tv MSNBC Live MSNBC May 10, 2020 4:00am-5:00am PDT
first up here on msnbc, modified quarantine. new steps taken by dr. fauci and two other members of the coronavirus task force after a white house staffer tests positive for covid-19. historic job losses. experts say there's more to come. this morning, what percentage of jobs might not come back. the private phone call that went public. what former president obama said about the trump administration's coronavirus response. you're going to hear from someone who was on that call. and where does it go from here? the next legal steps after arrests are made in the shooting death of a black man in georgia. a very good morning to all of you. it's sunday, may 10th. hey, happy mother's day to all
of you celebrating. i'm celebrating too. i'm alex witt. here's a live look at cincinnati, ohio. the phased reopening this week includes retail and service businesses, as we give you a slightly partly cloudy weather check there on cincinnati. really pretty. but because outdoor dining for restaurants begins friday, cincinnati is closing parts of 25 streets. that's so they can give restaurants more space for social distancing of tables. let's now get to the facts at this hour. this morning, there are 1.3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus across this country. more than 79,000 people have died. more states are gearing up to reopen and starting tomorrow, kentucky and new hampshire will begin easing their lockdowns. restaurants in arkansas, arizona, and indiana are going to be open for business with new restrictions, of course. while mississippi and most of florida will open salons and barbershops. checking out tennessee, the great smoky mountains national park welcomed visitors yesterday for the first time in a month on
a beautiful saturday. nature lovers flocked to the part. campgrounds and visitor centers, though, remain closed. >> meanwhile, west in california, tesla filed a lawsuit against alameda county for prohibiting the car company from reopening their factory during the outbreak. tesla's ceo, elon musk, in a series of tweets last night also threatening to move the company's headquarters to either texas or nevada, where shelter in place rules are somewhat less restrictive. >> moving to the white house, three members of the task force are self-quarantining after possible exposure to the coronavirus. dr. anthony fauci, director redfield, and stephen hahn will quarantine, after two staffers tested positive for the virus last week. we have a team of reports and analysts following the latest. we'll begin with the reopening of america. that means maybe a beach day for those who live near the north
carolina coast. there are several beaches open there. some beaches open in maryland. virginia beach, that one remains closed with high hopes for an official reopening date before the memorial day weekend. and we have been showing you this map of states in green, most of them, in fact, loosening restrictions and opening businesses and public spaces, but look at this tweet from the atlanta's covid tracking project. it's a reminder that while the number of new cases is trending downward for new york and new jersey, that number is certainly rising for other states. let's go to corey coffin joining me from central park. first, i cannot believe it snowed there yesterday. no evidence of that right now. that's not what we're talking about despite that newsworthy fact. governors, now are governors around the country weighing the trends of reopening? >> yeah, alex, i have to say i'm happy there's no evidence of that snow here this morning, and
hopefully, we didn't need a trend in that direction. when it comes to reading the trends for governors, it's interesting because you notice they do have different metrics all across the nation for what they feel is appropriate for their own state. for some, it's just being able to get on the other side of that slope and have those numbers go down. for others, it's getting that number down low enough, and that's exactly the case here in new york. as even though we have been on this downward trend for a while, the numbers aren't low enough. that's what leaders say. so they had opened regionally, at least in the northeast, to open together. governor cuomo said it's not looking like that could happen because other states like rhode island, for example, are going to be able to open sooner. he said there's going to be a little ebab and flow. >> anyone who tells you they know the script here doesn't know what they're talking about. nobody has done this before. but no, you haven't done it
before. you have taken action on the best information you have, and then you see what happens. if connecticut or jersey does something and you get a flood of new yorkers going there, we'll adjust. they'll adjust. we'll adjust. if i do something that brings new jersey and connecticut people here, i'll adjust. >> they certainly had to adjust in california. of course, the flower markets opening there. they got a rush of customers in for mother's day, so they had to momentarily close. i don't think they had the same rush at the dmv that opened in california. then, of course, you go to texas and have most businesses open across the board because those stay-at-home orders were allowed to expire. there really are two extremes here. of course, within new york, we have may 15th, where some businesses will be able to reopen. very limited in parts of the state. of course, downstate like here in manhattan, likely to remain closed past may 15th. >> going to the california dmv,
