tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC April 27, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
marc elias, helena hidalgo, thank you very much. dr. anthony fauci was on earlier telling why the cdc was relaxing mask outdoors guidelines. he has proclaimed that in pickup basketball he would destroy me. good evening, rachel. >> chris, i have to tell you, i will pay good money, i will call in a sick day myself. i will do anything i have to to watch when that happens. i also need to say we have not passed that far in the pandemic to where we can have guests in person. you only saw dr. fauci by satellite. i had the good fortune to see you in the office today, which is crazy, and you've been working out, dude. >> yes, i'm trying to get swoll at the end of this pandemic. dr. fauci, which you may not
know, he's actually 6'10". you just don't see it on the tv screen. that's why he was confidently talking trash. >> i think he was only threatening you because he doesn't know about your transformation and it's going to be wicked when it happens. well done, my friend, nice to see you. happy to have you here. i told you this would be a week with a whole bunch of news in it and today did not disappoint. >> secretary, good morning to you. we are at a crucial juncture in combatting covid-19, and we've got these new mask guidelines coming down. your department oversees the cdc, so i want to put the question to you. first, what we can expect, and also, it sounds like it's going to be organized around whether or not a person is vaccinated or not, which i would read as a kind of encouragement to get more people out there to get that vaccination. fair to say? >> good morning and thanks for having me, and absolutely. the message is clear. you're vaccinated, guess what, you get to return to a more
normal lifestyle. if you're not vaccinated, you're still in danger as well, so get vaccinated. >> you're vaccinated? guess what, you get to return to a more normal lifestyle. if you're not vaccinated, you're still a danger, meaning a danger to other people, and you're still in danger yourself as well, so get vaccinated. if you're vaccinated, though, you do get to return to a more normal lifestyle. the house secretary in the biden administration, javier bacera, bottomlining this new guidance by the cdc, bottomlining that pretty suck -- succinctly today. that bottom line as outlined by secretary bacera is still very simple. if you get vaccinated, the cdc says there is stuff you can now do safely without a mask. you want to have a cookout with
a small group of friends or family for memorial day weekend or for this weekend? you can do that without masks on if you are all vaccinated. if you're not vaccinated, well, you are both at risk of getting covid yourself, and even worse, you're at risk of spreading covid to other people, so you'll need to keep a mask on for an event like that. which, frankly, will sort of suck if all your vaccinated friends don't have to wear a mask and you still do. in other words, get vaccinated. this afternoon president biden explains a little bit more about the new guidance and talked some about how far we've come. >> when i took office in january, we were losing literally tens of thousands of our seniors each week. grandparents who were loved so dearly, moms and dads, pillars of every community, gone by the thousands every day. at that time, less than 1% of
seniors were fully vaccinated when i took office. today, in less than 100 days, more than 67%, two-thirds of our seniors, are now fully vaccinated. that effort resulted in a drop of 80% in deaths among american seniors. i want to thank the team at the cdc for everything they're doing to help us lead with science and bring our communities out of this crisis safely and responsibly. now, i also want to thank everyone who has gotten the vaccine for doing your patriotic duty. go get the shot. it's never been easier. and once you're fully vaccinated, you can go without a mask when you're outside and away from big crowds. i urge all americans, don't let up now. keep following the guidance. go get your vaccination now.
it's free and it's convenient. 90% of the american people live within five miles of a site where you can get a vaccination. you can do this. and we will do this. >> president biden speaking today about the new mask guidance, the cdc loosening up the mask guidance for outdoors, particularly among people who are vaccinated. i should tell you he also had a sort of drop the mic moment today when nbc's peter alexander asked president biden why he was wearing a mask when he walked out of the white house to make his remarks today. watch this. >> sir, you chose to wear a mask as you walked out here. what message were you sending by wearing a mask outside alone? >> to watch me take it off and not put it back on walking inside. >> the president flashed his high beams on that one. sunglasses on, big grin.
