tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC February 11, 2022 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
super bowl show. it'll be great, we're gonna talk nfl, all the race issues in the nfl, we may talk about the game, depending on who we have on, i do not have a dog in the fight in terms of who wins this football game. i'm just going to the halftime show, because the halftime show will be from the greatest musical air ever. cannot wait to see the halftime show, that is today's readout, whoever you're rooting for hope they win, i'm even, hit four and square. all in with chris hayes starts now. hit four and tonight on all in. >> with people i've been properly prosecuted for january 6th. >> these are the people who want to run your government. >> in a lot of ways, people at the capitol on january 6th were heroes, in trying to preserve who is actually elected. >> tonight, the republicans campaigning on anti democratic
platforms across the state. then, beyond the burning at the flushing, the knock down drag out fight for the national archives to recover trump documents. and the starkest single yet that a russian invasion could be imminence. >> we want to be crystal clear on this point, every american in ukraine should leave as soon as possible, and in any event in the next 24 to 48 hours. >> when all in starts right now. when good evening from new york, i'm chris a's, we have reached the point where republican candidates for statewide office are running on an explicitly pro coup platform. i'm going to play some really shocking clips from minnesota, where that is on display in the attorney general's race in that state. it shouldn't be that surprising. as i keep saying, republican politicians cannot dodge this fundamental question at the core of american democracy in politics. they cannot straddle the divide between supporting democracy and supporting donald trump's
coup. of course, some have tried. remember that bizarre moment, last fall, during the race for the governor of virginia, when attendees at a rally for republican statewide candidates pledged allegiance to a flag flown on january 6th at the capitol? >> i also want to invite kim from chesapeake, she is carrying an american flag, that was carried at the peaceful rally with donald j trump on january 6th. i ask you all to rise, and join us, as marc loyd leads us in the prayer. >> okay, that was creepy and weird, and now glenn youngkin did not attend the rally, although donald trump called in encouraging everyone who attended to vote for youngkin and other candidates. the following day -- youngkin issued a statement
saying it was weird and wrong to pledge allegiance to a flag connected to january 6th. he also called the violence that occurred on january 6th six sickening and wrong. in the end, the youngkin campaign was able to have their cake needed to. they got the support of pro coup republicans in virginia, while the candidate maintained his image of the non threatening dead in the fleece vest. now, as it turns out, one of the new appointees in our republican administration that shared a slate with youngkin, was explicitly perot insurrection. get this, yesterday, the deputy attorney general of the state malik monk aisles, after the washington post revealed her facebook post praising the insurrection, and claiming donald trump won the election. the attorney generals office claimed they were unaware of the posts, like this one from january 6th. quote, news flash, patriots have stormed the capitol. no surprise. the deep state has awoken the sleeping giant. patriots are not taking this lying down. we are awake, ready, and we will write fight for our rights
by any means necessary. any means necessary. miles later referred to the rights as a peaceful riot in response of someone who commented on the post, which is a little attention with that by any means necessary, and cops getting beaten across the head. back in november, after joe biden was declared the winner, the same deputy attorney general of virginia, until a few days ago, wrote these left wing violent loonies better realize that donald trump is getting a second term. miles turn the washington post these post were taken out of contents cost, and i believe he is our president. at least monika miles was not saying these things in a public campaign. she wasn't campaigning on this platform. she made the posts on her personal account. but of course, that's the next logical step, and we are already seeing that in action, right now, in minnesota. this is video i referenced, it's from our republican primary candidates for the last end of last month, it's gone viral for very good reason. it begins with an absolutely
wild question, posed to the candidates for attorney general about what they would do to help minnesotans who participated in the insurrection. >> currently, there are eight minnesotans being persecuted and prosecuted for exercising their constitutional rights by attending the january 6th rally in washington d.c., in 2021. some of those people are in this room today. as the top lawyer for the state, whose residents are having their rights violated by the federal government, if elected, what would you do for them? >> all right, you get all that right? there are minnesotans in prison for the role, and they're being persecuted, the rights are being violated. basically, those are political prisoners, shouldn't use that term, three of those eight minnesota's been prosecuted for writing at the capitol, were charged with assaulting or resistance or beating officers, to the three have been charged for using a dangerous weapon. but that's a question, okay,
