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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  October 20, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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erwhe you can see prices and save up to 85% on your prescriptions. it could even beat your insurance copay. just visit, type in your meds, select your pharmacy and show the coupon when you pay. now you're an rxsaver! remember: you haven't saved...until you're an rxsaver! good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington, just two weeks from election day. the president says he will show up in nashville for his final debate with joe biden on thursday night, although he spent the morning again trashing the debate commission on all aspects of the agreed-upon format previously accepted by his own team, contrary to advice from many of his own staff. the president is not focusing on policy differences with joe biden in the last couple of days. instead, uneeleashing a string
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unfounded attacks against the economics, his own attorney general, and once again, internationally acclaimed infectious disease expert dr. anthony fauci. >> people are tired of hearing fauci and all these idiots, these people, these people that have gotten it wrong. he loves being on television. we let him do it. sometimes he says things that are a little bit off and they get built up, unfortunately. but he's a nice guy, i like him, but he's called a lot of bad calls. i don't want to hurt him. he's been there for about 350 years. i don't want to hurt him. i get along with him very well. he's a democrat. he's actually a very good friend of the cuomo family. he's been there for a long time, i leave him there. and he's a nice guy. but he's been wrong. it's good if people trust him. it's not that the people -- reporters like him because they think he's against me. look, he's a nice guy. he's got a really bad arm. not a good baseball flow throwe. he is a democrat, and, umm, i think he's just fine. >> to be clear, anthony fauci is
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not a registered democrat, he's not registered in any political party. joining me now, nbc political reporter monica alba in pennsylvania ahead of the president's rally this evening in erie. "washington post" white house report reporter. chris lu, former senior white house aide to president obama. ashley, first to you -- well, let's talk to monica first. let's quickly talk about how dr. fauci is responding and also anticipating some of these attacks because of what he said to "60 minutes" which did set off this latest round, some say. >> exactly, andrea. and dr. fauci is no stranger to this criticism. he has experienced it. so he's responding, quoting the "godfather" movie, saying this is nothing personal, it's strictly business when it comes to his relationship with the president. dr. fauci is somebody who has
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served administrations of both parties going back decades. he is not political. he is not registered as a democrat as the president has implied. the president this morning on "fox & friends" also said despite all that he has a good relationship with dr. fauci. he spoke in that campaign call yesterday about not wanting to fire him because he thinks the implications of that would be larger. we should point out the president doesn't have the direct authority to remove dr. fauci, he would have to direct that in a series of other steps that are very unlikely at this point. it comes at a time, andrea, when the president continues to flout those health and safety guidelines as put forth by dr. fauci by holding large rallies like he's going to have tonight in erie, pennsylvania. that quote he said in the campaign call about people being tired of covid, "saying whatever," that may be true. the hundreds of supporters lined up behind me, seven hours in advance of the rally, in the cold rain. but it certainly is not true for the hundreds of thousands, the
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families who have lost loved ones to coronavirus or the 7.8 million plus who have been infected by it. the first lady will join the president on the campaign trail for the first time traveling in s 16 months. she has embraced mask wearing and promoted social distancing, neither of which is expected here tonight. so we'll be watching to see what her presence is here. will she wear a mask? the white house has not said. of course the president doesn't wear a mask when he comes to these large events in critical battleground pennsylvania, a state he absolutely needs to do well in he has any hopes of winning reelection, andrea. >> and ashley, these critiques of dr. fauci are not going to help him certainly with swing voters, during a pandemic. a recent morning consult political poll showing 64% of registered voters, all registered voters, saying dr. fauci's response to the pandemic has been either excellent or good and only 39% giving the president high marks on the
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response to the pandemic. so how does that work with swing voters, with suburban women? >> it's absolutely not going to help him. as monica said, there may be coronavirus fatigue in general but that doesn't mean the nation wants junk science. the nation doesn't want dangerous and controversial herd immunity. and the president's allies and advisers understand this. they have tried to convey to the president, no matter what you personally think of dr. fauci, no matter how frustrated you are, and our reporting is he was quite frustrated with that candid "60 minutes" interview that dr. fauci gave, do not go out and attack a member of your own team who is largely trusted by the public, whose approval ratings are sky high and are certainly higher than this president, and do not attack a well-respected infectious disease expert and
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epidemiologist who at this point is america's doctor. it's something the president so far can't seem to help himself with. >> ashley, how much is he listening to the advice of his advisers going into the debate on all of this including the hunter biden theme that he seems to be pushing? >> we're really going to the answer to that question at the debate, of course. his advisers are counseling him, let joe biden talk. that's something they wanted him to do in the first debate, he did not do it. they want to give joe biden more time. in an ironic way this rule change may actually help trump achieve his goal of not interrupting joe biden. they want him to be a sort of happy, more charismatic warrior. they told him that his previous tone and demeanor, which was really angry, fuming, dark and brooding, was not helpful. although it's worth noting that after that debate the president thought he had done a good job and no one really wanted to
