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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  January 12, 2022 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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sense of normal. >> tonight, "all in." >> would you be willing to testify about your conversation with donald trump on january 6th if asked by an outside commission? >> sure. next question. >> you would? >> kevin mccarthy gets his time in the barrel. >> i'm asking you specifically, did he say to you i guess some people are more concerned about the election than you are? >> no, listen, my conversations with the president are my conversations with the president. >> tonight the extraordinary letter from the january 6th committee that kevin mccarthy why they're investigating his conversations with trump before, during, and after the insurrection and serious implications for the top house republican. plus, senator elizabeth warren on the new strategy for
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democrats to pass voting rights. and what looks like seriously encouraging data on the omicron surge when "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. the committee investigating the january 6th insurrection is asking that the top republican in the house, kevin mccarthy come and give them testimony before them. this is the man poised to become speaker of the house should republicans take back control in the midterm elections which is certainly a strong possibility. before that happens, they want to hear about what mccarthy knows about the insurrection. in a letter to mccarthy released this afternoon, the committee writes they request his voluntary cooperation on a range of critical topics including conversations with donald trump before, during, after the violent january 6th attack. in ways kevin mccarthy is at the center of the plot. working behind the scenes to carry out wishes. at first, we should note,
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mccarthy reacted the way that the overwhel amming majority would. as the committee knows, mccarthy spoke to cbs news whul the attack was still going on about how he begged trum top address the nation. >> you said you spoke with the president. what did the president say he would do? >> he put a tweet out there. i told him he needs to talk to the nation. i told him what was happening right there. i was very clear with the president when i called him. this has to stop. he's got to go to the american public and tell them to stop this. >> leader mccarthy, the president of the united states has a briefing room steps from the oval office. it is the cameras are hot 24/7, as you know. has he said that now? >> i conveyed to the president what i think is best to do. i'm hopeful the president will do it. >> you just spoke with the chief of staff? >> i spoke to the president and
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other people in there, in the white house as well. >> so mccarthy, like everyone else, is desperately trying to get the president to call off the mob that he sent to the capitol that is now breached it and threatened lives. a week later as the committee also points out, he stood up and placed blame squarely on the president. >> the president bears responsibility for wednesday's attack on congress by mob rioters he should have denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. the facts require immediate action by president trump. help his share of responsibility. quell the unrest and ensure president-elect biden is able to successfully begin his term. >> oh, yeah. he'll do. that accept his share of the responsibility.
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but of course much more is going on behind the scenes. later on we found out mccarthy had a talk with trump that got heated. he told his republican colleague butler about it at the time and she released a statement. the president initially repeated the falsehood it was antifa that breached the capitol. they were trump supporters. that's when mccarthy said well, kevin, i guess these people are nor upset about the election than you are. the committee also quotes "politico's" reporting that trump and mccarthy got into a screaming match he demanded he release a statement denouncing the mob. trump finally relented and said he would send a tweet. that wasn't good enough for mccarthy who wanted more. that fact pattern matches the interview we just heard him give to cbs. "politico" later reported that mccarthy shared a greater degree of detail with the colleagues in a conference call on january 11th. on that call he stated that president trump admitted some
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degree of responsibility for john 6 in the one-on-one conversation with him. that's interesting. so the committee wants to know about all the conversations. they're also interested in conversations mccarthy had when it came time to finally seat the electors that night. again, the committee highlights this point in the letter. you agreed to support continued objections to the electoral votes from multiple states late in the evening of january 6th and into the morning of january 7th. the committee wishes to question you regarding communications you may have had with president trump and his legal team and others at the time on that topic. we should note, and this really remains a startling fact. a startling fact that night and even more startling now. after all that violence, mccarthy not only allowed the objections on the floor, he voted for the coup. like the majority of house republicans. committee also wants to know more about kevin mccarthy's conversations with donald trump
