tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 26, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PST
i'll take that as a promise and hold you to it. all right. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. we're happy to have you. for the first time since he was inaugurated president joe biden tonight has ordered a u.s. military strike. the pentagon says the president ordered air strikes in syria at around 6:00 p.m. eastern time this evening. this is the statement that we got announcing the air strike from pentagon press secretary john kirby. he said, quote, at president biden's direction, u.s. military forces earlier this evening conducted air strikes against infrastructure utilized by iranian-backed militant groups in eastern syria. these strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against american and coalition personnel in iraq and to ongoing threats to those personnel, specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of iranian-backed militant groups. this proportionate military response was conducted together
with diplomatic measures, including consultation with coalition partners. more on that in a moment. the operation sends an unambiguous message, the statement continues. president biden will act to protect american coalition personnel. quote, at the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern syria and iraq. again, that statement tonight from pentagon press secretary john kirby, announcing these u.s. air strikes in eastern syria. now, in terms of what these air strikes were in response to, this month in iraq, there have been three rocket attacks publicly reported in the space of a week. the most recent one targeted the u.s. embassy in baghdad three days ago. two rockets fired in that attack fell inside the green zone, the heavily fortified area around the baghdad embassy. there were no injuries from those two rockets. on saturday, it was four rockets that hit an air base north of baghdad. that injured one person. but last monday, it was a more
consequential attack. it was a dozen rockets last monday that struck the usually peaceful northern iraqi city of erbil. that attack killed one american civilian contractor and wounded nine other people, including several americans at the erbil airport. now, it has been widely assumed that it was iranian-backed militias that were behind these rocket attacks. iran has denied any direct responsibility. but the attacks have been seen in many corners as a way of sort of testing the waters with the new biden administration. it should also be noted that president biden took office just days after the one-year anniversary of the u.s. killing iran's top revolutionary guard general in a missile strike, something iran has promised to take retaliation for. the other context that's important here, of course, is that the biden administration just a week ago announced that they're ready to hold talks with iran on possibly re-entering the nuclear deal that was designed to keep iran from becoming a
nuclear power. that was the deal that president obama entered into with iran, that president trump pulled out of. as we've been reporting out this story trying to understand the scale of these air strikes tonight, we have just gotten in some tape from the brand-new defense secretary, lloyd austin. he spoke with reporters on a flight back to washington. he had been visiting u.s. military facilities on the west coast. this was on board the plane back en route to the u.s. east coast. >> we're confident in the target that we went after. we know what we hit. and we're confident that that target was being used by the same shia militia that conducted the strikes. we're very deliberate about our approach, as you would expect us to be. we allowed and encouraged the iraqis to investigate and develop intelligence, and that was very helpful to us in
refining the target. >> can you say why this was important to do, mr. secretary, and was this your recommendation? >> it was my recommendation. as we said a number of times, we will respond on our timeline. and once again, we wanted to be sure that the connectivity and that we had the right targets. >> when did the president authorize the strikes? were you on the phone with him? >> it was today, yes. >> it was today? was it this morning? >> yes, it was this morning. >> when were you -- >> that's all i'm going say, guys. >> defense secretary lloyd austin. that's tonight. we just got in that tape moments ago, speaking about the first military operation of the biden administration, these air strikes on iranian-backed militias in syria. the administration says they are a response to rocket attacks that targeted u.s. and coalition forces in iraq.
