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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  February 22, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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she is working on it. they passed it. they're figuring it out. they're asking the questions right now. we're following her and documenting her. she's amazing. it is a difficult thing to put together. >> absolutely. you guys can all listen to their podcast. it is called "the big payback". that is tonight's "reidout." >> tonight on "all in," the big lie is alive and well. >> joe biden is the president. they follow the state laws and tonight trump in exile, it is in full swing. plus the man and the attorney general on investigating the capitol insurrection.
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>> i'd like to make sure that you are willing to look upstream from the actual occupants that stormed the capitol. >> and the aftermath in texas. ted cruz is not the only texas leader to flee the state during an disaster. as the nation mourns a half million victims, the coronavirus pandemic, new signs could be turning a corner and "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. the republican party is central to the identity of this faction. every day that passes the leaders of the rep party not only refuse to condemn the big lie that donald trump really won re-election but actively continued to push the narrative. that big lie gets further cemented as a corner stone of the republican party of american
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conservatism. in the runup to the election, there is a focus on donald trump as the person orchestrating all of it. and that is undeniably true. but, a majority republican members of congress affirm their support for that lie, voting not to certify joe biden's election even after the trump fueled the attack on the capitol. donald trump is off twitter and down in florida. the associated press found that in three softball interviews on fox news channel, trump repeated his false claim the election was stolen from him ten times, each instance unprompted and unchallenged. new polling those the republican party is still with disgraced ex-president. according to a new poll from suffolk university, 73% of trump voters say biden wasn't legitimately elected. there was maybe a brief window following the attack on the
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capitol that deadly insurrection against peaceful transfer of power when every republican had a chance to turn things around. right? refute the big lie. that window passed. they're not just apologizing for it, they are embracing it. it is now cannon. take the number two republican in the house. yesterday refusing to say the very obvious fact that joe biden was the legitimate election winner. >> clear this up for me. joe biden won the election. the election was not stolen, correct? >> look, joe biden is the president. there were a few states that did not follow their state laws. that's really the dispute that you see continue on. look, if you're joe biden, you probably want to keep talking about impeachment. >> congressman, i know joe biden is the president. he lives at the white house. i asked you, is he the legitimate president of the united states and do you concede that this election was not
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stolen? very simple question. please answer. >> once the electors are counted, yes, he's the president. but if there are states that didn't follow their own state legislatively set laws, that's the issue at heart that millions of people still are not happy with. and don't want to see happen again. >> you hear that logic? millions of people. we told people there were voter fraud. that is all nonsense. that was a lie, right? so now a lot of people think there was voter fraud or that states didn't follow their own election laws, thereby invalidating the result. so now we have to make sure it doesn't happen again. we have to make it harder to vote. we have to reign them in. even today, a question that garland brushed aside. >> do you believe efforts to purge voter roles of individuals who have either died or have left the state in question or to
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require voter identification are racially discriminatory and an assault on voting rights? >> this is one i can't answer yes or no. you're asking about a motivations of individuals. some of whom may have discriminatory purpose. >> yeah. is it wrong to keep them off the voting roles? yeah, it depends on why you're doing it. in the aftermath of donald trump's loss, he's a loser, he is a one term president. it happens when you get turfed out by people that don't like you. they have a choice in the aftermath of that. you can try to change your message so that you win elections, change your message, policies, try to appeal to become a 55% coalition. that's one option. or do whatever possible to deconstruct american democracy such that they can rule from
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behind a barricade of 45% of the population. they have chosen the latter. they're doing it every day in front of our faces. look at the way the big lie is playing out across the country. today we learn the supreme court will not take up republicans challenge the election results in pennsylvania which is good. but three republican appointed supreme court justices advertise their willingness to go in and override state election law in the future if that's what it takes. we have state legislatures diligently working hard to make voting harder when controlled by republicans. according to the center for justice, 33 states introduced prefiled or carried over 165 restrictive bills this year compared to 35 bills in 15 states on february 3rd, 2020. that is more than three new bills to make it harder to vote for every day this year. despite georgia's republican secretary of state saying donald trump's voter proud claims were just plain wrong, republicans in that state, in the legislature, have introduced a sweeping elections bill to limit early
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and absentee voting. as npr points out, many of the changes in the bill will effect larger minority heavy strong holds of the states, constituents that allowed bide tone defeat donald trump in the state last november than boosted democratic senators in georgia's january runoff elections. rather than appeal to the georgia voters who booted them from power in two subsequent elections next to each other which they can do, they're trying to do everything they can to make sure those people can't vote again. this is the source of donald trump's power over the republican party, conservative moment. it's no the that he has a special talent, per se. he just continues to most authentically channel the anti-democratic paranoia of the base. he'll be making the bid saturday when he plans to send the message he is the 2024 nominee