a necessary evil. thank you very much. let's turn now to rhode island, another state reopening nonessential businesses. gary is in newport this morning in what is usually one of the busiest areas of town. not so much today, but what about expectations? might things pick up? >> good morning. happy mother's day to you, to my mother, to all of the mothers out there. if yesterday was a day of hope and a feeling of hope because of businesses opening up here in newport, today is a day of reflection. looking at how the economic impact has impacted the rhode island economy. so now, according to a report out from the rhode island department of revenue, they say in this fiscal year alone, about $280 million short revenue, and next year, they're estimated to be about $500 million short on revenue. what does that mean for you? many of you don't live in rhode island. it means there's about a million people who live here in rhode island, but during the busiest
season, about 8 million people come into the state and stay over and spend money all over the state. so i talked to nbc news exclusively talked to secretary of commerce here in the state, stephon pryor, here's what he had to say. >> it's been very tough. there's no doubt some of our industries have been severely impacted. tourism, and we have a substantial tourism industry, and restaurants, to be sure, have been hit hard. smaller businesses across the state, main street businesses. we're proud of the fact we have been able to keep open all the way through the crisis our manufacturing and construction industries. no closures whatsoever. and we have therefore been able to start on these very strong footings as we restart the economy. >> so aside from restaurants and retail economic issues which we talked about a lot here on msnbc, even the state lottery, the third largest generator of economy in the state, is down
about half what it was in march. that's another loss of about $20 million. this money has to come from somewhere, they're hoping from the federal government. right now, it could affect municipal issues like education and even those on the front line. >> i'm glad you got to say happy mothers's day to your mom. >> turning to the white house, the growing list of names in self-isolation after being exposed to covid-19. let's go to monica alba. with a good morning, what is the mood at the white house in light of all of this, and are there expec tapgzs more people could be added to this list? >> absolutely. there's widespread concern in the building behind me as we see the three high-profile coronavirus task force members now deciding to set a good example and essentially follow the guidelines that they themselves have been touting to millions of americans by deciding to either self-quarantine fully or in the case of dr. anthony fauci to do what's known as a modified quarantine which means he will
be working mostly remotely, but he may also come to the white house for meetings. he may appear on capitol hill before a senate committee he was scheduled to appear at, but doctors redfield and hahn will appear at the same panel via video conference. this comes as there were shockwaves through the west wing when the aides tested positive given how close it came to the president's inner circle. we reached out to most of the coronavirus task force members see if they are also going to take the same precautions, but of course, the president and the vice president won't be doing these two weeks of self-quarantining because they're tested daily, and the white house says that is what is key. i want to just read you a quick statement from dr. anthony fauci's spokeswoman who said that's also why he's able to continue the work he's doing. dr. fauci has tested negative for covid-19. he will continue to be tested regularly. he's actively monitoring his temperature and other health indicators. he's considered to be at relatively low risk.
never hadless, he's taking appropriate cautions to mitigate the risk while still allowing him to carry out his possibilities in this public health crisis. you see from the very top, these are the top medical experts who are going to be doing exactly what they're telling their fellow americans to do if they're confronted with the same situations. we have seen some new protocols and procedures in the last couple days. agents who are closest to the president and vice president will now be wearing face coverings. and we haven't seen as many of the aides or staffers who come into the building wear them, but that could change in the days to come, alex. >> okay. i'm going to talk more about this right now. thank you so much, monica. we'll see you again. >> joining me now, a senior scholar at johns hopkins center for health security. doctor, with a welcome to you on this sunday morning. your reaction to that report that three members of the white house's coronavirus task force are self-quarantining. you had three staff members who