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break the reality to him. but that's what they're counseling. we'll have to see if he ultimately takes that advice. >> and chris lu, joe biden has seen all of this as a positive, while the president just criticized biden for wanting to listen to dr. fauci, biden's response was, quote, that's not an attack, that's a badge of honor. so he's taking it, pocketing it, and saying, yeah, i want to listen to fauci, americans want me to listen to fauci. >> and this is a crucial distinction between the two campaigns, joe biden's reliance on science and experience and the contrast he wants to make on how he would handle covid. the truth is both the biden and trump campaigns have the exact same strategy which is they want to make these closing days about donald trump and his leadership. donald trump is perfectly happy to oblige them. the problem, as the others have said, is he can't stick to the broader campaign message that's being pushed. and he continues to detract from that message, whether it's not
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denouncing qanon, whether it's these attacks on dr. fauci, or even his attacks over the weekend on governor whitmer in michigan who actually also has a higher approval rating than the president has. the president is engaged in a broader dispute with the debate commission and with the debate moderator, instead of simply just doing what he should be doing which is buckling down and preparing for this debate, because this may be his last best opportunity to try to change the narrative. and even then, if he has a great debate, it may be too late. 39 million people have already voted and millions more are voting every single day. >> you know, rick tyler, there's a bit of a deja vu for congressional republicans here, watching the president run this unconventional campaign, fearing for their own political futures, and knowing last time it worked for him. >> andrea, look, the republican party, i said my final goodbyes to the republican party, they
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should take it out back like old yeller and give it a mercy shot. it's terrible that the republican party has stood by and been silent for all these years. and it's really amazing, two weeks from today, it will be election day, and yet donald trump couldn't tell you why he deserves reelection. he doesn't have a campaign message. he doesn't have a vision for what his second term would be like. he hasn't laid out any agenda items, anything that he wants to accomplish other than made-up things like we're going to have health care in two weeks, which didn't come to pass, and all the other promises that he's made. and the truth is, the economy and covid are absolutely interlinked. and now it's flipped over. joe biden is actually ahead on who would handle the economy better by about two points. that's been a very lagging indicator, because you cannot get out of this economic morass until you deal with covid.
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so in this administration and its task force, they frankly have just given up. so you have a choice between do nothing and let the economy continue to flounder, or actually slip into a depression, because it's now in a recession, or joe biden, who has actually laid out a plan that i've read, on how he would deal with coronavirus. because that is the only way to move forward economically, the way south korea has, the way taiwan has, the way japan has and many other countries around the world who have managed this virus through leadership. >> and in fact, the numbers you've cited on who is handling the economy better, it may be that the american people are finally making that connection between turning the economy around and dealing with the virus. but the president, ashley, is still saying, you know, we're turning the corner, we're rounding the corner on the covid virus when we're seeing in the key states of wisconsin and
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north dakota and, you know, other big midwestern states, we're seeing the increases that are bringing us up to, you know, nearly 70,000 new cases a day. i want to ask you about the debate, ashley, though, because the debate commission's decision last night to try to enforce the rules by muting the make ricrop of whoever is not in those first segments, there are six segments in the debate, and the first two minutes are supposed to be each candidate speaking in answer to a question. now what they're going to do is mute whoever is not speaking to give them at least the chance to speak two minutes uninterrupted. the president obtained jected t today. he objected to the format, where the moderator has always chosen the issues and the questions. that has never been an issue, there has never been an agreement, as he said, that this be a foreign policy debate. he's working the refs again, but
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he still says he's going to show up. >> that's exactly right. this is a president who has more of a vested interest in this second debate than joe biden. donald trump is behind in most polls, so he can't just run out the clock. he doesn't really have the luxury to skip this debate. but you are going to see him and we already are seeing this, working the refs. and he will run, he's started doing this, he will likely continue after the debate, running against the debate commission. they're attacking kristen welker. as you and i both know and probably much of the public knows, a consummate professional, right? but he's setting the groundwork, if he has a poor debate or something doesn't go as he likes, he never blames himself. he will blame the moderator, he will blame the commission, he will blame the fact that he didn't like the topics. the topics are not the best topics for the president to be discussing. one of them is coronavirus,
