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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  February 24, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST

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good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington with the latest on tiger woods' condition after his horrific car accident. his representatives say he is awake today and responsive after his extensive surgery. ucla trauma center's chief medical officer has released a statement reading in part, open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins. megan fitzgerald joins me now from outside the medical center. what are you hearing from tiger's team today at the hospital, the officers at the scene, because it was truly an extensive rescue and very difficult surgery. >> reporter: absolutely. andrea, the idea that he's awake and responsive is the good news here, right?
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but doctors say he suffered catastrophic injuries to his legs. of course calling into question whether or not he'll be able to return to the game of golf. but deputies say, look, he's lucky to be alive. certainly when you look at that footage of his suv that he was driving and just the damage to the front end and how he flipped over several times in that vehicle, they also point to the fact he was wearing a seat belt. we talked to a deputy today who was the first person on scene there, talked to tiger while he was trapped inside his vehicle there. i want you to take a listen to what he had to say. >> he seemed calm. he didn't seem like he was in distress. and he was able to kind of talk to me a little bit. and i noticed the passenger compartment seemed mostly intact and he didn't seem like he was in any further danger. and i did consider pulling him out myself, but i decided that it would be better to wait for the fire department since they have the specialized tools and training to remove people safely from vehicles like that.
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>> reporter: just given what we know about this investigation, about this crash and how violent it was, the idea that tiger woods was calm when he interacted with him is certainly something in and of itself. now, this is still an ongoing investigation, of course, but they say they don't have any evidence that shows he was impaired, and at this point they believe that speed could have been a contributing factor to this crash. andrea? >> megan fitzgerald, thank you so much, outside the hospital. and just this past sunday tiger was interviewed during the pga tour's genesis invitational in l.a. talking to jim nantz about recovering from his latest surgery on his back. >> everybody wants to know how you're feeling, what you're doing since you've come off your fifth back operation. feeling all right? >> i'm feeling fine. feeling line. a little stiff. still in the gym, still doing the mundane stuff that you have to do for rehab, you know, the little things, and before i can start gravitating towards
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something a little more. >> let's bring in the golf channel's steve sands, who's covered tiger for 20 year, conducting hundreds of post-round interviews with him. steve, first of all, he's recovered before, he's come back before. this is just devastating. >> yeah. it really is, andrea. it was such sad news what we saw yesterday. so thankful that he's alive, andrea, that he hopefully is going to be okay. golf right now, andrea, seems kind of inconsequential. he's a father. he wants to be around his kids, get back to a regular way of life. so right now for the sports world, golf is way on the back burner compared to what he's going through. >> i wanted to talk a moment about him and charlie, but first, let's talk about the analysis from dr. john torres today and what this means for him going forward in terms of recuperation. >> depending on what they had to
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do to the ankle, that's going to be the hard recovery period. he's going to get the usual post recovery from a fracture, muscle atrophy, having to learn to walk again to build up that muscle. that will take a few months. if he had to get that ankle fused or any big procedures done to that ankle, that will limit mobility, taking longer to recover and you truly might not get the ability back he had before which could impact the way he plays. >> and steve, when we talk about getting back into -- on to -- into golf and back on the range, what we just showed was back in 2019, his comeback, when he won the masters, that was so magnificent and also what he had done recently with his son, charlie, in that father/son in december with the two of them just a match pair and he was obviously so proud of his son and so involved in coaching him
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and taking pride in his success at the age of 11. >> yeah. the evolution, andrea, of tiger from being a great golfer and the best player of his generation to becoming a father and then being a little bit more open to his peers where he's become a big brother, kind of father figure to the guys who currently play on the pga tour, and you see in that video right there that we had on nbc and golf channel in december, the third week of december, outside orlando, florida, at the pnc challenge. you know, tiger wanted charlie to have a great experience, andrea. all of us who are parents have that understanding of making sure our children have a great time and learn as they grow up. imagine trying to be tiger woods' son and wanting to be a golfer like tiger woods and being his son, having that name attached to you. it's got to be very difficult. so tiger was very protective
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that week, andrea. he wanted to make sure that charlie not only had a great time and a great experience but didn't see any of the hoopla that goes around with being tiger woods at a professional golf tournament. he was very protective as a father. it was nice to see. it was a great experience for both of them. and charlie not only played well but he had a fabulous time doing so. >> and we've seen the evolution of tiger, who was so closed and shut down before he had so many problems, the dui, all those personal problems, his marriage, but he really has come back and he can, you know, hopefully come back from this. one thing that he's already we hope overcome is that that was an open fracture and the doctors were even talking about the possibility he would face amputation with infection. we've seen this, you know, with
