tv Hallie Jackson Reports MSNBC October 14, 2022 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
good day to you. it is a debate that could be the decider, the final preparations happening now, in georgia, as we come on the air. that first and likely only debate between raphael warnock and herschel walker hours you a way. our team is standing by with what to watch for and why tonight could change this race. our team also live in pennsylvania, and nbc news exclusive, the republican senate candidate mehmet oz talking to us about the state of his campaign, and what he says about his strategy to blanket the air waves with ads about crime. also this hour, new details in the house investigate into the january 6th attack. why the committee, what the committee now has, from the secret service, and why the oath keepers are involved. plus, our new reporting on the newest flash point and culture wars across this country, why some republicans are now focused on, wait for it, kitty litter, as a political talking point.
and why schools are at the heart of this. i'm peter alexander. and today, hallie jackson with me, as nbc news correspondent, ellison barber in savannah, georgia, dasha burns, and senior political reporter joining us, also raul with us from wave news. >> the two candidates and the likely only debate these two have been at it, over the course of this campaign, obviously so much focus, both recently, has been about herschel walker and the accusations related to his relationship with an ex girlfriend and having urged her to have an abortion and something he denies. you've been talking to the campaigns. what do we expect to hear them try to focus on tonight? >> so i was speaking to a source close to walker's campaign, and they said that he will spend time tonight, obviously they don't know, neither of the candidates know the exact
questions or the topics, but he plans to try and tackle issues like the economy, and to talk about inflation, and to talk about crime, and they also say that he is going to try to make the argument that senator warnock is not really an independent senator. they say that he votes more often than not with president biden. we have heard herschel walker talk about that on the campaign trail and kind of a key strategy for them. as you look at the approval rating for president biden in this state, and looking at a poll in september, likely general election voters and his approval rating, president biden among those responding was at 37%, so i expect tonight that we are going to hear herschel walker try to argue that president biden and senator warnock are one and the same. on warnock's side of things, the campaign manager has said that he will try to draw a clear contrast between himself and walker, and also focus a lot about the things that he has done for the people of georgia
and washington. and we are in savannah, georgia, i expect that warnock, who is from here by the way, i expect that he will likely talk a lot about the infrastructure bill, and the fact that he was part of trying to get $8 million here to the port of savannah. money that went toward trying to address concerns about infrastructure and deal with supply chain issues. he will probably also highlight some of the bipartisan legislation he has worked on in washington, d.c. that directly impacts georgia voters. interestingly, on the campaign trail, very rarely if ever, he talks about his opponent's personal controversy but i would be shocked if the moderators do not bring that up tonight. >> you make a good point. 76 degrees and gorgeous where you are in savannah but it is likely things get a bit uglier, raul, warnock as you know has avoided seizing on walker's recent scandals. do you anticipate that will change tonight if the senator wants to sort of grab a larger lead in this race?
>> i think so. and the reason is, we've got a memo from the warnock campaign, and one of the things that was in that memo was referencing those controversies. so i do expect it to come out. whether it comes from a direct interaction between the two, or what has happened to me in some debates that i've done in the past, you know, a question is asked, a candidate takes it in the direction and answering a question that they want to answer, so i would fully expect in some form that those controversies around herschel walker will come up, and i would also expect that herschel walker may bring up some of the personal controversies involved in senator warnock's life. >> mark, let me ask you about that. herschel walker who has kept his media and public appearances pretty much to a minimum and got some support from republican reinforcements rick scott and tom cotton earlier this week, but what challenges do you think he faces on the debate stage tonight? recent polling shows he is trailing in this race. he is the one who needs to
change the focus and try to win back some voters. >> a political newcomer, and having done this before, whether it is from the united states senate, or a governor, or house, even state representative, state legislature, and what we have seen, and one of the themes of this entire cycle is that republicans in some of biggest states have actually put up a lot of untested candidates who not only haven't had, to be in a high profile debate before, but also haven't had to actually raise the money that you would have from this type of campaign. now, the way that the walker people almost are kind of seeing this, boy we end up having a very, very low bar, and then actually might end up being true, and peter, you and i have been covering politics for a very, very long time. and there is kind of a truism that the people who have actually done this more usually do a whole lot better in debates, rather than those who just step on to that debate stage for the very first time.
