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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  April 15, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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that is "all in" for this thursday evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris, thanks, my friend, much appreciated. thanks to you at home for joining us at this hour. as we speak, ten russian officials who are ostensibly on the diplomatic staff at the russian embassy in washington and in new york, presumably at the russian consulate there, tonight ten different russian officials have been told by the biden administration that they've got 30 days to leave the united states. now, i'm being a little bit woolly about what their jobs are, because in instances like this, the general perception is that the russians are being kicked out of the country tonight even though they may work at the embassy or the consulate, the perception generally is these folks are being asked to leave because they are not legitimate diplomats. again, generally speaking, the idea here is that whoever the guy is is not really like the trade attache at the embassy or
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something, he's actually a spy, intelligence personnel, spies for the russian government, working here with the cover story that they're somehow employed by the embassy. this of course is the worst cover story in the world, anyone who's ever read a john le carre story ever or seen a spy movie can spot this a mile away, it is an unsubtle cover, but they still do it at their embassies and consulates, presumably we do it too, at moscow in our embassy and around the world, this is what countries do, they give their spies diplomatic cover. but tonight the u.s. government has called that bluff that everybody usually goes along with in this part of the spy world and the u.s. government has named ten russians basically as intelligence personnel who now must leave this country. they are expelled. and this comes as all of a sudden this week we are having lots of big and very definitive
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moves from the new u.s. president, this new administration, about us in the world, and things that joe biden said during the campaign that he would undo and redo and end, he's doing a whole best of your knowledge bunch of them all at once, this week. yesterday for example we get president biden announcing an end to the longest war the american military has ever fought, a nearly two-decade war in afghanistan will end with all u.s. troops being brought home before september 11th of this year. interestingly, today, the day after that announcement about ending the war, president biden sent his secretary of state tony blinken on a surprise trip to afghanistan to go meet with the afghan president. basically to try to show that even though u.s. troops are leaving afghanistan, the u.s. government is still committed to supporting the afghan government and supporting the nation of afghanistan in other enduring ways. so the tight scheduling of these
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things, biden announces the pullout of all u.s. troops from afghanistan yesterday on wednesday, on thursday his secretary of state is in afghanistan talking about the enduring commitment from the u.s. government to the nation of afghanistan, which nobody should think is undermined by all the troops leaving. it almost suggests the president and the administration, like, put some thought into this and didn't just come up with the idea of ending a war on the spur of the moment because a fox news host asked him a leading question about it or because he needed something to put in a tweet because he hasn't got to the end of his character limit. forethought, planning, coordination between different elements of the u.s. government, consultation with allies, consistent messaging, things spelled right, i just can't get used to it, it's crazy, it's like having a professional government. it's weird. but that move from the president yesterday, the announcement about the war, the end of the war in afghanistan, followed
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today in the early morning hours by news that the secretary of state had arrived in kabul, was followed within hours today by another really big move, a piece of really big news from the new u.s. president. you might remember that the very first person who was confirmed in the biden cabinet, the only cabinet member who was confirmed in biden's first day in office was the director of national intelligence he appointed, avril haines. he put her right to work. he announced he had ordered avril haines, the new dni, to conduct a new intelligence review into, quote, reckless and adversarial actions by russia. "the new york times" called it a sweeping assessment ordered by the intelligence community. and it was looking at russia in terms of a hacking attack last year but it was looking at them