the first candid to answer that bunkers question was a man in doug ward low, he's making a second run for attorney general, after losing to currents attorney general keith ellison back in 2018, he serves a general counsel for the my pillow company, as you can see here, he's happy to get the endorsement of the maga pillow man himself mike lindell who's currently getting multiple defamation suits forgetting patently false claims about election fraud. wardlow is happy to defend the insurrection as well. >> as a top legal and enforcement officer in the state, as attorney general, [inaudible] when they're usurping the rights of the state, or violating the rights of the citizens of the state. so is your attorney general, i will stand up for your constitutional rights. i will go back and those who were improperly prosecuted, for the january 6th incident. i will push back against the federal government. >> okay, that's interesting
language, it strong language but it's also pretty precise and careful. he sort of realizes what he's doing. he says, i'll go to bat for people that were improperly prosecuted. it gives him a little bit of a fall back position. he is aware, enough, this guy is running for statewide office, not to be to speak slightly pro coup, but to give the people in the audience what they want. he walks the line that he wants, even though he's ultimately feeding that frenzy. the next candidate, though, recognizes that there space for his right. this is the dynamic of a republican primary, and goes even further with her support of the trump coup. her name is lynn traverse in, a minutes soda name if i've ever seen one, a criminal -- second amendment lawyer, and she has january 6th attendees on her payroll. >> first thing that i should note, is that i've got at least two people on my staff who were participants in january 6th. and quite honestly it seemed at
that time that the election of joe biden was actually somewhat of a coup. and that the person who won was president trump. so i think, in a lot of the ways, the people at the capitol on january 6th were heroes and tried to preserve who is actually elected. >> i mean, just take a second to -- this is a woman running for attorney general of minnesota, after the last guy says like, i will stick up to those who are prosecuted. she says, i can do one better, we have coup attendees on our staff, and joe biden was the coup, okay? we already have two members -- like marjorie taylor greene of florida, called them political prisoners, she's one of the most influential figures and all of republican politics, and
a highly coveted endorsement. republican operatives tell the daily beast that brings address many competitive signee primaries is not only consider is welcome but should be actively courted, particularly in races where the nominees likely to be decided by which canada most animates the ultimate trump's grassroots. we've already seen that in her endorsement of ohio candidate j.d. vance, and midst if all train poll numbers. which, by the way, continue to fall. this is really just the beginning of the midterms season. we're gonna see a lot more explicitly pro coup campaigning as this year goes on. asawin suebsaeng is the senior political reporter at the daily beast, he wrote that piece about marjorie taylor greene's coveted endorsement, elizabeth landers the chief political correspondent vice news. -- and both join me now. so let me start with you on the marjorie taylor greene thing. i've watched this happen, and which is just very evident that this person who comes to office
and is viewed as fringe, freak show, other republicans kind of want to keep their distance, other than matt gates, has essentially descended into a kind of vanguard of the party, where the dynamic now is inverted and you can feel leadership essentially following her rather than the other way around. >> oh, absolutely, in a way, you just described donald trump himself in 2015, 2016, and 2017. but with marjorie taylor greene, it might seem a little bizarre, shall we say, for a lot of your viewers, who have not rock-bottom as husbands are the moral political state of the republican party, that she is actually a player in the endorsement game when it comes to 2022 republican primaries. even for a republican party, where the current gold standard of an endorsement is from a twice impeached former president, formerly a one term loser president, and someone who presided over the
coronavirus hell that we're still living through today. and who also led a failed coup in washington d.c.. even with that being the gold standard of what it means to get a republican endorsement of a, in these primaries, it might seem a little bit weird that this former, or former if you want to believe her understaffed spin, former qanon lady. has emerged as an actual coveted endorsement, but that is the current state of the republican party, this isn't an exaggeration at all on the behalf of the media, these are republican operatives working on these campaigns who are telling us, we want her endorsement. these are not fringe candidates, these are the mainstream candidates. >> and what she offer, which i think is key, and you saw the little dynamic in that room in minnesota's, she's not faking it. whatever you say about marjorie taylor greene, that is very much who she is. she is not trying to appeal to some group that is other than her, which a lot of these
