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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  February 25, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PST

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ceremonial things. i appreciate that. everybody has to be taken care of. this board and its -- where was the board and how did it function prior to january 6th? and on january 6th? >> ma'am, if i could answer that question as it relates to capitol police prior to january 6th, i think it's important to note that by statute, in order for u.s. capitol police to have the national guard on its grounds in a law enforcement capacity, the capitol police board must first declare an emergency. in order for us -- >> capitol police, your responsibility was to declare an emergency before the capitol police board could respond?
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no? >> no, ma'am. by statute, in order for the u.s. capitol police to have the national guard on our grounds, the capitol police board must declare an emergency. >> the board? >> yes, ma'am. >> was there any emergency declared of either prior to with intelligence information that determined that they were coming for the congress and, quite frankly, in the midst -- where were -- where was this board prior to and during this insurrection? >> yes, ma'am. it's my understanding that chief sun did make the request to the capitol police board to declare an emergency. >> when? >> prior to january 6th.
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>> prior to january 6th? >> yes. >> the response from the capitol police board -- >> was that the request was denied. >> right. the issue was -- i don't have all of my quotes in front of me here. but that it was the optics of the national guard being on the capitol grounds that was a concern? >> i was not privy firsthand to those conversations. to say whether or not -- i know the request was denied. >> the request was denied. the request made prior to january 6th that we have national guard on the premise and that request was denied by this -- >> good thursday morning to you. craig melvin at the nbc news bureau in los angeles. we have been watching and
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listening to the house hearing on insurrection security failures. we are going to continue to monitor this hearing. house speaker nancy pelosi started her briefing coming at a critical moment for passing the covid relief bill. let's listen to speaker pelosi. >> we are waiting to hear from the senate parliamentarian as to what will happen with the minimum wage piece of the legislation. i don't know what other considerations she has. but i feel that we have a very, very strong argument. and we have a very big need in our country to pass the minimum wage. we have been working on this fight for 15 for a number of years now. it's long overdo. it will be phased in. and we would hope that it could be part of this reconciliation
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bill. could be any moment. if you hear -- i don't have a phone. if you hear before i do, let me know. okay? that, as you know, is part of our american rescue plan that we are putting forth. it's about putting vaccinations in the arm, money in the pocket, children in the schools, workers in their jobs. it's what this country needs. i salute the president for recognizing those needs and courageously going forth and the american people, over 75% of american people support the legislation overwhelmingly democrats, republicans and independents support the legislation. hopefully, by the end of the day tomorrow, it will be passed. then prepared to send over to the senate by monday morning. for them to act upon it and
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then, if they change it, we will take it back and pass it and send it to the white house. we are very excited about that. it is receiving such very widespread support from economists and the need for something substantial is very recognized as well as the timing. at a time when interest rates are low. the need is great. the opportunity is there. the precision of the legislation to directly address the needs of the american people. the lives of the american people and the livelihood. earlier this week, we sadly observed the over 500,000 people who died from the coronavirus. i was so pleased that we had a big turnout of democrats and republicans, house and senate, on the steps of the capitol for a moment of silence and music.
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no speeches. music to share our sympathy with the families of those who lost their loved ones. any questions? yes, sir. go across like this. >> the other week, prior to the senate vote, you were asked whether there might be something else -- if there was not a conviction or census. you said you might have something to say about that. i was wondering if there's anything you are looking at, maybe the 200,000 -- is this a closed chapter? >> i think what i was thinking of is we have to get -- what we need is the truth. that's what we want to find out, the truth about what is
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happening in our country to enable something like this to be acceptable to the republican party. secondly, obviously, the separate from him, the need for us to secure the capitol in a way that gives people confidence that they can visit, their children can come and see this temple of democracy. so many things are happening outside of the congress in regard to your question that we right now, our focus is on finding the truth. i'm disappointed in what i heard the minority leader yesterday mcconnell say on the floor of the senate. it was really quite stunning, because in my conversation -- brief conversation with him on this subject, i had the impression that he wanted to
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have a january 6, similar to 9/11 commission. but what he said on the floor was really a departure from that. it seemed when he spoke that he was taking a page out of the book of senator johnson. it was really disappointing. he said, we could do something narrow that looks at the capitol or we could do potentially something broader to analyze the full scope of political violence problem in this country. no, we have a domestic terrorism challenge in this country. that's what the director of the fbi testified to the end of september. domestic violence taking more lives than international violence in this country. and the biggest number since oklahoma city.
