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tv   Meet the Press  NBC  May 2, 2022 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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it's not cheap. >> president biden asks congress for $33 billion in new aid. >> caving to the aggression will be more costly if we allow it to happen. >> the defense secretary lloyd austin describes widened u.s. war goals. >> we want to see russia weakened to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things that it has done in invading ukraine. >> and speaker nancy pelosi leads a congressional delegation in a visit to kyiv. my guest this morning, senator
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bob menendez from new jersey. plus a record number of crossings from the southern boarder. >> we're losing our country down there. we need you to resign. >> upping their attacks on homeland security regarding plans to end covid-related restrictions. >> title 42 public health order set to be lifted. we express levels to increase. >> i'll talk to secretary mayorkas about the plans that even some democrats oppose. also, more fallout from the kevin mccarthy tapes. >> explaining to him, this is serious [ bleep ]. cut this out. >> one of many revelations in the book "this will not pass." authors jonathan martin and alexander burns of the "new york times" will be my exclusive guests. >> no country for democrats. >> no rogue messengers anymore. we don't have anyone that speaks for the party in the dirt. >> rural democrats say the party has forgotten about them at its own peril. joining me for insight and analysis are, former senator
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claire mccaskill, garrett haake, helene cooper, and stephen hayes of "the dispatch." this is "meet the press". >> this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> well, a good sunday morning. house speaker nancy pelosi made an unannounced visit to kyiv with a congressional delegation. she's now the highest ranking american official to make it to the capital of ukraine since this war started. and it's also the latest evidence that america's commitment to ukraine is only growing. amid signs that the war may end up expanding and that russia's assault in ukraine's east may be stalling. so let's take all of these in order. first, president biden is now asking congress for $33 billion in aid to ukraine. most of it, military assistance. in total, it would bring the amount of aid requested close to $50 billion.
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that's more than we spent each of the last five years in afghanistan, or at least on pace to do that. mr. biden's request came only days after defense secretary lloyd austin said that the u.s. wants to degrade russia's ability to make war on other countries. next, the expanding war, this past week saw explosions in breakaway region of moldova. likely caused by russia, and fires of explosion at several related war sites. many range ukrainian missiles. european union seems ready to impose a crippling embargo on oil, after cutting off exports to bulgaria and poland with an eye toward doing the same to germany. russia's advance run into stiffer and expected resistance again. ukrainian officials say the russians are having to redeploy troops from the country's far east as reinforcements. we'll begin our coverage with nbc news correspondent erin
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mclaughlin in kyiv. and erin, with the speaker of the house, congressional delegation visiting yesterday, i assume ukraine's leadership has to feel that at least symbolically, the u.s. is with them, joined at the hip. >> reporter: absolutely, chuck. house speaker nancy pelosi arriving here in kyiv this weekend. she says to thank ukraine for its fight for freedom, telling president zelenskyy, quote, our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done. her visit comes just days after two russian missiles struck the heart of the capital as the u.n. secretary general was visiting. this is the aftermath of those missile strikes. one of the missiles struck that factory just over that way, believed to be the intended target. the other missile struck that apartment building, killing one and injuring ten. the mayor of kyiv saying that those strikes effectively amount to the middle finger from russia to the west as well as to the
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united nations. it's also seen as a warning to anyone wanting to visit the capital, wanting to meet with president zelenskyy which is perhaps why speaker pelosi's visit was shrouded in secrecy. it happened yesterday evening. it was only made public today. pelosi has been pushing for congress to pass the $33 billion aid package at the request of president biden badly needed funds for this war as it's raging across the south and the east. the british ministry of defense saying that russia has made some gains, although, those gains have come at a high price due to fierce ukrainian resistance. i've been speaking to a ukrainian military official who says they are seeing signs that russia is amassing more forces to strengthen its assault on the donbas region. meanwhile, all eyes on the southern besieged port city of mariupol. yesterday, a rare glimmer of good news, some 20 civilians
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were evacuated from that steel plant surrounded by russian forces. that humanitarian corridor secured by the united nations and the red cross. president zelenskyy expressing hope there will be more evacuations of civilians today, chuck. >> erin mclaughlin, excellent reporting from kyiv and i am glad you made note of the fact the missile strikes head when the head of the united nations was visiting on a supposed peace keeping mission. erin, thank you. joining me, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, welcome back to meet the press. >> good to be with you. >> let me start with some news this morning out of the uk and their intelligence which seems to indicate that vladimir putin may use may 9th, his russian celebration of world war ii victory day, as a chance to declare, officially declare war against ukraine. is that a distinction without a difference as far as you're
