about workers rights, talked about standing up for the little guy. lucy when it came time for her to register to vote as an homage to grandpa fred she checked the box registering as a member of the communist party.
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30 years later that's been discovered. as anyone who knows the black list would know, that was a complete career endser. it locked like i love lucy was going to be canceled that week. literally cancel. what it reminds me of -- this is the thing that happens that she did 16 years earlier at a time when, remember, the word "communist" didn't have -- didn't mean the same thing as it did during the cold war. russia was our ally in 1926. and it all starts to feel like twitter today. you know? so it does have that relevancy. i also wonder, with lucy being as powerful as she was, she -- has a speech in the movie where she says she's the most valuable asset in the portfolio of the columbia broadcasting system and
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the post valuable asset to philip marks tobacco, their sponsor. we never got the chance to find out but i wonder what would have happened if lucy said to the committee yeah, i registered as a communist in 1936, what's it to you? if other people who were called in front of the committee have had an easier time of it in i think they would have. >> that hypothetical is straight out of an aaron sorkin script. a fantasy sequel to being the ricardos? sorry. >> a lot of people would agree that whenever you think of joe biden goddess so much better than donald trump. >> there isn't a comparison. >> there is millions of people out there, the west wing fan boys and fan girls out there who still think, no matter what they think of joe biden or donald trump who still think i wish we had joe bartlett. >> keep voting. let's work at it.
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>> we can get some version of jed bartlett down the line. "being the ricardos" is out in theaters and on amazon prime video. we will take a break and be back. video. we will take a break and be back alright. y'all know when they say your home is a reflection of you? well helene found herself in a lamp. no joke. i got a fancy grown up lamp to make me feel like a fancy grown up. mhm. adulting ain't easy. ooh! check this one out. waffles loves her dog bed. we can hardly get her out of it. she's kind of a diva.
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patients for developing severe illness when given within three days of symptoms starting. and man, if that is true, that is big news. let's bring in democratic congressman who this week tested positive for a breakthrough case of covid and former obama white house policy director. while on vacation, sorry about that. you've gone through some hurdles in pandemic era traveling. i want to start with both of you. first, congressman. there's this human scale thing. we talk about the stats and what the dominant variant and transmission rates, but ultimately, this is a human story. how you feeling? >> i'm pretty good. last couple of days, actually just illustrated to me how important it was that i was vaccinated and boosted. if i had not, where would i be?
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i almost guarantee you it wouldn't be sitting in my bedroom self-isolating right now. after the news on my twitter feed, there's been a lot of trolling, a lot of different -- some of that people saying well, you got sick so clearly it didn't work. that's just not true, as i'm sure the doctor is going to explain. the best explanation i've seen passed around, it's kind of like complaining, getting shot and complaining about the bulletproof vest you were wearing because you had bruises. so that's the best comparison i can have. i'm doing well. i'm not in a morgue or an icu. >> you're not alone. let's pull up a list here of lawmakers and governors who have been tested positive for covid-19 in the last few days. senator warren from massachusetts. booker in new jersey. lee from california. congressman guthrie from kentucky. governor hogan in maryland. governor walls in minnesota. this is hitting republicans and
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democrats alike, dr. patel. on this show, i got a text message from a friend who's got a breakthrough case of covid and this is happening to everyone, right? here's my question. the sort of big takeaways that we've gotten in the last couple of days have been if you are double vaxxed and boosted with a moderna or pfizer vaccine, one of the mrna vaccines, they're highly effective. first at keeping you out of the hospital and protecting you from severe illness, but also, it is said they're very effective in keeping you from getting the omicron variant but it seems like i'm hearing about breakthrough cases left, right, and center. so what's the deal with that? we should all take them. they keep us from getting really sick, but the breakthrough cases seem like a lot to me. >> yeah, they are a lot and literally in the last couple of days, i've had probably about a third of my patients and close
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colleagues, including a lot of doctors that you and i both know who are having breakthrough cases. the i think the point here are two things. absolutely, the congressman is right. these vaccines were never meant to prevent you from ever getting infected. they were meant to prevent hospitalizations. we're still unpacking how our vaccines in the real world advance to omicron. what you saw last week was some lab-based data and now, we're waiting for uk, south africa, countries who have come before us with omicron cases, we're hearing symptoms are milder but that the vaccines are holding and that's good news. so i think you're absolutely right. what this amounts to, the fact that so many people you and i know and i could be one of them, i'm traveling, i could easily get it if i don't take precautions, good masks. this is so easy to give and get to people. i'm trying remind people, that means you could have contact with somebody sick and within