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and others after the insurrection. they specifically pointed to a conversation on or about january 11th when he pushed the president to accept the fee. mccarthy's local news outlet wrote about that call. he implored president trump during an intense hour long phone conversation monday morning to accept the electoral defeat and move forward. the house minority leader pleaded with him telling when the election is over, he needs to move on, stop this, mccarthy recalled telling him. the committee notes it appears that mccarthy may have discussed with trump the potential he would face a censure resolution, impeachment or removal under the 25th amendment. he may have identified other possible options including president trump's immediate resignation from office. things, of course, very quickly turned around between mccarthy and trump. january 28th, he you have theed mar-a-lago to debase himself and kiss the ring of the exiled ex-president who had put a mob on mccarthy's place of work and
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who hadn't even given him the courtesy of calling a mob when mccarthy desperately phoned him from inside the besieged building. the committee wants to discuss any communications mccarthy had with president trump at the time regarding his account of what actually happened on january 6th. the public statements regarding january 6th changed since the meeting. the committee is not wrong. this is all public record. the tone sounded different in this statement. great meeting with president trum top day. house republicans and the trump administration achieved historic results for all americans. and then mccarthy essentially started to do trump's bidding. this summer on the january 6th committee is being formed, he appointed five republicans, three of whom who voted to overturn election on january 6th. nancy pelosi vetoed two of the picks. one has been asked to appear before the committee as a witness to some of the most important events and refusing to cooperate. mccarthy, of course, then pulled
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the remaining nominees. the committee concluded the letter by pointing out mccarthy recently indicated that he might be open to cooperating and wouldn't hide from anything. which is good. then they asked mccarthy to appear before him a few weeks, we watched as one rioter after another sentenced over january 6th by the justice department without anyone at the top facing any accountability. we're now look teg prospect of minority leader, house of representatives having to come before the committee to testify about what he knows. our reporter has been covering the story and she joins me now. this seems like a very, very big deal for the committee to do this. what is your reporting suggest about the background and context for it and what we can anticipate mccarthy is going to do. >> it is. of it's a big step. it's moving into new territory in terms of going after not just republican members but the
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person who is more likely than not, frankly, to be the next speaker of the house. knowing everything i know about kevin mccarthy, i would be stunned if mccarthy voluntarily he could operates with this committee. mccarthy has become anti-january 6th investigation as any member of congress could possibly be. interestingly enough, some of the opposition to the january 6th probes, both proposed and actually materialized, retrospect looks like a big strategic error for republicans. remember, before this select committee was set up, speaker pelosi proposed the idea of having a bipartisan commission. pelosi proposed that that commission's work would be done by new year's eve of last year. the entour january 6th investigation could be totally completed. kevin mccarthy refused to take that offer and instead we have
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this select committee that is getting dramatically more information than would have come out if he accepted the offer that pelosi made. that said, it would be consistent with his career and where he's at on this for him to totally stiff arm the committee and dare them to take more aggressive steps. >> yeah. it's a great point. in fact, he deputized a member of republican leadership, the ranking member on the homeland security committee to work out a deal with betty thompson which they did work out for a bipartisan commission. which he then pulled the rug out from under. they pass it in the house. mcconnell filibustered in in the senate. it would have been like the 9/11 commission, a 50/50 split. it would have been done under statute in a year. has all produced by the choices. you know, the other question i have here, i mean, just going through that facts there is so much of this is already in the public record. i mean, he's -- him being a
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center of this is not in dispute at all. him knowing things that the committee would want to know about is not in dispute. there is no hiding here so much of this transpired fully in public view. >> the committee's leverage with mccarthy is quite limited. if they sued to try to get him to come in, it would be in court for more than a year. if they asked the justice department prosecute him after they potentially issued a subpoena, the likelihood that doj would charge him is very much up in the air. the only leverage -- the most easily accessible leverage that the committee has in this case is saying to mccarthy, look, you're going to be part of our report. you're going to be part of history. we've already talked in great detail and in varying terms about what happened on january 5th, 6th and 7th. you may get your version of the events on the record so you have a voice in the history making document that we're working on. i don't think mccarthy is going to take them up on that offer.