tested positive, and now the administration has been officially tainted by covid-19. what are your concerns about that and do you think it's irresponsible for anyone from the president on down to not be wearing a mask inside the close quarters of that white house? >> this is what we're going to have to get used to, lots of people are going to be exposed. we'll see this at workplaces and it shows you the coronavirus doesn't care where you are. it can appear anywhere, and anybody is at risk for being exposed. i do think it's important to understand that not all exposures prompt someone to go in quarantine. it has to be an exposure that's less than six feet for 10 or 20 minutes. those individuals who are quarantining, i want to know what the exposures are, but we do do that when there are significant exposures. regarding masks, if the government is advising all americans to wear masks, the government officials need to follow the same type of guidance that they're asking all other americans to follow. that kind of hypocrisy doesn't
make sense to me and it undermines their message. there's some data on whether or not masks are effective, but if the government is recommending them, they need to wear them as well. it's not two sets of rules for people. >> exactly. i personally find it almost -- it's disturbing when i see the president out in public shaking hands with people not wearing a mask. we have become so used to what the mask does. not only helps protect the individual but anybody else with whom the individual comes into contact, which brings me to the question of lockdown at the white house. is there anything about that that you think should be implemented? >> well, if everyone in the country is social distancing, especially those in vulnerable populations, it doesn't necessarily make sense for certain people in the government to do the same thing. there are certain activities that are more essential and less essentially even at the government level, and some of those things can be modified using telecom frnlss and you may not necessarily need to go out
and shake hands with people. i think everyone has to thing about how to modify their activities, especially if you're in a high risk group, over 70, like some of our leaders are. >> we had these staffers who tested positive, and despite that, the president still held public events on friday. limited social distancing without requiring masks, this is according to nbc news reporting that two dozen house republicans gathered with trump and other administration officials in the state dining room at the white house. it happened friday afternoon. they were discussing the country's economic recovery from the pandemic. and none of those attendees wore a mask. so you have folks in the white house that are being tested frequently, but is that enough? and if they were wearing masks, would there be a need to test them as frequently as those who don't show symptoms? >> well, this is a complicated question. and i do think that some of this is skewed bide the frequency and access to testing some of our government leaders have where they can be tested in a way that most people in the general
public do not have access to. and the masks, again, are to protect you from spreading it, if you're an asymptomatic transmitter. the basic point is if you're a government official and you're supporting a policy to do that and have americans wear masks all the time, you yourself cannot exempt yourself from that pa pa policy. it's not do as i say but not as i do. that's the impression i'm getting with some of these officials putting out rules and not following the rules themselves. that kind of hypocrisy undermines that message and gets people to distrust government more. there are lots of conspiracy theories floating around and this adds to it. especially when you're getting tested every day and ordinary doctors can't order those tests every day on people. >> i have heard three times from you repeat the fact nobody should be exempt from the rules they're implementing and putting on everyone else. amen to that. doctor, thank you so much for your time.
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a programming note. next saturday, i'll be hosting the class of covid-19. a virtual town hall focused on the generation of americans who grew up in the wake of 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis and are now entering the workforce during this pandemic. how have these events shaped their lives and futures? watch next saturday at 1:00 eastern, and if any of you have a question to ask my panel of experts, email or send a video to email@example.com. i know what you're thinking, better hair in the picture. >> let's head overseas, where boris johnson is planning to give an up tate on the coronavirus restrictions. what do we expect to hear from the prime minister today, and
how much do you think his own battle with covid-19 might influence the direction of the country? >> well, good morning, alex. it's been a well telegraphed address 2:00 p.m. eastern with you guys in which he'll talk about how his government intends to unlock the british economy. we had more than seven weeks of lockdown. most of the country expected to remain home during that period. this morning, one of his hone ministers in a tv industry said the uk is calling it a 4 out of 5 when it comes to the coronavirus threat. we have a terrorism scale when it comes to threats in the uk. it's a hint, perhaps, there will be a similar system introduced to allow people to understand how high the threat is and why the government is moving as it's moving. there are, though, public disagreements about the process. the first minister in scotland, the top political leader there,