you just heard defense secretary austin there say that it was president biden who authorized these strikes, and he did so this morning, per the defense secretary's readout to reporters tonight. joining us now for more is nbc's chief foreign correspondent, richard engel. richard, i didn't expect to have you back on the show so soon after talking with you last night on a totally different matter. thanks for joining us on short notice tonight to help us through this. >> reporter: not a problem. and i was speaking a short while ago with a senior u.s. official with direct knowledge of this. this was a message to iran and iranian-backed militias, according to this official. and the message was that the united states will no longer tolerate harassment, will no longer tolerate attacks, rocket attacks, missile attacks, and particularly, the attack on erbil earlier this month was seen as something of a watershed
moment. so, this was a message that times have changed, that even though president biden wants to negotiate with iran, this administration does not want to be bullied, does not want to be pushed around, and is not going to accept increased military action that put u.s. personnel and allies at risk. so, this was a strong message. it was described to me as the carrot -- or excuse me, as the stick in the carrot-and-stick of diplomacy and deterrence, that the u.s. is offering the carrot. they want to get back to talks. but they also are using the stick for the first time today and sending this message. the target that was hit was described as a series of buildings that were used to supply and support these different militia groups, so kind of a border crossing area on the border between syria and
iraq. the militias that operate in this area do often cross the border. the fact that the strike took place in syria is also significant. it takes some of the pressure off of the government of baghdad. so, this was a very carefully chosen target. it was a calibrated response, trying to hit specifically the militia that had been targeting the u.s. forces and u.s. allied forces and also to send a clear message to iran that times have changed. now, the official said this is also a message to iran and the militias that things are different than they were under the trump administration. under president trump -- and by the way, we almost went to war with iran in a very similar circumstance that we're in right now about a year ago. there were attacks on contractors, on bases. the u.s. responded with attacks that caused many casualties.
then there was the attack on the u.s. embassy in baghdad, and things started to escalate. in this case, it sounds like the biden administration is trying to stop that chain of escalation, sending a message early but not causing mass casualties, trying to send a message to iran that they don't want to go down the same spiral of events that almost led us to a war a year ago. >> well, richard, what about the issue of casualties? you've described the location of the target of these strikes, where it is in terms of being near the border but on the syrian side, that these are sites and buildings that were used to supply these iranian-backed militias that are believed to be responsible for these attacks to which this is a retaliation. but were these air strikes tonight designed to cause casualties among the militias? were they designed to kill people? were they designed just to cause property damage? were they designed to disrupt supply lines in terms of weapons
being launched from those locations? are we going to get some sort of readout as to whether people were killed and what damage was done? >> reporter: at this stage, i don't have clarity on that. any time you carry out a military strike, there is a possibility that you're going to cause casualties. but this was not described as a civilian location. it was not described as a barracks or a headquarters. it was described more as a logistical hub. so, it is possible that there are casualties. you never know who's on a site unless you have eyes out on the ground, unless you're actually there. and it's possible there were some people inside, some guards, who knows, but it does not sound like that this was intended to cause large numbers of casualties, if any. >> nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel staying up into the dead of night and beyond for us. richard, thank you, again. i really appreciate you doing this tonight, my friend. thanks. nice to see you. >> absolutely.
>> you know, this u.s. military strike tonight, also, i will say, gives us another lens through which we can try to understand another developing story we have been following, what's going on with the administration and saudi arabia. you might remember this time last night what we led the show with was this expectation that, by now, by this time tonight, we would have an important, new, declassified report that we, the public, could see about the murder of a u.s. journalist. the office of the new director of national intelligence, avril haines, we expected by now, to have released a declassified version of a u.s. intelligence report on the murder of "washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi. khashoggi was murdered at a saudi consulate in october 2018. he was reportedly dismembered. his body has never been found. in 2018, multiple news outlets, including nbc news, reported that when the cia investigated that murder, they concluded with
high confidence that that murder of that u.s. journalist was ordered by the crown prince of saudi arabia. now, our relationship with saudi arabia is toxic and knotted and deeply, ethically screwed up, even at the best of times. but the prospect of the crown prince of that country, right, the guy who's on the on-ramp to be king, the prospect that the crown prince of that country getting elevated to king, since that's next in line after you are crown prince, the prospect of him serving as king of saudi arabia, potentially for decades, after he orchestrated the murder and dismembership of a u.s. journalist, and we know he did it, i mean, we have a difficult relationship with them at the best of times. that is harder to take than most things between us and saudi arabia. so, the trump administration excusing that, president trump bragging to bob woodward that he saved the crown prince's -- forgive me -- saved the crown prince's ass, that he got him