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but that's the offer they're making. n. this letter. that is notably not a shouty letter. >> yeah. and that's the way reporters do it who don't have any means of legally compelling people to talk to them but will use precisely that approach. i've already talked to all your enemies. so if you want to sort of tell your side of the story, like i'm all ears, we should talk. you know, the other thing that strikes me here about this situation is whatever happens, the embarrassment factor here is a key part of all this. and you see it with hannity and ingraham and with kevin mccarthy. one of the themes that's coming out it seems to me in the committee's investigation is everyone during those three hours, everyone across the board, had hair on fire about how horrible it was and how the president had to stop it and he didn't. and this is another example of yet another person who is in that boat. >> no one said this is a good
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idea and it's going to work. there were zero people saying great strategy. give it a couple more hours. nobody thought that. my sense is that the text messages of the committee has been getting, majrle what they've gotten from mark met yoes, they describe getting reams of production is helping them get their foot in the door and crack open, get a much more detailed picture of the communications of the people who were closest to the white house, closest to the president. that's meaningful information they're getting. i think there is a lot more to come. >> betsy woodruff swan. thank you. i want to turn to one of the members investigating the insurrection. i imagine there is considerable discussion about this request. why do you think this is justified and what do you say to
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people that view this as a provication or escalation? >> we lay out the case in the letter. we know just like you indicated based on public reporting that the minority lead her conversations with the former president as well as members of the former president's team leading up to january 6th. he was aware of the strategy to challenge the outcome of the free and fair election. and in addition to january 6th itself. the number of conversations and text messages that were bandied about, those are all relevant to our investigation. what was the president doing during this 187 minutes that he didn't call off the rioters who were coming into the capitol before kevin mccarthy and for us on the house floor, what was he doing? what was his mindset? those are the questions that are worth answering. in addition to after january 6th from security questions that
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leader mccarthy asked to his conversations with the former president himself. no member of congress is above the law f we're committed to democracy, if we're all committed to the constitutional oath that we took, then members should be coming forward. and mccarthy said himself, sure, he would come forward. so we'll see. >> yeah. let me play. that we played it in the open. this is when what looked like would be happen would be a commission would be impanelled. he was asked this question. take a listen real quick. >> you would be willing to testify about your conversation with donald trump on january 6th if you were asked by an out sued commission? >> sure. next question. >> sure, next question. there's already some precedent here. you have scott perry and jim
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jordan who have been asked to voluntarily come in and share what they know with the committee. they have both said they're not going to do that. what do you do about that? i mean, there's talk about subpoenas. but the subpoenas i think would be fairly innovative. i don't know if that happened before. usually they cooperate with congressional inquiries. how are you gaming this out? >> if they were committed to protect the constitution, they would come before us. but as you indicated, they've indicated for a variety of reasons some nonsensical that they don't want to come before the committee in the case of mr. jordan and mr. perry, clearly they were communicating with the white house and the former president about the strategy to overturn the free and fair election. and so that's problematic to them. so it's unfortunate. there are other tools that we have. chairman thompson said that we're reviewing those. if we have things to share, we'll share those.
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but at its core, i think the appeal is to our colleagues. if we're committed to this institution, if it you're committed to making this place work, to protecting and promoting democracy, then we have to stand against overturning free and fair elections at a minimum and stopping a peaceful transfer of power. and the fact that they were coordinating in those efforts is deeply troubling t the fact that they don't want to talk about those efforts now and join efforts to whitewash history is troubling to a lot of us. >> as a member of the committee, how would you characterize where you are in the work -- the arc of. this how much you learned and how much further there is to go? >> we're in the investigative stage right now. so there are depositions, transcribed interdruz being done daily. we continue to make progress and
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continue to hear things helpful to our investigative efforts. we're piecing those things together. we're connecting the dots. we're having more and more conversations, over 300 so far. and we're making significant progress. the next phase will be the more public phase that we do. and that's when we'll share the results with the american public. >> all right. when should we expect that? >> well, i'll let chairman thompson detail some of that time line. but in the foreseeable future we want to share some of what we find and some of the conversation that's we're having in a public domain hopefully where more americans can watch and learn what we have learned about the importance of protecting democracy. >> all right. congressman, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. >> kevin mccarthy is asked to testify into the investigation of january 6th. next, michael steel and the political implications of a rarely calculated kaes lags for the committee and former federal prosecutors helps read between the lines and the committee's letter after this. read bweeten
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the lines and the committee's letter after this. for fast-acting sore throat relief. wooo vaporize sore throat pain with vicks vapocool drops. we have to be able to repair the enamel on a daily basis. with pronamel repair toothpaste, we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. my go to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair.
