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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  April 4, 2022 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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relevant to make -- bring -- to identify and bring those responsible for these crimes to account. >> international outrage and disgust. the kremlin is now accused of massacring civilians as russian forces retreated from the suburbs of ukraine's capital. images of bodies in shallow graves and strewn throughout the city, evidence of tortures and killings at close range, war crimes. moscow claims it was all staged. ukraine's president calls it genocide. this morning reaction from around the globe as we debut our 9:00 a.m. hour. we will talk to ukraine's chief prosecutor who says her team has identified hundreds of suspects and is pursuing thousands of war crimes cases against russia. what this all means for vladimir putin and what his retreat from kyiv says about the future of the war. plus, the latest headlines from washington. the chairman of the senate judiciary committee joins us ahead of a big day for president
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biden's supreme court nominee. president obama is set to return to the white house this week, and donald trump gets behind a political has-been hoping to make a return to politics. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is monday, april 4th. >> political -- that's great, great. >> thank you for being with us. >> willie, "new york post" headline. this is obviously, this is what the world was talking about yesterday. when you -- when you think that it can't get worse, the mass crimes by vladimir putin, and now the russian troops we see obviously kick in. >> yeah, the front pages of almost every international newspaper showed dead bodies, shallow graves, mass graves, horrific images coming out of what russian forces left behind after pulling back from the ukrainian capital of kyiv. we should warn you this morning the images really are disturbing add quite graphic. pictures and videos from the town of bucha northwest of kyiv
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show widespread devastation with dozens of bodies lying scattered around the city. some of the victims had hands tied help bind hair backs. others reportingly had close-range gunshot wounds and signs of tortures. residents say they would go from building to build, check their phones for anti-russian activity before taking them away or shooting them on the spot. here is a listen to what some people there had to say. >> translator: those people were just walking and they shot them without any reason. bang. in the next neighborhoods, it was even worse. they would shoot without asking any questions. >> translator: he went to get some food when all of a sudden the russians started shooting. they hit him a bit above the hill, crushing the bone and he fell down. the shooter shouted, don't scream or i will shoot and they turned away. then they shot off his left leg completely. then they shot him all over the chest.
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>> gosh. ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy is calling the city in bucha genocide describing it as scenes from a horror movie. about 270 were buried in mass graves, about 40 bodies left in the streets. ukrainian officials say about 400 bodies have been found in kyiv and surrounding areas. international independent reporters are just getting into the city of bucha including nbc news to take a look at what is there. they say they have no way of knowing how many were killed there. people were saying a couple of weeks ago, i don't know if we want to use the term war crimes, president biden called him a butcher. what more do you need to see? >> we can say this, we can talk about vladimir putin, but this is what russia does. this is what russian soldiers do. this is what they did in ukraine, what they did in aleppo, what they did in grozny. this is what they did in poland in world war ii. this is what they do.
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it is ghastly. before we go any further here we will be getting to clint watts at the big board in a few seconds about where it is going. historically this will be remembered and there will be people held accountable. historically, the huge story that overlays this is the humiliating and historic retreat of russian troops from the capital, which was, of course, putin's top priority. it is incredible how ukraine has routed them. as they move back you can only say, thank god they were as effective as they were because how much worse could this story have been? but that is -- if you just look at the battlefield, it is nothing short of shocking. >> it is remarkable. >> what the ukrainian troops have done. jonathan lemire, this is obviously pushing vladimir putin closer to a settlement. we are still a long way away from there.
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if you read out, get some read-outs from what happened saturday you actually had the ukrainians talking about the possibility of peace, talking -- but then sunday we wake up, horrific news. you wrote about how much more difficult this was going to make it for the world community to come to terms, not with the vladimir putin, as biden said, with vladimir putin being a butcher, being a war criminal. how exactly do you get this guy back into the g7, g8? >> yeah, there had been some talk of even some momentum towards a zelenskyy/putin summit. this had been enough progress, they thought it was in the offing. that now probably has changed and it would be that much more difficult. white house officials i talked to wonder how could zelenskyy negotiate the ending of this war if it meant giving up an inch of territory to vladimir putin.
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considering the amount of ukrainian blood being shed, how can you make that deal? white house officials believe it reached an inflection point where it looks like russian forces are moving away from kyiv leaving war crimes in their wake and focusing on the donbas region, where there may be months potentially, maybe a year of violence. that's the feeling. >> it is extraordinary, willie. we have been knocking the u.s. intel community for years, and i, of course, a champion of the intel community. i know they make mistakes because it is a very complex world out there. it is remarkable in this case what our intel community has done. i say that only because a week ago i was talking to somebody at the white house, high up at the white house who said, yeah, putin knows, he finally knows he screwed up, and this retreat, they're -- they're going to retreat. like they're going to retreat now from kyiv and start going north and focus on the donbas.
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here we go five days later. it is actually -- it is actually cemented, that's what they're doing. it is really though remarkable. our intel community has been right time and time again. you know, the french don't like to say the u.s. is right, but even the french were saying, we were wrong, the u.s. intel community has been right every step of the way. here is just another example of that. >> and there's a reason president biden was insisting a month and a half ago this is what was going to happen, they said, trust us, he is on the brink, invasion is imminent. people thought the language may have gone too far but he was right about that. we should point out that russia has fallen back to the tried and trud explanation for what we're seeing in bucha is that it is a false flag operation, that these are crisis actors. >> actors. >> a pathetic conspiracy theory. >> like sandy hook. it parallels actually what the most contemptible human beings in american politics do and what vladimir putin does on a global scale where we're actually talking about the killing of
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people. they use the same techniques, even if it is for political aims in the united states. they use the same contemptible techniques. i think about all of the people with newsletters on sub stack. i think of all of the people who spent the past five years apologizing for vladimir putin whether it is donald trump, who said on this show in december of 2015, i've got no problem with vladimir putin. he's a strong leader unlike barack obama and he continues to say it. he can't walk back what he said about this guy. there are other news entertainers who can't walk back what they've said about this guy, what they've said about russia. there are voices in the republican party who can't walk that back. it is really, really shocking just the useful idiots that vladimir putin has had, the useful idiots he had even after the invasion when they started pushing the propaganda, talking about the biolabs. they're so desperate to defend vladimir putin, these people who live in our country and live
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under the protections of our constitution, who embrace putin, who embrace orban, who embrace liberalism, who embrace the lie. it is so clarifying. it is such a clarifying moment, and i know americans are seeing this and they're going, wait a second, on a smaller level we are just talking politics in america, this is what putin supporters are trying to do to american politics. >> there is a prominent primetime host on another host on another network who said he was rooting for russia in the early stages of this war, and you're right. certainly celebrations for orban claiming victory in the elections in hungary. back to the american intelligence, the one thing they got wrong was the idea they thought russia might topple kyiv in a matter of days and weeks and that's the dilemma they're in as they are having to funnel more and more weapons and equipment into ukraine because it turned into a longer
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conflict. they've put up far fiercer fighting than anyone expected. military officials and zelenskyy himself said we're running out of weapons. we need anti-aircraft missiles, we need stingers and they're hoping to get jets as well, soviet era equipment needed to help the war fight. they're afraid that they could lose -- >> where are we on jets? >> the u.s. still has not signed off -- the migs through poland have not happened. soviet era tanks are being sent their way. they recognize it is the moment the russian forces have pulled back and there's a limit to what they can do as the muddy season has set in. there's a moment they need to resupply the ukrainians before russia begins their offensive. >> according to a "new york times" report, russia's pull back from kyiv appears to be real. officials and analysts say the
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retreat may show signs that russia's initial strategy has stalled in the face of grave planning failures, logistical problems and ukrainian resistance. the new analysis comes after pentagon and nato officials initially raised doubts about the russian withdrawal, arguing it could be a roo positioning of forces or a chance to refit and resupply forces. >> it looks like a sloppy positioning of forces to me. >> general staff twitty who served in afghanistan. and prior to his retirement in 2020 he was deputy commander of the united states european command. and at the big board national security analyst for nbc news and msnbc, clint watts. clint, we will start with you. where are the russians right now? >> mika, remarkable, remarkable turn around in the last three weeks. when we look here, it was all red two weeks ago. what do we see now? we see lots of light blue where
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the ukrainians have conducted counteroffenses and taken back territory. this is what we're talking about this morning. in the suburbs here when you look to the northwest, this is where we're finding evidence of war crimes in and around bucha, some of these territories. essentially what the ukrainians were able to do, ten days ago we were talking about this suburb out in this area. they were able to launch essentially a counterattack leaving these russian troops here exposed. essentially they could have been cut off. what you are finding now, you are hearing the story of lost russian units or individual soldiers. they're essentially left in the suburbs fighting against the ukrainian military. separately, what i want to say is when you watch the russian withdrawal, imagine an organized one would be three or four units, two would continue to fight forward like this and one would retreat. they're not even successfully pulling this off. this entire unit here, remember it is the convoy stuck in week one and two, they've been a
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disaster on the battlefield. they're being chewed up by the ukrainian military. we're having the same thing happening here to the east by brevaria where ukrainian counterattacks are pushing through, russian armor are trying to screech back to the border for safe harbor. when you pull back to the bigger picture this is what we're talking about. around kyiv troops moving back to belarus essentially to be repositioned down here in kharkiv, the eastern front. in the eastern front here there was a key battle we were watching over the weekend. the russians claim they've taken this area of izyum. their goal essentially is to link up the forces in the east. once they have the northwestern axis and this one in the southeast linked up they will be able to unify forces around the broader area known as the donbas here. remember, vladimir putin said in the very beginning his reason for going in, which was essentially a lie, it was a foil, was to take this area here in the east.
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what we also see is the russians essentially digging into the positions down here in the south. rather than try to take places like mykolaiv, they're again meeting resistance so they're setting up defensive position goes. mariupol is where we're watching the humanitarian disaster and the corridor they're trying to establish. my big picture i think takeaway is you will find that the ukrainians will continue to take places in the north. i would not be surprised at all, we were talking about bucha and war crimes today. there might be half a dozen buchas within the next two weeks we discover. secondly between kharkiv and izyum is where the battle is. i think the question is can they continue the fight, continue the counteroffensive and push russia back. i would add there's lots of reports of russian soldiers deserting, refusing to fight. i would be shocked if these units here that fought in and around kyiv so poorly when reposition, dismantled and put in other units will be motivated to fight against a ukrainian military on the upswing.
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i'm not even convinced vladimir putin, you know, his strategy has gone from do i want to lose everywhere or do i want to win somewhere, essentially in the east. i'm not sure he can even pull this off at this point. >> chilling to think there may be more bucha's out there. general twitty, it is if you look at the map it is extraordinary to watch the incompetence of the russian military. they had to pull out of chernobyl because they were exposed to radiation and somehow didn't know it might happen. as a military analyst, you look at the war crimes, the murder of civilians on the retreat, what should we expect from here from the russian military? >> what i will tell you and what happened in bucha is unexcusable or inexcusable, excuse me. if you take a look throughout what russia has done, you could tell that this is an
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unprofessional military. where are the leaders on the ground that are enforcing standards? where's the overall command and control system that should be enforcing standards here? the rule of law, the rules of armed conflict and so forth. it is nonexistent. so when you have soldiers that are untrained, when you have soldiers with low morale, these type of things happen. that's what we're going to probably continue to see throughout this war. i will tell you the next couple of weeks will be crucial. it will be crucial in a sense for the russians, president putin has said that he wants to have a victory by may time frame. pretty ambitious when you look at all of the places he needs to fight in the east to get that victory. down in the donbas, down with the completion of mariupol.
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he also wants the south, which would mean that he would have to fight for mariupol all the way to kirsten through odesa. so pretty ambitious. when you take a look at the ukrainians, they have done a fabulous job defeating the russians. however, hard fighting, in my view, has not happened yet. the russians are used to fighting in the donbas. they have russian separatists there, groups down there, other separatists are down there. i think they will experience a hard fight. it will be critical for the west to get totally behind president zelenskyy and give him everything he needs to fight. this war is winnable by the ukrainians. we just need to ensure that we resource them to complete and defeat the russians. >> well, general, that is a question i was going to ask you.