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concerned and what should the u.s. response be to that declaration? >> well, putin has declared war against ukraine, whether he does it formally or not is inconsequential. i think that what we are doing and what we will continue to do is help ukraine ultimately have victory and defeat russia. ukraine is a test for the west. it's a test for the international order. can one country, in this case, russia under putin, erase the borders of europe? change a country by force? or will the international order prevail? and i think that's what's at stake here. regardless of putin's declarations. >> when secretary austin did a debrief after his visit to kyiv, he said something earlier this week about our goals now with russia. we want to see russia weaken to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things that it has done in invading ukraine. in response to that, the russians essentially said, well,
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the americans are fighting a proxy war against russia and ukraine. isn't the answer to that yes? that in that sense, yes, this is a proxy war between the west and russia? is that, do you accept that description? >> no, not necessarily. look, i'm not sure what was in secretary austin's mind but i think what he meant is that if russia cannot defeat ukraine with a much larger army, with greater sophisticated weaponry, and much military, then it has to think about creating acts of adwregs against any other country in europe or any place else. and that certainly is degrading russia's ability or thoughts about their ability to do so. i would think that's what the secretary meant, but at the end of the day, yes, we don't want to see russia go into moldova. we don't want to go see into a nato country, poland or lithuania or any other such
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countries. in that respect, i think that's what the secretary meant. >> should the u.s. posture change at all in, and how much we get involved if this expands into moldova? >> well, look, i think that the ukrainians care about what's going to happen in transnistria because another point in ukraine. i don't think it will change the calculus about the direct engagement. we need to keep our eye on the ball. and that is about helping ukraine's and ukrainians ultimately be able to defeat the butcher of moscow. and if we do that, the world will be safer, the international order will be preserved, and others who are looking at what is happening in ukraine will have to think twice, and this international response that president biden has led and this new effort by europe to have an
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oil embargo, a gas and oil embargo against russia is going to be one of the most strategic blunders putin will have made for his country, and shows the resolve of the west, something we have not seen in the past. >> $50 billion, senator menendez, is what essentially the president's asked for in total allocation, nearly $50 billion together. this appears to be the most money we've ever spent on a war we have not fired a shot in ukraine. is there a limit to how much we support ukraine in this or as long as we think they can win this war, we'll do what it takes? >> i think we will do what it takes to see ukraine win. it's not just about ukraine. it is about the international order. if ukraine does not win, if putin can ultimately, not only succeed in the donbas, but then be emboldened maybe to go further, if he strikes a country
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under nato, under our treaty obligations with nato, then we would be directly engaged, and so stopping russia from getting to that point is critically of interest to us as well as the world. so that we don't have to send our sons and daughters into battle, and i think that ability to not have to send our sons and daughters into battle is priceless. >> saying up to ukraine for what they decide is victory here, but what do you believe is ukrainian victory? what does ukrainian victory look like to you, sir? >> well, the reason many officials answer that way to you, chuck, is because it's ukraine that must determine what it will or will not accept to end this war. after such horrific human rights violations, war crimes that putin has committed against the ukrainian people, it's hard to
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understand what president zelenskyy and the ukrainian people will accept. maybe there will be some territorial concession, maybe, but it cannot be in a way that ultimately blocks ukraine from sea ports and having access to the sea, which is going to be vital for commerce as well as national security but it's the horrific acts that putin has committed, the war crimes that he has committed that gives ukraine very little room to think about what is peace here. >> quick question about immigration here. i'll have secretary mayorkas on in a moment. many of your democratic colleagues are not happy with the decision to rescind title 42 with what they believe is not an adequate enough plan. you obviously would like to see title 42 ended. i know that. but at the same time, you've questioned whether we have the resources or commitment to do this. what is the best way to handle this situation? what do you tell your democratic colleagues that would like to keep title 42 in place for now?
