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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  February 12, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PST

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a very good day to all of you, as previously stated here in new york. we're going to begin with breaking news. in the last hour, president biden on a high stakes phone call with russian president vladimir putin as officials warn an invasion of ukraine could happen in a matter of days. senator tim kaine this morning telling me colleague ali velshi why the administration believes an incursion could be imminent. >> i think just the facts on the ground, the sheer movement of personnel equipment, field hospitals, blood supplies into the area surrounding ukraine, and particularly in belarus near kyiv, these are the kinds of just facts on the ground that are leading president biden and others in the u.s. to conclude that an invasion could well be imminent. >> meantime, preparations are underway for the worst case scenario. today the state department ordering employees to leave the embassy in kyiv as defense secretary lloyd austin is
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repositioning 160 members of the florida national guard who have been deployed to ukraine for months. officials are, however, still holding out hope for diplomacy. secretary of state antony blinken tweeting he spoke to sergey lavrov to urge for a diplomatic solution, writing i reiterated further aggression russian aggression would be met. we have correspondent mike memoli and welcome to you both, mike we're going to start with you here. what do we know about the president's phone call with vladimir putin? >> alex, you're going to see me looking down at my phone every few seconds here because this call began at 11:04 a.m. according to a white house official and no indication just yet of whether it's still ongoing. i'll offer updates as we get them. this appears to be a last-ditch attempt by the president to avert what appears to be an imminent invasion, at least
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that's what we're hearing from white house officials. we heard yesterday from jake sullivan, the national security adviser who said he couldn't pinpoint the day, the minute that this happened but u.s. intelligence indicates russia is capable of launching the rapid assault, followed by a typical ground invasion. that's why you saw overnight the u.s. embassy in kyiv, ukraine, seeing all of its staff, excludeing those core personnel should evacuate. we have been hearing warnings from u.s. officials for days for all american citizens in ukraine to get out. here's more of just what the u.s. was laying out from jake sullivan yesterday. take a listen. >> if you look at the disposition of forces in both belarus and in russia on the other side of the ukrainian border from the north, from the east, the russians are in a position to be able to mount a major military action in ukraine any day now, and for that reason we believe it is important for us to communicate to our allies
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and partners to the ukrainians and to the american citizens who are still there. >> reporter: now, alex, this is the third direct conversation between putin and biden since early december. remember they had the virtual meeting in early december. that's when president biden began laying out what he said would be severe economic costs to russia were they to go ahead for an invasion. the second conversation around new year's eve and a third at a critical moment. just how critical, the u.s. was really the russian side wanted to have this call on monday, according to the kremlin, the u.s. officials insisted on having this today. they were willing to do that earlier today, it appears the russian president also spoke with his french counter part, emmanuel macron, down playing with speculation. >> very interesting, the tea leaves would indicate otherwise. there you have it mike memoli, thank you so much from the white house. thank you for checking that ongoing call. we appreciate that. to erin mclaughlin in kyiv. a much more urgent time line you have heard coming from the white
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house. what are you hearing from ukrainian officials and what about the people? how are they reacting? >> reporter: we're just hearing news of the first major airline to suspend flights to kyiv, the dutch airline, klm is going to be suspending all flights effective immediately, impacting a flight from amsterdam to kyiv expected to arrive tonight as the united states continues these dire warnings, ordering americans to leave. as of tomorrow according to the state department, the u.s. embassy in kyiv will no longer be offering consular services. they will be suspending those services, only offering emergency services from a city in western ukraine. this as u.s. citizens that we have been speaking to say they intend to stay in the country: we have been speaking to charlie bonds, an american staying here