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also on a whole bunch of different fronts. biden told the director of national intelligence, as soon as she was sworn in, that she needed to review all of the intelligence and report to him on russia allegedly mounting that major cyberattack on the u.s. last year, the solarwinds attack. also their alleged chemical weapons assassination attempts. also those unbelievably inflammatory, outrageous reports that the kremlin had offered to pay cash bounties to fighters in afghanistan if they would attack u.s. service members there. also the issue of whether russia came back at our elections again in 2020 to try to influence and undermine elections again in 2020 after what they did in 2016. biden assigned that wide ranging review of the intelligence on russia's malign activities in his very first few days in office. and today we learned the outcome of that. and it turns out to be a surprising mix. and it seems to be kind of a transparent, interesting,
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surprising set of data that they have returned. it came with a whole bunch of government actions by the biden administration today, some of them quite dramatic, and, surprise, it came with a huge new piece of news in it that we did not expect to get today at all. so first of all on the cyber attack, the solarwinds attack, which is assessed to be possibly the most damaging cyberattack ever in the west, the biden administration asserted today that basically definitively, with high confidence, they said, they ascribed blame for that attack to the russian intelligence services. on the nerve agent assassination attempt against russian opposition leader alexei navalny who is currently starving himself on a hunger strike, on the assassination attempt using the nerve agent against navalny, the biden administration today assigned blame specifically to the fsb, the successor agency to what used to be the kgb in the
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old soviet union. again, russian intelligence blamed for both the solarwinds attack and the navalny assassination efforts. on the bounties allegation, bounties for u.s. service members being attacked in afghanistan, this is very interesting, the intelligence review apparently did not disprove that allegation and that reporting from several months ago, but it also doesn't endorse it. it only endorses that allegation with, quote, low to moderate confidence. when i say this appears to be a sort of an incidence of transparency for public consumption in the intelligence process in the u.s., this is part of what i mean. i mean, the other assignments of blame by the u.s. government here today were essentially determinative and they resulted in the u.s. government taking action. sanctions already against russia for poisoning alexei navalny, new sanctions against russia today against multiple individuals and entities for the solarwinds attack. but on this case of whether
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russia put bounties on u.s. troops, no action taken, at least that we can tell. the white house press secretary jen psaki explaining that the intelligence community looked closely at the intelligence here and they feel like this one is not nailed down. they have only low to moderate confidence that russia actually did this. jen psaki saying today at the white house that the intelligence community does have stronger confidence that russian intelligence, specifically the gru, is actively involved with criminal gangs and networks in afghanistan, and they want an explanation from russia about that. but on the specific super inflammatory question as to whether that extends to russia having paid cash bounties for criminals and fighters in afghanistan to target u.s. service members, no firm conclusion. and so no sanctions or punishment for russia on that, at least for now, although the administration says they are apparently continuing to push russia on it while russia of course continues to deny it.
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fascinating. and then there's the election interference. and this is the one that came with an easter egg in the middle of it that i still can't quite believe they just confirmed. so last month, the busy, busy, busy dni's office, director of national intelligence office under avril haines, they declassified this intelligence community assessment about the 2020 election, about what foreign entities did to mess with our election in 2020. and when it comes to what russia did in 2020, there was very blunt language. it was spelled out in very strong terms. quote, we assess that president putin and the russian state authorized and conducted influence operations against the 2020 u.s. presidential election aimed at denigrating president biden and the democratic party, supporting former president trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the united states. a key element of moscow's strategy this election cycle was its use of people linked to
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russian intelligence to launder influence narratives including misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against president biden through u.s. media organizations, u.s. officials, and prominent u.s. individuals, some of whom were close to president trump and his administration. the report continues, quote, a network of ukraine linked individuals including russian agent konstantin kilimnik, individuals connected to the fsb, took steps throughout the election cycle to damage u.s. ties to ukraine, to denigrate president biden and his candidacy and to benefit president trump's prospects for reelection. we assess this network, again, it's ukraine linked individuals who are also connected to the fsb, we assess this network, also sought to discredit the obama administration by emphasizing accusations of corruption by u.s. officials and to falsely blame ukraine for interfering in the 2015 u.s.
