tv The Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden Jr. MSNBC January 20, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
talents including one of the bravest men in show business, john legend. it takes real bravery to cover nina simone, nina simone at the lincoln memorial after vice president harris gives her first remarks as vice president. now, that is, that is brave. that's john legend. it is remarkable. we also saw from three former presidents. we saw former president obama and clinton and george w. bush, all speaking together, all wishing their best and lending their support to the incoming administration. i have never quite seen anything like this. i'm rachel maddow here in new york. thank you for being with us with our ongoing coverage of inauguration day. i'm with my friends joy reid and lawrence o'donnell. first, i went through half a box
of kleenex just in case. >> i have to tell you, i was a bit worried about this inaugural having a feeling of just being the resistance to what we saw on 1/6, just being an answer to that and sort of being defiant. you know, i was sure it would be, in being this sort of attempt. we talked about it earlier, to sort of grab back, you know, the traditionalism of an inaugural. but what the organizers of this event managed to do is that they gave us that which we needed, right, we needed an answer, we needed that resistance. but they also gave us joy. they gave us fashion. they gave us celebrity. they gave us hope. we had an incredible inaugural earlier in the day where we saw the first black woman, first asian american woman, first woman, period, vice president,
you know, do the walk, get sworn in, do all of that great stuff. we saw joe biden, who has lived his whole life for this moment. look at all he has lost and all he has sacrificed to get here and have this chance to really change the country in a profound way. they did that thing. they did all of that. then they went to work. they did a workday. they gave us a press conference where there were no lies. where it was like, ahh! we got the opportunity to rediscover what it looks like to have a normal administration, like aggressive normalcy. is that what we were calling it today? we got that. then when we got this we were reminded that the thing the right hates the most about democrats is that democrats have the culture. democrats have the culture. they have the hollywood culture. they have the glamorous culture, and the right hates that. they feel that the culture is too woke. it is too multi cultural. it is not john wayne anymore. there's all of this multi culturalism and wokeness and
liberalism and they hate it. but they also envy it. they also wish they had it. they hate the fact that after ronald reagan they no longer had a claim to the culture. they want the culture more than they want the politics. so this was -- this was that. this was the culture answering what we saw on january 6th and it was a beautiful answer. >> lawrence, what do you think? >> you know, this team faced the biggest challenge i had ever seen in politics, which is how do you hold a political nominating convention, presidential nominating convention when you are basically not allowed to. what do you do instead in they pulled off a miracle. they made it better than any convention i had ever attended, and they've done it again today. there are -- a friend of mine tweeted, can we make all inaugurations virtual? that way we all get to experience it the same way. that's the way i'm feeling about this. this has been an extraordinary day, and tonight, this last 90
minutes, a very tightly produced, not a dull second in it. you couldn't take your eyes off of it even if you intended to. it was really powerful all the way through, and i just have to focus on the most prominent republican in what we just saw. president george w. bush, they had the three former presidents together. by the way, it is very clear now that of the former presidents, barack obama is clearly the leader of the club. it played that way when they put them together in an unscripted way. obviously it was taped so they could edit it a little bit, but president obama had more to say than the other two former presidents. but george w. bush spoke at the end directly to president biden and didn't just wish him well. he made it very, very clear that he is on team biden as of tonight, that he's not interested in policy arguments going forward from this space, which he is never going to
engage in any way as a former president. but it was a very strongly supportive and friendly outreach by george w. bush at a crucial moment to hear that from a former republican president. >> you know, it struck me watching them when they did it, when they aired it, but also hearing you describe this now, lawrence, that i'm not sure we've ever seen former presidents, particularly from opposing parties, come together, make a statement of national unity, support for our government, support for our leadership, pulling in the same direction, except in the context of calamity. we have seen former presidents organize to deal with international disasters, brought together to lead, for example, on, you know, trying to build confidence in the vaccine in the face of a global pandemic. they're brought together when something is very wrong and we need to put politics aside and show that at the worst times we can call on our leaders of different stripes and of different marching orders and they will help us, despite the
fact that we're a divided people most of the time. in seeing them, it made me feel more serious about the crisis i think that we are in because that's the only context in which we see former presidents from different parties speaking together like this. i have to say, it made me also feel maybe in the spirit of your friend, lawrence, who came to you and said can't all inaugurations be virtual like this, it made me wish that there were more moments like this with former presidents and different statesmen, different leaders of different persuasions who came together more often. i wish we didn't save it for the worst moments in our lives. >> you know, rachel, i suspect this is something that might not have happened if it wasn't a virtual event. >> exactly. >> because if it wasn't, remember what would be going on in washington at this time. the poor bidens and kamala harris and doug would be running around to 15 different inaugural balls and going in for one dance