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13 days ago. staying in solidarity with ukrainians, take a listen. >> i felt it was sort of an obligation to come here, and i think a lot of ex-pats and that's what i hope to become are not going to leave. for all the problems ukraine has, this is a beacon on the hill. this is a shining face in a lot of ways. there have been two revolutions in the past 17 years for democracy, and whatever people want to say about corruption or the lack of development of a strong government in 30 years, russia has always felt itself since 1864 expanding, but i think the russian population may be changing on that. certainly putin and his oligarchs have some interests in it, it remains to be seen whether this is a disinformation campaign to affect the people here and destroy the economy. >> reporter: we did hear from the ukrainian president, once
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again down playing the threat that ukrainians are no stranger to the threat of invasion, saying that panic is the enemy of ukraine. this as there was a unity march in the capital early today, thousands showed up in solidarity with ukraine and the threat against this russian aggression. other than that, though, it was business as usual in kyiv. a normal saturday. >> thank you for the report from kyiv, we'll check back with you later in the broadcast. let's bring in illinois congressman, mike quickley, member of the appropriations and intelligence committees, and gary locke, former u.s. ambassador to china, and former commerce secretary under the obama administration. welcome to you both. congressman, i'll begin with you first here, what is the intelligence change that prompted the heightened response from the white house that insists the call with vladimir putin take place today instead
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of monday when putin requested to have that call. >> you know, i think the administration recognizes how critical it is. what's obvious, there isn't a deescalation, continued military exercises in belarus, naval exercises by an armada of russian ships in the black sea, and as many sullivan referenced friday. information gleaned from intelligence sources given the indication there might be another false flag and that the invasion could be imminent. >> okay. so that false flag, is that, congressman, you think, why the biden administration said we need to have this call today after yesterday saying an attack could come within 24 to 48 hours. was there some sort of time frame afforded to that potential operation? >> first, i think it was unprecedented for great britain
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and the u.s. to reveal intelligence information about the very notion of a false flag and to give so much information. they recognized how important it was. but i'll reference the fact that mr. sullivan referenced that intelligence information and that it was important enough to move up the call amid the fears that the invasion could be imminent. >> okay. ambassador, before i get to one detailed question, let me ask you, in your experience, would an invasion happen without a country being informed we're going in? if russia -- will russia let joe biden know we're moving? is that protocol in a very bizarre sense? >> well, sometimes countries will do that. but other times it's very apparent what's happening and they may be notifying the u.s. simultaneously when, in fact, it is occurring. the united states has done that when we have taken action against another country.
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we inform our allies what's happening, so they are kept abreast. mr. putin is unpredictable. what he may want to do may be totally unique and unprecedented. >> and are you, sir, of the belief that vladimir putin doesn't yet know what he's going to do, that he's just getting all of his ducks in a row so that whatever decision he makes he's at the ready? >> i'm sure he's keeping all of his options open. it's apparent as congressman quigley and jake sullivan and others have said, they have been communicating their intentions and perhaps using that as threats as some sort of blackmail, political and economic blackmail toward the west, but it looks like they're fairly intent on an invasion, and congressman quigley and the others in the national security arena are probably much more attuned to what's happening right now. >> let me inform our viewers of what we know in terms of the reality on the ground. we have more than 100,000 russian troops positioned along
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ukraine's borders. there are russian naval units now having blocked parts of the ocean. when secretary of state antony blinken spoke with sergey lavrov, according to the russian readout, we should stress, lavrov accused the u.s. of trying to provoke a conflict in ukraine. so if, sir, and this question is to you ambassador, if diplomacy has not worked up to now, what would change that? i mean, someone's got to blink, right. what do you think a blink would be over. what would initiate a blink? >> i really think it's the threat of sanctions, and the question is how far is the united states and the european allies willing to go to really punish russia because the russian economy is fairly fragile, but russia depends on exporting natural gas and oil to eastern europe or to europe. there's a huge pipeline that's about to be built that would supply natural gas to germany.