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presidential election. so this is the intelligence community's declassified assessment of foreign attacks on our election in 2020. this was declassified last month. and all this detail on what russia did to try to boost donald trump's candidacy in 2020 just as they had boosted him in 2016. and it was very interesting at the time, and now in retrospect maybe we have greater insight into why this happened, but it's very interesting that by name in this declassified report, we got a description of what this one specific guy, konstantin kilimnik, did for the kremlin in 2020. and the reason his name was familiar to us when we all got this report last month is because this was a guy who had a very starring role in what the kremlin tried to do to elect trump in 2016. this is a guy who, like, had a starring role in the mueller report. this is the guy, if you control-f his name, konstantin
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kilimnik, his name comes up 754 times. konstantin kilimnik is a major figure in what russia did to try to put donald trump in the white house. and here he is again, four years later, in the 2020 election, with u.s. intelligence saying he again played a starring role, a leading role, an important role in the kremlin's efforts to mess with yet another u.s. election to try to make sure donald trump would stay president. and today, the biden administration announced a whole new raft of sanction on dozens of individuals and entities in response to russia's 2020 election interference. and they announced the expulsion of russian spies from d.c. and from new york. and they announced these interesting new financial sanction that essentially ban people in the united states from investing in russia, in buying government bonds, which is both a substantive thing in its own right, and if things get worse, it might be a first step to more
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broadly cutting russia off from international financial markets which can be economically deadly for even big countries, even countries that float on a sea of oil like russia does. the biden administration even singled out by name the russian front websites that were designed to look like news websites but were really operated by russian intelligence, which was a small part of how they disseminated information during the 2020 campaign. the biden administration did all of this detailed, hard-hitting stuff today. but in explaining the new sanctions today against one russian intelligence official in particular, in explaining the new sanctions today against this guy konstantin kilimnik, reminding the world that there's a quarter million dollar reward out there for information leading to his arrest, reminding
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the world that he's under indictment in the u.s., today, we got some big news. here is what the formal announcement from the treasury department said. it says, quote, konstantin kilimnik is a known russian intelligence services agent, implementing influence operations on the russian government's behalf. during 2016 he provided the russian intelligence services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy. additionally he sought to promote the narrative that ukraine, not russia, had interviewed in the 2016 presidential election. that's new today from the treasury today. there's a sanctions on a ton of people and a ton of entities. they named the malign websites and they put these new financial restrictions on how people can invest in government funds in
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russia. there's a lot of stuff they announced here today, including, we're not going to do anything about the russian bounties because we're not satisfied that that definitely happened. fascinating, tons of detail, lots of interesting information today from the intelligence community. but this thing about kilimnick, they say he sought to promote the narrative that ukraine, not russia, had interviewed in the 2016 u.s. presidential election. if you start at that part of it, fine. they say kilimnick was part of the kremlin's efforts to cover up what russia did in 2016. russia tried to cover it up by concocting this story that blamed another country, that blamed ukraine for doing that, not russia. they're saying kilimnick was part of that on behalf of the kremlin. got it. it should be noted that almost the whole republican party under donald trump and most of the conservative media world in this country went for that hook, line, and sinker, even though it
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was russian disinformation designed to get them off the hook by disguising their own role and blaming it on somebody else. everybody who went along with that "it was really ukraine," you were playing the russian blame game. got it. but the other assertion that they make there, which is a brand-new assertion we've never had from the u.s. government before, about what happened in 2016, they did not need to include that today. but they did. and in so doing, they made big news. i mean, what they just disclosed here about what happened in 2016 was, i think you would call it the collusion. the trump campaign chairman in 2016 was paul manafort, recently pardoned by president trump after trump lost reelection. manafort was described in the mueller report as having sent private, non-public, sensitive
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campaign polling data, internal campaign polling data from the trump campaign to this guy konstantin kilimnik to help trump. why did paul manafort give kilimnick that secret trump polling data in the summer of 2016? we don't know. the mueller team didn't explain. they described kilimnick as associated with russian intelligence but they never described why manafort was giving campaign intelligence to him. the senate committee described kilimnick bluntly as somebody who was a russian intelligence officer, let's just cut to the chase. but as to why trump's campaign chair was giving a russian
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intelligence officer sensitive internal campaign polling data during the campaign? the senate intelligence committee said they couldn't tell. quote, on numerous occasions manafort sought to secretly share internal campaign information with kilimnick. the committee was unable to reliably determine why manafort shared information with kilimnick or with whom kilimnick shared that information. the committee had limited insight into kilimnick's communications with manafort or to other individuals all of whom used communications security practices. in other words, these guys all used encrypted channels to communicate so we don't have any visibility into it, we don't know what kilimnick, this russian intelligence agent, did with the secret campaign data. we don't know who he passed it on to, if anyone, because he