>> i think you do make a good point which is that herschel walker still aside from the issues that relate to abortion needs to demonstrate that he has the capabilities, the qualifications to serve as a senator, a six year term to represent the people of georgia. rahul, this debate comes a few days before early votes begins there. in the state. it starts on monday. and you talk to the people in that state, right now, and your state, and are minds made up already? are people going to be paying attention tonight, and do you think this is -- does this have the potential to flip votes? >> there is a small percentage of undecided voters out there who could be swayed one direction or another, or at least lean into a direction, based on what happens with tonight's debate, and along with some other factors, and there are this group of voters that some of my colleagues have talked to who are supportive of both senator raphael warnock and republican governor brian kemp and those may be some other
voters. i think the most important data point that i keep looking to see in the polls is governor brian kemp, the incumbent republican, keeps polling a percentage higher than herschel walker with republican voters. in the end, and what i'm seeing is, is an effort by republicans to close that gap. get every single republican voter, and then maybe go after some independent voters. >> appreciate your reporting from there. dasha, i want to get to you. you sat down exclusively with the republican nominee and that critical pennsylvania senate race. that's mehmet oz. i know you asked him about his efforts to seize on his opponent's health issues but the conversation also focused on a bit of policy, obviously, as well, which at the end of the day may be the driver as it relates to mehmet oz. what did he tell you? >> peter, that's absolutely right. you know we sat down with the democratic senate candidate here in pennsylvania, john fetterman,
earlier this week, and now we're hearing exclusively from his opponent dr. mehmet oz. we did talk about and we pressed him about his campaign's mocking of fetterman's health, saying things like if he had never eat an vegetable in his life, he wouldn't have had a stroke and he said he is a doctor, a heart surgeon and would he talk to a patient like that and he said no, and he has a lot of sympathy for fetterman and his campaign has not shown that. >> and you talk to voters in pennsylvania, whether democrats or republicans or independents, this issue comes up. especially in the suburbs. those suburban voters that both candidates are vying to win over. and you know, and you're here in pennsylvania, the air waves are absolutely blanketed with ads about crime, most of them coming from the oz campaign or from republican-funded ads.
and i want you to hear a little bit about our conversation about that. >> what we're talking about now is a draconian shift, you know, a dramatic change from what we had talked about when we were living with some of the incarceration issues in the country. john fetterman was asked if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do, the one thing, and he said, well, i'd get rid of life in prison. really? i mean i'd fix the economy, get serious about fixing a lot of people and life in prison is not the number one. >> and codifying roe v. wade and abolishing the filibuster. >> he described it the way i said in the past and to me i prioritize the innocent over the victim, or the criminal, and too often john fetterman seems to be paying more attention to the feelings of the criminals than the innocent who were hurt.
>> in a moment, that's kind of rare in politics, these days, oz did say that he agrees and thinks biden made a rational move when the president decided to pardon those convicted of simple marijuana possession, federal charges, and he talked about mandatory minimums, he talked about gun control, and you can listen to a whole lot more of that conversation tonight on nightly news, peter. >> we will be looking forward to that. notably the only debate between those two men is coming up on the 25th of this month. about a week and a half away. mark, i want to ask you and your team, ask you about what your team was writing this morning, the senate control likely as you know to be decided by whoever wins two of three states. georgia, pennsylvania, as we were just talking about, and nevada right now. where the republicans are looking to flip into the red category. these are close races as well. why are these races specifically
so crucial and how do you see them at this moment? >> peter, the reason is it comes down to the number one, and that is the net gain republicans need to be able to have to flip the control of the united states senate. and so take pennsylvania for example, where dasha has been reporting on, if democrats are able to hold that, and that is a flip, because it is currently controlled by republicans, that means that republicans could be able to win control of the senate, and need to end up flipping on their own in nevada, and also end up flipping georgia. and so, you know, so that really is the math and it is why you end up winning, decided wins two of those three states, it is more likely than not going to end up being the majority of the united states senate. but that said, you know, peter, these are just the throughout the country and we want to boil it down to three, it is those three states. >> obviously, we will pay attention to a lot more, one of the real questions we're focusing in the waning weeks
before the election, whether the democrats throw some more money to the states like wisconsin, florida, and north carolina, as well. if they try to make those races yet tighter. ellison barber, dasha burns, mark murphy, rahul bali we appreciate you being with us on this friday. coming up, the court filing that says elon musk is under federal investigation over his tweeter deal. also new evidence in the oath keepers trial about their massive stash of weapons on january 6th. but first, the january 6th committee's vice chair is just wrapping up remarks at notre dame. what liz cheney just said about donald trump and where the committee's work goes from here. that's next. ♪ what will you do? will you make something better? create something new? our dell technologies advisors can provide you with the tools and expertise you need to bring out the innovator in you. (vo) with verizon, you can now get a private 5g network.