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and then of course russia is a major world supplier of titanium, and other metals which is used by american military, air bus and boeing in the production of their planes and so the question is how far is the united states and how far are the europeans willing to go when they say massive retaliations against russia. we could try to cut them off from the world economic system, the banking system, they could try to use and get payments to support their businesses using the chinese system, but that's a pretty very limited mechanism, so the question is how far and how deep and how severe of sanctions is the west willing to impose and to go. >> and essentially the same question to you, congressman, but putting it this way, beyond economic sanctions is there
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something that you think could make vladimir putin blink and pull back from the front? >> yeah, i think studying putin as long as i have, i think he's done the calculus, and i think he's decided that ukraine is more important to him than nord stream 2. toward that end what does he care about, what has he always wanted, he wanted the u.s. out of europe, and nato to not exist, and i think unified front by nato would be the most effective. that is, if you do this, rather than get rid of the united states or nato, you're going to have a massive nato presence at your doorstep. diplomacy and sanctions, it's never too late. the lessons from the beginnings of the first world war teach us that, and that's why this call that's taking place right now is so important, but absent that, i think what putin understands is that he would get the opposite of what he wanted if he goes forward. >> congressman, the u.s. state
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department has been quite clear that the u.s. is not going to be able to evacuate citizens in the event of any russian military action. i do want to play a very short bit of what the president told my colleague lester holt in an exclusive interview on nbc. take a watch. >> what scenario would you take. >> that's a world war when america and russia starts shooting at one another, we're in a very different world we've ever been in. >> does this scenario put the u.s. close to a world war. what are the risks right now? even in terms of the risk of war by miscalculation. >> it's miscalculation. we talked about it. it's time to reread the guns of august, barbara tuckman's book about how the war started. perhaps we're assuming that the other entity, thinks like you do or would act the way you did, some air that takes place
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because those maneuvers are taking place as we speak, some lack of understanding of what the other side is up to, and it's very prudent to get u.s. personnel out of ukraine, particularly kyiv, indeed, if putin's attention is to make this short and quick, it would make sense to make kyiv the target, some sort of capitulation at the beginning. and that would be most likely an aerial attack, and bombers, so anyone in kyiv would be at great risk. americans need to leave immediately. >> ambassador last question to you, now that china has joined russia in declaring opposition, what role do you see china in the standoff? are they supporting a russian invasion, potential russian invasion, based on their own position with taiwan? >> no, they're not necessarily supporting an invasion, but they are siding with the russians in
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terms of the russian concerns about nato, the economic policies of the europeans and trying to impose sanctions against russia in the event of an invasion. china and russia have long been aligned. they don't necessarily see eye to eye, but in terms of actions at the united nations, if russia wants to veto something, then china will not object. there's been kind of a support for each other, even though they are not on the closest economic and political alignment. but the alignment and the interactions and the trade between the two countries is intensifying because if russia is not able to sell natural resources, oil and gas to europe, they're looking to supply that and get income from china. and so china, of course, wants to be more energy independent from the west, and so it is looking at this as an
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opportunity to cement and deepen economic and political ties with russia. >> okay. former u.s. ambassador to china, gary locke, sir, thank you so much for your expertise and insight on this one. congressman quigley, i'll ask you to stay with me. i have a few domestic issues. for all of you, you may not have heard about it yet, it's one of the biggest emerging mysteries about january 6th, missing information about calls inside the white house that day. what might these calls reveal? that's next. plus breaking news at the u.s./canada border as police move in, but are protestering moving out? -- protesters moving out? but a moving out -- protesters moving outprotest? -- protesters moving out? protes? ? protesteringprotesters moving out? protesters moving out? prote moving out? protesters moving out? protesters moving out? moving out protesters moving out ♪ ♪
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20 past with this breaking news, police in canada, have a court order to clear the bridge with trespassers, police started moving on those truckers after about 8:00 this morning. reports indicate protesters have
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been leaving without resistance. this is going on as reports of perhaps other trucker demonstrations may be held in protest over vaccine mandates. we're going to get a live report on all of this in a few minutes for you. meantime, new details or a lack thereof concerning january 6th. nbc news has learned the white house records obtained by the house select committee show a huge gap with no phone calls going to or coming from donald trump the afternoon of the riot. but we know donald trump had calls with a number of republican lawmakers during that time frame including minority leader kevin mccarthy, an alabama senator, tommy tuberville, nbc's ally rafa is joining us from capitol hill. welcome to you. have there been any explanations as to what records and why they are miss something. >> reporter: thank you so much for having me, alex. well, sources tell nbc news these gaps could exist for a variety of reasons. one reason could be the former
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president's unorthodox habit of sometimes using his own personal cell phone or the personal cell phones of aides around him to make official phone calls. we know the committee has subpoenaed communications companies for the personal cell phone records of people within president trump's inner circle. some of these people including his own children. we don't know whether the committee has gone so far as to subpoena the president's own personal cell phone records from that day. our sources also say that this lapse could be because of incomplete or altered white house documents as well as something as simple as the national archives already having these documents from the white house but simply not submitting them to the committee for one reason or another. this is just the latest roadblock in the committee's quest to sort of fill in the gaps as to what president trump was doing during the hours long attack on the capitol. take a listen to what committee member jamie raskin says the group is hoping to achieve.
