tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC February 23, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PST
i need indeed. indeed you do. the moment you sponsor a job on indeed you get a short list of quality candidates from our resume database. claim your seventy five dollar credit, when you post your first job at indeed.com/home. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle live at msnbc headquarters in new york city. it is tuesday, february 23rd and today there are three big hearings happening on capitol hill. any one of them could be our top story but we start with the biggest one. in just one hour from now the senate will hold its first hearing on the january 6th insurrection. a joint hearing featuring testimony from several officials who were in charge that day but who quit after the riots. the focus, not just figure out how people were able to get inside the capitol on the 6th but making sure nothing like that ever happens again. and that is not all. we've got the house moving quickly to get covid relief to a
full vote by the end of the week and starting in just a few minutes from now we will see multiple hearings for biden cabinet nominees who may or may not make it through official confirmation. i want to start with garrett haake on capitol hill. garrett, it has been a month since joe biden was inaugurated. we're a little behind schedule with getting these cabinet members confirmed. is biden going to get all his people through? >> reporter: we probably won't get all of them but they're going to make some progress today. we'll have two votes on the floor for two biden nominees, including his agriculture secretary to join the administration today and those two confirmation hearings you mentioned for two of the people who may face a tougher road but who are still likely to get confirmed if democrats stick together. xavier becerra, the nominee for hhs secretary faces credit kichl from republicans that he lacks the necessary health experience, and dib holland, faces criticism for the biden administration's environmental policy, essentially. she will be an avatar for
republicans angry about things -- about energy production in the biden administration's energy policy. both of those confirmation hearings very interesting to watch today but again, if democrats stick together on them they will have the votes to move them forward. >> you've got to give us a preview on this joint hearing on the capitol riot. i mean, it's extraordinary, even in the last few days we're hearing more and more people distance themselves as though this thing didn't happen and it obviously did. those people in the hearing, they know it, they were there. >> oh, it happened. i was there too. and three out of the four people who were testifying today were there and then lost their jobs immediately afterwards. we're going to hear from the former sergeants at arms of both chambers, the former capitol police chief and the current mpd, d.c. local police chief all testifying together today on what led up to january 6th. what intelligence hay thad, how they prepared for that day and then the actions that were taken during that day, who said what
when, who called for the national guard, why was it delayed, a lot of the issues central to the impeachment trial, central to the securing of the capitol going forward are going to get laid out in front of a joint hearing, so a much larger than usual panel of senators eager to question these mostly former officials who have not, frankly, been very accessible to the public or even to the lawmakers who oversee those security agencies here on capitol hill. >> garrett, thank you. i want to dig deeper into this and bring in ohio democratic congressman tim ryan. he chairs the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the capitol police. his committee will hold its own hearing later on this week. congressman, the big question, what went wrong? right now what's your best answer to that? >> well, you never really know until you get somebody under oath and you get the actual facts. up to this point it's been leaked in the press and all of that. we're going to get some facts today and this week, but my hunch is that the intelligence that they were getting, they weren't able to synthesize it.