she's saying boris johnson's government should not move faster than all parts of the country are prepare today do, and interestingly, in an interview himself, he was asked about his personal experience. in an interview with one of the papers, he talked about the fact it had encouraged him to try to ease the suffering of british people and try to get the uk economy on its feet. he likened it to returning from the top of a peak as a mountear, saying this is now a difficult bit. this is when you're liable to be overconfident and make mistakes. >> i think very sage words there. can i ask you anecdotally, william. you had sunny weather for this long weekend? social distancing, what have you observed? are people respecting it? >> yeah, we had ve day here friday, a public holiday. we're now at the end of a three-day weekend. there's a lot of people on their bikes, running, taking kids out
for walks here. i live a couple miles north of here, and the parks there were absolutely packed over the course of the weekend. i have seen neighbors out on the street having drinks with one another. people hosting barbecues and dinner parties. it does feel at least here in london that the genie is slightly out of the bottle. it might be people are looking to the address from the prime minister later on to ease guidelines. we don't have clarity whether the restrictions will be eased. downing not giving any details at all. >> concerning. and let me just say, anecdotally from my observations, i see nobody behind you who is wearing a mask as they're walking there. anyway, thank you so much. >> meantime, alarm bells sounding after april's jobs report revealed over 20 million jobs were lost around the country and also as the unemployment rate reached a grim 14.7%. it's the worst since the great depression. now a possible upside as a new poll from "the washington post"
and ipsos finds nearly 80% of laid off americans believe they will be rehired by their former employer. joining me now is adam, history professor at columbia university and a contributor to foreign policy magazine. professor, good to speak pyou. you heard the numbers. a majority of americans believe they will be rehired. do you agree? is this going to happen? i'm curious what you think about the number of jobs which have been permanently taken away because of the pandemic and if any others have been added to the labor market. big question. >> i think we're all navigating radically unfamiliar territory. i liked what governor cuomo said earlier on your show this morning. you say you know what's going to happen next, you don't know what's going on here. i think we're all thrown back and forth, if you like, between just shocked amazement at this data, and it's difficult to exaggerate how terrible it is. there are states in the union like kentucky where a third of the people working in february
appear to have attempted to sign on for unemployment insurance in the last two months. this is radical stuff. and on the other hand, there's this profound sense that you know we're going to bounce back from this. this is temporary. this is due to the shock that came from the outside. i think the really critical areas to look at are the sectors that were already weak before the crisis and may now have been tipped over the edge. that's really where the scarring is going to be. another crucial thing to look at is the gender breakdown. one of the really radical things about the shock is it's affecting women far more than women, and women far more than is normal in a recession like this. why is this? because the really critical a a areas here are entertainment, food services, restaurants, as we all know, and shopping, retail. i think that's really where we need to be looking to see the longer term effects here. those are jobs which most people think of as steady. you don't necessarily need a college education. this is a mainstay, if you like, of main street middle class america, especially for women
who in so many cases are supporting families. it's those jobs that are critical. it's really the department stores, the fragile retailers where i would be most concerned. >> so we have been talking frequently about the great depression which lasted about a decade. talk about the sense of reopening and, you know, we have letters we tried to sort of give folks an idea of what it might look like, whether it's a u or a v or a w. could you put a letter to the expectations of what it will look like? >> well, right now, the most commonly used one is the swoosh, the nike swoosh. it goes down and then it comes up. the question really is how long is that tail? the news isn't good on that front. i mean, it took ten years for the u.s. economy to come back to where it should have been if the pre-2008 crisis trend had continued on. i don't expect this on the other hand to become a great depression, because for a great
depression, you need government policy, you need spending, you need fed policy to act the wrong way. what we're seeing this time around is huge stimulus. they're arguing in congress about the next phase, but from the fed's point of view, there's been a wave of money that's gone into the u.s. economy. we haven't seen bank failures yet. that's what defined the early 1930s as a catastrophe. a series of shocks to main street banks that provided regular americans with credit. that so far, that channel, has been blocked, and so far as the fed can hold the line there, i don't expect a tumbling, you know, slide into ever deeper economic disaster. how rapidly we recover, i think, right now we just don't know. >> all right. columbia university professor adam tooze, thank you so much. the next steps in the case against two men charged with shooting and killing ahmaud arbery.
