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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  March 30, 2022 3:00am-6:01am PDT

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it's been since world war ii, you're not in a great mood about it. you take it out on the guy on top. that and inflation continues to cloud the presidency is what, i think, explains his lingering poll numbers. >> inflation and the rise in gas prices also playing a role. sam stein, thank you, my friend. >> always a pleasure. >> we'll talk soon. thanks to all of you for getting up way too early on this wednesday morning. "morning joe" starts right now. progress reported in peace talks between ukraine and russia, but with continued russian shelling and a history that shows vladimir putin cannot be trusted. moscow's pledge to scale back its military activity is met with major skepticism. we'll have the latest from the biden white house and from the battlefield in ukraine. plus, the morning's other big stories we're covering. questions of whether donald
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trump used burner phones to hide conversations he had while the capitol was under attack. another russia, if you're listening, moment, we'll have for you. and chris rock set to take the stage for the first time since oscar night. good morning. welcome to "morning joe." it is wednesday, march 30th. joe has the morning off. willie, let's dive right in. >> mika, good morning. you said it there, there is skepticism. more than a month of russia's invasion into ukraine, the first significant signs of progress are being reported in peace talks between the two countries. representatives met for more than 3 hours in turkey yesterday following weeks of fighting. in those talks, ukrainian officials reportedly agreed to declare their country permanently neutral, abandoning any hope of joining nato, and agreed to discuss possibly conceding some of their own territory, which russia already claimed for itself. in exchange, a group of outside nations would provide, quote,
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security guarantees to ukraine in the event of a future attack. this hypothetical group, which could include the united states, reportedly would commit to providing ukraine with military aid and a no fly zone. unclear, however, if outside nations have signed onto this guarantee or ever would. mika, these are very broad strokes here. they had a good meeting for 3 hours, but, obviously, there is no trust at this point from ukraine to russia, given what we've seen over the last month. >> yeah. during those talks, russia also vowed to significantly scale back military operations near kyiv and another northern ukrainian city, but that announcement has been met with so much skepticism from the united states and ukraine. they've seen this movie before. a white house official confirms a small number of russian troops are moving away from kyiv but says it may be just an indication of putin adjusting from his original plan. and moscow may be simply
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repositioning. here's what president biden and members of his administration had to say. >> i don't read anything into it until i see what their actions are. we'll see if they follow through and what they're suggesting. we're going to continue to keep strong the sanctions. we're going to continue to provide the ukrainian military with their capacity to defend themselves. we're going to continue to keep a close eye on what's going on. >> nobody should be fooling ourselves by the kremlin's now recent claim that it will suddenly just reduce military attacks near kyiv or any reports that it is going to withdraw all its forces. has there been some movement by some russian units away from kyiv in the last day or so? yeah, we think so. small numbers. but we believe that this is a repositioning, not a real withdrawal, and we should be prepared to watch for a major offensive against other areas of
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ukraine. >> there is what russia says, and there is what russia does. we're focus on the latter. what russia is doing is the continued brutalization of ukraine and its people. that continues as we speak. >> let's bring in retired four-star navy admiral and former nato supreme allied commander, james stavritis. former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, bill taylor is with us. and white house bureau chief at "politico," jonathan lemire. he is the host of "way too early." admiral, i'll start with a key question here. russia has said what it said. what would be the proof the west can gleam from satellites?
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what is there proof this scale-back is actually happening? >> you start, mika, with the tower of lies that we've dealt with from the russians. you start from the position of extreme skepticism. >> of course. >> as you well know. number two, you focus your overhead imagery, so that is, in fact, satellite capability. that is optical. it is infrared. you can see movements based on engines moving on the ground. there are many technical means as the intelligence community would say. number three, you talk to the ukrainians. they're on the ground. they're fighting. they're intermixed with many of these russian units, and they've been doing a terrific job, obviously, of destroying units. they also know where the units are. you're also using that level of intelligence that you're getting boots on the ground, eyes in front of those troop formations. you're using all of that intelligence. finally, mika, you're also
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monitoring communications. we don't want to get into all that, but there is capability there. you put that together. intelligence, you know, is not like taking a photograph. intelligence is like building a mosaic. you're putting a piece here, a piece here. you put it all together, and you have good indication. i'm confident we'll have a good sight picture on what the russians actually do. that's what's important here. >> ambassador taylor, the russians are not negotiating from the position of strength they probably thought they would be a month or so ago, given the way this invasion has failed in so many ways, given the rallying of the west and the collapse of the russian economy because of the sanctions. if you are on the ukrainian side in turkey during the negotiations, why would you agree to say, for example, we'll remain neutral and never join nato.