it was streams of intelligence nobody put together. you and i know, we saw it on social media, threats of violence, january 6th was a big deal, the rally beforehand, this was the last chance for them to overturn the election. all of that needed to be added up, synthesized, with the different various groups of what they could potentially do if they were all there together and i think they just took the data points but they never synthesized them in a way that would have led them to be more prepared for what happened. >> i've heard you say before that some of the people were involved were worried about the opt ticks, if they declared this an emergency. the optics, when you look at this, i don't know what else you would call it but an emergency. what can you tell us about that? >> well, you know, it's a political -- these are political jobs, and everybody wants to cover their rear end and so from what i'm understanding, and
again we'll hear more about this today when people are under oath, but there was a concern of saying -- the capitol police board saying that there was an emergency order, having more national guard there, having a fence, those things, the optics, as we like to say in politics, were not good, and the ultimate reality is, what are the optics of what you're showing on your screen right now? those optics are so much worse than us being overly prepared for protecting that natural constitutional process that needed to happen. it was a big screw-up. >> i'd certainly call that an emergency. there were reports early on about lawmakers, possibly giving tours to the insurrectionists before january 6th. i don't mean friendly tours, i mean road maps to show them exactly whose office was there. any word on where that investigation stands? >> very, very concerned about that, stephanie. we've got multiple reports from
other members of congress, as you may remember, saying that members of congress were giving these tours, this has all been handed over to the u.s. attorney's office, and they are looking into it. they're reviewing film. they're going through this whole process, and all i can say is, they are very, very seriously and methodically looking through those tours that happened before january 6th. >> given what happened on the 6th, given the ongoing domestic terror threat, do you think we're ever going to get back to a place where people working inside, like you, are safe, but people like me, and my kids class trips can come for tours of the capitol? >> i think we'll get there again. it's going to be a little bit of time, you know we live in a society where if the web page you're clicking on doesn't pop up fast enough, you get frustrated. so we're living in an environment where we want to wave a magic wand. this is going to take some time. the capitol police need rest. we need to harden the capitol. we need to protect members of
congress. and figure out what the perimeter's going to look like. how we can get fencing in and out, how we can have a rapidly deployed force to come to the capitol as quickly as needed, general honore is doing a phenomenal job putting this package together for us, we'll get back to normal, it will be a different normal but we want to make sure everybody has access to a free government, like they did on january 6th and they violated that very precious standard that we had here. but we're going to get back to that. if not, then they win. >> we're going to have multiple hearings in the senate and the house. after all that, do you believe we still need a 9/11 style investigation, a commission on this? >> yeah, i think so. i think so. we've got to move on with our work. we've got appropriations process, we've got covid-19, we've got the economy. i think setting up a group like the 9/11 commission could be very, very helpful because quite
frankly, steph, we could still miss a lot in our analysis of trying to get to the truth because there's so many other things on our plate right now so to have a designated commission of former members and experts that kind of go through this to make sure it never happens again i think that would be a smart move, very wise on our part to do that. >> congressman, you've got your work cut out for you. stay safe where you are and thanks for joining me this morning. >> thanks, steph. to texas, last week's winter storm caused so much misery it could months and months for people there to recover. even though the snow has melted more than 100,000 texans have no drinkable water, scores of homes are damaged or flooded and basics like food and gas are hard to come by. ellison barber is in texas where parts of the city remain under a boil water advisory. ellison, how are people getting by? what's going on there? >> reporter: stephanie, it's been a really hard past week or so and a lot of people don't
feel like it's getting easier at this point. a lot of the boil advisories in the city of austin were lifted yesterday evening but there are a lot of people having to boil water, or they don't have water because they had a pipe burst in their home. that's why distribution sites like this one are so critically important. the city of austin has at least ten different water distribution sites. cars have been lining up for days just to get a case of water. if you look over here, this distribution site is not even open yet. it doesn't open for another hour and already cars are here lined up waiting each family can only get one case of water but it is worth the wait for so many people here because this is the only option they have right now. one woman we spoke to told us she drove around for hours, at least an hour and a half one day going to some five, six different stores trying to find a bottle or a gallon of water because she doesn't have any of it at home. listen here. >> apparently we're still out of
water. it's been really rough, no running water, no lights. the lights just came on two days ago, i believe. no running water, no drinkable water. it has been really tough. no showers or anything. >> we still can't see the light at the end of the tunnel yet so we're still struggling but if everybody just keeps their faith and like i said just keep helping each other out then we should be able to see that light at the end of the tunnel real soon. >> reporter: the second person you heard from there, stephanie mckenzie, she told us her entire family is currently living with her. her daughter had a pipe burst in her home. and so like any good mother, any good grandmother, stephanie told them all to come over and stay with her. six people, six people are living together in a one bedroom apartment right now. she said boiling water is never easy but it is especially hard when you have to tell a thirsty child they need to wait. there are still so many unanswered questions here, why this happened, how to make sure it never happens again the
public could hopefully get some of those answers on thursday because that's when the texas legislature is expected to hold their first public hearing on the blackout and the winter storm. >> driving around for hours to get a bottle of water when we know gas is in short supply. sending our warm wishes and prayers to people down there in texas. ellison, stay safe where you are. up ahead this hour, a lot to cover, there are two key elements of biden's covid relief bill you need to understand. the changes to the small business, ppp program, and the potential impact of the expanded child tax credit. this as economists are predicting -- some economists, we should say, an economic boom, that's right boom, coming at the end of this year. plus, new frustrations over thousands of potential covid vaccine doses being thrown away. the new calls to the fda to change its position on one practice known as vaccine pooling. we're going to dive in.
