tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC February 24, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
physicians and nurses to educate the community. you need to do a massive public health campaign in both english and spanish in radio, in mailers. you can knock on doors. and then you have to do these clinics to really get the trust and build public confidence to get them done. we are so fortunate that we have a president -- promotes equity, has an equity task force, has 25 billion in the rescue plan for these communities and focusing on sending vaccines into the retail pharmacies. >> congressman and dr. raul ruiz, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. thank you. "the 11th hour with brian williams" is next. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪
>> hello? hi. i'm milissa rehberger. we seem to have a little bit of trouble getting to brian williams here. not sure what's going on. are we going to take a quick break? yes we will. we'll be right back. break? yes we will. we'll be right back. their only friend? the open road. i have friends. [ chuckles ] well, he may have friends, but he rides alone. that's jeremy, right there! we're literally riding together. he gets touchy when you talk about his lack of friends. can you help me out here? no matter why you ride, progressive has you covered with protection starting at $79 a year. well, we're new friends. to be fair. eh, still. (judith) at fisher investments, we do things differently and other money managers don't understand why. (money manager) because our way works great for us! (judith) 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? (judith) nope, we tailor portfolios to our client's needs.
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good evening. i'm milissa rehberger in for brian williams. we're trying to sort out a little bit of an issue with -- thank you, sharon, could you just not in my ear, please. it is day 36 of the biden administration, and now comes the hard part. the president is now fighting on two fronts, facing down republican opposition to his
covid relief bill and to some of his cabinet nominees. today his nominee for white house budget director neera tanden learned two senate committees were postponing the vote that would trigger full vote for confirmation. that means her prospects don't look good. republicans aren't sold on deb haaland and javier becerra. >> are you concerned your cabinet nominees have not been confirmed by the senate? >> i am, but i don't so much blame it on the senate. i blame it on the failure to have a transition that was rational. as you know, previous administrations had a significant number of their cabinet confirmed before they were even were sworn in. >> earlier tonight biden's chief of staff said the white house has not given up on neera
attendance confirmation, but he did concede the administration has been working on a plan b. >> she's a great candidate for the job, and certainly we're fighting our guts out to get her confirmed. if neera tanden is not confirmed, we will find some other place for her to serve in the administration that doesn't require senate confirmation. >> the party that can't agree on whether or not to reanoint donald trump has their standard bearer appears to have found some unity in rejecting biden's nearly $2 trillion covid relief bill. >> what you need to focus on is how unified we are today in opposition to what the biden administration is trying to do. what we have seen here at the beginning of this administration is recruiting far left across the board. >> this friday is house is expected to vote on the $1.9 trillion covid rescue package. the senate is aiming to get it to the president by march 14th. then biden would sign it into law. a new morning consult poll today
found 76% of voters say they support the plan, including 60% of republicans surveyed. "the new york times" notes biden's confirmation and stem battles may set the tone for the next two years and that quote, the animating spirit between the administration's approach is impatience born of the pandemic, the looming midterms and mr. biden's own bitter experiences with republicans. as a consequence mr. biden has not shied away from conflict while projecting an air of conceal yags. it's also worth noting this all comes after the results of an election that were challenged for weeks based on a lie perpetuated by his predecessor and members of his party. >> do you feel confident that the republicans here -- >> thank you. thank you, thank you. thank you so much. thank you. >> we're just days away from biden's predecessor's return to the political stage.