and then getting dragged off to the next one, and this endless night. there's nothing important to aim a camera at usually on inauguration night, but getting those presidents together i think was one of the creative things that came out of being forced into the virtual format. someone came up with the idea of, well, they're here, what can we do with them. because, you know, on a normal inauguration night they would be long gone from having anything to do with what is going on here. you know, they would have done their solidarity bit on the platform and that would have been it. >> yeah. it will be interesting to see how that moment from george w. bush is received among republicans. ive mean the battle between trumpism and republicanism is as yet unsettled. and to the extent it is seen as president george w. bush making common cause with other former presidents in part because of
the crisis in our country -- well, because the crisis in our country is not just covid. the crisis in our country is also the crisis of our democracy brought about by what we just went through with this president. does that call the question in terms of the republican party versus trumpism in a way that hasn't been pushed that far before? i mean we'll see. >> rachel, in our politics, what matters is not so much trying to speak directly to republican voters. only 25% of our registered voters are republicans. 41% are independents. it is in that space of independents, that's the largest group of us, is independents, more of them than democrats or republicans. what george w. bush was speaking to those people in that massive independent block who sometimes vote democratic and sometimes vote republican, those are the people he was speaking to. >> you know, rachel, can i just say that the other thing that i think we have is a bubble that george w. bush can't penetrate
any more than barack obama can. you know, on another network tonight that was not covering this, they were still doing hunter biden and still doing, you know, conspiracy talk and ignoring this for the most part, ignoring the celebratory moment everyone else gets to share in. so i think the problem is that the box that the right is in, that the base of the republican party is in, is a box that is shrinking. even other republican former presidents don't fit into that box anymore. i'm not sure ronald reagan would fit into that box anymore, and it is now really the fringe and they're chasing and chasing and chasing the fringe because monetarily there are new media outlets that are even further to the right, that are even more conspiratorial, that are even angrier and whipping people up into more and greater rage that they have to compete with financially. i think the challenge we are going to have is, you know, we
are not going to do, what joe biden said, we need to agree on a fact-based reality. i'm not so sure we will be able to do that in the fear future because there's too much financial incentive for certain outlets and media to prevent us from doing that. >> soon after vice president harris was sworn into her new office today, we all saw as she headed back to a very familiar place for her, her most recent place of employment, the u.s. senate. >> the chair lays before the senate two certificates of election for the state of georgia and a certificate of appointment to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former senator kamala d. harris of california. >> yes, that was very weird. okay. >> there was a certain first day of school feel as now-vice
president harris settles into her new role as president of the united states senate, a role that brings with it the responsibility to administer the oath of office to new senators, in this case three history-making new senators in their own right. california's first latino senator, alex padilla. georgia's first jewish senator, senator ossoff, and senator worn jok. shortly after he took the oath of office, senator worn jok of georgia released this statement saying, quote, today, my father, a veteran and son of south georgia, would have been 104 years old. today, our country's first black, woman vice president, swore in his son, georgia's first black united states senator. that it is even possible is a testament to the promise of our
democracy and the covenant we share with one another as americans. he said, quote, i've got my shoes on and i'm ready to get to work. joining us live i'm pleased to say is the reverend raphael warnock, hours ago sworn in as one of two senators from the great state of georgia. thank you for taking a moment to talk to us on this enormous night. i really appreciate you being here. >> thank you so much. i'm still getting used to being called senator. what a great country we live in. >> well, senator, talk to me about how you are feeling. i mean we watched a lot of history here. you are georgia's first black senator. senator ossoff is georgia's first jewish senator. senator padilla, california's first latino senator. the first black woman, the first asian woman to serve as vice president. that is a lot of history stacked on itself. how are you feeling on this day? >> thank you so much. on a day that would have been my
father, reverend jonathan warn warnock's, 104th birthday, the grand sweep and arc of our amazing american story is what is striking to me. he knew a different america. he was asked one day to give up his seat to a young white boy that was 13, 14 years old. my dad was dressed in his military uniform. today his son was sworn in as a united states senator. i believe from some balcony in heaven he is rejoicing. so it reminds us in this dark moment in our country that for all of our problems what makes america great is that we always have a path to make our country greater. we swore in today the first latino senator from california, the first black senator, the first jewish senator of georgia.
