tv Way Too Early With Kasie Hunt MSNBC February 22, 2021 2:00am-3:00am PST
the weather is finally heating up in texas, but plenty of problems remain, as the president declares parts of the state major disaster areas. the question is, why are some texans being hit with sky-high energy bills? plus, covid-19 now responsible for taking more than 500,000 american lives. the question is, when will we all have access to the vaccine? and on capitol hill, confirmation hearings for attorney general nominee merrick garland get under way today. with so much work to be done, the question is, if he gets
confirmed, where does he start? it's "way too early" for this. ♪♪ good morning, and welcome to "way too early," the show that was not in cancun, i promise. i am kasie hunt on this monday, february 22nd. we'll start with the news. the united states has now passed the most grim coronavirus milestone yet, over 500,000 people have now died from covid, more than the number of americans who died on the battlefields of world war i, world war ii, and the vietnam war combined. nationwide, we've also surpassed 28 million cases now, and this figure is more than double the next highest global death toll. that's brazil. this evening, the president, vice president, and their spouses will hold a moment of silence and a candle-lighting
ceremony to commemorate all those who have lost their lives to covid. and we are always thinking of those people who have holes in their hearts, empty seats at their tables, so many americans. and president joe biden did give an updated timeline for when all americans should have access to the covid vaccines, hinting at the date july 29th. >> we're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for all americans by the end of july. it doesn't mean it will be in all americans' arms, but enough vaccine will be available by that time. this is going to be a continuous rolling effort, so we will have ordered much of which will have been distributed over 600 million doses by the end of july. july 29th is the expected date, but that could change. look what's happening with the
weather now, for example. it's slowing up the distribution right now. but i believe we'll be approaching normalcy by the end of this year. >> the pace of vaccine delivery is about to pick way up. 145 million doses are set to be delivered in the next 5 1/2 weeks with an additional 200 million expected by the end of may and another 200 million by the end of july. and these figures all are before the expected approval of johnson & johnson's vaccine. so, at least, perhaps, things are looking up. but let's go now to the latest out of texas. it's a really tough situation. president joe biden has approved a major disaster declaration for much of the state following last week's winter storm that left millions of people without power amid freezing temperatures. governor greg abbott said yesterday that electricity should be soon fully restored across the state and that grocery stores will be restocked now that road conditions are
safe for deliveries. but this morning, millions of texans still don't have access to safe or drinkable water. the governor says that so far, nearly 3.5 million bottles of water have been distributed across the state. meanwhile, last week's major winter storm is being blamed for dozens of deaths in texas. in san antonio, a 69-year-old man was found dead inside his home. he had no electricity, and authorities say his bedroom was 35 degrees when he was found. in abilene, authorities say a 60-year-old man was found dead in his home as well as an 86-year-old woman whose daughter found her frozen in the backyard. and the family of 11-year-old christian pavon is suing the state's grid operator and power company after his mother found him dead in their freezing mobile home. the boy's believed to have died due to hypothermia after his family's home lost power.
just absolutely awful conditions in texas. and there's another major problem that's unfolding for those struggling with this storm right now in texas, and that's skyrocketing electricity bills. some texans have seen bills as high as $17,000 after last week's storm. that's because the electric reliability council of texas, which manages about 90% of the state's electric load, underestimated how much power it was going to need. and when the storm hit, supply couldn't keep up with demand, and the wholesale price of electricity spiked. nbc's morgan chesky spoke with a vietnam veteran who saw his electric bill take a huge jump. >> reporter: it could be too late for texans like scott willoughby, who signed up for griddy energy after they advertised wholesale prices, not knowing his rate could vary with the market. so when power supply went down from the storm, his typically $200 bill took off. when it was all said and done what was the damage?
