tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 3, 2021 3:00am-6:00am PST
next month will become the ceo of cbs is part of that trend. why is this happening? you look at these figures and this is causing corporations to dig in to how they recruit, how they promote. you look at this obvious systemic program in these stance and they look at things like how can they make sure that there's a more diverse opportunity around the ceo to give them that lift. >> representation matters. mike allen, thank you so much as always for your reporting. we really appreciate it. and before we go, i just want to say thank you to officer brian sicknick, to his family, to everyone who loved him. he lost his life protecting everyone at the capitol on january 6th. he's lying in honor at the capitol today. we really appreciate your service and you'll be deeply missed. thank you to all of you for getting up way too early for us on this wednesday morning. don't go anywhere, "morning joe"
starts right now. today was the deadline for donald trump's legal team to file their brief with the senate for trump's upcoming impeachment trial. and it looks like trump's lawyers will be arguing that the trial is unconstitutional because trump is no longer president. i'm going to use this. i'm going to use this next time a cop pulls me over. i'm going to be like, well, i'm no longer speeding. i was. i was. i'm not now. therefore this ticket is unconstitutional. good morning. and welcome to "morning joe." it is wednesday, february 3rd, along with joe, will li and me, we have white house reporter for the associated press, jonathan lemire, former u.s. senator now an nbc news and msnbc political analyst claire mccaskill and politics and journalism professor at morgan state university and msnbc political contributor jason johnson is with us. so donald trump's second
impeachment trial kicks off next week. and according to the case against him, the former president's role in the capitol hill riot is, quote, unmistakable. we will get to that just ahead. we're also following new developments in the push to vaccinate the american people against coronavirus. the biden administration will begin sending them directly to pharmacies. plus, the latest on the growing unrest in russia as opposition leader alexei navalny is ordered to prison. and there's a major shakeup in the tech world as amazon ceo jeff bezos prepares to step down. a lot going on this morning. we're also following last night's meeting between house minority leader kevin mccarthy and congresswoman marjorie taylor greene over her incendiary comments and embrace of conspiracy theories, according to the associated
press, they spent about 90 minutes together in mccarthy's office. aides offered no immediate comment afterward. the house gop steering committee also met late last night. the steering committee headed by mccarthy is the grown up which picks which groups republican members sit on and can also take away assignments. two sources tell nbc news that nothing was decided at last night's meeting regarding congresswoman greene. willie? >> so congressman mccarthy is quiet so far but a growing number of senate republicans are speaking out about the congresswoman. >> i think we should have nothing to do with marjorie taylor greene. and think we should repudiate the things she said and move away from her. >> i think our party has to make it very clear that she does not represent us in any way. our big tent is not large enough to both accommodate conservatives and kooks.
>> she doesn't represent the party. i don't want her as the face of our party. i think this is a great time for us to really talk about what we want to see in the upcoming years and continue to build. we don't need people that are promoting violence or anything like that. >> that senator joni ernst there. senator john thune a member of republican leadership spoke to cnn saying, quote, house republicans will have to decide who they want to be. do they want to be the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility, free markets, peace through strength and pro life, or do they want to be the party of conspiracy theories and qanon? senator marco rubio of florida told cnn, quote, we shouldn't be making these conspiracy theory people famous. i think it's undignifying, he said. joe, you can add to that list todd young, the senator who said that this woman, this congresswoman is an embarrassment to the party.
she is, quote, nutty. obviously mitch mcconnell two days ago led the way when he called her looney and laid out why she's bad for the party. se he sees what democrats are doing already, rolling out campaign ads making the republican party the party of qanon and the party of this back bench congresswoman from georgia and the senate, the house isn't doing anything, the senate is trying to put a stop to it. >> they're trying to separate themselves from her, but you know, it's interesting that it's really -- it's legitimate attack against the house republicans, at least, that kevin mccarthy can't separate himself from her. the steering committee refuses to move on this. they're talking about punishing liz cheney. but afraid to cross this woman. and let's just be really clear because people like to talk
about jewish space lasers and all these other crazy theories that she's had, but let's break this down where it actually threatens people inside congress. she endorsed the assassination of nancy pelosi, putting a bullet in nancy pelosi's brain. liked that tweet. she said that people needed to be patient if they wanted to ensure that barack obama was lynched. that people were getting in place for the lynching of barack obama. people were getting in place for the lynching of hillary clinton. that if everybody was careful they could make that happen. and liberal judges wouldn't get in the way to stop it. so, willie, it's all, you know, this house, kevin mccarthy's
house, is legitimately, legitimately a proper political target. you know, they -- the republicans spent an entire campaign trying to attach aoc's politics. aoc has never actually threatened to kill a republican, but republicans have spent the past several years attaching aoc's politics to everybody in the democratic party from nancy pelosi to joe biden. that's illegitimate. it just is. i mean, because you look at the politics, you look at -- nancy pelosi was mocking her caucus years ago on "60 minutes." so that's actually not as accurate as democrats who are now attaching this woman to a republican conference who won't
criticize her, who won't take away her committee assignments, who won't rebuke her. kevin mccarthy is still scared of her. willy, i just wonder whether joni ernst, john thune, mitch mcconnell had to answer questions about the stupidity and the asinine tweets of donald trump for four years, they're just saying, no, no. we're off this train. we're not -- mitt romney, no. you know what, i'm going to actually, actually try to pass a bill without people having to ask me about an asinine, violent statement that a republican made somewhere. it certainly seems the republican senators, at least, are getting there, willie. >> yeah. well, house republicans, though, remain on that train. they want to be on that train. kevin mccarthy went to mar-a-lago to signal he remains on that train. we don't know what that meeting
with the georgia congresswoman was like over those 90 minutes last night. we should get some read out of it hopefully this morning. what is he going to do at this point? he stood by while she did and said all these things and it's not like it's new from her. this is who she was from the beginning and while she campaigned. kelly loffler running in georgia in that run-off, campaigned with marnlry taylor green. she wanted her endorsement. this is a woman and this is a sector of voters that republicans clearly want to keep close to them. so, it will be interesting to see if kevin mccarthy actually is willing to cross her. "the wall street journal" editorial board writing in a new piece about a house republican reckoning. quote, if the house gop punishes mrs. cheney and says nothing about ms. greene, it will deserve a longer time in the wilderness. the main goal of the house minority is to become the majority. 2022 republicans should have an excellent choice but they will squander it if they percentage
serious members like liz cheney and let themselves be confined by conspiracy theorists and parkland truthers. claire, you watched this play out among your former colleagues in the senate, mitch mcconnell came out and had seen enough of this and more republicans falling in yesterday. what do you make of it? and what do you think house republicans will do? >> well, i find it really ironic, willie. marco rubio's quote was, we shouldn't make conspiracy people famous. guess who the most famous conspiracy person is, guess who is the guise that for weeks was touting conspiracy theories on the tv about the election and dominion voting machines and all of these silly conspiracy theories, none other than donald trump. who is the guy who is backing up this qanon lady? donald trump. why is kevin mccarthy afraid of her? because he's afraid of donald trump. so, i find it ironic that the
republicans in the senate are fine speaking up against the qanon lady but they have not been able to find the ability to speak up forcefully against the conspiracy theories that were fomented and that caused an insurrection in the nation's capitol by none other than the former president of the united states. i think really it's unfair to the qanon lady. it should be both trump and the qanon lady that are being called out by these guys. >> wel, you know what's interesting is, jonathan lemire, mitch mcconnell has actually called out not only the qanon lady, the republican qanon congresswoman, but he's also called out the lies that donald trump lies. did it started on january 6th. it's almost like a light switch
went off for him. oddly enough, mitch mcconnell has been one of the few republicans that have come out and spoken out against donald trump that clearly. kevin mccarthy tried and then he went back inside of his shell. >> i'm enjoying the nomenclature of qanon lady. that's appropriate for the congresswoman today. but you're right about mcconnell. let's be clear. he allowed the conspiracy theory of a stolen election to prosper from the white house, among republicans for weeks. fueling a lot of what happened after that. but mcconnell did indeed eventually come around, suggested that donald trump lost and joe biden won. and we saw him just hours before the capitol was sacked forcefully denounce the conspiracy theories and certainly floated by trump and certainly he has not shown any signs of wavering. but i don't know that the
republican party can be said about that as a whole. we know the qanon lady, congresswoman taylor greene is supposed to meet with president trump at mar-a-lago in the coming days. we saw she has already spoken to him by phone. we know she has support from at least some republicans in congress. that puts them in a difficult bind. and now there are reports breaking this morning that mccarthy is looking for ways to perhaps strip her of her seats on the education and labor committees. but it's unclear exactly how that will play out, whether she would step down willingly or try to fight it which would make this mess all the greater for republicans. but there's no question, joe, a week from now we're heading to the trial, we can break down the former president's legal theories later in the show, but as that looms and now the republicans have to deal with this mess, too, this is not where they want to be as they enter this new chapter in washington. >> mika this is not also, this is just so speak watching at
home understand this and they're trying to figure out how kevin mccarthy sorts through this, this is not a difficult decision. it's really not. when you have someone who has really called for the lynching of a former president of the united states and called for the lynching of a former secretary of state, called for the lynching of a former first lady and told everybody to be patient, that they needed to work through it so they could kill them and lynch them and like posts talking about putting a bullet in the brain of the speaker of the house. a woman who after the january 6th terrorist assault on the u.s. capitol, the next day said she would do it again. she was glad that it happened. that, it had to be done. she wouldn't change a thing.
kevin, this is not hard. this is not hard. you're standing at the abyss. and you're looking over the cliff. and there is no future for you, and there is no future for your party if is a future for someone calling for the assassination of top constitutional officers in the united states government. there is no future. no future for you. unless you move quickly. and mika, that's something "the wall street journal" editorial page, something that mitch mcconnell, that's something that john thune, that's something that other republicans, other conservatives, conservatives understand. >> well, and it's not even a profile in courage to say, you know, we don't want this in our party.
it's at this point trying to save the party from what has been ailing it for many years now. and there are still some republican senators that are not speaking out against the qanon supporting congresswoman. republican senator tommy tubberville of alabama said he couldn't comment on the controversy surrounding greene because the recent severe weather has prevented him from reading the news? >> willie geist, war eagle thank god he never coached at alabama. thank god. >> i haven't even looked at what all she's done, he reportedly told a cnn producer. i would have to hold back a statement on that. travel in this weather it's been a little rough. looking at any news or whatever. >> oh my gosh. >> see, this is not 1972. >> yeah, tommy. >> there are cell phones. there are -- everybody gets the news all the time, sir.