and as i think about my brothers with whom i shared the oath earlier tonight, it gives me a great deal of hope. you know, the rabbi abraham who marched alongside martin luther king said he felt like his legs would break. we are not them, but we benefit from the path that they laid out. we are able to set -- we are able to take off tonight because they pave the runway so smooth. i want to stand up for the people of georgia and build the multi racial coalition people need to make sure we get covid relief and we stand up for the dignity. >> i want to talk to you a little bit about the connection between your service in georgia
now. you're senior pastor of ebenezer baptist church in atlanta, martin luther king jr.'s former church. they tried to use that against you in your political campaign, which seemed like an incredibly bad idea to me, and you won that campaign. i know you have said you intend to continue to serve your congregation in the senate. what will that be look like? will you be commuting back to georgia on weekends? will you be able to deliver sermons on sunday? how do you see that working? >> all of the folks that work in the congress, my colleagues, they all, you know, mostly go back to their home states for the weekend. you know, i really see my service in the united states senate as the continuation of what i have been doing for a long time. you know, the last time i was in the united states capitol i was arrested in an act of civil disobedience. what was i focused on? i was focused on health care.
what will i be focused on as a united states senator? i will be focused on health care. last time i came engaged in protest. now i get to be engaged as one who can create public policy. so for me there's a continuity of service here. i will return home every weekend, preach and deliver sermons at ebenezer, serve the people there. and i think that, you know, when you think about what is happening in our politics, we got a long ride now with a professional class of politicians. i think we need to remember that ours is a representative democracy, and in this grand idea of democracy there is a sense that ordinary people, whether they are teachers or preachers or lawyers or doctors, they go and they represent their citizens, a kind of tour of duty. but the last thing i want to do is talk to politicians all day every day. i am afraid i might accidentally
become one. i have no intentions of becoming a politician. i intend to be a public servant. >> reverend warnock, hey, it is joy reid. how are you? congratulations again on your election and being sworn in today. that was actually my favorite moment of all of the day, was watching the newly-installed vice president of the united states swear the three of you all in. i thought it was a wonderful moment. your election, as rachel was just saying, it felt like part of what happened during that campaign was kind of a war on the black church and on the teachings of the black church that are about liberation theology, which is a fundamental part of the church that, you know, you are a part of, that i grew up in. so i wonder if this is a moment in which you are going to see the black evangelical church reassert itself in our social politics the way it was during the era of dr. king, and really
reassert the way you have seen ref sharpton do but do you think the church will be prominent on issues like covid, on issues like health care, on issues like service to the poor, on issues like lgbtq equality, which is something you have been leaning forward on? are we going to see the church lean in? >> well, there's no question that over the course of my campaign, you saw, joy, an assault on my faith and on the faith of the black church. i think the folks who sit in the pews of the black church, they heard it loud and clear. it is part of what i think helped to consolidate the strong coalition that we built and that sent me into victory. absolutely. i come out of that tradition. it is the tradition that shaped martin luther king jr., who came out of the ebenezer baptist
church. howard thurman said find some amazing spirituality, that the slave undertook the redemption that the master profaned. it is the peculiar assignment of the black church to bear witness to god's love and justice in the world. it is a spiritual foundation that has helped to make america better. dr. king was just one iteration and one voice in a grand and epic tradition, and it came alive during my campaign. i think you saw people of faith stand up and say, no, we understand that reverend warnock is a matthew 25 christian. he is trying to bend the arc towards justice and i hope we will see it ahead. >> senator, again, congratulations. a lot of people's hopes not just in georgia but around the