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the biggest buckets under that category of domestic violence were white supremacy, anti-semitism and xenophobia, et cetera. i refer you to his statement. for the leader of the senate to make light of this is -- well, it's ron johnson -- senator -- not "miami vice"? ron johnson seems to be taking the lead on what the scope would be of how we look at protecting our country from domestic terrorism. >> speaker, can i follow up on that topic? minority leader and others would want to see this commission be a 50/50 bipartisan split.
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why have you not wanted to go down that road? are you concerned about who republicans would appoint to be on a commission like that? >> no. the author of the legislation for the 9/11 commission, we passed in the committee, in the intelligence committee, i lost on the floor. the ball was picked up by tim romer. he, with the enthusiastic support of the families of 9/11, was able to pass the bill. but it was resisted at first by our republican colleagues. not in the committee. not on the floor of the house, they were in the majority. that was a different time, a different commission. the most recent commission has been the one i take great pride in, the centennial of women's suffrage. that was a committee where each
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of us had two and the president had two. it was six to four. it isn't unusual to give the president -- we don't talk about democrats and republicans. these could be independents. they could all be one. i hesitated to put in there that there should be a difference only of one, because maybe more independents would be named. we don't know. there's a criteria for who it is. that's not the point though. that's easily negotiated. the point is the scope. if you don't know your why, if you don't have your purpose as to what the purpose of this is, then the rest of it is not the important part of the conversation. >> to that end, are you concern ed -- that the public would have
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confidence? [ inaudible ] >> that's exactly what -- senator mcconnell said. we had an event on january 6th, which i'm sure the world has not forgotten. at that time, there was a insurrection on our capitol and on the democracy to overturn or to prevent the electoral college votes to be counted and the president of the united states to be ascertained. after there was an assault on the capitol -- those of us -- to
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miss credit, leader mcconnell was part of it. insisted on coming back to the capitol to resume the proceedings, not doing it off site or anything like that. he was very much a part of coming back to the capitol, even after an assault on the capitol, they still insisted on objecting to another state to take us until 4:00 in the morning and then overwhelmingly voting against the count. we're saying, okay, something happened here. it's about dmestic terrorism. we want to solve this. i will do anything to have it be bipartisan. as your point is that it would be well received by the american people. we're talking about scope and
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saying, we have to go and look at all mob. it's the ron johnson school of january 6th investigation as to seeking the truth. that's most unfortunate. yes, sir. >> not to steal the thunder at this. why is this equality act needed. the republicans calling it an attack on religious liberty and freedom and open up to lawsuits. >> thank you for the question. i love talking about the equality act. it is needed because there is discrimination against people in the lgbtq community. to give you a little background on that, we had for a long time a series -- four things we were going to do. one was we were going to pass
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hate crimes legislation, which we did. so proud of that. matthew shepherd's parents helped us pass that legislation. secondly, we were going to do the repeal of don't ask don't tell, which under president obama's leadership and with his courage and the rest, we were able to do that. the next thing we were going do is end discrimination in the workplace. then it was -- why just the workplace? why not in every aspect of the economy and of our society? we went to the equality act. it was more comprehensive than just in the workplace. that's where we are now. our fourth was not our doing. it was the court's. marriage equality. the courts took care of that for us. the piece that was remaining of the four that we set out to do a number of years ago is now the
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equality act. its manifestation was enda, but we broadened it. it's necessary because -- i wish it weren't. it breaks my heart that it's necessary. but the fact is -- in fact, we had a sad event even this morning demonstrating the need for us to have respect. not even just respect but take pride. take pride in our lgbtq community. thank you for your question. >> covid relief -- >> yes. >> it doesn't seem that you have made changes to the legislation towards police reform legislation since you passed it in 2019, 2020. you still need 60 votes in the senate. how do you see the path to this becoming law if republicans won't sign on? >> we are passing the legislation here which was -- is
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a very -- thank you for your question about the george floyd justice in policing act, which we will have on the floor next week. i worked in a very diligent and fair way to put something together that was respectful of those in blue who do their work so honorably and to whom we are in debt. but also to recognize that not everyone does that. so this is what that legislation is about. what the senate will do is what the senate will do. but we will send over the bill that has the balance that we have in it. when we sent it over before, the senate said, we are for all these things, let's study them. we are either going to do