>> that's unfortunate. >> here is senator -- oh, boy. this gets worse apparently. here is senator lindsey graham, sidestepping questions on the matter. >> i rode down with her going to georgia, very pleasant experience. are these postings accurate? i want to hear from her before i judge what to do about her, i want to know what the facts are. if these are not accurate postings, they've been manipulated, i would like to know that. if they are accurate, do you still hold these beliefs? >> claire, lindsey, i don't know what can be said about lindsey again. this qanon lady, this qanon republican called for the hanging of barack obama. does the current head of the judiciary committee not understand that? this qanon republican called for
lynching of secretary of state clinton, former first lady, and liked a post talking about the assassination of the speaker of the house. what is lindsey afraid of here? this is -- to say this is despicable is actually a bit too kind of an assessment for lindsey. >> yeah. it's once again it's donald trump. lindsey has lost his way. >> this is beyond donald trump. >> no. >> this woman called for the lynching of a former president, a former first lady. a former secretary of state, and the assassination of the speaker of the house. donald trump was horrific. a threat to our country. this is actually one step above that and lindsey still can't call out someone calling for the
murdering of former united states presidents. >> and by the way, she promoted her candidacy with a picture of her with an ar-15 with the words by her saying i'm going after the squad. i mean, this is how she promoted herself is with images of violence. and what she did in the way she referred to the victims at the parkland shooting. i mean, there's no question this is the next level. but the only thing that can explain lindsey graham's behavior is, if it's possible to explain his behavior, over the last four years i've given up what's wrong with him, where he went and what happened. >> right. >> the only thing i can say that actually explains it is that he knows that trump is loving up on her, that trump thinks she's great, that trump supporters think she's great.
and that therein lies the problem. they have married this segment of their base in a way that makes divorce painful. and lindsey is not willing to divorce even the worst among them. and that is sad. >> joe, in fairness tommy tubberville is still working through the three branchs of government and who and why we fought world war ii. he has to get to the papers maybe later today to hear these comments from the congresswoman. listen -- >> the paper boy is pushing through that snowstorm, extra extra. >> it's hard. >> joe, come on. >> extra, get your news from january 8th. >> he gets it and wipes it off. reads it. >> where does tommy live? like, alabama we made fun of people on the planes, but good lord. what is there a time warp, 50, 60 years? >> tough day for the s.e.c. in that clip between auburn and
south carolina with lindsey graham. but, kevin mccarthy, if he actually does something today about this congresswoman from georgia and strips her of assignments, the education committee, for heavens sake she's on. she denied that school shootings ever happened, a couple of the most famous ones. if he does it it's been under duress. he's taken two, three weeks and tolerated everything we've seen and heard. we know how he really feels. we knew he flew to mar-a-lago. we know he worries about her and her voters. so whatever he does today, it will be meaningful insofar as she won't serve on a committee perhaps, but we know where his heart lies. >> yeah. and he's taken far too long. i'm really, really surprised that the leadership is so stupid. that they're attacking liz cheney and embracing this qanon lady, this qanon republican. >> clearly so disturbed.
>> because you've got -- anybody in any party at any time in american history would say you've got to put this behind you. you've got to put this behind you. get it behind you. get it in your rear-view mirror. there is no downside to this. and there is no downside to this. >> none. >> because people the next conspiracy theories against the republican party in two weeweek three weeks. there's no loyalty attached to these people. so, what does kevin think he can ride this? you can't do it. >> all right. let's put this aside for a second and get to -- we'll come back to it. there's another big story we're covering this morning for the business, tech and media worlds. jeff bezos announced yesterday he will be stepping down from his role as chief executive officer at amazon, the company he founded 27 years ago. bezos will transition to the
role of executive chair in the third quarter of this year. an executive of amazon web services will take over as ceo. he is a long-time amazon employee dating back to 1997, and is responsible for building the company's cloud service business that now accounts for 60% of its operating profits. in a memo to employees, bezos said the transition would allow him to focus on other ventures that he's passionate about, including the bezos earth fund and "the washington post." let's bring in senior media reporter for nbc news and msnbc, dillen buyers. tell us what this is going to mean on many levels and how this came about? >> yeah, sure. look, in one respect it doesn't mean a whole lot, at least for
amazon. jeff bezos has positioned this company for incredible strength for a very long time. this company has never been stronger. he started it almost three decades ago as a bookstore -- online bookstore at a time when many people were dubious about what the internet was. now it's a $1.7 trillion company. and you know, raise your hand on this panel or for anyone watching if you don't have an amazon prime account. more than four out of every five americans now have an amazon prime account. that's an incredible relationship this company has with the consumer. it's positioned for strength right now. and if you're jeff bezos, you're coming out of a pandemic that has only accelerated the growth of your company and made a necessary part of everybody's lives and at a time when washington is getting ready to crack down on big tech. you want to go to space. you want to expand your media
empire and get more involved in philanthropy. i don't think by making this move that jeff bezos is separating himself from amazon. i think we'll see more of him. it's a very convenient time for him to look back at everything he's achieved and step back from the day to day operations of this wildly successful company and expand his horizons. >> you know, willy, it doesn't obviously because i'm old, it doesn't seem like that long ago i was reading articles people wondering whether amazon's brilliant concept would ever start making money. that he was throwing everything that he made back into the company. and, you know, we all -- i certainly have, talked about how steve jobs changed our lives more than anybody else. it's hard to say that anybody changed the way we live more than jeff bezos.
and now, of course, people concerned about monopolies, all the things that happened when you're this wildly successful. but, it's been an extraordinary arc of his career. >> it's an incredible build, as dylan kind of just laid out. it was an online bookstore. think of what it is today. if you can think of anything you need, where do you go first? you go to amazon, book, food, bicycle, it can be whatever you want it to be. and it's delivered to your door. we take so many of these things for granted now, but in terms of how easy it is, in terms of the logistics he laid out, much in the way that fred smith did at fedex, revolutionizing logistics, getting things to our door, anything to our door. it's an amazing story. dylan, the interesting next question given how smart and how visionary jeff bezos has been is what next for him? i know he likes to focus on this space company that's sort of an outgrowth of amazon.
what do you see on the horizon because he's not a very old guy? >> no, he's not. and again, i do think he's going to stay involved, and i do think we'll see more of him. i think definitely there's philanthropy. he could continue to expand the media empire. i think this obsession with space is very real for him. he and elon musk are not just in a race for wealthiest man in the world, they're in a race really to own space, to own the next frontier. i think that's somewhere we're going to see him spending a lot of time. and then i would also just say stepping into the executive chairman role is not necessarily meaning that you're not going to be involved in the really landmark decisions that amazon has to make. you know, you think about larry ellison at oracle, bill gates at micro soft and bob iger at disney, there's the opportunity to continue to think about the direction of the company and run the company, you're just not running it day to day so much as you're running it decade to decade. and i would say that well --
while so many people have an amazon prime account, willie, you mentioned the ability to get anything in two hours just watching the opening of your show, seems like tommy tubberville might benefit from an amazon prime account so he can get things a little quicker. >> this is true. we could help him. we'll let him know. nbc's dylan byers, thank you very much. still ahead on she show, a look at president biden's latest round of cabinet. plus, democrats are pushing ahead with the president's coronavirus relief package, even if it means going it alone. we'll speak with democratic senators, joe manchin and dick durbin. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪♪
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♪♪ welcome back to "morning joe." it is 32 past the hour. a live look at washington, d.c. as the sun has yet to come up over the capitol. sources in the white house and on capitol hill tell nbc news that democrats hope to have an -- >> by the way, can i interrupt for a second? >> yes. >> are you still having a hard time getting adjusted to sources in the white house? >> yes. >> not being like a caddy or something. you hear sources in the white house and you like flinch. >> i know. >> wait, is this a caddy? is this a white nationalist? and so when you hear -- it's still kind of strange. still kind of getting, you know, getting adjusted to the fact that sources in the white house. >> yeah. >> whether it was from a republican administration in the past or democratic administration in the past. actually probably people who have spent their lives trying to
understand how to make this country better. you say sources in the white house, a lot of us still flinch. >> i flinch. >> oh, wait a second, you actually have people there who are intelligent enough they can do their job and communicate to the hill with republicans, people in the other party and actually try to get things done. any way. >> and they're not in an emotion mind because they're gripped with fear every second of the day as to what might happen on twitter. when you're in that place in your brain and scared, it's hard to think. you're not a good source. >> watches cable news. melts your brain. >> hope to have an economic relief bill passed by march 14th. the day that extended unemployment benefits will run out for millions of americans. president biden hopes to get more republicans on board, but a
senior white house official says it seems increasingly likely that democrats will use reconciliation to pass the bill without republican support. key democratic senator joe manchin helped lay the ground work for that yesterday. voting with his party to proceed to a budget resolution. however, he also warned that he wants the final bill to be targeted to those who most need relief. manchin also came out against raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which sin colluded in the biden plan. telling reporters that he's supportive of something that's, quote, responsible and reasonable, like $11 an hour. senator manchin will be our guest later this morning. "the washington post" reports that on a call with senate democrats yesterday, president biden urged them to, quote, go big on his nearly $2 trillion stimulus proposal a day after he met with senate republicans on their much smaller plan. >> jonathan lemire, what's your
reporting on this? >> first of all i'll say that, yes, it is as an adjustment with sources of the white house and they have far fewer exclamation points these days. sort of wrap my head around that as well. what we're hearing here is a growing momentum that as much as the president is interested in some sort of bipartisan solution, joe, that the sense is this is likely going to have to be the democrats going it alone. now, 1.9 trillion is a certainly huge number and there's a sense that the white house may be willing to come down on that some, but the 600 billion the republicans floated in that monday meeting is a non-starter one senior white house person put it to me, it was sort of laughably small. doesn't mean there can't be some common ground but the republicans have to give a lot more than that. manchin is not alone in floating the idea that some of the relief should be more targeted to only americans who really need it, but yet there's some in the white house who are baffled that
republicans seem to be opposing these direct payments, which are so politically popular and point to georgia those two senate races that had so many ramifications. but warnock and osoff said that was a winning issue and democrats are surprised that republicans don't want to stand up for that. so we got some time here still. but there is, of course, an urgency from the white house to get some sort of constructive path going here. but there is a belief that reconciliation may end up having to be the final solution that the republicans simply won't get on board in a meaningful way to make this bipartisan. >> claire, even if there is reconciliation, republicans obviously can still vote for it in the end and there are examples in the past where reconciliation has been used as an approach and you had 60, 70 members of the senate vote for legislation. i think, though, democrats in
the white house are focussed so much and have been focussed so much on republicans and what they're not going to do with the republicans that maybe they overlooked until yesterday joe manchin, kristen cinema, perhaps senator hickenlooper, others who are going to hear from constituents that they want targeted relief. and that they don't think the bill needs to be close to $2 trillion. it may be 1.4, 1.5 trillion maybe a little more reasonable. they've got to get to 50 votes. to get to 50 votes they're going to have to convince some conservative to moderate democrats in their own caucus. >> so far this white house has been very smart because they have been focussed on policies that are widely popular, that have wide bipartisan support in this country. the president's covid plan in a poll yesterday morning was supported by more than two thirds of americans.