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one to two to three days test positive, which is a much shorter duration than what we saw with delta and the original wuhan strain. >> the biden administration rolled out their plan yesterday and i can summarize the consensus from the public health community, this is like, great, we like this plan. we're really glad they're doing it, it's not going to help that much. it's too little too late. the size of this wave is going to be overwhelming and in order to really try to be back, there has to be much more dramatic society wide effort made. are you content that the biden administration is doing enough now? and if not, what would you like to see them do more? >> they've been aggressive and it's a change from the prior administration that was unhelpful and led to much of the politicalization of this issue. now we see vast swaths of the country that are rejecting vaccines and a lot of the cases, the deaths and hospitalizations are within those unvaccinated
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populations. but there's certainly more to be done. i would like to see a much bigger push, the availability of cost effective, readily available testing. the fact that there are many folks in this country who can't afford these rapid at-home tests and don't know where to go or can't take time off work to wait in line for hours to get a test is really a problem right now. so making sure that we're ramping up the testing is i think one of the biggest things we can do so people can self-isolate and keep their family and loved ones well. >> dr. patel, we have only a couple of seconds. very quickly from you, i said before this new pill that's been authorized is a big deal. am i right? >> very big deal but we're not going to have enough of it anytime soon. most states will be getting their doses in the next week and we only have tens of thousands of doses in the first several weeks. we're going to have to limit it to high risk people. that is not great news when we're dealing with this surge. >> congressman, please continue to improve and stay healthy or
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get back to full health. dr. patel, man, you and i are seeing the same thing. it's a mess. the next hour of deadline white house starts right after this quick break. ine white house starts right after this quick break. ♪♪ fresh flavors... classic dishes... ♪♪ and a new seat at the table. ♪♪ ♪ i see trees of green ♪ ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom ♪ ♪ for me and you ♪ ♪ and i think to myself ♪ ♪ what a wonderful world ♪ a rich life is about more than just money. that's why at vanguard,
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namaste. i'm john heilemann. it is safe to say that the marriage between the democratic party and joe manchin, who is nominally a member of the blue team but from one of the reddest states and acts that way, is not exactly a match made in heaven, but that already strained relationship is being pressed as democrats are facing the most dramatic reminder yet that if they're going to get the build back better legislation passed into law, they will need to deal with the demands and what they see as the bad faith of their partner. there are signs today that the democrats are trying to save
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this marriage after manchin effectively took them the bird after going on fox news making his declaration that he would not support the act in its current form and after the white house, released a blistering character attack on manchin. nbc news reports that joe manchin joined democrats for a special caucus meeting on tuesday night about the next steps for the bbb. just two days after he said he could not support president biden's signature legislation. quote, i know we are all frustrated at this outcome, however, we are not giving up on bbb, period. we won't stop working on it until we pass a bill. chuck schumer of new york said in the meeting according to a democratic source who added that the call lasted for more than 90 minutes. schumer also doubled down on his previously stated plans to bring voting rights legislation to the floor in january saying that if the measure is stymied by the
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filibuster, he intends to attempt to change what democrats see as the anti-democrat procedural roadblock to much of what they hope to achieve. getting rid of the filibuster would need to support of joe manchin, also kirsten sinema of arizona. that meeting came after house progressive caucus leader jayapal also spoke to manchin. "the washington post" reports quote, jayapal did seem to open the door to a way forward though it's a twisted and murky path. adding that quote, jayapal was forthright about manchin's control over that outcome as she told me, quote, we understand that we need 50 votes and he, joe manchin, that is, is our 50th vote. moving over this marital discord in the democratic party are the efforts by a group of aspiring home wreckers led by mitch mcconnell to try to entice manchin to abandon that troubled marriage of the democratic party
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and join up with the republican caucus. a move that would give the gop control of the senate and effectively doom what remains of the biden domestic agenda. a campaign by republicans to lure manchin is growing ardent with texas republican john cornyn saying he texted manchin, quote, joe, if they don't want you, we do. manchin is not responding. at least publicly. here's what mitch mcconnell said on a radio show this morning. >> i've had this conversation with him off and on for a couple of years. we come from states that have a lot in common. that have become increasingly red over the last decade or so. and i think what manchin is discovering is that there just aren't any democrats left in the senate that are pro-life and terribly concerned about debt and deficit and inflation. so he feels like a man alone.