country i think are resting on you in part because of the message you just described there and on which you run, you ran that improbable campaign. congratulations to you and god speed to you, sir. thank you. >> thank you. god bless. >> thanks. vice president harris today also got to swear in, as you saw moments ago, the person who succeeded her as california's new united states senator. his name is alex padilla. he has his own history of trail blazing accomplishments. in 199 he was only 26 years old, he was elected to the los angeles city council. within two years he became the city's youngest and first latino city council president. from there he went on to become a california state senator, then california secretary of state, and now he is the first latino ever to serve as a united states senator from my home state of california. senator alex padilla, i'm very pleased to say joins us now. senator, it is great to see you. congratulations and thank you for being with us on this big day. >> thank you, rachel. good to be back with you. we were together a couple of
weeks ago after the governor's announcement. >> that's right. i was super honored to be able to talk to you soon after that designation was made, but now i get the chance to ask you, having been sworn in, having been part of history upon history upon history, as we were just discussing with reverend warnock, how do you feel? i imagine exhausted is part of it, but how else do you feel? >> a little exhausted, a little elated, because of the history that's been made today. you know, you hit the nail on the head in the previous segment. you know, historic vice president, first woman, first african-american, first asian vice president of the united states. swearing in the first jewish american, african american senators from georgia and, of course, myself making history on behalf of the state of california. that picture, it just says so much in one. i have to tell you, it is sobered by the work we know lies ahead of us. the covid-19 pandemic is still raging, as we heard in president
biden's speech earlier today. so, you know, between getting our arms around the pandemic, rebuilding the economy, advancing equity in all of its forms, we certainly have a lot of work to do, but majorities with which to work from. before we get to the next question, just a big plug for senator warnock. when we met earlier just before the swearing in, i was telling him how i had a chance to visit ebenezer church in 2018, i was out there campaigning. he didn't invite me to come back and campaign for me next year, he said, come back and worship. i think he is true to his word when he said he does not want to be a politician but wants to be a servant. i was certainly inspired by that. >> senator padilla, this is lawrence o'donnell. you of the three being sworn in was the only one that didn't run for the seat, you were appointed.
do you feel you have to prove your value to the californians who didn't get a chance to vote for this seat? of course, i'm not first to break it to you but you will have to run for the seat in 2022 in you want to hold on to it. so maybe you get this weekend off, but california senators needing to fund a campaign find that to be in and of itself almost a full-time job. >> it is. so certainly a lot on the plate on the official side, and we're going to ramp up the reelection campaign quickly as well. look, the voters will have their say. they'll have their say in 2022. i like to think that voters have been able to have their say, you know, starting in 1999 when i first ran for the city council in los angeles, in 2006 when i ran for the state senate, and in 2014 when i was first elected secretary of state. so is it more work? yes, but, lawrence, i have been having to prove myself my whole life. so working extra hard just to get even half the respect,
that's just the way it is for far too many people, and even u.s. senators are no exception sometimes. >> senator, one advantage you have is that since you haven't been in the washington end of i can't california politics, back in your home state you were probably constantly hearing complaints, questions, issues, why aren't they doing this, why aren't they doing that, about what washington isn't doing for california. what can you tell us about what you might bring to this that we haven't seen from a california senator yet? >> yeah, look, i think two fold. one, you know, there within california, i'm the first southern california united states senator in a long, long time. it doesn't mean i'm only going to represent the southern half of the state, but the greater los angeles area being the largest population base in the state, maybe a better appreciation, understanding of some of the southern california issues are part of it.