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papers. let's look at the front page of the birmingham news. mother's day brings special moments, and then on the right, jefferson county health officer stresses caution. experts fear spike in covid-19 cases as restrictions eased on gyms, restaurants, gatherings. >> in the arizona republic, the death toll in the state jumps as officials get caught up on the data and starts counting overlooked facilities. similar story on the front page of the arkansas democrat gazette. the number of cases up as the state starts including results from prisons. >> and in the tampa bay times, a special report, why not florida? reporters found the state was not ravaged by covid-19 as predicted because people started staying home weeks before government orders. and then on the front page of the macon telegraph. a tribute to a hometown hero, the main headline marking the passing of little richard, the architect of rock 'n' roll. new today in the investigation of the killing of ahmaud arbery,
georgia prosecutors say they're looking at additional videos and photographs, but previously reviewed surveillance video is getting new attention. blayne alexander has the latest from georgia. >> newly public video in the case of ahmaud arbery, confirming it is reviewing this surveillance video obtained by the atlanta journal constitution showing a person walking up to a house, entering, then leaving a short time later. that person believed to be arbery, his attorneys write this video is consistent with the evident already known to us, noting that the house was empty, under construction, and arbery engaged in no illegal activity. that video was reviewed before the mcmichaels' were arrested. the 25-year-old seen running, out for a jog, his family says, unarmed. in the truck, gregary and travis mcmichael, pursuing him because
they thought he was a purglerry suspect. his son travis shot in self-defense, saying arbery began to violently attack. arbery's mother has not watched the video made public. >> what was your arrest when you heard the mcmichaels had been arrested? >> i was in a numb state because i had waited for two months, two months and two weeks. >> william brian recorded the video of the shooting. his attorney. >> was he with the mcmichaels? >> he was trying to get his picture. >> a picture of mr. arbery? >> yeah. >> why? >> because there had been a number of crimes in the neighborhood, and he didn't recognize him, and a vehicle that he did recognize was following him. >> he says his client has fully cooperated and showed the video to local police when it happened back in february. but no arrests until the gbi got involved. now, the state attorney general is looking into how the case was handled. two prosecutors recused themselves over conflicts of interest, one writing he
believed the mcmichaels' actions were perfectly legal. on the streets of brunswick, a deafening roar in honor of arbery. >> wish the world could have got a chance to know ahmaud, to really truly love ahmaud. >> blayne alexander, brunswick, georgia. >> let's bring in ben jealous, former president of naacp, and more recently, candidate for governor of maryland. i want to replay that surveillance video of mr. arbery going by this house that's under construction. let's see if we can rack it up again and have you interpret that. do you think that is the video that is allegedly used, not this video, but the other video, allegedly used by those two vigilantes, however you want to describe them, going after him saying that they were going to make a citizens arrest. you see arbery. he's just walking by a house, maybe out of curiosity, looking
into a garage. the door is open. hey, there's construction. this video right here. he goes in and he turns right around and comes out. i mean, is that what they're saying, hey, we thought he was a burglar. >> in jogging shorts. he comes out in jogging shorts. he comes out clearly not carrying anything. all this video really showed is the danger of what's called race out of place. that's what racial profiling is about. that's what the trayvon martin case was about. somebody decided, hey, we don't know who you are, and your kind is not around here much. and so you must be bad. and we have a right to take your life if we're afraid. and of course, none of that is true. there's absolutely nothing about a man of any color jogging down the street, poking his head, kind of being curious about, you know, what's going on at a construction site, that actually makes him a theft or that gives anybody a right to kill him.
and that's what's most disturbing in this case, is that law enforcement knew for a long time what had happened. and they did not bring charges for months. they did not begin the investigative process for months. >> so ben, do you think it's because this video was made public? i mean, all of the videos. >> absolute lee. >> and prosecutors say look, we looked at all of this before we decided to bring charges. is it because now there's a public outcry? >> 100%. look, my prayers go out to the georgia state and to all of the actors. this is the tenth anniversary, this year we're going into, rather, next year will be the tenth anniversary of the troy davis case, an innocent man being executed in georgia. we're probably seven, eight years after the trayvon martin -- the trayvon martin case. and so in that region, you know, there's a long history of cases,
of innocent black men being killed. and what's most disturbing is that it appears law enforcement has been involved in actually covering this up. and that's why we need to make sure that the federal government is also looking into the facts of the case and that it's more broad than what these two men did. it also gets into what did law enforcement do and what did law enforcement not do and why didn't they do it? >> so ben, i'm curious your take overall on laws, mostly in the south, that leave the door open to questions of self-defense in cases like this. we also know trayvon martin as well, people making these citizens's arrests using loaded shotguns and magnum 357s. >> there's no doubt that these cases have hugely disproportionate impact on black people and brown people in the south. if you look at the history of these laws, they absolutely are