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>> what we're doing here is we're filling in with very empirically rooted fine grain detail exactly what took place, who spoke to who. we're trying to fill in the operational hierarchy of who gave orders to who. >> reporter: and despite this up hill battle, the committee is still making progress. they're hard at work. so far they have interviewed over 500 witnesses and issued 80 subpoenas, the latest of which was given to former white house trade adviser, peter navarro, about his involvement in the capitol insurrection. navarro saying he has no plans to cooperate with the committee. the committee is asking him to turn over documents later this month. and testify in early march. alex. >> allie raffa, thank you so much from capitol hill. let's go back to mike memoli at
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the white house. what's the word? has the call wrapped up. >> reporter: it wrapped up a few minutes ago, just over an hour, president biden and president putin, their third conversation since early december. we haven't gotten any sort of readout from the u.s. side of the call. there will be something of a race here between the white house and the kremlin to put out their version of what happened during this phone call first. we'll also likely see a photo of the president from camp david on the phone with his russian counter part. now, there are some clues of course about what these two leaders were going to be discussing based on the call we know happened earlier today between secretary of state tony blinken and his counter part, sergey lavrov. the russian side, they were waiting for a full response from the u.s. side to the list of sort of demands that the russians had put forward as part of what has been a diplomatic track here. efforts to resolve this diplomatically. but the u.s. also ahead it clear that they have not seen the kind of deescalation that we have
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been calling for over the last two months, and in fact, only seen escalation on the part of the russian side, not only moving more and more of their military forces to the ukrainian border, giving the military multiple pathways to invade ukraine potentially as the u.s. intelligence from just over a week ago indicated being able to take kyiv the capitol in just over two hours. we'll be getting more details shortly from the u.s. side, and we'll bring them to you as soon as we get them. >> we appreciate the details. this was a pretty lengthy call and i'm going to see if my next guest believes that's a good indicator or a bad one. thank you so much for that. back with me is illinois congressman mike quigley a member of the house appropriations and intelligence committees, you heard the question, sir, good sign. this was an hour and 15, hour and 20 minute call. does that mean to you, knowing vladimir putin, you said you had studied him very intently in our last discussion, does that
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signal to you that there was a lot of substantiative discussion or do you think that it was just a lot of we are not getting our points across to each other? >> i guess the good news is that putin was willing to move up the call from what it was supposed to be on monday, and the fact that diplomacy still has some possibilities i'd like to think in his mind. otherwise this is just perhaps his effort of showing the rest of the world i tried diplomacy. i don't know that the length of the call makes that much of a difference, but, you know, as important as this is, hope is what we have right now. >> okay. dually noted and we'll get a readout on that as soon as we can. let's move to the huge gap, sir, in the call logs from the white house on january 6th. we know trump talked to at least two republican lawmakers at that time. we also know he frequently used his personal cell phone while in office, and that does not get
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tracked as official white house communication. same thing, by the way, with any cell phone an aide may have handed to him. so what stands out to you about this? >> the pattern of behavior we saw during the trump administration. an opaque practice there. i think it's important to remind ourselves that the mueller investigation didn't exonerate the president. in fact, he detailed how the president, about a dozen times obstructed that investigation, how we imagined he would do anything different, and he did during the impeachment investigations on something as embarrassing and as horrible as the insurrection that took place on january 6th. not surprising. i have a lot of faith in this panel, some former prosecutors who know what it's like to investigate unwilling sources here, and there's a lot of other means to go around them, subpoenaing fellow communications sources and so forth, we're going to need the help of the courts in what could be a protracted fight.