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that's something he wants to pretend isn't happening. another is race in america. that's an issue where he's really struggled. another one is american families. he's losing with suburban women. so this is shaping up to potentially be a tough debate for him. some people in his orbit think he might rise to the occasion and he's trying to lay the groundwork that, as with everything he doesn't like, that it is unfair and rigged and biased. but again, it's worth noting, there is no evidence that any of that is the case. it's a bipartisan debate commission with a fantastic professional moderator. >> indeed, we can certainly vouch for that, for the commission but particularly for our colleague kristen welker. monica, very briefly, the significance of melania trump for the first time showing up on the campaign trail today with the president, and the first time we've seen her since her covid infection. >> exactly. and apart from that rose garden speech during the republican national convention, we haven't heard her make the case very
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often for another four years in the white house. she has talked about her own experience with covid, the fact that their son barron trump tested positive and since then has had no symptoms and tested negative. the first lady was the first of the first family to say please wear a mask, in contrast with her husband who took months to sport a face covering and called it patriotic, she is the one who pushed those health and safety guidelines. what it will look like tonight in erie, we're not quite sure yet, andrea. >> thanks so much to all. the race for a vaccine. why scientists in the uk are planning to intentionally infect vaccinated healthy volunteers with the coronavirus. more on that controversial move, coming up next. and can democrats take back south carolina? jaime harrison thinks so as he's looking to unseat the powerful republican senator, chairman of the judiciary committee lindsey graham. he joins us later this hour.
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now to the latest on the coronavirus crisis. here are the facts at this hour. in the u.s., there are more than 8.2 million covid cases. and more than 221,000 americans are died. states have less than two weeks to set up vaccine distribution centers across the country to meet the november 1 deadline set by the cdc. this is a monumental undertaking made even more difficult since a vaccine has not been cleared by the fda. in the uk, scientists announced they plan to start controversial vaccine challenge trials where volunteers are vaccinated and then deliberately infected with the coronavirus to test the vaccine's efficacy. the decision still needs regulatory and ethical profile in the uk. if approved, the program could start as early as january. front line workers say the way the president and many governors
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have made basic public health guidelines a political issue has hampered them and the nation's ability to deal with the crisis. >> i think we really need the support. it's hard walking into these shifts every day or into the hospital every day, seeing some of these people just not progress, seeing multiple deaths, multiple days in a row. >> n95 masks do not absorb tears when you are at a bedside removing somebody from a bypass, letting their family say goodbye and you sit with them as they take their last pressure. >> dr. ashish jha, dean of brown university school of public health, dr. jha, very good to see you today, thanks for being with us. >> thank you, andrea. >> we just heard from front line health care workers. dr. michael osterholm said the next six to 12 weeks will be the darkest in the pandemic. what do you see as the impact
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going forward on the health care community? >> yes, so first of all, dr. osterholm is one of the best in the world. and of course all of us hope that his assessment is a little too negative. but i'm worried that he may be right. the problem on the health care community is in march and april, when nurses and doctors were doing this extraordinary work, and really through the whole pandemic, the public has been behind them. recently we have so politicized this that increasingly you're seeing a loss of that trust for doctors and nurses, people who are arguing that this is all overblown, that it's a hoax. and i think that is also tearing away at the sort of steadiness of the doctors and nurses who are doing incredible work. so we really need to back them on an ongoing basis, whatever our own personal political beliefs. >> and speaking of the politics of all this, you have the president really going after dr. fauci now, saying don't believe the scientists, that they're
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idiots, going after fauci personally, accusing him of being political, which he's not, he's not registered in either party. dr. fauci said yesterday there can't be conflicting messages about vaccines coming from the government so people won't have faith in the safety of vaccines. is this a concern, with the administration firing shots at the medical community? >> it is a concern. first of all, in the middle of a pandemic, if you are going to war with the scientists and the doctors, that is a problem, because that's the community that's going to bail us out. that's the community that has developed the therapies. the therapies that the president got. they didn't come out of nowhere, the scientific community developed them. so the president should be more positively and constructively engaged with physicians and scientists. this will really play out in a big way, andrea, because if we start getting into these kinds of political battles with the vaccine, it will further diminish people's confidence in the vaccine and make it much,
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much harder to end the pandemic. so we really have to let the science do its thing, and the political leaders to back the scientific process. >> i want to ask you about what's happening in the uk with this challenge -- these challenge trials, because to a layman such as myself, it sounds, first of all, that it doesn't give the testing the kind of diversity of volunteers that you would want, because they're testing a particular group, they're younger, they're healthier, they don't include people of color necessarily. it doesn't have the variety that you're trying to create to have a real test of a population. >> yeah, you know, these challenge trials are tricky, right? and obviously there are ethical issues, is it ethical to feinfe people. i do think there is a way to do it ethically with consent and support. my problem is it's wholly unnecessary.