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something or we're not going to do something. hundreds of thousands -- millions of people marched in the street all over the world, not just for one day, but over and over again to say, make the change that is necessary. this legislation, when we had the hearing for it in the house, a family came -- george floyd's family came. they said, will you name the bill for george floyd? i said, i will only name the bill for george floyd if you think it is worthy of his name. let's go into the process. they did. and we are honored to call it by his name. >> covid relief? let's say the parliamentarian does allow the minimum wage. what's your strategy? isn't it an uphill climb against it? what's path forward? >> you are going to have to ask
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that on the senate side. we are very pleased with the case that has been made. we will pass -- we will pass a minimum wage bill. we must pass a minimum wage bill. again, when we had the majority in 2007, one of the first bills we passed, it was part of our six for '06. the first 100 hours we passed the minimum wage bill. $7.25. it had not been passed in 11 years. now it's even longer. after we passed it in the house, it went over to the senate. about the 22nd of january, a senator from west virginia, senator byrd, put out a press
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statement supporting the passage of the minimum wage and how important it was to the people of west virginia. i call that to your attention because he might be an unlikely advocate, but he was out there urging. when we passed it in the senate, we went out and had a bill -- a rally, i guess, on the lawn. i spoke for the house democrats and senator kennedy spoke for the senate democrats. he said, you know what we have to do now? we have to pass the minimum wage recognizing that already that was not enough for a family to live on. here it is, that was '07 in january, signed by president bush. signed by president george w. bush. what are we, 14 years later, we still haven't raised the minimum
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wage. thank you all very much. i will see you -- some of you 2:00? 2:15 for the equality act. >> okay. we have been listening to house speaker nancy pelosi. this is herweekly press briefing. weighing in on the hearings on the hill over the insurrection back in january. garrett haake asked her about this 50/50 split on the commission, this 9/11-style commission. she said that she was open to it but pointed out that they should be more focused on the scope of the submission instead of the makeup of the commission. she also indicated that the george floyd justice in policing act is going to go to the house floor next week as well. lots to unpack from that briefing. to do that, we turn to lee anne caldwell on capitol hill. kelly o'donnell covering the
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white house. let's start with that massive covid relief bill. the house set to vote on it tomorrow. the minimum wage measure still up in the air. we just heard the speaker there say that, quote, we must pass a minimum wage bill. bring us up to speed on where all of that is and what do we know about the senate parliamentarian's decision about the plan and if she decides the measure can't be included in the bill, that minimum wage measure? >> sure, craig. at this point, minimum wage is part of the bill. what everyone is waiting on is this decision from the senate parliamentarian who is like the senate referee. her decision on if minimum wage can be part of the covid relief has everything to do with the rules of the senate and if that provision fits within those budgetary rules. everyone is kind of in this standstill at this point, waiting to hear what the decision is. what i heard from pelosi, she
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said that the minimal wage is long overdo. it needs to be passed. it needs to be included. because there is a question on if the parliamentarian says that it's not able to go through in the senate, what does the house do? does the house pull the minimum wage from the covid bill before they pass it tomorrow? reading between the lines, it seemed like it was not something she was going to do. she was not explicit on that. the thing in the senate is, this is really hanging up the senate, especially senate democrats, because if the senate referee, the parliamentarian decides that it's not admissible, then it's easy. the covid bill moves forward without this issue. if she says that it is, well then, senate democrats have a lot of work to do to get some of the moderate democrats, like senator manchin who said $15 minimum wage is too much and something they don't support.
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everyone is literally checking their phone every other minute seeing if the parliamentarian has come down with her decision. it's expected at any moment. >> okay. speaker pelosi talking about the proposal to assemble the 9/11-style commission to investigate the deadly attack on the capitol. it's getting more pushback from republicans. walk us through where things stand on that. >> this is a commission that's supposed to be a comprehensive look at what happened on january 6th according to pelosi. it's getting mired in partisan politics. let's just take a step back and start from the beginning. pelosi's original proposal to leaders mccarthy and mcconnell, she suggested seven appointees are appointed by democrats while four are appointed and sat by republicans. now republicans mccarthy and mcconnell are pushing back on that saying that this is just a
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partisan attempt to -- for this commission. they are rejecting that. pelosi pushed back on that today. she said she was comparing what mcconnell said on the senate floor really hammering pelosi's proposal, almost insinuating he was taking the side of senator ron johnson saying it was antifa and not trump supporters who came to the capitol that day. >> white house not just balancing the covid relief fight and the question over the minimum wage, the nomination for tandem. what are we hearing?