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>> duly noted how challenging it is. can you give me on a scale of one to ten how critical it is that the committee get the information around these very important hours in order to make a proper assessment of what went down? >> in the final analysis, this may be our last best effort to get at the soul of the trump administration and what they were really doing and how they were acting. the other efforts achieved limited results. this is absolutely critical to our democracy. as you know, i was in the room, and i could take this personally. what's far more important. this is an assault on our democracy, and i believe it was the responsibility primarily lands with the president of the united states, but we need accountability. we need to know who else was involved, who gave what orders and just exactly how involved the president was in those critical minutes. >> let me ask you about the other documents relating to donald trump with the
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"washington post" having reported some of these records that donald trump took to mar-a-lago when he left the white house. very clearly they were marked top secret or classified. the house oversight committee is investigating potential serious violations of the presidential records act. what kind of trouble could trump be in over this? i mean, did he have any right to keep any of that stuff at his house? >> absolutely not. it's particularly dangerous. you put it in the context, historical context, these were all laws put in place post watergate and the nixon administration. i'll be honest, though, i'm concerned that this may not have the legal ramifications from a criminal point of view to the president that we might see as appropriate, unfortunately. he's dodged every bullet. this indeed is a president who has never been held accountable for his actions. there's weaknesses in the law, to be frank, and there's a lot of other legislation out there to address this, and the lack of
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transparency with the white house. this is an age-old fight. but the laws that are out there dealing with presidential records and, you know, how they communicate and move forward using aids, cell phones as you talked about as an example. it can be handled with meaningful legislation, but the fact is, as you know, it's very unlikely something like that get through the senate. >> congressman mik. a canadian judge orders the end to the truckers block aid, some of that unfolded in front of our nbc correspondent. he's live there, he's going to tell us what he saw next. corret he's live there, he's going to he's live there, he's going to tell us what he saw next oh, is that the one where the mom becomes a... (mindy) yep! (vo) i knew it! let's work offsite. public wi-fi? no thanks. 5g ultra wideband is faster and r.
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blockades have been paralyzing the critical supply flow between the two countries leaving companies scrambling for materials and shutting down major auto factories from ontario to alabama. nbc's cal perry is on the ground for us there in windsor. so cal, what are you seeing? how contention has this move been by police? >> it has not been contention, it has been peaceful. there has been communication between the police and protesters. the police have been methodically moving down this road. you can see they've stopped here. it's about every 15 or 30 minutes they'll sort of advance another 20 or 30 feet or. so there have been no arrests so far. as i said, completely peaceful, in fact, only one vehicle has needed to be towed and that was at the owner's request according to windsor police. only about a dozen or so vehicles left. the whole crowd is right in front of us, alex. it's remarkable. we have been telling the story for six days, and it's only taken really a few dozen people to grind the busiest crossing in
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north america. we heard yesterday from the prime minister here in canada to finds himself in an increasingly difficult political position. he had a chance to speak about this. take a listen. >> president biden and i both agree that for the security of people and the economy, these blockades cannot continue. so make no mistake. the border cannot and will not remain closed. everything is on the table because this unlawful activity has to end and it will end. if you're still participating in a legal blockade, you're hurting your neighbors. so it's time to go home. >> and it is that ratcheting up of the pressure and the phone call from the american president, the prime minister in increasingly hot water, and $400 million a day being lost that has people urging to get
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done. one of the other things i know is going to concern police and protesters telling us there are kids here. do you want to wave? give a wave. there are kids here, and so i think that's one of the reasons that the police are moving methodically down this road, alex. >> that makes sense for any number of reasons not the least of which those kids that are present. thank you for showing us that. do you have any idea when traffic is going to be resumed? >> reporter: you know, i don't, and one of the things that i can't figure out here is what is the point at which police draw the line. they keep moving people down this road, alex, but the problem is as people keep walking down the road, and bill and i will walk down the road, and it doesn't matter how far i walk down the road, if i stand here, i'm blocking access to the bridge. that's the question i don't have figured out quite yet. how patient are they going to be moving people back to the city of windsor and say that's it. the bus is there to put people on that they have arrested. and they haven't needed to do that. >> it's been about four and a half hours since this operation
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began. we'll see patience how much is key there. thank you, cal, we'll see you again. let's go to the west coast, and white house official saying the department of homeland security is ready if u.s. versions of anti-vaccinate try to disrupt the super bowl tomorrow. >> the department of homeland security, or could, i should say, the department of homeland security is surging additional staff to the command post. the strong cooperation with the california highway patrol, the los angeles police department and state and local authorities, and the department already has a lead field coordinator and emergency operations center in place as would be standard protocol given this is a large event, the super bowl, and they will build on that. >> although there are no specific threats of violence, law enforcement says it is monitoring the situation. another big concern as a crowd of 70,000 prepares to descend on the sofi stadium tomorrow, covid. i guess we have to ask the