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if he were to join us, he'd join folks who have similar views on a range of issues. >> at least in washington, d.c., the central question is clear. can the marriage between joe manchin and the democratic be saved? the answer could have titanic consequences for the biden presidency and that is where we begin this hour. joining us now, luke broadwater, "new york times" congressional reporter. also with us, david plouffe. and tara setmayer, a senior adviser to the lincoln project and resident scholar at the university of virginia, center for politics. david plouffe, i want to start with you. can this marriage be saved between the democratic party and joe manchin or not? >> well, could to see you, dr. heilemann. the truth is, the truth is if you think about the total dollar about of the build back better, there's a deal to be had.
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it's just a question of whether manchin's willing to go back to the drawing. i think he will because he can say i forced everybody to spend less money and make things more permanent, which from a policy standpoint, has some benefit. you're starting to see jayapal and other democrats open the door. so i think so. and you know, the alternative, which is nothing gets done to help millions of americans, we don't do anything to protect our democracy and you know, i don't think manchin's going to switch parties, but at the end of the day, i think democrats have to first of all substantively to make sure you're doing all you can to help working families while you have control, help protect the planet and protect this democracy. then politically, i think so. if nothing else gets done, if voting rights and securing our election system doesn't get done and a lot of the elements of build back better don't get done, i think a lot of democratic voters, people who worked so hard to give us the senate and presidency in the first place, are going to be super disappointed. i think on policy and political
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grounds, you have no option but to figure out how to put this back together again. >> so, luke, here's my question about manchin. october 20th of just this year in mother jones, there's a scoop that david cornyn produced. here's what it said. manchin tells associates he's considering leaving the democratic party and has an exit plan. in recent days, senator manchin has told associates he's considering leaving if president biden and democrats on capitol hill don't agree to his demand to cut the size of the social infrastructure bill from 3.5 trillion to 1.75 trillion according to people who have heard manchin discussed this. he said if this were to happen, he would declare himself an american independent and he's detailed a strategy for his departure. now, politico at the time tweeted out manchin's response. he said i can't control rumors and it's bullshit.
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bullshit. i said it twice for reference. been telling everybody the same thing, bullshit. manchin said i am where i am. one thing that's changed is manchin said i want to get down to 1.75 trillion. if they keep it at 1.5, i'll leave the party. they came down. he was trying to get that and yet now there's this hot and heavy talk about manchin being angry enough that maybe he'll leave whether to join the republican party or declare himself an independent. what's changed in his thinking, if anything? so my understanding is when he hears democrats talk about him being an embarrassment to the party and him trashing him, his response is well, that's fine, i'll just change my title to an independent. i'll continue to caucus with the democrats and i'll be like bernie. he'll be on the left. i'll be on the center.
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we can stay as part of the same caucus, but i'll no longer call myself a democrat and you guys can't lord that title over me anymore. i don't think he's necessarily serious about doing any of that. he's from a long tradition in west virginia. the manchins have been prominent democrats for a long time. it would be a big thing for his family if he were to switch parties or just defect from the democratic party, but i do think there's a potential here for a deal. i know there was a lot of reporting that the deal was dead, but manchin has been pretty specific about what he'll do and what he will accept. he put it in writing many months ago. he's given another document to the white house. it's, you know, a smaller bill. a much smaller bill than most democrats would like and maybe it's an unacceptably small deal, but not an impossibility, i would say. one thing my colleague likes to
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say the nothing's ever truly dead in congress. so you can, i think there's a chance here for something to get done. >> another way of saying that congress is a bunch of zombies. tara, i want to ask you what republicans are up to here. we've seen this before. found its way into the press. i wonder how. are they just trying to sew the seeds of chaos here and create a bunch of dust or do they think they have a chance of getting manchin into the republican fold? >> it's clear that mcconnell and the republicans are trying to show a little leg. they see some trouble at home in paradise and they're trying to entice manchin to come on over. the grass is greener on the other side, right? i don't think necessarily that's true. i don't see joe manchin completely going over to the gop side. it doesn't really benefit him at this point. he has several years before he's