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>> well, i'll tell you, chuck, what i tell them at our caucus last week. title 42 is not the solution. it's part of the problem. who who wants to control the border would create a provision to permit a countless number of times to cross the border. that's what title 42 does. there's no permanent adjudication of those who have a right under asylum and those who do not have a right and have an order of deportation and if they try to come back, there would be criminal penalties for it. that would stop it. there needs to be a comprehensive immigration plan. our republican colleagues, however, they want the issue. they don't want a solution. >> senator robert menendez, democrat of new jersey, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, i know ukraine is taking up a lion's share of your focus but i appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective. >> thank you. let me turn now to immigration as
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joining me now is secretary mayorkas. welcome back to "meet the press". >> pleased to be here. >> let me start with the type of conversation you had with judiciary committee members this week. why do you think they've personalized this on you? >> chuck, i'm focused on the mission. i'm focused on supporting the workforce of the department of homeland security and getting our work done. that's what i'm focused on. >> do you feel like you're a
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proxy for attacks on other people? >> i don't speculate about the motives, the political motives of the personal attacks. i have resolve, an important human quality when one has a lot of work to do with the country. >> you put out a six point plan, let me put up some bullet points about it. surge resources to the border. target some criminal organizations and then deter immigration in the first place. when i saw this six point plan, this is what the biden administration said they would do with the border for months. what is so new about this, and i ask that because if this is sort of similar to what we've already been doing, then it's not working. >> chuck, the plan wasn't devised last week when it was published. this is a plan that we've been working on since september of last year. we understood that the title 42
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public health authority of the cdc would not be around forever. and so we've been executing on this plan for months, and we're intensifying our efforts. we're adding resources to it, to address the potential for an increase in migration once title 42 comes to an end. that's what we do. and it's a multifaceted plan, not only with respect to the infusion of the additional resources to the border, the surge of personnel, the surge of transportation capabilities, medical support, increased facilities, but it's also working south of our border with our partners in the region. what we are experiencing in the united states is not unique to us. this is a regional challenge that requires a regional solution. you know that there are more than 1.8 million venezuelans in colombia right now? this is something that's being experienced throughout the hemisphere.
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and the world as we so powerfully see in europe. >> there's no doubt, one of the potential tools you could have used, they rescinded one of the third party agreements negotiated, if you want to make asylum plan in the united states and you're not from a border country, make the asylum case first in a border country. from honduras, go to guatemala first. is that a tool that would make your job easier? >> you know, chuck, i don't think there would be very many experts who would say that guatemala is a safe third country. we see tremendous amount of migration from guatemala. some of the concerns that force people to flee their homes are resident in colombia, and we've been speaking with our counterparts, i'm sorry, in guatemala, we've been speaking with our counterparts in guatemala about those challenges. economic despair, violence, corruption, extreme weather events. so i would take issue.
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>> that's guatemala. but should there be some other, is there a way to ease the asylum system or not do these at the border but in country? >> that's exactly why we have a regional plan, which is why i and secretary blinken were in panama more than a week ago, why i was in costa rica. >> panama hasn't been very helpful. they're accelerating migration. >> we need countries to apply their laws. to say, if, in fact, somebody applies for relief in panama, then they should be able to remain in panama under the laws of that respective country, and if they don't, we need the country to repatriate those. it's in response to a regional challenge. >> paint me a picture of what success looks like. title 42 lifted on may 23rd. what does success for your plan look like, if it works as you
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intend? >> success looks like the orderly implementation of our plan. where we are applying our laws in accordance with their provisions in a way that respects individual's rights to claim asylum, as the laws that congress provided allow. we're talking about individuals who are claiming fear of persecution in their countries of origin and our laws provide they are allowed in immigration and enforcement proceedings to make those claims before an immigration judge. if they are not successful, they are promptly removed from the country. and that's something that cannot be overlooked. we're not talking about releasing individuals into the united states. what we're talking about is individuals who make claims for asylum and they seek to vindicate those claims in court and if they do not succeed, we enforce the law and they are
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removed. >> what is the average time that you think you can get an asylum claim processed? >> one of the great steps that we have taken in the biden/harris administration is to address this challenge. historically, it's been six, eight years plus, and we promulgated an asylum officer rule that allows our asylum officers to make the ultimate asylum determination and we'll take that 6 to 8 year period over time as we ramp up, we're going to take that to under a year. fundamentally though, chuck, we need congress to pass legislation. >> i understand that. what have you done, what have you said to the democratic senators, more of whom, particularly those running for reelection who questioned the plan about title 42 and you can see here, mark kelly is one of them, maggie is another. they don't like the specifics. they think the plan you've outlined is a bit unrealistic.