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smith and the washington football team, the terrible injuries with the bones breaking through. a real risk and long recoveries. smith's was year. >> as a native washingtonian, someone who was born and raised in d.c., andrea, i'm a huge washington football team. i've gotten to know alex smith a little bit over the last few years because he plays in the american century championship on nbc before july, at least before the injury he did. couldn't be a more wonderful guy. his story is incredible. not sure if these two are analogous. we have to wait and see how it plays out medically. but seeing alex come back from what we came back from a medical standpoint and the hard work he put in to get himself back onto the field for washington this past season has to be an inspiration to anybody who goes through an injury that is similar to what alex did. i've heard a lot of talk in the last 24 hours about tiger's leg
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and alex smith's leg perhaps being somewhat similar in their injuries, and hopefully tiger is able to recover and be able to come out and compete against the best players in the world like alex was able to this past season. you know what, andrea, tiger's built for one thing when it comes to professional golf. that's winning. he has always told us on and off camera that he does not want to be a ceremonial golfer. golf, unlike the other sports, the team sports, you can play for a long, long time. and for tiger woods to go out there, he is going to go out there, andrea, only for one reason, to win. he's not going to go out there just to compete. so we'll have to wait and see how this all plays out. >> steve sands, thank you so much for all of your perspective today. we really appreciate it. >> my pleasure. and a third covid-19 vaccine is closer to being available in
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the u.s. johnson & johnson's single-shot vaccine for emergency use. the final recommendation for the shot, which has been shown to have 72% overall effectiveness in the u.s. and protects against severe illness and hospitalization will come from a clinical fda committee meeting on friday. what was missed before the capitol was overrun on january 6th and what could be done in the future to prevent another failed response. senator amy klobucar co-chaired yesterday's hearing examining the attack. stay with us. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. because when y stages, it's more treatable. i'm cologuard. i'm noninvasive and detect altered dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers even in early stages. tell me more. it's for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your prescriber or an online prescriber if cologuard is right for you. i'll get on it! that's a step
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welcome back. tuesday's senate hearings on the january 6th insurrection left lawmakers with a lot of critical questions. why were fbi warnings leading up to the attack not seen by the top officials? why did the pentagon resist mobilizing the national guard? and how do we prevent this kind of attack from ever happening again? joining me now, minnesota democratic senator amy klobucar, who co-chaired yesterday's hearings and is the chairwoman of the senate rules committee. >> thanks, andrea. >> thank you very much. what a hearing you guys held. i want to ask you about the fbi threat first of all. january 5th, the day before, night before, there's a clear threat report, an email warning, you know, that we're going to -- that war is coming. the key witnesses who were in charge had not seen it. how is that possible? do you blame the fbi for not flagging it? all the emails people get.
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is it the system that there's not better communication? it does recall the kind of stove piping we saw before 9/11. >> exactly. we'll be asking the fbi that next week, really two opportunities. director wray will be testifying tuesday before the judiciary committee and senator peters and i are holding another bipartisan joint committee the next day. and we'll be having witnesses from the defense department as well as homeland security and the fbi to ask that very question. but it does defy really any kind of prudent law enforcement that no one on the end of the capitol police or the sargent at arms somehow saw that from the norfolk field office, because it did say that there were social media reports that they were going for war. it's on both sides. you can't send an email late at night and push send when it's
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the u.s. capitol that is the target of their aspirations. but you have to make sure you have a process in place. i think, one, we learned there were intelligence breakdowns like that one. two, the way this worked with the capitol police is very disturbing because the police chief has to go to them for permission. it appears he felt even in a crisis. while those two sergeant at arms were guarding the senate and the house at the same time they were doing that, trying to protect the members, he was calling them to ask to strategize about what to do. none of this would make sense in a normal police hierarchy system, and we need to change that as well as better intelligence sharing. >> the other stunning testimony we heard tuesday came from the acting d.c. police chief, robert contee. talking about their discussions with military leaders on trying to get the national guard deployed. let me play that for you. >> there were several army
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officials that were on call. i don't know all by name who were on call. several officials from district government. the chief's son was pleading for deployment of the national guard. in response to that, there was not an immediate yes, the national guard is responding. the response was more asking about the plan that -- you know, what was the plan for the national guard. i was just stunned that, you know, i have officers that were out there literally fighting for their lives and we're kind of going through what seemed like an exercise to check the boxes. >> now, the pentagon didn't reveal this right away. they, in fact, lied about it. but one of the people on that call was general charles flynn, i remember, who is michael flynn's brother. michael flynn was one of the leaders of the whole protest group.
