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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  February 3, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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ticket in 21st century, he was tenth and 11th. but when the country is jerry mandered, individual republicans have different mandates than the rest of the party. >> david frum, i appreciate it. >> that is tonight's "the last word," "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. good evening once again after day 15 of the biden administration, a day that saw republicans fighting for hours over the future of their party, still yet to be determined. they spent this evening locked in a room on capitol hill arguing over the fates of freshman marjorie taylor greene, the georgia republican, qanon follower, conspiracy theorist. and liz cheney, veteran from wyoming, third most powerful republican in house leadership. tonight cheney survived an effort to strip her of her
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leadership position because of her recent vote to impeach donald trump. the secret ballot vote 145-61. the full house will vote tomorrow under the control of the democrats, remember, on whether to kick greene off her committees -- budget and education. greene's past comments include but aren't limited to her view that school shootings were staged, clintons murdered john f. kennedy jr., there's no evidence that plane hit the pentagon on 9/11. goes on into violence against democrats and rabid antisemitism. >> marjorie taylor greene is totally out of control. why would kevin mccarthy continue to associate himself and republican conference with someone who leader mitch
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mcconnell has characterized as a cancer. p last time i checked, cancers need to be cut out and not allowed to metastasize. >> republican leader mccarthy issued a statement after his meeting with greene this evening condemning her past statements, and went on to accuse the democrats of course of fuelling the controversy by scheduling the vote tomorrow. quote, i offered majority leader a path to lower the temperature, instead of coming together, the democrats are choosing to raise the temperature, taking unprecedented step to further their partisan power grab of the committee seats of the other party. after his meeting he defended congresswoman greene. >> it would be helpful if you could hear what she told all of us. denouncing qanon -- i don't know if i said it right, i don't know
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what it is. but said she knew nothing about the lasers and things brought up about her. >> he has said qanon before, knows what it is. through it all, qanon congresswoman from georgia has remained defiant. using this opportunity to fundraise. we owe them no apologies, we will never back down. in interview with the washington examiner, said this about democrats. how stupid they are, they don't even realize they're helping me. i'm pretty amazed how dumb they are. while this was unfolding in the house. democrats and republicans over in the senate have settled on a power sharing agreement. this means democrats officially get to take over the committees and can now push forward with the president's agenda. senate is also six days away from the start of that second impeachment trial for the now former president. axios has new reporting on the
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effort to make the case to convict the former president. quote, during a call wednesday morning with the house democratic caucus, lead impeachment manager jamie raskin told his colleagues one capitol police officer has lost three fingers, another likely to lose an eye. he said extremist elements in russia and germany view the storming of our capitol as great victory for 21st century fascism. one of trump's lawyers, bruce castor, hired days ago, offered preview of his defense in philadelphia. >> the president deplores the violence at the capitol. and those people should be punished. just because somebody gave a speech and people got excited, that doesn't mean that the speech maker's fault. it's the people who got excited and did what they know is wrong. >> president biden also weighed
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in on trump's impeachment today with some of his most detailed comments yet in recorded interview with "people" magazine. >> he was impeached by the house, and it has to move forward. otherwise would come off as farcical. what it's all about. it's probably not likely can get 17 republicans to change their view and convict on impeachment. but i think it's important that there be certain basic standards that people at least are able to see what happened and make their own judgments. >> by the way, if biden is going to get that nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package he wants, it looks like it will be just democrats and no crossover republican votes. politico is reporting he seems open on compromising who is eligible for next round of
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stimulus checks but firm on keeping them at amount of $1,400 apiece. tonight the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in our country has topped 26 million. look at the death toll. over 451,000 of our fellow citizens. cdc is projecting another 83,000 deaths by the end of this month, perhaps. yet one development is offering some hope tonight. a new oxford university study found the astrazeneca vaccine keeps people from getting sick and may stop them from passing on the virus. we'll get to that. leadoff guests, two new faces. reed epstein with the "new york times" and anna palmer, founder and ceo of punch bowl news. a new d.c.-based news service
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created with politico veteran, and eugene robinson, pulitzer prize winning columnist for the "washington post." good evening to you all. anna, what just happened? your organization reported that members of the republican caucus gave the qanon congresswoman a standing ovation at close of her remarks. you saw mccarthy come out and pretend to mispronounce and not know what qanon is. the flags on the capitol lawn outside his office during the insurrection notwithstanding. in your view, what just happened? >> we're seeing the fight for the soul of the republican party play out in real time in the house. basically you had kevin mccarthy, leader of the house republicans, try to thread the needle and have it both ways.