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used encrypted channels. but now apparently we know. and i don't know why the biden administration chose to disclose this today. this was not really the subject of their announcements otherwise today. but the biden administration through this treasury sanctions list today announced bluntly that, yeah, konstantin kilimnik is under indictment for obstruction of justice already in this country. yeah, there's $250,000 reward for him. yeah, he's newly sanctioned now for his role in the kremlin's 2020 election interference to help trump. but, by the way, we also figured out what was going on there between him and the trump campaign back in 2016. quote, during the 2016 presidential election campaign, kilimnick provided the russian intelligence services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy. we had known before that the trump campaign gave it to him. we had never before known what he did with it. but now we know. the trump campaign chairman gave a russian intelligence officer the trump campaign's internal
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strategy and polling data. that russian intelligence officer then gave it to his bosses in the russian intelligence agencies. and that presumably must have been very helpful to the russian intelligence allegations in their concerted, contemporaneous efforts to target their attacks on our election to the maximum benefit of candidate donald trump. russian intelligence attacked us in 2016 to help the trump campaign win that election. we now know the trump campaign secretly gave their own data to russian intelligence in the middle of that attack, which again presumably helped what the russians were doing. as "the new york times" puts it in their new story on this that just posted tonight, quote, the revelation, made public in a treasury department document announcing new sanctions against russia, established for the first time that there was a direct pipeline from the trump campaign to russian spies at a time when the kremlin was engaged in a covert effort to
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sabotage the 2016 presidential election. having the polling data would have allowed russia to better understand the trump campaign strategy including where the campaign was focusing resources at a time when the russian government was carrying out its own efforts to undermine trump's opponents. what's the definition of collusion again? not just passively benefiting from somebody else's crime, but actively helping them commit it? is that what we call collusion? tell me more about how the whole russia thing is a hoax. i was just going to say, it's been a long year. it's been a long six years. the biden administration's statement today on these new sanctions says this. it says, quote, we will target russian leaders, officials, intelligence services, and their
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proxies that attempt to interfere in the u.s. electoral process or subvert u.s. democracy. the statement says, quote, this is the start of a new campaign against russian malign behavior. the new campaign indeed. definitely a new approach. but one that also includes apparently ripping the lid off of what exactly they did in attacking us and who in the united states they got direct material help from. joining us now is "new york times" reporter michael schmidt who is covering this story for "the times." michael, it's great to see you, thanks for making time to be here tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> first let me ask you if i got any of that wrong. i found it particularly helpful, in your story tonight, spelling out how this story has advanced, the naming of konstantin kilimnik, describing his association with intelligence, naming him as a russian intelligence officer, and now this final piece of it falling
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into place. did i get any of that wrong in the way i explained it? >> no, no, you got it right. this is a big development for the collusionists of the past few years, the people that have really looked at that issue. because konstantin kilimnik has been that link, that weird, odd center or nexus is a better word for it, of russia and the trump campaign. and slowly but surely, as you were laying out, whether it was mueller or the senate intel committee or today, we have chipped away at what was really going on there and learned little and little more. there's still a lot we don't know. >> i'm struck by the way the senate intelligence committee described why they didn't know what kilimnick had done with that data. they said basically, listen, we don't know what his communications are, they implied
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he was using communications security, implying, i think, that he was using encrypted channels and so therefore it was unknowable what he had done with the information. if the u.s. government now is sort of confidently and uncomplicatedly asserting that they know what kiimnick did with that information, does that mean they've developed new information or that some part of the biden administration is willing to disclose this information when under the previous president, even though they knew this, they weren't willing to share it even with the senate intelligence committee? how new is this, how much of a new capability does this reflect? >> so i think you're hitting on the most important question here, and the thing that i really want to know, which is, when did the u.s. government figure this out. is this something that they've known for years? that would put it back during the trump administration. or is that something that was recently developed?
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we know that trump administration officials were very hesitant to do anything on russia because of the way -- because of trump's posture and anger on this issue. so where did this come from? when did this change? i don't -- you know, i was looking at statements earlier from folks like, you know, andrew weissmann about this. it's clear that the mueller folks did not know about this. but when did this come up and how did it come up? was the fbi continuing to investigate kilimnick even after the prosecutions in 2018 and 2019 under trump when trump didn't want any of this stuff going on? to understand that would give us a greater sense of what this intelligence is, how old it is, and obviously its importance. >> and mike, have you ever gotten any clearer sense throughout this whole saga,
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since we've all been looking at this question for so long, have you ever had any clearer sense of what exactly was in that data, about what exactly was communicated? paul manafort had the information, it was internal, nonpublic data about strategy and polling within the trump campaign. he directed rick gates to share it with kilimnick. senate intelligence committee says that on multiple occasions he wanted to convey internal trump today to kilimnick. have we ever had any clearer view of what exactly they gave them? the reason that's important is you want to know how valuable that would have been to russian intelligence in targeting their attacks. >> the reporting in the past has shown that some of the polling data was stuff that was publicly available at the time. and rick gates tonight putting out a statement saying that this information was -- there was nothing really significant in what was being passed to kilimnick.
