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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  November 12, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PST

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good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington as the coronavirus rages across the country. the latest numbers are devastating. the united states hitting another record with nearly 150,000 new cases on wednesday, with more than 9,000 deaths in just the last eight days. president-elect joe biden is making covid his top priority, focusing on building up his white house staff to combat the virus after announcing both his incoming white house chief of staff ron klain last night, and his coronavirus advisory board this week. president trump is out of sight again today, having lunch with vice president pence and meeting later in the day with secretaries pompeo and mnuchin
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behind closed doors, spending his morning tweeting false claims about election results while continuing to block the biden team from accessing the tools they need to ramp up the transition. joining me now, nbc's mike memoli and nbc white house correspondents kristen welker and peter alexander, co-hosts of "weekend today." kristen, you're there in wilmington as mike is. tell us about the latest moves from the biden transition team. some of the movement we're seeing from leading republicans as well. >> reporter: that's right. president-elect joe biden is moving forward with his transition. we saw that overnight when he announced his new chief of staff ron klain. of course klain served as his chief of staff when he was vice president. but as you point out, andrea, they are really putting the focus on policy right now, as he builds out his team, that 12-member covid task force that he announced on monday, talking about health care on tuesday, so really trying to strike a note of calm in the face of president trump refusing to concede and refusing to acknowledge the
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election results. and what we are seeing is a growing number of republicans essentially saying that the election results are not going to change, breaking with the president. right now it's really just a few cracks, but it's more and more by the day. we saw that in a "wall street journal" op-ed by karl rove, i'll read you part of what he wrote, the president's efforts are unlikely to move a single state from biden's column. we also saw that with oklahoma's republican senator james lankford who effectively said biden should be receiving his intelligence briefings and if he didn't soon, he plans to intervene. take a listen to lankford. >> there's nothing wrong with vice president biden getting the briefings to be able to prepare himself and so that he can be ready. and if that's not occurring by friday, i will step in as well to be able to push and say, this needs to occur. >> reporter: and andrea, just within this hour, chuck grassley
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also saying he believes biden should get his intelligence briefings, saying "i would think especially on classified briefings, the answer is yes." so a growing number of republicans saying that basically biden needs to have the tools necessary to move forward with his transition, andrea. >> very interesting in terms of a cracking of the united republican front, mostly united republican front under mitch mcconnell. mike memoli, let's take a closer look at ron klain. we know him well, he's been a close adviser to joe biden for years and years and a top democratic staffer for decades, supreme court clerk, as well as key lawyer in bush v. gore. >> reporter: yeah, andrea, i mean, it wasn't a surprise that ron klain received this appointment. kristen and i and others on our team had been reporting all week he was seen as the likeliest choice for chief of staff.
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it's an important signal from joe biden about the kind of administration he wants to run, given that the coronavirus will be the challenge he faces. ron klain headed the obama response to the ebola crisis. steve bannon talked about destructing the administrative state. the biden team knows the potential of the government. they want to harness it to face the challenges they're facing. klain knows how to work across the government to achieve these challenges. the support that he received from democrats, including progressives in the party given his history, but also across party lines as well. the next step, as we understand it, andrea, the biden team is going to fill out some additional west wing roles in
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the coming weeks. that includes some of those core biden advisers who have been with him a long time. steve richetti has been in the trenches with him for decades as jen o'malley dillon, we're understanding she's being encouraged to join as well. congressman cedrick wilson from louisiana as well, he's been a co-chairman of biden's campaign and is expected to get a broad portfolio working in the west wing, as part of working across coalitions and across government, helping to advance biden's agenda, andrea. >> peter alexander, the president is spending his days tweeting. he's venting over the election while keeping the biden team from taking the traditional steps towards taking over. is he still in denial or what stage of denial is he in? >> reporter: as we talk about states won and lost, it's clear the president remains in that state of denial, still in the residence as we speak this