the twice-impeached donald trump is to speak before the conservative political action conference in florida on sunday. today the division over his role in the political party became very clear. watch the dynamic here between kevin mccarthy and liz cheney. >> do you believe president trump should be or former president trump should be speaking at cpac this weekend? >> yes, he should. >> congresswoman cheney? >> that's up to cpac. i've been clear on views about president trump and the extent to which january 6th, i don't -- i don't believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country. >> on that high note, thank y'all very much. >> trump has vowed to throw his support behind maga candidates, but his political may be curtailed by financial problems, possible charged relate to the
capitol riot to defamation lawsuits. there are two other major developments we're keeping an eye on tonight. there may soon be a third covid vaccine. new data shows the single dose vaccine of johnson & johnson to be highly effective. we're waiting for a decision by an fda advisory panel. a new covid strain is spreading rapidly in new york city and researchers say it could weaken vaccines. could weaken vaccines (man) i'm a verizon engineer, part of the team that built 5g right, the only one from america's most reliable network. we designed our 5g to make the things you do every day better. with 5g nationwide, millions of people can now work, listen, and stream in verizon 5g quality. and in parts of many cities where people can use massive capacity,
good evening, once again i'm lawrence o'donnell. we're still having some technical problems with brian williams' camera position. we hope to get him back at some point in this hour. turning to another case of good news/bad news on the fight to put the pandemic behind us. on the vaccine front there should soon be a third option to get shots into arms. the fda announced today the johnson & johnson vaccine is safe and effective. once it gets the agency's emergency authorization, the company says it has 4 million doses ready to go. 24 million doses will be on the way my march, not much compared to the other makers. as for the bad news, another new variant has been discovered in new york city. "the new york times" reporting this one carrying a worrisome mutation that may weaken the effectiveness of vaccines. back with us tonight, dr. irwin
red liner, the founding director of columbia's center for disaster preparedness. let's start with the bad news from new york city. >> yeah, lawrence, it really is concerning. this is constantly this mix of good news and bad news. and just to emphasize what you said, there is good news because j&j is producing a very good vaccine. we think that we'll not need deep freezing. it will be stored in a refrigerator and will only require one dose. and there has been a lot of vaccine doses getting out in general. but the countervailing reality is just what "the new york times" has reported and you just noted, lawrence. and this is really worrisome. and this is the big worry that all of us have, that even in spite of the good news that we could be facing a variety of mutations. we call them variants, that in fact have different characteristics than the original. they may be more con tanls you. they may be more lethal.
and now we're worried that may may not be as -- the vaccines may not be as effective against them. so, we're going to have to monitor this very, very closely. on the other side of it though is that both moderna and pfizer are already working on booster shots of their original vaccines that may actually help combat these new variants, lawrence. >> is the news that this new york city variant is a meaner variant than we have been seeing prior to this? >> well, it's not clear yet. it seems to be more contagious. it's running rampant in the city right now, and doctors on the frontlines aren't actually -- they are worried. and it remains to be seen as to how lethal this particular variant is. but the fact is that if it's not going to be effectively tamped down by the vaccines that are available, that of course is a
double worry for us in that it may be spreading rapidly, more lethal on the one side and also less effective, less impaired by the vaccines that are currently on the table. >> let's go to that new vaccine johnson & johnson. it's a single dose. this is the first single dose vaccine. >> yeah. >> how much of a game changer is just the fact that it's a single dose? >> it is a major game changer because, as you know, lawrence, the logistics of getting a dose, a single dose into somebody's arm is very complicated task. and then having to do two doses is particularly additive in terms of the stress on the distribution systems besides which the original two vaccines, pfizer and moderna both require very, very frigid temperature storage. so, it's not just that j&j has a vaccine that only requires one dose, but the fact that it could