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president biden's $1.9 trillion covid relief bill could pass the house by the end of this week after advancing out of the house budget committee yesterday and there is one provision in it that vulnerable families across this country are laser focused on, an expansion of the child tax credit which many experts say could cut child poverty rates in this country in half. meanwhile the president is focused right now on the relief that is already rolling out, announcing yesterday a new set of rules for the small business paycheck protection program. the goal, to make sure the businesses that actually need it most are the ones getting help. joining us now with the latest, nbc news peter alexander at the white house and aaron gilchrist in portsmouth, ohio. talk us through these new rules for the pp program, peter. what's really important, biden isn't asking for more money,
he's saying let's get it to the hands that need it. >> reporter: steph, you're exactly right, the ppp program was designed to incentivize those employers, instead of firing or furloughing employees. these changes in the biden administration, the president is now implementing, focusing on the smallest of small businesses. next two weeks, they're focusing on businesses with less than 20 employees. any businesses bigger than that need not apply for this period of time. they'll be allowed back in. this extends through march 31st. self-employed individuals like hairdressers or independent contractors, they can apply. owners who have defaulted on student loans would qualify as well and they're setting up a hotline as well as advocates available for these smallest of businesses. one of the real concerns that president biden has communicated in his criticism of the ppp to this point is some of these bigger small businesses,
businesses up to 500 people big, were able to sort of muscle out the mom and pop businesses to access these resources and they say that those who are particularly losing out in this equation were women, blacks and members of the minority communities as well. they're hoping to sort of try to direct more of this money to those individuals by this new strategy. steph? >> targeting the money. something both sides of the aisle could agree on. aaron, let's talk about this expanded child tax credit. you've been speaking to families in cleveland, ohio. it's got one of the highest poverty rates in the country. one of the issues many of our poorest families face, they're eligible to get the current child tax credit but they don't yet make enough money to file their taxes and get it. so they're not even getting access to the money already allocated to them. >> yeah, you're absolutely right, stephanie. that's one of the big problems this new proposal aims to solve. we're talking about an increase in the child tax credit, up to
3,000 or $3,600, it's $2,000, the cap right now and the idea is that depending on the age of the child you would get that money broken up into payments over the course of 12 months, and this plan would also remove the income floor. so right now there are families, as you said, that don't make enough money to qualify for the full amount of the tax credit or there are families who don't have any income and they don't qualify either. this new bill would remove that floor so even families that don't have income would get the full amount of this tax credit. now, there are 10.5 million children in this country living below the poverty line based on numbers the census bureau was able to gather before the pandemic started. families in cleveland over the last couple days, we've talked to, a mother of two little girls who goes to work every day, she says it just has been so hard for her to make ends meet, even though she has money coming in there just never seems to be enough. i want you to hear what she told me about the financial juggling
act she has to do. >> i have to work to be able to provide a living space for my children but i also have to work to have a safe space for my children while i'm working. it's just like -- there's no win. it will allow for more space to, like, breathe because in a situation now without it there's no -- there's no safety net. >> reporter: now there has been some pushback from republicans on this, stephanie, as you might expect but the experts don't think there's going to be a huge fight on this issue of providing money to poor children. stephanie? >> thank you, joining us now to discuss, austin goolsbee, former chairman of the economic advisers under president obama, and professor at the university of chicago booth school of business and jason furman, also a chair of economic advisers for president obama. two favorites of mine. jason, start with you first, you say investments in children aren't just a handout, they're a
hand up. how important is this expanded child tax credit? and especially if it were made permanent. >> stephanie, nothing i can say is going to be more important than what we just heard from that mother. and, you know, we have a crazy system now. if you're middle class you get a child tax credit. if you're poor you don't get a child tax credit. that doesn't make any sense at all. this plan would raise it for everyone. it would raise it for the middle class. it would raise it for the poor. and stephanie, the evidence is it doesn't just reduce poverty today. when you look at that same child 20, 30 years later they're more likely to be working, more likely to have a higher income, less likely to be in the criminal justice system, investing in children really works, not just today, but for mobility too. >> it's also cheaper when you think about how much all of those other things cost. i want to repeat that one more time. our current system, middle class americans get the child tax