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do you think their criticism is fair? >> it's not an issue of fair or not, i respectfully disagree with the criticism. we share with individuals the public concept of operations and they were concerned that that was not enough. they didn't see enough, that we don't have a plan. we've had a plan for months, as i mentioned since fall of last year for the eventual end of title 42. so what i did was i published a 20 page memorandum that set forth greater details about our plan, but what i'm not going to do, chuck, is i'm not going to provide an extraordinarily comprehensive blueprint of everything we're doing. let's remember, we have an adversary. we have the cartels that are exploiting vulnerable immigrants for profit, and i'm not going to provide them a blueprint of what we're doing. >> i want to ask you about another conflict. the concern of misinformation and disinformation.
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people say it looks like policing of speech. can you explain what this program is about? >> sure, so we set up, essentially, an internal working group and i must say that we could have done a better job of communicating what it is and what it isn't. it's a working group. it takes best practices with respect to our work that has been going on for years. best practices on how to do that work, the work of addressing disinformation that presents a threat to the security of our country. how to do that work in a way that does not infringe on free speech, does not infringe on civil liberties, so this working group takes best practices, and disseminates it to the operators. >> do you think the person you chose to head that caused some consternation? >> eminently qualified individual of recognized expert on battling the threat of
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disinformation that represents a threat to the security of homeland from russia, from china, from iran, from the cartels. >> secretary mayorkas, big job. thank you for coming on. >> thank you so much, chuck. >> thank you so much, chuck. up next, the inside story of welcome to allstate. where everyone saves when they bundle their home and auto insurance. isn't that right, frank? i saved 25%. booyah. you protected your casa? sure did. and the frank tank? you know it. and now you're relaxing. i'm working from home. sure you are. alright i see a lot of head nods. let's circle back tomorrow. you weren't kidding. save up to 25% when you bundle home and auto with allstate. click or call for a quote today. can a company make the planet a better place? at walmart, we're pursuing 100% renewable energy in our operations. and aiming to protect millions of acres of land.
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at fisher investments, we're clearly different. welcome back. the new book "this will not pass" but "new york times" reporters jonathan martin and alexander burns has already received a lot of attention because of house republican leader kevin mccarthy's comments on president trump and republicans. in the past two years. we've seen a battle for survival of democracy that's erupted. they write, two parties not nearly adversaries but enemies in a domestic cold war that had started to run hot and one was enthralled to an authoritarian
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demagogue than gracefully relinquish power. gentlemen, first of all, congratulations. heck of a book. ate up my saturday. that's for sure. let me start with, obviously, what we've seen on january 6th, and i want to start with a lindsey graham moment because i believed, jonathan, you were in the room for this. you happened to be, for the book, with the senators when they got quarantined on january 6th, so you were witness, essentially, to all these senators not happy with the situation that went on and you talk about the 25th amendment and lindsey graham. walk me through what happened. >> we were evacuated from the u.s. senate, the tunnels of the capitol complex to one of the senate office buildings, chuck, and there was uncertainty bordering on panic. you have members of the u.s. senate who are largely over the age of 50. in some cases, 60, walking
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briskly or even running to this holding room. we were put in the holding room in one of the senate office buildings for hours and hours and hours and obviously tensions there arise because people don't know what's going on. there's images on their phone, their spouses are calling them or texting them and great uncertainty. in these hours, republican party is grappling with its future. what does this mean for our party, for our outgoing president, and is it so severe that we have to drive him from office before he is set to leave on january 20th and lindsey graham is extremely angry. he's almost shouting down capitol police as they try to address u.s. senators demanding they take action, forcefully recapture the capitol and in the same moment, he gets on the phone and he telephones the white house counsel. >> you're hearing all of this. firsthand account here. this is not from sources. >> i'm in the room, and he calls