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>> if they don't have the 50 democrats, it raises questions about how did they get to this point not knowing that? joe manchin said he would not support the vote. they have to go looking for a republican and have not found one yet. also a question about how could she move forward if the support is so shaky? as one example of that, two of the hearings for her nomination have been delayed. that could, in some ways, provide additional time for some outreach to try to build support. it could also be the sort of bell ringing that her nomination could be doomed. what seen from ron klain is a willingness to say, they are sticking with her. if her nomination were to fail, they would look for some other role in the administration for neera tanden.
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>> kelly o'donnell, leigh ann caldwell, thanks. health officials rushing to get as many americans vaccinated as fast as they can. in massachusetts, some critics say the state prioritized speed over equity. hard-hit black and brown communities have not gotten the shots they need. we will get latest from boston on how the state's changing its strategy. my subway sub with delicious turkey and crispy bacon. it will help you hit shots from anywhere, unlike those other subs. my sub has steak. wait, what did he say? steak! choose better be better and now save when you order in the app. subway eat fresh.
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the number of new coronavirus infections and deaths are continuing to drop substantially. but new concerns are being raised about the effect of the variants across the country. now the companies behind the vaccines in distribution are taking new steps to fight those variants. moderna has announced it is updating its vaccine formula. in an exclusive interview with lester holt, the ceo of pfizer
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is shedding light on how his company is combating the variants. they launched a study on the effects of a booster shot. >> is your expectation that this will turn into a routine three-dose vaccine? >> i think that we need to wait to see. but likely scenario is we don't have a three-dose vaccine, we will have annual vaccination like with one dose of the vaccine. that could be an annual booster either with the same vaccine or if a change in the variant with an adopted to the new variant vaccine. >> lester's full conversation with the head of pfizer tonight on "nbc nightly news." so far, nearly 21 million americans are now fully vaccinated against covid-19. that means one in 12 adults in this country have received both doses of the vaccine. this morning, massachusetts governor charlie baker is
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testifying before his state's legislature about the rollout there. his state has recently come under fire for concerns over vaccine equity. dasha burns is at the east boston neighborhood health center vaccination site following this part of the story. dasha, what's massachusetts doing to try to improve their state's vaccinations as it relates to equity? >> reporter: craig, massachusetts ranks in the top ten states for vaccinations per capita. critics say they prioritized speed over equity. that is starting to shift. just last week the government announced a new equity initiative. they will look to community health centers, like the one behind me, to reach the vulnerable populations. they have beenengrained in the black and brown neighborhoods for decades. they say that's puts them in position to build confidence and
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trust in the vaccine with their neighbors here. craig, as we visited centers, it's clear that there are suss -- systemic issues overlooked, for example life expectancy. you are leaving out a lot of vulnerable folks. hear from two leaders we spoke with about some issues that need more thought and attention moving forward when it comes to this vaccine strategy. take a listen. >> i think one of the important things is, be patient. when they say, yes, we have to be open and available and make sure that we get those vaccines in people's arms. >> life expectancy is predicted by zip code. we need to be thoughtful about when we make decisions how it's going to set up a playing field that's not even. >> reporter: dr. anderson said
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the centers need supply, space and staffing. in this building behind me, the state government has deployed national guard troops that are vaccinating folks here today. centers are ramping up their call centers. people who don't have good internet access it call to make appointments. some of the ways that they are trying to break down barriers for vaccines for black and brown communities. >> did you say the life expectancy is 59 in that neighborhood? >> reporter: that's right. it's one of the things that the crisis has highlighted, the discrepancies. 59 years in roxbury. near by, it's more like 92. that's are stark disparities. >> dasha burns for us in massachusetts. thank you. how do you flip a deep red state to blue? activists are looking at georgia and stacie abrams' success there. we will hear from black women activists in mississippi and
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alabama trying a similar strategy to make their states competitive. i will talk to one of the democrats running for what could be one of the most competitive senate races in country next year. north carolina's open seat. state senator jeff jackson is here next. re next. [ garbage truck creaking and whirring ] [ speaking indistinctly ] [ truck beeping ] [ speaking indistinctly ] [ beeping continues ] [ engine revving ] obviously, i have not been to the zoo since. [ truck departs ] what? switch to progressive and you can save hundreds. you know, like the sign says.