credit, poor americans don't. that makes zero sense. austin, let's talk about the ppp, small business program. we've talked about this a lot over the last year. it's a really good idea. unfortunately the rules have been so broad that lots of small businesses that are currently doing very, very well have been able to scoop up the money. what do you think of the changes president biden's making? >> well, i like the changes. i mean, as we talked about the problem of the previous ppp small business program is that they piped the money through the banks. and so the banks pick their favorite customers and that's who got the money first and their favorite customers tend to be tom brady, the los angeles lakers, hedge funds, a bunch of companies that you would not necessarily come to your mind when you say we're trying to save small businesses. >> but they technically qualified. >> i like that they're expanding it and they're going to let people apply directly. >> jason, let's talk about post-covid. because over the last year we've all talked about this, k
recovery, rich have gotten richer, poor have gotten poorer. now you've got goldman sachs predicting huge growth, much greater than the rebound we saw in 2009. what's behind this optimism and do you agree with it? >> if we could pass something like the american recovery plan, absolutely, i agree with it. two things. one, i'm optimistic about our path on the virus. it's coming down now. vaccines are coming out. they're coming out faster. and two, we're pumping a huge amount of money into the economy, $900 billion in december, another $1.9 trillion proposed. and so you have two things for the economy, you need things to be open, which deals with the virus, and you need people to be able to afford to go into them and buy. we're seeing that too. i think this could be a very good year in the economy if we continue at it with the economic policy and the virus control. >> austin, do you agree, do you
think we'll see a big boom? >> i certainly hope so but, you know, this virus has been like the zombie from the grave and you think it's done and then the hand comes out and, you know, we're back on the scene. so if we don't have variants that start spreading wildly or are impervious to the vaccine then yeah i think we're going to get a boom and it's overdue and we need it. >> let's talk about where, jason, the midwest has largely avoided the covid downturn, unemployment in a number of midwest cities is a lot lower than places like boston or san francisco. how do you see this playing out as part of the recovery? >> yeah, i see this as, you know, people returning at least to where they were in 2019. i think we can do even better than where we were in 2019 with a lot of support. now, the industries that were most affected by this are actually spread out across the country. there's a restaurant in every town in america. there's a hospital in every town
in america. for some places travel has been disproportionately hit. that may take a little bit longer to come back. i don't know when people's full comfort level with travel will return but i'm sure, unless the zombie that austan warned us comes back, that too will return. >> austan, what do you think? >> it's great out here. we need to clear the snow out and then everybody should come visit. look, the fact is, we're going to go back to -- this is a weird business cycle, it was led in the service sector, health care, travel and tourism, a bunch of things which are normally recession proof, so as we get back to something like normal, it's going to look like a different recovery than a normal business cycle does. >> do either one of you want to answer the phone? do they realize you're on television right now? >> he's trying to undermine me, this is not the first time this has happened. >> feel free to answer.
>> it's a telemarketer. i don't know who has that number. >> jason, austan, always good to see you, tell your friends and family, you're on tv today. covid vaccine makers will be testifying before the house how to make more shots, how to make them available. there are now concerns about how much vaccine is being thrown away. why can't everything in those vials be used? we're going to explain vaccine pooling next.
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♪♪ the day will come when the memory of the loved one you lost will bring a smile to your lips before a tear to your eye. we will get through this, i promise you. but my heart aches for those of you who are going through it right now. >> right now the flags are flying at the white house at half staff. and they will be for the next five days as we remember the half a million american lives lost to covid-19. president biden and vice president harris held a candle lit vigil last night to mourn those lives but we are getting closer to better days ahead. moments from now the five covid vaccine makers will testify
before a house panel about how to make their shots more available. many issues that led to a slow rollout will soon be gone. i'm bringing in dr. ashish jha, i'm hoping these hearings start with every person there thanking these manufacturers for working so quickly. we know science won out here. what do you want to hear from them? >> yeah, good morning and thank you, and i completely agree. science did win out here. this was a joint effort of the nih, the american people and the manufacturers who've done a fabulous job. i want to hear from them what their plans are for increasing their manufacturing capacity, how they plan to make sure that the vaccines are available, not just to people in the united states, but around the world. remember, it's a global pandemic and the pandemic will not really come to an end until we have a vast majority of the world vaccinated. so i want to hear both the u.s. plans and the global plans from
all of these manufacturers. >> the fda just said that vaccines for the new variants are going to have a quicker approval process. do you think we're going to get them before those variants spread widely? >> yeah, i don't know that we're going to need a lot of new updates. we may need some. the big one that people are thinking about is that variant from south africa where we may need an update. so far the vaccines look good. but the fda's guidance is exactly right. we don't need to go through large clinical trials again. we do this for all sorts of other products that the fda approves where minor modifications need to be tested for safety, and as long as they remain safe they can be administered and that's what i think should be done here with any updates on vaccines. >> i want to ask you about vaccine pooling and combining. as of now the fda said that extra doses cannot be combined if they're from different companies and right now we're throwing them out as a result. why aren't we just adjusting the rules so we can get this stuff?