so when you have that kind of policy that's so popular, it makes it easier to not focus on whether or not you have politicians that are bipartisan supporting it. i actually think, though, joe, you're right. i think they end up with getting all of the democrats for this program and if they get all of the democrats, they'll get a few republicans, too. they'll end up having it bipartisan because if some of the more moderate democrats are for the package, if it becomes more targeted, if they phase in the minimum wage over a slightly longer period of time, i mean, those are the kinds of things that they'll talk about, i think they'll not only get the manchins and the cinemas and the other moderates and the democratic caucus, they'll also get a handful of the republicans that know this is something that's really popular where they live. >> let's bring sam stein into the conversation, he's the white house editor for politico. sam, good morning. >> hey, guys. >> president biden has said tall
right things. he held that meeting in the oval office with the ten republicans, signaling at least he's open to debate and negotiation here. if you listen to chuck schumer and senate democrats, they say we're ready to go. we'll go with reconciliation if you're not on board with the $1.9 trillion plan. the train is leaving now. we gave you a chance to get on board. do you see any room in here for negotiation. what would democrats give, perhaps? >> first off, are we just going to ignore claire's macgyver chiefs flag in the backdrop and that delicious looking cake? i can't compete with that backdrop. it's impossible. >> thank you for finally noticing. i thought that joe would give me trouble with it at the top of the hour, but go chiefs. >> it was so subtle, claire. we didn't notice. >> the way the flag is pinned in there by the cabinet. i almost forgot your question. hold on. yes. so what is joe biden thinking
here? look, here is the deal, the vantage point in the white house is what jonathan is saying which is they'll get 50 votes. they might have to come down from the total price tag of 1.9 trillion. they may have to reduce the minimum wage from $15 an hour raise to 11 or 12. but they're going to get 50 votes. and the question is whether any republicans will recognize that this train is leaving the station and that they should offer their votes, which are immaterial at some point in exchange for taking the political benefits of getting $1,400 checks to a lot of families. not going to be every family. they're going to have a cap on income who gets it, they'll phase it out. do republicans want to be part of this process where people will get money in their pockets. that's a huge political winner. everyone knows that from georgia. the question is do republicans want to be a part of it? in some ways we're going through a little bit of a show here about how much is he reaching out to republicans? will he entertain their ideas? but they've been very clear at the white house that what was happening with republicans on
monday was a talk, not a negotiation. they wanted to hear out their proposal. they wanted to entertain their ideas but they weren't necessarily going to move off of their plan because ten republicans showed up. here is the key, it's not just that they can get one or two or three republicans. if they're going to negotiate they need to get ten. do you stick with a huge plan which is politically popular or do you negotiate off of it just for the sake of you may in fact get ten republicans. there's no one i talked in democratic circles who thinks it's wise to move off this plan when it's so politically popular, when you can get political benefits in addition to the policy benefits one last thing i know i'll shut up after this, they don't want to have do this in three months time. they think it will help the economy. they don't want to be back at the negotiating table in the summer because they didn't do enough in the first go around. >> jason johnson, we got your tech issues worked out. so is there any value in doing a
deal -- with getting ten republicans? if you had to make an argument for the value of that what would it be? >> i mean, the value is that you can claim, i guess, if it's going to make joe manchin and kristen cinema feel better that you involve republicans. it's ridiculous. you have a man day-to-day for a reason. the democrats don't just have a mandate, but they have a very special specific mandate because after the election is over, the people in the state of georgia awe stens bli a red state until 15 weeks ago we want to make sure democrats can go big and go bold. i don't see why any of the republican concerns need to make a difference at all under any circumstances. they don't negotiate in good faith. but i'll also say this and i think it's a ridiculous argument on the part of manchin and cinema, any other sort of conservative democrats, what could be more targeted than two grand a month to families that need it? that's as targeted as you need. people are hurting across this country. and the idea of slicing and dicing because you got one group of people in the suburbs and one
group of people in the country want to make some other group of people not get money they don't deserve, it's that sort of selfishness both in policy and attitude that left this country in the damaged position we're in economically during this covid crisis. manchin can talk all he wants about this. i don't think that's helpful for our body of politics and the democrats need to do this in reconciliation and keep moving. the train has already gone. they're on amazon. they're on ebay trying to find other tickets because there's no way they'll catch up with what the democrats need to get done. >> so, jason, you heard a lot of the stories from the first big covid bill of people who made hundreds of thousands of dollars getting relief. other people who needed the relief being shut out. what is the damage in trying to make a package more targeted so people who don't need the money don't get the money and people
who do need the money do get the money? i mean, and of course we understand that's going to happen in any bill that's 1.5 trillion to 2 trillion. there are going to be horror stories about people who have private jets and we heard stephanie ruhle tell a lot of these horror stories, people who had private jets and had yachts they got money from the federal government that was intended for people who were truly disadvantaged. it does seem like -- wouldn't it be good idea to really drill down here and make sure that this relief is targeted? >> yes, but joe, i think the issue here is, yes, we can talk about kushner and ivanka and kanye west and tom brady -- hope the bucs lose -- we can talk about the wealthy people who managed to get money last year who didn't get it. we can also talk about the fact
that large numbers of minority businesses got almost no money out of the previous package. i also think that was a result of republicans in the senate and that current administration. that they weren't paying attention to how the money was being distributed. that they didn't cross all the t's and dot the i's. i don't have as much of a concern in this administration about that level of graph as i do in the last one. and i also think quite frankly, look, osoff and warnock, $2,000 checks are coming. if you want to show you're a party of strength, you want to show that you are a strong, and bold in your agenda as the previous administration was, you don't start off by cheating people. you start off by giving people exactly what was promised and two most important seats that you just got that allowed you to have your majority. again, i don't think if you want to argue about minimum wage, $15 versus $11. those are people who haven't had to live on minimum wage any time recently.
i don't think that that should be caught up out of some concern that some celebrity is going to get some extra cash. there are people out there, regular people, who every single week, every single month this is delayed over ideological reasons they're suffering, getting kicked out of their homes, starving and in positions they shouldn't be in. >> sam stein, you've got to look at some political morning consult polls on how president biden is doing. give us a sense of what you found. >> well, i'm supposed to out the these polls as revelatory and big newsy polls, they're not. they're pretty boring actually. it's the standard stuff m. >> what a competent man you are. >> good job. >> it's sort of like reverse -- i'm trying to reverse engineer interest in it by down playing it. but any ways, biden is up at 58% approval rating which is where he's been in a lot of these polls. it's a shocking contrast, of course, to donald trump who never broke 50% in these polls.
people think he's doing fairly decently on the handling of the economy. you know, there's some general appetite for him to work more with congress. but it's not overwhelmingly so. it looks to me through these numbers that there is an imperative for him to get the economic issue right more than there is to work with congress. now, people on the right track, wrong track number they generally think the country is going in the wrong track, but it's not as bad as it was under trump. that's primarily i guess because democrats have gotten more optimistic. it's sort of what happens when your party takes over power. you suddenly feel better about the direction of the company. you look at these numbers and say, yeah, these are good numbers for joe biden and certainly good numbers if he wants to sell this bill to the american public that says he's popular. he has an imperative to work on the economy and people trust him. so, you know, overall, fairly bland. but interesting and important numbers for biden. >> well -- >> i'll take bland. i like bland.
bland is good. >> willie, if you're looking at numbers in the high 50s, that actually is fairly extraordinary in these times. you don't usually have presidents in the high 50s unless we're at war or have been attacked. but i wonder how much of that is simply because things have gotten more quiet in washington, d.c. there was just the daily -- >> deluge. >> actually hourly deluge of chaos and tweets and breaking news and insults. >> fire hose for four years. >> i wonder how much of these numbers are just people saying, you know what, i like a return to normalcy. i like being able to have dinner and sit around dinner and not talk about politics. i like to be able to talk about
other things. there was just this all consuming conversation going on that even exhausted some of donald trump's fiercest supporters. >> yeah. i think that's exactly right. how many times have you heard people say in the last couple of weeks it's nice not to hear from the president. we heard from the president every minute of everyday and if he was quiet he would make sure to fill that space with something, anything. a conspiracy theory, a threat, a taunt. and i think people are settling into some normalcy, as you say. but the fact remains, those numbers on right track, wrong track weren't going to flip overnight with the election of joe biden. we're the middle of a terrible public health crisis. >> terrible time. >> we're still dealing with -- there's the right direction, 43%. we're also dealing with the fallout from january 6th that remains and what it revealed about our country and what congress is going to do about it. so, i think with the economic pain that has come with the public health crisis and there still is that chaos and the
residue of the chaos in washington, you're not going to see a right track number up in the high 50s flip like that for some time. >> jason johnson, since we got your tech going here, we're asking all of our guests who they want to profile, recognize for black history month. who do you choose? >> i choose a little known but amazing figure at american history, general david fagan. basically imagine a filipino and african-american version of "dances with wolves" fagan was born 10, 12 years after slavery in 1875 in tampa, florida. he joined the military, where of course it was segregated and african-american officers were abused not just by their generals but often by their superiors and he fought in the american filipino war in 1899. well, after seeing the abuses of the united states who basically
betrayed the filipinos and began to attack them, he switched sides and became a rebel leader for the fill pea knees and one of the most powerful and influential military minds in the world at that particular point, taking out american soldiers, taking out american and protecting the indigenous population that had been betrayed by the united states. the u.s. was so concerned about him they put out a bounty. they could not catch him because he was so sophisticated and gained so much knowledge of the local terrain that they were never able to capture him. eventually after two years of a serious search someone claimed to have caught david fagan by going to the u.s. generals and providing a sort of decompose severed head. but two years later he was leading indigenous resistance, married a local woman and lived the rest of his life in relative peace in the philippines. i think it's not just an example of an american hero, but it's also an example of african-americans recognizing that we often have solidarity with other abused people on this planet and our need to sort of
resist imperialism in the face of white supremacy and violence. >> jason, thank you very much. and still ahead, the latest on the growing unrest in russia as opposition leader alexei navalny is ordered to prison. richard haase joins us to weigh in on that new development. "morning joe" will be right back. ♪♪ ning joe" wille bright back ♪ le design makes it beautiful. state of the art technology, makes it brilliant. the visionary lexus nx. lease the 2021 nx 300 for $359 a month for thirty six months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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is lying in state this morning. and if your answer is any answer that does not directly implicate politicians and media hocksteres who spread lies about a stolen election, who spread lies about a secret conspiracy, who spread lies about this election being stolen, if you can't look at that death and not understand that those politicians that spread those lies for so long and spread those lies with their
votes even after his death, you can't come to the conclusion that they are responsible, well, then you're part of the problem. and who knows. maybe you're responsible, too. president joe biden astended the somber ceremony to pay his respects. his attendance was not announced until his motorcade departed the white house. first lady jill biden, nancy pe low and chuck schumer would also be seen among those in attendance. sicknick is the third capitol police officer to lie in honor at the capitol. a congressional tribute will be held this morning before a ceremonial departure to arlington national cemetery. >> our thoughts and our prayers are with his family this morning. and also with our country, that
it is never pushed to this point again internally from people who were spreading lies and spreading conspiracy theories and may law enforcement officers and judges and judges move as aggressively as possible to make sure this never happens again. meanwhile, house speaker nancy pelosi yesterday sent a letter to democratic colleagues detailing the efforts to sure up capitol security and calling for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the january attack on the capitol. she also called for adding -- for additional funding to meet security needs. on the senate side, incoming judiciary committee chairman dick durbin and ranking member chuck grassley formally requested answers from the
justice department on security failures during the insurrection. they also announced the committee will hold a hearing with fbi director christopher wray on march 2nd. >> so, willie, i heard some bizarre statement from lindsey graham which is nothing new, but said something like if democrats call witnesses then he's going to make sure the fbi gets involve and digs in to who is responsible for all of it. it's what we want. >> yeah. >> call the fbi. >> bring them on. >> dig in as deep as possible. i really disagree with rushing an impeachment trial until we have all of the information. so, yeah -- >> the more the better. >> talk to the fbi. talk to the agents. dig through all information. dig through all material. we're still finding out who is responsible. for funding this rally that led to the riot.