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and says if trump doesn't tell these people to go home, the rioters in the capitol, we'll call for the 25th amendment. so trump does a second and third take of the video. >> he's responding to the panic. >> yes. >> alexander burns, the mitch mcconnell, liz cheney exchanges that you have in the book are so telling about mitch mcconnell. here's one excerpt. found the whole list, a cardinal sin, relinquishing power. why to willingly jeopardize host by continually condemning trump, just ignore like i do, quite telling about mcconnell. >> certainly is, and about liz cheney too. the two of them have a conversation at one point last year where she basically tells him, that is just not going to work. you can't just sort of avert your gaze from donald trump. if you're going to take on donald trump, get rid of donald trump, you have to take on donald trump and get rid of donald trump. so mcconnell's response at that
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point was, basically, i don't need any more lectures from you on how to deal with trump. the big mcconnell bet we outline in the book, a central part of the narrative is that after january 6th, he sees trump like many people, many democrats and more republicans than will say so in public, he sees trump as a threat to the american democracy and to the republican party. but once that immediate moment after most dire peril passes, he decides that the way he's going to try to deal with trump is to ignore him and trust that the president, as mcconnell said to a number of people, lose altitude over time, just because people will kind of move on and look to the future. and from where we stand today, that doesn't look like a wager that has particularly panned out. >> spent a lot of time on the right side of the aisle. let's go to the left side of the aisle, and the biden agenda. you outlined all the back and forth on build back better. in some of your report, in the summary of your reporting,
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jonathan, who you would you say is to blame for the death? >> in our government, the president is not only the head of state and commander in chief, he's the leader of his or her party. joe biden is the leader of the democratic party. it's on him to corral the narrowest of congressional majorities. he did so in the opening months of his presidency, passing the american rescue plan, passing this sweeping bill for infrastructure, but he could not find the votes to get this bill passed. >> was there a deal to be done? >> joe manchin effectively killed the bill or put on hold in mid december. it's now may 1st. where has biden been since then? this is what democrats and congress are asking is, what's the plan and what's the strategy and there effectively is no game plan and there is no confidence in the white house that they can get manchin to any kind of a yes, and the clock is ticking. >> alex, you also note in the book that seems to be a more
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serious effort to get joe manchin to switch parties. here's your excerpt from page 273. you don't have to join our caucus. become an independent and then caucus with us. johnny said if you were the leader, i would do it. not exactly a hard no. how would you describe this effort? is it ongoing? is it real? or is it a little bit of a dinner conversation? >> the republican party made it clear to joe manchin is offer is up on the table anytime he wants and basically any terms he wants to take it up. >> it was a real effort. >> it was a real effort and that comes right after the moment, right after joe biden and kamala harris take office, where the vice president goes on television in west virginia in what joe manchin takes as a not particularly subtle effort to twist his arm on the american rescue plan. he's upset about that. his republican friends like susan collins and jon thune say, exactly what you just outlined. manchin makes it clear to him that's not something he's interested in but this sort of
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casts a shadow over all the democratic interactions with manchin over the last year and today is the sense that this guy has other options. it would be much easier for him politically in his home state if he didn't have the "d" next to his name. >> final topic i want to hit with you guys. so much to get to, but you brought up the vice president, alex. kamala harris felt disrespected. here's one anecdote you had. worried that the staff looked down on her. fixated on real and perceived snubs the way they found tedious, did not stand up the way they did for biden. the vice president took it as a sign of disrespect. what was astonishing here, apparently there was a meeting about this. >> the chief of staff to kamala harris telephoned the west wing and told a senior adviser in the west wing with biden that the vp has noticed this and she would like folks to stand, staff members to stand when she enters the room. this pulls back the, i think, curtain on what this white house is really like. the tensions are deep and they
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are real with the vp's office in the west wing. obviously, the public image is what it is, but this is an ongoing challenge, and what is hovering over all of this, chuck, is 24. is biden going to run again and if not, is it vp harris? that's the mood over the entire democratic party right now as are biden's poll numbers. we have a story today on the "new york times" web site, this for the first time going to reveal a number of memos and polling memorandums and decks that show the course of biden's decline over 2021, and the urgent warnings that his pollster offered in the white house to stop that decline. >> alex, what's remarkable about it, the white house isn't blind to this, so they haven't reacted. >> that's right and one of the prevailing narratives about the white house, they didn't see inflation coming, they didn't see the immigration this persistent, a political headache. what we reveal in the book is the own chief pollster was warning early as april of 2021, the president's barely taken