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which, again, fine. but if trump disappeared tomorrow or in the wake of the supreme court decision that his firm has to hand the tax return data from the prosecutor if he were to be locked up, the big lie and resulting republican push to disenfranchise millions will not go away. we've been following the big lie and the fallout. president and director of council at the naacp legal defense fund and she joins me now. i thought that the scalise interview was really, really telling about the work that this is now doing. it wasn't oh, crazy donald trump. he's gone now. no. it's still there. and it's doing some important work for conservatives in the republican party. >> yeah. chris, actually this is one of the most dangerous periods that we're in. and i honestly believe that if we don't get to work addressing -- and thinking differently about how you
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protect a democracy, you know, in all of the various ways we can, i have spoken out about the legal profession. i believe it's true for media and journalism. the idea of allowing these lies and the kind of trumpist way of speaking to cascade into what becomes normal is really dangerous. it moves the line so that the outrages no longer depend on the presence of mr. trump. >> you're seeing in georgia, for instance, you got this pointing to people's paranoia. i keep seeing republicans do this right? so a lot of them i think learned whether they watch other people get sued or just too embarrassing to go down the full, like, the ghost of hugo chavez, broke into the machines
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and wired it for joe biden, that is too much. but now it's well a lot of people believe it. because you told them that. but they're using that now as the predicate. >> the failure to squash that lie despite countless reports demonstrating there is no existence of widespread voter fraud left it lying around like a loaded weapon to borrow from matzu for the modern it rags of the republican party and for trump to use. and that's why it's so important today. we saw the hearings with, you know, judge garland who is the nominee to be attorney general. turning the page is really about refreshing a look at the rule of law. and what it really means. and part of the rule of law is restoring the department of justice to its role in protecting civil rights. things like voter -- voter
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suppression. since 2013 when the supreme court issued the shelby county versus holder case, the department of justice has had to fight a rear guard action and then after trump came in fight no action whatsoever, and so part of the reset we have to do of this big lie is reminding ourselves of how we got here, having accountability for how we got here and starting afresh. with a new way of embracing our obligations to uphold democracy. >> it is also striking to me. it's not like republicans, you know, this was a very strange election in many ways. and in some ways, it was an experiment, right? lots of different policies being instituted precisely so as to make it easier to vote. i should note, many of those policies happening in states that donald trump won, like north carolina and texas. there is no actual principle difference. it's just that trump won those. they don't object to those. but it is also the case like we have record turningout and it's not like republicans got trounced everywhere.
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they did perfectly find in lots of races. it was a close election. it is a closely divided country. the idea you look at this turnout and say we can never win again if it we keep letting people turn out. it's like that's crazy. >> it's almost like it is too hard to play by the rules and too hard to appeal to voters. what they discovered with the aid of social media is that actually it's easier to lie. it's easier to tend. i watched today's confirmation hearing and, you know, i watched republican senators kind of switch it up. you know, it was almost as though it was 2015 again. it is like the last four years didn't happen. and so that's what they do. it's actually easier to lie. and any, you know, 7-year-old kid knows that. it's not easier on your spirit, soul, your integrity. you know, the rule of law.
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but to win in the short term, sure. sure you can just lie. and what is really appalling is that we're watching across the board an era in which there are scores and scores and hundreds and hundreds of leaders who have no honor. >> there is also the central fact here and one that he can rured in american history. it is radicalizing against democracy. it is a faction increasingly divorced from the basic reality of the election and militant in the belief that those other people don't deserve to rule. even if there is more of them. and that's just -- to me that is a central story of american politics and as dangerous as it gets. >> what happened is that national politics now mirrors what has often been true in the south, right? >> today they talked about the department of justice vk been rekreeted during reconstruction to fulfill the guarantees of the
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13th, 14th and 15th amendments which is to ensure that black people are full citizens. and free throw tekt the right to vote. once again, southern white supremacists did not want to accept the outcome of the civil war. the outcome of the process that produced the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments and the reality of the fact that in many jurisdictions the population outnumbered the white populations. so they embarked on this wage of, you know, this violence and effort to suppress black citizenship. we saw this again in the years before the civil rights movement really began. we saw white supremacists after brown refuse to accept the supreme court's decision. and instead embark on massive resistance. this is what white supremacists have done in this country for the entire history of this country. is when the law does not work in their favor, refuse to accept the rule of law, refuse to accept the outcome of elections and if necessary, default to violence to stay in power.