>> yeah, look, we've had a long history of pooling medicines, other vaccines, this happens with the flu vaccine. so this is not some crazy new idea and i think what we're hearing from a lot of pharmacists is the ability to pool the same type. let's say you have two moderna vials open and a little bit left in both. if you can pool them you can get extra doses, i think it's a really good idea. i think the fda should do a quick evaluation, make sure they agree this is a safe thing to do. i suspect it will be. but we should not say, we should not let kind of standard operating procedures slow us down here. i do think this is something that should be evaluated for safety and as long as it's safe we should make pooling available widely. >> why haven't we done that? because we haven't done enough testing on it? >> yeah, you know, look the fda, one of the ways that it instills confidence in people about these vaccines is that it's very careful in this analysis. that's good. i love the fact they've been
really careful in analyzing these vaccines. but i think there are times when things are pretty reasonable and i'd like the fda to go ahead and evaluate this. if they don't think it's a safe thing to do we shouldn't do it. i suspect they will find that it is. >> i want to talk about some very positive news i heard come out of your mouth. you said that this summer is going to feel a lot more like the summer of 2019 than 2020. why are you so optimistic? >> yeah, i said that and i meant it. >> yes. >> i wasn't just making it up. so why. first of all a couple caveats to start with. it's not going to be totally back to 2019. i don't know about like large concerts, a bunch of large indoor gatherings. they still feel pretty risky to me but by the time we get into late spring, i think by may anybody who wants a vaccine can get one and by the time we're into july i think a vast majority of americans will have been vaccinated and at that point i think case numbers will be low, the weather will be
warm, so maybe not 100% back to 2019, but pretty close and certainly much closer than what this past summer was like. >> that would be absolutely fantastic. dr. jha, always good to see you, thank you for joining us and for you at home, there are some people out there who are still saying they have no idea when, where, how to get a vaccine. well, you're in luck. we are here to help. if you need vaccine information for your area, go to plan your vaccine.com or scan the qr code that's on your screen right now on the right-hand side. you will find an interactive state by state guide. you can sign up for alerts to tell you when you are eligible. coming up next, to georgia, where one year ago today ahmaud arbery was shot and killed while she was jogging. the candid conversation with his mother about all that is still unknown about her son's death and her hopes for what happens now. in addition to the substitute teaching.
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this morning we are learning more about two of the incidents that sparked last year's racial justice movement, an independent probe just accused police and paramedics of wrongdoing leading up to elijah mcclain's death in colorado. he was stopped in 2019 by police in aurora while they responded to a call about a suspicious person. he was then put in a choke hold and injected with ketamine before dying in police custody. the investigation found they used a dose for a man 50 pounds heavier, and the police had absolutely no justification to stop or detain him. the officers and paramedics involved have not been criminally charged and did not comment on these new findings. meanwhile, today marks one year since ahmaud arbery was shot and killed while he was jogging, according to his family. remember, he was pursued by two
white men with a third recording and they were not arrested until months later. they pleaded not guilty and they are awaiting trial. nbc's blayne alexander just spoke with ahmaud arbery's mother. what a conversation, what did you learn? >> reporter: stephanie, you're absolutely right, it really was a conversation, quite a moving conversation. you know, the past year really has been difficult for wanda cooper jones. while the world has been able to in large part move on or at least look past those protests over racial injustice that dominated last summer she doesn't have that luxury. she says she lives with it every single day and it's only become more difficult as time has passed. now here in georgia there have been some changes, lawmakers have made some changes in the wake of her son's death. and she told me that she says it is progress, but not enough. for wanda cooper jones each day since her son ahmaud arbery was killed the heart ache has only gotten worse. >> it's very painful, very
painful. >> reporter: it's been one year since arbery was out for a jog, his family says, confronted by two white neighbors, gregory and travis mcmichael. arbery was shot three times. the father and son along with a third man, william roddy brian who film the incident have been charged with murder. they wanted to question arbery about a recent string of break-ins and he was shot angle after he tried to wrestle the gun away. all three men have pleaded not guilty. cooper-jones says she is haunted by her son's final moments playing out on released body camera video released on the months after his death. >> it replays in my mind each and every day. >> reporter: but for many arbery's killing has laid bare a painful reminder of america's racial divide, the first in a trifecta of deaths that sparked a movement around racial injustice. how did you feel when you saw those protests?