out of any accountability for that murder of a u.s. journalist is a mess that the trump administration left behind. this time last night, as we reported here on the show, we expected the biden administration to release a public, declassified version of the cia's report into the killing of khashoggi and the culpability in that killing of the saudi crown prince. we were told by the white house yesterday that president biden intended to speak with the king of saudi arabia, the 85-year-old father of the crown prince, before that report was released to the public. well, we now know that that call has happened, the call between president biden and the saudi king. however, the report on khashoggi's murder has still not yet been released. the saudi government, meanwhile, has announced that the crown prince, himself, had an emergency appendectomy last night. okay, so, maybe that's part of the delay, somehow, if we believe them about that or anything? but now with these air strikes in syria and the u.s. announcing
that this was carried out together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with coalition partners, that raises the prospect that maybe these things are intertwined as well. maybe part of the delay in what we're expecting on the saudi front could have been the consultations that the administration said it was taking on board ahead of this strike against iranian-backed militias operating out of eastern syria that have reportedly been firing rockets into iraq. these rocket attacks on sites in northern iraq, in one of those attacks, a u.s. service member was injured, a contractor for the u.s. was killed. there was always going to be an initial response, but the explanation from the pentagon explaining the air strikes says the u.s. consulted with coalition partners ahead of the air strikes. maybe that, somehow, is mixed up in this high-stakes stuff going on between president biden and the saudi government as well. but this is a lot of explosive things all happening at the same time. we are staying on it. we will let you know more as we learn more.
but that all happens, you know, amid a lot of developing stories we are following tonight. another developing story we are following tonight relates to the attack on the capitol january 6th. one of the outrageous, outstanding allegations from that attack -- this is something that's never really been answered or explained, was the claim that some members of congress or their staff had led what amounted to reconnaissance tours of the capitol in the days leading up to the attack, that people who took part in the capitol attack may have come to the capitol ahead of time, essentially, to learn the lay of the land, to learn the floor plan, and been toured around the capitol grounds for that purpose by members of congress or their staff. that allegation's been out there since the immediate aftermath of the attack. well, today, ohio congressman tim ryan, who's the head of a subcommittee that has key jurisdiction here, he said those allegations are now with federal law enforcement. >> i just was wondering if you
have gotten any update about concerns about any house members giving tours to rioters on january 5th, if that's still seen as a concern and contributing factor to what happened on the 6th and whether threat level of other members of congress is a concern. >> yeah, thanks for asking that. that is in the hands of the u.s. attorney here in d.c. now. they are reviewing the footage. that whole case is with the u.s. attorney. and so, we don't have any visibility on that at all, but we know that they are looking at it, and it's been turned over to them. >> federal prosecutors office in d.c., the u.s. attorneys office is reviewing footage of those alleged reconnaissance tours given by republican members of congress or their staff in the days leading up to the attack on the capitol. that is an important advance in
that story. if members of congress or their staff are being -- if their actions are being reviewed by the top federal prosecutor in d.c. to see whether that was, in effect, aiding and abetting and helping prepare for the capitol attack, wow! we will talk with congressman tim ryan about that coming up in just a couple of minutes. at the hearing on that matter today in congress, the u.s. capitol police chief described a previously unknown threat from right-wing militia groups to attack the state of the union address, to try to kill members of congress and administration officials gathered for the state of the union address in a joint session of congress. we're going to talk with congressman tim ryan about that coming up as well and more. tonight, the parliamentarian of the u.s. senate issued her hotly awaited ruling on whether or not the democrats can include a hike in the minimum wage in their big covid relief bill. this is the big covid relief bill that president biden made his first priority in terms of what legislation he wanted to get through congress. that bill is set, we think, to
pass the house tomorrow. it will pass the senate soon thereafter. no republicans support the covid relief bill, which is astonishing in its own right. i mean, this is the funding, like for the vaccine rollout! no republicans support it. because of that, it means that democrats are going to pass this thing using a process called budget reconciliation. if they use that process, it means the bill can pass with only 50 votes, so they don't need any republican votes. however, things that aren't technically related to the budget can't be included in a bill that passes under those rules. tonight, the senate parliamentarian issued her opinion that a rise in the minimum wage doesn't make the cut. it doesn't fit those rules. and so, the democrats shouldn't include it in this bill, if they want this bill to be passed under rules that will allow them to pass it with just 50 votes. now, this isn't a total surprise, but the ruling really could have gone either way, and now it's a question of what the democrats are going to do next. a few things can happen from here. i mean, the democrats could ignore the parliamentarian's ruling, if they wanted to.