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we'll never host nato forces on our soil. what would you think if you were on the ukrainian side of the negotiation? >> the ukrainians are very skeptical, but the ukrainians are also thinking how they can provide for their own security. they are thinking how can they be sure that they won't be attacked again in the future? they thought, for a while, for some time, that nato was the answer to that question. if they joined nato like the pols, the lithuanians, the estonians, they could have that collective security. but they've now concluded that that's not in the cards in the immediate future, so they look for something else, some other way to provide for their security. they're looking for other models. a model might be like austria. austria is a member of the european union. it is not a member of nato, but it does have security there. and with the austrian model, again, this is what the ukrainians are figuring out. this is their own calculation. it's their own idea of how to
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provide. they, in addition to the neutral status, which they're considering, they want guarantees. they want guarantees from other nations, that if they are invaded again, that they will be supported. these other guarantor nations will send troops and send aircraft to defend ukraine. so that's what they're looking for. that's the way they'll provide for their security. >> admiral stavridis, you were the commander of nato. what is your understanding of this security force that may be put in place? again, we should underline, this is all hypothetical. these are early discussions. but if it is not nato and includes the united states, germany, and other countries to come in and protect ukraine in the event of a future attack, to establish a no fly zone, what does that group of nations look like to you? >> i think it is built out of the nato nations, but you might also want to consider neutral
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nations themselves. i'll give you two to think about. one is finland. one is sweden. both have tremendous military capability. they deployed alongside nato, but they're not formal members of the alliance. i think you put them in the mix. then you certainly are going to want to bring in either the british or the french. they have nuclear capability. that matters. third and finally, i think the united states is going to be the security blanket, if you will, for the ukrainians. if i were negotiating on the ukrainian side, that would be that above all else. got to have the u.s. involved in those security guarantees. so that would be a framework that i think would be under discussion. there will be many permutations of it, but i'd start kind of with that mix. >> jonathan lemire, take us through your new reporting. a great piece in "politico" on the biden administration's
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skepticism on russia's claims. also, u.s. officials now reviewing their own intelligence assessments to determine how they could have so badly misjudged the strength of the russian military. the russians are so bad, and we're trying to figure out how we didn't know how bad they were. let me add another question to this. is there a clause in this that perhaps no one imagined how good the ukrainians would be? >> there's no question of that, mika. let's start with the skepticism, though. we just played sound there from top administration officials. a senior administration official told me this about not believing what russia is saying. quote, they have lied about everything else. why should we start believing them now? they do think this, that this is an effort for russia to buy some time. it could be using it to resupply, redeploy their troops. there is no evidence of russian forces going back to russia. they're, rather, shifting around within ukraine. it seems they're focusing more, perhaps, on the donbas region, the crimea region. if they can control that, they'd
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go into negotiations from a position of more strength than they currently have. the president in a phone call with the leaders of italy, uk, germany, and france yesterday, urged allies to keep the pressure up, keep the weapons flowing into ukraine, and not take their foot off the gas. there is no reason to believe russia here. in fact, they want to see more signs of progress before president biden would step in here potentially with a call with president putin, which a lot of analysts believe is a step that's going to need to happen before this war comes to an end. the u.s. says we're not doing that yet. they have to earn that. we have to see signs that russia is serious about ending this war before we put the president of the united states on the phone. as for the assessment of the russian military, vladimir putin certainly misjudged the strength of his own forces. it seems the united states did, as well. in fact, as we report this morning, they've begun a review as to how they could have gotten this wrong. they thought russia was a far
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more fearsome foe than it turns out they are. certainly also underestimated the ukrainians, as you say. the level of fight, the level of respiratory, the resistance as they're fighting for their homeland and now, of course, fortified with allies weapons and equipment helping their cause. certainly, the russian military turned into a bit of a paper tiger here. u.s. doing its own intelligence assessment. >> another reminder why ukraine and the united states don't trust russia. some new satellite images from the besieged ukrainian city of mariupol show a shocking scale of devastation we haven't quite seen before. this is the grim reality faced by thousands of civilians who remain in that city. the images released yesterday by u.s.-based technology firm. some images show hundreds of civilians lining up outside a grocery store. ukrainian officials have said more than 100,000 residents are trapped in that seaside port with little foot or water and still facing relentless russian bombardment.