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if you are in zelenskyy's position, you are looking at the russians in retreat in the north. you look at them trying to consolidate in the southeast. if you are zelenskyy right now, you get on the phone with joe biden, what do you tell the president? what do you tell members of nato that you specifically need to make sure the russians just don't bleed out but that they are pushed out of ukraine? >> yeah, i would mention a couple of point. number one, if you notice he's going to different countries asking, mother may i. it shouldn't be any ask at this point. just turn on the spigot, give him the things that he needs. let's get these soviet era tanks in. keep those tanks pushing. the reason why it is so important is he's on the offense, which means he will expend material, weapon systems faster being on the offense. so he can't come back every couple of weeks and ask, let's just turn on the spigot from the
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wlaechlts give 'em tanks. i would even say let's give him the migs that he needs because the migs will get it done from the air. all of the convoys you are seeing from the russians, whether it be tanks or trucks, he can get it done. drones can help. those drones are coming in, but the migs can do some serious damage for 'em. >> retired u.s. general twitty. thank you very much. >> thank you for being here. more importantly we are so grateful for your service to america. you know, they've got to figure out a way to get the jets there. it doesn't have to be through a nato base. they have to figure out a way to get those jets there, get those tanks there. they ought to be able to do it. >> it seems, if that's what they're asking for, it seems like at this point the ukrainians are bare knuckling it and doing anything they can. >> yeah. >> but they need the equipment. >> again, when i say they, i'm not talking about the white
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house, i'm not talking about nato, i'm talking about everybody collectively. the pols want to do it. it seems to me there have to be some smart people out there who can figure out how to get them the migs they need, how to get them the tanks they need. russians are on the run. yeah, explosions rocked the port city of odesa as russian missiles hit an oil refinery. the mayor says civilian buildings also were hit in the attack but no immediate casualties reported. the key port city has been spared from attacks so far but long has been considered a target for the russians because of the economic significance. >> clint, let's go back to the board and look at the board. it seems to me if you are vladimir putin, you are thinking things didn't go well around kyiv, so let's go south. the problem, of course, is whatever they get in the south they're not going to be able to hold. maybe the donbas, yeah, but that land bridge that they're trying to get to crimea, which they
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almost have, odesa, see, aren't they really in the same position where they can destroy a lot of buildings, they can commit war crimes, but, my god, the second they try to set up shop in any of these cities seems to me the ukrainians are going to start pushing back just like they have time and again. >> that's right, joe. the ukrainians will be able to reconstitute. you know, some of the missile strikes we were talking about there, odesa down here in the southwest, critical city. why? well, that's where oil, that's where grain, that's the future of the economy of ukraine. separately, what we've also seen the ukrainians start to do in a very daring action, last week was start to hit russian oil across the russian border, so essentially taking the fight. this is also a sign of long, logistical lines and essentially an extended and maybe protracted battle. this is not going to go quickly in the east. i think that's the thing we need to focus on. we are seeing ukrainians push
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back but they're in a diss mounted mode, pushing back incrementally. they will push forces toward kharkiv. there are ukrainian military elements but they could be sealed in in the pockets. what the ukrainians will need to do very quickly is start to reinforce out here towards the east. how do you do that? that's things like air cover, being able to project out with some air power to actually go at these russian positions. i think the other thing to look at is how does this escalate if the ukrainians really start to push in and around and over the russian border. the russian government sent out warning to the russian people all along this area here over the weekend saying, be prepared for strikes, be prepared for attacks. they're essentially priming their own population because they realize they're in such a jam. ultimately it is about the will to fight. i'm not convinced, you have reports of roo positioned russian units coming in for the eastern area right here that are refusing to fight. you have reports of commanders committing suicides, commanders
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being killed in the russian military. high deaths in terms of russian generals. now the russians are relying on mercenaries, people being forced in from syria, forced in by hezbollah. if the russian army can't get their own people to sustain this fight and the ukrainians are inspiring more of their people to fight, i think this battle, not only is it protracted, it goes on a long time, but i don't know how the russians win or can take anything away. the last part, joe, that you mentioned, this is that land bridge down here. they've not even been able to secure mariupol after an entire month essentially of besieged warfare and this is a thin strip. we've seen the ukrainians essentially launching or lobbing missiles towards the naval port down here. with all of the big picture i'm not sure what putin's exit strategy will be. he will want to claim the east but it could be weeks or months and i think we want peace in between. >> clint, a quick follow up.
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you discussed skepticism about the russian reinforcements. is there a sense of the mercenaries, how many have come from syria and other places and what happened to the troops from belarus that were supposed to join the fight? >> that's a consistent thing. the russian people don't want this fight, the russian military don't want it. we are talking about 1,000, 2,000, maybe 3,000 mercenaries. that will not shift the balance here in terms of this battle. they're also not always equipped with russian armor, the most sophisticated weapons. you are talking about diss mounted forces. chechen units are doing some of the shock work in mariupol. these forces are not coming in and fighting the way russia really wants them to do. they don't really want to be here, they're doing it basically for money. compare it to the motivation of ukrainians, it is a different story. >> thank you so much, clint watts. willie, if it were a mop-up operation that would be one thing. if you are a syria, what do you learn from syria in outside invaders, it is not going to go
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well. the same way with the other countries they're talking about, chechnyans coming up. they've seen what russians do. they're not going to want any part of that. going into a strange environment, a strange habitat with, i don't know, maybe the greatest guerilla warfare operation we have seen against a major army this side of north vietnam against the united states. >> there's a reason putin's regular allies have not rushed into ukraine aside from the rag tag group of syrian resistance fighters who aren't expected to make much of a difference. >> they're, hey, watch out, here come the belarusians. >> molly hunter is in lviv, the western part of the country. last week molly was reporting from odesa, we just told you about a minute ago. molly, good morning.
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you have traveled so widely in ukraine over the last month owe sore, i'll let you speak in a moment, particularly about odesa and the reports we saw of attacks on the facilities. >> good morning. >> reporter: that is not a surprise. we were in odesa last week and it has been on putin's wish list. you heard president zelenskyy warning about it in first weeks of the war. we went and talked to the navy there, the civilians, we estimated about half of the city has left. the other half of the city is digging in and ready to fight. the entire city looks different from lviv, sandbag, military blockades everywhere, military checkpoints at every intersection. the navy has mined a lot of the city's white sand peaches. they tell us and we couldn't see it on the days we were at the beach, the russian forces in the black sea they blockades are coming in and out on a daily
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basis just so they can see they're still there. they said they're watching for the russian forces focused on mariupol start to move to the black sea. that's when they will change their posture towards odesa. they've been ready for the last month. they've been watching mariupol closely. the sense in odesa is the attacks will be airstrikes on fuel depots, on strategic infrastructure items around the city, the center of odesa, the famed opera house, the historic center of the city, which is near to russian hearts as well as ukrainian hearts, has not been hit. i want to turn attention to bucha. we have been doing interviews with people who left bucha and we're in the middle of the interview we have gotten after the first two weeks of the war and we're waiting to hear from
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them after the last two weeks. we are waiting to hear from them more. russian soldiers moved into their yard. they could see tanks rolling in two days after the war. they said the airstrikes were constant, not every hour or 15 minutes, but a constant thudding. they were able to get out kind of the second week of march. they were the lucky ones. they had cars with full tanks of fuel but they still have friends, neighbors who are in bucha now. i think the two big points we are getting about bucha from people we are talking to and these survivors is we don't know the death toll. we have no idea. we have heard from the mayor about the mass graves but we do not know the death toll. second, are there a lot more buchas. this is what we have seen in the suburbs of kyiv, what are they doing in mariupol where we're not there to see it. >> excellent reporting from the ground. nbc's molly hunter from lviv this morning. thank you so much. >> thank you. you know, at the beginning
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of the show when jonathan threw to us, willie, he said it was a historic day for the show and it certainly is. you're in on a monday. >> yeah. >> that is historic. >> it is historic. >> we appreciate it. >> we want to thank you. i think the post is going to write something up on this. >> they should. it will be on the online edition. monday is the one day they let me out of the asylum, but i'm here for a historic show, "morning joe" goes to four hours. >> all right. still ahead on "morning joe," more from on the ground in ukraine. nbc's richard engel joins us with the latest from the battlefield. as evidence of war crimes mounts, we will talk to ukraine's chief prosecutor. she says her team has hundreds of suspects. is vladimir putin among them? >> yeah plus, the morning's top political headlines. the senate judiciary committee votes on whether to advance the
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supreme court nomination of judge ketanji brown jackson. health care reform brings barack obama to the white house. and the comeback that may soon be as sarah palin announces a run for congress. you are watching "morning joe." we will be right back. re not wog for everyone. they favor the rich and the powerful, when they should be protecting our rights and our future. our next supreme court justice needs to understand all of us, and provide equal justice for all of us. judge ketanji brown jackson has a proven record of protecting the rights of all. she will be the first black woman to serve on the highest court in the land. historic. she will be a justice for all. we gotta tell people that liberty mutual customizes car insurance so you only pay
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this is elodia. she's a recording artist.
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1 of 10 million people that wo comcast has connected, to affordable internet in the last 10 years. and this is emmanuel, a future recording artist, and one of the millions of students we're connecting throughout the next 10. through projectup, comcast is committing $1 billion so millions more students, past... and present, can continue to get the tools they need to build a future of unlimited possibilities. for those of you that don't know, will smith walked on stage during the academy awards and slapped chris rock after he made a joke about jada pinkett smith which i think is a disgraceful act that sets a terrible precedent for having to defend your wife at award shows. >> during his acceptance speech will smith said, love will make you do crazy things. know what else makes you do
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crazy things? crazy. >> chris rock has been very public about his nonverbal learning disorder, which means it is hard for him to understand nonverbal signals, sort of like how when he saw an angry will smith charging towards him and instead of moving out of the way he put both his hands behind his back, smiled and said, uh-oh. >> well, they went there on "saturday night live". >> good open. >> yeah. >> it was a really good open. is that it? are we not going to talk about it? >> no. >> we talked too much in first block, now we have to --. >> coach kay. >> this is just a tease. >> coach kay, that guy has been going as it, i didn't realize it, since 1980. he's so good everybody hated duke by 1982. he has done it the right way. >> it is a little bit like geno
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at uconn. duke has been so synonymous, you forget before 1980 they had nothing so show before that. he creates this program where the best players in the country want to come, he wins more games than anybody ever has at the men's division one level. he goes to more final fours than anyone ever has at any level. he wins a bunch of national championships, and then ends his career on saturday night losing to his arch rival north carolina, which was an extra painful way to go out, but a great celebration for north carolina fans who have not liked him for 40 years. arguably along with john wooden, the greatest basketball coach who ever lived. >> i was going to say, lamire, you have john wooden and you have coach k. there have been a lot of great college basketball coaches but those two stand by themselves. >> eh. no, he sure is. i'm one of the duke haters but
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coach k is legendary. even bobby knight and others are a step below. he loses his last home game to north carolina, depriving them of a national title. it was a great, great game and sets up a terrific final tonight. unc seems to have a lot of momentum, magic going, but kansas is the number one seed. speaking of great coaches, bill self. >> do you guys know the history? i was watching the kansas game, and i don't know why, i've been watching kansas win for years, kansas is just great. i asked myself and i'm sure i will learn on twitter in about five seconds after i ask the question, how did a school from manhattan, kansas -- >> that's kansas state. >> see, i didn't need five seconds. >> there's your answer. >> didn't even need it. but from lawrence, kansas, how did a team from kansas, let me be more general about it, become
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so dominant in basketball? do you know -- >> well, they've been at it a long time. >> they have, it is incredible. >> you could say the same about indiana, fog allen, they were there since the inception of basketball. they've been at it for a very long time and they had great coaches. bill self is a great coach. williams, who was a great coach, was there before that. they're in the echelon of duke, kansas, kentucky, that get a shot at the best players in high school every year and make a run every year. >> once you achieve a certain status, there's momentum in a good way. speaking of great programs, the women's team fell short last night, but another remarkable run. congrats to south carolina. >> boy, south carolina. >> number one all season, closed the deal last night against a team in kentucky that had been under geno and they lost last
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night to a really, really good south carolina team. >> wow. that very impressive. by the way, my dad used to drive us across country a lot and we drove through manhattan, kansas. >> okay. so you -- >> got stuck in -- >> you've been there. good. coming up, we will get back to the war in ukraine and the nato base in romania playing a major role in providing reinforcements. plus, a political moment from a big night. the ukrainian president delivers a surprise message. we will be back here with continuing coverage on "morning joe."