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office at that point and his pollsters already warning him, you've got to take this stuff seriously, and they just didn't. >> a deeply reported book, it is not anything like far left, far-right. it is just a good old fashioned reporting. kudos, guys. what a read. when we come back, so many agreed with mccarthy's thanks for coming. now when it comes to a financial plan this broker is your man. let's open your binders to page 188... uh carl, are there different planning options in here? options? plans we can build on our own, or with help from a financial consultant? like schwab does. uhhh... could we adjust our plan... ...yeah, like if we buy a new house? mmmm... and our son just started working. oh! do you offer a complimentary retirement plan for him? as in free? just like schwab. schwab! look forward to planning with schwab.
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welcome back. panelists here. helene cooper. nbc news senior capitol correspondent, garrett hawke and former senator claire mccaskill of new jersey. i'll let you fire away here. you covered congress. is there going to be fallout from what martin and burns reported? >> not the kevin mccarthy side of it. he seems to have weathered the storm on this. i was texting with the republican chief of staff after the tapes came out and "washington post" reported that trump was okay with it and then they were okay with it. they were happy to move on. the book reflects the private conversations people were having before january 6th, on that day
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or around that day, are now coming to light but were discussed in the hallways for the last two years. >> steve hays, this anecdote, it is what we thought it was. about power. >> reading the book is an emotional experience for those who have been covering this for a long time because you see off the republicans are saying one thing behind the scenes and something totally different when the cameras go on. sometimes within minutes of those two statements. i guess i have a slightly different take. i think mccarthy is okay in the short-term but i think in the medium and long-term, this causes him trouble. he already had some moderates and movement conservatives who are frustrated that he was such a bad leader. now you have trump maga house republicans who are frustrated from the other side. i talked to a couple of republicans in the house this week who were frustrated they were being asked to defend. kevin mccarthy on this. it was a lie. he was caught in a lie. he's a bad liar. the thing i think that's
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frustrating is they seem to be more frustrated that he's bad at lying than that he's lying. >> that's the fundamental issue is like, in so many ways, sort of the anecdotes in this book validates what we all already knew, which is very much that the republicans, you know, we saw that in 26, they didn't like trump then and then flipped. they had this inability to detach themselves publicly from somebody who they know is, they see him as a dollar sign, they see him as a vote magnet. at the end of the day, these people care far more about being reelected than they do about the country. it's like, that's what it comes down to, and this is what we're seeing on display. >> claire, what do you make of the manchin, again, another thing it is what we thought it was. >> yeah, i mean, first of all, there's a whole lot of people that could be blamed for the size and scope of build back
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better. somebody got carried away at the white house and didn't realize the margins were so slim and that you have to count every vote on every piece. >> by the way, there's a great anecdote with andrew yang when he talks about, biden realized he was at a moment he didn't know what to do with the moment and somebody filled in the gaps. >> so as a result, america's kind of forgotten, the wonderful successes he had legislatively near the beginning of the term, something trump never managed and it's really too bad. i got to say, this book, and what it represents is sad to me and the reason it's sad is because the american people are so cynical and so angry at everybody in politics because they think they say one thing and closed doors, and then another publicly and they lie all the time. as it turns out, they have a reason to be cynical. >> i think the thing that emerges from the book is this total lack of leadership at the top of both parties. as you just mentioned, joe biden not leading in the crucial
