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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  February 2, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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"the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. ♪♪ ♪♪ well, good evening once again, day 14 of the biden administration, and this day ended indeed on a somber and emotional note. as we've been reporting, moments ago president biden left the u.s. capitol after paying his respects with the first lady at his side to u.s. capitol police officer brian sicknick whose remains lie in honor under the rotunda. officer sicknick, also a u.s. military veteran, became only the fifth civilian in our nation's history to be afforded this honor. he was, of course, one of five people who died after the violent attack that looted and desecrated our capitol building
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on january 6th. we're also one week out from the former president's second impeachment trial, this time on the charge of inciting that insurrection at the capitol. we now know how house impeachment managers plan to make the case to convict the former president and what his own attorneys plan to offer as a defense. this morning those house managers filed a sweeping, 80-page pretrial brief that lays out in rather stark terms the events leading up to that riot that day, noting quote, trump's singular responsibility for that tragedy. after losing the 2020 election, president trump refused to accept the will of the american people. he spent months asserting without evidence that he won in a landslide and that the election was stolen. president trump announced a save america rally on january 6th, promised it would be wild.
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he summoned a mob to washington, exhorted them into a frenzy and aimed them like a loaded cannon down pennsylvania avenue. hours later, trump's defense attorneys filed a 14-page response of their own to the house article of impeachment, which by the way, included a typo on the cover page, addressed to the u.s. senate and misspelling the united states. trump's lawyers asserted the constitution quote requires that a person actually hold office to be impeached, and that trump exercised his first amendment right to express his believes that the election results were suspect. insufficient evidence exists to conclude that the 45th president's statements were accurate or not, and he therefore denies they were false, and denied that the phrase if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore had anything to do with the action at the
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capitol, as it was clearly about the need to fight for election security. the majority of senate republicans agree with at least one part of this argument, that the trial is somehow unconstitutional because trump is no longer in office. last week indeed they voted to toss out the trial on those grounds despite the fact that their chamber, some of their own desks, were ransacked. today their leaders signaled that issue could be deciding factor again convicting trump. >> do you go into the impeachment trial still having an open mind -- >> look i want to listen to the arguments, issue upon which we voted is interesting constitutional question. i think we ought to listen to the lawyers argue the question. >> on the other side of the capital, the house republican leader kevin mccarthy is under
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pressure to publicly reprimand congresswoman marjorie taylor greene, qanon supporter who spreads conspiracy theories and endorses political violence. greene met with mccarthy tonight. he's also facing calls to punish wyoming congresswoman liz cheney for voting to impeach donald trump. number three republican in the house, her fate and congresswoman greene's will be discussed in private meetings among republicans wednesday. meanwhile senate majority leader chuck schumer moving forward on biden's relief bill, voted along party lines with democrats edging out republicans to vote on the bill. days after biden met with senate republicans in the oval office, proposing a much smaller $600 billion measure. schumer revealed what biden told him about that meeting.
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>> he said that he told senate republicans that the $600 billion they proposed was way too small. i think it is his belief, secretary yellen's belief, our belief, if we did a package that small, we'd be mired in the covid crisis for years. >> nbc news reporting that white house wants a relief bill passed by the 14th of march, that's when extended unemployment benefits run out for millions of americans. if necessary they're willing to do it without republican support. biden has two more cabinet members. senate has confirmed alejandro mayorkas, and pete buttigieg. first lbgtq cabinet member in history. executive orders, dismantling the immigration agenda.