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morning. he's been tweeting excessively over the course of the day, complaining about fox news, which doesn't happen in a vacuum. there's new reporting today by a separate outlet saying among other things that the president is considering a digital media empire going forward after this. but that's the sense that i get in conversations with aides and allies. one white house official telling me that the president is very aware that there is no path to victory, but that he is in effect trying to give -- he says, to his 72 million voters, those who voted for him, deserve a fight. so this battle right now is almost a form of theater for them. there have been meetings with the president just yesterday, talking to some of his top advisers about the path forward. today, a little bit more on the schedule for the president and the potential for some of these tougher conversations to begin. vice president mike pence meeting today for lunch with the president, secretary mnuchin, secretary pompeo also meeting with the president over the course of this day. but as we have heard him amplifying on twitter, he still
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is citing a variety of things just not based in fact. he says in arizona, if there were an audit, he would come back and win the race there. yesterday we heard from the republican arizona attorney general saying there was no evidence and no facts that give them any reason to believe that the race in arizona would be overturned. but as the president does look to the future, it's worth considering the fact that he also has now started this leadership political pac, as we describe it, a political action committee, to raise money, fundraising dollars so he can sort of continue political activities in the future here. and as he looks to his own future, i'm struck by what one of his aides said to me in recent days, they said, consider all the monetization, the commercialization opportunities for this president right now. his brand has never been so big. this trump ally said to me, you could have trump riyadh, even trump moscow that he's wanted all these years, andrea. >> peter alexander, mike memoli,
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kristen welker, thanks for starting us off today. and the first excerpts from president obama's new memoir are appearing in "the atlantic" with an audio clip of him speaking about the crises facing the u.s. today. >> what i didn't fully anticipate was the way events would unfold during that three and a half years after that last flight on air force one. as i sit here, the country remains in the grips of a global pandemic and the accompanying economic crisis, with more than 178,000 americans dead, businesses shuttered, and millions of people out of work. across the nation, people from all walks of life have poured into the streets to protest the deaths of unarmed black men and women at the hands of the police. perhaps most troubling of all, our democracy seems to be teetering on the brink of crisis, a crisis rooted between
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two opposing visions of what america is and what it should be, a crisis that has left the body politic divided, angry, and mistrustful and has allowed for an ongoing breach of institutional norms, procedural safeguards, and the adherence to basic facts that both republicans and democrats once took for granted. >> valerie jarrett served as a senior adviser to president obama and is the author of "finding my voice," and joins me now. valerie, this book so long awaited, it's actually because it took a long time, and because there was so much he wanted to say, and he was feeling it as he wrote. we know what a literary presence he is from his past books. it's now two volumes. what we're learning about his time in office includes how self-deprecating he is, how questioning he is about going into public service. he considers whether his first wanting to run for office was
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not so much about serving but his envy of those more successful. that's extraordinary in the leading democratic figure, such a major figure, to be so self-examining. is that the barack obama you know? >> good afternoon, andrea, yes, indeed, that's exactly the barack obama i've known for nearly 30 years. he is very honest, including honesty about himself. and i think this book, which is beautifully and eloquently written, is also very intimate. it gives the reader insight into not only what it was like in the situation room and the oval office and his travels around the world and his meetings with extraordinary americans across our country, but it also describes what it was like for him as a member of a family and what this time in office put his family through, and his responsibility to them. and so it's honest, it's forthright, it's clear, it has a lot of grace in it.