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not only did he not denounce greene and her conspiracy theories and racism and other things she's said, but also supported representative cheney, facing almost sure voting out of leadership if he hadn't rallied the base behind her. he was able to look at political field, he wants to be next speaker of the house, this is all about that. he's trying to play on both sides. but it is not going to be finished. donald trump has a hold on the republican conference and we're seeing that play out in real time. >> reed, is this the gop now to the point anna raises -- and i'm not being cute, i wish i was -- how do you run in the educated suburbs if you're the gop. name three cities, atlanta, st. louis, denver. on the notion of celebrities
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drinking the blood of toddlers and jewish space lasers, how do you do that? >> you know the problem that kevin mccarthy and republicans have at large is that marjorie taylor greene represents a not insignificant portion of their electorate at this point, their base voters. it's clear they can't win in in most states and national elections without that group of voters. and we just saw in november they can't win a national election with those voters presenting a large segment of their base. what we're going to see next 20 months or so is republicans trying to figure out how to keep both ends of this coalition of theirs together without alienating the sort of voters in the middle who tend to win in swing districts and statewide races.
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>> eugene, in your latest you argue persuasively that the gop is one more big defeat away from burning it down and having to rebuild. though tonight, through our prism, looked more like they were maybe considering changing the tires while the car is hurtling down the highway, and kind of ad libbing their way to what the gop wants to be. >> that's certainly what they seem to want to try to do, because they think they're within reach of taking back one or both chambers of congress in 2022. so they don't want to make a definitive break with trumpism or even qanon. let's be clear on what we're talking about here, right? there's a tendency to look at
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and say on the one hand didn't punish greene, on the other hand kept cheney in leadership position. even bigger stretch, republicans trying to draw equivalence between greene and ilhan omar on the democratic side for anti-semitic statements for which she humbly apologized. there is no equivalency. there is unrepentant white supremacist, anti-semitic, conspiracy theorymongering person who should be nowhere near the level of government. should be the fringe of the fringe and party can't bring itself to draw a line between
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the fringe of the fringe and everything else. just shows where the republican is right now. i think it will take a huge, really walloping at the polls maybe in '22 or '24 or both to make the party actually start to rebuild. >> anna, i want to play a bit of congressman andy biggs, republican of arizona tonight with mr. hannity over on fox news. >> democrats want to purge taylor greene from committees, then same standard must be applied to them. >> if you're going to take marjorie taylor greene off her committee, look at all the conspiracy theorists, hard left rhetoric that's come out. that's why i cosponsored that amendment, substituted ilhan omar for marjorie taylor greene. if you're going to take out one
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of ours, we're going to take out one of yours. >> he just said the quiet part out loud. pay no mind to jewish space lasers or anything she's said. this is about body count, party, if we lose one of ours, you lose one of yours. >> yeah, i think that is the sentiment a lot of republicans feel like they're trying to make. democrats are doing overreach. i think it doesn't play, frankly. what democrats are trying to do, i think they are trying to, to eugene's point, make the entire republican party answer for qanon and the conspiracy theories. they feel very confident going into 2022, going to be tough midterm election for them, typically in the house, party of majority if president is of the same party they lose seats. but they want to tie republicans to greene and make this the
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issue because they know they will win on it. >> reid, something for you too. an ad going after a member of congress who is a republican, incumbent in nebraska, and this i think is a shade of what's to come. >> qanon, a conspiracy theory born online, took over the republican party. sent followers to congress and with donald trump incited a mob that attacked the capitol and murdered a cop. republicans like don bacon are willing to protect trump and let them win. he should have stood with us but he was a coward, he stood with trump and the lies. >> reid, republican congressman don bacon, former general in the u.s. air force, they're clearly softening the ground for race two years from now, any way this
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backfires? >> what they're trying to do is turn every republican into marjorie taylor greene, that's what the vote tomorrow is about, it's tying house republicans to greene on the vote. they'll run ads saying they voted to protect her and keep her on committees. and it is about building this narrative over the course of the next two years. this isn't a ad you would see from democrats heading into election cycle. in october the ads were about health care and more on policy that moved their voters. this is much more of an ad to try to define house republicans super early in the cycle and try to cleave them apart from what is a significant part of their base. >> so eugene, congresswoman cheney, who is by the way the at-large member of congress in
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wyoming, the population small enough they have but one seat in the house for the entire state. two senators like every other state. liz cheney survives to live another day. over 60 members of her caucus voted in this secret ballot to bounce her from leadership, but she prevailed. is there any way, gene, this was a test vote tonight? the way senate republicans view it? do you think there is any room, any leeway, any votes to convict that are out there among the big red wall of senate republicans? >> only if the trial ends with a secret ballot in the senate. this was a secret ballot in the house, and liz cheney got 140-something votes for, and 61 i guess against her.