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first a task force to reunite families separated at u.s./mexico border. while signing the orders, the president defended his actions. >> i want to make it clear, there's talk with good reason about the number of executive orders i've signed. i'm not making new laws, i'm undoing policy. we're working to undo the moral that ripped children from the arms of their families and remove the stain on our reputation that the separations have caused. >> with that, our leadoff guests, ashley parker, pulitzer prize white house winning bureau chief for "washington post." melissa murray, nyu law professor and clerk for sonia sotomayor on u.s. court of appeals and welcome josh for
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bloomberg news. good evening and welcome to you all. ashley, some real emotion and solemnity in the capitol tonight, and timing is interesting. a week from tonight, first day of the second senate trial will be over. we'll be talking about that. given the fact that the new president really wants the support of the other party, what is the atmosphere, if you had to sum it up, in the capital city tonight? >> well, what we're seeing tonight in some ways is a bit of what the impeachment managers would like to put on display during the senate trial. again as you saw tonight, as i think we should expect to see next week, you don't need to gild this, overproduce this, hype this, the horror and devastation of that january 6th day, the insurrection against
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the united states capitol by an angry mob egged on by a president spewing misinformation and conspiracy theories is sort of enough. the solemnity and again the horror, that's what they hope they can get the senators to -- not even understand but frankly to reremember, and relive that gravity as they're weighing how to vote in this impeachment trial. >> professor, i'll say this so you don't have to speak ill of a fellow lawyer, the president has struggled to get top tier legal representation, for some time now. as we saw over the past weekend, five lawyers walked off the task today. it is an unpardonable offense to misspell the united states in your lead brief laying out your
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defense in a senate trial. that aside, i also want to read you a quote from the president's attorney, mr. schoen. this is from the "new york times." he added that he believed that a conviction of mr. trump by the senate risked chilling the rights on any passionate speakers. we can't control the reaction of the audience, he said. mr. schoen pointed to another argument, some of the trump supporters planned their attack in advance, suggesting that mr. trump was not inciting force. of course trump was part of the buildup for days prior to that. professor, once and for all, let's talk about limits on free speech. we're going to be talking about this probably for the next two weeks. where do my limits -- where does my right to free speech impinge upon your rights as a free citizen?
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>> first thing to remember, brian, the first amendment is a restraint on government from imposing on the rights of private citizens. there's a broader question of whether the first amendment is indeed a defense for government official facing accountability for his actions in office. irrelevant to that though, the broader question of what are limits on the first amendment. defense for speech that incites violence. arguably that is what we have here, for which even if the president was not a government official, there would be no defense that would fall under the first amendment. >> josh, it's great to have you on the brought. so the white house is on the record today saying they will go this alone if need be, straight up and down party line vote, but would rather get crossover support from across the aisle. >> and also said today that $1.9 trillion still remains their number, a big gap from what the
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republicans the president hosted yesterday are looking for. did plant some flags today, jen psaki saying household making $120,000, dual income, should qualify. that could be a negotiating point. right now it's $150. you have to sift through it. see chances or negotiation, or at least a show. unclear whether the republicans were attempting to use the president with yesterday's meeting or vice-versa, but end of the day there are all kinds of signs that democrats are prepared to push ahead unilaterally on this, see it as so core to not only agenda and campaign message but the success of biden's presidency early on in the early months. they inherited a pandemic that was much worse than they thought
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on election day. >> ashley, this is a little bit off your beat but something we're going to discuss later in the hour. that is the republican brand these days. when you think about it, leader mccarthy has a dual problem, push in membership to punish number three in management, daughter of the former vice president, at-large congresswoman in wyoming, only one congressional district and she's it. at the same time a push from larger society et al. to punish, removing committee assignments for a full-on qanon believer, and i guess that sums up the republican caucus in the house in a nutshell. >> it sure does, brian, and it's the existential crisis facing the republican party. what it reminds me of, in the near past the 2010 tea party movement.