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there is about power and law. >> i always admire your work and your insights i cherish, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you, chris. i want to bring in our senior reporter of "mother jones." this is, to me, georgia is the canary in the coal mine here. it has been for a long time on this specific issue. you have a republican party that just got their butts kicked. this is the place where the choice is, okay, do we go back and think like how do we appeal to georgians more? or maybe we can pair off the margins with new voting roles. what are they doing? >> you're right, chris. georgia is really ground zero for voter suppression. the demographics of the state are changing. black voters in particular turned out record numbers.
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the state flipped blue. and the response by georgia republicans is to try to roll back all of the voting methods that led to that record turnout. to get rid of automatic registration. to eliminate voting on sundays when black churches hold souls to the polls voter mobilization drives. georgia republicans wrote every aspect of the voting laws. as soon as it didn't work any longer, now they want to change the entire system. >> that's a great point, too. and part of it doesn't cut as neatly as i think some people might think it does. souls to the polls is a very clear target. but at this point i thought there was a plausible argument here. there is no reason to think that democrats benefit from saying male absentee voting, does have down side to the system. they can trade it for something they care about. which, of course, that is not the case. but republicans seem to have very clear images of like who
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this helps and who it hurts. and given the coalitions in flux, it's not even clear to me they understand their own best interest here. >> there is a lot of collateral damage. so many republicans in george jrnlg use automatic registration. so many republicans in georgia used early voting. democrats outnumbered republicans in early voting for the first time. that means that republicans used early voting in every single election in georgia before january 5th. before november, republicans were the ones who voted by mail in georgia in larger numbers. they exempted voter i.d. from the ballots. they thought they were going to vote by mail in larger numbers. so everything they're talking about now is a direct response to the fact that democrats won in november and won in january and instead of trying to reach out to new constituency, they're
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trying to suppress the new swint constituencies from voting in the future. >> there were hearings about this the other day where a lot of them even to a certain extent, right, to his credit sort of stood up against the big lie, there has been a lot of this yada, yada, yada, where a lot of people think there say lot of fraud. the so we have to do something even though there was no fraud, they're still using the false beliefs by people that are the subject of propaganda as a pret kit to making changes to the law. >> yeah. it's amazing to watch, chris. he's completely onboard with the party's voter suppression crusade. that's why i believe so few republicans denounce the big lie or even those that did denounce it still found it useful and in a sense they knew they could use this in the future. they knew donald trump didn't win the state of georgia. but they knew if they created enough doubt, if they manufactured enough of a crisis,
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they kinlt deuce allst laws in response to that crisis that would fit their political goals. so even though they stood up against trump, they are now using trump's lies or the perception of trump's lies as the basis to make it much more difficult to vote in the state. >> and there is a pattern here bigger than georgia than you have shown in the reporting which is that republican parties in closely divided states sometimes get -- are the most radical. they're the ones that are most militant about this. the stakes are so high. and a few, you know, 10,000 votes in either direction means the difference in power. they can be the ones that are the most extreme in the avenues they pursue to try to curtail the franchise. >> that's why we're seeing some of the craziest voter suppression bills introduced in states like georgia and arizona. they know if they can change 15,000 votes, that's enough to make a difference. they're talking about get being rid of automatic registration
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and no excuse absentee voting that millions of voters used in the last election. we're not talking about small changes around the margins. we're talking about changing the entire voting systems in the states. changing policies that tons and tons of people use. so they believe if they're ever to shave off just 20,000 votes, that's enough to try to keep the state red or prevent it from becoming bluer. >> you're doing the best reporting on this. follow his work. thank you. >> thanks so much, chris. all right. so senator ted cruz had quite a week, right? we all followed his travels. he's back from cancun. maybe he learned a valuable lesson? i mean i don't want to get too excited. anyone, of course k. go hand out bottle of water and tweet pictures for everyone to see. it is a nice texas mask. but did he also just completely reverse his long held conservative beliefs and come out for more regulation? could that be true? the ideological ted cruz. e ideological ted cruz