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including its leader stewart rhodes in the weeks leading up to january 6th. a secret service spokesperson telling nbc, quote, they reached out concerning logistics and demonstration areas and rules for attending presidential events, and quote, it is common activity and those records show that the contact ended ahead of a rally in december, 2020. this, as we're still waiting to see when the committee will formally issue that subpoena to donald trump, voting unanimously in support of it last night of the former president, for his part, sent a letter to the committee chairman bennie thompson today, ranting about the commit's investigations, basically repeating the lies that he did that got us into the situation 6 of january 6th in the first place according to democrats but he did not say whether he will comply with the subpoena itself. i want to bring in nbc news capitol hill correspondent ali vitali. there was a dramatic sort of
punctuation mark, an exclamation mark at the end of what i think has been a compelling series of weeks, the investigation, hours and hours and hours of private deposition, some public testimony as well. what's next, specifically as it relates to the subpoena for donald trump? when will that be issued? >> that subpoena is set to go out early next week, i'm told, peter. and look, the former president responded in a 14-page letter to bennie thompson chairman, and many of the pages are pictures and he doesn't say whether he will comply with the subpoena but instead reiterated the lies heys about been telling over the course of months out on the campaign trail. the committee is at a point where they're done with the public phase and still fact finding and still grappling with open questions, including what they're going to do to
potentially enforce a subpoena against trump, if he decides not to comply with it and then there are also open questions about if they're going to ask the former vice president, mike pence, to come and speak with them. and that's something that they have been in touch with, pence's counsel about and pence himself has said if he is subpoenaed he would go before the committee and talk. members as i have been talking to them over the course of the last few months were fully aware that subpoenaing trump was much less likely to yield the results that they wanted, which is having the president come talk to them, than subpoenaing vice president mike pence, who again has a greater likelihood of complying with it. but nonetheless, our sources told us yesterday, when we broke that news that they were going to do the subpoena action, that they felt that it was important that this be in the public record, that the committee, after at that point eight hearings, the ninth yesterday, this year, had done so much work to speak to the role that the former president played in fomenting this insurrection on january 6th, that they had to do the subpoena action, and peter, i also think that it's instructive, as they turn to
their final report, they're going to make the concrete recommendations on shoring up the larger small d democratic system, but there's also a question of if there's going to be any kind of criminal referral there. now, d.o.j. doesn't need that, they're certainly well on their way with multiple investigations against trump. but at the same time, it's instructive to see a unanimous vote on subpoenaing trump, and likely means that if there is a criminal referral, that would be unanimous, too. >> so ali, obviously a lot of the attention has been focused on liz cheney, the vice chair, the top republican on this committee, she has been speaking over the course of the last hour at notre dame. i want to play for you part of what she said. take a listen. >> president trump had a -- a freedom plan, a pre-meditated plan to declare victory no matter the outof the election.