republican candidates, i think, are, essentially. marjorie taylor greene is that person, 100%, no ascends about it, that's part of what they want out of her. she takes office in 2021, she's raised over 7 million, making are one of the most prolific fundraisers in the entire house, that large as does not extended to the candidates she's backing. liz, you wrote a great piece for advice about rounding up folks that believe the election was stolen, or illuminate, who are running for state office. at least 27 states right, we'll elect a new sectors of state. there are 21 people running who think trump won in 2020, have pushed to overturn election results, or spread other lies about the election. how mainstream, or how plausible are these as candidates, or they like at flies and no one's gonna vote for them? >> chris, i would say that some of these people are mainstream, and i do think that some of them, especially some that we spoke with for this piece for breaking the vote series on vice, we spoke to these
candidates like mark finchem from arizona, because he is fundraising a lot of money right now. he's endorsed by president trump. see majority hice in georgia, both of them come from states that are key swing states, arizona and georgia, the trump lost last time. in the case of jody hice, he's running against probably the only secretary of state your viewers my nose by name, brad raffensperger, who's the one who told donald trump that he would not find those 11,000 votes that he lost by in that state. those two candidates seem to have a very good chance of winning their primaries, and potentially going on to win the secretary of state positions there. secretary of state roles are not something that i think people really focus on when they're going into the ballot box during the midterm elections, but it matters this year because we saw president trump just a few weeks ago put out that video to the pennsylvania republicans, when
explicitly approach who platform, there are very few republicans who can bring themselves to say what donald trump will say, which is that, the election day was a real coup, the insurrection was good, actually, those people are patriots and heroes. which is basically the trump possession. marjorie taylor greene is one of the few who come the closest, and not also i have to imagine, is part of whatever allure is, and why everyone is not chasing her adornment. >> oh, at least partially, and she still has the benefit of having direct access to the ear of former president trump, who's continued on as the undisputed leader of the gop. and also, to your big lie and anti-democratic voice point earlier, we reported at the daily beast just under a year ago, shortly after donald trump stepped out of office, that he had told close advisers and aides that he wanted to -- people gravelling to him, seeking his endorsement, that ahead of the critical 2022
races, that he would prefer to not endorsed candidates who didn't, in some form or another, back his position on the 2020 election. which, of course, is a position that it is rigged, which is, of course, complete baloney. this was something that was not just republican candidates, but the rnc, even been coup adjacent in their rhetoric, not completely full on coup is donald trump's, they'd be more than happy to not just publicly, but very very publicly acknowledge as there is under an operating procedure, a full year passed since january 6th. again, the entirety of the republican apparatus in this country is rallying around that, even if they're not being nearly as vociferously about it as mvp. >> quick question for you to close on, lives, are there primary candidates taking the
topside aggressively, raffensperger is one of them, because you kind of has to, and i was no other choice. it strikes may, because there's not much upside for anyone else, they can kind of dodge it, but you're not gonna see a lot of people coming out and saying the election is legitimate, that's my position. >> no, you're exactly right, i think raffensperger, and we spoke with raffensperger for the story, because he really is one of the only republicans who is running for secretary of state who is saying the big lie is not true, because he was the vote counter and he didn't find those 11,000 votes. i think that, when we're looking at these candidates, if these republicans running in these primaries are more extreme, leaning more towards the big lie. which, by the way, as he was just mentioning, that's kind of the litmus test for the party right now, basically you kind of have to agree with the big lie in order to get trump's endorsement. and to make it out of and move out of your primary, i think of
those candidates who are back in the big lie move out of the primary race, they have a very good chance of winning and several of these states right now. >> asawin suebsaeng, elizabeth landers, thank you both. >> thanks. >> from burbank since the pentagon, the documents flashed on the white house toilet, it's been a wild week in the world of trump investigations, up next, our reporter has been getting breaking news on this is beginning, on what details she thinks everyone has been missing, after this. thinks everyone has been for more consecutive years than any other brand. no wonder kelley blue book also picked subaru missing, after this. as their best overall brand. it's easy to love a brand you can trust. it's easy to love a subaru. realtor.com's draw a map feature helped us find what we wanted, where we wanted.