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i think the reader is going to have a real enjoyment. i lived it, and i still enjoyed reading the book. >> one of the things that just struck me, was when he got the nobel prize, and in the book he is incredulous, according to the "new york times" review. tell me about that. what was his reaction? >> it was just that, it was like, my goodness, i haven't had a chance to do all the things i want to do yet. so he was as surprised as anyone, but gave a very -- he took that opportunity on the world stage to give a speech about what it meant to be receiving the nobel peace prize when you are a wartime president. and so i think each of these accolades he's received, he's trying to use that platform to be a force for good and to push that arc of progress if the. further. >> you talk about how intimate
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it is, what about him writing about sneaking cigarettes? >> well, you know, what, that's something he did, and i think he thought, if i'm going to write a book, i have to be honest and that includes not just being honest, as he is, about those who opposed him, both here in the united states and around the world, but he has to be honest about himself and what his shortcomings were. and i have always observed that he is the first to say, what could i have done better. his willingness to be introspective, to be tough on himself yet show grace to others, is, i think, one of the leadership qualities that others should look up to. >> what do you think is the most surprising revelation in his book? >> well, you know what, i'm not going to get out ahead of what's been put into the public yet. people will feel what it's like to be in the room when it happens. that's an education. it will become a history book. it is entertaining, it is deeply
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personal. and so i could not stop turning the pages, as i said, even though i knew what was going to be on the next page, it still is so beautifully written that i think everyone will find it fascinating and it will withstand the test of time and become i think one of the most important descriptions of his presidency from his unique vantage point. >> and we all lived from the outside the transition from president obama to president trump. we watched the welcoming of the trumps to the white house, the welcoming by the girls, that they had experienced of course from the bushes as well. so the tradition of transition was intact until now. it's been intact for decades, even in hostile takeovers, eisenhower and nixon were not close at all, besides being from the same party, they were not at all close, yet -- and eisenhower and kennedy, that was a very
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rough personal moment for the two of them. but we've never seen anything like this. what is your experience from the transition, what does it tell you about what is happening now, with no clearances possible, no foreign calls being facilitated by the state department, with proper translation, proper recordkeeping? how does this slow down joe biden? >> well, i'll make a few points. first, as you heard from president-elect biden earlier in the week, he is confident that he'll be prepared to move forward. he's served as vice president for eight years, just four years ago. he's surrounded by people including his extraordinary pick for chief of staff ron klain, who are well-steeped in the workings of government. he was responsible for overseeing the recovery act and for being a part of every major decision that president obama made while he was in office. and so i think he's positioned well to take on the challenges that he's identified, getting our arms around the covid-19,
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rebuilding our economy. and i will say this, though, having co-chaired president obama's transition, i remember being pleasantly surprised by how unbelievably cooperative, from president bush down to everyone in the white house, in the agencies, were to us, appreciating that one of the strengths of our democracy, andrea, is that smooth transition of power. and when president trump was elected, president obama said to all of us, i expect you to show president trump and his team the exact same courtesy that was shown to us, because this isn't about politics, it's about governance. so would it be helpful if the agencies were opening up and sharing nonpublic information? yes. would it help if there were resources to pay the staff who are working so hard on the transition? sure. would it be helpful if president-elect biden and vice president elect harris and their teams had access to security
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information? yes, it would be. but we have one president at a time, which the president-elect also said this week. and so come january 20, i'm confident he'll be able to hit the ground running. but it is disturbing, and i'm heartened to see an increasing number of republicans speaking up to say, okay, now, the election is over, and if we want to be as strong as america should be, let's not be vulnerable at this particular moment in time and ensure you have that smooth transition. >> as the 9/11 commission pointed out, there was a vulnerability that george w. bush had because of how long that transition took. finally, what about the presidential daily brief? wouldn't that be extraordinarily helpful to joe biden who is well-versed on these issues but has not been getting intelligence for four years? >> of course it would be helpful. but as he said, he's confident that in time he'll have it. we still have a ways to go before january 20. i'm hoping people close to
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president trump will put pressure on him to say, look, the election is over, the lawsuits are frivolous, there hasn't been any evidence of vote fraud, so now it is time for you to rise to this occasion and be supportive of your successor because that's what's good for the country. so yes, the presidential daily briefings would be helpful, but i am sure that in time he will have them, certainly well in advance of the time he takes office. >> thank you so much, valerie jarrett, author of "finding my voice," another must-read. thanks again for being with us. the rapid spread of covid-19 across the country has health officials sounding the alarm. how board it could get. an exclusive look inside a covid ward in minneapolis. a young woman who just got off a ventilator takes her first steps on the road to recovery. teps on the road to recovery. for what you need? just get a quote at really? i'll check that out.