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as texas continues to recover from that historic winter storm and subsequent energy disaster, the bills are coming due. literally. in texas has the nation's most deregulated energy market by design and customers in the state could sign up for plans with very highly variable costs, costs that can shift dramatically depending on available supply. when that supply sh rank way down amid the winter storm,
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right, some households that kept power were with electrical bills as high as $10,000 or more. seriously. one man nearly emptied his savings account so that he would be able to pay a more than $16,000 bill. telling "the new york times" my savings is gone. there is nothing i can do about it but it broke me. now some are celebrating the president of one drilling company said that his prices spiked that "obviously this week is like hitting the jackpot." meanwhile, many of the politicians who supported the deregulation are now rushing to condemn the effects of it. for instance, our old friend senator ted cruz who was feverishly doing damage control saying the high bills are wrong. state and federal regulators should work swiftly. but not long ago, he is holding up texas energy markets as a model that should be exported to the rest of the nation. this is cruz two years ago, "success of texas energy is no
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accident. built over many years of principles of preenterprise and more regulation with more jobs and opportunities as a constant goal. we work to export this to more and more states so all americans enjoy the same prosperity." the power market's editor at bloomberg news. can you find a story how ordinary texans are paying for decades for the failures that caused this on going catastrophe. great to you have. when i first saw the news about the $10,000 bill which was a screen shot, i thought it was a too good -- that can't be true viral like someone photo shopped it. when "the new york times" push alert came out, oh, my god, they're going to really try to charge people tens of thousands of dollars. how is this possible? >> i mean, you explained it pretty well in your introduction. one of the options that customers in texas have is to choose to pay wholesale electricity prices which are extremely volatile. most of the time it's fine
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because texas has so much wind and gas power that prices stay relatively low. but as we saw last week, the prices can absolutely skyrocket and can actually bankrupt people. so anyone exposed to those prices last week are facing extremely high bills. the wholesale power market has a very high price cap of $9,000. i'm not sure if everyone who subscribed to the plans were aware of the risks that they faced. i will say that one of the main retailers who has been behind these bills, griddy, made pint of saying that they're not the ones necessarily charging the customers. they're making a very small amount of fees. they're just essentially passing their -- passing the costs from the market to the customers. but i think it's also worth noting that they're not the only kinds of customer that's are going to end up paying high electricity bills. even traditional utility customers are going to end up paying for this event in the same way that californians pay for the enron crisis for 20
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years. and that's because utilities that had to pay for gas and electricity at high prices last week are going to find a way to pass those costs on to their customers even if that means spreading it out over utility bills over the next two decades. >> that's interesting. so your point is even if -- so there is the example of the folks that signed up for this wholesale power, again, a little of a texas quirk can you even do that. there is very high cap on that. so that we're seeing the viral $10,000 bill. but your point is like these companies, the generators and utilities, they pay out of their eyeballs to get power. the they're going to just defray that cost to texans for years. >> that's probably what's going to happen. we'll have to see how it plays out over the next few months. there is reporting today, the federal regulator of energy has opened up two probes. one into potential market manipulation and the other into
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climate change risk and reliability. i wonder how much you think as someone that covered this space this event is a real like inflection point not just for texas but for everyone. >> it's hard to say how much at this point how much is going to change in texas. >> texas likes to do their own thing. the federal government has very limited jurisdiction over texas' power markets. they can pretty much to some extent regulate reliability but they can't regulate the prices the way that things are structured right now. so there is very little that the federal government can do here if they find manipulation, they can go after parties that manipulated energy prices during the crisis. but that's not something we'll know about for months or even longer. >> ted cruz was not alone in losing the state. ken paxton and his wife went to utah during the texas freeze. this seemed to be a little bit of a theme among texas
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republicans. katherine who has been leading a team doing great reporting on this, thank you so much for being with us tonight. all right. you heard us talk about the committee hearing. the enormous challenge facing chairman garland leading the investigations into the january 6th attack. no matter where they go and one senator wants to know how far up he is willing to look. willing t.