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up for re-election. west virginia is a reliably red state, but he's popular there. he's polling at 61% i believe in the last poll in november. so there are other senators who have more seniority who would want committee assignments, which is usually an enticement when you're trying to bring somebody over. they could be promising him a committee chairmanship if they take congress back, but that's a long ways away. i think this is all to sew discord and make it look politically like the democrats can't get their acts together. it doesn't help. we know that perception is reality in politics and right now, it looks like democrats couldn't line up a two-car motorcade. without getting some of the signature legislation passed or at least trying to do something with voting rights and civil rights going into 2022, because we see what republicans are trying to do here, quietly or
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not so quietly around the country, laying the predicate to put in these disrupters in secretaries of state races and local election races to try and suppress the vote, something has to happen for democratic voters to be energized to go out there and make sure they vote. mitch mcconnell's very smart. he's a wily guy and he knows that this continue to sew discord, they're taking advantage of it and manchin likes the attention. it's clear. >> tara, i'm going to forgive you for putting the image of mitch mcconnell showing a little leg into my head. that's something that made me throw up in my mouth a little just now, but plouffe, you've taught me over the years, you said perception isn't reality. reality is reality. in this case, we had some reality that seemed to look a little unavoidable. let's listen to jen psaki here when asked about the relationship between joe biden and joe manchin. >> i would just note that the
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president considers him a friend. he believes they share values about a range of things personally, but also about why they're in public service. which is to make life easier for working people across the country. to give people more breathing room. to lower costs of childcare, healthcare, to fight for good paying union jobs. that's been a common topic of discussion of course between the president and senator manchin. >> david, the whole thing on capitol hill over the last year has been progressives who basically gave up, decided in the end they were going to give up their leverage because they were like joe biden says he can get this deal done with joe manchin. been in the senate for 30 years, et cetera, et cetera. then manchin bails and the white house seemed really angry. like you can't deny how mad they were and now you hear psaki there trying to say everything's going to be okay. what's your view of a guy like joe biden who you know so well who feels personally, must feel
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personally betrayed and thought he had political capital, has lost that now. how do you pick of the pieces of that if you're joe biden and this white house? >> i want to remind everybody he's got a small house majority and 50 senators. the fact is they've already accomplished more than pretty much everyone in history has done and they're on a precipice of doing really important things for climate, families, healthcare, and maybe ensuring our democracy continues. so you know, i think clearly the white house, whether this is president biden or not, i don't know. but clearly, the white house thought they had manchin closer to a deal than he was. i will say this. manchin's been pretty clear since the summer since that letter he sent to schumer, what he was going to be for. i wish the package was much more like the 3.5 trillion, but manchin has been very clear. i think the mistake here by some
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of the hill, well, we'll force manchin and cinema, too, and they drew a very firm line. when you are the deciding vote, you get to draw firm lines and we can really be upset about that. but that's the reality. my guess is right now joe biden is in his press conference said i'm going to get something done with joe manchin and my guess is that's based on conversations those two principles have had. so the question is, is this going to be build back better 2.0, which is less expensive, a few less programs, or are they going to do this piecemeal. the piecemeal approach may give you a better chance to message it. it's almost impossible to message a piece of legislation these days much less something that's got 20 components in there. but i think what will matter is what manchin and pelosi and schumer decide. what's the best pathway to get something done. so the only thing worse than everybody not getting their way is nothing happening and listen, i hope this doesn't come to pass, john, but as you're thinking about this
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strategically, you have to understand the democrats may lose the majority. this may be your last opportunity to help this many people in this country. >> i want to get to luke and tara and we've got two topics. luke, i want to talk to you about voting rights. schumer basically says we're doing this. we're going to try to move voting rights legislation and if it gets blocked, we're going to try to reform the filibuster. do you think that's a pipe dream or do you think there's a reasonable chance that could succeed in the way that schumer's currently talking about it as his plan? >> i hate to make predictions because i always end up wrong, but i don't see that as a likelihood of passing. they would need ten republicans to go along with it and there's no republican support for reforming voting rights and there doesn't seem to be enough centrist democrats for reforming the filibuster on this issue