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there were more than 148,000 new coronavirus cases reported yesterday as the virus continues to spread uncontrolled across most of the country. in minnesota, new cases have soared by more than 125% in the last two weeks. nbc's gabe gutierrez got an inside look inside one minneapolis hospital strained with three-quarters of their covid beds full right now. >> reporter: what most worries you over the next couple of months? >> having enough beds for the
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patients. >> reporter: 36-year-old kelly meeker, hospitalized a month and a half, now in recovery and out of isolation. she was in a ventilator less than a week ago. >> i was feeling miserable. i knew something was wrong. i knew i had covid from the very first day that i had symptoms. but i just kept getting worse and worse. i just kept feeling sicker and sicker. >> reporter: kelly coaches gymnastics, loves her family, including her cats. >> i've never been more grateful to be alive. >> reporter: as a mother, how hard is it to not be able to see your daughter in person when she's that sick? >> it's -- really can't describe it. you want to be there, that's your job. but you can't, so you're just so helpless. >> reporter: in just the last two weeks, minnesota has seen new covid cases spike by more than 125%. but that statistic doesn't come close to capturing what nurse katy o'neill sees every shift.
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>> i don't really think of numbers. i just think of my patients. >> reporter: abbott northwestern hospital granted us rare access to show the pandemic's deadly impact. this hospital has 30 covid icu beds. and right now about three-fourths of them are full. as we head into the winter, the concern is not just space but staffing. for kelly meeker, each day brings small victories. she walked for the first time since her coma. what would you say to people who are skeptical that covid-19 is really that serious? >> i would say wear your mask. because i almost died from it. it's more serious than people think. >> gabe gutierrez joins me now, gabe, it's just incredible, this young woman and the way she is so stricken by this disease. what are the medical staff now worried about in the coming weeks? >> reporter: yeah, andrea, it was really incredible to speak with her.
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as we saw, she's young, 36 years old. she only had an underlying condition of asthma. she was surprised that she got so sick. she also really had no clear idea of where she contracted the virus. she says she went to a wedding but no one else there got sick. she thinks maybe it could have happened at the grocery store but she isn't sure. andrea, we did speak with doctors and nurses. there is a big concern over the coming weeks. as you can see, colder temperatures are here in minnesota. as we head into the winter, that people will gather together, especially during thanksgiving, and increase the community spread here. many of the doctors and nurses are worried that, as i mentioned in the piece, it's not just an issue of space, but staffing, as more health care workers get sick, not here at work, but actually in the community, what will happen in the coming months and will there be enough traveling nurses not just here in minnesota but really across the country. you know the midwest is seeing this dramatic rise. what will happen in the coming months as this crisis potentially gets worse, andrea?
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>> and gabe, we're seeing the beginnings of winter out there where you are, obviously, in the snow. thank you very much, gabe. breaking news now from the white house. nbc's peter alexander has the very latest. peter, another member of the president's inner circle has been diagnosed with covid. >> reporter: yeah, andrea, you're exactly right, within the last five minutes nbc news has now confirmed that corey lewandowski, who recently has served as a campaign adviser, helping with the legal challenges the president has been mounting in a series of states, most notably in pennsylvania, lewandowski has tested positive for coronavirus. we were told, according to a source family with his diagnosis, that he is feeling fine, not feeling any noticeable symptoms at this point right now. you've seen lewandowski in recent days including in the video on your screen right now that took place, as you might remember, on saturday, the event that took place at the four
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seasons total landscaping location in philadelphia. lewandowski was there alongside rudy giuliani and pam bondi making their case on behalf of the president. lewandowski was also in attendance at that election night event that took place in the east room here at the white house, now more than eight days ago, early wednesday morning, i guess you would say, late tuesday night of last week. he was there, he and many others in that room were seen not wearing masks. and we have confirmed that multiple individuals in attendance that night have now tested positive including the chief of staff mark meadows, the hud secretary ben carson. another campaign adviser, david bossie, as well as an ally to the president, a woman by the name of healey baum gagarden, a politics director brian jack also testing positive. but breaking this hour, corey lewandowski has tested positive for the coronavirus and is