>> $16,798, something like that. >> reporter: and this was not a bill. this was withdrawn. >> this was withdrawn, straight from my account. >> reporter: by the time the vietnam vet could switch providers, he had already dipped into retirement savings. >> it's been a bad situation. and the financial burden on top of it just compounds it. >> reporter: nbc news reached out to griddy for comment but has not heard back. >> yikes. all right, texas senator ted cruz, meanwhile, is apparently in hot water once again for posting photos over the weekend of himself helping constituents along with #texasstrong. this comes days after the senator was seen flying to cancun with his family while his state suffered from the effects of that devastating winter storm. cruz quickly hustled back to texas amid the backlash, sharing these images over the weekend, loading water into texans' cars. many online pretty critical of the post, quick to point out that the senator's breaking
quarantine protocol after traveling internationally and calling the move a photo op. okay. joining us now, author of "the washington post's" early-morning newsletter "power up," jacqueline alemany. jackie, good morning to you. it's great to see you on this monday morning. let's start with this just absolute disaster in texas. what are lawmakers in washington trying to do about this, and what does it say about the decisions that state lawmakers made in texas that may have ultimately led this situation to be worse than it might have been? >> yeah, well, we've seen president biden declare a state of emergency, potentially traveling to the disaster area this week, but other than that, our senator from cancun, as one democrat phrased it to me on the phone last night, along with gop governor greg abbott and a slate of other top gop leaders in the
state, have really only been pointing fingers at the moment. as one other democrat phrased it to my colleagues last night, greg abbott has called for an investigation into his own administration, and that's about it. critics have charged abbott with failing to take the storm's threat seriously, issuing insufficient emergency warnings throughout the storm that has caused 58 deaths linked to the arctic outbreak. and as you noted, millions of texans are currently under water and not much is being done at the moment. texas republicans have time and time again refused to upgrade and winterize the electrical grid for more than a decade. and abbott's staff -- abbott and his staff have really declined to make all that much information available, other than his media appearances that we're seeing on fox news. >> so, jackie, you have new
reporting out focusing on texas politics in the next four years. what have you been learning? i know we talked a ton about it heading into election night in 2020. obviously, the gains the democrats thought they might make did not materialize. what have you learned about those efforts, and do you think anything that's going on right now in terms of this storm and the way officials are handling it plays into that? >> yeah, well, we're certainly seeing democrats seize on this moment to hammer republicans for their handling of the crisis, also pointing to additional crises that have been bungled by governor abbott specifically, from hurricane harvey to the coronavirus pandemic and the rollout of the vaccine. the texas democratic party is issuing a report today that we obtained that basically calls for more resources and amped-up voter registration program to be invested in this state to turn
the state blue in 2022 and 2024, basically arguing that it's still doable to turn the state blue. yes, it didn't happen in 2020, but that was for a few reasons, some unique to the pandemic, others because of decision-making by the biden campaign and the national democratic party. the report calls for, again, far more money to be invested. they say that there is at least 2 million unregistered democrats that still have yet to be reached. so, you know, turning the state blue isn't a pipe dream. those voters are there. they just haven't been able to reach them. and that, they say, is also due to the fact that because of the coronavirus pandemic, you know, the biden campaign and the national party had suspended in-person voter contact operations, leaving a lot more voters on the table. the report bluntly states that the republican turnout operation in the state outperformed and outworked texas democrats.
>> all right, the "washington post's" jacqueline alemany, thank you so much for getting us started this morning. really appreciate your reporting, as always. and still ahead here, president biden's pick for omb director, neera tanden, is facing a challenge after democratic senator joe manchin says he's going to vote no. plus, senate confirmation hearings finally get under way today for merrick garland, biden's nominee for attorney general. we'll have those stories and a check on your weather when we come right back. on your weather come right back.