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you want to do these in a situation where the virus is not circulating in the community and it's going to be very hard to run a regular trial. that's not the case here. so i completely agree with you that we won't know from the challenge trials whether elderly people, whether kids, whether people with chronic disease are going to benefit, because we're only going to test it in young, healthy people. i also don't think it's necessary. so i'm not really sure why the uk is doing this right now. i don't know that i would be supportive of moving forward with that. >> meanwhile, we've got the infections increasing rapidly across the country. is there any way to get ahead of this at this point? or does it take national leadership? >> well, national leadership would certainly be helpful. but given that we're unlikely to get anything new there, i think we need states to really step up. there are some states that have done a terrific job of stepping up. california, i've been talking about in the last few days, really out there. their case numbers are declining while everybody else is going up. the problem here is that i think we've gotten lulled into a sense
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of pandemic fatigue. and if we wait several more weeks when the infections get really out of control, it will be much, much harder to bring this infection under control. so i'm imploring mayors and governors to act aggressively now and not wait any further. >> dr. jha, thank you as always. we really appreciate your help. and voting and the virus. this is a big challenge right now. in-person voting starting in battleground wisconsin today, just as the state is hitting a record high in covid cases. and one veteran wisconsin icu nurse makes an emotional plea -- simply wear a mask. >> we have many patients who come in here, their last words before we put in a breathing tube are, they didn't realize it was as bad as it was, they thought they were doing what they needed to do was protect themselves. we've had several people come in very sick who said all they wanted to do was see their
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early in-person voting
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begins today in the battleground state of wisconsin. and people have been lining up since early this morning to cast their ballots, as new coronavirus cases in the state topped 3,000 a day. nbc political reporter shaq brewster is in milwaukee. shaq, first of all, that covid number is just horrible. what are you hearing from voters? they're coming out, they're not afraid to vote? >> reporter: yeah, andrea, you know, you saw a line of people before the polls even opened. you see some of that line right now, for people who want to be more health conscious, there's a line of cars here, curbside voting, an election official will hand them a ballot and they can vote in the comfort and safety of their own cars. we saw the line of people here early and what they've been telling me is they've been directly connecting it to the covid surge we've seen in this state. listen to what one voter told me just this morning. does it feel different than 2016? >> i think people are voting
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like their life depended on it. we see covid, people are dying. people have not seen an unemployment check. people are wondering when they're going to eat. we just have a lot of stuff going on. and it's going to make the difference whether somebody lives today or tomorrow. our life depends on it. >> reporter: so you see all the people here. there's a lot of people inside this voting center right now. and it's important to note that before doors even opened this morning, more than 900,000 people in this state of wisconsin have already cast their ballot, either by mail or getting their vote by mail and dropping it in a dropbox. so we're seeing that enthusiasm. i spoke to the mayor of milwaukee and he told me this is what they want to see, they want to see people using the vote by mail option, they want to see people voting early. that will hopefully alleviate the pressure on election day and avoid those election day crowds, andrea. >> they seem to have got it together there in wisconsin.