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quarantining. >> thank you very much for that update. joining me, dr. peter hotez, director of the texas children's hospital center for vaccine development. dr. hotez, thanks for being with us. we've seen nearly every metric trending in the wrong direction across the country. cases, deaths, hospitalizations rising nationally. nationally hospitalizations have doubled in little more than a month. in north dakota, hospitals are so strained that asymptomatic health care workers who test positive for the virus, including workers, are being told to keep coming to work. where are we headed? >> andrea, it's even worse than that. right now, the north dakota, south dakota, iowa, maybe wisconsin states, those states have the world's highest rate of covid-19. that part of the country, the northern midwest, is the epicenter of the covid-19 pandemic. and you saw what's happening in minnesota. that's being played out all over the middle part of the country
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right now. and the big worry is that as hospital staff starts to get overwhelmed, it's not just the beds. it's the staffing. it's hard to find sufficient number of trained icu nurses. that's when the mortality rates start to go up. so they're climbing already. and then when the hospitals get overwhelmed, the icus, then it goes vertically. and that's what happened in spain and italian back in march. if you remember, that's what we saw in new york city, when you heard sirens day and night. now we're basically replicating what happened in new york city, in multiple areas across the midsection of the u.s. and with no federal leadership, no plan for federal leadership, no interest from the white house. so they're just letting it rip at this point. and the numbers show that we will probably double the number of americans who perish from this epidemic sometime in february. so by the end of -- by the week after the inauguration, we'll
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likely hit 400,000 americans who perish from covid-19, which interestingly enough is the same number of americans who lost their lives in world war ii. we're reaching those kinds of numbers. >> it's just horrendous. i mean, states are starting to put in new restrictions. maryland reducing the numbers of people for indoor dining, for gyms, others are -- ohio issuing a mask mandate, utah issuing a state of emergency. a new u.s. lockdown could control the pandemic and revive the economy, some experts are saying. do you agree? >> absolutely, in selected areas. the problem is we don't have a coordinated federal response. in an ideal world, you would have a war room at the centers for disease control in atlanta, identifying the specific areas that need to be temporarily shut down. remember, we're not talking about doing this in perpetuity,
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that good vaccines are coming. we have a vaccine also that we hope will make a contribution. good vaccines are coming and will be here, we'll have a significant percentage of the american population vaccinated by spring. it's simply a matter of navigating a path to get us through the next few months and not sticking to ideology and being defiant about wearing masks and refusing to social distance. we just need to save lives now. we can prevent 150,000 lives lost, with leadership. but we're hitting 200,000 deaths per day. without having any kind of federal government in place leading the response, that's tragically where we're going to head. >> and with the rollout expected soon, with emergency authorization for pfizer, which is first up, and we expect something from moderna, i know you're working on one, johnson & johnson expecting something in
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january, we still need to wear masks and keep social distancing and wash our hands, correct? >> that's right. we don't know the full performance of these vaccines yet. ideally you would like a vaccine not only to reduce the severity of illness and keep you out of the icu and the hospital but also to stop any kind of virus shedding from your nose and mouth in order to stop transmission. and even then, we've done some calculations with a group at city university of new york, you're still going to need about 70% of the u.s. population to be vaccinated. so it's going to be a while before we get there. so we're still going to -- we have to think about these vaccinations at least initially for the first few mondays as companion technologies alongside social distancing and masks, not replacement technologies. life will start to get measu measurably better. in a year, we'll be in a better position.