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welcome back! thousands of college basketball fans will attend next month's march madness tournaments. the ncaa announced on friday that crowds of up to 25% capacity will be admitted for the men's tournament beginning march 18th in indianapolis. the 64-team women's tourney, which begins on march 21st, will
allow up to 17% capacity from the regional semifinals to the championship final in san antonio. normally played at more than a dozen sites around the country, the decision to move this year's tournament to these two cities is among one of the extensive safety measures that are being put in place to try and create a more restrictive environment for teams after last year's tournaments were canceled because of the pandemic. all right, let's take a look now at the australian open tennis top-ranked novak djokovic wins a record-extending ninth australian open title, his third in a row after a straight-set victory over fourth-seeded russian daniel medvedev. medvedev entered yesterday's contest with a 20-match winning streak. wow! djokovic captures his 18th major title and is now just two shy of the men's singles record shared by roger federer and rafael nadal. over on the women's side,
naomi osaka remains perfect in grand slam finals, capturing the fourth of her career in melbourne on saturday after a straight-set win against american jennifer brady. she is a phenom. and finally, while the houston astros are due to report for spring training in west palm beach, florida, today, players are trying to do their part to support their fans back in texas who are struggling to recover from last week's devastating storm. it includes astros third baseman alex bregman, who according to "the houston chronicle" along with his wife and teammates and families spent the night in houston handing out 18,000 cases of water. pitcher lance mccullers and his wife have donated $150,000, including 400,000 bottles of water that will be distributed by the houston food bank. and stars carlos correa and jose altuve have made a combined $50,000 donation to provide meals to homes of more than
25,000 houston families in need. we all need to step up at this point to try and help folks in texas. and on that note, time now for the weather. let's go to meteorologist bill karins for a check on the forecast. bill, a lot of tough weather for so many across the country. >> it is crazy, kasie, because it went like this. we went from, like, the heart of winter, the coldest it could be, and then like february thaw. it's like the whole country, actually. so, we have one little last area of winter left that we're dealing with right now, and that's going to be in areas of the northeast. we have some rain down in areas from atlanta through tennessee that's heading through the carolinas, but wintry weather's in the blue. give yourself a little extra time driving this morning around detroit, erie, pittsburgh, buffalo. eventually, that will move across the new york state thruway to syracuse and also through much of pennsylvania. it's not going to snow that much in areas like philadelphia and new york city. looks like it's going to be too warm. even if you see snowflakes, it will melt when it hits the ground. but areas just outside of the big cities could get an inch or two out of this.
that's 11:00. by 5:00 p.m., notice it's dry in new york, philadelphia and d.c., raining in providence and boston, a little bit of snow for interior sections, especially on the mass pike and up into areas of northern new england. and then tomorrow, some scattered snow showers throughout this region, really not a big deal. so, how much snow are we talking today? the areas of light blue is an inch, you know. then it gets to the pinkish colors, that's 6 to 8 inches. only areas north of syracuse will get hit pretty good. much of the higher elevations, the poconos could get 2 to 4 inches. and our friends in texas, it was in the 20s and 30s last week. today, austin up to 63 degrees and little rock up to 64. little rock just had 20 inches of snow last week and then here it's going to be your february thaw into the 60s. so, kasie, they're finally getting the weather that they need for this recovery period. i mean, the pictures of the lines outside the plumbing stores really just tell the story. i mean, it's really just insane.
>> it's really been such, such a difficult time for them. i'm glad to hear that there seems to be some relief heading their way. bill karins, thank you very much, as always, my friend. we'll see you tomorrow. and still ahead here, former president trump will make his first public appearance since leaving office. he is scheduled to speak at cpac next week. we're going to have a look at what we can expect from those remarks, coming up next. ct from remarks, coming up next. (burke) at farmers, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. like how nice it is to switch and save on your auto policy. but it's even nicer knowing that if this happens... ...or this happens... ...or this... ...or even this... ...we've seen and covered it. so, call 1-800-farmers to switch your auto policy and you could save an average of four hundred seventy dollars. get a quote today. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ psst! psst!
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declined an invitation to speak at the conference. that is an interesting decision. and new polling shows donald trump's voters standing firm in their support of the former president. in latest "usa today"/suffolk university poll, just 17% of trump voters believe that joe biden was legitimately elected president. 73% do not. and when asked which party they would support, if trump formed his own party, 46% said the trump party, 27% said the republican party. and when asked to describe the capitol riots, 58% said it was mostly an antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few trump supporters. that, of course, is not true. that is not what happened. all right, still ahead here, a look at where president biden's covid relief package stands this morning after he called on republicans to support the plan. congressman ro khanna joins me for that. but before we go to break,
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face off with the senate judiciary committee at his confirmation hearing today. president biden's pick for attorney general is expected to face some pretty intense scrutiny from republicans on how he's going to handle cases like the investigation into former president trump's business dealings and president biden's son, hunter. judge garland will address the january 6th capitol riot in his opening remarks, saying, quote, 150 years after the department's founding, battling extremist attacks on our democratic institutions also remains central to its mission. from 1995 to 1997, i supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the oklahoma city federal building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple the federal government. he continues, if confirmed, i will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the capitol on january 6th, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.