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and so, if the senate trial were to end in a secret ballot, i think you might get 17, might get more than 17 republican senators who would vote to convict donald trump. but they won't do it publicly. because again, the party's idea of how to go forward, it's not now to break with trump and trumpism. and even qanon, but to sort of play these and try to neaten up the edges. that clip of kevin mccarthy saying you should have heard what marjorie taylor greene told us in our meeting. okay. let's hear it. that's not what she's saying on twitter feed or publicly. she's defiant. and she's saying the democrats are helping me by putting pressure on me. so she's going to be a player. she's going to help the
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democrats make the case that the republican party is marjorie taylor greene's party because this woman is not going to shut up. >> to our viewers, that's why eugene has a pulitzer. to anna, you're on with the last word here. question america is asking, where did the name punch bowl come for a news organization? >> it's the secret service nickname for the u.s. capitol, we focus on power, people, politics and bring you inside the capitol building in nonbiased, nonpartisan just the facts day. we have morning, afternoon and evening newsletter. punchbowl.news. hope you can sign up. >> that was example of me knowing the answer to question but rather have one of the founders explain to our audience. along with best wishes for success over there.
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continue to read you and epstein at the "new york times" and robinson at the "washington post." thank you to the three of you. greatly appreciate it. today's good and not so good pandemic news, trying to comprehend constantly conflicting guidance about protecting yourself, and increasingly in the light of foreign enemies on our soil. later, he's seen a lot in four-plus decades in journalism, ask outgoing "washington post" executive editor marty barron about seeking the truth, getting it out there, telling it clearly, especially now. all of it as "the 11th hour" is just getting under way on this wednesday night. try claritin cool mint chewabls for powerful allergy relief plus a cooling sensation.
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i can emphasize that i believe teachers should get vaccinated, but i also think the science tells us if we do proper mitigation measures, emphasize if we have the funding to do the mitigation measures as put forth in the american rescue plan, we can reopen schools safely even if all the teachers are not vaccinated. >> despite that from the new cdc director, biden administration says vaccinating teachers, something we've talked about this week, remains a top priority. on that front, hopeful news. new oxford study showing the astrazeneca vaccine may reduce
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virus transmission. vaccine is yet to be approved here, and rollout of moderna and pfizer here remains awfully slow. and overall cases are declining, hang on to the good news, experts warn mutant variations could erase the progress we've made. >> watch the super bowl on tv in your house with the people that are there. this time around, lay low and cool it. >> back tonight, dr. irwin redlinger. wade into the political thicket, i think you join me in admiring the new cdc director, and in context i understand her
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comments about vaccinating teachers. in a perfect world though, were it up to you, wouldn't we make it priority in tier one, tier two inoculations with seniors and medical professionals to reopen schools safely, shouldn't vaccinating teachers be a premium? >> it is, brian and i believe it as grandfather and someone who has worked on children's health for whole career, i'm really concerned we're making a terrible situation worse by keeping children out of school. that said we have to return kids and teachers safely. on call with the leadership of the american federation of teachers and they were incredibly concerned in fact about being asked to return to the classrooms without having the vaccinations, and we have to deal with very real and
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appropriate concerns that the teachers have. on the other hand, we also need to make sure we've accelerated the return to school. problems and challenges we'll have with remediation of children who have fallen off educational trajectory is monstrous. marshal plan level of investment to recapture the momentum for so many millions of children. dealing with tricky situation here. there's reasons why we would and wouldn't want to go more quickly than not. but i think right now we have to do what the doctor was saying, get the kids back to school. that said, we need more testing and i would personally push teachers and staff in schools, bus drivers, custodians up to highest possible category with
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the health professionals and people in nursing homes. >> we had dr. celine gounder on last night, knowing you were coming on tonight, reminded me. you two were the first people i knew as you entered studio in early march, the first two people to politely decline to shake hands and explained to me we probably better stop doing that as a society for a good long while. last night on the broadcast she told me she's as worried presently about these variants as she was worried about what was coming back in early march. does that speak for you aswell? >> 100%, brian. we're at war with a wily, dangerous, invisible enemy, the