>> it was a sense of hope, that i wasn't standing alone. >> reporter: the calls for change have brought some in georgia where a hate crime law is now on the books, passed in the wake of arbery's death. yet, one year later still no trial date. and while arbery's mother continues to push for justice for her son her eyes are fixed on perhaps an even bigger goal, finally overcoming america's racial divide. are you hopeful that this country can heal? >> of course, i mean, we're all better together. >> reporter: now a couple of things to point out. we did talk about that hate crimes law here in georgia. there's another push for change that's already under way that's currently under way, stephanie. georgia's governor, brian kemp, the republican governor, is actually pushing an overhaul of a law that's still on the books, dates back to the civil war era, it's a citizen's arrest law. now that law came under intense scrutiny after arbery's death because the initial prosecutor who's since recused himself said that their actions were
perfectly legal citing that citizen's arrest law. so a lot of people have been saying it's unfair. right now a number of lawmakers, led by governor kemp, are pushing to overhaul that in the wake of his death. stephanie. >> thank you. back to capitol hill, in a few minutes the senate will begin its first hearing on the january 6th attack on the capitol. that attack, of course, that left at least five people dead. just moments ago we got the opening statements from today's witnesses and a glimpse into how they will explain what went wrong that day. let's go back to garrett haake on the hill. what stands out to you from these opening statements? >> reporter: what stands out to me is there's significant finger pointing at this hearing who knew what when and what they did about it. you're looking at a statement here from the house sergeant at arms, essentially saying that criticism of his decision not to call out the national guard earlier, which, you know is going to be directed at him by the capitol police chief who says he didn't want to call out
the guard early because of optics. the house sergeant at arms denies this and places the blame on the army saying they did call for the national guard quickly and that it was the army who moved slowly to react. there are three former officials and one current official testing here and the three former initials we'll see a significant amount of blame casting for who knew what about the timeline here, the former capitol hill police chief will say they had a plan and will cast blame on the sergeant at arms the sergeant at arms it appears is casting blame further up the chain of command to the army which controls the national guard, the department of the army that controls the national guard here in d.c. this thing could get messy once it gets going. >> sounds that way, garrett haake, we'll be checking in with you throughout the day. that hearing will be beginning any moment from now. as we wait, we're going to look at one extremist group that has become the key focus of this investigation. we'll have that next. don't go anywhere.
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question, nearly seven weeks since the insurrection where does the investigation stand, and what are the groups that led the charge focused on now? joining me now to answer that, the man who knows best, our dark web expert here at nbc news ben collins. ben, you follow these ben, you follow these groups, these chats. since january 6th what are they focused on and what platform are they use sng. >> they're using all sorts of platforms. they've been kicked off of facebook, twitter, instagram, all the places that you would recruit normal people into those places. people like ali alexander who promoted the stop the steal moment and has taken credit for it he is on clubhouse trying to market himself as a marketing expert. the oath keepers and pride boys are primarily on lists like telegraph where they can sell bulletin style messages to their followers while still communicating with them in some way. they are trying to find a way to replicate a facebook model and
build a shadow internet that they can use to get through to new recruits. >> that doesn't feel like extremism is going away. these groups, how do they feel? what are their plans? how do they talk about what happened on january 6th? >> the good thing is they're sort of in this weird purgatory where they are both on the run from the feds, they are trying not to be too high profile, but they are trying to keep the movement going. so they are having a hard time sort of threading that needle. that's what's happening right now. with the proud boys, for example, they've gone back and forth on their support of donald trump two or three times since the insurrection because they didn't feel like he supported them enough and now they are back on board with donald trump. specifically enrique targo and they are fighting about who is in charge of the proud boys right now. the oath keepers it's really difficult. jessica watkins who is one of the oath keepers who was arrested, her defense was, you know, is basically i was too dumb to really understand what was going on.