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ignore proper ventilation or rates of community spread, and the virus worsens. fail to provide masks or class sizes that allow for social distancing, and classrooms close back down. a successful reopening requires real safety and accountability measures. including prioritizing vaccines for educators. parents and educators agree: reopen schools. putting safety first. as the fbi continues to track down rioters who took part in the capitol siege on january 6th, we're getting a better idea of what people and groups were involved. "miami herald" reports that on friday a former florida police officer who quit back in august was arrested and charged after live streaming the invasion. he was not the only former police officer there. in fact, according to criminal complaint that revealed the stunning conspiracy charges against nine members of the oath keepers, the fbi noted one member's application paperwork
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boasted about 13 years of experience in law enforcement in north carolina serving as a canine officer and s.w.a.t. team member before moving to private security. another member of the same group is jessica watkins, right side of your screen here by the fbi inside of the capitol. according to her attorney, she was there to provide security to the speakers at the president's rally and escort for the legislators in others to march to the capital as directed by then president. she was given a vip pass to the rally. she met with secret service agents. now the secret service denies it employed any private citizen to provide security. this woman's attorney draws a line from the president's rally to the very group the justice department allege dz knowingly combine, conspiracy, confederate and agree to corruptly obstruct, influence and impede congress's certification of the electoral college vote. the same group of which another member conversing on facebook about whether or not to bring firearms that day said okay,
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we're not either. we have a heavy quick response force ten minutes out though. more arrests were made, we're learning how much of an influence militias had on the attack at the capitol. today at the very scene of that 5:00 tashgs there is a hearing for the man who if confirmed will lead the justice department. and with this massive task involving hundreds of investigations that have just begun, he was asked about just how far the doj would be willing to look. >> with respect to january 6th, i'd like to make sure that you are willing to look upstream from the actual occupants that stormed the building in the same way from a drug case, you would look upstream from the drug dealers to find the kingpins and that you will not rule out investigation of funders,
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organizers, ringleaders or aiders and abetters that are not present in the capitol on january 6th. >> so how did he answer the question about how far upstream he's willing to look? find out and talk to senator whitehouse himself right after this. senator whitehouse himself right after this carl shopped for the lowest mortgage rate and chose amerisave, a choice he'll never regret... ...unlike the choice to hitch hike. ahhh! which ruined his hand modeling career... it's over. don't worry, carl. things are looking up. visit now. lower mortgage rates mean higher savings.
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or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. be there for you, and them. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible. there is nothing republicans that can do to stop garland getting his hearing today. confirmation to be the next attorney general, the capitol hill insurrection was a big topic. >> with respect to january 6th, i'd like to make sure that you're willing to look upstream from the actual occupants who assaulted the building in the sam way that in a drug case you would look upstream from the street dealers to try to find the kingpins. and that you will not rule out
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investigation of funders, organizers, ringleaders, or aiders and abetters who are not present in the capitol on january 6th. >> fair question and your law enforcement experience is the same as mine. investigations, you know, i began as a line assistant attorney general and supervisor. we begun with the people on the ground and we work our way up to those who are involved and further involved. and we will pursue these leads wherever they take us. >> democratic senator asking that very important question. sheldon whitehouse on the judiciary committee and he joins me now. senator, it strikes me that in some ways that's one of the most fraught issues the new attorney general will face among a lot of fraught issues. which is how to conceive of and prosecute and investigate the capitol hill riots and insur aection and the connections to more mainstream political actors
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and republican party. >> the good news is this is a guy who really knows what he's doing. and he has handled massive investigations before when he did the oklahoma city bombing. and it's not all that complicated from a point of view to understand how you take a street level case and flip people and work the, you know, money trail to work your way up and get the people who are at the center of the enterprise or behind the criminal activity. so it's fraught in the sense that there will be some complaining and, you know, convincing about whether he did enough or too much. but you're not dealing with having to invebt something new. this is very well ready to ground by a the lo of federal prosecutors and you know garland really knows his stuff. >> there were a lot of questions today from republicans about politicizing the justice