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how not to be a hero: because that's the last thing they need you to be. you don't have to save the day. you just have to navigate the world so that a foster child isn't doing it solo. you just have to stand up for a kid who isn't fluent in bureaucracy, or maybe not in their own emotions. so show up, however you can, for the foster kids who need it most— at the committee investigating january 6th requested testimony from scott perry of pennsylvania. perry responded i decline this request and will continue to fight the failures of the radical left. then the committee requested testimony from jim jordan of ohio, ranking member of the powerful house judiciary committee. a request which jordan called an outrageous abuse of select
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committee's authority. today the committee went to the very top requesting testimony from house minority leader kevin mccarthy, the highest ranking republican in the house caucus. now mccarthy yet to respond. he previously indicated he would cooperate with the investigation. but he also called the committee a sham. i want to bring in michael steel, former member of the committee and barbara wade from the eastern district of michigan. michael, let me start with you on just the oh, snap implications here of, you know, going straight to the top of the house republican caucus and saying like you clearly have information we want to know about. >> yeah. i think that's important. what it says is that the information that committee has been collecting has led to this moment. you don't make this move unless you got something that creates the impetus for it, supports the
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impetus for it and justifies making -- because you know the political ramifications, chris, are enormous. what are the political ramifications? it exposes the efforts of the republicans and more specifically mccarthy. not for the period of what were your conversations like. but were you aware of just how much this was driving the narrative to led to what we were witnessing live on television? he one offed to the reporter where you said oh, yes, i'll respond. we no he that was bull. there is no way that he was going to do that. i think betsy put her fingers on it. much that's not going to be a driver for him right now to cooperate. but rather the consistent driver to obstruct and to play it off as a witchunt. but the committee has to come with the hammer.
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if it they're prepared to do that this could get interesting real quick. >> well, let's talk about that, barbara. we're in interesting legal and constitutional territory. you know, you get subpoenaed in it a criminal case or you get, you know, subpoena for a document production or deposition in a civil case. you comply. generally. very rare not to. this is a voluntary ask for compliance. and then the question is, well, what do you do if not? and that answer to me is not the legal and constitutional questions here do not seem to me settled or resolved. what do you think? >> i agree with you, chris. the phrase unprecedented is maybe overused from time to time in our current culture. but this really is a situation that is unprecedented. congress serving a subpoena on one of the own members. and so we don't really know how that can shake out.
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i have to think this has been a very skilled legal staff that appears to be guiding this investigation. i don't think they would have gone down this road if they didn't plan to back it up with a legal process. could be a subpoena. we'll see how that plays out. >> that is the big question. there is the other dynamic that i'm fascinated by, michael. this is something i feel like you have more sight into than i do. as i'm going through the facts at the top of the show, one of them is, you know, on january 11th, he's on a phone call with the house republican caucus. liz cheney was on that call. she was number three in house leadership. she was probably around all this. she probably heard him say the president is better say something. so, you know, there's an informer on the inside of the operation, a. and, b, i think part of this is like i said to betsy, you know,
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the narrative that is being crafted here is showing all these republicans who in the moment understood what was happening and horrified as a key part of the story this committee wants to tell. >> and that's what makes this so hard for them to play the oh, i'm not going to cooperate game. you did have her on the phone listening to the leadership. i can assure you that kevin mccarthy shared his conversations with members of that caucus. so what animates this is what liz knows. and what liz has probably already shared. and said okay, here. turn this page. pick at that xap. go after that poivenlt and that's what makes this hard for republicans now who on january 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th were expressing their honest outrage about what they saw.
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who then by in kiven mccarthy's case, the 28th of january, was licking the boot. it wasn't even bending the knee. it was licking the boot to curry favor with the guy who two weeks before they thought was a real threat to the democracy. barbara, we have seen bannon really just flouted it. and he was referred for contempt and is going to be prosecuted. everyone else has kind of played it both ways. med owes was cooperating then wasn't. he has a contempt referral. others pleaded the fifth. others cited privilege, et cetera. it's not like members of congress are going to treat this like nothing if they get a subpoena. >> i think that's right. i think onest things the committee has done well is sort of this public shaming with the six page letter and laying out all of the details about why they want his testimony and why it's so compelling. anybody who reads that i think
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would feel some shame that you need to come forward and tell what you know. but in terms of legal process, we'll see if we get there with a subpoena. there is some argument that the speech or debate clause gives him cover. i don't think so. that clause is designed to protect members of congress from the executive branch from arrest. i don't think it protection a member of congress from a fellow member of congress. >> michael steel and barbara mcquaid, thank you both. when we come back, we have senator elizabeth warren. we have a lot to talk about and we'll get to it all rit after this. k about and we'll get to it all right after this ♪ ♪ ♪ with chase security features, guidance and convenience,