it's like classic biden. you got to be kidding me, man, right? you can watch me take the mask off as i come outside and not put it back on until i get inside. that's what we're doing here, guys. come on. there will be no aviators at the state of the union address tomorrow, but i think you can expect some of that same tone, at least on covid. and i will tell you, we're not supposed to call tomorrow night's address to the joint session of congress a state of the union address. we typically don't call it that the first time a new president gives one. but can i just say for a second how annoying that is this year? i mean, essentially the reason we don't call it a state of the union is that after new presidents are inaugurated for the first time, we think of them as not having been around long enough, to not having done enough yet as presidents to report on the so-called state of the union. makes sense, right, most of the time. sort of. presidents get sworn in at the end of january, and then they
typically give the speech right away, so, like, ronald reagan was sworn in january 20th. the speech for him happens less than a month later, february 18. before him, it was president bush, a few weeks later, february 9th. george w. bush, february 27th. obama, february 24th. donald trump, february 28th. they all maxed out at like five weeks into their first term before they gave this first speech to congress. we all bent over backwards to not call it a state of the union because it was so soon after they were sworn in. fine, i get it, i get it. but even after all those guys, its still a state of the union address. it still functions like a state of the union address. and number two, this year it's not happening in february. february is long gone, as is march, as is almost all of april.
this year, whether it's because of the pandemic or because of the january trump mob attack on the capitol complex or any number of reasons, this year president biden has chosen to wait much longer than any other modern president has waited before he gives this speech. he's waiting until the literal eve of his 100th day in office before he gives this first big speech to congress. tomorrow is day 99 and that's when he's giving this address. and that means that it's not like he's still finding his way around the oval office trying to figure out which door triggers the lock, right? the first speech by a new president always feels like a state of the union, anyway, even when it's three or four weeks into his new term. but in this case with biden we're 14 weeks into him being president. we're 99 days into him being president and the dude has some stuff to report. so i know we're not supposed to call it the state of the union. i'm going to keep accidentally not accidentally calling tomorrow's biden speech a state of the union address even if we're not supposed to.
because functionally that's what it is. he will be reporting on stuff that he has done. he is not just going to be reporting on stuff that he intends to do. and because he has already been there for almost 100 days, most of what he's got to talk about, obviously, is going to be about covid and the fight against this pandemic. we saw a preview of that from the president today. even before he put on his sunglasses and started to walk away from the podium before dropping the mic on peter alexander like that. in these remarks talking about the new guidance from the cdc, thanking the cdc for their leadership, telling americans we need to finish the job and get vaccinated, but also giving them credit for how far they've come for this what administration was able to do. he'll be able to do some of that tomorrow, talk about what he's done. he's been there long enough to have done a lot already. the president's approval ratings overall are high. but when it comes to the handling of the coronavirus, his approval ratings are sky high.
and so we're going to hear a lot about that tomorrow night from a president who can get in there 99 days in and describe the state of the union and what he's done. and in terms of his agenda, in terms of what he wants to yet do, the popularity of the covid relief bill is strong and staying that way. that's already been signed into law and is already going into effect. monmouth just released new polling showing 64% support among the american people for the american families plan that he's going to formally announce in his speech tomorrow, 64% support for that already. he hasn't even formally announced this yet. monmouth also found 68% support for the infrastructure bill that he's already proposed that is currently making its way through the congress. 68% popularity on the infrastructure bill? it turns out that's a good way to be popular, right? propose and pass things that the american people like by huge margins, then they'll like you, too.