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have gotten one story after another about donald trump's let's say problematic handling of white house records. it started with a revelation on monday that the national archives at retrieve 15 boxes of documents that trump dashed at mar-a-lago. the washington post later reported that those boxes included classified material, some marked as top secret. we learned that trump had a habit of shredding documents that had to be taped back together. this week we learned he had bags filled with documents for burning in burn bags. white house record staff had to reportedly search these burned bags to find material that needed to be preserved. of course, there is an amazing bit of reporting about toilets. when trump was in office, the staff in the residence, i guess, would find wads of printed paper clogging the toilet in the residence. this led them to believe that trump had been literally trying to flush documents. now, we have more on that.
the times reporting that he had the same habit on the reported road, reportedly known on foreign trips. the national archives reportedly threatened the ex president with going to congress and the department of justice. this explains why the national archives actually did that this week. it asked them to look into whether trump violated federal law in his mishandling of white house records. jacqueline alemany is a congressional correspondent for "the washington post" and has been all over this story as it's developed and she joins me now. jacqueline, let's start with the national archives about this. i find is that fascinating. they are not a branch of government and they are usually not showing up in big fights or showdowns. it is an important role that they play. by that is kind of a bureaucratic one and behind the scenes as a role. there must be crazy stuff going on, for the national archives to be escalating this way and trying everything they can to
shake documents out of someone. >> chris, i am so glad you started with this point. because the historian has been speaking out all week, and the important role that the archives play in our democracy. in the context of january 6th and really the entire modern-day platform of the republican party, we have been talking about efforts to subvert democracy. but i think that this archival piece has been overlooked up until this new cycle, which came about because we found out that shredded documents were handed over to the january six committee. but while archivists are fiercely apolitical, they are truly real believers in history and really just trying to do their job regardless of what president they are doing it for, there is a sense that this is a serious erosion to democracy, with the former president has done. and the disregard he has had for all these presidential
records, the presidential records act and for whether or not documents are classified and are properly handled, depending on the status of their classification. that is what we have heard time and time again from historians and the archivist we have spoken with throughout the course of the week. that all of this is important to keep in perspective and not to erode the confidence that people have in the system. the system works. the president did not -- the system. the harm is real and it is bigger than any presidency archivist or government bureaucracy. >> yeah, there has been now discussions, as you report, with your fellow reporters at the post, discussions about whether there should be investigation of the former president for possible crime, according to people familiar with the matter. you also know -- and this was interesting -- trump was secretive about the padding of boxes retrieved and did not include some senior
advisers look at them, according to people close to him. that detail really jumped out at me. >> yeah. and we still do not have any specifics from the department of justice about whether they are actually going to commence an investigation. like you said, what we reported is that there are ongoing discussions within the department after the archives made referral. and asked the justice department to look at this. that is something we are going to be keeping a close eye on. but that little pregnant santas sentence of reporting you just called out is important to the bigger picture of what the doj may have to look into. that is, was this intentional and systemic? or was this just negligence? i guess it is a big question that a lot of us have had throughout the last four or five years of trump. and i think it also leads us to the bigger picture. are there more boxes? and if so, are they now in danger because there has been so much scrutiny in the media,
that the former president is sort of going to cocoon and have even more secretive demeanor with regards to documents? >> yeah. to your point on that, that you have reporting in place about this what is striking to me there is that, look, if you are trying to mount a case that this was innocent and you could say that, look, this is chaotic, anyone who has been through a move, there may be stuff like that. but if we know that he was actually aware of these boxes and what was going into them, that flies out the window. that is very important in terms of something this was being handled by staff or something that was at the core of his concerns. >> yes. totally. i think it's important, as you said, to put this into context. around the way that presidencies and transitions operate, especially that first term, as opposed to someone who is finishing up a second term. people who leave the white house after a first term,
things are always more chaotic. no one wants to leave. the document process and the transfer from the white house office of records management to the actual archives can be a little more chaotic. and there are former presidents who have, over time, handed over the classified documents that they have dredged out after someone has passed away. but when we look at the volume here and the scale, the way that we keep hearing is extraordinary. and this is not normal, that this is out of the ordinary. regardless of any technicality or negligence, this is unlike any presidency before. >> yeah. so, to look back to what you mentioned, the big question is, is everyone certain that they have everything at this point? can anyone render that answer definitively? i think the answer is no, right? as of now? >> yeah, you are totally right. we got a statement from the archives earlier this week that said that they have been told by trump representatives that