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department which i know you're laughing because, i know. there is a weird time warp where a lot of talk about how rogue the doj had gone in 2013-2014 with a memory wipe of the last four years. what did you make of that? >> well, i think there's tactic that the republicans use that whenever we say something and they get kind of caught doing something, they try to create something like it in democratic land so it because offsetting penalties. so they try to make the department of justice of eric holder look like the bush department of justice or worse yet the trump department of justice. i can promise you never have a federal judge file a brief in federal court written by another retired federal judge accusing the department of justice of the kind of mischief and malpractice that we saw in and around the
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flynn case. so it's political theatrics. there is not much behind it. but i guess you just have to smile to keep your morale up about that stuff. >> i thought that garland had an interesting answer to a question from cory booker about sort of bigotry and anti-semitism i want to play in case folks didn't see it. it also spoke to sort of how you can conceive of the mission. take a listen. >> this is a great moment. i come from a family where my grandparents fled anti-semitism and persecution. the country took us in. and -- protected us. and i feel that obligation to the country to pay back and this is the highest best use of my
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own set of skills to pay back. >> i found that a profoundly moving moment. was it in the room? >> it sure was. the country that took us in, that protected us when we were fleeing from anti-semitism, that's a hell of a story. that's the american story right. there the fact that it rose up in this fairly old guy with that kind of emotion at that particular moment, you may have your doubts about, you know, how much fight or energy he'll bring to the job. but, boy, you can't doubt the heart that he'll bring to the job. and if he keeps his head in that place where he remembers what kind of a country we are, we'll do very well with garland as attorney general. >> what struck me when he talked about reconstruction and the role that the department of justice played in protecting the rights of the newly franchised friedman post confederate south,
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there is two histories to this department, right? it has been on the side of righteous guarantor of people's rights and democracy and it's been j. edgar hoover's fbi, sending tapes to martin luther king jr. to kill himself and red scare. there is different dueling legacies in the department of justice. it really matters a lot how this administration is going to remake it. >> it does. it matters which legacy you attach yourself to emotionally and which legacy you choose to honor. and when you're also as able and experienced and calm, i mean, i don't know if you noticed it, but we had some pretty challenging questioners, a lot of whom want to be the republican nominee for president. and they couldn't lay a punch on him. he didn't have any tricks. he didn't have any quarrels. he didn't have any gimmicks. he just was a dead honest
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principled guy. and that was enough to make them just miss every punch. >> i'll say, he is someone i know a fair amount of people that worked with or clerked for or been around and his temperment, his judgement is universally praised. hard to find someone that has a cross word about him. thank you for making time for us tonight. >> thank you for having me on. >> all right. still to come, president biden doing something his predecessor did not. tonight honoring the more than 500,000 lives lost. here's the thing. if this dark moment could be the case that the darkest days of the pandemic are actually behind us, the road ahead next. y behind us, the road ahead next. ompany who invented car vending machines and buying a car 100% online. now we've created a brand-new way for you to sell your car. whether it's a year old or a few years old. we wanna buy your car. so go to carvana and enter your license plate answer a few questions. and our techno wizardry calculates your car's value and gives you a real offer in seconds. when you're ready, we'll come to you,
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- i'm norm. - i'm szasz. [norm] and we live in columbia, missouri. we do consulting, but we also write. [szasz] we take care of ourselves constantly; it's important. we walk three to five times a week, a couple miles at a time. - we've both been taking prevagen for a little more than 11 years now. after about 30 days of taking it, we noticed clarity that we didn't notice before. - it's still helping me. i still notice a difference. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. (naj) at fisher investments, we do things differently and other money managers don't understand why. (money manager) because our way works great for us! (naj) but not for your clients. that's why we're a fiduciary, obligated to put clients first. (money manager) so, what do you provide? cookie cutter portfolios? (naj) nope, we tailor portfolios to our client's needs. (money manager) but you do sell investments that earn you high commissions, right? (naj) we don't have those. (money manager) so what's in it for you?
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(naj) our fees are structured so we do better whou do better. at fisher investments we're clearly different. covid's still a threat. and on reopening schools, we know what happens when we don't put safety first. ignore proper ventilation or rates of community spread, and the virus worsens. fail to provide masks or class sizes that allow for social distancing, and classrooms close back down. a successful reopening requires real safety and accountability measures.