be transported and stored much easier is really important. and it is a game changer. it's not just a game changer in general, lawrence. it's also a game changer for getting the vaccine into parts of the country and parts of the world frankly where the cold chain challenges and the challenges of getting two doses are extraordinarily difficult. and this is a game changer. countries that you've done your own work in africa too, lawrence, are places where this particular vaccine is going to be a lifesaver and a game changer, lawrence. >> yeah, and ghana got the first delivery of vaccines today with unicef helping out on syringes. and we haven't heard any reports at all about countries like that getting even their first doses of vaccine until now. >> yeah, yeah. that's big news and really important news. besides the humanitarian realities of wanting to get
everybody protected from this pandemic, we also have the practical matter, lawrence, which is that if we don't stop this pandemic everywhere, nowhere is going to be safe. in other words, if we allow pockets of the covid-19 to fester anywhere in the world, we are constantly going to be in danger ourself. so, it's in our mutual best interest for every country and the world health organization to get this under control across the globe. >> for people who are simply waiting for it to be easier to get the vaccine, they might qualify now, but they might be struggling with websites and thinking, i'm going to wait until i can just go to my doctor's office and get one, is that day ever going to come? >> you know, i am so perplexed and frustrated, lawrence, by the fact that it's so complicated to get people the vaccines. this should be something we could easily get done. the logistics, the challenges for older people, people isolated, people living in
communities challenged by poverty, is where we're having the most difficulty getting people vaccinated. it's extremely frustrating. and i don't think people should wait any more than they have to, even if it takes a while to get yourself an appointment, the sooner you get the vaccine the better. i think that's the hard and fast rule that we need to deal with. but it's the responsibility of government, lawrence, to make sure that the systems for getting an appointment and getting your shot should be greatly simplified. and i think in fairness the biden team is heavily focused on this. they're going to get it done, and they will, i think, exceed the 100 million doses in the first 100 days of the biden administration. they'll exceed that. but it's a struggle and they have a lot of lost ground to make up for and a lot of missteps and dishonesty from the last administration to get through. but i think they're going to get there. >> dr. irwin redliner, thank you very much for joining "the 11th
hour" again tonight, really appreciate it. thank you. as many of you know, what we do here before the commercial break is called a tease. this is my favorite tease that i've ever had before a commercial break. brian will be back after this break, and he's going to join you with a discussion of mitch mcconnell insisting that republicans still have a unified party even though facts beg to differ. that's what you're going to -- that's what's up next when brian and "the 11th hour p" continues.
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minutes off tonight. a brief explanation of what happened to us. our central control room appears to have gone the way of the texas power grid. we have lost all of the incoming guest remotes from most of the people we were supposed to talk to tonight. lawrence o'donnell will get a little something extra in his paycheck at the end of the week for stepping up and stepping in and helping us out. he just thought he was out of the woods, but he's going to stick around for our discussion. and we've managed to reconnect with former rnc chairman michael steele. one word of warning, the ear piece through which i usually hear our guests, the control room, the sound of our program has been rendered inert along with the rest of our central control room, so i'm going to have to listen to the broadcast on a nearby speakerphone in case any of that sounds unusual. so, without further delay, we
have lawrence o'donnell. we have michael steele, i'm told, standing by. michael, let's start this segment by talking about cpac. who else would be speaking at cpac? who else would be leading the party other than donald trump if there was an identifiable bench and if, as the party did under your chairmanship there was a recruitment effort, if there were fresh faces to step up? >> well, once the former president lost or was finished a second term and moved on, then the reins of the party would return to the national chairman and the state party elected officials, the chairmen and national committee men and women and the leadership on the hill,
the minority and majority leader depending on whether we had the minority or the majority. and they would begin to put in the process of organizing the party for the upcoming cycle which begins this year. we've got two important elections in november in virginia and new jersey for governor along with other smaller races which are a setup, a prelude, if you will, to 2022. it gives you a sense of where the party is on messaging, where the party is on policy, and where the party is on organization and infrastructure. all of that is now disrupted. going into cpac this weekend, ordinarily you would have those men and women who would be lining up to run in 2024. so, you would be looking at nikki haley and alar ri hogan and charlie baker and mitt romney even, john kasich. a cross section of republicans going in because that is the