so, yes. yes. call the fbi. get them involved. and i love the idea of a 9/11 inquiry, style inquiry, into this riot. into this insurrection. >> we need it. >> it's amazing, isn't it, to hear such prominent people say move on, literally, many republicans have said we've got to move on. one said leave this man alone, talking about donald trump. we can't move on. look at the picture you just showed of officer sicknick. we cannot move on an from a terrorist attack on the united states capitol, the seat of our government. we're not going to move on. there's going to be an impeachment trial. there will be an investigation. will will be witnesses called. we will learn exactly what happened. we will learn why it happened. we will learn about who perpetrated it. that picture right there is somber. it is sad, of course. but it's also maddening when you stop and think about what happened on january 6th and who
allowed it to happen, who encouraged it to happen. and it's people like officer sicknick and people like officer eugene goodman and those brave men and women who were overrun that day because they weren't prepared by their commanders, they didn't have all the tools they needed to protect the capitol, he gave his life. he was killed by terrorists inside the united states capitol. he gave his life. let's be clear, he gave his life so that it wasn't much worse. people like him, people like officer goodman put their lives in between those rioters and the leadership of our government. can you imagine where we would be this morning if some of those people had done what they hoped they were going to do? we heard the account from congresswoman alexandria ocasio cortez the other night who said i was locked in the bathroom of my office while someone was pounding on the door saying where is she, where is she. we know some of those people were looking for the senate chamber, officer goodman led them away.
this was not coincidental. these people didn't stroll in to the capitol with good intentions to take a tour. they were there, we're learning more and more everyday, with very bad intentions, with deadly intentions. and people like the hero who is lying in honor this morning, officer sicksick, are the reason it wasn't worse and the reason we're not the middle frankly of something like a civil war. >> so joe referenced what senator lindsey graham said earlier this week. here he is warning his democratic colleagues about calling witnesses during the impeachment trial. >> do you anticipate witnesses being called and then being cross-examined? >> i hope not. they didn't call any in the house. i think we know what happened that day. but if you open up that can of worms we'll want the fbi to come in and tell us about how people actually preplanned these attacks and what happened with
the security footprint at the capitol. you open up pandora's box if you call one witness. i hope we don't call any and we vote and get this trial over next week when it starts. >> so he just -- claire mccaskill, help me understand your former colleague. you will find out who planned this insurrection if you open up and look into it. what is wrong with that? what's going on? >> yeah. i think more information is important. i think for people -- and repetition matters. people need to remember this. i mean, that image that we just saw, that somber image of those police officers filing past the remains of this officer that was killed protecting the members of congress, we should never forget that. and as an aside, mika, i was shocked last night that the this
moment of this officer lying in the rotunda was not covered by fox. it was not even shown. when it occurred last night. to me, this is something the nation has to unite behind. a trial that gets all of the facts in front of the american people does nothing but give us an insurance policy that maybe, just maybe, we never allow someone to go this far that has the levers of power in this country from 1600 pennsylvania avenue. i think it's really important that all the information come out. i think lindsey wants to move on because all of them know that they bear some responsibility for not speaking out against all the lies and especially the big lie. >> yeah. i mean, again, you know, i hate to -- but if this had been
protesters for black lives matter, i wonder if he would be saying the same thing. but of course they wouldn't do that. let's bring in long-time media executive editor at large at "news week" and cnbc founder and contributor tom rogers. tom, you have a new piece posting for "news week" this morning that seems to be a pretty controversial take. it's entitled "the mob that stormed the capitol versus the mob that stormed the capital:rioters versus redditers. what's the argument you're making here, tom? >> good morning, mika. it may be outlandish to compare the rioters to the redditers as we mourn the death of a capitol hill police officer, but there really are some real similarities. they both came together on social media. they both wanted to take down the establishment. they both believed in false narratives. the rioters believed the big lie. the redditers believed some crazy valuation for gamestop.
they both involved social mediacoming down hard, facebook and twitter blocking trump from their accounts in the case of the redditors, robinhood basically restricting trading. there are obviously some real differences. there's no comparison between loss of life and loss of money. there's no comparison between breaking the law and people having the right to spend their money any way they want to even if it involves a lot of lawsuits. the big difference between them was the role of donald trump. and how he incited the mob of rioters. and in the column i pose this hypothetical, what if the chairman of the securities and exchange commission had cheered on the redditors and said he voiced his strong support for what they were doing, taking on the hedge fund and disrupting the market, that if he said only
through strength can we take down the wall street dwimt, that people need to take control of the stock market and he continued despite the carnage that this might involve for the small investor, and even as he saw that his words were creating a situation that were infecting a whole bunch of other stocks, he said nothing else. and he just let it be. i'll tell you what would happen he would be asked to resign. and if he didn't resign he would be impeached and convicted like any presidential appointee could be. and if you have any doubt about that, when was the last time you saw aoc and ted cruz both coming out on the same side of an issue expressing outrage about how all this activity with gamestop was going to affect the small investor? and i think if you look at that, it tells you a lot about how donald trump's conviction ought
to be handled in the senate. >> yeah. and again, i'm going to underline this again for anybody who came into the middle of the argument and also is looking at the lower third, you were saying there's a huge difference between the rioters and who you call the redditors. i guess one similarity has to be sort of a dismissing of objective facts, a dismissing of experts, a dismissing of, you know, just rationality that people are able to get on the internet. people are able to get on facebook. people are able to get on reddit. and there are no editors. you know, there was a time when you and i were growing up, we had three nightly newscasts and three, four, five, six major
national papers and there were editors all over the place. and of course we celebrated the fact that news and information spread, but -- and that there are billions of outlets now, but part of the problem is that there is -- there are no editors. there is no one protecting people. you know, there are certain things -- if i say certain things, i can get sued on this network, broadcast reporters can get sued. we will be taken to court. you do it on the internet, nobody gives a damn because the internet has been able to make their own rules. and this is what we see happening when you have a wild west where the tech companies have been able to make their own rules. >> and this all gets caught up in very bad arguments about the first amendment and, of course,
donald trump is putting forward as a defense here his first amendment rights. can you imagine under the hypothetical that i pose that the s.e.c. chairman said, yeah, i was doing all this to disrupt the markets, but i have first amendment right. does anybody think for a second that would keep an s.e.c. chairman from being impeached and convicted? of course not. and so, it really when you look at it against this kind of light how ridiculous it is that these defenses are being put forward to prevent trump from being convicted. >> all right. tom rogers, thank you so much for being on this morning. >> thank, tom. >> find his piece in "newsweek". we want to move to the big development overseas as russian opposition leader alex si navalny has been sentenced to more than two and a half year in prisz for violating the terms when he left from germany to recuperate from nerve agent poisoning. yesterday in court navalny
called russian president vladimir putin a, quote, poisoner. saying, i have deeply offended him simply by surviving the assassination attempt that he ordered. they about 650 people were arrested. yesterday, secretary of state blinken tweeted in part, quote, the u.s. is deeply concerned by russia's actions toward alexei navalny, we reiterate our call for his immediate and unconditional release. joining us now, president of the council on foreign relations and author of the book "the world:a brief introduction" richard haase. very different tone being taken toward vladimir putin by president biden for one. but explain to us exactly what is happening here. >> good morning, mika. what happened is that vladimir
putin essentially decided it was less dangerous to put navalny away in jail for several years. he'll get criticized for this as he has, but it was less dangerous politically for him to do that than it was to allow navalny to continue to essentially lead a political movement that was gathering momentum across russia. and it's almost that simple. and i think what putin has decided is that if he can decapitate this movement, which is what he's trying to do, he can essentially survive it. >> so richard, what is a movement like this look like in modern russia under vladimir putin? people out in the streets in support of navalny. obviously putin wants to squash that movement and crush it. but the numbers are growing. and navalny is a martyr now as he heads off to prison for a couple of year. what are the next few weeks and months look like? >> i think what we have seen
every sunday, we're going to continue to see, people out in the streets. look, willie, history suggests that political movements like this tend to fail if two things happen. one is the leadership keeps its nerve and two they keep the loyalty of the security forces. so that's what's critical here. think about 1979 in iran, ultimately security the forces would not turn on the people. you had the islamic revolution. but in hung gary in 1956, they mowed people down, they kept their nerve, they had help. 1929 te enman square, the establishment stood firm and killed people. this will play out over coming months or years. putin is vulnerable in large part because the economy is doing so badly. covid has exacerbated it. one thing we the united states as welcome as these words are from the secretary of state they won't make a difference. we had better be prepared for
the possibility that vladimir putin might be thinking about his version of wag the dog. might he try to change the narrative to show himself as the leader of a nationalist russia abroad. this would be a really good time among other things to sure up nato. >> richard, point well taken. tee enman square in 1989, obviously what happened in the soviet bloc in '56 and then again in '68. but we are in 2020 right now. 2021 thank god. 2021 right now. and every beating in the street, every thuggish move by the security forces is going to be picked up and going to be sent around the world instantly on social media. i'm wondering how vladimir putin
survives in this interconnected world if he's brutalizing and beating people in the streets every week. >> look, joe, you may be right, but think about it. we just marked the tenth anniversary of the arab spring. what happened, amid social media people came out in places like tahrir square in downtown cairo and the authorities came out and beat them. and you saw what happened in syria and we've seen what happened elsewhere. so i think vladimir putin is basically willing to pay the price of social media, willing to be condemned by the united states saying, look, they're still going to want a nuclear arms control agreement with me, the europeans are still going to need our energy. i think he's willing to basically hang tough. again, what matters i think more than anything is whether this security forces stay loyal to him or whether one day they basically get tired of killing their own people and arresting their own people. that will be the turning point if it happens. >> and do you have any read
coming out of russia? any reason to believe that we're anywhere near that point? >> i don't think we are near that point yet. putin has essentially been the institutionalization of authoritarianism. the one thing where he is weak is that loyalty is somewhat fragile because of this sense that he's made so much personal wealth. think about it, what navalny has done is made russians understand that putin is corrupt and he and his cronies -- this is a clep toksy that essentially he has portrayed putin and those around them as not being patriots but in it for their own personal good. that's putin's big vulnerability. that's the one reason there's a chance this could actually lead somewhere. >> richard, jonathan le mere with the a.p. is with us and has a question for you. jonathan? >> hey, richard. good to see you.