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martin luther king jr was killed to night in memphis, tennessee, shot in the face as he stood alone on the balcony of his hotel room. he died in a hospital an hour later. last night he said this. >> well, i don't know what will happen now. we've got some difficult days ahead, but it really doesn't matter with me now because i've been to the mountain top. >> on april 4, 1949, the north atlantic treaty was signed between france, belgium, luxembourg, the netherlands, the united kingdom, norway, denmark, italy, portugal, iceland, canada and the united states. the pact was designed to keep within the letter and spirit of the united nations charter. the treaty members realized that real peace is more than an absence of war and they teak to
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promote political and economic stability in the north atlantic area. to ensure this they are sworn to stand together against aggression, an attack against one would be an attack against all. >> wow. there are two significant moments on this day in history that have connections today's major events in ukraine and on capitol hill. 73 years before the war on ukraine, world leaders gathered in washington to form the nato alliance, and 54 years ago martin luther king jr was shot and killed in memphis, tennessee. today dr. king's vision takes another big step with a partial senate vote on the supreme court nomination of ketangi brown jackson. joining us now, historian and rogers chair and the american presidency at vanderbilt university, jon meacham. he discusses the formation of nato in the debut episode of his
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new podcast, "reflections of history," out today. also with us the host of msnbc "politics nation" president of the national network, this week civil rights leaders are brought together from across the country for convention 2022. >> why don't we go to reverend al first before we being to meachem and he ruins the whole conversation. >> no, he goes deep. >> the peruvian land act of 18 -- >> it kind of calms me. >> i know. she says, can you put on meachem, i want to go to sleep. >> you want to hear something funny? when training for the marathon i was interviewed and somebody said, what do you listen to before you run? ac/dc? and i said, i lessen to jon meacham's podcast.
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they were stunned, but somehow i crossed the finish line. >> a mindful run. >> this is mean. >> rev, let's stalk about a third historic thing that's going to happen today, that's connected actually to the anniversary of the passing of martin lugtser king. that, of course, is a vote on capitol hill. >> you know, when we see today and you and i as old baptists would say it is providential, that on the 54th anniversary of dr. king's assassination the senate judiciary committee will be voting on a black woman, which would have been unthinkable at the time of king's assassination, being nominated to the supreme court. i think that it shows that the dreamer may have been killed but the dream moves even more and more toward realization, because here is a young woman that went to public schools in miami, florida, and went all the way to harvard and now is on the precipice of going to the
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supreme court. what a lot of people, other than probably jon meacham and those of us that grew up in the movement, don't realize is when dr. king went to memphis that day, he went because he had gone a few days before for the striking garbage worker. there were those who felt king was too moderate, that disrupted the march, there was a riot and somebody was killed. he came back to prove he could do nonviolent marches. sort of like the friction of those that are far left and those that say others are too moderate, he came back in because of the militants that disrupted and that's when he was killed. people forget that this in-fighting has always happened, and that's one of the reasons why we always have our convention of the national action network the week of dr. king's assassination to remind us the goals are there. i thought about this morning what dr. king would be thinking
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about, what is going on in ukraine because he also died fighting the war in vietnam. he refused to be limited to just domestic issues. so there's a lot of thoughts that goes through our head as we watch the judge go for a confirmation this morning and remember the level dr. king brought this country to. >> yeah, jon meacham, i always thought one of your most moving podcasts was when you retold the story of that extraordinary april 3rd, 1968, speech by dr. king. it was raining outside. >> yeah. >> he didn't want to go. was it ralph abernathy who came back and said, dr. king, you have to go, the people are packed, they came out in train, they want to see you, but you look -- the words that night actually foretold what is happening today. he, like moses, you know, i may not get there with you but i have seen over the mountain top,
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and you just have got to believe this is part of what he saw. >> it is part of what he saw, and i will say this daily podcast we are doing, i wanted to call it "mika's moments" because i knew she would be so excited about it. >> there you go. >> of course. >> that didn't survive the first marketing meeting but we're working on that. >> why not? all right. >> so the theme here, and the reverend can correct me obviously, is democracy. that's what is going on obviously with this remarkable, remarkable human drama in ukraine. what is happening with the judge today and what dr. king was talking about. on the sunday before he was assassinated, so four days before, dr. king preached at washington national cathedral and he said i could never be what i ought to be until you are what you ought to be. you can never be what you ought to be until i am what i ought to be. that's the way god's universe is made. that's the way it is structured.
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he spoke of democracy as a covenant, that we have to see each other as neighbors and not as adversaries. and we should love each other. if everybody loved each other all the time jesus wouldn't have had to make the commandment. you know, you don't command someone to do something they're already doing. but what we're seeing is this ferocious and wonderful human spirit to be free, both at home in the united states in this imperfect, complicated, disputatious country and this remarkable people in europe who is standing up against an autocrat who is going down in history as a butcher. why are they standing up? they want to determine their own destiny. they don't want to be the
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subjects of a czar. >> rev, ketanji brown jackson likely will be confirmed on saturday. it will be a slim margin. we know susan collins will vote for her. thurgood marshal got 69 votes, so it is a moment for martin luther king's dream without question, a moment for history, but also a little bit of a commentary on where our politics have arrived, that it will be such a close call for a nominee so qualified. >> you know, it shows that as far as we have come to see a black woman on the precipice of going to the supreme court we have yet a long way to go. when you look at how divided the country is, when you look at how close this vote is, when you have someone overly qualified -- and i think that dr. king understood that. that's why he said in this speech that jon meacham talked about the night before, the april 3rd speech, that we have some difficult days ahead. i worked very closely with his
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son, martin iii, and he and his wife andrea and daughter will be laying a wreath at the king monument today, and we know we face difficult days, but you never make progress without struggle. frederick douglass said that. the good news though is many that are republican have said, wait a minute, we need to start turning this around. i always say to joe scarborough, that he and i who started on different poles in politics, the fact we may not agree on everything but have really bonded and worked together on things show that dr. king's dream was very possible and try to live it every day by doing it with a personal commitment toward reconciliation, because you can't become what you are fighting. >> jon meacham, your latest podcast is about the formation of nato. this is talking about just the ebbs and flows, the ebb and flow of history. >> yeah. >> nato five years ago, three
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years ago, even in 2020 was fighting for its very life. many believed if donald trump got reelected he would pull the united states out of nato, thereby making it an ineffective alliance, and many people thought close to him that nato wouldn't survive a second term. isn't history something? here we are, nato is stronger than it has been in 50 years. we remember france deciding at times they wanted to be neutral in the cold war on certain issues. here we have again, just over the past six weeks, nato becoming more relevant than it has been in our lifetime. >> it is why institutions like this matter. it is because they withstand opinions. harry truman, in the crowded
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area of the 1940s, the bombs have dropped, we enter a nuclear age, world war ii ends, the cord war immediately descends, the iron curtain descends, george marshal goes to harvard, announces the marshal plan, nato is formed, the truman doctrine, we will help those standing against the autocracy of communism. you know, it is a cliche, but cliches are cliches because they're true. mark twain once said history doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme. so the infrastructure of security, to try to -- to try to defend democratic, lower case "d", values is arguably our greatest contribution as a nation to the world. not, to connect the two stories again, that we always practice those principles at home, but we try. at our best, we try. and anybody who thinks that democracy or the constitution or
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the american republican is somehow immune to the global forces of autocracy and authoritarianism that undermine the kind of world we want only has to look at the last five years in the united states and what is happening in europe. >> for sure. >> you cannot take any of this for granted. >> no. >> really can't. jon meacham, thank you so much. you can listen to jon's new podcast, "reflections of history" wherever you get your podcast. >> i want to be clear, i was not kidding about the marathon thing. they are so good. >> maybe i'll give it a try. >> jon has that sweet chattanooga twang that eases the mind. >> sweet tea and cornbread. >> my goodness. okay. >> a little honey on top, it is really good. i'm not kidding either. mika does fall asleep to jon meachem's podcasts wherever i listen to them. one other thing, they said
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george marshal went to harvard. they have security guards, i try to go to harvard, they literally tackle me, cuff me and go, you don't belong here. >> back to tuscaloosa with you. >> i just want a tee shirt for my kids. no, you won't be doing that. >> reverend al sharpton, the national action network convention 2022 is this weekend with former secretary of state hillary clinton. >> what is the main message you want to get out this year? >> we have to fight to protect voting rights. we have to deal with gun violence and criminal justice reform. we don't have to choose one or the other. >> yeah. >> we need to find a way that we can deal with gun violence and deal with police reform at the same time. george floyd's family will be there, arbery's family will be there. because we want to bring it
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together, that's why we do it around the time of dr. king's assassination. >> all right. >> all of the luminaries will be there, including jonathan lemire. >> that's huge. >> thank you, reverend al. >> i didn't make the poster, noticed. >> not on the poster. still ahead, soviet era jets were a no-go, but the biden administration now says it will help ukraine get more tanks on the ground. >> tanks, good. former president trump appears to be putting his political power to the test. ahead, the 12 lawmakers he hopes to primary out of office. we are back in two minutes. >> lots of luck, fellow. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪
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free when you sign up. just say “try apple tv+” to get started. it's a movement. with xfinity, it's a way better way to watch. the war doesn't let us choose who survives and who stays in internal silence. our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedo. they sing to the wounded in hospital, even though hose who can't hear them, but the music will break through anyway. we defend our freedom to live, to love, to sound. on our land we are fighting russia which brings horrible silence with its bombs, the death of silence. feel the silence. with the music still today to tell our story, to tell the truth about war on the social ned works, on tv, support us in any way you can, and then peace will come.
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>> part of ukrainian president zelenskyy's surprise video address at last night's grammy awards. it comes as he is now accusing russia of genocide. images, evidence of ukrainian civilians being tortured and murdered, bodies left in the streets and thrown in mass graves. the indiscriminate killing has sparked com dem nation across the globe with the president of france, who has been trying to negotiate a peace deal, saying this morning russian authorities will have to answer for these crimes. >> which, by the way, very significant, very significant, richard haass, because obviously macron tried his best to continue keeping open channels with putin. there was -- >> it seemed like something was happening. >> there was that remarkable retelling of the last 20 years i think where macron at the end, putin says to macron, thank you for talking and we won't be speaking for a while. it is going to be much longer actually because, again, raises the question how is this man ever allowed back into the
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community of nations. >> yeah, we can sit here and have a serious conversation about what, if any, prospects there were for a negotiated outcome before the events of the last few days. that space has dramatically shrunk. >> it is much smaller. >> let's talk about it more. we have to figure out how the war ends. >> we will be talking to a president of lithuania, a nato member, and the first country of the european union to completely cut off russian gas imports. as you saw richard haass is here, the president on the council on foreign lagss. host and executive producer of "the circus" on show time, msnbc's national affairs analyst john heilemann is here. msnbc contributor mike barnicle is at the table. also with us, pentagon correspondent for "the new york times," helene cooper. good to have you all this hour. >> so we have to talk, heilman, we have a lot to talk about today but we need to talk about you first.
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>> why? >> no, we have to talk about you first. you are like a star. >> are we doing the intervention today? >> no, no, it is not -- >> i saw some guys out there with like a jacket, a straight jacket, kind of handcuffs. i thought it was for mike but it turns out it is for me. >> we do four hours, we do four hours now on ms. he does all of the hour now on show time on sunday night. he was on "billions" last night. >> what? that's interesting. >> how was it? >> it turns out actors have a hard job. no, seriously. >> no, no, seriously. >> put a script in front of you. >> coal miners have a hard job. >> i mean compared to what we do. compared to this, that was my point. >> anybody -- >> not compared to coal miners. >> seriously. >> all right. >> they have a really hard job. >> i have to say, even -- aside from having been on it, there's the '60s and they survived the departure. the show has been great.