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does that disturb you? >> yes. and that testimony from the acting police chief of the metropolitan police, who did a very good at this hearing, that was very chilling. and that's one of the reasons that we're calling representatives from the defense department to ask this question. there's two elements. one, the national guard, to get them mobilized, usually do it in advance, at least 24 hours, 36 hours, at best for a big event, a week in advance. that didn't happen here, and that is in part because of the intelligence breakdowns with the capitol police and others. but then you had the second piece, which when the crisis was going on, why was there any kind of delay at all and why didn't they immediately say we're going to do everything we can right now? and that's a question we want to ask of the defense department. >> i want to also ask you about further investigations, nancy pelosi has at least a draft proposal for a 9/11-style commission. i covered the 9/11 commission
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and tom caine and lee hamilton, the bipartisan leaders, have reportedly told politico that this plan is not ideal at all, especially in this politicized environment because it doesn't have equal number of democrats and republicans and equal subpoena power and it could be doomed from the beginning to not be credible to try to allay all of the conspiracy theories out there. >> well, i want to look at this. i have not looked at this draft that i heard has been floating around. but i think in concept, the idea to have a commission is a good one. you can dig deeper than we can in the congressional hearings. but there's one piece that's getting missed here when we discuss this. senator peters and i focused on doing everything we can to uncover what went wrong at the capitol and then use those answers to come up with solutions to fix things. the one piece that is so
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important is the justice department, merrick garland getting put in place, gupta and lisa monaco and kristen clark, because this is going to be as we know the fbi have made hundreds of arrests, there have been charges, major indictment against the proud boy members, and this is going to be a criminal investigation at its core. who funded this? where did it go? as we look at all of these ideas for commissions and hearings, very important, but to me, the big thing, andrea, is who was involved, who's responsible, who crated and committed criminal acts that should hold them accountable. i really appreciated merrick garland's heartfelt support of going after white supreme schism. his only experience with his family coming to the united states leaving the nazis in search of a safe haven. he really understands why this is so important. >> that was quite a moment
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indeed. i just want to quickly ask you about neera tanden and some of your colleagues, senator manchin opposing her, opposing her for her past tweets and for being too partisan. but these same people voted for rick gunel, more toxic than anyone else, on twitter, and certainly the former president, donald j. trump, was the worst bullier in chief on twitter. >> so i think neera would be -- >> is it sexism or -- you know -- >> let me start with neera tanden. >> it's like a double standard. >> she would be a great director of management and budget. the president is standing by her firmly. looking for votes of course on the republican side. you know washington. things change. she wrote a column asking for republicans to support her saying they may not agree with her on everything, but she's a tough person for a tough job,
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and she has apologized for those tweets very clearly. as you said, while senator manchin has now supported president trump, let's make that clear, but a number of the republicans that really closed their eyes to those tweets. and she's apologized. i think she'd be good at the job, and most importantly the president of the united states thinks she'd be good at the job. so i know they're continuing to work on getting support for her. >> i didn't mean to suggest that senator manchin supported -- certainly he did vote for rick grunel. >> yes. >> fair enough. thanks for fixing that. senator amy klobucar, you have your work cut out for you. >> excited about the johnson & johnson vaccine, andrea, and all that's happening, 70% increase in the distribution of vaccines over the first week that joe
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biden and kamala harris took office. that's a big deal. >> indeed. >> thank you. >> thanks for that. we'll have more on neera tanden's nomination to head the office of management and budget as two more of president biden's cabinet nominees are facing resistance. stay with us. tomizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need? really? i didn't-- aah! ok. i'm on vibrate. aaah! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ this is how you become the best! ♪“you're the best” by joe esposito♪ ♪ [triumphantly yells] [ding] don't get mad. get e*trade. i don't like veggies... what?! ♪ whatever you have at home, knorr sides can turn nutritious veggies into mouthwatering meals.