you'll remember that back in 2016, then president obama nominated judge garland for the supreme court, but republicans, namely mitch mcconnell, blocked his nomination. and democratic senator joe manchin says he will pose neera tanden to lead the office of management and budget. in a statement, the west virginia lawmaker said in part, quote, i have carefully reviewed neera tanden's public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, from senator sanders to senator mcconnell and others. and i believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of congress and the next director of the office of management and budget. for this reason, i cannot support her nomination. if she were confirmed, tanden would be the first nonwhite woman to run the federal budget office. and despite manchin's announcement, biden says he doesn't plan to are withdraw her
nomination and believes he'll get the votes to get her confirmed. speaking sunday, majority leader chuck schumer said he wasn't giving up hope on getting her confirmed either. >> well, everyone heard that one of our democratic senators, joe manchin, doesn't want to vote for her. i am working with president biden to find the extra vote so she can be passed. i think she would be a very good omb leader. >> interesting. according to politico, there are two early contenders to possibly replace tanden -- gene sperling, a two-time director of the national economic council, and ann o'leary, who served as california governor gavin newsom's chief of staff. joining us now with more on tanden's fate, among other things, white house correspondent for politico and co-author of "the playbook," eugene daniels. eugene, good morning! great to see you. thanks so much for getting up early to be with us today. let's start with this question about neera tanden. she was controversial, even back when we weren't sure who was going to control the senate. it seemed like she may have been
doomed, had democrats not won those races in georgia. but of course, they did win, and now joe manchin is flexing his muscle here. they need, basically, every democrat. do we think it's possible they could actually find a republican? i mean, in my own reporting, i've been struggling to find someone that might get on board here. >> no, i think you're right, and it's a reminder that the tweets, your tweets could always come back to bite you, which is what's happening with her here. you know, it is going to be difficult for her to find a republican vote. like you said, she's attacked republicans over the years. but it seems like the biden administration, and you heard chuck schumer there, feel confident. they're not full-throated in their confidence, but they're feeling kind of confident that they can find at least a couple of those republican votes. eyes on people like mitt romney, eyes on people like susan collins, to see what they're going to do here. mitt romney, for example, voted yes on alejandro mayorkas for
dhs, the place where they got the least bipartisan support for one of the confirmations of a cabinet secretary for president biden. and how that's going to shake out is interesting, right? joe manchin is someone who has proven already to be kind of a thorn in the side of progressives, as he's talked about what he does and doesn't support going forward and also, obviously, in this neera tanden confirmation hearing as well. >> yeah, it really illustrates that it's tough to be a public partisan warrior on twitter, as you point out, and then also turn around and get one of these senate-confirmed jobs. so, if you want one of them, perhaps maybe think about how you're going to handle your tweets. let's talk for a second about merrick garland and his attorney general nomination. he is finally getting a hearing. he never got one as a supreme court nominee. it's taken a month. normally, this is one of the first positions up, because of course, it's also a national
security position in its way. and joe biden was able to pick him because they control the senate, because he holds one of those critical seats on the d.c. circuit court that he'll now be able to fill with someone who he chooses, as opposed to someone who mitch mcconnell chooses. but what are you looking for from merrick garland at this hearing? we showed a little bit of -- you know, clearly, white supremacy and figuring out how to deal with that extremist threat is going to be very important going forward. what do you have your ear on? >> i mean, i want to hear how he's going to talk about his judicial independence, right, his independence from president biden, the kinds of things that we're expecting republicans to ask questions on, right? because this is something that will be a different probably setup than what we were used to over the last four years, right? president trump kind of -- he was criticized and saw the justice department and his a.g. as someone in a group who should be protecting him in a lot of different ways, and that is not