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i understand why we focus on what was it that was passed in this channel, because it's the one thing that we know that was passed. but what i think we have to step back and look at is there was a channel, there was a line that went from the trump campaign to russian intelligence. now, maybe the trump campaign did not fully appreciate that. maybe the information that went wasn't that significant. but we know that this channel existed. and it's -- some would say it's hard to believe that this is the only thing that moved through that channel, given the amount of back and forth that manafort had with kilimnick. so i think the existence of the channel is more important than what we know was passed in the channel. >> "new york times" reporter michael schmidt, that is such a smart point, and the way this news came to the foretoday, in a
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u.s. government announcement about 2020 election interference when this was not about that, this was about 2016, implies that they are trying to get this out there in part because they're trying to put a spotlight on something that is at least the start of an answer to a very key question. mike, thanks for being here tonight, i really appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. all right. we've got much more ahead tonight, including a few developing stories that we are following tonight, both in minneapolis and in chicago. live reports. stay with us. our retirement plan with voya, keeps us moving forward. hey, kevin! hey, guys! they have customized solutions to help our family's special needs... giving us confidence in our future... ...and in kevin's. voya. well planned. well invested. well protected. stay restless with the icon that does the same. the rx crafted by lexus. get 0.9% apr financing on the 2021 rx 350
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police in chicago this afternoon released the body camera footage that shows a police officer shooting and killing a 13-year-old boy named adam toledo. the shooting happened a couple of weeks ago. the footage was just released to the public today. the delay in the release of the
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footage was actually at the request of the toledo family. at 2:30 in the morning, chicago police arrived at the scene of reported gunfire, they saw two males standing in an alley. one of those males was a 21-year-old, he's been charged with illegally carrying and firing a gun the police saw that night. the other male was a kid, 13 years old, adam toledo. police arrived at the alley, he ran. the body camera footage released today shows that a police officer chased after him and shouted at adam toledo to show his hands. he also tells him to, quote, drop it. at that point toledo appears to turn around and it all happens very quickly, but he begins to raise his hands toward his shoulders. in the video he does not appear to be holding any kind of weapon or anything at all in that moment. less than a second later the
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officer shoots 13-year-old adam toledo in the chest. the boy falls to the ground. the officer asks him repeatedly why where he's shot, where he's shot. police recover the gun allegedly fired by the 21-year-old that brought police to the scene that night. another angle from body camera footage from after the shooting shows a gun lying behind the fence were 13-year-old adam was shot. again, in the moments before the shooting, he does not appear to be holding any kind of weapon or anything. he appears to be surrendering with his empty hands in the air just as the officer told him to do. i am -- i debated whether or not to do this. i am now going to show you the body camera footage. i want to warn you ahead of time, it is disturbing to watch, i had to stop what i was doing for a while after seeing this for the first time. but it's being released for a reason. it is part of the accountability
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process here and so therefore i think you should see it if you can bear it. if you know you can't, now is the time to hit pause or take a break. the beginning of the video doesn't have any sound, don't worry, it's nothing wrong if you can't hear anything. there's no sound at the beginning. you will see the officer running down an alley. i am not going to show you the exact moment where adam toledo is shot but i will let the audio continue to play on the video after the shot is fired and you will hear the police officer call for an ambulance. so here we go. this is the body camera footage released tonight of 13-year-old adam toledo being shot and killed by police in chicago just over two weeks ago. >> stop! stop right now! show me your [ muted ] hands. [ sound of gunfire ] shots fired, shots fired, get an ambulance up here now. look at me. look at me.