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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. including prioritizing vaccines for educators. parents and educators agree: reopen schools. putting safety first. if you see wires down, treat them all as if they're hot and energized. stay away from any downed wire, call 911, and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe. president biden's pick for budget director, neera tanden,
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as we've been reporting her nomination in jeopardy. two senate committees postponed votes today on tanden as the white house is scramble to make sure they don't lose any more democrats having lost joe manchin, they say, and find a republican willing to support her. >> my friendly advice to president biden is to withdraw neera tanden's nomination and select someone at the very least has not promoted wild conspiracy theories and openly bashed people on both sides of the aisle. >> republicans are also lining up against president biden's nominee for interior secretary. former congresswoman deb pile, who would be the first native american cabinet secretary in history. and savvier ba kerr ra. lonnie chen, former policy director for mitt romney.
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and jim mussina, president chief of staff. is it a bad sign that the hearings were postponed today? what happens now? >> what happens now is that the white house is going to be trying as best it can to try to shore up votes in the senate to confirm her. but those votes, it's just not clear where they would come from. white house sources say they are in the middle of trying as best they can to lobby individual senators to back what they see as a qualified candidate. i've also been talking to some outside groups who are looking at this sand saying maybe we have more time to make the case. a lot ofpeople are alleging that they're all in some ways being seen through the lens of this being not only partisan politics but racial politics, people pointing out that you have a latino man, a native american woman and indian american woman being taerg etted
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by republicans in particular who as you noted backed former president trump has he had all sorts of tweets that were raising eyebrows, going after his own party, including mitch mcconnell. there's a real feeling in the white house they can muscle this through somehow. >> lonnie chen, joe manchin won't support her. he vote for the also of germany despite history about his nasty comments about female journalists and world leaders, politicians. why is this all of a sudden an issue? >> well, you know, this is why i think ultimately each nominee has to be evaluated fundamentally on their capacity to serve in the role they've been appointed to. we should look at the substance. i've known neera tanden for many years. i think she's a very capable person. i think she would serve well in this position. i understand there's a lot of disagreement about things she
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said, perhaps some of the things she said she wishes she hadn't said in the medium in which they were said. but fundamentally, you have to look at each of these nominees on the merits and decide who isn't fit. i think there are a number of nominees that the president has put forward that do cause me pause, that do sort of in my mind have an issue sub tan tifly. i don't think tanden is one of those. javier, deb, perhaps as well. but you have to evaluate the nominees based on the substance rather than anything else, and i hope republicans would do that. >> javier basir ra is not a doctor. sebelius was hhs secretary. donna shalala. they were not doctors. since when is being a doctor the
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requirement for hhs secretary? you're running one of the biggest agencies of the pentagon. >> yeah. i mean, i certainly wouldn't -- >> i'm sorry. yep. >> i'll just say this briefly. i don't think being a doctor is necessarily the criticism or not being a doctor is the criticism. i think the question is health policy experience. more broadly being a doctor, i don't think that's the right critique to apply to this at all. >> that's the criticism republicans were laying on them. jim mussina, is this a case where the white house is going to try to make sure they have all their democrats? talking about kyrsten sinema not being in line, she's still deciding, and trying to find another republican. we don't know where that would come from. collins and romney already said they're against her. i don't know where lisa murkowski is on this. i guess she hasn't declared. sit waiting to see if they can pick off one republican to
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replace joe manchin or let her withdraw and find another place for her that's not a confirmable post? >> not to have a hearing is the right decision. the white house will try to take this back and do exactly what lanhee was talking about. neera tanden is the most qualified person to be omb secretary. they'll try to take it to a broader level and discuss the fact she's qualified and try to get some of the politics back and forth. i thought that clip you showed of senator corbett was the most hypocritical thing i've soon all day. here's a guy saying she was mean to both parties. you just supported donald trump, who's said the most violent and worst things i've seen in politics every day and you advocated for his elections and