crazy, i know. i think congress has started to cotton to the fact that when they pass things that are wildly popular among the american people, it raises congress' approval ratings as well. so far republicans have been immune to those charms and do not want to support what the democrats and the biden administration are doing, but as democrats in congress, the democratic party, the biden administration and, indeed, to a certain extent even congress as an institution gets more popular with the american people because of biden's stuff that they are finally getting passed that's making a difference in the country, we'll see how long that resistance lasts. the approval ratings for president biden personally, for his handling of specific issues and for his legislative agenda thus far, i'm sure from the white house's perspective, those good numbers make it seem like a great time to put the president before the public in a prime time address. they probably think it was worth
waiting 99 days and not doing this in february when he had nothing to talk about. they're able to tout what he's done already in addition to what he plans to do next. and the risk of having scheduled it this way, of course, is that by this time in the presidency, 100 days into a presidency, you would also think the opposition would have started to define the new president negatively, would have found their footing in terms of criticizing and demonizing his actions, his proposals, the impact of what he's doing. that's not happening among republicans. republicans have not found their feet yet, to say the least, in terms of criticizing, let alone meaningfully opposing what biden is doing. i mean, this, too, is a remarkable thing about the state of the union right now and about the prospects for president biden's agenda. look at the string of weird, made-up cockamamie stuff that republicans have been talking
about since biden became president. think about what you have heard from conservative media and republican elected officials about the things most animating them since the biden administration has been in place. there was the freakout about mr. potato head. there was a freakout about the muppets. i'm not sure what that was about, but they were very mad about the muppets. then they were mad about dr. seuss. then they were mad about joe biden's big meat ban, even though joe biden is not banning meat. that was totally made up. one fox news anchor, to his credit, yesterday did run an on-air correction positively -- apologizing for the fox newschannel saying biden would ban meat when that's not in the proposal at all. there was one reporter
apologizing in front of america for hyping that story. for the last few days, republicans have been all over that. they've also been hyping a totally different, also totally false story that all kids detained by immigration authorities at the u.s. border were being given a child's picture book written by vice president kamala harris. the implication was they were giving the book to migrant kids at the border. that is totally made up. it is not happening. it is literally a story made up out of whole cloth. never proposed. but that's the latest one. it's become yet another new, animating, totally fake grievance in conservative media and among republican
politicians. the byline was on the fake kamala harris story. that reporter resigned tonight saying, an announcement: today i handed in my resignation to the editors at the new york post. the kamala harris story an incorrect story i was ordered to write in which i failed to push back hard against. that was my breaking point. that reporter from the new york post, laura teliano, saying tonight she quit her job over being forced to concoct and advance that fake story about something the biden administration absolutely did not do. but it's just one in a bunch of those now. and it, nevertheless, remains like a top story in conservative media right now and among elected members of congress who you would think have other things to talk about. it is weird, and i will tell you, i think it's not just a sidebar. i think it's an important thing about where our democracy is at
and where the prospects of biden's agenda is at heading into tomorrow's state of the union. it is rare but significant that republicans over and over and over again in these last 98 days have incessantly gone for these made-up sidebar controversies one after the other that are not real things, and it's certainly not things the biden administration is doing. there are other things to talk about if you're in opposition, right, if you're a governing party in opposition. they just passed a $9.2 million relief bill. but the republicans are like muppets! bacon, seuss. if you are the biden white house, that's probably a good sign that the opposition party really does not know what to say about you and does not know what to say about the substance of what you're doing.
in life in general, if people have to make things up about you to criticize, it probably means the real-life way you're living isn't too bad. in the house chamber tomorrow night, it's going to look way different than it usually does. unlike previous state of the union addresses, they are not, for example, picking a designated survivor. this always struck me as melodramatic and a little scary. in case of an attack on the capitol during the state of the union address, they usually designate one cabinet member who is in succession in line for the vaccine, only two members of the cabinet will be at the state of the union. it will only be the secretary of state and all members.