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right now, the largest single voting block in america, black women. that's after 90% of black women voted for joe biden in the 2020 election. they are the force behind what is now a re-energized southern political strategy. it's largely due to activists like stacey abrams in georgia. on the heels of their success, the activists are turning their focus to upcoming elections this year and 2022. chris jansen traveled down south to talk to some of the women. chris joins us from birmingham. good morning. what are you hearing from the women about what comes next? >> reporter: they will have to have hard work and patience in
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deeply red states that didn't go as well as they had hoped in 2020. it's difficult to overstate the importance of stacey abrams. i have spent much of the last week in mississippi and here in alabama. look at what i found. in a state largely run by republican white men, black women are shaking things up. like these women. >> we keep running and keep going and keep pushing and keep building, we keep encouraging, inspiring. >> reporter: each runs an organization that aims at growing voting power. >> there's a misconception about what's possible in mississippi. we will find resources to make sure that your voice is heard on election day. not even just stopping there, but to make sure people's actual material conditions, their needs of their lives are met afterwards.
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>> reporter: after a storm knocked out power and water in jackson, this woman is delivering food, building relationships first and then registering new voters. >> not only are they coming out, but we are starting to see a little bit of change. we get closer to winning statewide office every year. >> reporter: across the south, black women are leading. why does it seem to take black women to get this stuff done? >> you are welcome. >> we will show america who we are. >> reporter: many young and inspired by stacey abrams' successful fight to flip georgia. this woman founded black lives matter here. >> the alabama we want. we will make sure communities -- small communities the communities we want. >> reporter: there are recent successes, including the confederate symbol removed from the mississippi state flag. while there's a statue honoring confederate women outside the
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mississippi capitol, these women are undaunted. >> we have hundreds working to change mississippi. >> reporter: they are enthusiastic. there is a reality check if you take the line between stacey abrams and these folks. she has had certainly in the last several years been a fund-raising juggernaut. she saw an influx of more progressive voters into georgia. two things they don't have here yet but they will also say to you ten years ago, folks told stacey abrams she couldn't do it. like her, when folks tell them that now, craig, they are not listening. >> fascinating look there. thank you. in birmingham, alabama, this morning. right toward the top of democrats' wish list in the south, an open u.s. senate seat in north carolina in 2022. republican senator richard burr will not run for reelection.
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thom tillis won by less than 1%. north carolina democratic state senator jeff jackson has jumped into the primary. this is part of how he introduced himself to voters. >> a true 100 county campaign. an effort to reach every county to cut through the noise and hear from you about what our state needs. that means we will be on the road a lot. >> yay! >> let me check on that. >> at least his son is excited about it. jeff jackson joins me now. there's one other democrat in the race so far. we have been in touch with her campaign. we hope to have her on the show soon as well. senator jackson, we will start with you. i'm sure you were overjoyed to see georgia send two democrats to the senate. we heard about the work being done by black women in the south. democrats modelling their work after stacey abrams pulled off
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there in georgia. what are you doing now to convince black voters specifically that you are the guy who can win? >> we have a lot of black voters and black organizations in north carolina who have been doing greating or niedz ing carolina who have been doing ging carolina who have been doing great or gganizing work for a long time. they haven't had a campaign willing to make the same investment we saw from st stace abrams in that organizing. the day after georgia, i read her playbook. one is, don't just use organizing to get out the vote in the last 60 days. use it to expand the electorate. starting sooner. that's what we are going to do. she talks about a multi-ethnic coalition that you can build by going everywhere and listening to everyone. advertise on black radio and advertise on country radio. we have adopted a 100 county strategy. we are going to every county in the state. we will show the state something it hasn't seen before. we will give local organizing
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groups that have been working for a long time a real shot in the arm, a real boost, real coordination to flip this seat. >> we have talked strategy. let's talk policy. i want your thoughts on issues that democrats are weighing right now in the u.s. senate. issues you would have to weigh as a senator. we will try to do these as yes or no to get in as many as possible. $15 federal minimum wage, do you support it? >> yes. >> do you support the democrats' sweeping immigration bill, the u.s. citizenship act of 2021 as it has been named? >> yes. >> should we get rid of the filibuster? >> i'm filibuster skeptical at best. >> filibuster skeptical. what does that mean? >> in any manner remotely resembling how we used it to grind everything to a halt, that that's not going to be an option.