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now is not the time to be defiant. now is the time to save the life of your father, your mother, your brother, your sister. if we do that, we can get our population vaccinated starting in the first part of the new year and then really ramp up in the spring. and think how terrible people feel knowing that they lost the life of a loved one that could have been saved had they just paid attention for these next couple of months. >> such an important message. dr. peter hotez, thank you as always for taking time for us today. some top republicans are starting to break ranks with president trump including republican senators chuck grassley and james lankford and republican strategist karl rove as well as former national security adviser john bolton who split from the president when he left the white house, warning in an op-ed that president trump's time is up. joining us from "the washington
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post," robert costa, host of "washington week" on pbs, and ashley parker. welcome, both. ashley, what are you hearing from the inside, is it getting through to him, are there key advisers who are telling him the numbers just don't add up? >> you are seeing a little bit of this public break. but i'll put it this way, as of yesterday, i asked a senior administration official, someone who has spoken to the president this past week, what exactly is the end game here, right? what is the strategy, how do you expect this all to end? this person said, you're giving us way too much credit, there is no end game, there is no real strategy, and so this is very much being driven by a president who loathes more than anything losing. some people are trying to get through to them, but more notable are the people who should know better but are still
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sort of indulging this delusion that donald trump may have a chance of winning the presidency that he has already quite clearly lost. >> and robert, karl rove, john bolton, both coming forward, writing op-eds, karl rove was on fox and in "the wall street journal," saying he doesn't have a path to 270. mike pompeo has signaled publicly that he's still in the place of telling the president what he wants to hear and not letting state department top officials or embassy employees do anything on the transition. to say nothing of helping the president with incoming messages, messages that are sitting at the state department from foreign leaders and are not being handed over to joe biden. >> in conversations with republican senators and their advisers in recent days, it's evident that that national security point you just made is the critical one for republicans, that they're fine both privately and publicly with president trump refusing to
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concede, not showing up at the inauguration, even calling the election stolen without offering any evidence to that effect. yet when it comes to the actual continuation of the functioning of the federal government, they may start to raise some more concerns in the coming days. but to my democratic sources, the republicans are doing far too little. they're taking too much time to indulge the president, their words, in his belief without evidence, unfounded, and his baseless claims of election fraud. >> and ashley, we've just reported, peter alexander reporting from the white house that corey lewandowski has tested positive. he was not only at the election night celebration but also last saturday in philadelphia at the four seasons -- what was it, the four seasons landscaping company event, with rudy giuliani and pam bondi. so what about this continuing spread from inside the white house now?
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>> there is a continuing spread from inside the white house, and there is reason to believe that that tuesday night election party is potentially shaping up to be the same sort of super spreader event that the amy coney barrett celebration was. these are people indoors, inside, in the middle of a pandemic, many of them not wearing masks. and it's also worth noting that in this very perilous moment you have a president very much flying blind without a lot of his top advisers because they are all stricken with coronavirus, and in a moment when the president should be, among everything else, focusing on coronavirus. we're seeing cases spiking in a horrific way. the only real way we've seen it come even close to him are people in his orbit sickened by the virus. he hasn't come out and made public comments, he hasn't tweeted about it, he hasn't talked about how the handling of the coronavirus will be part of
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the peaceful transition to president-elect biden. the only mention of coronavirus is just more bad news and showing how bad this really is, that even people in the president's own orbit are getting sick with it. >> and talk about republicans telling the president what he wants to hear publicly, kevin mccarthy, republican leader in the house, saying that there's no reason for joe biden to get the presidential daily brief because we don't know who is going to be president on january 20. here is what nancy pelosi had to say about the republican posture today. >> they're engaged in an absurd circus right now, refusing to accept reality. it's most unfortunate that the republicans have decided that they will not respect the will of the people. and let me just say, it's like the house is burning down, and they just refuse to throw water on it. >> robert, what do you see in republican ranks? all eyes, especially in the senate, everyone's focused on
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georgia and trying to keep the base energized for that runoff? >> that's true, i wrote about that for "the washington post" earlier this week, how so much of the republican positioning right now in particular in the senate is about those two races in georgia, making sure white voters who identify with president trump's grievances, living in the atlanta suburbs, are ready to come out and turn out on january 5. but if you listen to house minority leader kevin mccarthy today you see him also looking ahead to 2022, and he sees an opportunity to take back the house majority, traditionally in a midterm year for a first term president the opposite party often does well in congressional races. and he believes he won seats, he gained seats in the house this time around because house republicans identified with president trump rather than creating their own brand. and so he sees a path ahead for house republicans by continuing in part to embrace trumpism and president trump's positioning.