they were going to continue looking for stray documents and hand over those documents, so we do not have knowledge of what exactly might be outstanding, that has yet to be retrieved. but that, again, is a very suggestive and telling statement. it is clear that the archives are still on the lookout and in touch with the former presidents legal representatives, to make sure that they get their hands on everything that belongs to the american public. >> all right, jacqueline alemany, great reporting, thank you so much for making time. >> thank you chris. >> up next, an urgent warning for americans in the ukraine, as officials announced at a russian invasion could happen any day now. the latest on rising tensions after this. day now. >> we encourage all american citizens to that remain in ukraine to depart immediately. we want to be crystal clear on this point. and a american in ukraine should leave as soon as
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warning of the immediate threat of a russian invasion of ukraine. ukraine says it is almost fully surrounded now by hostile forces, with russian forces on the eastern border and in belarus them and with russian ships blocking part of the black sea. nbc news is told that the u.s. is already stationed troops it would need for a full invasion. -- the target date of the start of military action, acknowledging that possibility but mentioning the particular date could be part of a russian disinformation effort. the u.s. says it does not know if russian president vladimir putin has made a final decision on the invasion. the administration is warning all americans to evacuate ukraine right now. >> american citizens should, leave should leave now. we are dealing with one of the -- in the world. it is a different situation and
things could go crazy quickly. >> we are in a window where invasion could begin at anytime. american citizens who remain in ukraine should leave. now >> the risk is now high enough and the threat is immediate enough that it is the time to leave now. >> the white house just announced that president putin will hold a call with putin tomorrow morning, the first time they have spoken this year. biden already spoke with transatlantic leaders, including the heads of germany, canada britain and france in the situation room earlier today before departing for camp david for the weekend. the last time that russia invaded ukraine, back in 2014, we relied on the excellent reporting of simon ostrovsky, now a special correspondent for pbs news our. it is a pleasure to have you because you were there in crimea in 2014. we talk to a lot. at one point you are obtained, detained, abducted by russian forces there. they let you go. as a veteran of this conflict,
what is your reaction to the official pronouncements coming out of washington today? what does that mean? pronouncements coming out of>> it is obviously very troubling. because a full scale invasion of ukraine would mean a repeat of what happened in 2014, when tens of thousands of people were displaced from their homes and hundreds of thousands of people were killed and had to leave the country. and it would be a toronto trial chaos. so, when i hear that the u.s. government is saying there is an imminent invasion of ukraine, it just makes me very concerned for the people living there. it would be a tragedy of unprecedented scale in europe for many, many decades. and so i think it is very worrying. at the same time, the united states government has said that they are not certain that this is actually going to take place. although the russians have put
all of the equipment that they need to do an invasion, if they decide to do one -- and apparently that decision has not been made yet -- i think that if we look at the way that the russians have behaved in the past, the way that putin has behaved in the past, that there has not been this kind of build out that telegraphs exactly what the russian intentions are, when they have invaded or attacked other countries previously. in 2014, when -- appeared in crimea, it was a surprise to the entire world that that was taking place. it was not something that people expected. and when the russians decided to involve themselves in the syrian conflict, that, we found out only when putin came to his own parliament to tell his own people that russia was going to be involved in that war. but now we have a situation where the russians have, for months, have been telegraphing their ability and and tension to invade ukraine.
and it seems to me that it is not the kind of move putin would usually do, by signaling what he plans on. but having said that, we do not actually know what is in putin's mind. i hate to speculate about the decision of this gravity that depends on only one man. >> yeah. when you harkin back to those episodes, it is striking that you could make the case here, look at the big pieces of military adventurism by russia. in crime, yet they say faced sanctions but they've regained that part of what putin views as part of russia. with the poor that he views as strategically important. and russia's entrance into the syrian conflict was likely quite decisive in essentially beating back the forces seeking to oust assad. assad is now back in power. oust from that perspective, the
are essentially both strategic winds. there is some logic there that this has worked so far. i wonder what you think of that? >> i think that russia's involvement in ukraine, from the very beginning, has been most at your mental to russia's interests, first and foremost. for decades, the exchange rate in russia was 30 rebels rubles to the dollar. now that has changed. -- after the ukraine more took place. i think that when we hear about the sanctions that the u.s. government is planning to impose on russia, if it does indeed follow through with the invasion, that would be a total economic collapse, unlike anything we have seen in the past eight years. what russia has been dealing with in terms of sanctions, up until now, would seem like a
walk in the park. we would see, essentially, russia unable to sell its oil and gas to western europe, which is essentially what putin basis his entire system of government on. i mean, how is he going to pay the police? how is he going to be able to pay the military if he's not able to export to europe? it is still a decade away before he can export of the same volumes to china. this would be an immediate problem for russia, not just for ordinary russians but for the regime itself. and so i think it would be extremely counterproductive and painful to the putin regime if this invasion were to take place. >> finally, on the ukraine government's perspective, one thing that keeps happening is that u.s. officials keep coming and saying this is imminent, this is real, this may happen. and ukrainian officials say, calm down, we have been at war for a while. they are already occupying crimea and we have a shooting, hot war in the donbass region. just chill.