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either. we have seen a path towards filibuster carveout in recent weeks. they did it for the debt ceiling, so it's possible, but up until now, manchin and sinema and others have been steadfast that they're not going to do a carveout for voting rights. so unless that changes and we know how steadfast joe manchin can be once he decides on an issue, i just don't see it happening. that said, i've been wrong before and who knows. it could happen. >> tara, luke is abiding by the political -- which is the prediction is difficult, especially about the future, but there is now another issue you'll likely speculate about. we've got this "new york times" story about john thune. john thune, a likely successor to mitch mcconnell weighs retirement. and the potential that the former president who lashed out at mr. thune this year when the senator rejected his attempts to
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overturn the 2020 election, to intervene in south dakota senate primary race, but the larger factor may be the longer rage prospect of taking over the senate, republican caucus, with mr. trump still in the wings as the party's standard bearer for 2024. he used to be thought of as a reasonable, mainstream republican. if this report turns out to be tree, maybe he still is. talk to us about what's going on. it can't be called anything but the continual republican crack up under the thumb of donald trump. >> yeah, this is another example of the sane republicans who thought they would be able to just kind of hide in the wings and make it through this and hope that donald trump went away. and then they could reemerge and then go back to being normal republicans. john thune is not a maga guy. when was the last time we heard a full paragraph out of john thune? you hardly hear from him. he stands there at those press conferences when mcconnell comes out there, they do their senate
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leadership conferences and you don't hear a peep out of john thune. he does not have the where with all to take over a republican caucus that has the likes of a ted cruz and you know, josh holly, and lindsey graham and all of these maga wannabes. mitch mcconnell's soul left his body years ago, so he can handle it. he's been focused on running the senate and he's very good at that. but john thune doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to take that over. it goes to show you again that those people who think that republicans can just move on from donald trump and leave him in the rear view, that's not the case. he's still the head of the republican party. still the driving factor behind the decision making process for a lot of these republicans. that's why they're retiring or deciding they're not going to say anything and just sit back.
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that's problematic for republicans moving forward because this is not sustainable. and if perception wasn't reality, joe biden wouldn't be in the low 40s. >> tara, first we had mitch mcconnell and his leg, now you've got his soul leaving his body long ago which presumes there was a soul there long ago. the leg still remains. luke and david, not going to ask you to comment on any of that. tara, sticking around. after the break, we'll look at the investigation in new york city against the trump organization from one of the few people in the known universe who has ever gotten a close gander at donald trump's finances. plus, the biden administration celebrating a big win today that could have a lasting impact on america's justice system even after joe biden is long gone from office. and a new study revealing that the americans most worried about getting seriously ill from covid are some of the americans who are at least risk from covid
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an omicron reality check from one of the experts. deadline white house continues after a quick break. so please do not go anywhere. so please do not go anywhere “this is who i am”. oh my goodness... wow, look at all those! you get hungry for more and then you're just like, “wow, i'm learning about my family.” yeah, yep. which one, what'd you find? lorraine banks, look, county of macomb, michigan? look at grandma... hey grandma! unbelievable. everybody deserves to know who they are and where they came from. this whole journey has been such a huge gift for our family. ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪
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experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list event. i may have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. or psoriatic arthritis. of sanctuary but we are so much more. we're team players and artists. designers and do-it-yourselfers. parents and friends. if joint pain is getting in the way of who you are, it's time to talk to your doctor about enbrel. enbrel helps relieve joint pain, and helps stop permanent joint damage. plus enbrel helps skin get clearer in psoriatic arthritis. ask your doctor about enbrel, so you can get back to your true self. play ball! enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, nervous system and blood disorders and allergic reactions have occurred. tell your doctor if you've been someplace where fungal infections are common. or if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if you have persistent fever, bruising, bleeding or paleness. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu.
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visit to see how your joint damage could progress. enbrel. eligible patients may pay as little as $5 per month. small businesses like yours make gift-giving possible. now, comcast business has an exclusive gift for you. introducing the gift of savings sale. for a limited time, ask how to get a great deal for your business. and get up to a $500 prepaid card with select bundles when you switch to the network that can deliver gig speeds to the most businesses. or get started with internet and voice for $64.99 per month with a 2-year price guarantee.