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>> robert costa, ashley parker, thank you both so much. and the danger of a delayed presidential transition. how the 9/11 attacks brought into stark and deadly focus the importance of one white house smoothly handing the baton to the next. former bush white house chief of staff andy card joins me next. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. who is usaa made for? it's made for him a veteran who honorably served and it's made for her she's serving now we also made usaa for military spouses and their kids become a member. get an insurance quote today.
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with the trump administration blocking the transition for the incoming biden administration, former chiefs of staff to presidents george bush and barack obama are warning those delays could be life-threatening, writing in "the washington post" today, quote, when the 9/11 commission finished its report it found that the delayed transition due to the florida recount of course hampered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, clearing senate confirmation of key appointees. the national security arena. the commission also concluded that avoiding future delays in
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transitions was in the national interest. joining me, former chief of staff of president george w. bush, andrew card, who was responsible for informing the president on 9/11 that america was under a terror attack. thanks for joining me, andy, great to see you again. terrible memories back in those days. of course the 9/11 commission dug into this, and there was more than a month of delay in finding out who was president and now we're seeing, again, it's only a few days, less than a week, but still, we're seeing this president denying that president-elect biden has won, and affording him no cooperation at all, not the presidential daily brief, not messages from foreign leaders piling up at the state department. how concerning is this? >> it's concerning not just because of what the 9/11 commission found and suggested we should change, and by the way, president bush did institute a significant change in the transition process, so
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the transition to barack obama was a very different kind of transition. it's one where not only did they have access to information, they had people with clearances earlier in the process. so that's a good thing. right now, we have a pandemic as well as a significant challenge of understanding what's happening around the world, as many bad actors might want to take advantage of this difficult time in our democracy. i feel it's critically important that trump allow vice president biden, who i believe is the president-elect, be well-prepared to take the baton on day one, prepared to understand what needs to be done in terms of the pandemic, and what needs to be done in terms of making sure america's national security interests are respected and held to account. so that's what i'm calling for. i happen to believe joe biden will be the next president. i respect president trump has the right to review what happens during recounts and question
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legal activity. but i think it's even more important that we have both of those individuals, president trump and vice president biden, ready to be president on day one, noontime, january 20, to be president of the united states. and it's critically important on 9/11, we learned a valuable lesson. george w. bush also had another national security challenge soon after he took the oath of office when a plane in china, an ep-3, was forced to land on hanan island and george bush had to prove he was up to the task. he certainly was, but he had a team ready to go on day one. john podesta who served as chief of staff to bill clinton, i worked closely with him, but we didn't get cooperation until after the supreme court made the decision over those 537 votes in florida and that's when the transition really started and the 9/11 commission saw that as something that could have been
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done better. they should have had more preparation for the incoming president than they did. but i happen to feel president trump should be giving vice president biden all of the information he needs to be able to grab that baton on january 20 at noontime should he be the one who will be taking the baton. >> and in fact, you folks arranged the clearances so expeditiously and shared the intelligence that on inauguration day, when you were handing off, there was a terror threat, and the incoming and outgoing teams worked together in the situation room to thwart that attack. there couldn't be a clearer example of how at 12:01, joe biden becomes president of the united states, all things being considered, so far, according to the "new york times" count, checking with all 50 states, there is no deciding battleground state in which the
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margin is less than is being challenged, the margin of victory is greater, i should say, than any of the challenged ballots, and most of the secretaries of state are saying there is no fraud that has been found. >> i do not see a credible path to success for president trump. but i am not the expert. he has plenty of lawyers. yes, there's going to be recounts, georgia is doing one automatically because the election is so close down there. i don't believe that there are enough challenges to the process that would significantly change the result that we know today. but president trump has that right. i'm asking him to also recognize, in case he's not right, that president-elect biden be given a chance to hit the ground running especially because of the nature of the world today, which is very unsettling, but also, and even more significantly, the pandemic that is gripping america. and there's a lot of information
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that vice president biden should have to understand what is being done to be able to distribute vaccines if they need to or get ppe or icus to places that need them. this is a crisis that is real today. and it's likely there could be other crises as we see how the rest of the world reacts to america's challenge during this time. >> andy card, former chief of staff to george w. bush, former cabinet secretary in the reagan years, it's good to see you. thanks very much. covid, as we've been saying, is spreading so quickly in el paso, it's requiring military precision to respond as texas becomes the first state with more than 1 million confirmed cases. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." we'll hear from el paso, texas, coming up next on msnbc. plus have high blood pressure. they may not be able to take just anything for pain. that's why doctors recommend tylenol®. it won't raise blood pressure the way that advil® aleve or motrin® sometimes can.