heck, the republicans fired the parliamentarian not that long ago when they got a ruling like this that they didn't like for a piece of legislation that they were working on. but if the democrats decide not to do that, if they decide not to ignore the ruling and not to fire the parliamentarian, if they do go along with her ruling, that will mean the minimum wage, the hike in the minimum wage won't be in the covid relief bill. and if they want to raise the minimum wage, they're going to have to try to pass it some other way. we haven't had a minimum wage hike in 12 years. are we really not going to have one now, either? with huge public support for it, with a desperate need for economic stimulus, particularly for low-wage americans, with democrats in control of the white house and the house and the senate, are we really not going to get a rise in the minimum wage because minority in the senate doesn't want it? apparently, zero republicans support the $15-an-hour minimum wage that president biden and the democrats are seeking. and that is wildly popular in the united states and that the house is going to pass by
majority rule tomorrow. it has huge public support, just like the covid relief bill has huge public support, but it has no support among republicans on capitol hill. and so, unless democrats get rid of the filibuster by which the minority party gets to flex its muscles in the senate, unless they get rid of the filibuster, the minority party, republicans in the senate, will stop 27 million low-wage americans from getting a raise by raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. that would be a hugely unpopular outcome. it would be literally and truly undemocratic minority rule as an outcome. but that's where it's heading, unless they get rid of that filibuster. we'll have more on that with paul krugman, ahead tonight. but like i said, there's lots of developing news that we are watching tonight. we believe that president biden, even with these military strikes tonight and everything else going on, we believe he is still on track to go to texas tomorrow, where, even though the winter storm is over as of last
night, more than 800 public water systems in texas were still on a boil water advisory. more than 30 public water systems in the state still weren't providing water to texans, whether you had to boil it or not. the effects of the collapse of the energy system, collapse of the electrical grid in texas is still something the state is contending with days after the temperatures came back up and they were able to get the power back on. the water disaster in texas is a direct knock-on effect from the electricity generation system in texas having completely fallen apart. texas made the decision under then governor george w. bush that they would dereg late their electricity mark. "wall street journal" now reporting that over the past two decades, that experiment has just been an economic disaster for texas residents. over the past two decades with their deregulated electricity market, electricity bills in texas have been $28 billion higher than they would have been in comparative markets with
normal regulations. $28 billion extra texans spent on their electricity bills because texas republicans wanted the market to be totally unregulated. that said, without all that pesky regulation in the way, texas residents, you know, they might have had to pay $28 billion more than everybody else did, but they did get the added benefit of a power generating system in their state that is not operable in the cold and that shut down for multiple days because temperatures dropped in february, like nobody saw that coming. even -- and this is -- this blows my mind. even in the aftermath of this deadly disaster we have just had in texas, which among other things is going to be the most expensive storm of any kind to ever hit texas -- even with what texas has just gone through and is still crawling out of, the entity that would be in charge of regulating the oil and gas industry in texas, if they did that sort of thing, has already said this week that, no, they
still have no plans to require texas oil and gas companies to winterize their systems, so they don't shut down like this again the next time it gets this cold. no plans to change the requirements for being operable in the cold. yeah, why would they change things from the way they've been doing for so long? it's all worked out so great, particularly recently. no plans to change. but president biden will be in texas tomorrow, as more than 200 texas counties are still not able to deliver clean drinking water countywide after the grid collapse. back in washington, we are expecting that president biden's big next legislative lift is going to be a national infrastructure bill, just in time. that will be the second piece of legislation they try to pass under this budget reconciliation process, so they'll need just 50 votes, because presumably, no republicans will vote for that, either. the covid relief bill will pass that way, apparently, minus a rise in the minimum wage. they will try to do infrastructure that same way,