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there was faustian bargain and political opportunism there with the republican party. saw candidates not in the mainstream of the party, on the fringe, and saw a way to win. so you had two things happen, one in solidly conservative districts, states that should have gone for republicans, outlier candidates won primaries, then lost in general election, hurting the republican party of course. then you did have victories, they won a lot of seats. but what that led to with the republican caucus was john boehner, speaker at the time, he was in power and always getting stymied and having to negotiate with the house freedom caucus. hardline members who came in on that wave and did not espouse
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traditional conservative principles and language and behavior. and that could be the case again. it's too early to tell. mccarthy is grappling with this in realtime, in highly public fashion, but seems where the party is headed. even though members privately say what marjorie taylor greene is saying with qanon and other statements they don't agree with, they're terrified of angering her supporters, trump supporters in many ways, they may let the party be pulled in that direction. not just dangerous for the country but for the republican party. >> aoc shared a personal moment on instagram live, part of extended comments, her experience on 01/06, as a result had what was perceived a real
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moment of personal power, matched today by several members of congress. i want to play for you congresswoman jackie speier of california, who of course survived multiple gunshot wounds in jonestown, guyana, and talked about that day and all of it in context. >> i was on that gallery floor, and told to lie down on there, then i heard the shot ring out. of course it took me back in time i remember lying my cheek on the cold marble floor and thinking can this be happening? am i going to die in my own country in the sacred temple of democracy when i survived in the jungles of guyina? >> so professor, my point is, heard from two powerful members of congress in 24 hours. so many members of congress are
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witnesses to what happened. this is going to be tried with senators sitting at desks that were rummaged through. what about calling witnesses, what should our viewers know about that decision, about that choice? >> well, to be clear, it was never going to be the case that this impeachment trial was like any other ordinary criminal trial or other civil trial or proceeding. it always had an element of political theater to it. didn't have the same standards as criminal trials or evidentiary requirements, it was completely different animal and this will be even more so. we've never had impeachment trial of former president based on claims of insurrection against the congress itself. trauma of that day is certainly part of the narrative, it is laced in the briefs that the house managers filed. it is part of the defense that
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the president himself has lodged in his own defense, and it will be part of the narrative here. these are jurors not like ordinary jurors, they're partisan in many respects but especially in that they were there, they saw this, knew what happened. and unlike any other american, they more than anyone else can bear witness to what happened on that day. and it would be relevant i think for the american public to hear what it was like to be in that chamber on that day. >> josh, also relevant sometimes is atmospherics, if i can get the word out, the stuff we can't see at home but you can feel being there. i noted you and jen psaki got into it a little bit today at the briefing, but i'm tempted to ask, what is it like, what's the contrast like, what is the vibe like, what's the information flow like, covering this still 14-day-old white house?
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>> i think the jury is still out a little bit, proverbial jury, the daily briefings have made quite a difference, but this white house hasn't decided what distinction they want to draw with trump, even in cases where they have a clear distinction, like managing the pandemic. president trump took every opportunity he could to minimize. they've been caught over their skis a couple of times. today the incident you mentioned was whether they'll keep the space force, entire branch of the military, which i didn't think was out of the realm question, and they've since clarified they might bring folks up for briefing on that. they seem to be settling in. rallying cry for the democrats was get trump out. since they've taken over, trying to figure out new north star for
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themselves. definitely different. for instance, plexiglass barriers on desks, masks, often two masks at all times. this is a sharp divergence. and tonight with the president when we went to the capitol with officer sicknick lying in honor in the rotunda. biden didn't bring in the press corps. don't remember a lot of times traveling with president trump where he left the press corps. >> interesting. all interesting and relevant. terrific to have big three with us to start off. ashley parker, professor melissa murray, josh wingrove, welcome and thank you. coming up, your chances of getting the vaccine will increase in just a matter of days. i'll ask if that's fast enough considering the need. you know a story is going to
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be good when you hear the start of four conspiracy theorists walk into the oval office. we will bring you details from a new report of what might be the most troubling meeting of the trump presidency, if indeed such a thing can be determined. all of it as our broadcast is just getting under way on this tuesday night. graine hope from . to show up... ...for the sweet. the hectic. the tender. the tense. and the fiery. but for many, migraine keeps them... ...from saying... ...“i am here.” we aim to change that... ...with... ...aimovig, a preventive treatment... ... for migraine in adults. one dose... ...once a month... ...is proven to reduce monthly migraine days. for some, by half or more. don't take aimovig if you're allergic to it. allergic reactions like rash or swelling
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starting on february 11th, the federal government will deliver vaccines directly to select pharmacies across the country. this will provide more sites for people to get vaccinated in
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their communities and important component to getting vaccines. >> this may be a slow rolling game changer, this new effort by the administration to get more vaccines into more americans. the goal isn't just to get them distributed but also into underserved communities. politico reporting just 5% of all vaccinations have gone to black americans despite equity efforts. for more, welcome back to the broadcast dr. celine gounder from nyu school of medicine and bellevue hospital in new york, serves on the president's coronavirus advisory board. let's talk about this racial disparity, no one paying attention in the year 2021 should really be surprised by it, but we also know it's not like we're going to just start