very much tied to the history of slavery and of slave patrols. black folks running through the south, if you will, have been seen as suspicious and, you know, white neighbors having a license to kill for a long time. there was a case out of georgia when i was president of the naacp called the john mcneill case where a white homeowner had killed a -- excuse me, where a black homeowner killed a white contractor who threatened him and his son with a knife and charged at them. and it was in kenasaw georgia where every homeowner by law is sfoezed to have a gun. it's in georgia where there's a castle doctrine who says a person has the right to defend their home and if they belief you're going to threaten them, they can kill you. yet it was the black homeowner who went to jail, john mcneill,
and it took us years and years to get him out of prison. it's just a reminder that these laws were really only contemplated to empower white people to defend themselves who are from black folks. in a state like georgia, you could have a white man charge a black homeowner with a knife, and the black homeowner goes to prison and the naacp has to fight to get him out, and you have a black jogger now get killed for just being curious about a construction site, in his jogging shorts, very short, like seconds, on the construction site, and the white men who kill him over two months go by, and law enforcement's first instinct is to investigate the leak and not to lock the men up. and then only after protests, only after videos show that law enforcement is not doing their jobs do they finally actually go
out there and begin the process. we've got to make sure that the state charges them. we have to make sure that the federal government investigates. >> yeah, i have to tell you, ben, i would have myself also looked at a construction site. always curious about that kind of thing. >> of course. >> you and i still have to have these conversations in 2020. that said, ben, i'm out of time. i'll talk with you again and look forward to when i do. thank you. >> the private phone call that went public. you'll hear from someone who was listening, next. rry about that, do i? harmful bacteria lurk just below the gum line. crest gum detoxify, voted product of the year. it works below the gum line to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and help reverse early gum damage. gum detoxify, from crest. because i trust their quality they were the first to have a vitamin verified by usp... ...an independent organization that sets strict quality and purity standards nature made, the #1 pharmacist recommended vitamin and supplement brand
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studies show the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affected minority communities not just medically but also professionally r according to a new poll published in the "washington post," african-americans and hispanics account for about 36% of all workers laid off since the outbreak began. joining me now, assistant dean of the lbj school of affairs in texas, victoria. perspective on these numbers. give me yours and whether or not you're surprised by them. >> regrettably, i'm not surprised. let's go back to the great recession of 2008. luteatinos and african-american were the hardest hit population. latinos lost 66% of their wealth. african-americans, a little less than that, but still these monumental numbers. even as close as 2017, 2018, we
knew these minority populations had yet to recover their wealth. i'm not just talking about the lowest income in these groups. middle class latinos and african-americans. then you had this pandemic come along and we're seeing the disproportionate impact among these communities and it's a gut punch. >> why the disproportion? what is behind it? >> right. so we know that latinos and african-americans tend to be in the service industry. so you think about your restaurants, your hotels, your construction industry, for example. and these were the industries that were first hit and the first to start shutting down. you can't telecommute if you're a hostess or if you're a cook. you can't do that. these were the folks that were the first to leave. then compounding that, alex, what is really important for especially the latino community is that the relief we saw come about as a result of this stimulus bill is not allowed to go to families of mixed status. so if your dad, if your sister
is an undocumented person, even though you may be a citizen, you're ineligible for the relief checks. you compound the unemployment with a lack of relief. >> can you give me an assessment of what you think the long-term effect could have on this community? >> well, i'm going to look back to the great recession, and we saw it took over a decade for these communities to start to get close to where they were pre-great recession, and given the severity of this being much more than the great recession, i fear we're looking at a recovery for these minority populations that takes upwards of 15 years, perhaps even close to two decades. and obviously, all groups, all americans are suffering right now and the recovery is going to take a long time, but because the groups are the ones hardest hit by the industry, and let me add in here, these are the groups least likely to be insured. if they do fall ill, they'll
have a disproportionate impact. it's a grim situation. >> two decades. victoria, that is a very alarming assessment. thank you, anyway, though. have a good sunday. >> you'll hear from an obama insider who was on the phone call that has everyone talking next. ing up all the things she loves to do. it should just mean, well, finding new ways to do them. right at home's professional team thoughtfully selects caregivers to provide help with personal care, housekeeping, and of course, meal preparation. oh, that smells so good. aw, and it tastes good, too. we can provide the right care, right at home. but when allergies and congestion strike, take allegra-d... a non-drowsy antihistamine plus a powerful decongestant. so you can always say "yes" to putting your true colors on display. say "yes" to allegra-d.