kick off for the season. donald trump has commanded the stage. donald trump will be the center of attention. you will note the folks who are not showing up -- not the ones who are showing up, but the ones who are not showing up gives you a sense of just how this weekend's going to play out. >> lawrence o'donnell, no matter what you call it, republicans know they have an off-ramp. they have a divorce option. it doesn't need to be this way. he has -- donald trump has already taken the dignity from so many of them who, in effect, sold out the seats they were elected to. are you convinced that this is just going to be the republican brand and the story line we're covering for the next two to four years? >> oh, no, i think the bigger story line we're going to be covering is defendant trump which will be a story line that it sounds like will go on for a few years and will in effect, i think, brian be the off-ramp for the republican party. the likelihood of donald trump not just being charged with
election crimes in georgia but actually being convicted in fulton county is very high. it's just -- it's absurdly high for a former president of the united states, the jeopardy that he's facing there. he's facing legal jeopardy in manhattan. the legal jeopardy is everywhere with donald trump. and so i have this feeling that the secret hope of the kevin mccarthy's is that criminal juries do the work for them and get donald trump out of their lives. >> well, let me ask if your theory pans out, lawrence, there's no evident game that -- you name checked kevin mccarthy. what's the plan? what's the policy rollout? what is their brand, and what are they going to stand for absent donald trump? >> oh, well, that donald trump has truly destroyed. he's made them flip flop on all sorts of issues, so there is simply no position that you could say with confidence is a
republican party position. control of the deficit, no. they gave that up with donald trump. control of the debt, no. they gave that up with donald trump. foreign policy, tough on russian. no, i'm afraid not. so, i'm sitting here as blank as everyone else on what policy position of the republican party would be if and when they can get out of donald trump's shadow. >> lawrence, i am told if you have other plans for this evening we have regained contact with two of our other first segment guests. and with our thanks, go into the night. i wouldn't look back in case the control room melts down again. lo and behold, there they are, former missouri democratic senator claire mccaskill and "new york times" chief white house correspondent peter baker. sorry friends for whatever confusion there was. it was cold and dark in this studio for a little while and much panic, though suppressed, in new york.
peter, what is the level of appetite within the white house you cover for the fistfight with the republicans given how much we know they need out of both chambers? >> well, look, you know, you see president biden just today talking about having a constructive meeting with the bipartisan congressional delegation at the white house. he doesn't want to fight with democrats -- republicans, excuse me. i think he would like to continue to push the idea that he is a unifying figure. it doesn't mean that he's ready to make compromising on the $1.9 trillion covid relief bill that would be satisfying to republicans. i think the lesson he took and his staff took in the obama stimulus package early on was going to light in order to try to win bipartisan support you're not going to get was a mistake. so, he's going to insist on something pretty close to his original package if he can keep the democrats in line, even if
it means he doesn't get republicans. but he will continue, i think, to lower the temperature and at least have the atmospherics of black partisan reachout. now, republicans of course will say that's not really bipartisanship, that if you simply ram through your agenda without our support that's simply one party rule and that will be a talking point of theirs. of course donald trump was never much of a bipartisan deal maker, not at all. he didn't promise to be one whereas president biden has. the question for president biden is at what point is that promise unfulfilled become a problem for him, or can he simply, you know, continue to draw support as he has, pretty large support in polls in terms of approval, by offering, again, the atmospherics of bipartisanship even if not actual compromise. >> you guys have never sounded better on speakerphone, by the way. claire, here's why i ask that question. this is from "politico," quote,
biden and senate leader chuck schumer need rock solid unity to ensure the opening months of biden's administration don't get derailed by intraparty feuds. that dynamic ramps up pressure on the white house to help schumer keep his caucus together. claire, i was saying last night no president has had this much experience in the senate since lyndon johnson. no president has been faced -- coronavirus in this case -- with as much a single issue presidency since 43 in the days after 9/11. do you worry about cohesion? do you worry about this combination of biden and schumer being able to keep the flock together? >> you know, here's the thing. i think they need to worry less about fighting the republicans and worry about internal fighting and really stay focused on fighting for the policies