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give your business the gift of savings today. comcast business. powering possibilities. miss crawly, it's me mr. moon. i haven't heard from you in a while, i'm starting to worry here. ♪ grab a brush and put on a little make-up ♪ make-up. ♪ hide the scars to fade away the shake-up ♪ you whoo. [ navigation ] your destination is on the right. ok. [ screaming ] just a week after we told you about the latest in the fraud investigation, donald trump is going back to what may be his favorite tactic. filing a lawsuit. arguing that james' involvement in the inquiries into him was politically motivated, citing multiple statements james made, it read, quote -- should really
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be whom there. get the grammar right. in a separate statement, trump lamented that it was quote, a continuation of the capital w witch, capital h hunt. james quick to respond saying quote, the trump organization has sought to delay our business dealings. to be clear, neither mr. trump nor the organization will get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions. joining our conversation is the one and only tim o'brien and tara, who's back with us. tim, i said before, you're one of the few people in the known universe who's sat across from donald trump and gotten a look at his finances. there's a bunch of information out there now that suggests that
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the trump legal team is facing an uphill battle. i want to start by asking you if you think that's right. are they looking at a tough road? >> it's way worse than an uphill battle. this is a garbage lawsuit. the trump legal team is a woman who is based in new jersey in a small firm and real estate law. he has not drafted a legal defense team to take on a public prosecutor and while he spent a whole career weaponizing the legal system to silence his critics in the media or bludgeon his political opponents, it's been about 50 years since he's been on the receiving end of the substantial public investigation when the doj investigated him and his father for racism and
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discrimination in their housing projects in brooklyn. public prosecutors don't really care about donald trump's you know, putting a lawsuit into his quiver and seeing what happens. they will stay the course. he can continue to complain there's bias in the nature of the suit. he's done this anytime anyone's taken him to task. whether he's been impeached or brought before the law. but the reality is there's a fact pattern here that is very damning and the same one that the manhattan da is following. >> you can find a lawyer to opine almost any direction you want, especially in this town. but i can't find anybody who doesn't agree with you. the notion this is a garbage lawsuit. i also point out "new york
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times" reminds us that in the past when trump took on cy vance, what happened there. trump lost. he sued him. the former president previously argued he was the victim of political harassment. sound familiar? when he tried to challenge a criminal investigation by the manhattan district attorney that fights over a subpoena for the former president's tax returns, delayed the investigation. true. before mr. trump argued it was rejected by the supreme court in february. i think a lot of people, and tara, i'll ask you about the politics, but just on the legal front, there are so many democrats out there and legal experts who think the former president's a crook. the only question is whether he's going to pay the price for it. at this stage, do you think we're closer than ever to seeing real accountability? not just they're facing a tough road, but we might actually get to see accountability for donald trump, either in the civil or criminal venues?
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>> i think we, one, have to hope for that to happen. right now, we've got the january 6 committee, the manhattan da and the new york attorney general and those are i think the most threatening thing he faces. the context for him launching this new york ag is that he has to sit for a deposition on january 7. and he is a nightmare client in a deposition. he is a flagrant liar. he exaggerated. he's every attorney's nightmare when it comes to staying on script. that's part and parcel of why the timing of this now. i think the fact that trump is being brought in by the new york ag, because she's nearing the end of her investigation. i don't think within the constellation of things she's
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facing, the new york ag's office is the most threatening to him. it's a civil case, but the manhattan da has a lot of ammunition around possible criminal charges. >> so tim just said he was a nightmare client. true. he was a nightmare president. true. a nightmare business man. true. nightmare casino operator, true. all those things, nightmares, right? the one place where he's found some success though is a political candidate. he took over the republican party and became the president of the united states in 2016 and is looking to 2024. i guess my question to you is whether despite all of that and all the legal jeopardy he faces, is there some way in which trump is fashioning the dilemma he's in in trying to get some kind of political advantage out of it that might in the weird, bizarre world, upside down, crazy fun house world of republican politics now that he more or
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less owns, rebound his benefit, just politically, just to become the republican nominee in 2024? >> well, it's clear that the republican party has become the party of grievance, right? of white grievance. grievance in general. i was a republican for 27 years partially because i didn't think that being a victim was a way to run your life and republicans were supposed to be about bringing yourself up from your boot straps and individual empowerment and x, y, and z. i don't know where in the hell that went because donald trump is the biggest whiner and complainer about everything. the guy is a billionaire, on paper. he has all the advantages in his life and yet he is constantly the one that is victimized by everyone else. i've never met a new yorker who's supposed to be so tough that's such a victim. that is apparently attractive to the republican party base. he puts himself out there as a
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martyr. the perception is that he's this strong, tough fighter and he's going to fight for you. we know the reality. he can shoot someone on 5th avenue and wouldn't lose any voters. he still, despite the nightmare presidency, despite the thousands of lies that were documented, despite the relate of what donald trump did and represents in this country, 70 plus, 75 billion voted for him. i think that speaks more us as a society. he has shown us who he is for decades and continues to be this person. tim knows this. and you don't think there wasn't a collective eye roll in the ag's office when he filed that paperwork? they're going, all right, good luck with that. he has never been up against as formidable of a prosecutor as the ag and as the one that's