we hit at the top of this segment about the new tone coming from the biden administration. sharp turn from the warm words we often heard from donald trump. what sort of things, mechanisms does this administration have when dealing with russia? we know biden has been clear he wants space for diplomacy with the arms deal. sanctions raised really high. outside of some rhetoric from biden and his team, what else can they do right now to sort of nudge things along within russia? and what will they be looking out for here? >> the sad honest answer is not a whole lot, jonathan. yes, there are some more sanctions against the cronies who are close to putin. but, we've got to keep a little bit of distance. we don't want navalny, who is seen for better or worse as a real russian national patriot, we don't want to any way hurt
his reputation as being too close to the united states. as you say, we want diplomacy and we want the nuclear deal. russia still matters with north korea and iran. what this is typical of is two things going on in the world, we saw it with myanmar. there's limits to what we can do to be a promoter of democracy around the world. in some ways we just lack the tools. we clearly -- you were just talking about january 6th, our model shall we say to be gentle is tarnished. and in all these cases say like china or russia, we have a whole range of concerns. and we can't -- it's almost like betting. we can't put all of our chips on black 36 because we've got to think about arms control or economic issues or we've got to think about nuclear proliferation or climate change. so there's limits to what the united states can do. there's limits to what we should do. so i think, yeah. we can use our voice. we can be a model if we get our own house in order. but i don't think we can be decisive in these situations. >> so, richard, unlike donald
trump and the entire republican party over the last four years you and i have been concerned about the growing deficit, the growing debt. you and i talked about it over the past 20 years. i think i've been far more hawkish on it than you have. but still you've written books about part of -- concerning america's future. and you've talked specifically about growing debt. with that in mind, curious what your thoughts are about this $1.9 trillion plan and efforts by republicans to strike a compromise. do you think a compromise needs to be struck? or do we need this $1.9 trillion cash infusion into the economy right now? >> we need an infusion. we do not need a $1.9 trillion infusion. i think it's in some ways a
political symbol. i think it's a learning of the wrong lesson from 2007 and 2008 where a lot of people concluded that what the obama administration did was too modest. we're in a very different position here now. this is a very different kind of recession. you have seen tall reports. you've talked about them on the show from the cbo and elsewhere. the economy is going to come roaring back. so right now what i would think we need targeted help for those for relief to get them through the next six or nine months. what we do not need is massive stimulus. we don't need -- we already got a debt that's more than 100% of our gdp. we want to keep some of our powder dry. also, joe, a word that hasn't been used a lot in recent years is inflation. why do people think the business cycle has somehow been erased from history but this combination of low interest rates of massive debt, massive stimulus, why do we think that the united states or the world is somehow immune from the
possibility of inflation which among other things could cause or lead the fed to rethink its position on rates and it could also -- there could also be pressure on the dollar down the road. so i just think we need to take a pause and say how much do we really need to navigate through the next six months? and my guess is we could do considerably less than 1.9 trillion. >> i agree it needs to be targeted. and just a word to viewers, just because republicans in washington, d.c. have been raging hypocrites about the deficit and the federal debt, doesn't mean that the united states moving beyond 100% of its gdp in debt and continuing to move upward doesn't mean that we don't face possible political fallout from it in the long run. we most certainly do. >> all right, richard haass,
thank you very much. >> thank you all. >> i wasn't sure if that was a question or a comment. >> richard, great to have you on board. thank you very much. and just ahead, we'll speak live with senator joe manchin who will play a key role in the covid negotiations. we have a lot of questions for him. also ahead, in new filings democratic prosecutors and former president trump's legal teams are laying of the that you are arguments ahead of next week's impeachment trial. we'll talk to the incoming majority whip dick durbin. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪♪ dry, distressed skin that struggles? new aveeno® restorative skin therapy. with our highest concentration of prebiotic oat intensely moisturizes over time to improve skin's resilience. aveeno® healthy. it's our nature™.
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president's approval rating at 58%. meanwhile, president biden's cabinet continues to take shape with the senate confirming pete buttigieg as transportation secretary and alejandra mayorkas. as for the republicans last night, house minority leader kevin mccarthy met with congresswoman marjorie taylor greene over her incendiary comments and embrace of conspiracy theories. according to the associated press they spent about 90 minutes in mccarthy's office. aides offered no comment afterward. the house gop steering committee met last night. the steering committee headed by mccarthy is the group which picks which committee members sit on and can take away any assignments. two sources tell nbc news that nothing was decided at last night's meeting regarding congresswoman greene. joining us now we have msnbc
contributor mike barnicle, professor at the lyndon b. johnson public school of affairs at the university of texas victoria defrancisco sew toe and tim miller previously served as communications director for jeb bush and spokesman for the republican national committee. tim, let's read from your latest peace for rolling stone entitled "the view from the republican rebels" and you write in part, quote, this insurrection was a clarifying moment for any republicans who were hoping in vain that things might go back to normal after trump decamped to mar-a-lago. for four years this shrinking cadre of normy republicans fed the conspiratorial insanity that led to the insurrection in ways big and small because they believed that's what was needed in order to survive. as someone who was in their shoes not too long ago, to me,
the choice is simple, after all the pain that trump has caused with his lies, after the party has lost the white house and both branchs of congress, after a mob of his creating literally charged their workplace looking for blood and screaming for hangings, isn't the only answer to fight? tim, continue with your thought. where does this go from here? why is it so hard to say marjorie taylor greene, what you have to offer is not what we need right now in the republican party? >> look, mika, the question the piece i was trying to figure out is what do these republican, these very few, small number of republicans who see reality do from here? you have adam kinzinger calling the caucus to fight back, to stop accepting this. you see liz cheney out there speaking out for truth and saying we have to hold the president accountable.
but the vast majority of the republican caucus wants to continue business as usual. you know, there was that brief moment, as i wrote, maybe 24 hours, 48 hours where mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy were out there saying no more of this. even lindsey graham said he had seen enough of the president. that now increasingly they are all starting to go back to their old posture, which is that liz cheney is the one who is problematic. there's a vote today in the house conference to decide whether or not she should keep or lose her job. the sources that i talked to in the republican rebel caucus of the ten who supported impeachment don't know what the whip count is. they don't know whether she will hold on to her job. isn't that crazy? i mean, even if she wins her vote today, isn't that insane that liz cheney, whose only crime was speaking about the reality of what happened with the insurrection at the capitol might be the first person to be punished? not the people that spurred it on, not the people that voted to
overturn the results of our democracy and to make donald trump an unelected auto cat? none of them have suffered anything? marjorie taylor greene and her conspiracies hasn't suffered anything? her call for nancy pelosi to be executed, that liz cheney is on the chopping block today? even if she survives it, i just think that reality shows the state of where things are in the party and that's why if you are a cheney or a kin sink ger or romney, your only choice is to fight back aggressively right now otherwise you're going to be eaten by the qanon base just as jeff flake did. >> tim, we had congressman kinzinger on here yesterday and effectively said we may have to lose a couple elections to save the soul of our party. we might if we cross marjorie taylor greene, we might lose some house seats and might lose some house elections but let's look at the long-term, he said. do we want to be the party of conspiracy theories and qanon or
talk about small government and all the things you used to talk about and jeb bush used to talk and still talk about that have been pushed to the back by this other movement. so how do you save the soul of this party if only ten members oft republican party caucus in the house were willing to vote for impeachment on something that was plain for most americans to see? >> yeah. i mean, look, to their credit that ten is double the number of members of congress who have ever in history voted to impeach a president of their own party. in that sense it's something to start from, right? i think that adam, congressman kinzinger is exactly right on this. look, i think the only path forward is through an aggressive fight within the party that might cause some of the members of the maga base to cleave off. look what happened in georgia. this is already happening whether or not the fight is instigated. those two seats in georgia were lost basically because maga
voters who were -- who believed the dominion insanity conspiracy theory didn't show up to vote because they didn't think their vote mattered. i think his calculus is right. you have to take on this basically ten, 20% of the party. you have to call it out. some of those people might leave and support the patriot party. some of them might stay. maybe you can win some of them over. jamie herrera butler also voted for impeachment is voixed on winning some of them over. then and only then might you win back some of these suburban voters. here is the problem, willie, only one guy in congress is saying we should do this, then it's not going to happen. right? so i think that kinzinger's job is to recruit more of the reality-seeing republicans to his side. but it's a big, big uphill battle. that's probably an understatement at this point. >> victoria defrancisco sew toe, you have the biden administration and president
biden himself with a fairly good approval rating coming in trying to deal with this type of opposition. i feel like, you know, even in covid relief it's a struggle to follow through with president biden's mandate to be president to all people, but at the same time, there are some people who are still behind the insurrection at the capitol. and i don't think we can consider them as part of the equation. how does he move forward? >> so mika, when i'm looking at that fight for the soul of the republican party, i'm looking at very much from the state level. here in texas, i'm ground zero for what was the tea party, which were the seeds for the trump maga movement. so i think that the republican party in trying to find its way back to that small government, ronald reagan conservativism has
to do what it did a decade and a half ago was build its farm team at the state but now doing so with the focus on moderate republicans instead of those far right conservative republicans. so, putting in the time, putting in the money, putting in the energy in those state-level gop parties who, as we saw recently with arizona, have been overtaken by the fringe. so, it's doing the work. and there may be a lag in terms of how that gets back up to the federal level. but you have to start at home. you have to start on the ground. and another thing i'm going to throw out there is thinking through how we form our institutions to push us to a more moderate, more conciliatory phase. for example, what about the possibility of having primaries that are open, general, like we see in california? because we know that primaries this goes for both parties, tend to have folks running to the
extremes. in the republican case in particular, if you want to win an election, you're going to try to go as far right as you can and then you get to the general and you're bringing that baggage with you. you get elected and you take it to d.c. so in terps of how do you do the work in reforming the republican party, you can try to have folks fight it out, which you need to do, but you also need to go down to the local level and you need to think about the institutions that propitiate this extremism. >> mike barnicle, you're plugged into this white house. what is your sense of how they're feeling about these two tracks? on the one hand you have the $1.9 trillion package they want to get through or at least close to that with some wiggle room with republicans who may be willing to negotiate with them, and then on the other track impeachment, which is going to start not long from now. in all my interactions with the white house, both on tv and off, they have tried to change the subject away from impeachment. they recognize the senate's duty
to perform that trial. but also would like to focus on that big problem in front of them. >> yeah, willie. i think that's absolutely correct. i think they would prefer there be no impeachment process because it's getting in the way of the process of rebuilding this country from what the country has endured for the past four years. but reality is reality. and they're going to have to sit through the impeachment process. timing is the big issue i think in the biden administration. they want to get the bills that they will end up getting and outlining, they want to get it enacted as quickly as possible because there are hundreds of thousands of americans who desperately need that help. but you know, the root of this what we're talking about right now and what tim was talking about in his piece in rolling stone, fighting for the soul of the republican party. i think there's also a feeling within the white house among some white house staffers, that
what is the soul of the republican party? isn't it a soul that has been corrupted slowly over the years and might not now be worth saving? they have to rebuild the entire process. look, there are 2011 republicans in the house of representatives. 147 of them voted to overturn the legal election of the president of the united states. that just happened. 147 out of 211 republicans voted to overturn the democratic process. and today they're in caucus in washington, d.c., led by the coward esz, that's the only way to describe it, of the minority leader of the house republican party, kevin mccarthy. and their biggest concern is they're very upset about liz cheney, a congresswoman from wyoming. they're incredibly upset about what she did.
what did she do? she said she would vote to impeach the president of the united states, donald trump. they're upset about that. they are not as upset about ms. qanon who is just totally crazy. that is the soul of the republican party that they're dealing with that the democrats are dealing with right now. make no mistake about it. >> all right, mike. tim miller, thank you very much for coming on this morning. and coming up, president joe biden takes executive action aimed at reversing the trump administration's hardline immigration policies. "morning joe" is back in a moment. ♪♪
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issued executive orders i thought were very counterproductive to our security, counterproductive to who we are as a country. particularly in the area of immigration. this is about how america is safer, stronger, more prosperous when we have a fair, orderly and humane legal immigration system. and with the first action today, we're going to work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration, literally not figuratively ripped arms from the mother and fathers at the border with no plan, none whatsoever to reunify the children still in custody and their parents. >> president biden signed three executive orders yesterday addressing the u.s. immigration system with the goal to reunite separated families. his actions establish a family reunification task force for the children separated by the trump
administration as part of its zero tolerance policy. to review trump administration policies with respect to migration at the southern border and streamline the legal immigration process. joining us now, executive director of care in action and chair of families belong together, jess morales riceto and president and ceo of the national immigration forum, ali nirani. ali, i'll start with you. is president biden taking the correct steps so far? what else is needed? and i'm personally interested in how we get these children back with their families. >> well, you know, if there's one thing that's sered into the mind of voters across the country particularly as you were talking with tim earlier, suburban, republican voters is the fact that the trump administration ripped apart thousands of families in 2018.