because the policies are wildly popular. i'll tell you what's not popular right now, brian, and that's donald trump and mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy and ted cruz and josh hawley. they're all under water. but right now joe biden is in a very strong position in terms of this country supporting him and his covid relief bill. so, if they can keep this together and get the covid relief bill across the finish line and then follow it with the strong infrastructure bill, even if the republicans are fighting them, people are still going to support this president because this is stuff they want. >> claire, i've got a question for you about the dynamic in the senate, especially after what we've seen this week. what's it like among this group, tend to be better educated than most folks, to hear remarks or questions from a guy -- i'll use his new nickname given to him
this week -- johnson from wisconsin, a guy who plainly knows better. we've been talking about the big lie. actually, if we're being honest, there were many. there's obama wasn't born in the united states. there's it's just like the flu. it's going to disappear. all these educated folks buying in to the big lies. does it make for tension? what on earth must it be like since there's only 100 of you in that chamber at one time? >> yeah, you know, i always hesitate to kind of pull back the curtain in terms of individual members of the senate because it, you know, feels like a personal attack and it's something that, as a senator, you try not to do. but let me tell you, i'm not sure ron johnson does know better. there are really, really, really smart people that are republican senators that know better. ted cruz, josh hawley -- i could put a whole bunch of them in that bucket -- rick scott, marco
rubio. but i'm not sure about ron johnson. he spent the last four years wanting to talk about hillary clinton's emails. how dumb was that? we had a burgeoning problem of domestic terrorism and he was chairman of the committee that should have been having hearings years ago. he had one drive-by hearing on it and didn't ever signal to the administration that this is something that should be taken seriously, and we saw what the result was. it'll be interesting to see if he runs again. i think he'll get beat if he does. >> and of course, mr. chairman, as i like to call you, absent the new ideas, that first quick conversation you and i had tonight, absent the bench, the need to carry that water, the need to never let them see you sweat is even greater among these republican-elected officials.
>> oh, it is. it's going to be enormously challenging. and to claire's point, you have a lot of incumbents that are going to be obviously on the ballot in the house and the senate. and many of them are going to get challenged. i suspect they're going to be eyed by a lot of folks in the trump world because even though they may have played ball, they didn't play it well enough or they didn't play it long enough or they weren't there at the beginning. they were always making excuse in the trump world to continue the remaking of the republican party because ultimately that's what this is about. that's why the leadership is, you know, flying down to mar-a-lago after this week in various sessions with donald trump. why? i don't know. he's not -- he's no longer a head. he's a former president who should go off and paint a picture or build a house. but he's not. he's going to be at cpac and he's going to emerge and reengage in a way that puts
greater pressure on those incumbents going into next year. and mcconnell -- the only thing he can do is just shake his head because at a certain point those folks are going to be left to the whiles of a base that wants to take a lot of them out. >> and peter baker, that moment, that dynamic between mccarthy and cheney, it was like that commercial for chewing gum where the ice chill enters the room and everything has icicles on it. that is not quite emblematic of the proportion of the split in the republican party. in trump's republican party, cheney is clearly an outlier and came within an inch of her life of losing her number three management seat on the republican side. but she does speak for some republicans. it looks like, however, mccarthy speaks for more of them. >> yeah, it's a really interesting question as to who
is in fact more representative of the caucus at this point. when it was a secret ballot, liz cheney came out okay. she came 3 to 1 basically i think when it came to a vote on keeping her position. on the other hand she was one of ten republicans that voted to impeach donald trump and he's been attacked mercilessly by his allies. they voted to keep the qanon congresswoman from georgia by helping as well. which is the republican caucus? the republican caucus that sticks by liz cheney or the caucus that sticks by greene in georgia who espouses theories of jewish death rays and wild fires and all that. and i think that the truth is this is a republican caucus that is torn. it's torn between its instincts, between its agreement on some level with the things that liz cheney says. and it's understanding the politics of the moment. and the politics of the moment are donald trump still commands great support in the base.