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thanks so much, shaq brewster. nbc national political correspondent steve kornacki is at the big board for a reality check on the potential impact of millions of early votes being cast across the county. steve, what should we read into that? i know it's more democrats than republicans voting early. >> and of course we have the memory of 2016 when democrats seemed to be doing great in the early voting only for trump to have an even better election day. some numbers overall in florida, a state where mail-in voting, early voting is under way, overall biden leading trump by a point in the poll average. let's take a look, two sets of numbers here. this first one has to do with the early voting, with the mail-in voting. these are ballots that have been returned in florida so far. a lot of them, if you break it down by party, there are a lot more democratic ballots that have been returned in florida than republican ballots. again, probably not a surprise here. we've been seeing in polling democrats much more likely than republicans to say they want to vote early, certainly the president has talked to his
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supporters in a lot of cases about voting on election day. so you're seeing a lot more democratic votes here in the early voting, in the mail-in voting in florida. what republicans will say is, they're going to get the vote out on election day. and they'll also talk about this, what you're seeing here, these are voter registrations since february in florida. and you can see almost 350,000 new republican registrations, not even 200,000 for the democrats. there's a gap there, a gap of about 150,000. that's the sort of trump theory of the case, is hey, there are a lot of voters out there that we've got that people don't know about yet, you're going to see on election day. that's the kind of thing you'll hear, obviously you've got to get to election day to see. but that's the kind of disconnect we can expect in a lot of states where democrats potentially run up big numbers in early voting and the republicans try to make up for it on election day. look at the early voting gap in pennsylvania so far. but again, you have the same story were republicans more
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recently have registered more new voters in pennsylvania. we'll see if that can translate into something for them on election day, andrea. >> and of course the caveat is that we're not counting all the democrats versus republicans who registered since 2016, 2017, and 2018 in the midterms, starting in february, you know, taking only this -- >> i should say the gap has closed in pennsylvania relative to 2016 as well, so it would be a four-year trend as well. >> okay. the u.s. supreme court has now permitted pennsylvania ballots to be counted for three days after election day, that was a supreme court ruling, 4-4 tie, letting the lower court ruling stand. so that's one indicator of the supreme court getting involved. but it turns out to favor the democrats just by letting the earlier ruling stand, correct? >> yeah, and obviously anything
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that is postmarked, that's in the mail on election day, if it comes in for a few days after, in pennsylvania it will count. in north carolina it will count. in other states, florida for instance, it won't. this is going to vary state by state. >> check your state rules. thank you very much. >> you got it. >> steve kornacki. and a programming note, tonight at 8:00 catch stephanie ruhle's election special, "are you better off," only on nbc news now. and senator lindsey graham's challenger jaime harrison joins me after the break with his record setting fundraising hall and star power making his case. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." this is msnbc. this is msnbc. non-valvular afib can mean a lifetime of blood thinners. and if you're troubled by falls and bleeds,
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south carolina has voted republican in every senate election going back to 1998. two weeks from now, that could change. jaime harrison, the challenger to republican senator lindsey graham, is putting the state back in play for democrats,
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bringing in record breaking fundraising, boosting black voter registration, and down the home stretch, getting a boost from the democratic party's biggest star. >> hey, south carolina. if you want a senator who will fight for criminal justice reform, lower college costs, and make health care affordable, you've got to vote for my friend jaime harrison. >> and joining me now is jaime harrison. jaime, it's great to see you again. >> great to see you, andrea. >> it's down the home stretch. it's great to see you, but you're running against a republican behemoth, lindsey graham, who was just now chairing the judiciary hearings for amy coney barrett, a big calling card for conservative republicans, certainly red state republicans to turn out in big numbers with the supreme court in play. and you've raised $57 million in the third quarter alone. at that hearing, he opened the hearing, lindsey graham did, ad libbing his opening statement,
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some hints that there's dark money involved. can you explain where you're getting all this money from? >> yeah, andrea, thank you very much for having me again. the only dark money is lindsey graham's dark money from the corporate pacs. we've raised record numbers from grandmas and grandpas at $37 a person, andrea, from all over the state of south carolina. and i'm so, so proud of it. i'm humbled. but as i love to remind our folks and our supporters, this isn't about raising or breaking a fundraising record. this is about bringing hope back to south carolina. this is about making sure that the people in south carolina get the representation that they need, that lindsey graham hasn't provided them over the years. and that's why we have to run through the tape. mitch mcconnell in just the past 2 1/2 weeks has put almost $20 million into this race because he sees what we see. lindsey graham is in trouble.