so for president biden to sit in front of the bust of caesar chavez and sign an executive order that says we as the biden administration going to work across agencies, cabinet level to reunify families is a remarkable step forward for the country. and to really be able to throw the full resources of the federal government at this problem, make sure that the families reunited, understand what the options are for them to be able to, you know, be joined back together, whether it's here in the u.s. or in their home countries, i'm not sure if there's anything that could be more important in the context of immigration for suburban, conservatives as well as other latino voters and others. this is something that's incredibly important for the entirety of the country. >> victoria, you can take the next question to jess. >> so, jess, what we saw in these executive orders, it's an important first step. but it's not really any actionables, right in it's about
forming a task force, it's about reviewing the nppp protocols and title 42. so it's a lot of kind of the planning stage. what are you hearing from the folks that you work with, the folks who are in the shadows who are living in fear, how are they feeling about this first step, which is important, but not really actionable? >> yeah. i don't want to gloss over what a relief it is after four years of relentless attacks to have this moment. especially so early in the biden presidency. it's a new day. and that is definitely a little bit of a sigh of relief that all of us who do this work day in and day out are feeling. but, to your point, at the end of the day, the only way to ensure that every family is reunited is to end the remain in mexico policy. every single day the remain in mexico policy is still in effect is a day where families are separated, people aren't getting the medical care they need and are not able to reunite families. that has to happen immediately. but you know, i think the
prevailing feeling from advocates on the ground is that we're ready to do this work. shelters, ngos, lawyers, regular folks who have up ended their lives because they are so passionate about reuniting these families have been the ones who have been passionate about reuniting these families are the ones that have been filling in the gap for the government. and we are continuing to do that. of course we are ready to work extremely ready with this new task force that the biden administration put forward to make sure these families are reunited. and we will continue to do that until the government is ready to do what we're doing. and i think that's really the story of this tamly separation policy. yes, trump put this evil policy forward. but americans resoundingly said that they do not support this and they will work years of time at this point to make sure we
reunite these families. we will definitely not let anything step us. that's why it is important this is swift and urgent and that the biden administration continues to act in urgency. this is the first real test of whether or not they can be the leaders we need in this moment, and that means bold action. >> so what does this look like as a practical matter to reunite these families? we know from our own news reporting a couple of months ago that a lot of these children don't know where their parents are. so where do you begin with the work you do and the work jess does? where do you begin to put these families back together? >> i think it was really important that the head of homeland security chairing the force and the vice chair, the
embassies and the consulates can be deployed to finding these families ft over the past few years, they have the federal government deployed their resources to identify the families. and then also i think we have to understand that a lot of these families are pretty terrified of the u.s. government. they have had a pretty lousy conversation to say the least. how does that conversation happen between the consulate and the family and what are the opportunities the family will have to get parole in place in the u.s. so they could be in the states here with their children. these are the thorny policy questions. we often forget that integration processes at the end of the day are about people. i just want to throw a shout out
to our friends at the border who have been working with lawyers on either side to help these families through and they are speaking with a moral urgency through these policies that we have to remember. this is about people who are separated from their children. again, i just think that having a department of state, being in a position to identify these families and then working with dhs to understand what are the policy opportunities that can be put into place so they can be reunified, that was a big part of what was missing over the last few years. >> thank you both so much. and victoria, thank you as well. still ahead, will washington have to choose between a big bill and a bipartisan one? the senator to watch, joe manchin will be our best. and senator dick durbin will be
our guest as well. why can't he schedule a confirmation for biden's pick to be the next attorney general merrick garland? how republicans are still able to stone wall democrats even in the minority. "morning joe" is coming right back. research shows that people remember commercials with exciting stunts. so to help you remember that liberty mutual customizes your home insurance, here's something you shouldn't try at home. insurance is cool. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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the biden administration announced it is set to begin the covid directly to pharmacies as part of the ramped up effort to get the public vaccinated. the new initiative will ship one million doses per week to about 6,500 different pharmacies. this is in addition to the shipment to states which already total around 10.5 million doses. so jonathan la mere, dr. fauci
was just on the today show and said he expects the johnson & johnson vaccine to get emergency authorization in the next couple of weeks. he also said we can't have super bowl parties outside of our immediate families. but how is this going in terms of getting this vaccine out quicker than it's been getting out? >> the biden administration knows the covid relief bill which we have talked all morning and this, the vaccine distribution. there is a lot of pressure in the last ten days or so to really ramp this up. they realized that goal of 100 million doses in the first 100 days, that wasn't enough, so they're pleased with this step, the distribution to the pharmacies. so many rely on their local pharmacies for their medications. they're also boosting the distribution of the states by 5% so that's an important step,
too. but they know this is the ball game in many ways, and they're going to keep pressing and they're pleased about the johnson & johnson vaccine coming online shortly. expect that to be expedited as well. all right. still ahead on the heels of mitch mcconnell calling out, quote, looney lies and conspiracy theories, a growing number of republican senators are starting to speak out against the republicans qanon supporting congressman. "morning joe" will be back in one minute. alright, okay. how's that? is that how you hold a mirror? [ding] power e*trade gives you an award-winning mobile app with powerful, easy-to-use tools and interactive charts to give you an edge, 24/7 support when you need it the most and $0 commissions for online u.s. listed stocks. don't get mad. get e*trade and start trading today. ♪ ♪
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i'm not now. therefore, this ticket is unconstitutional. >> good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is wednesday, february 3rd. along with joe, willie and me, we have jonathan la mere, former u.s. senator, now an msnbc political analyst. we'll start with last night's meeting between kevin mccarthy and congresswoman margery taylor green. they spent about 90 minutes together in mccarthy's office. aids offered no immediate comment afterward. the house gop steering committee met late last night. it is the group that picks which group republican members sit on and can take away sources. two sources tell nbc news that
nothing was decided at last night's meeting, including congresswoman greene. >> a growing number of senator republicans are speaking out about the congresswoman. >> i think we should have nothing to do with margery taylor green and think we should repudiate the things she said and move away from her. i think our party has to make it very clear that she does not represent us in any way. our big tent is large enough to both accommodate conservatives and cooks. >> she doesn't represent the party. i don't want her as the face of our party. i think this is a great time for us to really talk about what we want to see in the upcoming years and continue to build. we don't need people that are promoting violence or anything like that. >> that's senator ernst there.
quote, house republicans will have to decide who they want to be. do they want to be the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility, free markets, peace through strength and pro life or do they want to be the party of conspiracy theories and qanon. senator marco rubio said we shouldn't be making these people famous. i think it's undignifying. you can add todd young, the senator, who said this woman is an embarrassment to the party. he said she is, quote, nutty. obviously mitch mcconnell led the way when he called her looney and laid out why she is bad for the party. democrats are rolling out campaign ads, making the republican party the party of qanon, if this house isn't doing anything, the senate now is
trying to put a stop to it. >> well, they're trying to separate themselves from her. but, you know, it is interesting that it's really -- it's a legitimate attack against the house republicans, at least, that kevin mccarthy can't separate himself from her. the steering committee refuses to move on this. they're talking about punishing liz cheney. >> yes. >> but afraid to cross this woman. and let's just be really clear because people like to talk about jewish space lasers and all these other crazy theories she's had. but let's break this down where it actually threatens people inside congress. she endorsed the assassination of nancy pelosi, putting a bullet in nancy pelosi's brain.
like that tweet, she said that the people needed to be patient if they wanted to ensure that barack obama was lynched, that people were getting in place for the lynching of barack obama, people were getting in place for the lynching of hillary clinton, that if everybody was careful, they can make that happen and liberal judges wouldn't get in the way to stop it. so willie, it's all -- this house, kevin mccarthy's house, is legitimatically, legitimately a proper political target. you know, they -- the republicans spent an entire campaign trying to attach aoc's politics -- aoc who has never actually threatened to kill a republican, but republicans have
spent the past several years attaching aoc's politics to everybody in the democratic party from nancy pelosi to joe biden. that's illegitimate. it just is. i mean, because you look at the politics. i mean, nancy pelosi was mocking her caucus years ago on "60 minutes." so that's actually not as accurate as democrats who are now attaching this woman to a republican conference who won't criticize her, who won't take away her committee assignments, who won't rebuke her. kevin mccarthy is still scared of her and i wonder whether joeny ernst, mitch mcconnell had to answer questions about the stupidity and the asinine tweets
of donald trump for four years. no. no. we're off this train. we're not -- mitt romney, no. you know what? i'm going to actually try to pass a bill without people having to ask me about an asinine, violent statement that a republican made somewhere. it certainly seems the republican senators, at least, are getting there, willie. >> yeah. well, house republicans remain on that train. they want to be on that train. kevin mccarthy went to mar-a-lago to signal he remains on that train. we don't know what that meeting with the georgia congresswoman was like over those 90 minutes last night. we should get some read-out of it hopefully this morning. he already stood by while she did all these things and said all these things. it is not like it's new from her. this is who she was while she campaigned. kelly loeffler campaigned with margery taylor green. she wanted her endorsement.
this is a woman and this is a sector of voters that republicans clearly want to keep close to them. so it will be interesting to see if kevin mccarthy actually is willing to cross her. "the wall street journal" editorial board writing about a house republican reckoning. if the house gop punishes ms. chaney while saying nothing about ms. greene, it will deserve nothingness. they'll squander it if they pursue serious members like liz cheney and let themselves be defined by conspiracy theorists and parkland truthers. mitch mcconnell came out first a couple of days ago. he had seen enough of this. now more republicans falling in yesterday. what do you make of it and what do you think house republicans will do? >> i find it really ironic,
willie. marco rubio's quote was we shouldn't make conspiracy people famous. guess who is the guy that for weeks was touting conspiracy theories on the tv about the election and dominion voting machines and all of these silly conspiracy theories? none other than donald trump. who is the guy that's backing up this qanon lady? donald trump. why is kevin mccarthy afraid of her? because he's afraid of donald trump. so i find it ironic that they're fine speaking up against the qanon people but they have not been able to find the ability to speak up forcefully against the conspiracy theories that were fomented and that caused an insurrection in the nation's capitol by none other than the
former president of the united states. i think really kind of it's unfair the qanon lady. it should be both trump and the qanon lady being called out by these guys. >> we'll speak live with senator joe manchin about the debate about covid relief. plus, the incoming chairman of the committee, senator dick durbin. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. we'll be right back. the lexus es, now available with all-wheel drive. this rain is bananas. lease the 2021 es 250 all-wheel drive for $349 a month for thirty six months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. derriere discomfort. we try to soothe it with this. for $349 a month for thirty six months. cool it with this. and relieve it with this. but preparation h soothing relief is the 21st century way to do all three.