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are you all right? where are you shot? 24 and sawyer, in the alley, west alley, need an ambulance, got a gunshot victim, shots fired by the police. >> shots fired by the police. now that that video has been released tonight, that officer's attorney has released a lengthy statement. it says in part, the officer was faced with a life-threatening and deadly force situation. all prior attempts to de-escalate and gain compliance with all of the officers' lawful orders had failed. the mayor of chicago, lori lightfoot, today called the video excruciating to watch. she said, quote, simply put, we failed adam. there is a small protest ongoing outside the chicago police department this evening. and this incident in chicago is
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of course happening at the same time that people in the city of brooklyn center, minnesota are out in the streets for a fifth night, mourning the death of 20-year-old daunte wright who was shot and killed by a police officer on sunday during a traffic stop. daunte wright was unarmed at the time of his killing. footage of the incident shows the officer who shot and killed him announced she intended to tase him but then she shot him with her pistol. that officer has now been charged with second degree manslaughter. she had her first pretrial hearing this afternoon. she's out on bail. after another tense night of vigils and marches there are demonstrators gathered in front of the heavily fortified police station in brooklyn center, minnesota. and demonstrators starring to gather at the chicago police department as well. there is a curfew in effect in brooklyn center, minnesota.
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we do have reporters on standby. we'll bring you more as the situation develops. more ahead tonight. stay with us. this is the sound of an asthma attack... that doesn't happen. this is the sound of better breathing.
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good afternoon. good to see everyone. i've come to afghanistan today because it was important to me and important to president biden to convey in person america's commitment to an enduring partnership with afghanistan and the afghan people. >> secretary of state antony blinken on a surprise visit to kabul. as you heard him say there, him showing up in kabul today was a way of -- a way for the biden
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administration, a way for the u.s. government, to demonstrate, to show an american ongoing commitment to afghanistan, an enduring commitment even if our military presence is coming to an end. and for one thing, this is just a well-organized rollout of a major foreign policy change, right? also watching this play out, though, is a little bit like, oh, yeah, remember diplomacy? i remember that. and it comes on the day when there is this other major foreign policy move from the biden administration, this big shove against russia, serious new sanctions and the planned expulsion of russian diplomats from the united states in response to russia's responsibility for the giant solarwinds hack and its interference in the 2020 u.s. election. but it's interesting, in some ways today's russia moves from the biden administration are a big shove. at the same time they're conciliatory in some other ways. after the big sanctions
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announcement this morning, president biden this afternoon delivered remarks on russia that were sort of conciliatory. and in what has become kind of a catch phrase in his administration, whenever they talk about russia, president biden said today america wants a stable and predictable relationship with russia. we also got word today that the u.s. navy has called off a plan to send two destroyers through the black sea off the coast of russia and ukraine. this transit by the u.s. navy would have been seen as a show of support for ukraine as russia continues its big menacing buildup on the ukrainian border. so we get this big shove in terms of the sanctions, a conciliatory speech from the president at the same time, and then a military decision to remove something that would have been a show of support for ukraine, also potentially a provocation to russia. what is the balance that the biden administration is trying to strike here? and are they doing it well? joining us now is michael mcfaul, u.s. ambassador to
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russia during the obama administration and somebody who has talked with us about these things for a number of years now, usually through the lens of how the trump administration was screwing things up. nice to see you tonight. >> glad to be here, rachel. >> do you see a sort of effort at balance here? i feel like on russia specifically, we are seeing a shove with these sanctions, we also saw the biden administration be transparent on the issue of potential bounties on use service centers, saying we actually don't feel the intelligence on those is solid enough to act. we saw the president give a speech that was respectful of president putin and talked about wanting to meet, and then we see them pull back this transit of warships in the black sea. it feels like a very calibrated set of actions. >> absolutely. it's called a strategy. it's called a policy towards
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russia. and whether you agree or not, it's very clear, i think you captured it very eloquently, they want to say to vladimir putin, i don't want to be your friend, you know, president biden didn't say today i look forward to seeing my good friend vladimir, he didn't say that. but he said, we're going to be firm when you mess around with us, especially when our sovereignty is at stake, and at the same time, we are willing to engage with you on issues of mutual interest. i think they were trying to send a signal to moscow that they wanted to put a period to that previous period. remember, everything they did today was in response to things that happened in the trump era. and so they're saying, we're going to push back, sanctions and expulsions, you call them diplomats, i call them intelligence agents that were kicked out, but we're also willing to engage with you, contain and engage at the same time. >> what do you make of the