i am never quite sure what to make of that. is the u.s. overstating it? our ukrainian officials trying to stop a stock market collapse? what is your read on that repeated pattern? >> well, i think that the ukrainian administration has a tendency to blame outside forces for the uptick in the tensions that we are seeing because it is obviously very frustrating for them to be in the situation. he has lashed out at the media, he has lashed out at the west and the biden administration but at the end of the day the reason that we are seeing these increased tensions is because the russians have put tens of thousands of their troops around the ukrainian border. i think it is natural for the united states and western governments to be expressing their concern over this issue. but the other side of that coin is that, perhaps by heightening the concern and the worry that
we think that this is real, that the united states is believing there is a potential to happen, it kind of inoculate, in a sense, the -- and i think maybe even decreases the potential for war. because it puts the russians on the back foot, forcing them to deny, repeatedly, that they are preparing for any kind of war. that means that if they do indeed go in it is going to be clear to everyone that they have been lying for weeks. and i think that it put some strategically in a bad position after this would take place. all right, simon ostrovsky, always a pleasure, thank you very much. >> nice to be with you chris. >> coming up, the white house -- he's lobbying against, i'll explain after this. he's lobbying against, i'l he's lobbying against, i'l explai
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he's one of his two democratic senators who has prevented president biden's huge, ambitious social safety net and climate plan notice build back better, from becoming law, it is dead, he killed it, he appeared on fox news to announce his opposition to the bill, say there's too much stuff in, and saying the government should be doing more to combat inflation. which is definitely a big issue for americans, two months later he has not budged, here's what he told -- yesterday. >> i've been ringing the alarm bells forever, i mean, for the last year about inflation, nobody's been listening. now we're seeing a basic threat, it's a seven and a half percent tax on everybody, on every product to buy. it's just unbelievable. >> so that means, that you've already been a definite no on build back better, but that means no more. that means absolutely closed the door and all that, right? >> well the thing of it is, i've always said, these are major, major policy changes. there's a lot of good, good well-intentioned ideas in there
that we needed to tackle sooner or later, but the bottom line is, right now, we're not in the financial position to do it. >> now, the biden administration's had to reconsider its approach, the washington post reports that the white house is talking about reducing the whole -- just to please king manchin. here's the thing, it actually looks like those big stimulus bills over the last two years, are doing a lot to help the deficit, believe it or not. just yesterday, the treasury department announced that the u.s. government posted 119 billion budget surplus in january, the first monthly surplus of more than two years. where did that money come from? according to reuters, the number was quote, boosted by 21% jump in individual withheld income, and payroll taxes that reflected higher employment earnings, due to the economic recovery. this has been the principle of fiscal stimulus back to kane's, when the government spends money on it economy that is under you's lives it helps everyone -- . senator manchin has
specifically pointed to rising inflation, we know is concerns about the national debt, as nbc reported every morning about at you 30, manchin received a text message from a staffer informed about the national debt is, he replies quickly, thanks. we are, but okay. as commentator noah smith points out, despite two covid relief bills, rising inflation actually caused a national debt to fall, in real terms, after adjusting for inflation. like the right side of the chart, it makes at the beginning the pandemic in 2020, but then even after all that spending, it starts to curve back down. because inflation and the debt, and the deficit, the physical health of the country are keeping joe manchin up at night, i have some great news for him, actually, investing in the american people, spending money on economic recovery ends up being better for the government's bottom line. very ends up being better for the government's bottom line this is my happy place. we've been coming here, since 1868. my grandmother used to say,
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world, before the u.s. military withdrew when the taliban seize control last year. but now the economy is collapsing, over 1 million people have already fled to neighboring countries. 1 million people. and those remain, half a facings of your hunger this winter, according to the un. 8.7 million people are risk of starvation. and as we've pointed out repeatedly, on this show, our government, us as americans, could help those people by simply doing one thing, unfreezing the billions of dollars of afghan government assets that are sitting in banks. the money was frozen by the u.s. government when the taliban seized power. by the belongs to the afghan people. today, president biden announced a strange sort of half plan. his administration wants to unfreeze seven billion dollars in afghan funds and put half the money, 3.5 billion, into a trust fund to aid afghanistan and it wants to make the other half available in combination to the victims of 9/11. masuda sultan is the author of the memoir my war at home, my
childhood in afghanistan. she joins me now. you have been very vocal as an advocate about this, about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in afghanistan. what is your reaction to this proposed policy from the white house today? >> well, chris, thank you for bringing up this issue on your show before and for having me on. this was a devastating day for afghans who were hoping to have a sign that their economy would have a chance of surviving in that they would be able to have a central bank, which the united states invested in. we spent 20 years building up a central bank in afghanistan, modeled on the federal reserve. and in training people, building systems, transparency mechanisms and software systems that they could utilize to have a functioning banking system. and today, all of that is gone. as an american, as a taxpayer, i think it is a short sighted policy. because here we are saying to the afghan people that, we know your economy has been crippled you to our financial policies.