and if you cross him, you're going to cross that base. you're going to pay a price. we'll see in 2022. it's a long way between now and then. i think lawrence o'donnell previously made a fair point. whether donald trump continues to exercise that power may continue on whether he is underwater himself with legal distractions that may take him out of the picture. >> by way of thanking these guests, melissa ray burger was the first face you saw, lawrence o'donnell stuck around to help us because we've had a control room crash that renders all our studios, all our zoom connections. we are back and our thanks to michael steele, senator clair mccass skill, peter baker for sticking with us. apologies. it was bound to happen at some point. a break for us and coming up more tense moments from capitol hill where a number of republicans despite our electronic age still prefer to
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we had an election. it was all a charade. it was all part of the predicate for laying the groundwork for the mail-in balloting and the confusion the democrats wanted. >> all the gaslighting that we just heard does not change facts. i didn't vote to overturn an election. and i will not be lectured by people who did about partisanship. >> nice to see everybody getting along. with us tonight is john howlman, author, journalist, national affairs analyst, cohost of "the circus" and neal katyal, look at all these people we found electronically, solicitor general during the obama administration who has argued
dozens of cases before the u.s. supreme court. but how many catastrophic control room failures has he lived to witness? how many more after tonight? that's the big question. i have a kind of slow curveball for you, and that's this. is it possible that trump is having more influence now that he has been silenced on social media? because to those who have already lost their dignity to him, sold out to him, the idea of him, the threat of him is still very potent. >> yeah, brian, i wouldn't say -- that's not just a slow curve. that's a slow hanging curve that -- where somebody stole the signs and gave them to me in advance. i can't promise i'll hit it out of the park. i'm not sure i would say he has more influence, but i'll tell you i think he has more pernicious influence right now, right? because a lot of these people up here in washington, d.c., a lot of the folks on capitol hill
proved themselves over four years to be such abject cowards that they were terrified -- they said so -- they were terrified of trump tweeting at them. that scared them. they would say it all the time. i don't want to -- i'm worried about the trump tweet. i think in some ways the power and the influence he exerted through that infernal machine was pervasive in a way that his power now is not as pervasive, it's not as much in your face, the cowards don't have as many small things to run from in the form of those tweets. but it's now pernicious. you talked about ron johnson. we're now looking at it in the house. it's just the fact that trump is gone and that the big lie lives on and that hundreds of these people are engaged in government by gaslight as you said in a new administration at a time when we faced such big problems that trump could continue to control them even though, like by remote control, without twitter, by pure mind control from
mar-a-lago, from the golf course, that he's still causing these people to behave this way. i would say maybe his influence is less pervasive, but it's, as i said, more pernicious in some ways, and could, if it continues deeper into the administration. we'll see about lawrence's opinion. but if it continues deeper into the biden administration could keep getting worse in some ways if the republicans continue to behave this way. >> neal, speaking of pernicious, i have an you are yent matter to raise with you and that is voter suppression. voter suppression is on in a big way. forget gamestop neal, it's happening out loud and in plain sight iefts happening in a lot of states where they have republican legislatures. but for those watching, for those who can't believe the speed and visibility with which this is happening, to change who can vote and how they vote because the election didn't go
their way, the democrats control the game nationally. do they have levers they can pull to keep this in check? >> they do, brian. and it is a clear and present danger right now. just since the november election over 100 different bills have been introduced in state legislatures that make it harder for people to vote. they're putting limits on who can vote by mail. there's all sorts of stuff about photo id laws and stuff like that. and a lot of shenanigans. nothing demonstrates the republican allergy to facts like their eagerness to go round two. but we need to give people abrams help and you ask what can the government, the federal government, do? and i think they can do a lot. and in particular i think they need to authorize the john lewis voting rights act. you know, the voting rights act is something that was passed first in 1965. i had the honor of defending it
and the constitutionality of it in the supreme court in 2009 and it was upheld then but then four years later was struck down in a case called shelby county by the supreme court in a 5-4 decision written by the chief justice. there are ways to go around that decision and have a new voting rights act, but we need it because a lot of the problem is it is really subtle. they change the polling place right before the election, change the hours, things like that. and what the voting rights act did is it said you've got to get that pre-clear, any change, whatever it is, by the justice department or by a court before it goes into effect. it's a sensible obvious law and it really should be considered in the next few days. >> we're just getting starting covering it. we'll stay on it. two of the best minds we get to access on a regular basis. thanks for rolling with us, gentlemen. john heilemann, neal katyal, both friends of this broadcast. coming up after a new break,
[ traffic passing by ] [ birds chirping ] mondays, right? what? i said mondays, right? [ chuckles ] what about 'em? just trying to make conversation. switch to progressive and you can save hundreds. you know, like the sign says. switch to progressive and you can save hundreds. (man) i'm a verizon engineer, part of the team that built 5g right, the only one from america's most reliable network. we designed our 5g to make the things you do every day better. with 5g nationwide, millions of people can now work, listen, and stream in verizon 5g quality. and in parts of many cities where people can use massive capacity, we have ultra wideband, the fastest 5g in the world.