with the exception of rudy giuliani not to do it. and even rudy giuliani admitted later they didn't have evidence. they didn't have evidence of fraud. they didn't have evidence of irregularities. sufficient to change the outcome of the election. . but donald trump determined he was going to declare victory. >> that's liz cheney within the last hour, ali, as we saw from the committee and the closing argument of sorts, not only, was it a pre-meditated plan that he would declare victory, whether or not he had won the election, but in fact, he knew he lost, as it it was communicated to him by multiple aides. cassidy hutchison for all of her courage, one of the most powerful staples she made was the one that she heard the president say to mark meadows, you got to figure this thing out, we can't let people know we lost this. and there are so many unanswered questions. a lot of them related to the secret service and all of those communications that they're still sorting through. what will they be able to do with time as a real obstacle here over the course of the next few months? >> look, as they're trying to tie up these loose threads, they
are fully aware they're up against the clock, not just because the committee ends at the end of the year, but the subpoena expires at the end of the year, and any work the committee would get to do at the end of the year, is wholly dependent on what happens in election day in november. you and i have talked about this so many times. the fact that if democrats keep control of the house chamber, then sure, this committee could be renewed and their work could continue, but if republicans win, in november, and take control of this chamber, then this committee is likely disbanded and of course that subpoena does not get revived. that's why the committee is working so expeditiously now on the final report. there is the potential for some kind of an unofficial interim report and an official one would have to be a fuller committee action, and i think just by looking at the calendar, that seems unlikely at this point. but we could still see information trickle out from the committee between now and election day, but really, the next time we're going to see them publicly is the releasing of that final report sometime in december. >> ali vitali the first to break
the news that the committee would be subpoenaing donald trump yesterday, you've been all over this and we're grateful for you. and the contact between the secret service and the oath keepers was first revealed in the militia group's seditious conspiracy trial which just wrapped up the 11th day right here in washington. the jury today saw new evidence about a plan to ferry guns and other weapons into dc on january 6th from their stash right across the potomac river in virginia. nbc news justice reporter ryan riley has been following the trial for us and one of the witnesses called today, it was an fbi agent who investigated the so-called quick reaction force that we've talked about in the past where the oath keepers were stockpiling weapons. what more have we learned? >> that's right. we've learned a lot about this stockpile of weapons in a hotel outside of dc in arlington, where it was one of the, another oath keeper who dropped off his
gun there the night before, and the most weapons he had seen since his days in the military. that individual has been charged but was on the grounds of the u.s. capitol on january 6th. he is one of the witnesses for the prosecution, because he also said that he had never heard of any plan to actually storm the capitol. but he seemed to be potentially a little bit out of the loop here, because there were a lot of messages that we've seen coming from stewart rhodes, as well as another really prolific defendant in this case, thomas caldwell, and one of the quotes that we saw come up in the case is, if we lose him from the white house, our country is dead. that's referring to trump. they're asking that folks, trump train it over there, with flags flying. this may be the last hurrah, or a final push to let people know that we are not going down easily. next step, i guess, if the democrats throw out the constitution, is civil war. and in another message, referring to mike pence, thomas caldwell wrote, if he hopes to live until friday, he better stand up stall. so you can see those threats that were coming in against mike
pence and of course, the mob that ended up storming the capitol is chanting hang mike pence, hang mike pence, as they were going through the hallways searching for members of congress there. >> one of the details that came out yesterday. ryan, thank you so much. and still ahead right here, president biden hitting the campaign trail in california, trying to give a boost to democrats before the midterms. plus, we're live in wisconsin where a crucial senate race is heating up. the senate candidate might be looking for a boost of his own. what he is hoping to accomplish, and how it could impact senate control. that's next. what will you do? will you make something better? create something new? our dell technologies advisors can provide you with the tools and expertise you need to bring out the innovator in you. ♪♪ subway's drafting 12 new subs for the all-new subway series menu the new monster has juicy steak and crispy bacon. but what about the new boss?