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incredible pros there. it was really fun. >> i want to ask you a question, an ethical question. do we talk about piggy blinders now? >> no. >> because we saw it in a way americans were not supposed to see it. i have to say for those watching, when it comes to america it is really going to be worth waiting 18 years for it to get on netflix. but, wow. >> what does it mean to watch it somewhere you're not supposed to watch it? what if we had done wrong actually? >> i don't want to get into the ethics of it all. >> helped a great american technology company by purchasing its products that help us to see things that -- >> that is true. >> really quickly before we get to the news, pinkie blinders, really a huge fan. >> probably one of the only. >> and people waiting for this, talk about it briefly. finale? >> they've done six seasons. at the end of this, the finale is as good as any show i have ever seen. i think it is a pantheon
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show, it is now in the top five. >> this is going to be an interesting segue. >> yeah, i know. >> in piggy blinders. >> i know. i like it. >> i like how he tried to get the segue before you had a chance to opine, joe. >> we have a lot to talk about. why don't we begin. >> we sure did. top headlines, horrific images are emerging of what russian forces left behind after pulling back from the ukrainian capital of kyiv. we want to warn you the images are disturbing and graphic but it is what is happening now. the pictures and videos are from the town of bucha northwest of the capital. they show widespread devastation with dozens of bodies lying scattered around the city. some of the victims had their hands tied behind their backs, others reportedly had close range gunshot wounds and signs of torture. residents say russians would go
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from building to building, take people from the basements where they were hiding, check their phones for evidence of anti-russian activity before taking them away or shooting them. according to the city's mayor, around 270 local residents were buried in two mass graves and at least 40 dead bodies were left in the streets. ukrainian officials say more than 400 bodies have been found in kyiv and in the surrounding areas. willie. >> ukrainian president zelenskyy is calling this genocide, describing it as scenes from a horror movie. president zelenskyy releasing a message on social media about bucha, speaking in russian, he said, quote, i want every mother of every russian soldier to see the bodies of the killed people in bucha, in irpin, in hostomel. what did they do? why were they killed? what did the man riding his bicycle down the street do? why were ordinary civilians tortured together in an ordinary, peaceful city?
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why were women strangled after their earrings were torn out of their ears? how could women be raped and killed in front of the children? he went on, their bodies were mocked even after the death. why did they crush the bodies of people with tanks? what did the ukrainian people of bucha do to your russia. russian mothers, he said, even if you raised meagher auders, how did they also become ex kushiers. you couldn't help but know what is inside your children. you could not help but notice that they are deprived of eefrg human. no soul. no heart. they killed deliberately and with pleasure, end quote. president zelenskyy. >> really strong words. mike, the world is responding. here is the "new york post" talking about genocide. " the wall street journal" reports of atrocities, outrage. "the times" talking about it. we saw one of the best headlines
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i have seen we just put up there. worse than isis. what we're seeing here is worse than what isis did. you know, mike, a few weeks ago joe biden people were attacking joe biden for calling putin a war criminal and then for saying -- and a butcher and saying that putin mug. i understand there are diplomatic niceties we have to be careful of, trying to find an off ramp for this, but i'm not sure what other words hit him. >> the president of the united states was absolutely correct when he described vladimir putin as a war criminal and a butcher. he was absolutely correct when he stated early on that he thought that russia would invade ukraine. it was all russia would invade ukraine. he was right. my question to you, richard haass, given what we have seen, given the evidence that's been right there in front of the world's face, how is it that russia is allowed to remain as one of the 15 members of the
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united nations security council? >> look, the united nations and the security council was created as a place to talk about peace, and particularly among and between the great powers. it was never meant to be used by one against others. this was simply the dna of the institution. it is also the weakness of it. when one of the great powers, in this case russia, is in the dock the organization is feckless. what you have to do is work around it. that's why we have this informal coalition beginning with nato but other countries that are doing the sanctions, that are doing the military support for ukraine. would be day, god willing, we'll rebuild ukraine, we will deal with war criminality, we will deal with reparations and all of that. but the u.n. the security council will be something that will be irrelevant or an obstacle. >> useless. >> it is useless. look, it was useless during the
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balkan wars. during the korean war, interesting enough, the russians were boycotting. we went to the general assembly, got a united after the invasion of 1950. it was a work around the security council. that's the history of the united nations when a major power, like china now, the uighurs or something like that. you can't have a serious conversation in the security council. that's the way it works. >> what can be done in the general assembly? can you go to the general assembly and set up the safe zones like we did in sir kau? it was suggested we do that. a couple of people pushed back saying it is not possible. >> one, i'm not clear you have the votes. >> in the general assembly? >> yes, look at how much of the world is sitting on its collective hands. there's two interesting questions, whether this moves the rest of the world, more than 250 countries south of the sahara, second of all, does it get the europeans, particularly the germans to say it is going to take three years to get off our thirst for russian gas and
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if we do something faster it will hurt our economic growth. maybe the time has come to accelerate that and pay a price. look at the price the people of ukraine are paying. why couldn't the people of europe pay a price, too. >> why would anybody be against a humanitarian zone in the western part of the country? >> the question will be who will patrol it, how it will be done. look, militarily these are complicated things. i think we are talking about more than a humanitarian zone in the west. i don't think the problem here, by the way, is young russian soldiers acting without discipline. what mika described, the idea of the videoing and so forth, this suggests to me somewhere an order has come. somewhere they have said, we have got to terrorize the people of ukraine in order to break their will, in order to depop late their cities. >> exactly. >> this is not undisciplined conscripts. this is something more. >> by the way, we would love to -- i think it may be comforting to put it all on vladimir putin. i think zelenskyy asks the right
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question of russian mothers and asks the right questions of the russian soldiers. this is what russia did in aleppo. this is what russia did in chechnya. by the way, it is not even just putin. this is what stalin did. you look at the massacre, they systematically executed in 1940, systematically lined up and executed 22,000 polish officers, just lined them up and kept shooting them dead until they killed 22,000. this is what russia does, and we keep hoping for a new russia. >> right. >> that's obviously never going to happen though as long as vladimir putin is where he is and as long as the attitudes that obviously are putting him, approval ratings at 65 percent in his own country, change. >> i don't think there's anybody -- there's nothing surprising about this. there's been nothing surprising about it. he has been a war criminal for a
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long time. he used chemical weapons in aleppo, in grozny. anybody who has been a student of putin for the last 20 years would have said it is wholly predictable. yet as richard knows and everybody knows, it is incredible to see first george w. bush, i looked into putin's soul. then you are barack obama, also a light touch on him. donald trump obviously the most egregious. and then we get mad at joe biden for being the only one in that spring to say something, which you guys were saying, which is obviously true. >> honest. >> all of those things are correct. he's the first american president of the century. >> in 20 years. >> to address vladimir putin and called it as he saw it with perhaps, you know, maybe a little china, but in the end the moral clarity was the right place to be but i think it raised -- >> something that hasn't been tried. >> but it raises the question, which is often from the beginning of the war until now we said what will happen as this war progresses, it will get
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worse. as it gets worse the pressure to do more will ratchet up. the question at this point for joe biden, for the west broadly, but joe biden is the leader of the west, right? but once you have called him a butcher and basically said he must go, and there are still chemical weapons that could be used on any given day, what do we want joe biden to do about it? >> there are chemical weapons, tactical nuclear weapons. there's a certain person i saw on tv saying we don't need to worry about vladimir putin using nuclear clee weapons. we need to worry about vladimir putin using nuclear weapons. we can hold two opposite thoughts in our mind, two competing thoughts in our mind. one, he is a war criminal. two, he has more nuclear weapons than anybody else, and he will -- let me say this again for people who don't think that
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this guy is capable of doing what he is doing in ukraine, won't use tactical nuclear weapons if he feels too far backed into a corner. this is something we have to deal with. of course he is evil. he is the evil empire continues. he also has nuclear weapons. as we talk about the mass atrocities, we have to figure out, still talk about how do we get beyond this war. chances are very good unless the russian people decide to put putin out of power, which i don't think is going to happen, vladimir putin still will be in power in 2023, 2024. we will have to figure out how to deal with these two competing realities. >> well, i mean last week, you know, we had reports of an internal poll in russia that showed vladimir putin's popularity has soared. it is up to 86% in that country. president biden has said publicly that he meeting with putin told him that he thought he had no soul and that putin
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replied to him, well, at least we understand each other. he clearly does not have a soul. i think the larger issue here -- >> also, for him, unfortunately, he doesn't have an army. >> that is true. >> not a functioning army. >> that is true. they prove it every hour of each and every day. the larger issue here might be well be in terms of winding down this war, hopefully it can be done sooner rather than later, what do you do with negotiations? do you give up? do you cede an inch of territory to the russians after this? how can you do that? >> let's get to that in a minute. >> and how can there be trust in the negotiations. helene cooper, you have more on what the united states can do, what more the united states can do to help volodymyr zelenskyy as he goes through a microphone and pleads for more help, and that's what the military tanks
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will help with their movement into the ukraine. there's also a talk of the jets that are sitting out there. how did this come to be and will there be more to come? >> hi, guys. thanks for having me. this is -- president biden is under enormous pressure. the white house is certainly feeling that pressure from zelenskyy to do more to help ukraine. i think the white house is certainly very concerned about the appearance that the united states is not doing enough, and i think as sort of these horrible photo it come out over the weekend about what's been left in these areas around kyiv as the russians have withdrawn, that pressure increases. one thing that they've come up with in recent days is they're going to help poland transfer t72 tanks to russia. these are soviet era tanks.
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the u.s. has already agreed to back fill poland with american abrams, m1 abrams tanks, which are a more advanced tank. but the ukrainians know how to use the t-72. they have them themselves. an administration official who i talked to about this on friday said that part of what they're doing is getting ready for this fight to shift to the donbas. i meanwhile seeing the imagery of soviet -- of russians, sorry, of russian troops withdrawing from the areas north of kyiv, but they're not withdrawing just to go home as the pentagon has said repeatedly over the past few days. they're not returning back to their barracks. they're withdrawing in order to shift east towards the donbas region, which is the region where pro russian separatists have been fighting, backed by vladimir putin have been fighting for years, ever since
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2014 against ukraine's troops. it is interesting because you guys were talking earlier about sort of how this could end up playing in negotiations. it is so fascinating to look at how the donbas now is about to become the center of the fight, if that is indeed true. i think there's often an assumption on the part of the west that maybe that's where compromise could be, maybe putin takes these areas in eastern ukraine and leaves the rest of the country at home. but i think what that assumption doesn't take into account is the fact that ukraine has already committed so much blood and treasure over the last, you know, seven, eight years to fighting. they've lost so many soldiers already fighting to keep that region that i don't think we should assume that they will be
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willing to give -- to joe's point, one inch of territory. i don't think they would be willing to cede one inch of that territory. >> richard, that's the challenge right now. you talk to the white house, they believe zelenskyy, from their talks with zelenskyy, they believe that zelenskyy may give up some of the donbas. this was before the weekend, but not neutrality. or he will be neutral but doesn't give up an inch of land but not both. i suspect at the end it probably will look like neutrality where they could get into the eu. we could train them militarily and they are -- they're going to give up parts of the donbas. >> look, he suggested that yesterday when he was on "face the nation." he said, i have my personal feelings and i have my obligations. >> exactly. >> and he talked about borders in the east, that he might be willing to go back to where the donbas was before the recent round of fighting was, where russia had effective control of territories. >> right. for those who were listening,
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the russians control territory, the russian separatists, and putin claimed actually a greater land grab. >> absolutely. >> that probably would not happen. it probably would go back to the original -- >> i think it is critical that he is the one that has to make the choices, the question that mike asked. after what happened there's a moral issue here. he has to be the one, and he said he would probably submit it to a referendum. the people of ukraine would have to say, what price are we prepared to pay for peace. we are going to have to decide then issues of our willingness in any way down the road to relieve -- ease some sanctions, for example and so forth, if we are trying to get a larger settlement. let me just say i think even more likely on what we're talking about than a negotiation that leads to a formal outcome, bought i still have real problems imagine the most zelenskyy could offer would be enough for putin and it would work, i think the most likely outcome is an open-ended war. this becomes a new frozen conflict. russia concentrates forces in the east. >> the problem for russia with
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that is economic sanctions. putin needs the economic sanctions lifted. >> let me challenge that. wants, yes. needs, i'm not so sure. if he can continue to export gas and energy, not just to europe but parts of the world. by the way, most of the world is not participating in sanctions. the history of sanctions, as you know, joe, over time sanctions begin to weaken. people find ways of working around them. i'm not 100% convinced putin, quote, unquote, needs and feels pressure there. it might be less damaging for him to accept the sanctions than accept half a loaf, to come under criticism. i think we need to be prepared for an open-ended war where he says i want to keep ukraine off balance, i want to keep it from reconstituting itself as a successful democracy. >> let me push back on that. he understands that's going to happen now.