i think certainly my journey, the first latino in california history to enter the united states senate gives me that unique life experience to bring to bear in other deliberations of the united states senate. but i'm going to work hard to be the best senator i can be for all californians. >> senator padilla, congratulations, first of all, on your being sworn in today. a question about the body in which you are about to be working. josh hawley has already made it his business to try to interrupt the confirmation of the department of homeland security secretary, and he based that on the usual right wing things about caravans and his personal opposition to daca and believing that that should not -- that people who right now enjoy protection under daca should not have that protection. given that, how difficult do you think it is going to be to achieve joe biden's stated goal of having an immigration reform plan go through? republicans look like they're not going to change their attitude. this is an issue that really does concern california in a
very big way. >> right. look, i think that's why the two victories in georgia were so important. it may be a razor thin majority, but it is a majority nonetheless for democrats in the united states senate. majority in the house of representatives, joe biden and the white house. i'm not suggesting any of the work will be easy, whether it is comprehensive immigration reform. certainly a more equitable and sufficient covid response, tackling climate change, criminal justice reform and more, but we have the numbers, barely by an edge, but we can't be bashful. we have to be bold in policy and strategy to get things done. >> newly-minted california senator alex padilla. congratulations. this is day one of what will be a sprint for you and your colleagues. thank you for taking a minute to talk with us. good luck to you, sir. >> thank you all. good night. >> we have much more to come here tonight. we will be talking about the
history made tonight by our new vice president, and, of course, as we have been watching these historic events unfold over the course of the day, the nation's journalists have been breaking a whole bunch of news. we will be catching up on some of that before the end of this hour, including some certainly disturbingly reporting just out tonight since we've been watching these inaugural festivities about what may have happened at the pentagon when they got the call on january 6th to send the national guard, they said no. we are learning more about the circumstances of them saying no and it is an unsettling story. we have that straight ahead. stay with us. ♪♪ car insurance so you only pay for what you need. isn't that what you just did? service! ♪ stand back, i'm gonna show ya ♪ ♪ how doug and limu roll, ya ♪ ♪ you know you got to live it ♪ ♪ if you wanna wi... ♪
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madam vice president, what do you see as the first priority now? what is the first priority now? >> get to work. just walking to work. >> just walking to work. vice president kamala harris sworn in this morning by the first latina supreme court justice, justice sonia sotomayor, sworn in as the first woman, the first black woman, the first south asian woman to be vice president of the united states. a few hours after she swore to support and defend the constitution of the united states, madam vice president harris paraded down pennsylvania avenue with the marching band of her alma mater howard university, an hbcu, of course, in front of her leading the way. yes, multiple proverbial glass ceilings shattered when the new vice president walked through the executive doors of the new
eisenhower executive building when, as she said, to get to work. joining us, sharon eiffel, president of the education and education fund. sharon, it is so good to see you tonight. it is an honor to have a fees of your time on what feels like an exhaustingly historic and sort of euphoric day. how are you doing after this day? >> well, how are you doing? you have been at this for a long time. it is late, but, you know, we've had lots of difficult days. so we should really use as much of the positive days as we can and let them drag out as long as possible. so i'm good. >> let me ask you about the nature of the historic ascendance of vice president harris here. obviously she is the first in a lot of ways. she's also going to be vice president in an administration that is taking over after one of the tumultuous, most tumultuous and scary presidencies we have had in modern times. she is going to have a lot of
responsibility, and this is going to be a momentous administration no matter what. tell me how you are thinking about the fact that she is the first african-american to have this position, the first black woman to have this position, the first woman, the first person of south asian descent, how do all of those firsts factor into how you are thinking about her historic place today? >> yeah, i was really fine this morning until her swearing in, and, honestly, seeing justice sotomayor holding, you know, and swearing in the vice president-elect and thurgood marshall's bible there, it was important and full circle. in 1978 justice marshall gave a speech at howard law school in which he talked about the fact that the legal arm was not enough, you had to have the political arm. he said in that speech, now we have the legal and the political arm and we have to use both. so he understood the importance of politics to moving forward the cause of equality and justice for black people.
i felt that full circle today. of course, justice sotomayor sat on the second court of appeals which was the first judicial appointment that justice marshall received from president johnson. he went to howard law school. obviously the vice president, kamala harris, talks often about her experience at howard and the howard marching band was on pennsylvania avenue today. so it was extraordinary. she said the most important thing, it is time for work, and that's really what this is about. this is about not only recovering from what was one of the most disastrous presidencies in our history and certainly disastrous for civil rights and for the rights of black people and other marginalized people, but we also plan to make progress. we don't plan to just recover from trump. we have to move forward. we have to move ahead and we have to move ever forward towards equality and justice. >> hey, sarah lynn, it is joy.