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there is another big story we're covering this morning for the business tech and media worlds. jeff bezos announced yesterday he will be stepping down from his role as chief executive officer at amazon, a company he founded 27 years ago. bezos will transition to the role of executive chair in the third quarter of this year.
the chief executive of amazon web services will take over at ceo. he is a long-time amazon employee dating back to 1997 and is responsible for building the company's cloud service business that now accounts for 60% that's operating profits. in a memo to employees, bezos said the transition will allow him to focus on other ventures he's passionate about, including the bezos earth fund and "the washington post." let's bring in senior media reporter for nbc news dillon buyers. tell us what this is going to mean on many levels and how this came about. >> yeah, sure. look, i mean, in one respect it doesn't mean a whole lot, at least for amazon. you know, jeff bezos has positioned this company for
incredible strength for a long time. this company has never been stronger. he started it three decades ago as an online bookstore at a time when many people were dubious about what the internet was. raise your hand on the panel or for anyone watching if you don't have an amazon prime account. more than four out of every five americans right now has an amazon prime account. that is an incredible relationship this company has with the consumer. it's positioned for strength right now. and if you are jeff bezos, you're coming out of a pandemic that only accelerated the growth of your company. maybe you, you know, a necessary aspect of everybody's lives and doing this at a time when washington is getting ready to crack down more on big tech. you have other pursuits. you want to go to space. you want to expand your media empire. you want to get more involved in
philanthropy. i don't think we will see less of jeff bezos. if anything, i think we will see more of him. but it is a very convenient time for him to step back from the day-to-day operations of this wildly successful company and expand his horizons. >> nbc's dillon buyers. thank you very much. coming up, can biden and congress change child poverty with the stroke of a pen? his push to tackle a national problem. plus "the lonely century." how to restore human connection in a world that is pulling us apart. those conversations are straight ahead on "morning joe."
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understand before, the rule of law is not just some lawyer's turn of phrase. it is the very foundation of our democracy. >> that was president joe biden's choice for attorney general, promising to restore a commitment to law and order and the integrity of the nation's top law enforcement agency. and pointing to the assault on the capitol as a consequence of failing to do so. our next guest is urging his fellow senators to confirm merrick garland without delay, citing the vital need to protect the homeland from threats both foreign and domestic. yet, he is facing opposition from the outgoing chairman who rejected a recent request to have one scheduled for next week. joining us now, incoming chairman of the judiciary committee, democratic majority whip senator dick durbin of
illinois. we'll start right there. why can't we call you chairman and why can't merrick garland get confirmed through the process? >> the negotiations went on longer than they should have. i have been waiting for the moment when i have the title and, more important, the opportunity to bring this nominee for attorney general before the american people. i wanted to do it as soon as next monday before the impeachment trial begins but senator graham who is still in the position of chairman officially objected and, so, we have to find another course. >> and what would the other course be? and what would be the reason that they would be, i guess, dragging this out is a good way to put it? >> i just don't know. when it comes down to the security team for the new president, every administration wants to put them in place first. the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, the key intelligence people and of course the attorney general. at this moment in history, facing the uncertainty of
domestic terrorism and what we witnessed right in this complex january 6th, you would think that the republicans would share our sense of urgency. i wish they would have allowed us to have that hearing. it would have made certain that her reck garland will be in place to protect this nation as soon as possible. >> senator durbin, i'm going to ask you a procedural question a lot of the audience is wondering which is why after the wins in georgia is lindsey graham still calling the shots and why is it not you? >> boy, it is a convoluted answer, willie. it starts with the premise that the united states senate doesn't -- unlike the house, stays in session. and we just kind of change with the times. as the georgia results came in, it was clear we were going to be in a nominal majority of kamala harris casting the key tie breaking vote and then we had to move the senate into this new
mode of the democratic majority, the 50/50 senate. that takes more time. the house is much more decisive and much more on a schedule of happening quick. in the senate, not so much. >> senator, let's talk about what's before you. there is a lot in front of you, actually, but specifically about impeachment coming up here in the next week or so. how do you expect that trial to look? will it be a prolonged trial? the white house is privately and i'm sure you heard this more directly hope it will move with some pace so they can move on to their agenda and not have impeachment be the focus of the nation right now. how do you expect this to play out? >> i have two mixed feeling on that. one is of course i want to make a record. to think that 40% of trump's followers still believe that it wasn't his followers that stormed the capitol, that it was a left wing organization, 40% of them still believe that madness, i want to make a clear record
for history, for the people of this country as to what did occur and i hope that the house impeachment managers lead this effort. secondly, though, i have to tell you. on capitol hill today, one of our own, the capitol hill policeman who was killed by this mob on january 6th is lying in repose in the united states capitol, and we are all going to pay our tribute to him for giving his life for us on that day. but what a reminder it is that that did happen when we were here. we're not just jurors. we were eye witnesses to the occurrence. so in that respect there are certain elements that don't need to be proven to us. we saw it. we ran from it, to escape with our lives and we know what happened to valiant heroes like all the other policeman. over 140 of them who were injured by this insurrectionist mob. >> yeah. we were just looking again, senator, while you have been
speaking of a live picture of the officer lying in honor there in the capital. senator, mike barnacle has a question for you. mike? >> senator, obviously you know, everyone knows, we are only two weeks into the new presidency, the biden administration. but there has been some difficulties, even though they ramped up the logistics and vaccination of the vaccine. i assume you know about what the biden administration found out about the prior administration's plans for the vaccine when they came in. can you tell us what you know and does that impact the current plan to try and ramp up what they were left with when they came in? >> i can tell you, to give credit where it's due, it went the scientists, the researchers, the doctors sat down with financial incentives to get it done in a hurry, and they did. and i congratulate them on that
effort. we needed to have that same level of commitment when it came to distribution. instead the trump administration took their usual course, as they have throughout this pandemic, and said to the states and the governors do your best now. we have done all we can do. see what you can do to distribute this. the amount that being produced just wasn't there. joe biden has been on the job a week and a half there. he is trying to put it together and he's getting progressively better. 16% more vaccine coing to the states than they anticipated. we weren't anywhere near where we have to be as a nation. we've got to get americans to stand up and roll up their sleeves and to make sure that this vaccine is being administered across the nation. secondly, let me just add this. after we take care of americans, we must do this first. this is a global pandemic. it started in a remote place in china and spread to the united
states very, very quickly. we have to understand this is a global effort to stop this pandemic. >> we want to bring into the conversation the ceo of the robinhood foundation. a different foundation than what's been in the news lately. you are focussing on an issue that you say president biden and congress can fix with the stroke of a pen. what is it and then you can take it to the senator? >> yeah. the issue is child poverty. the issue is the fact we have more than 12 million american children right now living in poverty. you know, in my home city of baltimore, 30% of families with children are living in poverty, almost a third. and when we can make adjustments to the child tax credit but making it fully refundable but also making it permanent, we can put child poverty in half with the stroke of a pen. think about what that means in terms of the long it have term
changes. it addresses the long-term chronic pain of child poverty. we just penned an op-ed focussing on what this could actually mean, that we could make these adjustments in child tax credit where we could make it permanent and basically leave help children who are too poor to qualify. so i guess, you know, a question i have to the senator is, as we're having all these confirmation hearings, we still see a situation where we have republican senators, collins, romney and murkowski who are supporting a package that leaves out the child tax credit, that would -- that's something that would cut child poverty in their states by half.
how exactly do we get the senators who say they're looking for forms of compromise, looking for forms of support for the most vulnerable in their states to understand that the child tax credit is the most effective and immediately way to address the things their population says is most needed. >> bless you for bringing up that issue. you are spot on, right on. the language that joe biden put in this rescue act would cut child poverty in the united states by half by the ways you just described it. tax credits and refundable tax credits to the poorest of the poor. we make these speeches about income and equality. we say how much we love our children. we talk about the disparity of wealth when it comes to race in america. here we have a finite chance to do it and to do it now. i applaud the republicans who step forward and say they want to be part of a bipartisan solution.
if they are going to walk away from this issue, they're walking away from a major moral challenge of our time. we can pass it if that's the way it has to go through reconciliation. i would love to have bipartisan support, and i feel many of these senators feel it is a worthy issue. now is the time to make sure the money is there in the biden rescue program. >> senator, it sounds like you are ready to go ahead with just democrats if that's the way it has to be. that's what the president has said. that's what chuck schumer has said. we'd love to have republicans come along on the side, but if not we're going ahead. are you prepared to use reconciliation to push through this package? >> yes, i am. we have some deadlines we're facing, not the least of which is the cutoff in the middle of march on unemployment benefits, help for renters that is absolutely essential, the need to get this money out for vaccinations as quickly as is humanly possible. we can't wait.
there is an urgency to this. i applaud these senators. i respect them for stepping up, but they have to understand this has to be done and it has to be done quickly. >> so, senator, before you go, president biden is working on executive orders pertaining to immigration. what do you think of them so far? what are you still hoping for? >> well, the first thing he's trying to do is to reconcile the zero tolerance program where the trump administration forcibly, physically removed babies, infants and toddlers from mothers at the border and separated them, sending them off into a bueaucracy with no accountable. it took months, sometimes years, for us to locate them and it's hard to establish where they came from, where their parents might be. he's doing everything he can to
reunite those families as quickly as possible. a nation of immigrants, we have to do this in a humane way and a just way, and we can't revert to the steven miller version of history which says that immigrants are our enemies. they are friends, part of america's past and will be part of its future. >> all right. senator dick durbin, thank you very much. we'll wait for you to become chairman and see when that happens and have you become. up next senator joe manchin wasn't afraid to challenge the white house during the last administration, and that hasn't changed in the biden era either. the west virginia democrat is standing by. he joins us next. he joins us next
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we need to quit counting the legs on the cows and count the cows and just move and move forward and move right now. we need to go big. and if we waste some money now, well, we waste some money. but absolutely, we got too many people hurting, and the economy is going to sputter, and we got to get ourselves out of this mess and it's the way we need to go right now. >> west virginia's republican governor jim justice voicing his strong support for the administration's covid relief bill. the state's democrat senator joe manchin believes the stimulus needs to be more targeted and he joins us now from the capitol. senator man chin, great to have you with us. so you're the man of the hour here. what is it going to be? is this going to be closer to $2 trillion in this package or will it end up being more targeted? >> the worst thing we can do is put a price tag on it.
we need to see what the needs of the people are and how we keep people basically ready for this economy to become roaring back. if it's $1.9 trillion, so be it. if it is a little smaller than that and we find a targeted need, that's what we're going to be. but i want it to be bipartisan. if they think we're going to throw all caution to the wind and just shove it down people's throats, that's not going to happen. chuck schumer said yesterday on the floor, this is going to be a bipartisan process. that means democrats and republicans will have amendments. we have many, many opportunities to make the necessary changes and make your point. and that's what it's about. the process needs to work. >> okay. you don't think the minimum wage increase should be attached to this? >> i don't -- >> and you don't think it should be $15 an hour where you and i are going to strongly disagree. but explain if you will. >> first of all, it doesn't fit
within the rule. it has to be within budgetary items. but there is a rule on that. and you have said, well, you don't agree. the bottom line is i believe that anybody that goes into work in the morning, works a 40 hour week, a 2,000 hour year with two weeks off, basically they should be above the minimum wage as far as the poverty guidelines. that would be $10.86. i just said don't you think it's reasonable for it to have a flat rate of $11 and index it from there. the other states are already at $15. $7.25 is not reasonable. it needs to be raised. i just basically used a formula that said here is what a family of three poverty guidelines should be above and that's where we should have it and index it so we never fall below that. it makes a lot of sense. if we go there, let's have a
good conversation. this is not the place to do it. >> okay. so we'll debate the number another day, but should it be attached to this? if you are willing to compromise and at the top of this interview you said it doesn't have to be $2 trillion. it could be $1.9 or another number. can you get other republicans to join in a compromise? >> absolutely. i think they're willing to. we have always felt that. we have a good group. we have a lot of good conversations. it's grown to 20. we have 10 republicans, 10 democrats. more people want to be involved because they want to get something done. we're there to support leadership. if leadership hits a roadblock, then basically we could help them a little bit. we did that in december. common sense, no one thought they would go to 500. they went to 908. they will go forward. they know they have to.