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coming in in manhattan. he's not happy about any of that and he's acting hysterically and it shows. >> i'm studying the backgrounds of the two of you. tara's got a snow man over her left shoulder. tim has -- his right shoulder. i think we have to get used to this notion that donald trump is the biggest snow flake in the history of american politics. thank you for being on the show today. after the break, biden outdoing one of the most lasting changes that a president can ever make. we'll tell you all about that in a second. make. we'll tell you all about that in a second
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with president biden still grappling with a vast array of troublesome issues, the pandemic. build back better debacle and the possibility of a russian invasion of ukraine, today, we can focus on one undeniable win, not a small one, one that's likely to leave an indelible impact on the justice system for years to come. joe biden has been able to muscle through the most federal judges of any occupant in that office in the last four decades. far surpassing donald trump's tally. joining me now to talk about this and other stuff of importance, former acting u.s. sliser general, now a georgetown law professor and msnbc
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contributor. i miss you, neil, i'd love to see you in person if you can ever come up to new york city to see me. what do you make of this biden thing? it's a pretty big deal, right? i'm saying indelible. long-term. huge. tell me why i'm right. >> yeah. well, of course you're always right, john. so two really important facts to understand this story. first is law matters now more than ever. everything from false election claims to civil rights abuses to the right to privacy to environmental protection. all of this is on the line right now. and these lower court judges create the raw material that the united states supreme court uses to shape its opinions and these folks really do shape the law. i know we all focus on the nine justices, but it's kind of like thinking about twitter and trying to understand twitter by just looking at the nine most followed accounts. you can't do it. there's a lot of stuff happening elsewhere. so that's .1 and two is donald
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trump did an amazing job of stacking the courts. if i took a list in 2016 and made a list of the 20 most prominent conservative lawyers in the country, over half of them were put on the bench on the appellate bench by donald trump. many of them, very ideological, all know how to talk to the united states supreme court and these judges are moving the overton window making things seem plausible that weren't before. so that's the backdrop to this. biden's done i think a great job on the numbers and a great job in particular on diversity. i think the problem is that in terms of influence and having those kind of superstar judges that trump had, we need a liberal equivalent. we haven't seen much of that with these nominees. >> it's been a conveyer belt. they've been very effective in the narrow window of one year.
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i don't want to take anything away from them. you point out the diversity issue. this is a bench that joe biden's appointees look like the america of 2021, not the america of 1921 or 1951. that's great. but the window's closing on his ability to move these judges and you're not just talking about donald trump's success. you're talking about republican success in the courts that goes into the bush era, the second bush era, long-term conservative project where it seems like they were ahead of democrats on this. can biden make up that ground or given the narrowing window or is that a lost cause? >> i think he can. so he's already done it on diversity. donald trump nominating with all of his judges, not a single black person. 84% of his nominees were white. one in four federal judges serving today were donald trump white appointees. that's enough judges to assign each a dismissed bogus donald
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trump lawsuit or something like that. biden's made up for all of that. now the question is can he make up on the influential superstar ones. he's done so with one judge, jackson, she's already serving, but there's been another vacancy on that court for almost a year and the president hasn't filled that. there's some room to grow here and to move with more speed. >> i raised a question yesterday that i never really got to address and i'm dying to hear what you think about it. this gavin newsom thing in california. scotus is letting private citizens in texas sue to stop abortion, question mark? if that's the president, we'll let the californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets. if texas can ban abortion, california can save lives. i want to hear what you have to
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say about the legal viability of this strategy. >> i'm not one for gimmicks, but i have to admit, this law is some top shelf legal trolling. it's kind of like the crystal of legislative stunts. plenty of bills spill out. acronyms where they shade their predecessors in some way, but how many bills get to say we told you so to the united states supreme court? because that's what newsom is doing. he's saying look, if you're going to have this for abortion, why not have it for guns, too. by the way, desantis is getting into this, too. he wants to have a vigilante law on banning critical race. all of this is a joke. the court has already reigned in some of this, but they've left a path open for future provisions and that's what governor newsom's relying on. i think the path is open to california to do this. ultimately, i think it's just different. abortion and guns. because at the end of the day,
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we think that the conservative majority on the u.s. supreme court is very hostile to abortion but they're not hostile to guns and so the newsome gamble mutt probably won't work but it's a really good way to illustrate just kind of the ridiculousness of this texas scheme and you know, even if it gets struck down, i think those are tax dollars that are darn well spent in calling out texas and the supreme court on what this mechanism is. >> neil, a man who knows his crystal and as does gavin newsom, frankly. that's some top shelf trolling and you know what you're talking about. thank you for spending time with us here today. always a pleasure to see you. love you, brother. up next, if you're about to hop on a plane for your holiday travel, you may now be at least twice as likely to get covid than you were before the omicron surge. we'll ask an expert just how worried we all should be in the air. worried we all should be in the air.