and at the same time, we are going to give you humanitarian aid. well, we are creating a bigger and bigger humanitarian disaster by not allowing banking to function and not allowing the economy to be back on its feet, what's afghans need more than anything. they need food and aid. but they also need jobs. they need an economy. they need to be able to import food. they need to be able to pay their teachers, pay their health care workers. all of the normal functions that you expect to happen in a country are now crippled. so, who will end up paying for this in the end? of course, it is going to be the american taxpayer. there is a un appeal out for 4.4 billion dollars and it is only 9% funded. the u.s. is the largest donor to that appeal. anytime there is a problem in afghanistan, we know that the united states ends up having to fix it and pay for it. >> well, just to be clear here, the chain of causality here -- i am reading in on this today and talking to some folks. those reserves sitting in new
york banks are essential to the afghan central bank reserves. they were frozen. and when i think that you are saying and what i have seen other say is that, essentially confiscating that reserve money and deciding how it is going to be a portion, you have basically knocked the legs out from under the afghan central bank, the pillar for whatever afghan banking system there is. >> that is correct. like any central bank, the central bank of afghanistan, it has monetary tools, such as overseeing policies like stability of the currency, like conducting foreign currency auctions, for example. >> right. >> providing liquidity to the banks, overseeing the banks. these are basic functions. they do not have too many tools, like we have here in the united states. but they do have some tools to manage their economy. but those tools are now completely gone with the federal reserve being gone. we have knocked out the lights from under this economy. and now, 22 million people more
are starving, they are going to be waiting for money to arrive, which we are having trouble sending. because the banking system has collapsed. and the central bank does not have the funds. >> raise the thing that i have heard before. what if we send it, it will line the pockets of the taliban, it will not make it into the hands of ordinary afghans. the taliban isn't odious regime. why should we hand over money to them? and i know you are no big fan of the taliban. what should we say to those people? >> sure, none of us are fans of the taliban but we are in this situation now where there is a country of 40 million people that are suffering through one of the worst famines in history. so, what are we going to do about it? well, if you listen to the head of the international rescue committee, if you look listen to the head of the un, if you listen to economists and experts, they will all tell you that the central bank has kept the same laws as before. it is essentially the same
people except for a figurehead attempted appointed by the taliban. the international auditor is the same. there has been no misappropriation of funds. it's an institution we have invested in and we can monitor people and send people over. but no one has picked up the taliban phone and call the taliban and said, this is what you need to do for us to send you money. we have not tried that. we have just decided that afghanistan does not deserve to have a central bank. we just want to confiscate their funds because we do not want to give it to them. >> yes, this really seems like an atrocious mistake and i hope that the biden administration is watching this and is feeling the pressure that we consider because it is horrible to contemplate what will happen out of this decision, masuda sultan, thank you so much for taking time tonight. >> thank you. that is all in for this week, "the rachel maddow show" starts
now with ali velshi. >> chris, have you get the evening, let me show you a photo. the fighter they are looking at, shows 200 people in their cars. now let me show you another picture. it's the same 200 people in the same space, without their cars, just sitting on the city street. looks pretty empty this way, right? urban planners actually use images like these two to drive home the point about how much space each individual takes up because of their vehicle. this is useful information, when you think about how to design cities. for the moment, we need to borrow this way of thinking if we are going to properly understand what exactly is happening with these anti-vaccine mandate trucker protests, right now in canada. the group that shut down the entire city center of canada's capital, ottawa, for two weeks, is around 400 trucks, the group that stop the flow of traffic on this bridge, the ambassador bridge which links detroit and windsor ontario, the bridge that is us