>> senator, it's willie geist. good to see you this morning. do you think it's important that this is a bipartisan bill? or is it more important to push through and get the money out the door just as quickly as you can as chuck schumer has suggested? >> well, you know, i strongly disagree going down the path we're going down. i spoke to -- >> reconciliation? >> reconciliation right now. we should try everything bipartisan. over 90 votes last year which totalled about $4.8 trillion. you put the $900 billion we just passed, now we're talking $7 trillion. so we're not holding back. we're putting money out there keeping things going. there is still people hurting. there is people hurting with housing. there is people hurting basically because the pandemic is going on longer than what we thought. the vaccines and the breath of fresh air is having president
biden come in and put some destruction and supervision and leadership. it's been wonderful. so we know where we're going now. he said basically i don't want to go down the path we went through in '09 where we had to do what they're doing now. i says, fine, mr. president. i'm happy to start this process, but i'm not going to get rid of the filibuster. we are going to work in a bipartisan way. he said i respect that and i understand. we have a great understanding. let's see if we can make this bipartisan. chuck schumer said it would be. i believe everybody. we'll see what happens. >> senator, where is the give? you will have to negotiate a little bit with at least those ten republicans who went and met in the oval office a couple of nights ago. their plan, the $618 billion is too low for most democrats. they want to take out the minimum wage hike and money to states and to cities.
what do you give up to get that bipartisan package? >> the minimum wage hike i don't believe will fit in there at all. we need a good discussion on there. you have got to find common ground there where we can start where states in rural areas don't get decimated by it and the businesses don't collapse. but the wages for restaurants, it would be hard for them, too. we need to have a big robust discussion. you already have $15 in new york, in the more metropolitan areas. so we want to make sure we don't have those poverty wages at $7. that needs to be robust. but there is places that they might not have agreed or might not have gotten into a discussion with the president. they're willing to sit down and say, let's see where they have a reasonable amendment. if they have something zero, it get no votes. then the democrats will vote and move on. if they want to be reasonable and participate, there will be
more for them. i want to make sure the process is open to both the democrats and the republicans, that they're just not jammed because i have been in the minority when things are jammed and i'll tell you, it is not the way this is supposed to work. >> to be clear what you are saying about here, senator, you would be willing to give up the increase in the minimum wage to get a deal with republicans. >> i won't even have a voice in that because i don't think it fits into the package, willie. it has to be -- the bird rule basically keeps you within the confines of the budget, of the finances of the budget, and it has to be budget reconciliation. anything outside of that, that's not in there. but if the parliamentary would rule on that, we'll put in an amendment that makes common sense. i have no litmus test whatsoever. i want the money to be in there. i want the economy ready to go. i know it will be longer than just march or april. we will get into the second quarter and probably the third
quarter before we have vaccinations for hundreds of millions of people. but we're moving in that direction. this is a health crisis. we still don't have an economic meltdown. we have a lot of people at the low end of the totum pole in the lower wages. i want $1,400 to go out. i truly want it to go out as quickly as possible. the first thing that needs to get out the door is $160 billion for vaccine. $1,400 to help people get out of toughest times. target that. the reason the democrats and republicans got upset before, we found out that people making $200,000 and $300,000 were making checks. it needs to be on the low end. we're not eliminating. we're making sure it goes. some states need help. some states don't. let's target and find a metric where it works. that's all. just common sense. if you think you can throw money
to it and fix it, it doesn't. spend the excess money on intrastructure. i don't have cell service and broad band in most places in rural areas of west virginia. that would be tremendous for us. >> mike has a question for you. >> hey, mike. how are you? >> i'm well, senator. and i'm hoping you're well, too. so let me ask you about what you were just talking about infrastructure and the needs of west virginia. you come from west virginia. you get to go home a lot. you could drive home a lot. >> i drive home every night. >> well, you have seen the devastation obviously that this pandemic has caused in america. you have seen how people are suffering under it. so $1.9 trillion is a lot of money. do you have a number in mind that you would be capped at? is it $1.9 trillion? do you want it lower? and the other aspect that you just mentioned, checks went out earlier last year and you're
right, people making $150,000, $200,000 a year got a check. is there a way to cut this number down to a specific earning figure that people who get checks $125,000, whatever it is. is there a way to do it? >> yeah. just go a hard cap on it. you don't do the calculations. they are working on that way. i think the president is receptive to that. i think democrats and republicans are both receptive in discussing this and trying to find a pathway forward. it is just basically getting it to the people that we know need it for day-to-day expenses and basically having a hard time. everybody we're talking about -- a lot of people still have payroll. they still have a check coming in. they're still working. they can get through hard times. but the lower incomes are having a harder time and people have no incomes need unemployment assistance. we want to make sure that's
extended beyond march the 14th. all these things need to be done because the pandemic. but make no mistake about it, it is the pandemic that is stopping this. it is the pandemic that's keeping our restaurants and businesses from opening back up. that's what's causing the what' problem. the most urgent thing you need to do, put your investment in getting people healthy again protected. and that's the $160 billion and not one democrat or one republican opposed $160 billion going out immediately. >> all right, senator, wes moore has a question for you. wes? >> sure. >> and you know, you mentioned that it's the pandemic that is causing this measure of pain but the reality is 24% of people who lost their jobs due to covid-19 were living in poverty before covid-19. ie, that was the working poor, the ones who were working jobs and still living below the poverty line. so i agree with you on the line being targeted in terms of
support but people might be underestimating just how many people are vulnerable in our society right now. in fact, if you look at your state of west virginia, 16% of the population are living in poverty, 20% of your children are living in poverty. if we look at things that could have a marked impact, the reconciliation they put together will cut things like cut down on child care support, keeping unemployment insurance at $300 a week knowing unemployment insurance on average will return $1.55 to the economy for everybody dollar that's put into it. how do we make sure these kinds of elements are actually included in some form of reconciliation bill and make sure even though we're talking about the importance of bipartisan, what people are looking for is to get something done and to get something done for american families now. >> that's the whole reason we have reconciliation, wes. we want to get something done.
you're correct, the people in poverty is who we want to get the money too. somebody making $20, $30, $40, that's where we want to make sure the money goes to. as far as unemployment, we want to extend it and as far as lie lihep money, helping people pay for the heat. i think there's an awful lot things of that the agenda in that should be in regular order. this is anything along the budget line that will be in that package. that's where we will have amendments to adjust it or increase it or decrease it, whatever. you make your decisions based on that. i can tell you nutrition for children, childcare, getting schools back open. all of those things are extremely important to all of us. i don't know how anybody with any common sense wouldn't see that. bust just picking a number
sometimes doesn't work. wes, we've already put 5.8 trillion, add 1.9 to it and you're pushing $8 trillion now. our budget is less than $4 trillion a year. we're at $107 trillion debt, 100% of gdp. we have to be cognizant of that. we're approaching the number of deaths more than world war ii. >> we're getting word president biden and vice president harris will be meeting with democratic senators this morning to discuss the rescue plan. will you be participating that that meeting? >> i haven't heard. i don't have it on skmij so i haven't heard i was supposed to be there. i've had good conversations with the president. maybe these are other senators who vp the had that opportunity. i really don't know. i have not heard about that and it's not on my schedule. >> all right, well, let us know,
maybe it's in your inbox right now. senator joe manchin, thank you very much. let us know. thanks. and we've been talking about the economic impact of covid but the damage runs so much deeper than that. amid lockdowns and social distancing, the coronavirus pandemic is taking a staggering toll on our mental health. the u.s. census bureau last december found more than 42% of adults surveyed reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. in 2019 that number was 11%. joining us now is economist norina hertz. she's the author of the new book titled "the lonely century: how to restore human connection in a world pulling apart." we will start with your title. you say century, so i assume this has a lot to do with technology and the way our chirp are growing up now, which is
staring at little machines they hold in their hands instead of into the eyes of individuals right in front of them. how do we restore this human connection? >> you're absolutely right, mika. technology is part of the reason why this is the loneliest century, even before the pandemic struck, one in five u.s. adults were lonely, often or always. one in five millennials said they didn't have a single friend. and our friends are part of the problem because we're distracted, not present with each other and also susceptible to all of the hate and vitriol that transmits on these platforms. but that isn't the only driver. the weigh we built our fitness, the way we organized our workplaces, all of this contributing to why this is such a lonely time. of course, the pandemic has only amplified massively.
>> noreena, this is willie geist. this is such an important issue and such an important book because of it. how do you see this playing out? we've been in this pandemic locked down for nearly a year now. it's impacted people's jobs. it will impact the way we work going forward. many people may never go back inside the office five days a week or ever to be around their colleagues. how do you see this if you're able to look out to the horizon affecting long-term loneliness in this country. >> what really worries me is we know loneliness really affects your health. lonely people are 30% more likely to die prematurely tan people who are not lonely. we also know even short periods of loneliness and isolation is bad for our health. we know loneliness affects our economy. lonely workers are less motivated, less efficient, more highly to quit. we also know too loneliness and the rise of right wing populism
are linked. that's something that came out time and time again in my research as i heard from trump voters across the nation how lonely, how isolated, how forsaken so many of them felt. because i think we need to be clear, loneliness is political as well as personal. its drivers are technological, but they're often economic. it's not like we can't be lonely. many of can and are or our friends and family are. we have to acknowledge some groups are more lonely than others, particularly those on low income, particularly those who don't have jobs, particularly those who lost their jobs to automation. i think what worries me on why we have to take loneliness so seriously, if we do want to reconnect, if we do want to coming together again, addressing this sense of invisibility, the sense of being unseen and unheard, that so many
people feel will have to be absolutely central to an economic and political package moving forward. >> all right, noreena hertz, thank you very much. the new book is "the lonely century: how to restore human connection in a world that's pulling apart." such an important book at this time in our history. thank you so much for coming on. and as we close this morning, another live look at pictures from inside the capitol, where fallen officer brian sicknick is lying in honor in the building's rotunda. sicknick died from injuries he suffered during last month's violent siege. and i just thought, wes, we would ask you for final thoughts this morning as we watch these pictures unfold. of course, these are comrades of the fallen officer and members of congress and others paying final respects.
>> so devastating and heartbreaking because, you know, this is an officer who at a time when our nation was under attack, you know, he stood his post and defended our democracy, as we are told as soldiers, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. he did his job and he's now laying in rest in a way not just our nation appreciates but frankly in a way was unfair to have to ask him to stand there in that duty at that time. serves as an important reminder to all of us about our democracy. >> yeah, mika, i think we're losing wes' wi-fi there a little bit. but profound words, as always, from wes moore. you wonder, mika, as some of the
members of congress, senators who will pass through that rotunda today to see officer sicknick, if they will stopp thing for a moment as they move forward and how to come to terms with what happens january 6th. >> anyone who thinks we should just move on and turn the page maybe should take a look at these pictures, talk to his family and think about our democracy just for a moment. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. hi, there, i'm stephanie ruhle. it is wednesday, february 3rd, and we begin with breaking news at the u.s. capitol. all morning long we've been watching members of congress and members of law enforcement pay their respects to capitol police officer brian sicknick as he lies in honor at the capitol rotunda. he's just the fifth american ever to receive this honor. last night we saw the president and first lady among those remembering sicknick, who's als