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including prioritizing vaccines for educators. parents and educators agree: reopen schools. putting safety first. 500,071 dead. that's more americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in world war i,
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world war ii, and the vietnam war, combined. that's more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on earth. >> a few hours ago, president joe biden acknowledged a number that many of us could not fathom. more than 500,000 people in this country have died from the coronavirus. it's a number so large and indecipherable that it resists context. it is quite simply too much. you can't give comparisons. you can try to, but it's too much for us to understand collectively. and it is too much to bear for those millions and millions who have lost one person, one person they loved and cherished. the president and the first lady along with vice president kamala harris and the second gentleman commemorated the lives lost at
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the white house. the bells of the national cathedral rang 500 times to commemorate those we've lost. [ bell ringing ] we'll be living with the aftermath of this for a very, very long time. as shocking and horrible as it is to think about what it means to lose a half million people, there's also this truth, here in this dark pandemic winter. this is the very first time in the course of this pandemic, in the last year, that it seems possible that we actually are turning a corner, that the worst might be behind us, and things may not get worse before they actually get better and keep
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getting better. to help get a better sense of where we are now, i think i'm joined by an epidemiologist, senior director of system-wide special pathogens for new york city's public health system who has been dealing with this on a day-to-day biases for an entire year. first, doctor, let's just talk about the commemoration today. i've been working on a piece of writing about this, about how we think about this loss. and it is just -- it is notable to me how little collective public mourning there has been, partly because we're in the midst of it. how important do you think it is, this memorialization? >> absolutely important. it's important to understand the number of lives that we've lost, the number of people that have been affected by this pandemic. we speak of today as a milestone. it's the population of atlanta. it's a significant number. as president joe biden
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mentioned, in order for us to move forward, we need to heal. and we need to make sure that we humanize these numbers, that's so important. for me and my colleagues and so many health care workers that have been battling this pandemic, from a public health standpoint, we face so many different challenges, the carnage we've seen in the path year is just unfathomable. but we're meeting this milestone with hope, that we're seeing declines in hospitalizations, and that trend is certainly very, very positive. >> so i did a monologue last week where i sort of made the case for optimism, right? here's all the data you could accrue to make the case for optimism. we don't even the future, there's best case and worst case scenarios. you responded with a kind of "i agree with this," a bunch of other epidemiologists do as well, others think it's too rosy. as someone who was there the first day in the new york city
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public health system, dealing with the worst outbreak in the world at this time a year ago in new york city, where are you at in terms of whether you think there's light just ahead? >> there is absolutely light at the end of the tunnel. i certainly am cautiously optimistic. i'm hopeful, looking at the trends. this is not an artificiality in terms of the number of hospitalizations and deaths on the decline. you're seeing a significant and steady decline. in this current period that we're in, in this pandemic, we have a huge weapon, which are vaccines, very, very effective and safe vaccines. that certainly can turn the corner, that can really end the pandemic as we know it. it's just making sure that we, as you're hearing about the race against the variants and the cases and increasing the vaccination, that's very, very important. >> i want to ask you about messaging. in public health, messaging is policy. and i understand there's a kind of prudential caution, dr. fauci talking about the possibility
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we'll still be wearing masks in 2022, and a real hesitancy to tell people, look, if you've got grandparents who have been vaccinated, and it's been a few weeks, bring them into the house, let them hug the kids. i get that. it also seems to me that sending the message that there is something different and better on the other side of the vaccine, seems pretty crucial in the messaging here. the message that hey, nothing's really going to change after the vaccine seems a little self-defeating. >> i agree, we have been more covid optimism, especially after the vaccines. we need to paint the picture for the public that better days are ahead. if two individuals are vaccinated, they can certainly resume the pre-covid life, meeting indoors, going without masks, things like that. i hope we'll have guidance coming out very soon about the policy change, what people can do once they're vaccinated. i get messages from family and friends all the time, i'm
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vaccinated, i have a son who is vaccinated, can we meet each other, can we do things indoors. we want to see this from a public health standpoint, have that guidance come out. it's like playing catch-up right now. >> what's on the other side this second shot, what's on the other side of this winter. meeting a friend for dinner indoors might be the thing that's on the other side of this. and that i think is a really powerful inducement for folks. again, it has to be consistent with what the data shows us, it's early, but i agree with you about how important that is. doctor, thank you as always for making time tonight, i appreciate it. >> thank you. it has of course been almost one year that we've been living with this pandemic, our lives have all changed in ways we couldn't have expected. we're marking the anniversary in the weeks to come, we would like to hear from you. tell us a short story in video
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of what your life was like under covid, your job, your hobbies, what you cooked, what you learned, big changes and small. send it to us at we're working hard to commemorate this in an appropriate way. that's "all in" on this monday night. rachel maddow starts now. just after 6:00 p.m. eastern time, president biden and the first lady and the vice president and her husband led a long just devastatingly sad moment of silence from the south portico of the white house to honor the half million americans who have now died from covid-19. it has only been a year, and already we have lost this year more than all the americans we lost on the battlefield in world
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