because only one supreme court justice is going to be there for the address as well. the chief justice, john roberts. also, instead of a phalynx of guests, jill biden's guest box already empty on wednesday, as will the traditional presidential box for invited guests. the only people there are the president's wife and the vice president's husband. there will be 30 members from each party and 40 house members, and that's it. the main reason for the
restrictions is covid, of course, they're limiting all attendees. but what is going to be the most unusual state of the union tomorrow, there was quite recently a violent attack on the u.s. capitol on january 6th. just today the trump-supporting arkansas man who allegedly entered the plight. he had a device on a hiking stick and went into nancy pelosi's desk and wrote threatening notes, was photographed with his feet on her desk. right now that man was released from jail. right before the state of the union, they decided to set him loose. adds federal judges are considering these difficult cases of january 6 defendants and whether these defendant are dangerous enough that the court should keep them in jail until
they go to trial. judges are really wrestling. one of the things we contend with is that in the last week or so, former president donald trump has renewed his president approximate calls to his fathers about how the election was stolen from him, and how he needs their help to get it back, because joe biden, and on january 6 itself. those statements are with a lot of the attack. and the reason their lawyers have described those statements.
hau, my dlint isn't a guide. >> driven by this secret, unrepeat. i'm a commander inspector and i need them to steal this back again. president trump's incited statements have been incited again and again by defense counsel only not doing this again, my client can be trusted to go home. we've seen that in case after case after case of the january 6 defendants. the problem is that defense strategy only goes as far as donald trump no longer making statements like that about the
election. within the past few weeks or so, he has start doing that again. here's kyle and josh reporting tonight at "politico".com. >> trump's refusal to accept the reality that he lost the 2020 election reflected in a torrent of reemts statements discredited by claims about a rigged vote, has become a feature of prosecutors' latest attempts to jail capitol riot defendants they deem to have been going
against the law. they've agreed that trump's rhetoric could spur his most radicalized supporters to attack again. and that could be bad news for dozens of additional riot suspects. the judge says, quote, such comments reflect the continued threat posed by individuals like this defendant who has demonstrated he is willing and able to engage in terrible extremes of violence with a chilling disregard for the rule of law seemingly based on the illegitimacy of the current administration. prosecutors have also begun citing and uttering the rationale. from this past friday to today, former president trump has sought to reignite his frenzeid claims, that the 2020 election was stolen from him, assailing
official state officials who refuse to entertain them and provide them with the number. the circumstances of january 6 are unlikely to happen again. but judge sullivan and other prosecutors citing trump's recent rhetoric has pushed back on that reasoning. it's not over if they say it's not over, right? not in terms of what they're likely going to do. tomorrow with the covid attack, it will make tomorrow's
state of the union speech the most historic. there will be a multi-thousand dollar pay raises and here this hour as well. but we're also going to be talking about how, on the eve of the state of the union, trump is really ramping up about all his rhetoric with how it must be. it is keeping some folks in prison who might otherwise be relisd, but it is focused on a real world thing. it is focused on a real effort that arizona help anz are trying to undo the election there. it's all coming up.
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in the coming weeks, i will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour, because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you should not have to live in poverty. >> president obama in his 2014 state of the union address announcing a minimum wage increase for everybody who worked for a federal contractor. so people like food and janitorial workers, this was a big thing at the time. you can tell from the huge applause president obama got, at least from the democratic side. president obama at the time had been trying to get congress to increase the minimum wage for all americans. the members of congress wouldn't
budge, wouldn't do it, so president obama did the next best thing. he did what he could on his own without congress, he made an executive order, raising the wage for hundreds of thousands of workers who work for federal contractors. and republicans went bananas. they lost their minds. just before president obama's state of the union speech that night, one texan tweeted from the house floor that he was awaiting the arrival of the socialistic dictator, the commandant-in-chef. that's much worse than the commandant in chief. that was about the minimum wage for federal contractors. how speaker john boehner said that it was against the constitution and republicans would see the president in court. spoiler alert there.