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almost 16 years ago the voting rights act was up for re-authorization in congress. the majority whip took to the well and delivered an eight minute long speech in favor of the landmark legislation. >> we have renewed the voting
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rights act periodically. since that time. overwhelmingly and on a bipartisan basis. year after year after year because members of congress realize that this is a piece of legislation that has worked and one of my favorite saying that's many of us use is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. this is a good piece of legislation that served an important purpose over many, many years. this legislation will continue to make a difference not only in the south but for all of america and for all of us whether we're african americans or not. >> shortly after delivering the remarks, mitch mcconnell goes on to vote for the bill he bhuped them to vote for and the voting rights act re-authorization passed in a republican majority senate. a week later george bush would sign that bill into law. today mitch mcconnell, that same man, now the senate minority leader where he tacked president biden for his speech yesterday
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on the need to pass landmark voting rights legislation after the supreme court gutted the not broke don't fix it bill that they had passed, the same issue mcconnell himself championed years ago. there is little hope any republican in the senate will vote in favor of any voting rights bill. today craig melvin spoke to kamala harris about this. >> i will not absolve the 50 republicans in the senate senate from responsibility for upholding one of the most basic and important tenants of our democracy which is free and fair elections and access to the ballot for all eligible voters. >> what about senator manchin? >> i he don't think anyone should be ab solved from the responsibility of preserving and protecting our democracy. >> are you working -- >> especially when they took an oath to protect and defend our constitution. >> senator elizabeth war sen a democrat from massachusetts, one of the co-sponsors of the act. someone famously found herself on the other side of mitch
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mcconnell's attacks and she joins me now. where do you think -- so what is the plan right now on this legislation? i mean, it's going to get a vote one way or the other. or there is going to be an attempt to overcome a filibuster. there is something moving forward. so since it's your job, explain to me what is happening. >> well, let's do the easiest version of this and that is that leader schumer has decided he is going to launch this plane. and that is he's going to bring us to the floor, which he can to be able to debate the voting rights bill. now we don't yet have landing gear to get it back down. that is a vote at the end where a majority can pass it. we have -- always remember this part. right now we got all 50 democrats in the senate are solidly onboard. we have the vice president you just heard from. we can win the vote to protect
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the vote all across america. we just got to get to that vote. so chuck is going to launch us off and see if we can build the gear to get landing and get to a vote at the end and pass the voting rights bill. we need this all across our country. >> yeah. i should say, i saw this today. the house is going to pass a combined these two different pieces of legislation into one. that's what you're going to take up. the leader can start debate without overcoming a filibuster and then try to, you know, basically get to a point where you can, i don't know, vote to change the rule or bring republicans along. it's interesting. launching the plane without landing gear. the i think that is an apt metaphor. how confident do you feel about this? >> would i rather have landing gear before we launch it? you bet i would. but the worst possible outcome is that we never get to the voting rights bill. and we have done everything we
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can. we've got all 15 democrats onboard on the content of the bill. we're watching what is happening all around this country right now. and a concerted effort by the republicans to deny people the opportunity to vote, to say they're not going to certify the votes. they're going to let republican legislatures override the will of the voters. and to jerry mander people so that votes mean less than they would otherwise. so we know the importance. and, look, is the ideal solution? no. but is it the best solution in front of us? you bet it is. i'd rather see us go forward. i want action. i want everybody in america to be able to watch that debate on the floor of the senate and see who stands up for voting and who stands up to say i'll change the rules. i'll do what it takes to be able to protect this corner stone of
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democracy. >> there is a bunch of data that showed 7% is the headline number. there is some parts of it as the president notes today shows a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over the last month. gas and food coming down t demonstrates for making progress and slowing the rate of price increases and says that more needs to be done. it is squeezing family budgets. people xe many about well, what do you think politics? what do you think about the democrats this year? the one line answer is, if inflation stays where it is, the democrats are hosed. do you agree? >> let me do this slightly differently. st do keep in mind that we created more jobs in the first year of the biden administration than ever in the history of the united states. a lot of people are back to work. now are high prices a problem? you bet they are. but there are a lot of different pieces going into this.
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some of this is companies passing along high prices that come from the manufacturing sector that come in their ability to sell goods. but some of this is coming from kinks in supply chain. there is evidence that these are starting to untwist. but you have to remember, there is another part to what is going on, too. and that is these giant corporations who say, wow. want to talk about high prices and inflation? this is a chance to get in there and not only pass along costs, but to inflate prices beyond that and just engage in a little straight forward price gouging. we live in a time when profit margins are higher than they've been in 70 years. two-thirds of the public traded companies in this country are seeing higher profit margins than they did before the pandemic.