how joe biden has talked about that, so we're expecting to hear questions about that, how he would separate himself, and also, you know, there are calls and have been calls for years at this point to investigate president trump. and after january 6th, those calls have continued. former president trump. and so, how does merrick garland answer questions, probably from republicans, who want to know, are you going to try and chase after president trump now? what do you say there? president biden has kind of done his best to not answer those questions because he wants his a.g. and his justice department to handle that, so he hasn't answered questions on how, you know, the investigations, possible investigations into president trump should happen. >> and there's also so many questions about rebuilding a justice department that has had a lot of -- has really had a lot of struggles in the last four years. politico's eugene daniels, thank you very much for being here. we hope you'll come back soon. and still ahead, the best
moments from this past weekend's episode of "saturday night live," including, of course, the cast's take on senator ted cruz and his trip to cancun, amid the disaster in texas. "way too early" back in just a moment. in texas. "way too early" back in just a moment this is how you become the best! [music: “you're the best” by joe esposito] [music: “you're the best” by joe esposito]
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♪ oh, oh, oh, ozempic® ♪♪ you may pay as little as $25 for a 3-month prescription. want to brain better? unlike ordinary memory supplements— neuriva has clinically proven ingredients that fuel 5 indicators of brain performance. memory, focus, accuracy, learning, and concentration. try our new gummies for 30 days and see the difference. hola, everyone! hey, britney. >> hey, there, ted. you look tan. >> oh, no, i'm not tan. i just cried myself red over my fellow texans, and that's why i drink in their honor. >> so, ted, texas is going through a huge crises right now. >> oh, yeah. yeah, yeah, it's real bad. >> and you literally abandoned it and flew to cancun for a family vakashe. >> that's right. and now i'm in a little bit of hot water, which i'm told is a thing no one in texas has. >> well, would you like to
apologize? >> absolutely. i deeply regret my actions over the last couple days, mostly flying united. i'm sorry. i'm pretty bad at human stuff. all right, time now for something completely different. "saturday night live" had plenty to work with after a week like the last one. senator ted cruz of texas became a frequent punch line after that trip to cancun. new york governor andrew cuomo and former "mandalorian" star gina corno were also put in the hot seat on britney spears' fake talk show after making headlines with their missteps last week. rege-jean page made his hosting debut, turning up the heat in studio 8h, fresh off his netflix hit show "bridgerton" and they had a sketch to the song "drivers license" from disney
plus star olivia rodrigo, blasting it out in a pub. rodrigo saw the sketch and tweeted "drivers license "snl" sketch is the best birthday present ever. i am shaking." her 18th birthday just happened to be on saturday. and wrapping up its five-week run, nick jonas will be the host and musical guest for next week's last show before they go on hiatus. all right, now for this story. over 2,000 previously cold, stunned sea turtles were returned to the gulf over the weekend. last week, volunteers in south padre island, texas, helped rescue thousands of sea turtles stunned by the frigid weather. it's been awful for them, too, apparently. the operation took 24 hours with many volunteers working overnight to send the turtles home. the organization expects more turtles to be released back into the wild soon. good luck to all of them. and this is a little tricky. after her major win at the australian open over the
weekend, tennis champ naomi osaka had a minor slip-up that got some attention online. take a look. >> firstly, i want to con -- do you like to be called jenny or jennifer? >> jenny. >> okay. firstly, i want to con grat jennifer. we played in -- >> osaka went on to praise her opponent, jennifer, or jenny, adding in a tweet, "i promise you, my mind thought i called her jenny in that moment and i was so confused why the crowd was laughing. i'm so sorry." oh, dear. well, congrats to her on the win, anyway. all right, still ahead here, we're going to talk to congressman ro khanna about democrats' push to pass the next coronavirus relief bill. and as we go to break, let's look at this date in history. 41 years ago, the miracle on ice took place in lake placid, new york, as the u.s. olympic hockey team upset the soviets, 4-3. >> it's a great plus for us to have that home crowd.