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you look at the people around him, he had his oligarchs, he had his intel people that he has jailed. he realizes his military people have been stealing billions of dollars, they're a third-rate military. oligarchs aren't going to be pleased. i will say this. again, people -- it is kind of like talking about dick cheney, it is a different dick cheney than i knew before the heart attack. no, it wasn't! he had 9/11 after the heart attack, and dick cheney said i'm not going to let this happen again. it wasn't a heart attack that changed dick cheney. it was 9/11 that changed dick cheney. here vladimir putin wasn't -- if you look at his decisionmaking process, to him in a cold blooded way he's very rational. you get to go into georgia. you don't really pay consequences. you get to go into crimea. you don't pay consequences. you go in ukraine, you shoot down a commercial airliner, no
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consequences. you commit horrific war crimes in aleppo. no consequences. time and time again america and the west have shown vladimir putin you will face no consequences. now we get to joe biden and now we get to a germany -- >> to ukraine. >> -- that says, enough. yeah. we get to nato that says, enough. we get to switzerland, who they were neutral in world war ii. and we get to finland and we get to sweden, suddenly this cold-hearted shark, this rational actor understands he has overstepped. i'm telling you, i think he actually is desperate to get the troops in the donbas, get the land, get some sort of neutrality agreement and call it a day. >> you may be right. here is my suggestion then and what i would tell the administration. have a two track policy. have one you have suggesting.
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let's think about how we would handle negotiations between ukraine and russia, between ourselves and russia dealing with the full set of issues. we may get to that. on the off chance i am right we have to have a second track. who do we deal with an open-ended conflict that never formally is settled, that we don't have a peace agreement that's never signed much less honored. i think we need to be prepared for both futures. i can't tell you confidently it will be one or the other. that's the universe of option. >> is there an option, helene cooper, where ukraine fights and fights until russia has been driven out? >> i think that's -- you know, i think that is -- i think all options are out there, mika. i think the war going on forever is certainly an option. the war turning into an insurgency is something that people don't talk about as much in recent weeks as they did at the beginning of this fight.
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at the beginning of the invasion, the assumption was the kyiv government and ukraine forces would hold out for a week or two and they would go underground and you would see a long insurgency that would end up driving out russia because russia really cannot occupy this country for any long period of time. it is just too big, it is too complicated, it is too hostile. but that -- people don't talk about an insurgency as much anymore because the ukrainian government has not melted away and ukrainian troops are still not only fighting but beating russian troops time and time again. they've pushed back. so the idea of ukraine fighting until it eventually is going on and on until they eventually drive out russia, yeah, i think it is a possibility. i think it is a long shot because of exactly the sort of
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discussion you were having earlier about some of the other weapons that vladimir putin has and his willingness to inflict all sorts of -- all kinds of harm on a civilian population, his lack of caring about how many people he is hurting. so as long as he has got, you know, some sort of nuclear or weapons that he has, chemical weapons that he has, and, more importantly, as long as the west thinks he may be capable of using this type of stuff, you could see this going on for much longer. >> we talked about georgia, we talked about chechnya, we talked about aleppo. he did these things and he actually benefited because he did these things. >> yeah. >> it is not happening now. it is not going to happen -- >> actual consequences. >> did thing is he has a land bridge right now, but even he understands he won't be able to hold that land bridge. they've retreated from kyiv. >> yeah. >> so, again, what is
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sustainable for putin and what is sustainable for putin is figuring out what you can put your stakes around and have zelenskyy take. >> what rich was talking about and what the west needs to prepare for, and one option was very unpalatable deal in which putin gets some land or some new neutrality or maybe a long war. all i know having spent time in poland and in estonia and having talked to students of putin is that all of the ones most pessimistic or most machiavellian in their assessment turn out to be right over time. all of them say is what you need to prepare for is whatever the ending is, it is not really the ending, which is to say putin is still playing for 2024 and a different president who is not such a backer of nato. >> right. >> what is the place where he retrenches to to bide his time
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until the possibility that the strength of nato that we've seen over the course of the last month or so could be undermined whether it is a donald trump who gets back into office or somebody else who comes in and is not the joe biden who has been so four square on keeping nato together. putin wants ukraine is what those people would tell you and he wants more than ukraine and he is willing to retreat to the donbas and wait or fight a continuing war that leaves him into position to advance once the west buckles, which he assumes is going to happen, if not in the next six weeks, in the next six months, in 2024 when another president takes over. >> another way nato is undermined is if ukraine says, okay, we won't join it. they have an open door policy. if ukraine agrees to that, isn't that undermining the --? you can imagine an american president not as committed to nato. donald trump is one obvious one.
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if you listen to a lot of republicans, we have heard a lot of those who want -- >> i have to say you go back and you look at the trump administration, and i think richard would confirm this, the president said the most ridiculous things, the most shocking things about vladimir putin, the most horrifying things about vladimir putin, and yet the republican congress passed really tough sanctions. tough sanctions that donald trump opposed. no, i think other than -- other than a few in the republican senate, the republican senate has been hawkish towards donald trump. i think toward vladimir putin. so unless -- >> but it is the case that trump told bolton if he got reelected he was going to pull out of nato. >> that's fine. this is all very dynamic. we are in 2022. this is a different world. i mean even idiots on cable news talking about how much they love vladimir putin and don't understand why you can't support
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vladimir putin can't say that anymore. it is a new dynamic world. richard, i would just say that the way the peace holds is if you can -- if you can give putin the donbas. if there's a, quote, neutrality that allows ukraine to go into the eu but obviously the united states and napt owe will be supplying them with weapons and training to make sure they can defend themselves in the future, then putin understands if there's a he is situation of the bombing, if the attacking of civilians, then we lift sanctions. how does that look? we will lift a certain sanction if you do this. we will lift another sanction if you do that, where there's incentives for the sanctions to be lifted? >> look, as crazy as it sounds that's the optimistic course. what you just laid out, there's a deal and almost an inner circle of agreements about the disposition of ukraine -- >> i think it is the only way forward. >> okay. then you have the disposition of
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russia. just imagine the conversation about any easing of sanctions. do you have to ease sanctions to give russia the money to pay reparations? what about war crimes? i'm just saying it will be wildly controversy because it is to me the most optimistic scenario. think about it. if putin -- he is a pre-soviet leader. he is worried about being seen as weak. >> that's right. >> what he may decide, rather than signing up to an agreement where he gets half a loaf no matter how i tries to dress is it up, this is what i wanted all along, it may be risky for him to hold out and play the long game. i'm not predicting it. it is simply a possibility. >> and we have to bring it up. there are members in congress, i'm sure there are members in the military that don't mind if this war drags on because the longer the war drags on, the more it looks like a spanish armada crashing against the rocks and an entire army is
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destroyed. the longer this goes on, the more russian tanks are blown up, the more russian troops are killed. i'm sure there are people hoping putin will be stubborn. >> but think about putin for a second. think about who he is. think about the things he does not have to worry about that an american president or the british prime minister would have to worry about. he doesn't have to worry about politics. he doesn't have to worry about casualty counts. it might concern him but he doesn't have to worry about them because there's no elections. he doesn't have to stand for reelection. putin personally has not been hurt at all i would bet by the sanctions. he is living still pretty well and the people around him are okay. he has a problem with his army. in his mind what he is thinking is what he is seeing, what he has witnessed and one of the things he has witnessed was in august of 2014 in the united states of america when we put down a red line that if he uses
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chemical weapons in syria, don't cross that red line or you will pay the price. well, he crossed that red line and he paid no price, and you just mentioned a few moments ago the number of times he has not had to pay a price. >> he never had to pay. he is having to pay now. so we see how he respond to that. >> his army has been paying a price. >> do up know how -- i mean this is so deeply humiliating for him, to have ukrainians slaughter -- i mean they are retreating -- >> does he know? >> yes! they are retreating from kyiv. >> i'm not sure he does. >> by the way, as we saw from clint, they can't even retreat well. they're just running for the exits. there's no discipline in his ranks. this has been his major objective, which is, helene, the major objective for vladimir putin has been after georgia, it
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was a sloppy effort on the arm's party, he was going to rebuild the army. here we are 14 years later and it is an absolute mess. it is a human asian. this was putin's grand project. >> it is abysmal when you look at it. the expectation was that the russian military had undergone this 20-year modernization project. it was now no longer the old soviet military, but that we have now found out is not the truth. it is still very extremely topped out. we had a story last week reporting that the russian mill stare is -- this war is being run out of moscow, not even -- there's no battlefield commander. the orders are coming from the defense minister and vladimir putin himself. you cannot run this kind of war
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from that far away because that -- we've seen it on the battlefield. we have seen how the russian troops are not able to adapt very quickly to the situation on the ground. when they sent in, for instance, i mean stuff that's as basic as when they sent in their tank units they sent in enough troops to shoot the tanks but they don't send enough troops to protect the tanks. as an american tank unit deploys or an artillery unit, they're going to make sure they are surrounding their palladins or whatever and protecting it but the ukrainians have been able to come in and pick off the russian tanks because the ukrainians have been very, very nimble. i could go on for hours about all of the mistakes of the
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military that is disgraceful. it is hard to imagine that vladimir putin is not seeing this. mika, i think you are right that he is not being fully informed by his defense mind tremendous and military commanders of everything that's going on the feel and how badly they are performing, but he is aware of the fact they didn't make it into kyiv. he's aware of the fact that the fight in mariupol, he's aware of the fact that instead of being able to take these cities they've tried to take, they've been forced to reduce them to trouble by airstrikes. he is aware of the fact his convoy sat there for weeks, unable to move to resupply or anything like that. so it has been a dismal -- and i think you touched on something that's quite -- that was quite evidence fairly early on in this
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conflict, which is that the only thing right now remaining that scares people about russia is the -- about the russian military is the fact that they have very scary weapons of mass destruction. but as a battlefield military, this has to give russia's enemies -- they have to feel much more emboldened after seeing the performance that they've seen on the ground over the past five weeks. >> yeah, when you have balkan states going, we're good. you know they've underperformed. final thoughts, richard? and let's make sure they're really deep thoughts. no pressure. >> or not. >> deep thoughts, richard haass. >> two or three things. one is that all of these atrocities are further evidence putin is not a military man. it is interesting, you know, how many of the retired generals are offended by this. this is not what professional
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militaries do. it is yet another reminder putin is an intelligence guy, not a military guy. you know, the conversation we've been having and how it is likely to play out, we can design a negotiation. the history of negotiations though is not simply about the formula. it is always about the ant and willingness of the parties to agree. putin has the ability if he wants to make a deal. i think the question is his willingness. is he better off getting half a loaf, the degree of sanctions, but he has accepted loss than a lot of people assumed he wanted including kyiv getting rid of zelenskyy. i think that's the biggest question. zelenskyy is willing to make a deal. the question is what he is prepared enough for putin. he is so worried about the russian history. the czar who looks weak is vulnerable. lastly, we are going to have to
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have some very difficult conversations about what we are prepared to promise in the midst of these pictures we have seen, these atrocities, the idea we would ever do business with this guy again is anathema. >> ever. >> but, but, but regime change is a wish, not a policy. we have to think about do we have to make a deal with the devil if we want to get an end -- >> we have done it before. >> joe stalin killed 4 million ukrainians. joe stalin killed probably 20 million russians. he went into a nonaggression pact with hitler. we have done it before. >> we may have to be prepared and that's something we may be inching up to. again, we can't be more pure than ukraine. >> i was going to say. >> if zelenskyy is willing to cut a deal, we have to think about what principles we are willing to compromise. we can't be more pure than he is. he and his people are paying a
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bigger price than we are. we have to respect that. >> i was going to say, what we do, i mean foremost in our mind has to be what is in the best interests of ukraine. what is in the best interests of the ukraine people, the best way to eliminate european suffering. >> richard haas, helene cooper, thank you very much for being on this morning. coming up, is donald trump losing his sway in the republican party? the critical comments from a gop governor that good cheers from an a-list washington crowd. plus, the latest -- >> i really can't believe what he said and we can't repeat it here. >> it is crazy. >> sununu. >> yeah. >> oh, my god, there's no way -- >> it is a tease. >> we can't repeat what he said, it is so rough. >> can i say it? >> later. >> later, when we are off air. plus, the latest from the january 6th committee and what investigators are saying about the suspicious seven-hour gap in
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the former president's phone records. later, the chair of the senate judiciary committee, majority whip dick durbin joins us as the panel prepares to vote today on judge ketanji brown jackson's nomination to the supreme court. "morning joe" is back in just a moment.