it turns out it was not against the constitution and it went into effect just fine. but still, the panic was crazy. senator ted cruz said this minimum wage increase was brought about by the imperial presidency of barack obama. obviously it was intended to be the end of the republic. but despite the cuckoo for cocoa puffs on the right, president obama did sign that executive order, and since then federal contractors have been getting a minimum wage of just over $10 an hour, and it is not a smoking bunch of money before got some more money. that's pretty much the thing that changed. period. because of this experience in
2014, it is going to be harder for republicans to get people to freak out about it this time around. although they will. now president biden is going to raise money for them. again, president biden signed an executive order of federal contractors from $15 an hour. he also raised the 15 an hour for fellow. more than 300,000 americans are going to get basically a pretty big and permanent pay raise. about $3,000 a year of a raise for more than 300,000 americans who are working on the bottom end of the wage scale, even though their work are from contractors, or getting their money from the federal
government. >> 300,000 or 400,000 american workers. that's a lot of american workers, but it's still a small because of republicans blocking that in the senate, and some conservative. he is doing what he can, sort of a big thing. joining me now is jerry bernstein. he is now on president biden's list of advisers. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> how much difference will this make for federal contractors and how many workers is this going
>> it's a very important question, rachel, and it reminds me of the kind of analysis we're able to do with minimum wages where we also find that to be an effective program. because we had this in place, as you mentioned, in 2014 and 2015, we were able to go back with its economic advisers, we found it had no impact in terms of the change in contracting costs. there was no significant increase that caused, for ma matter, it just pretty much flatlined. i think it's important to ask yourself why. the answer is the efficiencies that are in gender, and when you raids the pay of lowand fewer absentees, boosted morale, boosted effort. those kinds of efficiencies diffuse labor costs, and.
>> jerry, in terms of the president's message tomorrow night, we have learned from. we've had the covid relief plan, the plan we saw him lay out which is the, this one the. we bent as far, for these hundreds of thousands of americans, fit into this overall message. >> it is totally consistent with the economic policies that this president has brought to the white house, in fact, the very ones he campaigned on. president biden, who i've known now for quite a while, has
always had, in the back of his mind, if pcp isn't getting to the right of the other side of the crisis, and i think the evidence that is working is quite strong. when the president talks about building back better, he means rebuilding the paragraph lily. the well-being of families who have been left behind for decades, it means clean energy, in care centers, in clean water, and of course clean ware. they may front-rin the.
>> i'm not only addressing the family, in paid leave paid for offset by implementing a fair set of tax dhangz that hit nobody under 400,000 of. you need to pay for economic security for the middle class. >> from the white house council of economic advisers. you and your colleagues heading into a state of the union address. i appreciate you being here. thank you. >> my pleasure, thank you. we've got much more here, including arizona's secretary of state joining us in what has really become a strange effort for americans to try to overturn the presidential election in that state.
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chase. make more of what's yours. in the so-called audit that americans are holding in arizona, the ridiculous recount that's being conducted by a pro-trump conspiracy theorist and his private security firm that he calls cyber ninjas. arizona republicans hired this guy and gave him two-thirds of the actual ballots cast by real arizona residents in the presidential race in november. he says he's going to do some sort of secret analysis of those ballots and then report what the real election results were in arizona. again, this effort is being led by a qanon guy who has supported all of the craziest stop the steal conspiracy theories about how trump didn't really lose the
election. well, here's the news. until tonight the only press allowed inside to report on this so-called audit is the whackadoo trump network which is called american news which has hyped conspiracy theories around the election, and who has raised money to conduct this so-called vote count in arizona. one of the real journalists who actually made it into the room to watch this audit was only able to get in because she signed up as a volunteer observer, and that allowed her to be in on the first day. she wasn't allowed in after that and no journalists have been allowed in since then. they've got exclusive access. that all changed finally tonight. that one reporter allowed in per day tonight says she has been
let back in. she said a coalition of arizona news organizations that fought for better access, they are now being allowed in the room to watch the count, although no one is being made available to answer reporters' questions about what they're seeing. remember, jen fifield noticed on day one that ballot counters were all lined with blue pens. she noted the cyber ninjas allowed in that they could change the vote. the cyber ninjas guy told her that was news to him, he didn't know there was any problem with blue ink. here's jen fifield's update on that tonight, on pens. she says, on pens there are red
and green pens on the counting tables. it appears the counters are marking their tally sheets with green pens. so now we know. we know what color pen the ballot counters are using, thanks pho journalists for fighting and demanding to cover this ridiculous thing. we also now know that some of the ballot inspectors are conducting their inspections of the ballots looking for counterfeits by hitting the ballots with ultraviolet flashlights. okay. also there is a room that journalists still don't have access to where auditors say they're examining the county's voting machines. that's a room that is not even part of the camera feeds that one american news has been showing to the public. meanwhile, the arizona democratic party is suing the republican-controlled arizona senate to try to stop this thing from continuing. today in court the judge hearing that case said he is mulling a restraining order to potentially stop this thing in its tracks.