hopefully you have gotten to take in some of the joy involved in kamala harris getting -- >> i have. >> that's good. you're right, there is still a lot of work to do and there's still the fact that what happened on january 6th was in part an attempt to undo what she achieved, an attempt to pull back and not allow her to be and not allow there to ever be another like her or another obama or to allow georgia to do the miracle that georgia did, to reverse all of that. so when you talk about voter restrictions and you talk about people being disenfranchised, the argument you get from the other side is, yeah, but you all elected obama. yeah, but, look, there's kamala harris. you don't need to fix the system of voting in this country. you don't need to push back. you know, no one is restricting anyone from voting, look at all that's being achieved. so what do we need to do in this moment to fix our election system so it is unquestionably fair given the fact there are a
lot of people who just don't believe there's anything wrong with it the way it is? >> well, i think part of what hides behind the curtain is the incredible work that happens of organizers, of activists and of civil rights lawyers. i was a lot younger and prettier a few years ago. we are working overtime and had to work overtime in order to ensure that black voters could participate equally in this election. it took our suit against the united states post office, it took on-the-ground voter protection work for every aspect of this election. it took working to ensure that there would be absentee ballots that were counted. it took our partnership with lebron james to make sure that we had polling place workers so that polling places were open. what people don't see is they look at the result and they don't recognize the herculean effort it took to make it happen. in a democracy this should not be necessary. they're not counting the four hours that people stood online to vote.
they're not counting the people that passed out online who were exhausted but refused to leave because they wanted to cast their ballot. you know we filed suit, a suit still pending against former president trump and the republican national committee for their efforts to discount the black voters in detroit and around the country. all of the effort, the time, the energy, resources that went into making sure the votes were cast and could be counted, people have to understand just looking at the result doesn't take account of that. we want to make sure that as we move forward there's two important bills in congress that have passed the house already, hr-1, the for the people act, and hr-4, the john lewis voting rights restoration act, both of which are essential to ensuring we have an election system worthy of a democracy, worthy of
a sophisticated democracy which america purports to be. we need this to happen. it can't take all of this effort it took this year just to ensure adult citizens who have the right to vote have their votes counted and are able to cast their votes without impediment. >> it is lawrence o'donnell. first of all, i haven't seen you beaming like this in about four years, so i'm really happy to see that. i want you to guide us through this night of firsts. we have our first black senator from georgia, our first jewish senator from georgia, and in the biggest overlooked first of the day we have our first jewish majority leader of the united states senate. then we have our triple firsts in kamala harris. i feel funny about these firsts. i celebrate them. i feel the joy in them, and i feel an embarrassment for us that our first black woman running for president was 1972 with shirley chisolm.
geraldine ferrero the first woman on the presidential ballot in 1984. here we are and the first take makes it all the way. how do we enjoy these first with the embarrassments that it took this long? >> i think we do it with two things. one, recognizing that every piece of progress in this country, especially racial progress, is hard fought for. it takes effort and sacrifice and often blood. therefore, it is incumbent upon us to celebrate when we pass these milestones. but we can't pat ourselves on the back, and this is one of the things i worry about now that trump is out of office, that we will revert to what often happens in this country, america pats itself on the back and says, look, democracy righted itself, you elected a woman and a woman of color as your vice president, and, as you say, you will have the first jewish majority leader and raphael
warnock and jon ossoff were elected in georgia and people will say, hooray, and people can't pat themselves on the back. the effort it takes to overcome these barriers in 2021 is shameful for this country. we have to recognize we still don't know yet what this country could be did we lifted the shackles of white supremacy. what we saw three weeks ago, lawrence, with the storming of the capitol shows you what we're against. it is the people who don't want what we saw today. it is the people who are afraid of that progress, who are continuing the try and nail america's feet to the floor so we can't make progress. they are a real force. they are a dangerous force. they are a determined force. we should never underestimate them. they are not solely embodied in one man, donald trump, but they live among us. this is something we have to