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treating everyone equally starting tomorrow. so how do you combat it? and is your local cvs/walgreens one way because it makes this vaccine more approachable? >> brian, before we start proposing solutions, we need to understand what the source of the problem is, and is this a problem of access, of vaccine hesitancy. i expect it's some of both, based on what i'm seeing on the ground. among health care workers who can get the vaccine in place of work, we're seeing significant differences in racial groups whether they're getting vaccinated. that's a marker of hesitancy. you can't steamroll through legitimate reasons for not trusting the system. only way to repair that trust is
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make real change, address longstanding inequities and that's not going to happen overnight. >> that's going to take a education campaign, you're right. dr. fauci to chris hayes on this network earlier tonight. >> one of the wild cards that we have to keep eye on are the mutations. the mutants that are out there, because if they become dominant, that could lead to another surge. >> doctor, i don't need to tell you the mutations scare the hell out of everybody. people who have had first shot, hanging all their hopes on two vaccine shots. how should people view this? >> look, i'm not an alarmist, but this is as scared as i have been since the beginning of the pandemic. >> wow. >> we have several variants we're worried about. one from the uk is more transmissible, spreads more easily from one person to
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another. that means more cases, hospitalizations and deaths. two other variants, one from south africa, one from brazil. those are concerning because the immune response triggered by the vaccines seem to be still effective but less protective, trending in wrong direction, against those mutant strains. now we're seeing a hybrid mutant with some characteristics of the uk variant as well as south african variant. not only more transmissible but also evading to some degree the immune response triggered by the vaccine. this is really a problem and we need to be slowing spread of the virus through vaccination or other things we've been doing all along as quickly as possible. >> is there also going to be a time -- people in various states waiting for seniors and frontline workers to get the
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vaccine, will there be a time, 16 to 65, general population, come out, it's all yours. >> will be a time, perhaps later this summer. but right now my key message would be with the rise of the variants, this is not time to let down your guard. you absolutely need to double down on the masking, social distancing, good ventilation, sticking to household bubbles. all of that needs to continue until we get everybody vaccinated. >> i have not heard you quite as alarmed, you're right, since the very start of this, coming up on a year ago. dr. celine gounder, thank you for taking our questions, we always appreciate it. coming up, new reporting on what is being dubbed the craziest meeting of the trump presidency, and yes, it is tough to pick just one.
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new piece of journalism on what it calls the craziest meeting of the trump presidency. it is the work of jonathan swan and zachary basu and must be read to be believed. the meeting included lawyer
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sidney powell and newly pardoned former national security adviser michael flynn. axios reports that trump was obsessed with election conspiracy theories while white house staffers considered it all quote unending sea of garbage churned up by the bottom feeders. go on to say what they were proposing amounted to suspending normal laws and mobilizing the u.s. government to seize dominion voting machines around the country. that, gang is how close we came. joined by mark mckinnon, former adviser to george w. bush and john mccain, now one of the cohosts of "the circus" on showtime, and michael steele, former governor of the great state of maryland, now the star. mark, i am a loyal "circus" viewer, hopefully in this atmosphere, freed of john heilemann you'll be free to let your flag fly. i'll start with this cuckoo
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axios article. along the way they mentioned what many people feared and suspected, that during this time trump had basically cast aside the business of being president, the business of our country, and indeed was obsessing over this and just this. george conway said tonight we are watching the moral collapse of the republican party. mark, do you concur with that? >> oh, i do, brian. i think the party's been clawing its way to the bottom for a while now completely dysfunction junction. if pitched "the circus" as fiction years ago would be thrown out. but i guarantee there have been ten pitches in the last 24 hours. but it's a stunning story. first what you said, president checked out completely, not running the country, trying to figure out a way to save himself.
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and if you think -- secondly, think axios has bugged the white house. sourcing they have is incredible. so i recommend everybody read it to believe it, and you still won't believe it. but it strikes me, if you had medical equivalent of lawyers, you had medical physicians in the white house saying you're going to die, so trump refuses to believe that, brings in another physician, give me a second opinion, third opinion. then add these legal freaks come in, basically say, just inject a bunch of chlorine in your veins. or put light in your eyeballs or something, so he would bring in anyone to tell him whatever he wanted to hear, no matter how crazy it was, in order to overturn the election. >> michael steele, i don't
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remember much about high school psych class, i do remember cognitive dissonance. think of it. republican members of congress some sitting at desks that were ransacked and in chambers that were ransacked are going to tell themselves not to buy the case that democratic impeachment managers are making. what if trump faces no consequences? >> that's very likely, brian, that he won't face consequences, because members of the u.s. senate will sit at those very same desks and continue to do the bidding of donald trump. their political calculation, as they begin to set up 2022, is that by just letting it go away, ignoring it, not drawing a lot of attention to it, it will keep trump relatively at bay, it will keep the trump base, that rabid part of his base, relatively at bay.