there's going to be another hearing in that case tomorrow. we may get his ruling then. but if and until that happens, this whole process is continuing to go forward and this is why former president trump and his most fervent supporters believe right now that this is the path in which donald trump will be reinstated as president and joe biden will be exposed as a fraud. arizona's top elections official katie hobbs told cnn, quote, we have so many concerns about this exercise, i kind of don't even want to call it an audit. that is a professional insult to auditors everywhere because in this case they're making things up as they go along. i think there was a high level of expectation that whoever had their hands and eyes on the ballots and equipment would adhere to some kind of transparency. that clearly has not happened. katie hobbs joins us next. pened. katie hobbs joins us next. sensation for your throat.
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my concern grows deeper by the hour. that's arizona's secretary of state katie hobbs. president trump convinced himself that he's going to be reinstated as president. arizona's secretary of state, katie hobbs is joining us live. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you, rachel. thanks for having me here. is what they are doing a dangerous, dumb thing or just a dumb thing? >> it is dangerous. this potential precedent setting for other state in the country, i guarantee that folks are watching this nationally and if they are able to successfully
continue undermine voters confidence in our election integrity, they're going to bring this to other states in the country. >> are you worried about the ballots, it is amazing to me that they have the actual ballots more than 2 million of them. are you worried of what could happen with the ballots that's in the custody of these guys? >> absolutely. when the subpoena was uphold, my office reached out to senor karen phan and outlined the bare minimum of what we hope would be in please, the access logging and everything that should be in place. we mentioned the color of pens as you talked about earlier and we have gotten no assurances that these would be followed. obviously as we are watching this play out in front of us. a lot of these things are not being followed. i think a lot of the security
concerns that arizonans have are not taken seriously by folks who are conducting this exercise. >> you look at the people who have chosen to do it, we covered it extensively. the state's senate have the opportunity to hire sort of real people, to hire people who are experienced and credited who have done this sort of things and forgive me, wing-nuts who are known conspiracy on this and they chose the crazy folks to do it. what do you think will be the bottom line and how do you think they'll end it? >> i said this from the beginning. it is clear there is really nothing valid that's going to come out from this exercise. they're on an expedition to find something and we don't know what. we know they're not going to find it. they're not being transparent of the measures they are taking for
whatever it is they are doing. that's, you know, going to help them make stuff up apparently. all this is going to do is continue to undermine voters confidence in the process. there is nothing about this that's going to ease voters concerns that have been really creative by the same politicians who have continued to promote the big lie since the election november. >> secretary of state of arizona, katie hobbs, we have been covering this the last few nights and i keep thinking we are done with it and something gets weirder about it. i heap you keep us surprised on this as we keep an eye on arizona. >> we'll be right back. stay with us. ll be right back stay with us i got you. ♪ all by yourself. ♪ go with us and get millions of flexible booking options. expedia. it matters who you travel with.
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that's going to do it for me for now, heads up for tomorrow for the big biden's speech that we are not supposed to call it the state of the union. it starts tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. eastern, i will be here tomorrow night an hour early than i usually am to be apart of that special coverage. now it is time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnel. >> rachel, i will see you tomorrow. i will be joining that discussion. we have jim clyburn is joining us tonight to discuss what he expects to hear in that speech tomorrow. we have so much to do at