too. we'll see what the parliamentarian allows them to put in their infrastructure bill. today, the house passed the equality act, which updates the civil rights act to include sexual orientation and gender identity. republicans voted against it in the house. democrats voted for it. democrats are in the majority, so it passed in the house. i should mention that the democratic majority in the house also passed, basically, this same bill in 2019 as well. but in 2019, the senate was controlled by republicans and the republicans in the senate just never took it up, never went everywhere. the senate never even looked at it. the senate is now controlled by democrats. senator schumer and the democrats absolutely will take up the equality bill, and soon. but again, here we go! as long as they keep the filibuster rule in place, then the fact that the equality bill is opposed by a minority party in the senate means that it won't pass. the minority republicans will be able to block it, even though they don't have a majority of
the votes. the democrats absolutely could pass the equality act, if they got rid of the filibuster, just like they could pass the minimum wage if they got rid of the filibuster, but we are already up against that stuff. we'll see what they do. today was the fourth day of five for which u.s. flags have been flying at half-staff to honor the more than 500,000 americans who have died from covid in the past year. today, dr. vivek murthy testified at his confirmation hearing in the senate to become next surgeon general of the united states, a role he held for a time during the obama administration. dr. murthy testified today that he has lost seven members of his own family to covid-19. seven people in his family. u.s. covid deaths are still dropping, though not as steadily as they were for the past few weeks. "the new york times" today highlighting one very bright spot in the covid numbers, which is that both new cases and
deaths in u.s. nursing homes have been dropping incredibly steeply, more steeply than the numbers at large in the country, and that, of course, is correlated with nursing home populations being prioritized for vaccines. it suggests that as larger and larger proportions of the american public get vaccinated, we will see sharp improvements in case numbers and hospitalization numbers and death numbers for everyone, just like we're seeing them in nursing homes now, after nursing homes were targeted intensely for first vaccination efforts. white house chief of staff ron klain today saying that in their first week in office, first week after the inauguration, it was 8% of americans over the age of 65 who had received one dose of the vaccine. now, five weeks later, nearly half of all americans over the age of 65 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. going from 8% to nearly 50%? that is a huge leap in just five
weeks. overall, today the administration marked 50 million doses of vaccine being administered to americans. tomorrow, the fda's advisory committee on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines will evaluate the new, one-shot, one-dose vaccine from johnson & johnson. if that advisory committee gives the thumbs up to the fda and the fda agrees with their recommendation, that means that that vaccine will be our third approved vaccine in this country and millions of doses of that johnson & johnson one-dose vaccine will start shipping out early next week. so, the biden administration keeps broadening the response as well. this week they announced they'll start shipping tens of millions of american-made, high-quality, washable cloth masks to food pantries and to community health centers. the trump administration had reportedly early on considered a proposal to mail out masks, packages of four or five masks to every family in the country, via the u.s. postal service. the president was apparently very afraid of masks, and so,
that never went anywhere. it could have made a huge difference, had they done that. the biden administration has changed that proposal so they won't be counting on the postal service to send masks to american homes directly. they'll be sending them to, again, food pantries and community health centers, so people who use those community resources will be able to get high-quality, american-made masks for free at those places. again, trying to remedy some of the inequities in terms of people's access to the things they need to keep them safe during this pandemic. on the other end of the spectrum, in terms of american government response, the 101st airborne today just announced a new deployment, 130 soldiers from the 101st airborne will be deploying to orlando to help with vaccination efforts in that florida city. but we are prepared to answer the call, no matter the mission, no matter the challenge. we are proud to be part of this whole-of-government team. everything from food pantries to
community health centers to the 101st airborne division. and of course, the whole-of-government effort includes the huge stimulus and covid response funding, including billions of dollars to run the accelerating vaccine effort. that's all in the covid relief bill. again, the news tonight that, as the house is poised to pass it, as soon as tomorrow, in the senate, the parliamentarian there says that bill cannot include a big raise in the minimum wage, which would be a big part of the economic stimulus in that bill. the impact of that decision, what else we should be watching for there, we've got a nobel prize-winning economist to help us with that. stay with us. ing economist to h us with that stay with us