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new and intriguing questions arising today after president obama launching a far-reaching attack on the trump administration in a private phone call with allieallies, blg the department of justice to drop charges against former national security adviser michael flynn. >> the fact there is no precedent that anybody can find for fraud. someone who's been charged with perjury, just -- getting off scot-free. that's the kind of stuff, where
dock you -- where you begin to get worried that basic, not just institutional norms, but our basic understanding of rule of law is -- is -- is at risk. >> well, joining me now, chrisley u, fochris liu. i wonder how often do those calls happen? and i was told yesterday there were a few thousand people on them, which is amazing in itself. hoop on them and don't try to list all thousands, but, anyway, get to all that. >> alex, we get these calls regularly. there are around 13,000 alumni. these are people who have either worked on the president's campaign or were involved in the presidential transition.
obviously served the white house with him. i'm told there are about 3,000 people on the call. the goal of this was to engage people around the importance of the presidential campaign, and why he believed joe biden has both the experience, the empathy and just the personality and the will for this moment. >> all right. so with the thought being 3,000 people on this call, do you think that this tape that we have now was strategically leaked? i mean, is this a message that president obama wanted to get out and perhaps the most effective way to do it? >> i honestly don't know. i viewed this as a private phone call, a chance for him to talk to his closest supporters. obviously, 3,000 people on a phone call and in fact so over-subscribed they ended up putting extra phone lines on. obviously things leak.
i don't know how this came out, but i've heard from the president very similar to what he has said on the campaign trail in 2018 about where our country is right now, and we're at an inflection point. what he said on the phone was he is very, very concerned that if joe biden is not elected and we don't take back the senate as well as hold the house, that you are are -- our country goes in a totally different direction. what this means in terms of the rule of law. >> yeah. look, it wasn't just about the flynn decision on that call. the president also blasting this president, president trump's, coronavirus response and that leaked tape. can you expand on president obama's thinking here and how he might have handled things differently? is this a message he's going to take to the campaign trail potentially? >> alex, look, i was in the white house managing the cabinet during n 1 n 1 in 2019. obviously, ebola in 2014.
you know, this is an administration that prize itself on continuity, experience and ability to manage big crises. history written in terms of the trump administration disbanding the pandemic office, throwing away the playbook given to them in 2017. what the president, president obama said was, look. experience, capable leadership matters and we often don't take that seriously until we are in a crisis. so, again, i think you're going to see this constant theme of competence and it's going to draw a contrast between the way joe biden was involved in dealing with these crises during the obama administration and what president trump has done over the last couple of months. >> chris, do you have any indication of the extent to which barack obama will be out on the campaign trail for joe biden? >> you know, i don't, but i expect he will be out there not only vigorously campaigning for vice president biden, also for democratic candidates up and down the ballot.
just like he was in 2018. >> yeah. going to be so good to see him back out on the campaign trail. can't wait. thank you for that. that does it for me. i'm alex witt and look forward it seeing you today at noon eastern. next on "velshi" the economic toll of the pandemic, bars and strun restaurants put to the test. ali will talk to one of new york city the most successful restauranteurs. how about no no uh uh, no way come on, no no n-n-n-no-no only discover has no annual fee on any card. ♪we ain't stoppin' believe me♪ ♪go straight till the morning look like we♪ ♪won't wait,♪ ♪we're taking everything we wanted♪ ♪we can do it ♪all strength, no sweat
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good morning, happy mother's day. it is sunday may 10th. i'm ali velshi. three top u.s. health officials in a state of quarantine this morning after being exposed to white house staffers who tested positive for covid-19. all three are members of the coronavirus task force. dr. anthony fauci, director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases, dr. robert redfield who oversees the cdc and dr. stephechphen hal in a self-imposed quarantine 14 days. dr. fauci plans to testify in person next week before the senate. hahn and redfield also will testify but via video conference. more details surfacing in an unusual break in character by former president barack obama, as he gets