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moments, people are looking for guidance from joe biden. an anecdote in the story, enough to convict donald trump. kevin mccarthy says he's going to call on trump to resign, and then they don't do it. they don't do it. there's no leadership. >> garrett, it's like everything. you read this book and it seems like the only person that seems to have some leadership ability is the speaker of the house. >> well, and democrats may find themselves lost without her in the next term if she decides she's going to follow what she said and not seek another term in leadership. i mean, she has been consistent through 2018 through now, but she's had her own problems too. >> this book claims she doesn't want to be speaker, she's so tired of the left. >> that's probably true. always hard to be speaker of the house when the senate is controlled by the other party or your party, the idea to get 60. if i have to talk to another house democrat upset about the filibuster, she would like to move more. she can only do so much and
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she's tired of holding off one side to keep everybody on the same, pulling in the same direction. >> helene cooper, the kamala harris, biden stuff, there's a part of it that i read and like, i could have transposed the words obama and biden and biden as harris and obama as looked down upon, some of this feels normal. >> every vice president, i mean we're talking about this earlier. every vice president feels as if they're given only the hard stuff. they don't have enough to do. they're not put forward enough by the principle. the kamala harris stuff, i mean, listening just now to your interview with j mart and with alex struck me as also, the idea of her coming out and saying, people should stand up, being upset people are not standing up when she enters the room. that sounds like, in a sad way, it sounds like a woman who doesn't feel confidence, this is
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self-confidence issue that can get, when you start counting, when people start counting, it's not just women that do this, obviously, but when you start counting that sort of thing and taking note of things like that that might seem, that strikes me -- >> fellow journalists may worry about those little slights, get off twitter. what's your advice to her? >> i think she's trying to do everything she can in a job that by its nature minimalizes you. it was full of people making joe biden when he was vice president. i mean, unfairly, and a lot of what's happening to her is unfair but she, you know, she knows what she's doing and she's going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and i do think, however, there's no guarantee that she is the nominee of the party in '24. i think it could be a free-for-all. buckle up. >> another story that will fire up claire. up next, in the last two decades, number of rural counties won by the presidential
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lendidate fal
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>> welcome back. taking a look at election results over the past few
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decades shows us a flashing warning sign for democrats as the nation's urban and rural divide has deepened. democrats have increasingly lost support from rural america. in 1996, then president clinton won a whopping 117 counts. basically won half of the nation's rural counties. but even though he had won a popular vote by 7 points nationwide. that's how the world counties he could win. the numbers shrunk again. won 194 counties. that's just 17% of the total that bill clinton won in 1996. and the latest nbc news polling shows you that the problem has not gone away. it's gotten worse. trust me, terry mcauliffe in virginia. the democrats have an advantage on the urban areas on the congressional ballot but as you move out geographically, the democratic numbers shrink and the republican numbers grow and grow big time.
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34 points right now. the number appears to be growing. for our current episode, i traveled to iowa and why the democratic party is hemorrhaging rural support. you feel simply having a "d" next to your name. representing clayton county in 2016. >> we had a picture taken when hillary clinton stopped by as all candidates do, and i fool heartedly in retrospect, but i posted it, i was a proud mom, on facebook and they used that, they cut my son out. >> you have a picture with hillary clinton. >> yep. >> and that's all they did. >> they ran it. >> you're a democrat. >> yes. >> clayton one of 31 counties carried by barack obama and donald trump. overwhelmingly rural, and home to roughly a quarter of all iowans. biden failed to win a single one of those counties back. >> there wasn was
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going to win iowa in 2020. it was just not going to happen. >> chairs the clayton county democratic party. any version of joe biden? >> noun. it was not going to happen, as long as trump was on the thing. >> got annihilated in 2020. democrats did here in iowa in the state races. >> ruby bodeker ran and lost in 2020. >> i feel like an exhausted rural democrat. tired. i feel like there's a lot of weight on me. i honestly just want to be done a lot of days. i have four kids, a full-time job. i'm a single mom. i work. i don't even make $15 an hour and i am tired. >> our special report also has a story by my colleague how black rural voters feel abandoned by the democratic party and somewhat ignored. you can see the full "meet the press" episode wherever you get nbc news now or our web site, available right
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welcome back. it's may 1st and that means we're in for a big 2022 primary month. look at the calendar.