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question is it, we're going to ask that of shaq brewster who's there for us. clearly you won the coin toss getting that assignment because it's like summer in l.a. let me ask you about the covid concern and then the security there. what say you on all of that? >> reporter: yeah, definitely. you know, covid is obviously a major concern, especially when you consider just a couple of months ago or at least a month ago, there was some speculation over whether or not this super bowl would look as it does normally, whether or not they would be able to fill that stadium that you see behind me or have the fan events that you see all around downtown. what you see is the nfl has tried to make it as easy as possible for fans to enjoy the experience as much as possible. we're talking about free rapid testing outside of many of these events you're talking about. vaccination clinics inside convention centers where people can come in and they're incentivized to get their booster shot or get their initial round of vaccinations. i talked to folks at the
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downtown event and listen to what they said. it doesn't seem like they're minding too many of that he is precautions. >> i got my booster shot. i heard i could get in for free if i got the shot. i needed it. it was pulling up on my five months, so it all worked out. >> i'm comfortable. a lot of us got used to wearing the mask, vaccinated and stuff, so i guess everybody is getting used to it, i guess. >> i think they control it pretty good. they check everybody's vaccination, everybody wears masks for the most part. i feel comfortable. >> reporter: there's pandemic safety but there's also the hard safety and the security concerns that you have with any large-scale event like this. this is a level one security event, the federal government increasingly and heavily involved in securing not just the area around me but in securing all of the festivities. we're talking about more than 10 federal law enforcement agencies partnering with some 13 local
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law enforcement groups to secure the event. you see fencing all over. there's a high law enforcement presence in that. presence is not just on the ground. we're not an airport, just about three miles away from lax, so there's concerns about drones, about restrictions and violations of airspace that you have federal agencies looking into, and you also go and see they have security all along the coast. this is a massive security operation but you hear the message from those federal officials and from local professionals, they feel they're ready, they feel that fans can come here safely, and really just enjoy what is expected to be a very entertaining football game. >> absolutely. you make a good point, that stadium is riding the flight path of all the approaching lax flights. hey, sofi stadium, la form, they're right there. good point, could be a bit of disruption. thank you so much, shaq, we'll come see you again. meantime, love is not in the air within the gop, the new signs today the deep divide is getting even deeper. , the new signs today the deep divide is
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new this week, divisions in the republican party growing deeper amid fallout from the rnc, referring to january 6th as legitimate political discourse. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell breaking from the party this week, calling the attack what it actually was, a violent insurrection. senator ted cruz, however, pushing back against his caucus leader saying it's quote a mistake to describe january 6th as an insurrection. joining me now, adrian el rod,
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democratic strategist and former senior aide, and carlos cabello, thank you for joining us, both, and what's your reaction to that? >> it's pretty clear, there are three groups of republicans, those who promote donald trump's lies, those who openly speak the truth as mitch mcconnell has proven to be here in recent months and those who stay silent, and i think those who stay silent are watching, right, what happens between those two factions, mitch mcconnell now former vice president mike pence, and they're going to follow the group that gains the upper hand. i think most people who are decent and honest will hope that those truth tellers will win this battle. >> here's the thing, though, adrian, i still cannot wrap my head around this, how there were people in the capitol that day
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who are straight up denying the reality of what happened. >> yeah, alex, your guess is as good as mine. these were people who, members of congress and their staff whose lives were at risk. they were hunkered down. in the chamber. they were hiding in offices, they were barricading their offices with chairs, and with whatever they could find to protect themselves and now they're pretending that this is some sort of peaceful legitimate protest. it's completely absurd because you're showing the pictures that we're seeing with our own eyes. this is a manifestation not every republican, but for the most part, the majority of republicans supporting donald trump. this is the manifestation of their decision to embrace donald trump once he became the nominee in 2016 and all of the divisive rhetoric and the policies he stands for. we're seeing this play out. they are boxed in. they are beholden to the, you
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know, more aggressive for lack of a better term crazy wing of the party, and this is where the republican party is these days. mitch mcconnell, mike pence, good for them for going up and standing against the rnc, but they are in the minority of the majority of republicans who, you know, do support this kind of rhetoric. >> yeah, "the new york times" had a great interview in which they spoke with harvard professor daniel zibloch, talking about the split between mcconnell and republicans. this is what the professor said, when democracies face political violence, it's almost as important how mainstream parties respond to it, do they condemn it unambiguously and consistently, mcconnell's words were unambiguous, but he hasn't been consistent, the story isn't over. he and certainly his party are engaging in what i would call the semiloyalist swerve, condemning antidemocratic paver