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now you have a problem with neera tanden's tweets? the three people the republicans have chosen to fight over, tanden, bacerra, and holland, for a republican party that has serious minority problems, taking these three fights is an interesting issue and decision to a party that's now out of power and needs some minority votes to get back in power someday. >> and lanhee, talking about the republican party, what happened when republican leader kevin kaert and congresswoman liz cheney, number three in the caucus, were asked whether they thought that donald trump should have a speaking role at cpac this sunday. >> do you believe president trump should be -- or former president trump should be speaking at cpac this weekend? >> yes, he should. >> that's up to cpac. i've been clear of my views
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about president trump and the extent to which following january 6th, i don't believe he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country. >> on that high note, thank you all very much. >> on that high note. did you notice that mccarthy even closed his eyes while she was talking, lanhee? >> yeah, right. >> civil war played out in front of you. >> it reflects where -- the different places where kevin mccarthy and liz cheney are. they're both able to say that and express their points of view. i think that's what you'll hear a lot of republicans say going forward, yeah, there are difference witness the party but fundamentally there will be some things that the party has to work out over the next couple weeks and months and we'll see where that goes. >> stay tuned, as they say. lanhee chen, yamiche alcindor, jim messina, thank you very much. how authorities including
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the fbi failed to prepare capitol hill officials for the violence on january 6th. stay with us. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. by making it more affordable, that's why we're keeping our tuition the same through the year 2021. - i knew snhu was the place for me when i saw how affordable it was. i ran to my husband with my computer and i said, "look, we can do this." - [narrator] take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation. find your degree at
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♪♪ an fbi report warning about plans for war sent on january 5th was not flagged for top security officials in charge of protecting the capitol on the 6th. according to their testimony yesterday, the acting d.c. police chief said that's because it was only communicated via email. >> i would certainly think that something as violent as an insurrection of the capitol would warrant, you know, a phone call or something. >> the blame game at yesterday's hearing certainly illustrates the kind of failures that preceded 9/11 with plans now to create a 9/11-style commission. joining me is someone who served on the commission. and a former assistant director for the fbi's
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counterintelligence division. welcome both. jamie, we hear there's a draft and that the speaker is planning a panel that would have more democrats than republicans. is that a mistake? co-chairs of the 9/11 commission said the magic of it was credible because it was evenly divided and all decisions were made jointly. >> it was magical many the sense we had a very cohesive group, even though we were appointed by the most political people in washington. the most logical thing and the reason it worked was the commitment of tom caine and hamilton to work together and to not have any step taken by the commission that was political in any way. >> and how important is it now to have that kind of a commission, try to dispel spiers theories and put to rest if one can? a third of the people still believe that joe biden wasn't
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properly elected according to polls of the republican base. >> we had conspiracy theories, to be sure, about 9/11. there were a lot of people who believed that this was a conspiracy by george bush to blow up the trade center in order to effect some changes in society. there are people to this day who don't think that a plane flew into the pentagon. and we had that in spades during the 9/11 commission. so one of the things you get out of a commission is an authoritative statement of what happened. we went back over past commissions, including the commission about the kennedy -- jfk assassination, and we looked at what went wrong and how you could change that. one of the things we did was to be really, really transparent with what we were finding. >> frank, i want to ask you about the fbi. they testify next week. the fbi is being blamed by a lot
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of people for not flagging that warning. fbi desmders say it was all out there in black and white. it was in the meeld that all of those officials on the hill, the security officials, should have known what was coming. there seemed to be a ack of coordination between the house and the senate, d.c. and the cops, all of them and the pentagon. >> well, andrea, i found yesterday's hearings to both be frustrating and educational at the same time. educational because we are hearing about the mind-set of the chief security officers in place on january 6th and frustrating because i don't like what i hear about the mind-set of those officers. what we're hearing seemingly is they need to be shaken, they need to be screamed at when something is staring them right in the face about a threat and a risk we'll hear a lot of finger-pointing and down in the weeds talk about what time of