poll found basically the same thing, 61% of americans support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. it's very, very popular. in 2020, in november 2020, donald trump narrowly won the state of florida, even as he went on to lose the presidential election and the country at large, but that same election in that same state, the same florida voters who voted narrowly to re-elect trump, they also voted overwhelmingly, in the same election, in favor of raising florida's minimum wage to $15 an hour. it passed by more than 20 points -- 61%-39% -- even as that same electorate voted to re-elect trump. it was the same -- we saw the same thing happen in arizona. joe biden won arizona in 2020, but in 2016, trump won arizona. and that year, 2016, the same voters in arizona who voted to elect trump president also voted overwhelmingly to increase the minimum wage in the state of arizona. you see that happen all over the country, every time you ask,
whether you ask about a state minimum wage or you ask, as pollsters are doing now, about the national minimum wage. the public wants to raise it. we haven't had a federal minimum wage rise in 12 years. but tonight, the parliamentarian in the senate ruled that a minimum wage increase can't be allowed in the democrats' covid relief package, which the house is due to pass tomorrow and the senate is due to pass soon thereafter. that means the only way left to pass the immensely popular $15-an-hour minimum wage would be to have vice president kamala harris overrule the senate parliamentarian? no signs that she's planning on doing that. barring that, democrats will have to convince not only every member of their own party, but ten republican senators to get on board with their plan, since no republican senators appear to be on board with raising the minimum wage, that seems impossible. the other way they could get it done is to get rid of the filibuster, though there's no signs they're planning on doing that any time soon. but as all these procedural
fights, you know, work their way out and we watch to see what the democrats are going to do, do not lose sight of the fact that, for the whole country, raising the minimum wage is more popular than free ice cream and videos of kittens riding roombas. if democrats have control of the white house and the house and the senate, can't they find a way to get there? and how important would it be for the economy, for the health of the american economy, for them to do it? joining us now is nobel prize-winning economist, "the new york times" columnist paul krugman, the author of the new book "arguing with zombies: economics, politics, and the fight for a better future." mr. krugman, it's really nice of you to be here tonight. thanks for making time. >> glad to be on. >> what do you make of the now-diminished prospects for a rise in the minimum wage passing through congress and being signed into law any time soon? >> well, it's certainly a shame. i mean, the raise to the minimum wage turns out to be one of those things that is both
extremely popular and a really good idea. it's been a real revolution in labor economics over the past 25 years. there's now overwhelming evidence that a rise in the minimum wage within this kind of range is almost completely positive. it will mean higher incomes. it will not lead to significant job losses. minimum wage increases everywhere they've been tried in the united states have had positive effects, minimal, basically unmeasurable negative effects on unemployment. so it's a really good policy. so, this is bad. it's not -- there's still an awful lot of good stuff in this covid relief bill, so it's not as if this kills -- you know, most of the good stuff remains. and the silver lining is, you can force republicans to hold a vote. say, here's something that is good economics, that the public overwhelmingly supports, and your name will be on it saying,
no. and no dodging behind, well, there's other stuff in the bill i don't like. so, there is at least some political silver lining to making it a straight up-and-down vote on raising the minimum wage. >> there are a couple of republican senators who have come forward in the middle of this process and said that they would support a much smaller rise in the minimum wage. they'd support a minimum wage rise to like $10, instead of $15. i don't know that even if democrats agreed to that, that there would be ten republicans who would even agree to that, but given the likely economic impact of a tiny rise like that, is it worth it, in your estimation, for democrats to even have those conversations? >> well, that's a very difficult political judgment. i don't consider myself an expert on that. but you know, it doesn't have to be $15. i mean, if it could have been done through reconciliation, it would have been $15, and $15, you know, just gone for the full $15.
although i would admit that even some democratic economists are a little nervous. $15 is fine in new york, fine in california. not clear, it might be pushing it a bit in alabama. but you know, it was well worth doing, but if you're not going to be able to do that, if there's some somewhat smaller number -- $10 is really minimalist, but if $12 could conceivably actually pass, i'll take it. but the reality is, is i think, basically, we're going to be looking at something that republicans will try to find ways, excuses for another supporting, but they won't support, but then you get to use it against them in the next elections. >> do you think that the covid relief bill, without a minimum wage hike, is going to be right-sized for the economic challenges that we've got now? do you think that it is -- >> yeah. >> -- as a stimulus measure that this is the right target? >> well, it's mostly not stimulus, okay? that's a cause of mine.