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because they don't want to see happen in their states or districts what's been happening to liz cheney, an honorable member of congress, honorable republican who took the risk of standing up for her country over the insanity of this president and his insistence that the election was rigged. they, unlike her, will fall duly in line. the fact it's taken speaker mccarthy -- i mean he gives "hamlet" a whole new story line. to be or not to be, to do, what do i do. do, get a grip. this is not complicated. very much to what mark was talking about, you can't script this out in real life, yet in fact it is real. and we saw the dire consequences
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from what trump has wrought on january 6th. yet and still, you will have a significant majority of the republican members of the senate say, really didn't happen that way. >> mark, quick question before a break, when you think about it, they took the capitol. rioters took possession of the building temporarily. is there any in your view getting republicans to conviction votes? >> i don't think so, brian. i mean i think they're locked in. we had the rand paul vote, kind of smoke signal from the chimney to all republicans. we know that 45 senators are very likely to vote against. and i can't imagine what will happen between now and then to change that outcome. >> both good gentlemen have agreed to stay with us while i fit in a break. coming up, congresswoman qanon and the fate of the party that welcomed her to congress.
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if you believe that the jews control a space laser that starts fires in northern california and there are some unnamed high-ranking government official with a heretofore unknown security classification known as q and everything that goes with that, should be taken off the committee and confined to darkest recesses furthest from the house floor and let the voters decide in the next election. she is a problem for our party. >> what a shame we have to get religion mixed up with our space lasers. karl rove on his party's marjorie taylor greene problem. remaining with us, mark and michael. this was notable because of where it originated, "wall
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street journal" opinion, if bowing before all things trump is the litmus test for being a loyal republican, the party should get used to continued losses in the suburbs. falls right in with conversations we were having before the break. what do you say to suburban voters in four years, we were kidding about the space lasers? >> well, let's put this all together this way. if you continue on the road you're on, and if you believe that you'd rather have marjorie taylor greene over liz cheney, that you would prefer to embrace qanon and proud boys and white nationalism, if you would prefer
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to ignore the realities of what trump incited on january 6th, and you plan to go into 2022, 2024, 2026, only thing i have to say is lose, baby lose. that's all you got left. because there's no way the country looks at you and says you can govern anything. if that's the kind of people and leadership that you want to get behind and support. >> so mark, are you capable of surprise anymore? where this party is concerned. i'm joking but it's a serious question. what's going to be the brand? because sooner or later, they're going to need to run on something, and as the journal notes, it's suburban voters that they have to concentrate on. look at numbers from last time. >> no question, brian.
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and that's coming out in trump's own polling right now that's been leaked, that shows he lost the election not because of election fraud but because he had problems in the suburbs, exactly what you're pointing out. and here's the problem for the republican party, there was an opportunity here. take trump off the ballot and look at what happened in 2020, republicans exceeded expectations by a lot in the house and a good bit in the senate. even though they ended up losing it. the fact is republicans without the trump overlay have a lot of opportunity and lot of possibility in 2022. but if you put trump back squarely in the equation, which he is doing, and then you overlay marjorie taylor greene and her ilk, you have a huge problem. that's why karl rove and others are speaking out forcefully. i'm encouraged by the extent established republicans and young leadership like ben crenshaw and others are throwing up a flare as well.
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everybody is realizing quickly that that is a big, big problem. >> so michael steele, 30 seconds, your prediction of what comes with the meeting with leadership, what happens to her in the house? >> it really depends, brian, on how much internal pressure there is within the whole caucus, house and senate, for kevin mccarthy to sit her down and in karl rove's words set her aside in farthest building away from the house floor. but the problem is, you have 140-some members of the house caucus who stand with her, are just as qanon crazy and trump obsessed as she is. so i don't know how he weathers that, how he weathers that kind of a force inside his own caucus. because at the end of the day, he still wants to be speaker of the house. >> this is why i think of you guys all the time, along with all of our other guests. these are strange times we're
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living in. mark mckinnon, michael steele, what a pleasure having you together on our broadcast. tipping my figurative hat back at you. coming up, the world's richest man is quitting his day job, when "the 11th hour" continues.