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day an email was or was not sent, what time an email was read or not, who should have been called at what level. andrea, there are much larger, deeper questions here. here's the question -- why is it is that as a nation we seem collectively unable to view ourselves as a threat? you know, i think it was senator klobucar yesterday who asked chief sund, what is your threshold? what would you have needed to see in intelligence that would have changed your security posture? we never really got a cogent answer on that. i feel the real answer to that is that religion or skin color needed to change to increase the security posture. by that i mean if you change the religion of these folks to violent islamic jihad and their mission or you change skin color to black, i fear that the security threshold would have been much greater and we would have seen a major response. and you need only look at the
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posture for black lives matter rallies in washington, d.c., where there was virtually no intelligence indicating risk or threat and then look at the posture on january 6th. >> fair point. jayme me, you worked at the pentagon. there's a lot of talk about them slow walking the national guard mobilization, how long it took, how they resisted on the calls with chief contee and talking process. i don't know how to describe it, but there were people who were telling in general, telling the secretary of the army don't approve it, why they stood up the night before because it took so long to get there. how can that be? >> i agree with frank that there is something really fundamentally wrong here. we saw a little bit of this in the run-up to 9/11 where people at the lower levels were talking to each other, but it was never raised up in people's minds, the
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national security council was never convened even though there was intelligence in the intel community. i mean, the cia director said his hair was on fire and yet the hair of the national security council, the hair of the attorney general, they were not on fire. so i do worry that, a, there was a complete bureaucracy asleep, and, b, i think that frank is right, that this -- my suspicion is from my time at the pentagon is this was slow walked. i think it was. >> and you've worked with the new attorney general, if he's confirmed, in all likelihood he is, is merrick garland the right person to focus on this and to investigate domestic terrorism? >> hard to imagine a better person for this. he is judicious because of his tenure on the bench and because
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of his personality. and his speech and what happens in this country when we are attacked from within. the threat of domestic terrorism is very real to him from what we saw in oklahoma city and what he did about it. >> our thanks to you. thanks for your judgment on all of this, both of you. jamie gorelick and frank figliuzzi, thanks. to the tough story about drug overdoses. 81,000 have died from overdoses in one year. deaths from opioids are up 34%. in ohio the mortality hit its highest point in a decade. joining me is nbc news correspondent eric vilquist in portsmouth, ohio. what's being done to fight this ep dem sncc. >> reporter: state leaders and
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mental health experts are raising a red flag about this issue. they say the pandemic shouldn't let us b forget about the opioid crisis that's existed for several years now and help is available. ohio is a microcosm of the bigger issue we're seeing nationwide. what they're seeing here particularly in this county, this is where they've seen the highest rate of opioid deaths. when they looked at period of time right after the pandemic started. i had a chance to talk to one woman here, a widow, a mother of two young daughters, about the devastation that the overdose death of her husband has had on her family. >> when i look at my girls, that's a whole different type of loss. i had never experienced pain except for when i see my girls cry out for their dad or grab a picture and hold it close to their heart, because that's the only way that they're going to get to feel him.
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>> reporter: her husband died just a few weeks after the pandemic started here. mental health experts say that there are still services available even though the pandemic protocols have forced a lot of people into isolation. there is still telehealth available. insurance companies are making that easier to access. small group services are starting to start back up all over the country. >> thank you so much, aaron gilchrist. that's so helpful. we appreciate it. joining us now, democratic congresswoman madeleine dean and her son, harry, co-authors of "under our roof," a memoir about harry's battle for recovery, successful recovery. congresswoman, these things have spiked during the pandemic. we just saw this grieving mother, certainly the stress of the pandemic adding to this. tell me about your family's story.