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>> that explains filibuster skeptical. you said you decided not to run in the last cycle after meeting with now senate majority leader chuck schumer. he told the associated press that schumer wanted you to spend all hours, quote, in a windowless basement raising campaign money to defeat thom tillis. this time around, at least as of last month, i believe, you said you had not spoken to senator schumer about 2022. have you spoken to him since? >> no, i haven't. i did give his group a heads up we were running. we were going to be running our way. i think that our state deserves a true 100 county campaign. it doesn't deserve a campaign based on artifice. >> jeff jackson running for the senate in north carolina. it's a race we will follow. we hope you will join us again.
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group that was helping. then he started his own group and it's helped more than 250 people get that vaccine already. benjamin joins me now. good to have you, sir. thanks for your time. you first found vaccines for your grandparents in florida. what did you notice in that process that made you want to help jump in and help others? >> yeah. so the process was super complicated, and, you know, my grandparents don't know how to refresh a page. my grandfather doesn't own a cell phone. for them to try and navigate the system where tons of people with very few slots i knew it wasn't going to work. i care about them so much, i need to make sure they got vaccinated. i went in and had four computers open and after my third attempt on the county's website i got them their shots. now i've helped -- my group as helped over 425 people get vaccinated in the same fashion.
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>> clearly our numbers aren't to date. i said 250. you're well over 400. >> yep. >> your group chicago vaccine angels, that's the name of the group. besides opening a bunch of computers at the same time, is there more to it than that or is that the strategy? >> yeah, so we've got tons of volunteers going at the same time. a bunch of people are always checking different websites and you always have to be looking out for different tips from the larger group, the chicago vaccine hunters. you know, yesterday i had a bunch of people that i was looking to schedule and i was actually doing my math homework and i got an alert and it said, you know, appointments open at this private clinic. i was like, oh, my god, let me get on that. i scheduled ten people there. you always have to be looking for tips. really my biggest piece of advice i give to people, flexibility. you have to be flexible. i tested someone this morning
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and said i have an appointment for you, it's in four hours. and then two people responded saying yes, we'll be there. some people are inflexible and say it needs to be at this location at this time and that's incredibly hard for me and my volunteers to schedule and probably hard for them to schedule as well. i just say be flexible. you may need to leave your neighborhood or drive far to get the vaccine because it's so difficult to obtain a slot. you have to get lucky. whether that luck is next door or 15 minutes away, you just have to go. >> last question, why is this so important to you? >> it's so important to me because our country can't get back to normal until all these people get vaccinated. in addition, some people have incredibly heartbreaking stories. i spoke to a woman yesterday who i got vaccinated who said she'd been seeing her grandson through the last year through a glass door, driving to him every weekend and seeing him through a
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glass door. now she can hug her grandson this weekend. >> benjamin, keep up the great work. keep up the fantastic work. thank you. >> thanks, greg. that's going to do it for me this hour from los angeles. in just a few minutes, white house press secretary jen psaki will be holding that daily briefing. i'll see you tomorrow from new york. up next, "andrea mitchell reports." ender steak and melty cheese. my sub is gonna dunk all over your sub. excuse me? my sub has bacon. choose better be better and now save when you order in the app. subway eat fresh. but not jayson's sub.
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i'm andrea mitchell in washington with the latest on the push for covid relief and the senate confirmation for a full cabinet. the president meets with his covid team this afternoon ahead of an event marking 15 million vaccine shots in american arms as house democrats look ahead the tomorrow's vote on the $1.9 trillion covid bill. the biggest confirmation for the biden administration is neera tanden. scouring for one republican vote to get her across the finish line. all this as a house xhat committee is investigating the intelligence and security failures on january 6th following up on the senate hearings earlier in the week. joining me, chief white house correspondent pete alexander, garrett haake, pete williams, donna edwards and david jolly, former member of the republican


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