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one day, backtracking the next, being ambiguous the next. the broader point is this. a democracy can't survive in the way we have come to expect when one of two major political parties behaves as a party of authoritarians or democratic semiloyalists and that is where the american republican party is today. what do you make of that, carlos? >> alex, i'll say that in terms of senator mcconnell, that characterization is a little bit unfair since he recognized joe biden as the winner of the election. i think every time he has discussed this topic he has been unambiguous. >> is it fair, though, about the republican party in general? your point dually noted on mitch mcconnell specifically. the republican party in general, is that a fair assessment written by the harvard professor? >> definitely. the fact that so many republicans are either embracing donald trump's lies and specifically the big lie, or staying silent, which is almost as bad, is totally unacceptable
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and dangerous. we only have two political parties in this country. we had ten, and one was embracing dishonest, then that would probably be easier to handle. but there are only two, and by the way, this is a party that's poised if history is a good indicator, and today's polls are an indicator, poised to return to power on capitol hill, so it's even more worrisome that there are so many people in the party that are willing to go along with this lie, but i still have some hope that people like mitch mcconnell, mike pence, and others can start turning the tide and at least helping people understand that, you know, one thing is policy differences, the other thing is to embrace a lie. >> let me ask you, adrian, about the new reporting out there. "new york times" about donald trump taking 15 boxes of white house records to mar-a-lago with him after leaving office, some of which the "washington post" reported was clearly labeled as classified including at the top
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secret level. as someone who saw firsthand how hillary clinton was treated for using a personal server for her e-mails, what do you make of that? >> the quote unquote e-mail scandal which was not a scandal, a manufactured scandal, i might add, defined our campaign. we dealt with it every single day of the entire campaign. we couldn't get our policies out without the mail scandal being part of the stories. we couldn't travel to swing states without this becoming an issue. the fact that donald trump so carelessly and consciously, you know, took classified documents to mar-a-lago, trashed them down the toilet, ripped some up, whatever he did with them, was a far more egregious thing than hillary clinton did, and hillary was filing when it was way too late, was deemed what she did was completely appropriate and above board is extremely frustrating to watch, and i can only hope, alex.
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i realize that donald trump is not the current occupant of the white house but could run again in 2024, the hope the media will give this the same sort of attention that hillary clinton had to deal with and our campaign had to deal with, unfairly, and unnecessarily for, you know, the better part of 18, 19 months. >> this last question to you, carlos, let's take a listen to what congresswoman marjorie taylor greene said about nancy pelosi. here it is. >> not only do we have the dc jail, which is the dc gulog, but we have nancy pelosi spying on members of congress, spying on our staff and spying on american citizens that want to come talk to their representatives. >> i mean, you know, perfect. the word that we assume she wanted to use rather than gespazcho was gestapo, comparing
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democrats to nazis. what's more appalling, that comparison or not knowing the difference. >> it's a complete embarrassment for the people she represents in congress. this is someone who, by the way, there are probably legitimate questions about administration of the house, but to use that rhetoric to insult the victims of naziism, it's just, this is someone who does not belong in congress. does not belong in either party, and is completely toxic and destructive for the country. >> mtg strikes again. adrian, carlos, good to see you both. thank you so much. the big winners in beijing and the debut of the new sport that involves one man, one woman, one sled, a man or a woman and a whole lot of zigzagging down an ice sled at 70 miles an hour. breaking news at the border of canada, police breaking in telling protesters, got to move on. , police breaking in telling protesters, got to move telling protesters, got to move on,
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wins for team usa at the winter game as we look at the olympic snowflakes flame. the u.s. has five gold medals, 11 overall. a big celebration for lindsay and nick baumgartner, they teamed up to win mixed cross. the u.s. men's hockey beating canada 4-2. the americans competing with 12 college players on the ice. the nhl with two players in late december due to covid concerns. ice dancing, 23 teams competing in the rhythm dance portion of the program, and what about about monobob starts tomorrow, and only one woman is in a bobsled going at 70 miles per hour or so on that zigzagging ice slide. american elena myers taylor among the top contenders, watch it on nbc right after the super bowl. there are two distinctly
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a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters in new york. welcome to alex witt reports. we begin with the breaking news. the president just wrapping up a critical hour long phone call between russian president vladimir putin, the conversation comes as officials warn an invasion of ukraine could be imminent. a live report of details in just a few moments, as russia adds troops ukraine's border, putin requested the call take place on monday. house


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