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help you find and unlock opportunities in the market with powerful, easy-to-use tools power e*trade makes complex trading easier react to fast-moving markets with dynamic charting and a futures ladder that lets you place, flatten, or reverse orders so you won't miss an opportunity right now, president biden is in california. he's out west trying to give a boost to some fellow democrats with the midterms now less than four weeks away. he'll head to oregon tonight. while in wisconsin, one candidate is reportedly looking for that boost, democrat senate nominee mandela barnes, he is running to take the seat from republican senator ron johnson. and "politico" reports that barnes is trailing johnson in a new poll and is looking for big name reinforcements in
wisconsin. among them, the president himself. whether or not president biden will go there remains tbd. we will bring in our nbc correspondents on the ground, mike with the president in irviron california and shaq brewster at his station in madison wisconsin today. mike, let me ask you quickly. the judge juggling a little bit of official business and as leader of the democratic party, a little bit of effort to give some support to the candidates out west. most notably he heads tonight to oregon. that's a governor's race the republicans are hoping to win for the first time in 40 years. what is the white house's strategy, as it sort of deploys the democrats, one of the biggest assets, the president himself, in these waning weeks? >> peter, any time you have a president whose numbers are underwater, which means the disapproval rating is higher than the approval rating and it takes careful strategy. it can be summarized by the most familiar expressions, the first
i'll campaign for you or against you, and whatever helps the most and a lot of democrats are saying to the white house, we don't necessarily want the president to campaign with us but we want him to come and talk about the issues that are important to us. and we saw this in los angeles and highlighting the work that karen bask did for infrastructure law, projects like expanding the metro line into western parts of los angeles. and today he will speak with congresswoman katie porter, facing a tough bid, talking about efforts to reduce inflation, and specifically allowing medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs. the other biden-ism, he tries to make the midterms not necessarily a referendum on his own presidency so far, but a choice between the democratic agenda and the republican agenda, and we heard this directly from the president yesterday, saying listen, republicans are promising if they get into power, they will repeal the inflation reduction act. as he put it yesterday, in much more pointed language than we've heard of late, if republicans
take over the house, inflation will get worse, not better. it is a tough argument. and you know the head winds the president is facing. but that is the latest spin to try to boost democrats in the tough races. >> with so many days left, they are trying to use the president the best they can to get the boost in those places. >> and shaq, the incumbent republican senator ron johnson who a lot of democrats view as a very vulnerable candidate, right now he is actually leading mandela barnes up by 6, and we mentioned the report by barnes, wanted prominent democrats to come, barely yote reached but he checked in with barack obama, hoping he would be be able it make a visit in the final stretch. what are you seeing on the ground? barnes needs some help right now. >> that's exactly right, peter. and the barnes campaign, they're
disputing the idea that they're begging for help from national or prominent democrats but notably they're not disputing the reporting that they extended the invitation to former president barack obama so we could potentially see something in the weeks to come before election day. look, everyone here in wisconsin acknowledges the dynamic of this race have fundamentally changed, especially when you look at that marquette university poll, showing that the lead that barnes had at the beginning of this race has since been reversed, and one thing that we saw, and including in a campaign advertisement or a campaign email that went out in the past couple of days, or last couple of hours, i should say, the campaign said that it was ad spending, from the republicans, that have taken a toll on the campaign. and the messaging in those ads was the issue of crime. and that was a message that we saw extend its way to the debate stage last night. and mandela barnes trying to get on the offensive, talking economic issues instead, and talking about abortion. and those two messages, republicans talking about crime, and democrats talking about abortion, you can expect to hear
that again tonight, when you see the governor, the gubernatorial candidates take the stage here in madison, wisconsin. and in that sense, we have the democrat tony evers going after the rival tim michaels and tonight is the first and only debate and another sign of what you're seeing both nationally and here in wisconsin, that campaigns on both sides, on both sides of the issues are raising different issues as they attack the other side. >> shaq brewster on the ground in madison, wisconsin, mike memoli keeping a close eye on things for us in irvine, california. thank you very much. coming up next here, our exclusive interview with the head of ukraine's parliament, and the second in line to president zelenskyy, what he is saying about a possible nuclear threat from russia. plus, we are live in south korea after north korea fired another ballistic missile and flew warplanes near the border. matt bradley, our colleague, will bring us the very latest from seoul. hi, matt.