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sars-covid-19 virus. nonpharmaceutical interventions, hand washing, separation and masks is one thing. second thing is the vaccines. both of those have flaws, and if we don't follow them assiduously. for example on the npi side, going to have problems that amount to serious prolongation of how long we'll be dealing with covid. and another thing about the mutations, the variants as people call them, very dangerous. may find that vaccines with another couple of mutations may not be as effective as they need to be. we're already concerned about that with respect to ability to ward off and prevent infection with the viruses. we're in tricky situation and not winning. but if the vaccines fail us and not doing npis, can expect to double at least the time we'll be dealing with covid-19. could be until end of 2022 if we're not careful.
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and only way to deal with that is make sure we keep up the vaccines, that they stay effective against the virus, whatever forms they take, and as dr. gounder always says, got to maintain strict adherence to the nonpharmaceutical interference. keep the masks on. as much as as i would like to, can't shake hands yet. >> we'll make a date for years down the road to do that. safety has to come first. doctor, thank you, the last comments you made will rattle around for good long time. could repeat them here every night to get public education where it should be. dr. irwin redlener. coming up, holding power accountable in our time of qanon, executive editor of the
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there's discussion on the hill about stripping congresswoman marjorie taylor greene of her committee assignments. does president biden believe he should be stripped of those assignments? >> we've resisted speaking of her in this briefing room and i'm not going to do that today.
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>> white house press secretary jen psaki has refused to talk about the congresswoman. the vote tomorrow that could strip greene of committee assignments is getting a whole lot of attention. with that in mind, pleased to welcome to the broadcast tonight marty baron. get comfortable, this is hell of an intro. marty is retiring as executive editor of the "washington post" after long career which includes the invaluable reporting he presided over at "boston globe" over catholic abuse scandal. and lead editor at miami herald during bush v. gore and led the "washington post" with information leaked by edward snowden before he led the paper
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into whole new world past four years. begin with thank you for you, if you're ever looking for any of your reporters after 11:00 at night, they're with us. we wouldn't have a show without the journalists we've had on. you've been good allowing your folks to come on, sometimes sharing with us things they have yet to hit send on to the newspaper and we appreciate that. how have you adjusted to new language we're using. i'm coming up on 40 years in the business using termology and phraseology. living in time of s-hill countries, phrase you had to debate running, and now jewish space lasers aimed at california. >> we're using language we haven't before such as lies. people are telling lies, dealing
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with conspiracy theories deeply entrenched in american society and we have to find way to talk about it. we're being more forthright and direct. i think that's what we have to do. >> you guys pioneered the benchmark count of the past president's lies and mistruths. ended up somewhere north of 30,000. do you remember when the notion was formed to start tracking them? was there a whiteboard in the news room that was quickly subsumed by the numbers on it? >> well, there wasn't a whiteboard, but the team in charge of the fact checker led by glen kessler saw they were adding up, being repeated, adding new falsehoods and misleading statements and lies, and we really needed to keep track of that. we started doing that, and it was stunning, the rate at which
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they were coming and really accelerated and accelerated particularly within the last year of the trump administration. >> of course for all the folks who report anxiety levels down with the new presidency, we're still deep into the litigation of the last presidency. do you ever think we will see a day again where we are all operating from a mutually agreeable set of facts? >> i have to say that i hope so, but i'm not certain that we will. that is one of the great problems that we have today in american society is that we cannot agree on a common set of facts. we cannot agree on what happened yet. and so you have to ask yourself, how does a democracy function in an environment like that. the late senator daniel patrick moynihan said you're entitled to your own opinions but not your