like the big -- the conspiracy that i was following led me to there and i didn't want to become a terrorist that day. that's not good optics for a movement if you are trying to grow in the aftermath of what you thought was the start of a civil war. they are trying to thread some needles here, stephanie. it's really hard. >> it's really hard to thread the needles, since so many of the conspiracy theories didn't prove to be true are we seeing the extremism decrease in any way at least since former president trump is no longer in the white house? >> yeah, it's morphing a little bit and it's going into different circles. qanon conspiracy theories are not going away, they're just not called qanon anymore. they use all the standard talking points about the deep state and about, you know, human trafficking being in every part of our lives run by the clintons and all that stuff, but it's not called qanon, it's just in a text message from a friend they're sending out trying to get viral. so these things will persist,
they will have new branding later on. we didn't know qanon was called qanon until four or five months into it. that's where we are right now. we are in the middle of a new stage of something and it doesn't have a name yet. >> well, you are the person covering it day in and day out and for that we are grateful. before we go for this hour, i want to let you know we have an all important and new episode of the modern ruhles podcast out today. an author talks to me about her experience with former new york attorney general eric snyderman. we will dig into the stigma that surrounds intimate partner violence. she also wrote a piece on it for our partners at nbc think. that wraps up this busy hour. i am stephanie ruhle. hallie jackson is following all of the hearings under way today. she picks up breaking news coverage on the other side of the break. reaking news coravege on the other side of the break. 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
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they are in for a series of tough questions from senators, demanding answers on why police were not better prepared and why it took so long to push back the trump-supporting mob from a building that had been considered one of the most secure in the world. the insurrection left five people dead including capitol police officer brian sicknick. more than 200 people have been charged so far. i'm hmg in washington. we will be with you this morning for this hearing along with our team, nbc news capitol hill correspondent garrett haake, justice correspondent pete williams, katie benner who covers the justice department for "the new york times" and butch jones who is a retired u.s. capitol police officer who served in that post for more than 36 years. garrett, i know we've already been hearing from some of the senators in this hearing as they've been walking in, many saying the same thing, they want to know what went wrong, what went right and they have some serious questions about what they view as lack of preparation ahead of the riots. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. senators are very eager to get
this questioning under way, frankly, they have been for more than a month to try to get to the bottom of what happened here. both in terms of the preparation leading up to january 6th and the execution of the plan, including the calling for the national guard on the day of the attack itself. i can tell you just going through the statements that these mostly former officials will make today, there's going to be some finger pointing on that point. the former capitol police chief will say that they did have a plan, that he wanted to call for the national guard, that one of these sergeants-at-arms in this case the house sergeant-at-arms did not want to do that because of a perception of optics. you won't be surprised to know that that sergeant-at-arms will deny that he made any decision based on optics and will kick the blame further up the chain of command to the department of army which ultimately controls the national guard in d.c. hallie, again, these are mostly former officials with the exception of the current acting chief of the d.c. metropolitan police. all of them losing their jobs because of their handling of this incident and still, again, some finger pointing here and
some blame casting about exactly who knew what when that these senators will be eager to get to the bottom of. >> so, pete, what are some of the biggest outstanding questions, factual questions, that you think could potentially get answered today in front of this group? >> well, i'm not sure that the key questions will get answered today, frankly, because we're going to hear from these people with their own views of what happened. what the chief says is that he never had the kind of intelligence that we've been told that the fbi and nypd, for example, gave the capitol police about what to expect. in his prepared testimony the former capitol police chief says the intelligence community completely missed the idea of a group of well-armed violent protesters would attempt to get inside the capitol and try to stop the vote, the counting of the electoral votes. in addition to all these questions about the breakdown and how long it took to get the national guard, that is a fundamental question. what did the