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we head overseas and ukraine is celebrating a somber intenders day, national holiday honoring members of the military, it comes after another night of russian missile strikes across the country and wiped out critical infrastructure and killed at least nine civilians. that's according to the ukrainian government. russian president vladimir putin today says he expects the call-up of army reservists to be completed within two weeks. 220,000 new troops have been mobilized he said with 16,000 already on the battlefield. nbc's cal perry is in kyiv with the very latest. >> reporter: heavy fighting continuing as it has for weeks in the eastern part of ukraine, as well as the southern front. as ukrainian troops continue to try to push that russian line back. in the city of kherson we understand the russians will evacuate citizens in that town. the ukrainians will undoubtedly
call this an abduction and not an evacuation. all of this taking place as the threat of nuclear war continues from russia. we had a chance today to talk exclusively to the head of parliament about what he thinks the chances are, and how his country is preparing. take a listen. do you have any information? is there anything coming from the u.s. about putin maybe using tactical nuclear weapons? >> translator: according to the information i have from ukraine intelligence sources, there is such a possibility, but it is not high, and this is primarily due to the fact that the use of nuclear weapons is a red line that no one in the world will forgive. the use of nuclear weapons, they have no borders, and depending on the direction of the wind, they can affect even those countries that are not subject of this war. in addition, we must understand that nuclear blackmail is putin's favorite topic. he began to demonstrate it from the first days of the war. seizing the chernobyl,
zaporizhzhia ukrainian stakes and -- stations and others. he shows contempt for the world's nuclear security. and i would like the whole world to clearly explain to mr. putin that his hints of using nuclear weapons should make him an exile in the whole world, an absolute more toernl on any international -- moratorium on any international relations should be imposed. >> are you disappointed by the comments? >> i sometimes have discussion with some world leaders but it seems to me saying anything today that zo does not support ukraine is already an attempt to backfire to the already burning fire of this war. and whether than have a discussion about the fact that it is not necessary to save russians, it is necessary to save putin's house, i have only one answer, that nothing can save the russians with the
unleashed war, and it comes from the leadership of the russian federation. >> meanwhile, conventional warfare continuing in the eastern part of the country. today, at least flee buildings three buildings damaged in the kharkiv region another way to know that russians are lashing out on the battlefield. and another blistic missile in north korea, and flying warplanes near the border of south korea. the south korean military says it detected the north firing off nearly 200 rounds of artillery from the east and west coast near the border as well. this is the latest in a series of missile launches by the north koreans in just the last few weeks. in response, south korea is imposing you know larlg sanctions on north korea, for the first time in five years. nbc's matt bradley is live in seoul, south korea, for us. matt, why has there been this record-breaking number of missile tests this year?
>> reporter: peter, that's the big question, why have we seen more than 40 launches of missiles? that's the most we've seen ever since 2017, when tensions were sky-high. and the reason why people are really focusing on north korea here is because back in 2017, when there was this increased tempo of missile tests, they included the testing of a nuclear weapon. so a lot of people here who are watching this korean peninsula, they're worried that the north could decide that they want to test another nuclear weapon. that would be the eighth test. and first nuclear weapons test since 2017. so one of the reasons why we're seeing this increased number of tests is because the u.s. and south korea and japan are also running their own military exercises that the north koreans consider threatening, they consider it to be a prelude of an invasion of north korea. so there is quite a lot of tension on both sides. and if it continues like this, we could really see a test of a nuclear weapon. and that is something that a lot of people here are worried could
raise tensions here in the korean peninsula to almost unmanageable levels. peter? >> president biden will be traveling to that region about this time next month, the g-20 being held in southeast asia as well. matt bradley live in seoul for us, thank you very much. still ahead right here, why big namts like joe rogan and congress wanna lauren boebert claim schools are putting litter boxes in class rooms. a reality check from our nbc news team. a new court filing that shows that elon musk is under federal investigation, over the twitter deal. what we know about its latest twist. coming up. a private 5g network. so you can do more than connect your business, you can make it even smarter. now ports can know where every piece of cargo is. and where it's going. (dock worker) right on time. (vo) robots can predict breakdowns and order their own replacement parts. (foreman) nice work. (vo) and retailers can get ahead of the fashion trend of the day with a new line tomorrow. with a verizon private 5g network, you can get more agility and security.