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own facts. these days people believe they are entitled to their own facts and facts that they believe or consider to be facts are those -- is material that affirms their preexisting point of view. anything that contradicts that, they reject. >> would you say it saddens you more than angers you that is the case? >> well, it's hard to weigh those two. i think it sadens and angers me. and it's difficult to deal with. and one of the greatest challenges we face in our country and challenge we face with the press. we traditionally have been one of the arbiters of facts. not only one or perfect one but arbiter of fact and it hurts us. we, for example, at "washington post" over 1,000 reporters in our newsroom, yet characterized by previous administration as
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fake news. of course we don't need 1,000 journalists in newsroom to spin out false news but to do real reporting that we do every day. journalists that appear on your program regularly are some of our best and they work hard to unearth what is really happening in this government and holding government to account and it's tough when people -- as one gop pollster put it personally, people don't want to -- they don't want -- they want news that affirms them, not informs them. sometimes being informed means that what you think is true may not necessarily be true. >> before we go to break, who came up with idea of the phrase democracy dies in darkness on your mast head? >> jeff bezos acquired us in 2013. we did not have a motto, other
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publications did. he thought it would be great to have motto that captured the essence of our mission. it has a history and heritage of shining a light in dark corners going back to watergate, it was adaptation of a phrase used by judge in the watergate era. and it does capture our mission, to hold a light up to government and individuals and institutions and power. >> marty, we'll fit a break in here. thank you for your patience. marty has agreed to take a few more questions. coming up, we'll try to look into this gentleman's future and perhaps ours as an industry. but if you get home and your "ooh" is more of a "hmm..." you have 100 days to change your mind. that's the visionworks difference.
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we are back, our guest is marty baron, about to depart his
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post, one of the most visible in all of journalism, as executive editor of the "washington post." marty, it is clear that jeff bezos saw your announcement, said life is no longer worth living, i'm going to retire too. though we note he's still owner of the "washington post." speaking of conspiracy theorists, let flummox them. i think it's considered a matter of established fact in the conspiracy theorist world is that your wake-up in the morning is jeff bezos and you talk as he directs the coverage of the "washington post," he's the last person you speak to at night. what is the truth? how active is the relationship with the ownership? >> i almost never talk to him, as matter of fact. so he doesn't interfere whatsoever in our news coverage,
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he doesn't suggest stories, suppress stories, critique or criticize stories, none of that. he just doesn't. he expects me to lead our news organization, he has trust in the leadership of our newsroom. he gives us the independence that we need. and he expects us to run the newsroom with independence and integrity. he just doesn't get involved in the news operations of the "washington post." >> how does this work for you now. you're probably still figuring some of this out, but i think by birth you are a florida man. do you get the margaritaville shirt and pirate hat and move down there, meaning some retirement community is going to have better than average editor of their weekly newsletter? >> no, not going that direction at all. proud of florida heritage, i am
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a florida man but not going to go in the direction you suggested. i'll stay active and involved -- >> going to stay in the business and do more reading than writing? >> reading more books than i've been able to. will stay involved in our profession and continue to have voice but don't want to work 24/7/365 which is what the job is in the internet era. it's a lot. been leading three newsrooms for 20 years, and as you noted earlier, been involved in lot of big stories, one after the next, and it is exhausting and i'm 66 and seems like a good time to get some more personal freedom and personal liberty. i've been coveting that for a while. >> as i say, let me know what it's like. again, our repeated thanks for allowing us access to -- well,
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when we first knew them, they seemed so young, now most of them have found a partner, some had children, these young running gun writers of the "washington post" who remain dear friends of this broadcast, some of the best journalists in the country. of course got to name check ashley and phil for starters. we've watched them grow up before our very eyes and it's been a pleasure. thank you, marty, for everything along the way. >> thank you for having them on your show and thank you for inviting me. >> marty baron, our guest tonight, wishing him happy trails as he departs as executive editor of the "washington post." another break for our coverage, pandemic advice that may be worth following twice. people ask me what sort of person should become a celebrity accountant. and, i tell them, "nobody should."