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let's talk about a guy. he knew what the internet could do before most americans knew how to send an e-mail, harnessing its potential made him a very wealthy and famous man who also left a string of small businesses in his wake. jeff bezos announced today he is stepping down as ceo of amazon and make no mistake. for all of the critics, amazon changed the world and kept millions of american households afloat during the pandemic to the tune of $100 billion in
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sales just the last quarter. more on the bezos announcement tonight from nbc news. >> reporter: after more than 25 years and billions in sales, jeff bezos is leaving his post as ceo this summer, handing the massive disrupter he built to the current head of amazon web services. bezos said i intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. i am excited about this transition. early in his career bezos left his job in finance. he spoke with nbc news about the career move in 1999. >> i might really have regretted not having participated in this thing called the internet that i thought would be a really big deal. >> reporter: what began as an online book seller grew fast. >> have fun, work hard, make history is our motto.
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ultimately becoming an online retailer. >> he is almost singularly responsible for every major thing they have done over the past 25 years. >> reporter: the company is often criticized for undercutting small businesses by aggressively lowering prices. bezos is one of the richest in the world. his recent divorce was one of the most expensive ever. after his affair with lauren sanchez was splashed across the tabloids. bezos said that he is not retiring, but after decades of overseeing every project he will be taking a major step back. he will stay involved with the washington post. thanks for that report from los angeles. and coming up, just as elections have consequences, lawsuits do too. something you are going to want to see when we come back.
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last thing before we go tonight, spare a thought for fox news. they enjoyed the hard-earned and richly deserved nickname of state run television during the trump years when their anchors seemed to be anchoring just for trump. they still are, witness tucker carlson last night standing up for the qanon congresswoman. but the tragic part is a
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sizeable chunk of their audience has moved on after trump turned on fox for correctly calling arizona for biden. enter oan and newsmax. they now anchor directly at trump. even newsmax has limits. because the folks at dominion voting systems have really good and really aggressive lawyers, here is how this went on newsmax today when their two anchors welcomed their next guest, the chopped foam pillow maker mike lindell. >> what happened with your twitter account and the company page? >> well, first mine was taken down because we have all of the election fraud with these dominion machines and 100% proof. when they took it down -- >> thank you very much. mike. mike. you are talking about machines
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that we at newsmax have not been able to verify any of those types of allegations. we want to let people know there is nothing substantive that we've seen. let me read you something there. while there was clear evidence of some cases of vote fraud and election irregularities. the election results in every state was certified and newsmax accepts the results as legal and final and the courts also supported that view. we wanted to talk to you about canceling culture if you will. we understand where you are. so let me ask you this, do you think that this should be temporary? it appears to be permanent. can you make an argument that it is temporary? >> what? >> would you make an argument that it could be a temporary banning rather than permanent. >> i want it to be permanent
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because they did this because i am reviewing all of the evidence on friday of all of the election fraud with these machines. i am sorry if you don't think it is real. >> can i ask our producers can we get out of here please. i don't want to have to keep going over this. we have not been able to verify any of those allegations. >> mike, everybody, hold on a second. let's talk a little bit about what is happening overall in terms of censorship. >> my company and myself in this country is cancel culture. >> mike lindell joined by newsmax anchor and an empty chair. dominion has threatened to sue newsmax for defamation. that is our broadcast on a tuesday night and thank you for joining us on behalf of all of my colleagues at the networks of nbc news. good night.
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tonight on "all in" donald trump summoned a mob and aimed them at the capitol. tonight what democrats are alleging, the trump response and how anyone paying attention should have seen this coming. >> we knew in advance that violence was planned. we knew that that violence needed someone to tell the lie. then dr. anthony fauci on what may be exciting new vaccine news in the race against new variants as the president takes steps the reunite families separated by the trump ws administration. why a congressman said i.c.e. ra has gone rogue in deporting one of his constue

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