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transitions™ light under control. ♪upbeat music♪ transitions™ signature gen 8™ available now, in 4 vibrant style colors. transitions™ this week senators are hearing from current and former capitol law enforcement officers in their effort to figure out how it is rioters took our capitol on 1/6. as we learn more about the planning and participants that day. tonight there's chilling new
videos we mention of the woman accused of breaking into speaker pelosi's office and straight up stealing her laptop. nbc news correspondent richard engel has our exclusive report. >> this is 22-year-old riley williams from pennsylvania. in the capitol on january 6th according to the fbi. up stairs is speaker nancy pelosi's office. inside a female voice the fbi believes to be williams seems excited. on the desk is pelosi's hp laptop. the same voice tells others to treat it carefully. according to the fbi a witness claims williams stole the laptop and intended to send the computer device to a friend in russia to be passed to russian intelligence. williams turned herself into authorities shortly after the capitol assault. an nbc news investigation again revealed tonight this is also riley williams expressing
neo-nazi sympathies. >> there is no political solution. all that is left is acceleration. heil hitler. >> reporter: nbc news along with the investigative group bellingcat investigated the video found on a white supremacist chat group. williams social media accounts now deleted also full of support for white nationalism. williams facing unlawful entry and aiding and abetting the theft of government property. williams lawyer told us tonight the video was meant to be an internet joke intended to mock nazis, but he wouldn't confirm or deny that his client was in it. brian? >> disturbing stuff, richard engel. thank you for that report tonight. another break and coming up something trump talked about all the time that may now end up on the scrap heap of history. d up the scrap heap of history.
a lot of planes in particular the f-35 fighter jet. the f-35 that is some plane. when our enemies hear the f-35 engines their souls will tremble and they will know the day of reckoning has arrived. >> last thing before we go tonight. sorry about the trigger, but like the fifth grader he played on twitter, the former president talked about the f-35 all the time because it was one of the few aircraft he was told about
when he became president. and as often as he mentioned the stealth fighter plane, he mentioned something else he had been taught, which was almost correct but not really. >> you can't see it. you literally, you can't see it. you know, almost like an invisible fighter. it is very tough to beat a plane when you can't see it. they can't see it. i said that sounds good to me not knowing too much about it. >> no one at the pentagon could ever figure out how to tell him it's just an expression. when we say you can't see it, it means it's invisible on radar. you can see them flying just fine with the naked eye. but with trump gone now the pentagon is dealing with an honest and tough question. how do you solve a problem like the f-35? there it is. it wasn't meant to be a flying dreadnought. but the jet supposed to be our nimble stealth fighter weighs in at 25 tons.
it was built to replace this, the f-16, the coclassic of american fighter jets, fast but nimble but only. we haven't bought one new in 20 years. that's where the f-35 came in. only like anything built by committee the f-35 got built in three versions with technology so stratospheric its bull of bugs. the pentagon may scrap the f-35 program, and wouldn't it be nice right about now to have all that money back? but don't take my word for it. quote, the failed f-35 program is costing us $1.7 trillion. that's enough to house all homeless people in the united states 28 times over. quote, the f-35 program costs $1.7 trillion. we could have use this cash to cancel student loans for every person in america.
and finally this. the u.s. air force just admitted the f-35 stealth fighter has failed. maybe it would be cheaper if they gave us all our own f-35s. that is our broadcast on this wednesday night. thank you so much for pairing with us this evening. thank you additionally for being with us tonight. on behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night. here is a change i did not see coming. you might remember that one of the classy things about the transition from the last president to this one, and i mean klassy with a k in this context. one of the real nice things with this transition, the transition didn't really happen, everywhere from the pentagon to the parts of the government dealing with the vaccine rollout, the outgoing trump administration refused to do normal transition things that ul