struggle against. so we can celebrate these firsts and these milestones, but understand there's much more work to be done. the milestones are not just for the sake of having people who look a particular way in office. they're to actually make change happen. so as much as i admire and love the vice president, i'm going to be pushing her, i'm going to be pushing the -- you know, senator schumer. i'm going to be pushing everyone. when we come to judges, i will be looking at those two new senators for georgia and pushing them. the point is to make change happen and to make real progress happen and move us towards equality and justice, not just to have a nice photograph that makes america feel good about itself in terms of diversity. so we have lots of work ahead. >> before we let you go, i have to confess to you that when i was at home in covid quarantine on that weekend day when all of the networks called the election for joe biden and it became clear that biden and harris were
going to be going to washington, one of the things that i did that afternoon is i googled you to figure out your age because it occurred to me that day that you are to be seen and you have to know that you are being seen as a potential short-list candidate for the supreme court if there is a retirement from the supreme court, particularly at the start of this administration. have you thought about that prospect? >> no, really. honestly, rachel, as you can imagine with what has happened over the last four years, i have barely had a chance to really think about anything but the work that's in front of us. i love so much my job. i love being a civil rights lawyer. i love leading the legal defense fund. it is the dream of a lifetime, and i really -- i don't have those kinds of ambitions, and so i hear all of that chatter and i think it is perfectly fine. it is great to have your name on short list, it is fun, but my
job is a very heavy lift, and i think about it every day. i'm up most of the night, to be frank, thinking about what i need to do. so it would be really just kind of out of order for me to be thinking about something beyond what is in front of me, which is really about all i can do and is, as i said, the privilege of a lifetime. at this moment in particular, it is a pivotal moment. people think we're out of the woods. we're not out of the woods. there's a lot of work to be done, and i tat very seriously, the responsibility of leadership at this moment. >> well, share lynn eiffel, president of the naacp legal defense and education fund, whether or not it is on your mind every day i'm looking forward to covering your potential confirmation hearings for that job you are not thinking about. thank you for being with us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thank you, rachel. as i mentioned before we took a break, we've been watching ongoing reporting over the course of the day including developing stories that maybe you could not be told until the
administration actually turned over. here is one of them. "the washington post" has new reporting on the attack on the capitol two weeks ago. of course, we have seen new arrests and increasingly serious felony charges brought against individuals every day since the siege two weeks ago including recent charges against people accused of playing an organizing role or even a command and control role in the attack on the capitol and on congress. but for first time tonight "the washington post" has an unsettling report about what happened inside the pentagon when besieged lawmakers and police on capitol hill called the military and begged them to urgently send in the national guard. the initial response from the army to that call for help was no, they wouldn't do it, even though they were informed on that call that the capitol had been breached, that the protesters were not peaceful, they were told on that call that shots had already been fired, there were reports of shots fired already, but still the army on that call told capitol police they would not send in
the national guard. that remains one of the disturbing failures about how the capitol fell that day to the pro-trump mob. now tonight "the washington post" is reporting that one of the senior officers who was in the room when that call for help was made to the pentagon and when the army response was no, you can't have the help, one of the senior officers in the room at the pentagon for that call was a general named charles flynn. flynn. charles flynn is the brother of disgraced trump national security adviser mike flynn who, of course, called on president trump to use the military and martial law to seize power after the election, who, of course, encouraged trump supporters at the capitol on jan 6th, who is a central figure in the qanon conspiracy theory that drove so many of the fervent attackers on the capitol on january 6th. now, what makes this even more disturbing is that the army had previously repeatedly denied that mike flynn's brother charles was part of that call to
the pentagon on january 6th, part of that decision to deny national guard support to the capitol while it was being violently attacked. but the army's repeated denials he had nothing to do with the decision, that he wasn't in the meeting, that he wasn't on the call, those were lies. general charles flynn and the army are both now confirming to "the washington post" that, in fact, he was there when the pentagon fielded that call and did not send the guard. just incredibly unnerving news from the post tonight about the previously unknown role played by mic flynn's brother at the pentagon. again, that's "the washington post" breaking news tonight. we will let you know more as we learn more. stay with us. stay with us it's either testing an array of advanced safety systems. or it isn't. it's either the peace of mind of a standard unlimited mileage warranty. or it isn't. for those who never settle, it's either mercedes-benz certified pre-owned. or it isn't. the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event.