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technology correspondent jacob, you got this court filing, and twitter says this is a game of hide the ball, and it says it must end. what are they trying to get out of musk? and how does this affect the potential buyout? >> well, peter, if at this point you have lost track of the twists and turns of this saga, then you are not alone. so let's do a quick catchup on the time line here. as you know, back in april, elon musk agreed to acquire twitter at a purchase of about $54.20 a share. that's about a $44 billion purchase. then worried about the number of spam accounts musk said that twitter deal could not move forward in an infamous tweet on may 17th. then he moves to officially terminate the acquisition agreement in july and then, of course, on the 12th, twitter sues musk. now we know that twitter is asking for materials related to
the sec's desire to look into that infamous tweet in which he said that the deal cannot move forward, accusing twitter of not being forthcoming about the number of spam bots on the platform. the reason this is so interesting is two fold. one is, you get all of this information conceivably out of the sec because, as a federal authority, they're likely to have gotten all sorts of information out of musk. twitter says they've been asking for those documents since july and have not been getting them. they would like to have a look at them now. of course, as you mentioned time is running out for elon musk. he has two weeks from today, according to a judge's ruling last week, to close this deal otherwise this case goes to trial in which case a new world of discovery begins. the saga right now, very serpentine, but it could be coming to an end. it's going to be interesting to see at this point how does musk respond and does this wind up pushing us to trial or incentivize him to wrap up this
deal in the next two weeks. >> given recent history, two weeks plenty of time for another twist and turn in this one. you will be watching it. nice to see you. >> yes. >> thank you so much. they say rumors are like weeds and today our nbc news team is taking a look at one weed-like rumor. this is a dazzy. schools are putting liter boxes on campus and making other accommodations for students who identify as cats. it's a rumor amplified by elected officials across the country. here's a sliver of what some of those candidates and officials have been saying. >> children, who identify as snakes, katz, whatever, they're providing liter boxes for the cats. >> we've got kids who think they're cats and dogs, using liter boxes in classrooms. >> they put tails on and they demand that they have a liter box in the school. >> nbc news found that every school district accused there
said that those claims are false and there is no evidence that any school has deployed liter boxes for its students. now there is a community of these so-called furries, folks that like to dress up or role play as felines or other animals. school aged furries tell nbc news they don't think they are cats and would never consider using a liter box instead of a toilet. i know you're looking at your screen thinking what are we talking about? and the reason we're talking about this is because we want to dissect the anatomy of misinformation. to do that we're bringing in senior reporter ben collins who is on the by line of this piece. you see plenty of wild things on the internet these days, rarely do they surprise you, but how did a rumor like this one even get going? >> yeah. i want to stress quickly here, i know this sounds dumb, this sounds very stupid, and it doesn't sound worthy of this stuff but they're using it as a
way to attack lbgtq youth throughout this country. they're saying, you know, basically what's next. if you allow your kid to be gay or trans, will they be animals next or something and that's where this is coming from. this is an lbgtq trope from the '90s about gay marriage being appropriated again. i want to stress it's used by people like lauren boebert, marjorie taylor greene, both brought this up, and also joe rogan who runs, you know, the biggest podcast in the country, the most downloaded podcast in the country this week said he heard it from a wife of a friend. but he didn't. what these people hear this from is from facebook. you know, people on facebook say they all hear from a nice neese -- niece or a wife of a friend. they are inventing this whole cloth. we've seen examples from prince edward island in canada to california to ohio to florida. this is a rumor that will not die on social media,
specifically because of facebook and tiktok. >> and ben, one of the real challenges here that it reveals is the echo chamber. if you get all your information in the same sort of echo chambers, then you have no reason to dispute this stuff. but as you know, this is being used, it's being seized on as a political effort to criticize and mock and in this case marginalized communities. >> i want to stress here, too, that there is a case, we called every school district mentioned here, all people who said this was happening, they all ignored us, obviously, but the school districts called back and said this is not happening. but one of them said that he they do have cat liter in the schools at jefferson county, colorado, where columbine is, and that school had cat liter for active shooter drills or active shooter situations that went on too long, that they could not control and kids might need to use the bathroom over
the course dave or days if it wept on too long. that's why they have it. that's the grim reality. this horrific thing these kids have to go through active shooter drills and might need cat liter in classrooms has been used to attack trans kids in the country. >> this stuff exists and bought into because people see this information and take one small nugget perhaps like what you said, they buy into it and try to weaponize it, and it repeats itself over and over again, the reason we have an obligation, no magistrate to look at it, it's up to the independent media an free press to challenge those false claims. appreciate your hard work and reporting on this. thank you for watching this hour of msnbc. i'm peter alexander. catch me alongside my friend and colleague kristen welker on "saturday today" tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on nbc. coming up next, right here, "deadline white house" a look at
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