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♪♪ 47 past the hour. a live look at the white house. a beautiful day in washington. a washington a-list dinner party may be giving the clearest signal yet that establishment republicans are no longer afraid of donald trump. the grid iron dinner is a century-old gathering of politicians, journalists and elites where speakers take turns roasting each other, similar to
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the white house correspondents dinner. and at the dinner new hampshire's republican governor, chris sununu, took on former president trump using profanity. sununu called the former president crazy, to laughter and applause, and notably, no booing. quote, i don't think he's so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution, but i think if he were in one he ain't getting out. meanwhile, donald trump over the weekend traveled to michigan, his latest on a string of rallies around the country. he is not only promoting his own potential 2024 presidential run, he's also taking on a number of republican incumbents running for reelection this year who he sees as opposition to his own power. nbc news correspondent vaughn hillyard joins us with more on trump's republican targets. you were there. >> yes. >> how did it go? >> this is a string of rallies he is holding now. one week ago he was in georgia. he was in south carolina.
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>> how is the turnout? >> it suggests -- i mean we are talking more than 10,000 people. >> objection. okay. there you go. >> to suggest his influence has diminished in the party would be willful ignorance. one week ago he was in georgia, two weeks ago in south carolina. why these states? there's races he is interested in. in south carolina trying to take down rice. georgia, brad raffensperger, brian kemp. michigan, pete upton. these are the gop incumbents trump has backed primary challengers against here. why is this significant? he's putting his own political capital on the line like we have never seen him willfully do. the only two times he has done this prior was in 2018 in the mark sanford race and in the chris coback race in which he backed primary challengers. what does it mean? over the next four months i think we will get a good taste how potent his influence is. >> by the way, by the way those
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two that you mentioned, they lost. >> in the general election? >> in the general election. >> you're right. which is exactly the argument fred upton in michigan makes here. he goes, i have been representing my district more than 30 years. you have the potential of losing the with me here. but i think we have part of an interview. because we sat down last week with tom rice and said i voted with president trump 94% of the time but ultimately he voted for impeachment. i think we've got part of an interview with upton and with rice. >> >> it doesn't have anything to do with republican ideals. it is trump demands absolute loyalty. that is what he's about. donald trump's policies, i believe, lifted american families. i think he was a consequential president. but if he attacks a constitution, if he's wrong, i'm going to -- going to vote against it and i'm going to
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fight that. >> he sees you as an opposition force within the republican party. >> trump is driven by a few things. he's driven by recognition. he wants to be recognized. he's driven by power and revenge. of anybody i've ever met, he's the most spiteful, vengeful person i've ever met. >> are you concerned about a consolidation the power? >> the way our constitution was designed is to prevent power from being consolidated. >> my message is, i'm not a rubber stamp. if you want that, you got the wrong guy. nobody has produced any evidence at all that in fact the election was fraudulent, and overturned what other wise was an election that was certified by literally every single county clerk whether they be republican or democrat. >> does your ability to win the general election matter as much
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to trump as your loyalty to him. >> probably doesn't. probably doesn't mean much to him. but he's a little bit on a scorched earth path. >> if you wip this race, what message is sent to the former president. >> that he's not as strong as he might have thought that he was. >> you are right. this is the first time trump's really put it out on the line. i mean he's -- i always remember when he'd say something and get a spattering of boos from the crowd. he would immediately back up. but here he's going after people. for instance, brian kemp. he's doing extraordinarily well right now. i know it is still early. but you look at liz cheney, liz is not concerned. she's just not concerned. she knows it is tough and tight. but he's taking -- look at fred upton. i served with fred. he knows how to win elections. >> and next may is that georgia primary. there is another one, west virginia next month.
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we may be having the conversation that trump is throwing up l's and if he can't back 500 over the next four months, mike pence, ron desantis again to stand up and like joni ernst. >> all of trumps a power has been about power and fear. the trump base will turn against you and you'll get primary, this is what every establishment republican said for four years, in private, i can't go against trump, his people are too loyal and i'll get primaried and i'll lose. and if he gets to georgia, he goes down there and tries to get kemp out there. fails on that. as it looks like, there is still some time. but purdue a long shot in that race at this point. and herschel walker, now the party down there is going, the guy has this domestic violence history. we have to get him out of there. trump could fall on his face on
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two big fronts on the states that matters most to him and if that get punctured, the ability to be a king-maker within the republican party and this get punctured, i don't think this is a message of who runs against him, it is the wizard of oz. he is no longer the man behind the curtain. he is paper tiger and that could break his power over the party and you could see it this year. >> and vaughn, you mentioned he's spending his political capital. if he spending the enormous sums of money that he raised since he left the presidency on any of the candidates. >> there is $110 million he has in the bank here. he didn't spend it on mo brooks and he pulls the endorsement because there could be a loss in the standings for him there. kerry lake, there is another candidate who is spending millions of dollars, the question is at what point does
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trump try to invest in some of the races because we're talking about power and influence. if his influence wanes, what happens to that. >> when will he start to spend money on someone else's behalf. the question answers itself. >> zero. so before you go, sarah palin, again. >> yes, i talked to a long time aide and friend the hers over the weekend. she's jumping into the face to phil done young's seat here but she's one of 51 candidates. she is also looking to run for a full term. but, look, she was endorsed by donald trump just last flight in a lot of ways that adviser was telling me, look, sarah palin was donald trump before donald trump. essentially he co-opted the tea party to turn it into the republican party. >> we have to take this show to anchorage. the top four vote getters then compete in a special open
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general election in august to fill the don young seat. on that same day is the other open primary for the general election. it is like the -- it is one of the great go roedy -- rodeos of the party. >> we'll send mike to juneau. >> and you talk about sarah palin was trump before, it is very interesting, sarah palin in 2010 could go no wrong. nikki haley was in fourth place. and mika and i did a debate down there. she was in fourth place. sarah palin comes in and endorses her and she wins and that is a story. two years later, it was gone. and that is the problem with these type of figures. they're hot until the second they're not. and then, man, the party moves on ruthlessly. >> i want mika's psychological
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insight on this. how much do you think sarah palin is getting into this, the fact that she's annoyed by the marjorie taylor greene and the lauren bob erts and those spawn taking up all of the coverage and they've forgotten about sarah palin. >> vaughn hillyard, thank you very much. all right. so okay, we're going to do a little been you're going to major match this weekend. is this why roger is on today. >> let's just -- i'm not sure if i'm not or not. and the soccer has team has finally learned the world cup opponents. team usa path goes through england, iran and maybe even ukraine. that is not good. let's bring in right now nbc sports soccer analyst roger bennett, author of the best-selling book, reborn in the u.s. an englishman's love letter to his chosen home. usa, it looks like what year was
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it that mika tipped over the table. >> i did. >> in england. i think 2010. >> every year. but the will cut was 2010 and now, know, the 2020 world cup just 231 days away. friday the draw made for the tournament. which absurdly controversially cravenly will be held in qatar. and as you say, united states made it this time, four teams in the group stage. all for england and iran and in 1998 and which we lost and then out of wales and the english newspaper has responded from startling overconfidence. what a headline on saturday was yankee doddle dandy which is general john beg oin levels, it will played on friday after the
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thanksgiving -- we'll give the english a cruising and a bruising, i can't think of a historical moment when it doesn't have the spirit of the united states of america. can you? >> no, i can't. let's talk about the premier league, man city setting up a super bowl of premier league soccer next week in manchester? >> good lord, the premier league returned to our loving arms in weekend. first up boston red sox and they face watford and then they plat fords, watford has the first clear-cut chance of a game. they broke through a cumbersome restly little bat line but costco was smothered by the hand some allison who said you can't have it all, and then liverpool charged down field, a pop out of
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a worm hole in space and time, right in front of the goalkeeper. not at home. football joke. it is like life in the sudden reversal of fort june. but liverpool went 2-nil. they went top for two minutes as manchester city were yet to play. trotted out against burnley. and they hold out for all of four minutes 41 seconds. and look at this. ginger king is like as if conan o'brien and lucille ball had a belgium baby. eight games to go. next sunday, one last note, chelsea in the process of being sold by roman ab romovich smashed at home by brentford, winning goal scored by erickson, who has come back from on field cardiac arrest this summer.
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this is a man who looked death in the eye and become tran sentient and it is magnificent to witness. >> and there you go. roger bennett, thank you as always. it is great to have you on the show. it is now the top of the hour. we continue to follow the civilian massacre in bucha, ukraine accuses russian forces of rape, torture and murder. war crimes as they were treated from the area. images of battered bodies lying in the streets and in shallow graves. this morning sparking international condemnation and disgust. the president of ukraine calls it genocide. coming up, we'll talk to the country's chief prosecutors about plans to hold the kremlin accountable. that is in our 9:00 a.m. hour of "morning joe." through is now talk of more sanctions. germany's defense minister said it is time to ban russian gas imports we'll talk to the president of lith yuainia who
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announce plan to take that bold step. and that is a bold tep and perhaps more of that would really have an impact on russia. >> it is a bold step. and you look at what is happening and, mike, again, it seems, and we're going to be talking to yet another nato member, it does seem that the united states has played this very well. joe biden has played it very well. not getting too far ahead of our nato allies. an the fact that we're still shoulder to shoulder six weeks in is remarkable. >> president biden pulled this thing together. the strengthening of nato. nato as a unified force. and in doing it, if you recall reading about it, it was never his name branded on this effort. it was always acceding something to the heads of various governments within nato. which was a very smart thing to do. and now, especially the
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countries that border russia, they're living each and every day look at what is happening in the ukraine, which is absolutely one of the more phenomenal human stories of the last 40, 50 years, 75 years since world war 2, a single nation confronting russia, successfully thus far. but they're looking at that and looking at what has happened in ukraine. i think we'll find out with a sense of foreboding, russia is next door to us. what is going to happen next. >> and i think it is interesting, when i was in astonia when biden announced that the u.s. would do its oil embargo and you knew europe wouldn't go along and begin the u.s. can't have that much impact because it doesn't use that much russian energy, was it worth doing if it wasn't all nato. all of the sanctions have been nato together and here is one thing biden doing unilaterally and now that lithuainy is going that direction.
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but biden said i'm going to go out and pay a political price and try to lead by example rather than just wait for all of europe to be on the same page which won't happen with energy. but on every zaj he's done this with both strength and care. >> newspapers are covered with photographs of mass graves and reports of atrocities committed in the city of bucha, which is just northwest of the capital city of kyiv. and nbc correspondent richard engle has details. >> reporter: when russian troops pulled out of the kyiv suburb of bucha, they peeled back the curtains of the horrors. bodies of civilians lie in the treats, with hands tied with their hands behind their backs shot execution-style. the mayor said 270 civilians were buried in two mass graves. ukraine's presidential office said women showed signs of rape.