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♪♪ 12:08 this afternoon president biden in his inaugural address asked the american people to pause and remember the 400,000 americans that had been killed by the virus since the first case was identified in our country one year ago today. he implemented a mask mandate. he's asking the public to mask up for 100 days and he's mandating masks and physical distancing in federal property. dr. anthony fauci will be there tomorrow as a representative of the united states government when the wmpl h.o. board meets tomorrow. just in the last several hours,
the letter to the w.h.o. is rejoining the organization. testing, treatment, ppe, vaccines. that role will be filled by jeff zience. he reestablished the directorate of global help security and biodefense on the national security council. playing a role in pandemic, shut down during the trump administration. the new cdc director, dr. rochelle walensky announced this afternoon that the agency will immediately -- this is interesting -- review all of the cdc's covid-19-related guidance. this after multiple reports, including many on this network,
of the trump white house interfering in scientific guide ans on covid-19 from the beleaguered cdc. president biden set to sign other executive actions tomorrow to address the covid crisis. they're expected to include expanding testing, establishing clear public health standards. he's plemd to administer 100,000 vaccines every day for 100 days. press secretary jen sake reiterated president biden's support for invoking the national production act to speed up vaccine distribution. she talked about that in her first press briefing. they're making the pandemic priority number one after so much inaction by the priest administration.
4,409 americans died from coronavirus just today. what can we expect to immediately change? what should we expect from this obvious radical change in focus and policy? what should we the public be able see as the fruits of those changes in the immediate days ahead. watching us is an epidemiologist and infectious disease expert. doctor, thank you for being here tomorrow. it's as big a day for you as it is for all of us but i know you've be incredibly busy working with the transition these past few months. >> yeah. it's really been rewarding work and seeing this start to come to fruition is i think our team just feels really relieved and is hoping for the best. >> what do you think that we the american public will notice first if terms of the changes? obviously in tone and in example, everybody noticed the dramatic change today of the
rigorous masking protocol, the social distancing protocols we saw at the inauguration itself and all the associated events. that's an important thing for us to see for us to sort of burp into our retinas on what we should expect to be and see and do as americans now. what will we see in terms of a policy and the administration's new focus? >> i think two keywords here are "science" and "partnership." if there's anything that is the biden brand, it is to follow the science. if you look at the people he's nominated, this is an all star team of scientists and doctors and public health experts. i think that is a major change here, to actually have grownups, experts in the room making the decisions. i think the other thing you're going to see is partnership. the federal government has been essentially awol with the exception of the warp speed
effort to have vaccine companies, manufacturers develop and produce the vaccines, but they didn't really have a plan for what to do after that. now you're going to see the federal government partner with state, local, territorial and tribal governments and public health departments with primary care providers as well as local pharmacies to figure out how to get the vaccine out in partnership together. >> i both am eager, almost desperate to see science back in the lead. i am eager, almost desperate to see and also worried that agency like the cdc have been so hollowed out, beaten down and in some cases corrupted, had their work corruptedly the political influence of the white house that i'm worried that at least at the outset they may not be up to the task. how should you balance those concerns or how should i balance them? >> i think there's got to be a
lot of rebuilding of morale and rebuilding of staff. they've lost staff due to attrition, not enough funding being invested in the cdc. that predates the pandemic. part of the reason dr. walensky was nominated to lead the cdc is because she's an outsider, a top scientist in her field. having worked in the peeled of hiv for years, she understands what it is to manage and respond to on infectious disease pandemic that also has political aspects to it. she's somebody who really will be able to look at what's happening at cdc onnively as someone coming in from the outside and figuring out how to rectify things moving forward. >> i had sources in the agency and reported there a long time. hearing people's confidence knowing that it's going to be anne shookit made me feel
better. maybe that is a place to start. doctor, ep deem olgs, member of the biden covid advisory board, thank you for helping is understand tonight. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. ht >> thank you >> we'll be right back with the new freestyle libre 2 system, a continuous glucose monitor, you can check your glucose with a painless, one-second scan. and now with optional alarms, you can choose to be notified if you go too high or too low. and for those who qualify, the freestyle libre 2 system is now covered by medicare. ask your doctor for a prescription. you can do it without fingersticks. learn more at freestyle libre 2 dot u.s. ♪♪ ♪♪ it's velveeta shells & cheese versus the other guys. ♪♪ clearly, velveeta melts creamier.
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we are not nearly done here at msnbc. up next here is "the 11th hour" with brian williams. i've got jerky for everybody. we are live all night. >> jerky jerky! >> the jerky bar is always open. >> whoo! >> thank you to joy reed, lawrence o'donnell, my friends for being here. 11th hour starts right now. >> well, good evening once again. at the end of what was day one of the biden administration. today joseph robinette biden jr. became our 46th president. he comes into this job after three runs for the office. after decades of experience in the senate, six terms