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the covid headline today that experts, not just experts, me, too, is causing their inboxes to be clogged with frantic travelers. air travel might be twice as dangerous in the era of omicron. bloomberg reporting that passengers are twice or three times more likely to catch covid-19 during the flight since the emergence of this new variant.
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let's bring in dr. amash, sorry about that, senior scholar at the bloomberg school of public health. doctor, tell me about this report and how just bluntly, how freaked out should we all be about, we've been told for a long while, airplanes are safe, ventilated, all good. that doesn't seem true if this story is to be believed. >> i think there's still no reason to panic, but what that story is telling you is that yes, omicron is more contagious than delta, but the percentage of transmission that occurs on airplanes with their ventilation, their mask rules, is very, very small. so i don't think this is a major increase in absolute numbers in terms of the risk. in the relative risk goes up because it's more contagious, just like alpha. if you're wearing a mask on a plane and the planes have that circulation, it's still a low risk and if you're fully
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vaccinated, this is going to be a mild illness. it's what you do after you get off the airplane is where your actual risk is when you take your mask off. >> so if i hear your right, you're basically saying yeah, we already knew this variant was more transmissible, more infectious. just literally a parallel to that. there's not some kind of innate or unique characteristic of that variant that makes it more resistant to the kind of the way air circulation works on airplanes. this is part of the general pattern of it being more transmissible. >> right. so yeah, it's less forgiving, for example, if you don't have your mask on, it's going to find you and your vaccine isn't going to likely stop you from having a breakthrough infection. it's what we would expect based on the inherent transmissibility. here's the other question i
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wanted to ask you about. this story that came out, kff, there's a covid-19 vaccine monitor. it's an early omicron update. says half of adults including 52% of vaccinated adults say they're worried personally they'll get seriously sick from the from the coronavirus, up from 30% in november prior to the news of this new variant. unvaccinated adults remain less concerned with about four in ten, 42%, say they're worried about getting seriously sick from the coronavirus. this seems to me to be the problem we're facing in a nutshell. the people who have the least to fear are most fearful and the people who have the most to fear are least fearful. if i get this right, that's what this study shows and it does pose this basic gordonian knot. how do we cut that knot and get the proper risk assessment to the people who need it most to protect themselves? >> that's exactly right. it's the exact opposite of what you would wanting. people who are fully vaccinated
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should feel comfortable when they get their breakthrough infection, it's going to be mild. those who are unvaccinated need to think about how dangerous a situation they're putting themselves in. i don't know how we fix this, because what's happened increasingly during this pandemic is people see the pandemic through whatever tribe they belong to. the vaccinated tribe, the unvaccinated tribe, and you can't get people to risk calculate according to what the actual scientific or medical risk may be. that's been the major problem throughout this pandemic and really set us behind because that's why we have so many people refusing life-saving vaccines and then we have people who are vaccinated and boosted who are still very, very scared when they really have little reason to be. so i think this is just the opposite of how you want a pandemic to unfold and we've got it on both sides. >> doctor, thank you for spending some time with us on the show and giving us a little reassurance and also a little clear-eyed dose of reality. please take care and have happy holidays. we'll be back right after this quick break. quick break.
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"the beat" with alicia menendez sitting in for ari melber starts now. >> that will be the best tease i've ever seen. welcome to "the beat." i'm alicia menendez in for ari melber. the maga riot committee wants to talk to gop congressman jim jordan, one of trump's fierce loyalists in congress who admitted to speaking with trump on january 6th. the committee writing we understand that you had possibly multiple communications with trump and they want to discuss each such communication with you in detail. jordan has previously dodged questions about his contact with trump on that day. >> did you talk to the former president that day? >> i've talked to the former president umpteen times. >> i mean on january 6th, congressman. >> yes. i mean i talked to the president -- i've talked to the president so many -- i can't remember all the days that i've talked to him. but i've certainly talked with the president. >> did you speak with him before, during or after the capitol was attacked? >> i'd have to go


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