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ukraine accused russia of war crimes and called for an international investigation. russia deny it all saying ukraine stages the scene in bucha, it is not only here. in other towns we visited occupied by russian soldiers, the accounts are consistent. suggesting russian kidnapping and torture and murder and rape are more widespread. outside of kharkiv, he said he was held by russian troops for three days an beaten until he escaped while his captors came under fire. >> how were they treating you? what were they saying to you so, what there we doing. >> they said i was a ukrainian nationalist. they promised to shoot my legs and a few times they lined me up and said they could kill me but shot over my head. in a nearby village, russian troops are said to have raped a girl and slashed her face. the account confirmed by a human rights group. in a hospital a few miles away,
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alena, said russian soldiers shot her on a bus full of civilians an killed eight passengers and then stole their money. on the edge of kharkiv, igor, a sergeant, is on the front lines defending city. the troops here are preparing for a new russian salt in the east. now that russian forces are pulling back from around kyiv. and they say the growing evidence of russian abuses only makes them more determined to fight. >> we are ready. behind my back, my city. in the city, my family. my mother and father. my wife and daughter. i will do everything, what i needed to stop them here. >> that are the stakes for the ukrainian military. richard engle reporting for us there. as russian forces struggle in ukraine, the rest of europe is anxiously anticipating vladimir putin's next move. especially true with lithuania
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who shares a border with russia and belarus. but the government there took a historic step over the weekend, becoming the first european union member to fully cut ties with russian gas. joining us now, the president of lithuania, gittanas fasuseda. we've heard so much reluctance across europe saying we cannot immediately cut ties with russia over oil and gas because of what it would do to our own economy, we have to wean ourselves off if at all. how difficult of a decision was it for you? >> good morning. yes, this decision and historically we have even larger alliance dependence on the russian energy resources. since gaining our independence, they're highly exposed to
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russian energy resources, russian energy imports. but ten or even more years before they just realized that we shouldn't have any illusions regarding russia. so we have to do everything in order to make our alliance on russian energy resources less every year. so this was the reason why the tab lished lng terminal in our port city, we implemented very important energy infrastructure projects to be forward and in the baltic states and baltic electricity link to sweden. so this is the reason why nowadays -- lithuania is willing to tie in the energy sector and then other countries will
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follow. so we want to show the example if you want, you are able. and this is possible. look, friends, you can do the same. and i hope that other countries will follow our example and as you know, other baltic countries immediately joined our efforts and now the -- we are not to buy the russian natural gas any more. and we are putting the efforts to reduce our dependency on energy sectors too. >> and you're on the leading edge of this. and we'll see if other countries follow suit. what are the risks that you're taking by doing this? immediate risks. you do share a border with russia and share a border with belarus. what do you see as the potential risk of taking this step? >> we are facing the same as all of europe is facing. and those threats are not only of energy nature or energy
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blackmailing nature. the rest are military and lithuania is sandwiched between heavily militarized region which belongs to russia and belarus. and belarus is -- was a -- the part of russian federation, too. so those both countries are heavily militarized as i mentioned. they see a lot of military equipment there. missiles systems, troops, so this is a reason why we have to react and we are doing our own work to increase our defense spending. we increased it up to 2.5% of gdp this year and we are committing to increase it in next years too. but we also addressed nato in
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order just to pay more attention to the eastern flank of nato. and this is very important, that we have not do divide nato alies in different security. this nato as a whole saw that security of nato should be provided by 100%. so this is a reason why we need not only a rhetorics, we need deployment of military forces and this is happening right now. we have the positive decisions by many alliance, united states, germany which is leading here, the presence in lithuania and i know the same decisions they take in we are taking in are our baltic neighbors too. so we think we have to build the defense here in this part of europe and then it will serve as
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a best deterrence factor for russia. >> mr. president, in vladimir putin, you have a dangerous and very lethal neighbor. and the world has witnessed the savagery of what vladimir putin spawns in ukraine. do you have any worries about russia encroaching upon your country and in your experience with putin, do you think there is anything that could make him stop? >> i think, you know, first of all, we do not have any illusions regarding putin's regime. and we are absolutely assured that if putin does succeed in ukraine, that there will be more targets. and probably he will try to implement this -- his dream to re-establish soviet union in one or another shape.
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so this is a reason why we are ready to defend ourselves. but i think that most important -- the most important factor is the success of military fight of ukrainians in ukraine. if russia though fail in ukraine, of course it will be the best instrument, the best leverage to stop it. and probably the highest priority for every one of us is to stop putin in ukraine. because if he will not be topped there, he will look for other targets and those targets mot might not only be baltic countries, i think majority of european countries. >> lithuanian president, thank you so much for being on the show this morning. we appreciate it.
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and as the war rages on, thousands of ukrainian civilians have taken up arms to protect their country. joining us now former investment adviser to the prime minister of ukraine, daniel billac. he's volunteering and is on the ground in kyiv. and daniel, welcome to show. i know you had choices. you could have left and your choice was to stay and to fight. tell us what you're seeing? >> well thank you very much for having me. as you could tell from my accident, i was in born in a western ukrainian village called toronto. and i've stayed here because this is where my family is, my younger children, my wife, my home. i've worked to build this country for 30 years. and there is no reason, i dew point see any reason why
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somebody else should defend what i believe in. >> and the ukrainian territorial defense forces that you're working among, tell us how they're doing. there are reports of fighting back hard. but what are you witnessing on the ground? >> well, look, the territorial defense forces were started in january of this year. ab they were set up in order to basically create a total resistance to russian aggression, to get beyond the kind of mobilization of reserves that we see going on in russia today. but i'm telling you, the horrific events of the last two days have just proven how much ukrainians need to have total resistance and how much the territorial defense forces need and continue to be inter grated with the regular army and with the special forces. i mean, what we've witnessed in
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bucha, irpin and you're going to see it in mariupol and chernive and kharkiv, is just beasty brutality. it is incomprehensibly barbaric. but this is nothing new. this is how the russian army has always fought. and the problem is that the sensitivities in the west are such that people have become desense tied. we can't -- we can't pre-judge things. we need evidence, et cetera. here is your evidence. this is ukraine sub neatsa. that's guys are out of gas n grub and guts. they don't want to fight. they don't know how to fight and we've defeat them on the ground but we cannot deliver the final blow until we get them out of
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the air and this is where we need more help from nato. i don't know what else has to happen for nato to take a more robust posture in ukraine. i get all of the arguments about nuke weapons, nuclear weapons, putin knows all he has to say is nuke war and everybody goes oh, my god. he's booing to use weapons and then he seizes more territory. and this -- this is really something that you either have the courage of your convictions and you tep up and you provide the humanitarian assistance that ukraines need and the military assistance that ukraine needs. as president of lithuania just said and wesley clark on another channel said yesterday, you stop -- you need to stop putin in ukraine. and that means we need to get whatever we need. >> mr. billac, first of all, enormous respect for staying and fighting and continuing to serve the country where you've lived and served for 30 years. let' be specific about what you
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think nato ought to do here. we've been reporting about what is happening not far from your where sitting in the suburb of bucha. horrifying war crimes without question. so what would you like to see nato do? they've obviously, president biden would say, we're giving weapons, we crippled the russian economy with sanctions, what do you need on the ground there? >> well, i mean, we need lots of things. we need the weapons that ukrainians are asking for and we need the migs that for some reason the pentagon feels we don't need. these are migs that are fighter aircraft that are stationed in eastern european nato countries. we need surface-to-air missiles. there is a whole list. everybody has got it. and their still dithering. and people are dying. and this is -- it's really, you either have moral clarity around
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what needs to be done, or you start to have culpability for the consequences of your inaction. and every day that we don't get what we need in order to defeat this horrific enemy, this mortar, then you have the blood of children and innocent people on the hands of the decision-makers that make those decisions. i don't understand why nato doesn't come in and create a humanitarian corridor in some of the places like chernive into the west. why aren't nato warships in the sea, where mines are floating on to the shores of nato countries. romania, bulgaria and turkey. why is there no presence of nato warships off the coast of ukraine. i mean, i keep hearing a thousand reasons why something can't happen. i would like to hear from nato, what can happen. what are they going to do. how are you doing to stop this
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atrocity? because if you don't stop him, if we don't top him here, he's go coming after you and he's not making this up. he sees poland and baltics as the next target. an miest fear is that the west will stand by and fight putin down to the last ukrainian and that would just be a horrifically unjust outcome for the suffering and the sacrifice that ukrainianss have made for freedom. they have shown the west that freedom is not free. it comes at a cost. and it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees and this is a war of annihilation. it is a war of extermination. these people would are slotered in bucha, in irpin and others were killed because they were ukrainians. that is the definition of genocide. no other reasons. >> daniel billac, thank you for being on the show. and thank you for your braverier. he's former chief investment
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adviser to the prime minister of ukraine. now volunteering as a member of ukraine's territorial defense force. thank you very much. and still ahead on "morning joe," we take a look at what could be coming next from russian forces as troop as peer to be re treating from areas around kyiv. into plus, judge ketanji brown jackson nomination moves forward today and the time line for her expected confirmation to the high courtch and disney is caught up in a culture war. conservatives are calling for a boycott amid employee protests over a controversial new law and now florida's governor is threatening to take away disney's special status in the state. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. after switching to the farmer's dog we noticed so many improvements in remi's health. his allergies were going away
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according to a "new york times" report, russia's pullback from kyiv appears to be real. officials and analysts say the retreat may show signs that moscow's initial strategy has stalled in the face of grave planning failures, logistical problems and ukrainian resistance. the new analysis comes after pentagon and nato officials had raised doubts about the russian withdrawal. arguing that it could be just a repositioning of forces or a chance to refit and resupply forces. >> no. that looks like a sloppy reposition. >> away from ukrainian attacks. joining us now at the big board, national security analyst and msnbc clint wats. we'll start with you. where are the russians right now. >> remarkable turn around in the last three weeks. when we look here, it was all red two weeks ago. what do we see now. we see light blue. where the ukrainians have conducted counter offensive and taken back territory. i'm going to start in around
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kyiv. and this is what we're tack ug about this morning. in the suburbs here, when you look out to the northwest, this is where we're finding evidence of war crimes in around bucha, some of these territories. essentially what the ukrainians were able to do, ten days ago, we were tarking about mark eve, they were able to launch a counter attack and that left these russian troops here exposed. essentially they could have been cut off. and what you're finding now and hearing the story of lost russian units or individual soldiers, they are left in these suburbs right here fighting off against ukrainian military. separately, what i want to say is when you watch the russian withdrawal, imagine an organized one would be three or four units, two would continue to fight forward like this and one would re treat. they're not even successfully pulling this off. this entire unit here, this is the convoy stuck in week one and two, they've been a disaster on the battlefield and chewed up by the ukrainian military and we're having the same thing happening
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here out the to east by brefary, where they are pushing through and russian armor are trying to screech back to the border to safe harbor. when you pull it back to the bigger picture, this is what we're talking about today. over here in and around kyiv, troops moving back up to belarus, essentially to be prepositioned down here in kharkiv, this eastern front. now in the eastern front here, a key battle that we're watching over the weekend, the russians claimed that they have taken this area of izum. they're goal is to link up forces in the east. once they have though northwestern access and this one in the southeast linked up, they could un fight around this broader area known at the donbas here. vladimir putin said in the very beginning, his reason for going in, which was essentially a lie, it was a foil, was to take this area here in the east. well we also see is the russians essentially digging in these positions down here in the
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south. rather than trying and take places like mykolaiv, they're meeting resistance and so they're setting up defensive positions. mariupol is where we're watching the humanitarian disaster and the corridor they're trying to establish but the big picture takeaway is you'll find that ukrainians will continue to take places up in the north. would you not be surprised, we're talking about bucha and war crimes today, there might be a half a dozen buchas within the next weeks and so i think the question for the ukrainian military is can they continue the fight and the counter offensive and push russia back. the last thing i would add is there are lots of reports of russian soldiers deserting and refusing to fight. i would be shocked if these units here that fought in and around kyiv so poorly when repositioned dismantled and put in other unit are going to be fighting a ukrainian military on the upswing. i'm not convinced that vladimir putin strategy has gone from do i want to lose everywhere or do
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i want to win somewhere, essentially in the east. i'm not sure he could even pull this off at this point. >> clint wats, thank you very much. and coming up. judge ketanji brown jackson is poised to take another step closer to the u.s. supreme court. the chairman of the judiciary committee senator dick durbin joins the conversation straight ahead. "morning joe" is back in a moment. you're never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your discover card. inner voice (design studio owner): i'm over here waiting... ... looking intensely for a print that i never actually printed... ... so i don't have to deal with that terrifying pile of invoices. intuit quickbooks helps you easily send your first invoice
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or, ask how to get up to an $800 prepaid card. there is more fallout this morning over a florida's controversial new law that critics had called the don't say gay bill. governor ron desantis is latching out at disney, one of
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the biggest drivers of tourism over the company's opposition to the law. nbc's kerry sanders reports. >> reporter: it morning the so-called happiest place on earth plunging into the middle of a culture war. florida's republican governor desantis targeting disney, the state's largest single sight employer. >> the mayor treated on a pedestal and they are feeted different than anybody else. now in the legislature you see a movement to re-evaluate those privileges. >> reporter: the governor angered over the don't say gayla. it bans classroom discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. in a statement, disney said our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed in the legislature or struck down in the courts. now, in a response, desantis is suggesting a repeal of a special
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zaft that created a self-governing district around the miles encompassing disney world, an area twice the side of manhattan. as a result disney has its own security force and building zoning and fire departments. this dispute comes after protests and a walkout by some disney cast members when the company did little to oppose a bill before it was signed. disney ceo apologizing to employees last month in a letter writing sh you needed to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and i let you down. as for the escalating feud, maryland's republican governor criticizing desantis calling it a crazy fight. >> we have a thing called freedom of speech. >> and some democrats warning of a fight with disney is bat business. >> i would never pick a fight
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with mickey mouse or try and destroy the happiest place on earth. >> that was nbc's kerry sanders reporting. and still ahead. >> just can't get over how fantastic you look. >> oh, really? >> oh, yeah. this takes 20 years off. >> and it was all done by laser. i don't even need bandages. >> look at the ass man. >> did he say ass man in. >> oh, yeah. >> oh, my goodness. >> oh, yeah, the ass man is in town. >> you got that right. >> i never dreamed it could make such a difference. >> remembering actress estel harris who passed away over the weekend. "morning joe" is back in a moment.