you see that flag waving. and you know, if the flags waving doesn't get you psyched one that crowd going crazy, i don't think nothing will, i mean, besides the fact that you're playing in the olympics, the crowd's just an unbelievable asset. , the crowd's just an unbelievable asset. tide pods ultra oxi one ups the cleaning power of liquid. can it one up whatever they're doing? for sure. seriously? one up the power of liquid, one up the toughest stains. any further questions? uh uh! one up the power of liquid with tide pods ultra oxi. i've lost count of how many asthma attacks i've had. but my nunormal with nucala? fewer asthma attacks. nucala is a once-monthly add-on injection for severe eosinophilic asthma. not for sudden breathing problems. allergic reactions can occur. get help right away for swelling of face, mouth, tongue, or trouble breathing. infections that can cause shingles have occurred. don't stop steroids unless told by your doctor. tell your doctor if you have a parasitic infection. may cause headache, injection-site reactions, back pain, and fatigue. ask your doctor about nucala. find your nunormal with nucala. honey
welcome back. the next phase of advancing democrats' $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill begins today. the house budget committee will meet this afternoon to tee up the legislation for floor passage later this week, friday or saturday, and a senate vote is expected as soon as next week. the final text of the bill was released on friday, but house democrats aren't expecting to get a single republican vote in favor. instead, they are going to go with a procedural maneuver called reconciliation to win senate passage without the threat of a filibuster. that, of course, would take 60 votes, which democrats do not have. meanwhile, president biden is sticking by his significant aid
package. watch. >> let me ask them, what would they have me cut? what would they have me leave out? should we not invest $20 billion to vaccinate the nation? should we not invest $290 million to extend unemployment insurance for the 11 million americans who are unemployed so they can get by, while they get back to work? this is the united states of america, for god's sake. we invest in people who are in need. >> joining us now, democratic congressman ro khanna of california. congressman khanna, it's great to see you! thank you so much for starting your day off so early with us. let's start there with what we just heard from now president biden about this package. he, of course, ran on the idea of unity, trying to get bipartisan support. they're now essentially saying that's not necessarily what
unity means and that this is very popular broadly with the country. what do you think you're actually going to be able to get done in this bill? do you think the minimum wage provision is going to stay in it? and do you think that handling it this way with reconciliation right out of the gate potentially is going to make it harder to work with republicans on other issues in the future? >> kasie, i'm pleased that president biden has been so strong on delivering for relief for working class and middle class americans, on delivering on tackling the pandemic. that is what he campaigned on. he said he was going to do this with the recovery. he said we were going to get monthly checks. he said we were going to tackle child poverty. he said that we were going to give americans a raise. and so, i appreciate his approach. i do think reconciliation is the right way to do it. the house minimum is going to pass the $15 minimum wage, and i hope that it will pass in the senate as well. this was explicitly what president biden ran on.
>> do you think he'll get any republican support in the house at all? are you going to peel off a couple or no? >> i don't know. you have people like brian fitzpatrick, folks who represent moderate districts. it's hopeful that they will see that this is incredibly popular and it's incredibly popular to give people checks who are in need. it's incredibly popular to help people with their kids. it's incredibly popular to invest in vaccine distribution. so, we're not going to get many, but there's a hope we could get a few. >> so, congressman, let's switch gears for just a second, because one of the other things that's looming on the horizon that i know you pay attention to is big tech and questions around regulation, questions about president trump's future -- former president trump's future on some of these platforms. what are you watching and preparing for on this front? i know you're always having conversations with leaders in silicon valley. what is the very first step that
needs to be taken, considering everything we have learned and experienced, especially the riot on january 6th? >> kasie, we need regulation. and the first and most important regulation that we need is consent for the use of your data. i mean, consider this. 64% of people on facebook who joined qanon joined that group because facebook affirmatively recommended to them that they should join. and how is facebook able to do that? they took all of our data, many times without consent, constructed profiles, and then fed those individuals information. that is dangerous. it's polarizing our country. it's manipulating people online. and it needs to stop. and congress needs to pass a law that requires opt-in consent. >> congressman, i also noticed that facebook is experimenting in other countries with limiting political content in people's feeds. that seems to run directly in
the face of every claim that they were making during the 2020 campaign, namely, that anything that they might do on this front would amount to limiting free speech. saying, actually, we're going to play around with this, seems to acknowledge to me seems to ackn they had that in their power all the way along. how do you view that? . >> kasie, you're absolutely right. the first amendment. i can't incite zones. one can't have violence that is actually illegal such as suppressing the vote and act on incitement to suppress the vote. they shouldn't hide behind the first amendment. it is not an absolute defense to say whatever you want. >> all right.