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the profit margins don't go up just because the costs went up. they go up because you saw an opportunity and you said as the chair of the federal reserve said to me yesterday in testimony, why are they raising prices? if because they can. long term we want to get the prices more are under control. we need competitive markets. and that means enforcing our antitrust laws. enforcing the laws that promote competition in this country that help small businesses compete. that's going to help us not just in the short run but that's what's going to help us in the long run too. >> all right. senator elizabeth warren thank you so much for making time. >> you bet. >> still to come, could we be rounding the corner of the omicron surge? promising new data could be the light at the end of the tunnel although we heard that before. thats just ahead. e tunnel although we heard that before. thats just ahead
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show the increasingly dire, desperate anticipate pointed calls by humanitarian groups to forestall mass starvation in afghanistan, a country that in the last five months has seen foreign aid which made up about 57% of the previous government spending completely dry up. now it is true there was enormous corruption during that previous regime. a lot of the aid never ends up in the hands of afghans. it's been a theme of a number of reports from the u.s.-afghanistan watchdog including a recent report to congress last october. but since the taliban took over, even the relatively small amount of aid that was making its way into the hands of afghans has almost completely disappeared. it's been cut off the inflows are gone. and that's in large part because of u.s. sanctions and the freezing of the afghan government's own assets. yesterday less than 24 hours after we called on president biden to take action on this dire humanitarian catastrophe, the spokesperson for the
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national security council announced that the biden administration would send afghanistan $308 million in humanitarian assistance along with another million coronavirus vaccines pointing out the u.s. remains the single largest donor of humanitarian aid in afghanistan. now that's excellent news. we applaud that. it's a real step in the right direction. but, of course, scale is what really matters here. and to give you an idea of the scale of aid needed to avoid mass starvation in afghanistan. the united nations is trying to raise $5 billion to avoid a humanitarian disaster. that's a lot of money. here's the thing. there is a way to get that amount of money to afghanistan without spending a single cent of u.s. taxpayer money or diverting funds from other initiatives. right now the afghan government has assets totaling about 9.4 billion frozen in u.s. accounts. that is nearly twice what the u.n. is trying to raise in aid.
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we could just release the money to the current afghan government who are the taliban. the treasury department could just do that. now there is an argument that we don't know if we can trust the taliban to use the money to make the lives of their citizens better. and that's completely a valid point. the taliban has done many, many awful things and people don't trust them. rightly. but it's also pretty clear that the taliban and the afghanistan government currently isn't just playing broke. the country is extremely poor, all of awed got cut off. afghanistan is in extremely dire straits. 97% of afghans live below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day. humanitarian groups, these are ones not like, you know, tending towards high penitentiarybly are telling us that half the population, more than half the population already don't have enough to eat.
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okay? so what whether you trust the taliban or not, we can guaranteed that if nothing changes in the status quo, a truly unfathomable disaster is going to follow. if nothing changes then nothing changes. the first step to do is to change something. there is more if the united states can be doing and we should do it right now. it does not cost us a cent. policing the afghanistan government's money could mean the difference between life and death for millions. r millions always put clients first. (other money manager) so you do it because you have to? (naj) no, we do it because it's the right thing to do. we help clients enjoy a comfortable retirement. (other money manager) sounds like a big responsibility. (naj) one that we don't take lightly. it's why our fees are structured so we do better when our clients do better.