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applebee's 2 for $20. it's date night in the neighborhood. - [announcer] forget about. vacuuming for up to a month. shark iq robot deep cleans and empties itself into a base you empty as little as once a month. and unlike standard robots that bounce around it cleans row by row. if it's not a shark, it's just a robot. we have some breaking news. we now learn that president-elect joe biden has spoken to pope francis. they've spoken today. they do have a history. joe biden attended the pope's inauguration, as well as traveling in 2016 to a papal sum
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oit cancer cures, a health summit. mike memoli will be able to report more as we go throughout the day, but pope francis and the president-elect have spoken. as coronavirus cases in texas cross the 1 million mark, el paso remains a hot spot within a hot spot. late yesterday, a shutdown order set to expire overnight was reinstated through december 1st. and the texas governor is announcing that they will need to double the capacity in an el paso convention center field hospital. joining me now is nbc news correspondent morgan chesky who has been covering the el paso crisis. what have you learned? >> yeah, andrea, this is a situation that's very fluid. changing day by day. unfortunately in the wrong direction here when it comes to the covid-19 statistics in el paso. you mentioned that shutdown that was extended. this is a shutdown that's had so many eyes on it in the state of texas. it's essentially pitted the county of el paso against a local restaurant group and the state's attorney general.
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the county judge here issuing that extension saying that it was responsible. it needs to be responsible for lowering the positivity rate, trying to drive down some of these statistics. and he issued that extension into december despite having mounting legal challenge against it that we have yet to hear a resolution on. we anticipate that decision tomorrow. of course, the argument from the state being that he is overstepping his authority and issuing the shutdown closing nonessential businesses, despite the covid-19 numbers ticking up. we're seeing evidence of that firsthand. we were there as those mobile morgues arrived outside the county medical examiner's office. by the end of today, officials here tell me they expect to have ten of those in el paso. not as a precaution but as a necessity because they are simply rung oning out of room. at area funeral homes as well. i had a chance to speak to the county judge who issued the
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shutdown order on the decision that has so many people trying to move forward as best they can. take a listen. >> we need to, in every possible way, stop the mobility and the transmission of this virus. i believe that the stay-at-home order and the curfew has, in fact, decreased the average positivity rate. with that said, i've decided to extend the county stay-at-home order until we can regain some stability in our community. >> the judge pointed to the hospitalization rate here in el paso. 51% of the patients in el paso area hospitals are patients that are being treated for covid-19. that number unheard of during this pandemic here in this community. and so that's why these are the darkest days. they now are facing. and they are hoping anything can drive these numbers down.
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andrea? >> morgan chesky, thank you so much, covering that tough story. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." up next, "mtp daily." chuck todd will have former ambassador john bolton who has come out criticizing the president's stance on the president-elect right here on msnbc. hello is open... it's welcoming... everything we want to be when helping people find a medicare plan. so, if you're looking for yours, say hello to hellomedicare... a one-stop shop for medicare plans, including a range of "all-in-one" medicare advantage plans from the names you know. learn, compare, even enroll-all in one place. no matter where you are in your search-whether you're just starting out, or already have a good idea of what you want- give us a call. our licensed hellomedicare agents are here to make things easy and help guide you to a plan that fits your needs.
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