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got two primaries coming up this tuesday. the big one, of course, ohio. two more the following tuesday, may 10th. west virginia, nebraska, may be a small state but interesting republican primaries. may 17th is the big one as far as we're concerned. five primaries, including pennsylvania and north carolina and then of course, three primaries in the texas runoff on may 24th, oh, by the way, that's the georgia race. claire, we just did a whole thing. ohio is this tuesday so i want to focus on ohio. the rural problem for democrats in iowa, tim ryan's not going to have a shot if he's losing rural areas 80-20. >> yeah, we have to, if we're going to be a majority party, we have to win in places like democrats have to get some republican votes. and that's what people need to understand, because most places in the country are either bright blue or bright red but the places that make majority. these are so conflicting for democrats and here's why. we want the trump candidates to
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win because they are least competitive against our democratic presumed nominees. but for the country, we don't want trump to succeed picking primary winners. it's the same push and pull. >> look at jd vance, campaigning with marjorie taylor greene and matt gaetz. and steve hays, i've got to play a bite that matt gaetz said when he accidentally spoke the truth. take a listen. >> we don't want a circumstance where the establishment could claim they defeated trump so president trump's brand is on the line, the maga brand is on the line. >> like i said, he speaks an occasional truth. do you agree? >> it's interesting. donald trump obviously went all in for jd vance, did it late. this was a risk he took. it looks like it's working out early if these poll numbers over the last couple of weeks are telling us the truth. i think we'll know a lot more at the end of this month about exactly how powerful donald trump still is in the republican party and looks like mixed
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results. jd vance looks good in ohio with a trump-supporting republican and georgia, much bigger problems where his endorsement hasn't seemed to help at all. >> all of these candidates have tried to beat the trump candidate so in that way he has already won. josh mandel wins that race in ohio. donald trump will probably still claim victory on wednesday morning as mandel sought to be a trump candidate. >> a convert. it's fitting that ted cruz behind mandel and s by because cruz is sort of a wannabe trumper and vance looks like he's converted. >> there's shades of this, but i think this is the case in all of these races, it's a similar dynamic with mccormick and oz too. he can claim victory regardless of who he endorses. >> do you know what the candidates are running on?
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they're not running on anything. >> you could with so much, this isn't even funny. deep in ukraine and now deep in the primary. primary going on. >> what's interesting about vance is that he has actually, he's not been all in on ukraine. the southern border is more important than the war in ukraine. >> the vance thing i find so confounding. i mean, we all read the eulogy back in 2016 and i thought it was a beautiful piece of writing and it's hard for me to reconcile that person with who we're seeing right now. it's completely, i -- completely confounding. >> we started our conversation, claire, with mitch, you know, they say one thing and they do another in public. jd vance is a candidate of this. >> yeah, and there have been a lot of conversions to trump. are they permanent?
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is this the permanent republican party much to the chagrin to my friends who want to talk about smaller government, lower taxes, free trade issues, those are all gone. all they are now is about grievance and anger and people who are mad, and want to screw the system. that's what it's about now for the republican party. the question is, is that a good long-term strategy to lead a nation like america? i don't think it is, but the voters will tell us. >> i think that's mostly right. the one place that sticks out though is ukraine and russia, right, because you haven't seen republicans move towards a, you know, pro-putin position, nato skepticism. sort of been, yeah, tucker carlson, and the people who have are the people in the primary. >> which is something, we all may have to reckon with if they actually get into power. thank you guys, that's all we have for today and thank you for watching. we'll be back next week, because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
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pledging support until the fight is done. nancy pelosi's promise during a secret trip to ukraine alongside a presidential delegation as civilians finally escape the war-torn remai of mariupol a tornado rips through the south. three meteorology students killed after chasing that storm. plus, stunning new footage of a twister tearing through a kansas town massive manhunt in alabama the desperate search for an accused murderer and a corrections officer tasked with


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