congressman, thank you very much for coming on. we really appreciate it. hope you will come back soon. >> i always enjoy it. >> thank you. >> earlier in the show we asked, why are you awake? kelly wrote i'm up because i have a first job interview in a long time and i'm super nervous. sally says i'm up "way too early" in richmond, virginia, excited about my second covid vaccination. what a relief. i can hug my mother soon. cameron writes 6-year-old golfer and trick shot artist, i am up "way too early" to practice before school starts. very cute. good luck. and we wanted to congratulate lily on her two moms
engagement. briar and ann, congratulations. i could use a trip like that. so happy for you and your family. coming up next, the axios 1 big thing. and the push to pick up the pace of the vaccine delivery as the u.s. marks half a million lives lost from the coronavirus pandemic. and relief efforts for texans recovering from last week's devastating storm. "morning joe" moments away. " moy and into the driver's seat. this is an athlete, twenty reps deep, sprinting past every leak in our softest, smoothest fabric. she's confident, protected, her strength respected. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you.
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welcome back. joining us now with a look at "axios" a.m., hans nichols. good morning. always great to see you. what's the 1 big thing today? >> the 1 big thing, cpac, donald trump is no longer president. he's in control of the republican party clearly. michael lessen had interesting reporting on what the trump strategy is. it's basically that he is the presumptive 2024 nominee.
he is going to go out with a show of force, let everyone know this is still his party and that donald trump is essentially the republican party. it's so hard to disaggregate the two. they will be looking forward to having more meetings how they will play in the 2022 midterms. what is he going to do in terms of messaging, raising money. he has about $75 million in his pac. not just for endorsement. it won't be a one-way street. trump may be asking them to raise money for thinks organization. but looming over this, kasie, and i suspect we will be talking about this the next three, four years is whether or not donald trump actually wants to run. does he want to return to office. what we know so far, it's clear he wants to put his stamp and control on the republican party. it's not certain that he will ultimately decide to run because he has a host of business issues
he also has to deal with. >> hans, can we briefly ask you also, mike pence declined invitation to speak at cpac. that has to be because of the way the crowd would react and all the horrible things we heard january 6th. >> yeah. that's an interesting story, potentially, right? it could be deference to trump. could be a lot of things at play here. the first question you have to ask yourself in terms of 2024 is where you stand on donald trump. it's kind of unclear where mike pence is on that, right? they had this sort of makeup phone conversation. it's still unclear whether or not they're on the same page as they were in lockstep in most, and i stress most, of trump's presidency. it is very difficult to see mike
pence challenging donald trump. i think that's one thing to watch in the coming days. . >> it seems like just keeping his head down for the moment. let's talk about the current administration. i know you have been reporting on nominees. we've been reporting on xavier becerra. . >> he is hhs. and deb how land, they got easier. when you heard that statement on friday afternoon from joe manchin he was a no on tanden, the shock waves could be felt all the way where i am. they almost didn't want to jinx the fact that all their nominees were sailing through.
the other two, it's much more likely they can get in. just because manchin says no, we don't entirely now. susan collins we heard is a no. it's clear. she put out a statement. that gets you to 52 nos. we don't know where romney is. we don't know where murkowski is. the white house is telling me they are redoubling their efforts. we will see whether or not mitch mcconnell makes this a party line vote, which will be crucial. and we will see how the white house regroups and what they think they need to do better to make manchin stay on their side. . >> i have a hard time imagining a republican will be the one that goes out and saves tanden. thank you very much for your time. this morning i'm keeping a close eye on the hearings for merrick
garland. and specifically what is he going to say he's going to do or not do about the investigations into former president trump, and that does that say about the administration. we may get interesting answers today. thank you, as always, for getting up "way too early" on this monday morning. don't go anywhere. "morning joe" starts right now. >> well, the pipes busted in our apartment complex. and we don't know when it's going to be fixed. and we don't have any drinking water, flushing water, washing water, any water. and, i mean, i drove 40 minutes just to get here. so i need the water pretty badly. pretty badly. it was scary. our apartment, we lost power monday night. and i kind of woke up. everything is dark. and i thought, well, that's not normal. and it's super cold. and i touched my baby's face, and he was freezing. >> i touched my baby's face and he was just freezing.