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and ask your doctor if biktarvy is right for you. if you're living with hiv, keep loving who you are. zuriel: st. jude gave us hope. stephanie: all you've got to do is take care of your child, focus on her healing, give her a life. that for mother means a lot. and-- and thank you to st. jude. (music) ♪ i think to myself ♪ ♪ what a wonderful world ♪
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i spent a lot of my time staring at charts trying to figure out where we are on this latest covid wave and there were two that really stood out. the first one, the massachusetts water resources authority have been tracking covid mrna in samples of boston wastewater, that's sewage. for most of the pandemic wastewater has been a really good predictor of a covid surge
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even before people begin to test positive. you can see the little bump on the left from the surge last winter and then you can see the covid levels skyrocket starting about a month ago. you can also see them clearly coming down again now, about as fast as they went up, which seems like really good news for the boston area. the other chart i want to show you comes from dr. bob wachter, the chair of the university of california san francisco department of medicine. this shows the number of positive covid tests at the university hospital. you can see the numbers skyrocket in december. the dark line on top shows the percentage of patients who came in who were presenting with covid-like symptoms, fever or sore throat, who then tested positive. so nearly half of the people come into the hospital saying, hey, i feel sick, test positive for covid. just as interesting is the light line right below it. that's the percent of asymptomatic patients that tested positive. those were people in the hospital for something else entirely, not showing any signs
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of covid but they're tested for it anyway. more than 12% of those people have covid, didn't even know it. dr. wachter says if you extrapolate this larger population, it could mean that more than one in every ten people who live in san francisco might have covid and not have any idea. that could indicate millions of people building up additional immunity without suffering ill effects of the disease, at least right now. so between the covid positivity going down in boston wastewater, also the possibility a lot of people are having these asymptomatic cases, there are some beams of light breaking through what is yet another dark covid winter. here to tell me if i'm too optimistic, andy slavitt, host of the "in the bubble" podcast. he served as the senior advisor for the biden administration and is author the "preventible, how leadership failures, politics and selfishness doomed the u.s. covid response." we've seen the spike up, spike
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down. that boston wastewater chart is a perfect example. where do you think we are in the cities on the east coast that got the first new york, washington, boston, et cetera? >> well, i like it when you presenting good news, chris. i think in this case it's warranted. it's a little bit around the corner so i think what this tells us is getting through the next few weeks, depending on where you are in the country, will require a little patience. but the key insight, i think, is that when we get through i think what has been an incredible crush on our hospitals, the question we're all going to be asking is what do we get for all of this omicron infection. what kind of protection does it provide us? will it in fact give us the kind of year that we hope we have where we are protected against any serious illness and we're able to get back to normal. that's the hope. that's the thing i think everybody will be talking about shortly as we make it through the next wave and as we pass
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through new york, hopefully they'll be just where london has had it and where south africa has already been. >> yeah. and i think the reason the san francisco data was fascinating to me is when the u.s. records 750,000, a million cases a day, you know, that is a fraction of the actual number of people that have covid or contracted covid on that day. i don't know if it's 1/5, 1/10 or 1/20, but lots more people are getting this thing than are presenting and the positive part of that, particularly if these are asymptomatic cases, is those are conferring antibody protection that builds up an immunity wall for whatever comes next. >> that's right. we could be talking about five, six million people a day by some estimates, including ihme is right around there and the university of washington. but that means it burns through the population very quickly. as you say, if this confers immunity against future
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infection, and there's been some studies done, one particular in south africa which shows that it does protect against delta and what's likely the case is that it will protect against serious illness. it may not protect against the same type of symptoms, runny nose, modest infection, and so we may still be dealing with some of that type of disruption, we'll have to see. but if it does indeed protect us against serious illness, that is going to be very, very good news because that will mean the country will have protection at least for the near and midterm. >> there was reporting in politico today in which a senior administration official argued that an effort to send surgical grade masks, n-95, kn-95, like actual respirators to americans would make little difference because a lot of people that won't wear masks. for people that voted for joe biden, support the president and say i voted for him, a lot about the pandemic, and trump was
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obviously a disaster, crazy, but i can't get tests. i can't necessarily get masks. i'm going through another winter of this chaos and i am really frustrated this administration has not done more. what do you say to them? >> i don't think that that statement reflects administrative policy. i think administration policy is to leave nobody behind. yes, we have an incredible shortage because we have an incredible number of cases. we have a shortage of everything. we have a shortage of personnel, nurses and doctors, a shortage of tests, a shortage of virtually everything. fortunately not boosters and vaccines. look, people are going to be rightly frustrated going through this shortage. i think much of this was unforeseen and unforeseeable. but certainly you could say, hey, we should be better at planning and having more tests and more testing. in fact i don't know if you saw today, but tom inglesbee was
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just named head of testing. we have doubled the amount of antivirals coming so when we get to april, i think we'll have sufficient antivirals for large portions of the population so they're anticipating that need. so i think the white house from all my conversations over there, the people are out in front about as much as you can expect them to be in front of and still facing big challenges. >> all right, andy slavitt, as always, great to hear from you. thank you very much. that is "all in" on this wednesday night. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. much appreciate it. happy to have you here. it is not the kind of problem that should come up all that often in politics. i mean it happens from time to time, but really it seems like the kind of thing that would arise maybe if you had a long career, it might arise once during your career. maybe if you had a really long career, it might arise twice if you were particularly star-crossed. but people would talk about it because that's crazy.


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