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that's why i tell folks, if you want to volunteer, if you want to help us, go to and be part of how we make history here in south carolina. >> according to "the post courier," the number of ballots issued so far breaks the record. what are those numbers telling you? >> andrea, overall, when you add the in-person absentee vote, we've already had almost 500,000 south carolinians who have voted. and we expect in this race about 2 million people. so we're almost at about 20, 25% of what is expected by november 3. and so it says to me that people are excited. they're ready for change in the state. they're ready for some real representation. and my wife and i, i took my two boys with me yesterday to go vote, and we stood in line and we stood in line with the rest
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of the folks. but they were excited. they were very supportive of our campaign and our contest. and we're looking forward to seeing what the result is on november 3. >> and i want to ask you about, again, raising the money, because i'm seeing your ads here in d.c. so you have a national advertising campaign. you're spending money, obviously people here can contribute, but you're trying to also raise a lot of outside money. >> we're trying our best to make sure that we have the resources to really focus like a laser on the issues that are important to the people here in south carolina. health care is number one. we've had four rural hospitals close here in south carolina, andrea. 14 of our 46 counties don't have ob/gyns. there are so many issues here. we're struggling with the coronavirus. we wish lindsey graham would put the urgency on addressing the
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coronavirus like he has rushing the supreme court justice nominee. we just need representation here. and we're going to get the resources that we need in order to get that message out and then to get the vote out as well. >> it's been an amazing thing to watch, jaime harrison, we've been following you a long time, we'll stay close in touch. we'll talk to you before election day about voter suppression efforts in south carolina, i know that's a big issue. we've invited senator graham consistently to join us on this show for in fact a couple of years. we have yet to receive a response. we have some breaking news from the white house. according to the campaign and according to the white house, melania trump, the first lady, will not be able to join today in erie. it was supposed to be her first big campaign appearance on the road with the president in erie, pennsylvania. but apparently there is still a persistent cough. we know we haven't seen her since she first had covid.
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so especially it's raining, as we saw earlier, with monica alba and stephanie griffith says from the white house that she continues to improve every day. we hope she's better and is not taking any undue risks. so out of an abundance of caution she will not be campaigning today. we'll be right back. we'll be ri. [ engine rumbling ] [ beeping ] [ engine revs ] uh, you know there's a 30-minute limit, right? tell that to the rain. [ beeping ] for those who were born to ride, there's progressive. here's to the duers. to all the people who realize they can du more
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new warnings that russia and others are again spreading disinformation ahead of this
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election as they did in 2016. experts saying one big goal is to target black and latino voters in key swing states, trying to suppress the minority vote. almost a quarter of online posts about mail-in voting featured misinformation. nbc's morgan radford put voters in florida to the test to see if they could spot what's real from what's fake. >> you all have cards here. and i need you to tell me whether you believe these memes are real or false. vote by mail boosts black turnout. real or fake? >> probably in general. >> black folks despise vote by mail. >> real, real, real, fake. the answer is real. voter turnout has been higher this year according to preliminary data. this is a tweet. doing my part in voting early. dm me for convenient locations to drop your ballots off. real, real, real, fake. the answer is fake. that black ballot box is not a real ballot box. this is a tweet. it says by caleb.