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until the vast majority of americans are vaccinated, hand washing, social distancing and mask wearing remain vital. and after almost a year of this, mask wearing for some of us has become second nature. but not those who live where mask wearing was allowed to become a politically divisive statement. the place we are about to show you is an example. make no mistake, this is the end result of the trump era of disinformation and the absence of leadership during an uncontrolled pandemic. we get our report tonight from naples, florida and nbc news correspondent sam brock. >> reporter: video that looks like it is taken pre-pandemic in naples, florida, captures the country's divide. many customers and employees visibly not wearing masks, despite experts warning that wearing masks can slow the
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spread of covid-19. >> the cdc makes recommendations based on data they accumulate because it is a science-based organization. >> reporter: when we first asked about the store's mask policy we were directed to the sign stating the mask exemption guideline ordering all persons entering indoor facilities to wear a mask. we cannot legally ask you about your medical condition. if we see you without a mask we will assume you have a medical condition. the store's owner is known for his conservative and controversial viewpoints. >> is your position about medical exemptions or you don't think masks work. >> i know the masks don't work. i know the virus hasn't killed 400,000 people in the country. that is total hog wash. >> reporter: he organized getting a bus of people to washington d.c. on january 6th to support president trump believes many deaths attributed
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to covid. >> i never wore a mask in my life and i never will. >> yesterday more than 3,000 people died yesterday in the united states. his store equipped with plexiglas checkout counters and pharmacies administering vaccine. on social media reaction poured in swiftly. i can't stop watching this. my jaw is literally on my desk. >> another said we should exempt them from the vaccine line then. in florida there is no state-wide mask mandate. individuals cities and counties can impose measures but the governor of the state stripped their ability to fine them for not following the rules. sam brock, nbc news. our thanks to sam for that report. and underscoring some of the details in that story. the florida man, alfie is well known in the naples area and is
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a true believer in that he thinks the whole virus is a hoax. he was indeed at the rally that ransacked the capitol on 1/6 and financed a bus trip for 100 people to attend according to local media in florida. another break for us. still ahead, the king of conspiracy theories and chop foam pillows makes his triumphant return when we come back. triumphant return when we come back
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>> man: that's service i can trust... no matter what i'm hauling. right, girl? >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ man: i have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. now, there's skyrizi. 3 out of 4 people achieved 90% clearer skin at 4 months after just 2 doses. skyrizi may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. before treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms, such as fevers, sweats, chills, muscle aches or coughs, or if you plan to or recently received a vaccine. man: i feel free to bare my skin. ask your dermatologist about skyrizi. a migraine hope from aimovig. to show up... ...for the sweet.
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last thing before we go here tonight, profiles in courage no more. last night we showed you this scene. on the far right, mike lindell, minnesota's best known manufacturer of chop foam pillows and oval office advisor to donald trump. he appeared on news max and raised the big lie. when he raised the dicey issue of dominion voting machines the anchor at the center of the picture plunged in reading a statement while the conspiracy theoryist/chop foam pillow manufacturer kept ranting. newsmax taking a stand. that did not last long. here was that anchor guy today.
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mike is a friend of the network. we were supposed to discuss twitter's decision to ban him and the impacts of cancel culture on his business. but there was confusion. mike thought we were to talk about vote fraud in the recent election. it is a tomich we have covered extensively on newsmax. i was frustrated we could not focus on the current issue of free speech and cancel culture and there is no question i could have handled the end of the interview differently. mike was back on newsmax last night to continue the conversation about cancel culture and the censorship by social media. mike made clear he thinks newsmax is great and i can tell you he will continue to be an important guest on newsmax. >> that is how worried newsmax
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is there is also the real possibility that their owner who enjoys spending time at mar-a-lago would like to continue spending time there. in the chop foam pillow community mike lindell is a pretty big deal. that is our broadcast for this wednesday night. on behalf of all of my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night. >> here is an interesting thing. sort of a personal thing but also a news thing. right before president trump was impeached the first time, i published a book call blow out because it ended up being oddly

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