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seriousness of the sanctions that were announced today? one of the things i feel not very qualified to assess is these new financial sanctions, that u.s. persons are essentially barred now from buying russian government bonds, and there's a few tens of billions of dollars worth of bonds out there that are out there that have been attractive to some investors but you are in effect propping up the russian government by doing that. will those financial sanctions bite? or are those essentially a symbolic measure or a token measure that symbolize that something more serious could come next if there's further escalation? >> both. i actually think the sanctions today, all of them, including that one, was serious. but not too serious. in fact president biden said it himself, it was proportionate to what they thought that the russians, vladimir putin, did, again, during the trump administration. they could have done a lot more. they didn't sanction a bunch of
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oligarchs. they didn't sanction the banks. they didn't go after those people close to putin that some people wanted him to do. in his remarks today, president biden made it very clear, we can escalate but we're trying to be proportionate now so we may engage later. >> ambassador mcfaul, i just have to ask you also about what you make of the biden administration making this disclosure today, in a sanctions statement that really was about russian interference in the 2020 election, they also gave us this clear statement that in 2016, when the trump campaign chairman gave internal trump polling data to konstantin kilimnik, this guy who's under indictment in the united states and now sanctioned in the united states as well, he turned right around and gave that to russian intelligence. so the russian intelligence service was given internal trump campaign polling data while they were mounting their effort to try to get trump elected in 2016. what do you make of that revelation today, that disclosure by the biden
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administration? >> well, rachel, you and i have speculated about these things for years and years. today we're connecting some dots, right? and i really appreciate it. another really important mechanism for pushing back on vladimir putin is transparency, is this information, is saying in the solarwinds, yes, we know it was the sbr, that's the equivalent of our cia. and no more of this dancing around the intelligence. i think it's actually a very powerful tool. i applaud the biden administration for doing it. and i hope it's not the last time they use information to push back on this horrible behavior that they did before. i hope it will deter them in the future from thinking about doing those things the next time around, the next electoral cycle. >> former u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. professor, great to see you, thanks very much for being here. >> thanks for having me. all right. more ahead. stay with us.
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tomorrow the state of new hampshire is dropping its statewide mask mandate, which will make it the 25th state in the country where there will be no statewide rule saying you have to wear a mask during this ongoing pandemic. we have thought that the biden administration had a sort of trick up its sleeve to try to keep people masked up in the middle of the ongoing pandemic, but now we're not so sure. as we've reported previously, on president biden's first full day in office, he issued an executive order about osha, the occupational safety and health administration, which oversees safety in the workplace in this country. biden asked osha specifically to study whether there ought to be a new rule requiring americans to wear masks in the workplace. a rule on that from osha federally would apply everywhere to all workplaces in all states. that executive order had a very explicit deadline. it gave osha until march 15th to make a decision on whether there ought to be a mask rule in the workplace. march 15th was the deadline.
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it is now april 15th, which means we are a whole month past that very explicit deadline. so where is it? we contacted the department of labor, of which osha is a part. they told us this. quote. the secretary of labor reviewed the materials, meaning the proposed masks in the workplace rule, quote, and determined that they should be updated to reflect the latest scientific analysis of the state of the disease. the secretary has ordered a rapid update based on cdc analysis on the latest information regarding the state of vaccinations and the variants. quote, he believes this is the best way to proceed. okay. but the clock is ticking. people all around the country are going to work in maskless environments today, and even more will be tomorrow. an osha rule could make a really big difference on that front. when are they going to decide? watch this space.
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did you hear me get bleeped? i didn't hear it. it wasn't in my earpiece, and i couldn't hear it ambiently at all. i didn't know it happened, but apparently i was bleeped. honestly i didn't know it at the time. i have heard that it happened. i have asked the control room to queue it up and play it again if only so i can hear it now for the first time. so here it is. >> and the reason his name was familiar to us when we all got this report [ bleep ] last month is because this is a guy who had a very starring role in what the kremlin did to try to elect
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trump in 2016. >> it's like i swore. when we got this report -- beep. i did not swear. apparently it was some weird technical hiccup. our director, rob, told me it was literally like a physical slip, oops, hit the beep button. there was no curse word there. there was no hidden coded message. i promise if i was ever going to put a secret coded message in a script, i would go like [ bleep ]. i'd make it less subtle. that will be our secret word. if i ever say [ bleep ], then you will know i'm sending a code even if [ bleep ]. that will be our deal. but, no, i didn't accidentally swear or disclose classified information while talking about konstantin kilimnik tonight. that's going to do it for us tonight. watermelon. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. i think they

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