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leaving the democratic party has been on my mind for a few weeks now. is there room on the trump train? is this a real tweet? real or fake? that gentleman is actually a singer and his image has been reposted to use. >>tweet. >> by a russian bot. >> nbc news correspondent morgan radford. this is fascinating. voters, are they getting better at spotting the fake posts? what's been done to fight back? >> they are, andrea. and they're trying to fight back by combatting it with actual correct information. one of those voters there, we were in florida, said this would be laughable if it wasn't so scary. there was a senate intelligence report in 2019 that looked back at the 2016 election and found that black american voters were the most targeted voters by russian bots. and those voters said they feel like this year they're being paid more attention in a negative way. if you heard from makita
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mccloughan in the center of that interview. she said it's not surprising that a lot of voters are having trouble distinguishing correct information when she said in her opinion, the president was using the oval office to share such a volume of false information over the past four years. she says it's created a general level of distrust. people can't trust their government agencies in the same way or their leadership. she says that disinformation is a top-down approach and it's not surprising people are having trouble distinguishing that information from their peers. >> andrea? >> it's a great piece. thank you so much, morgan, for being with us. amid record-shattering absentee voting, a dire warning, more than a million ballots could be tossed out in half the nation. if half the nation votes by mail and we can see how many are. according to an estimate from "usa today" and pbs frontline. tonight the pbs series looks at allegations of voter fraud and disenfranchisement including
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this year in wisconsin where at least 23,000 ballots have already been tossed out. >> they made it so difficult for people to vote here. just asking too much of people to come out with this virus going on. >> it was difficult to request an absentee ballot. >> it's unethical. >> we're going to die because of this. >> i'm really frustrated because my vote won't count. >> it was the most blatant form of voter suppression. >> joining me is pbs frontline correspondent jalani cobb. it's very good to see you. we had earlier a report from wisconsin and people are turning out and lining up. also for in-person voting. but having looked at voter suppression tactics from jim crow era laws to wisconsin, now texas where the governor is trying to limit ballot drop-off boxes, supposedly successfully in the middle of the pandemic in the largest county, what signs are you seeing for election
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week? >> we've seen an array of these things. we started working on this last year before the pandemic hit. and when the pandemic arrived, we quickly saw this was going to have a huge impact. there would be one of the dynamics that factored into the election and how people were able to cast a ballot. so now, in addition to the misinformation which you talked about in your previous segment, there's also the real concern about people's ballots, absentee ballots and mail-in ballots being tossed out and rejected. and so there's a kind of argument on the right saying that mail-in balloting is rife with cheating and that republicans will be on the losing side if all the unfair and wrongful actions don't go checked. but the actual outlook in our investigation along with the milwaukee journal sentinel, they found it was disproportionately
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ballots from black and brown communities being tossed out for whatever reasons are being side saying this ballot won't be considered as valid. >> what are the reasons they get tossed out? is one of them matching the signature with the driver's license? and certainly a lot of older voters, their signature does change appreciably from the last time they were driving. >> there's a lawsuit currently from a gentleman who has suffered two strokes and says that the course of his recovery, his signature no longer looks the way that it did before he had those ailments. and so there are people whose signatures are tossed out because they don't match the signature that's on file. other people whose ballots are tossed out because the -- particularly in wisconsin, the law was very archaic in terms of what had to happen around i.d. and so particularly some seniors
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who thought that they had to post a selfie along with their ballot, you know, that would make it valid so they'd prove they were who they said they were, but that actually wasn't. there was a way to upload an image of their i.d. in other places people have to find a witness inspect some places, people have to have the ballot notarized. and so the more steps that you add between the person casting the ballot and that ballot actually being considered valid, the higher the likelihood is that there will be some mechanism by which that ballot would be invalidated. >> it gets back to some of the things used in the jim crow south. how many jelly beans are in this jar and if you can't count them, you are disqualified. why is it usually black and brown voters who are getting disqualified? >> i think that the point that we've been seeing is, you know, akin to what you were just
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talking about with the jim crow south where the objective was to completely eliminate those populations from contention politically. what we're now seeing are tactics that tend to work around the edges and work around kind of narrow margins that can tip one direction or another. and so that's what we're seeing happen now. >> well, we're all going to be watching "frontline." your reporting is always just must read, must follow. thank you so very much. and jelani's "frontline" special premieres tonight at 10:00 eastern on pbs. thanks for being with us. we'll be live in philadelphia tomorrow ahead of president obama's appearance for joend. his first on the campaign trail. chuck todd is up next with "mtp daily" only on msnbc. advil targets pain at the source... ...while acetaminophen blocks pain signals.
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if it's tuesday, behind in the polls with two weeks to go, president trump doubles down on campaigning angry. calling for biden to be thrown into jail and pressing bill barr to take legal action against his political rival. president trump is running ot of time to change the trajectory of this race. millions of americans have already voted. and in america's most important swing state, the opening day numbers for florida's in-person early voting are unlike anything we've ever seen before. plus, as cases surge, negotiators scramble to meet


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