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>> well, it's a staggering story that's taking place across the country. my heart goes out to that mom and those children. on average, 220 people die every single day, so that same thing is being replicated every day in this country with hundreds of families. harpry and i were asked to write this book, frankly, by my older son. he thought we might have a story to tell. in the years of our struggle, each had to figure out what was going on with harry and what was going wrong with him as his affect changed, his friends changed, his health deteriorated and him deceiving as he slipped farther into addiction. we wrote the book to hope somebody might see themselves in us and more importantly that somebody might see themselves in the chance and the hope of the joy of recover. it's harry's story that i'm very proud of. >> harry, you've been eight years, you know, in recovery. you're now working at the rehab
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center you had gone to. take us back to those years when you were covering up, you were struggling, and i guess you were hoping your parents were not aware. how did you come to the realization that they were there to help you? >> so it all really came together in a very low moment for me. i had been stealing from my family and was caught. but before that particular incident, there were so many times that i tried on my own to stop using, to cut back, to manage and control what was going on. and i just found myself incapable before i had the opportunity to receive treatment, to get the help i needed in order to really build a foundation and find my way into long-term recovery. >> harry, you write about your confrontation with your mother. you write, i remember my mom crying as she told me what she discovered. i remember not being able to get
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a word out, only tears, but the fear of exposure was accompanied by a new feeling. for the first time the truth seemed safer than telling another lie. tell us about your passage through rehab and how they've come to help you. they have come to help you. >> i think that particular segment of the book really highlights some of the stigma that's felt. not just on the individual who is dealing with the substance abuse disorder. it holds a lot of people back from reaching out and asking for help. i didn't know what recovery might look like. when i walked into treatment, i had no idea what to expect. i hoped that i would be safely detoxed and have an opportunity to move forward, but i had no idea the potential and the opportunity and the possibilities that could be realized through recovery. i was very fortunate to go to an incredible treatment center and
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really have the time for long term treatment which i think so many more people need and it's an issue that really is a challenge for many who are seeking treatment at this time depending on resources and insurance and medicaid and many other factors, how much time we're lag to give someone in treatment is really important thing we need to look at. >> congresswoman, you and harry are focusing on the equity issues because if you were not comfortable white family with parents able to help, harry could have been caught up in the criminal justice system. >> that was so clear to us in the run up to discovering what what was wrong with him. when we visit and parents are encouraged to be a part of recovery and learn more about this. so many of the young people and so many people of color are caught up in the criminal
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justice system and don't get this opportunity for help. we're very keenly aware that but for the color of his skin, but for his socioeconomic status and the address on his license, he would have a different story. we went to visit a prison and philadelphia and almost unspoken, this is a prison that could have been your own if society were to treat him the same way as society treats those who don't enjoy white privilege. part of what we want to say is the disease doesn't recognize white privilege and society needs to take those lenses offer and say how do we deal with people caught up in a disease of addiction. we should not criminalize the behavior. we should get them treatment. >> that brings me to the issue of the stigma. people have to fight against that in order to acknowledge
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they need help and families have to fight the stigma to realize this is a disease like other diseases and you need help. >> absolutely. for us, in writing this book under our roof, we really wanted to share the whole story, the picture of what it looks like. the horrors of that addiction and the choice of recovery as one story. there's so many out there. they can look very different. there's many pathways to recovery. we wanted to share our story because that's what we have an an opportunity and a platform in hopes that maybe others feel comfortable reaching out and asking for help. what we have seen so far in the past couple of weeks since the book came out is it's been an overwhelming outpouring of people who have reached out and said this is how i was affected. there's so many out there. it's such a common issue throughout this country. we just want to remind people that sit a disease. it's not they're a bad person.
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most importantly, it's a treatable disease. we need to continue to focus on that and dealing with it medically and not with the criminal justice system. >> you're such an extraordinary example and congresswoman, you have a position of privilege. you can affect policy on criminal justice reform, on health policy. surely, you know how to get things done. >> i hope i can. i have to admit to you when we were going through this, i felt we were a very ordinary family. i'm sure people might say it's different because it was under their roof, a roof of greater privilege. we are an ordinary american family. i do have the absolute privilege of being able to talk about and fight for policy changes. for example, one of the reasons we wrote this book was to say if we can tell you about this problem in our house, maybe you can see yourself. i have introduced legislation
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around opioid addiction. one to stop the stigma. another to deal with health care. this needs to be mainstream health care. not for the few or privilege. it needs to be health care for all even in the event of recourage. there's so much we can do in the term of criminal reform, health care reform and ending the stigma. >> we have less than a minute but harry, what's your message to those still struggling with addiction? >> that you're not alone. that recovery is possible. i know, for me, in the darkest moments i couldn't see that. i didn't believe it. it is out there. for someone who didn't believe it who has now experienced it, i'm here to say that recovery truly is possible. just to remind people recovery can look very different. there's many pathway and the last thing i'd say is to highlight it's not just
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opioid -- the opioid epidemic. it's substance abuse disorder we have seen as a whole on the rise in this pandemic. if you're out there and struggling, reach out for help. you may be able to find the hope and joy that i have found through recovery. >> thanks to both you have for your courage for you're doing. book is "under our roof." our great thanks to you for doing this. this does it if this edition. follow the show online on facebook and twitter. chuck todd is up next with "mtp daily." only on msnbc. "mtp daily. only on msnbc. by ] [ birds chirping ] mondays, right? what? i said mondays, right? [ chuckles ]
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