it's disaster relief. we're still in the middle of a pandemic. we still have millions and millions of workers who can't work because it's not safe for them to work. and we need to get them through that. we need to get businesses through that. it's not mostly about boosting the economy, although it will have that effect as well, and it's a very big bill. i mean, it's remarkable, actually, that we're about to get something that is this big. i'm not -- i'm in the camp that says, that's okay, the economy will probably be running pretty hot by this time next year. but we could use an economy that runs hot for a while. i mean, this is not 1979. we're not going to see inflation exploding, and much better to err on the side of a bill that's somewhat bigger than -- it might turn out to be a bit bigger than we need, but that's much less of a risk than having a bill that turns out to be too small, which is, after all, what happened to barack obama. so, no, this is still -- this
is -- i mean, i'm kind of almost pinching myself. i can't believe that we're about to get a bill that is as good -- it's not perfect, and especially -- i miss that minimum wage -- but that we're about to get a bill that's as good as it appears we're going to get. >> nobel prize-winning economist, "the new york times" columnist paul krugman, it's a pleasure to have you here tonight, paul. thank you for your time. >> thanks for having me on. all right, as i mentioned at the top of the show, congressman tim ryan is going to be joining us. he broke some big news today related to the attack on the capitol and federal prosecutors reviewing the actions of members of congress and their staff as to whether or not they essentially helped the rioters case the joint ahead of the attack on the capitol on january 6th. congressman ryan joins us straight ahead. stay with us. ssman ryan joins u straight ahead stay with us
members of congress that the day before the attack, the day before january 6th, some members of congress may have given a group of visitors, multiple groups of visitors, access to the capitol for what amounted to reconnaissance tours ahead of the attack on the building the next day. democratic congressman tim ryan from ohio chairs the house subcommittee that oversees the capitol police. he's had a leading role in the investigations into january 6th. and today, a reporter from "the washington examiner" asked him about those alleged recontours given by members of congress ahead of the attack. he told the reporter in response that that issue is now, quote, in the hands of the u.s. attorney in d.c. he said that federal prosecutor's office is, quote, reviewing the footage of those alleged recon tours. okay. tell me more. today, congressman ryan's committee held a hearing on the breakdown in law enforcement that led to the capitol being breached. even after his hearing, there are more questions than answers, but what we did learn
definitively today is that the threat posed by the rioters, particularly the ones who broke into the capitol and then evaded arrest, they still pose a live, active threat to the capitol. this was the acting chief of capitol police testifying at that hearing today. >> we know that members of the militia groups that were present on january 6th have stated their desires that they want to blow up the capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the state of the union, which we know that date has not been identified. >> head of the capitol police saying that militia groups that attacked the capitol on january 6th want to launch another attack on the day joe biden hosts what looks like the state of the union, his first joint address to congress, which is expected to take place sometime next month. joining us now is congressman tim ryan, democrat of ohio. he does chair the house subcommittee that has oversight over the capitol police. he's been leading one of the
inquiries into the january 6th attack. congressman ryan, nice of you to make time to be here tonight. thanks for your time. >> thanks for having me. >> so, i was interested in this answer that you gave to "washington examiner" reporter. you said that the u.s. attorney's office in d.c. has been reviewing footage about these allegations that members of congress may have given tours to some of the rioters in advance of the attack. can you tell us anything more about that? >> yeah, not really, rachel. no one ties it together better than you do. but you know, the u.s. attorney has the investigation going on now. i'm sure they're looking at the footage. they're looking at everything surrounding that idea of members of congress taking people on tours. there were other members of congress who witnessed that happening. so that's in their hands now. and anybody who's dealt with the u.s. attorney doing an investigation, it's like a black
box. you really don't know what's going on, but you know it's happening. >> it was also new to us today, when the new head of the capitol police said that they have intelligence that militia members may want to come back and attack the collagen on the occasion of the state of the union, the president's first joint address to congress. was that news to you as well? that sent a real shock wave, i think, across the country, everybody who was watching that hearing today. >> yeah, yeah, it was stunning. i mean, you know, we hear these kind of threats all the time. you know, the capitol, members of congress, especially in the last couple of months, assassinations and all of that, especially after january 6th. but this was new, which is why we've got to keep the fence up, which is why we have to keep the national guard here, which is why we've got to come up with some real hard-core solutions as to how we move forward. we're not ready yet to take the fence down because we don't have a plan moving forward.