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now to the extraordinary life of actress estel harris who died over the weekend at age of 93. here is nbc's ann thompson. >> hello. >> it was her voice. >> georgie is getting married. >> what? >> georgie is getting paried. >> that made her so memorable on "seinfeld". >> playing george's mother in just 27 episodes. >> i go out for a quart of milk and i come home finding my son treating his body like an amusement park. >> and that voice and timing like when she found her husband trying on the bro. >> oh, my god. >> the seinfeld cast including julia louis dreyfus and jason alexander expressing their love on twitter.
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alexander writing, the joy of playing with her and relishing her glorious laughter was a treat. many children will know harris from the toy story movies. she voiced mrs. potato head. >> it is so nice to have a big, strong spud around the house. >> and lit up scenes as muriel on the popular kid's sears, the sweet life of zack and cody. harris also took on small roles in film. playing a part in robert de nero's once upon a time and as aunt harriet. >> you girls are the only good thing to come from that marriage. >> and acting alongside edward james olmos in the highly praised stand and deliver. >> and i was supposed to teach computer science. >> we don't have computers. >> but harris will be best remembered as the mother like figure whose screeching made america laugh. >> where do you get your genes
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from? >> that is what i'd like to know. >> that was nbc's ann thompson reporting. and the second ranking democrat dick durbin joins the conversation and in our 9:00 a.m., columnist andrew ross sorkin joins us for the day's big business headlines plus a live report from california on that deadly mass shooting in sacramento. but police what have learned overnight next on "morning joe." overnight next on "morning joe." vo: as vladmir putin wages war, oil companies are making billions by price gouging us at the pump... and republicans are helping them do it. they took millions from big oil, and blocked a clean energy plan that will lower costs for families. they're leaving us dependent on oil and at the mercy of foreign dictators
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congressional republicans: in the pockets of big oil, against american-made clean energy. it all means higher profits for oil companies, and higher gas prices for us. as the world watches the tragedy in ukraine, oil and gas ceos see an opportunity to get richer. hiking gas prices here at home and profiting off of putin's war. this will continue to happen - as long as we're dependent on oil. americans have had enough. right now, congress can accelerate the transition to clean energy. energy that won't run out. energy that's cheaper for all of us. energy that's made in america to stay in america. congress - let's get it done.
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48 past the hour. january 6 select committee member congressman jamie raskin said the committee is investigating why former president trump phone records from that day had a seven and a half hour gap in them. in an interview he said while the committee is exploring every possible, the timing of the gap is suspiciously tailored.
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take a look. >> it is a very unusual thing for us to find that suddenly everything goes dark for seven-hour period in terms of tracking the movements and the conversations of the president. we are aware of other phone calls that took place during that time that included the president, but we have no comprehensive fine grain portrait of what is going on during that period and that is of intense interest to us. >> his office, the former's president trump's office was known nor being sloppy. he used cell phones. she wasn't the personal assistant wasn't in the office that day. is this large scale incompetence rather than conspiracy. >> we're taking that possibility into account. it does seem like the gaps are suspiciously tailored to the heart of the events. >> maya is here. it is not 1973.
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it is 2022. >> seven hours. >> we have verizon, we go to at&t and we could get -- >> we could get too much. >> this is going to come out eventually, is it not? you can't hide phone calls in 2022, can you in. >> you can't hide phone calls as long as you know what you know phone was used. the burner phone problem could be an issue. but i also think one of the things the committee should do is go back and see how many days, you know, to this question of, you know, could it possibly be accidental or sloppiness. how many days in the history of this presidency were there seven unaccounted for hours in the logs? because the reality is between tracking all the witnesses they've been interviewing, knowing who he spoke with means it is also about their phone logs. so a really smart way to do it, which i'm sure they are, frankly, is going back and making sure they have the phone logs and getting the records for those calls from folks who they
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know to have been in conversation with the president. >> right. >> congressman raskin actually said that yesterday too. he said we know who he was talking to all day, so we'll go at it from that side or he can present us with the phone records we have. but extraordinary we're talking about a sitting united states president using burner phones like he's jason bourne sitting in the oval office. >> was he smart enough to do that? were the people around him -- donald trump thought he was justified in what he was doing, so do you think he would have had the foresight to go, i'm going to use a burner phone on january 6th? >> can i say one thing on this? so, first of all, it looks pretty sloppy from the outside looking in. we already know there were allegations that there was shredded paper in toilets. this is not exactly the way you go about covering your tracks. but i do think there's an evidentiary question about what his intent was. i really think there's a lot of
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evidence that suggests he was told several times that he could not do -- that mike pence, his own counsel said no, that's unlawful. his own department of justice, part of his issue with the department of justice is they weren't gichg him a rubber stamp on what he wanted mike pence and others to do. frankly voter fraud and all, saying that hadn't found substantial evidence. so, from a legal perspective, there is lots of indicators that suggest he may have had intent, and there's exactly what the committee is trying to find out. >> again, go to other people's logs as you said, and you trace it back to a burner phone. how fascinating again. talk about showing intent. >> he thought he was fighting the good fight, thought he was on the right side of that day. we will find out in due time. joining us democratic majority whip, senator dick durbin of
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illinois. good to have you with us. i want to talk to you about supreme court nominee ketanji brown jackson and the vote we're expected to see out of judiciary today. it looks like an 11-11 dead lock. is that the way you're reading it? if that's true, what happens next? >> if that happens, it's taken up by the full senate, maybe even as early as this evening to begin a process of several days. the ultimate outcome, i feel positive about, you know, when you look at it, the members of the senate are going to reach up and grab that ark of history and pull it closer to justice. i think this is our chance this week. >> what are you hearing from republicans on that committee who you work with all the time? what are they telling you about their "no" votes? what's their principal objection to this nominee? >> they have many different reasons. i'll leave it to them to explain their point of view.
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without exception, extraordinar qualified. we have pored over all her opinions, 10,000, 12,000 pages from the sentencing commission, thousands of pages from the obama library. she's been so carefully monitored and reviewed over and over again. she's clearly well qualified. the theories that are being used against her, thrown at her, just don't wash. they don't make sense. they're not new and they're not true. the start of this weekend, two or three different sources came up with polls where the american people watched the proceedings and concluded in even greater numbers that she's ready for the supreme court. i agree with them. >> she handled herself very well. one republican, lindsey graham, vote for her confirmation ten months ago to the current seat she holds. >> no good explanations.
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maya, what does it mean? 54 years after martin luther king was assassinated, 54 years ago last night he gave that extraordinary speech where he said i've been to the mountaintop and i may not get there with you, but we're going to get to the promised land. what does a day like today mean that you actually have a black woman being voted on by the judiciary committee for the supreme court? it's taken far too long. i think we all agree with that. but what does it mean? >> it means that sadly there are cynical forces that are trying to push us back down the mountain. and i don't say that lightly. the truth is, you know, we have made progress in this country on race. and at the same time, we have seen forces that are using race, using learning about the history of the civil rights movement, learning about -- learning
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history about slavery, and now, even taking the most qualified candidate we have seen, frankly, well qualified rating from the american bar association, vetted three times by the senate for confirmations. to your point, ten months ago. and yet the debate is whether she is a scary radical. i mean, that's essentially -- it is a kind of debate that has nothing to do with her qualifications and part of what -- i've heard republicans rightly say this many times, judge us by the content of our character, not by our skin color. yet the content of her character was also on display in these hearings. and i think this is why we can now speak for 95% of democrats but also 30% of republicans in saying, confirm. and if we are truly a nation that believes in equality, if we are truly a nation that says
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that we believe in the legacy of dr. martin luther king jr., that we are a plural democracy that cares about whether we all have a voice and whether we get what we've earned, then she gets confirmed. >> you know, senator, we don't really know at times, we've all been surprised in the past five years where polls are going, where the american people are going, but you are so right listening to maya thinking about the debates that are going on in capitol hill regarding this extraordinarily qualified candidate. that's not a debate going on in middle america because middle america says she deserves to be on the supreme court, she should be put on the supreme court, and the republicans have treated her badly. >> i couldn't have said it better than what you just said and maya said as well. we had about a thousand people come through the hearing room in four days, law students, a variety of folks. one of them was the lady who cleans up our office, who we
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talk to and said would you be interested? she said i want to be there. she sat through several hours of the hearing. she came out and said i'm so proud to be part of this moment, but why do some people have to be so mean? that was the image that came through to the american people. i would say first and foremost, senator grassley and the majority of the republicans were fair. they asked tough questions, and they should. but there were several that went over the line, and i don't have to name names. the american people have decided she's ready and i couldn't agree with them more. >> i'm curious your thoughts about the january 6th committee, the long gap in the former president's phone records. do you think we'll get to the bottom of that? is it inevitable we are going to find out who donald trump was talking to while the rioters were tearing down the capitol, breaking into the capitol, defecating inside the capitol, abusing police officers outside and inside of the capitol?
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and members were begging donald trump, family members were begging donald trump to call off the rioters. >> donald trump can run but he can't hide. there are going to be disclosures despite his efforts to thwart them that will tell the full story. i watched the interview with congressman raskin. i respect him very much. i think they have information to piece together what actually occurred in the seven or eight hours that disappeared from the official records. this rosemary woods moment turned into critical hours in american history. the facts and truth will come out. he was promoting his big lie and was prepared to disrupt the proceedings on capitol hill, and we saw what happened with 150 law enforcement officers attacked by these demonstrators. the truth will prevail. >> judiciary committee chair dick durbin. thank you. and maiya wily, thank you as well. >> great to see you.
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>> great to see you. >> it is 20 seconds before the top of the hour on this monday. >> so dramatic. >> april 4th. 9:00 a.m. on the east coast, 6:00 a.m. out west. >> a shot of mission control here? 20 seconds. >> now we've got four seconds. >> four seconds. >> okay. top of the hour. with each passing hour, the global outcry grows louder. more and more leaders publicly condemning alleged atrocities committed by russian forces. a short time ago, the european union's top diplomat said new images of dead civilians show the true face of russia's brutal war of aggression against the ukrainian people. we should warn you these images are hard to watch. we have pictures taken in a city of bucha after russian forces pulled out of the area around the capital of kyiv. they show the bodied of murdered civilians in the streets, some with their

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