and i think it's important for the american people, one, that hear these threats, and appreciate your reporting on it, because the american people need to know. but the most important thing here, rachel, these are american citizens. this is not al qaeda. this is not the taliban. this is not, you know, the iranians. this is american roots, american citizens who are saying these things about taking down the capitol, taking down representative democracy, and that just shows, i hope in most people's minds, how far along we are in some of these things and why we have to be so vigilant in trying to figure out how we can protect the capitol. >> ohio congressman tim ryan, who chairs the subcommittee in the house that oversees the capitol police, thank you for being here. i know these inquiries are going to continue for a long time. there's a lot of open questions, but to the extent that you're able to keep us up to date, all
these open questions are still keeping us all up at night. thank you, sir. >> we sure will. thanks. >> all right, we'll be right back. stay with us. right, we'll be rt back stay with us do you have a life insurance policy you no longer need? now you can sell your policy, even a term policy, for an immediate cash payment. call coventry direct to learn more. we thought we had planned carefully for our retirement. but we quickly realized that we needed a way to supplement our income. our friends sold their policy to help pay for their medical bills and that got me thinking. maybe selling our policy could help with our retirement. i'm skeptical, so i did some research and called coventry direct. they explained life insurance is a valuable asset that can be sold. we learned that we can sell all of our policy or keep part of it with no future payments, who knew? we sold our policy. now we can relax and enjoy our retirement as we had planned. if you have one hundred thousand dollars or more of life insurance you may qualify to sell your policy. don't cancel or let your policy lapse without finding out what it's worth. visit conventrydirect.com to find out
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as i mentioned at the top of the show, we just got word before we got on the air that the senate parliamentarian says a rise in the minimum wage can't be in the covid relief bill that is moving through the senate the way they are moving it through the senate, in the bill that's intended to pass, even if it can only get 50 votes from democrats and none from republicans. we're starting to get responses to that ruling pouring in. a statement from white house press secretary jen psaki says president biden is disappointed in this outcome. he proposed having the $15 minimum wage as part of the american rescue plan. he respects the parliamentarian's decision and the senate process. he'll work with leaders in congress to determine the best path forward because no one in this country should work full time and live in poverty. speaker of the house nancy pelosi saying that the ruling is
disappointing and the provision will be in the version of the covid relief bill that passes the house tomorrow. congressional progressive caucus, their chair, pramila jayapal, saying tonight that she disagrees strongly with the advisory ruling. then she says this -- we can't allow the advisory opinion of the parliamentarian and republican obstructionism to stand in the way of the promise we made to voters across this country. the white house and senate leadership can and should still include the minimum wage increase in the bill. we simply cannot go back to the voters who delivered us the white house and the senate majority and tell us that an unelected parliamentarian advised us based on arcane rules that we couldn't raise the minimum wage, as we promised. saying, fight, fight, fight. nobody's been fighting harder for this than the congressional progressive caucus. lots more to come tonight. essiol progressive caucus lots more to come tonight.
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that is going to do it for us tonight. i will tell you that here at "the rachel maddow show," a senior producer on the show really helmed production tonight, has been really running things, is about 30 seconds from giving birth. and so, i just want to say a big shout-out to my staff, more than usual tonight. "the rachel maddow show" producers are always amazing, but to senior producer jen, who did an amazing job tonight under
incredibly stressful circumstances while being essentially on the precipice of giving birth, i don't know what the bonus that's appropriate for this is, but i at least get to embarrass you about it on tv. all right, that does it for us tonight. see you again tomorrow. "way too early with kasie hunt" is up next. breaking news overnight -- the u.s. launches air strikes against iranian-backed militias in syria, the first known military action of the biden administration. question is, what message is the president sending to