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the images also show what is left of the mariupol drama theater that was bombed earlier this month. officials say at least 300 people were killed there. all this as the city council yesterday alleged more than 70 civilians from a maternity hospital were deported to russia by force. nbc news has not been able to independently confirm that claim yet. joining us now from western ukraine, national correspondent gabe gutierrez in lviv. gabe, good morning. there was an air-raid iron in lviv, where you are, about an hour ago while you were on the air with jonathan on "way too early." obviously still on high alert at all times there. >> reporter: yeah, that's right, willie. good morning. we've gotten the all clear from that air-raid siren, but it has become a way of life, even in western ukraine, considered relatively safe compared to other parts of the country, which you just mentioned. mariupol, of course, a city which local officials say still has more than 160,000 residents. the ukrainian president zelenskyy saying more than 90%
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of the buildings in mariupol have either been damaged or destroyed. now, willie, over the past several hours, the governor of chernihiv, the city northeast of kyiv that the russians conceded that they would be -- they claim that they're pulling back some of their forces from there, the governor of that region says that shelling continued in that city overnight. that shelling continued in the outskirts of kyiv. of course, president zelenskyy saying that the fighting continues in other parts of the country. the shelling continues in kharkiv in the northeast and, as i mentioned, in mariupol. that feeds into the skepticism that, you know, many ukrainians feel that this is just a repositioning of russian forces. the british ministry of defense also saying that some russian forces have gone back to russia and also to belarus, being forced to resupply. so, certainly, a lot of questions about where this is going from here. all this, willie, as the
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fighting continues toward the east and the south. the u.n. this morning saying the number of refugees leaving ukraine has now topped 4 million. back to you. >> gabe gutierrez in lviv, ukraine. thanks so much. let's go to national security analyst for nbc news and msnbc, clint watts. he's at the big board for us again this morning. clint, help us, if you would, put all this together, what we've just heard about mariupol, about attacks, missile attacks in the western part of the country, and a repositioning as the pentagon is now calling it, of russian troops with a focus on the eastern part of the country. >> that's right, willie. things have changed dramatically. if you just look at the first month where we saw this start, we saw lots of red advancing everywhere. week three, we started to see the russians stall. now look here, you see lots of blue. particularly in the north, that's where we're talking, admiral stavridis and others are talking about what are the russians really doing? we watch their actions, not what they say.
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what we have seen is the ukrainian military fighting back in all three of these sectors, again causing losses, pushing back the russian military. i think the big question now is, is the russian military, which has dug in now in some of the positions along here, are they trying to hold ground to resupply, or is this part of what might be a retrograde type of operation, where they slowly send some forces back but leave others to block and essentially defend? it doesn't mean they'll leave either. as you said, they're going up to belarus. could be going to resupply, refit, to later bring the troops back. they've been in action for up to a month. the big part of this that is indicative across all of the russian efforts is they wanted to encircle, but in each one of these, from cher chernihiv, sumy, they failed. the battle, the hottest spots
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are around izium. they're trying to focus more combat power. one of the things we should look for is do they take some of these forces over here in kyiv, move them back out around, then supply more manpower and equipment into the region? izium is this key battle where you can watch essentially as the russians are trying to bring these axis down into luhansk. initially, luhansk was the reason russia was going in, to take over the donbas region out to here. the question might be, they had big aims in the beginning. maybe kyiv, probably odesa. those seem to be lost. can they essentially seal this corridor here? that brings us to the big picture. when you look to the south, this is where they initially had success. again, you're fighting the ukrainian military fighting back in mykolaiv, where the ukrainian navy went after crimea was
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invaded. they are losing ground again. instead, i think as we zoom back out, you're seeing a battle space that looks very different. i think you're seeing russia really concentrating their combat power here. the real question is about manpower. again, the belarusian military seems to not want to jump into the fight. the foreign fighter flow has been very slow, really a trickle. some forces maybe from hezbollah or syria. next, they're bringing in mercenaries, but that is a drop in the bucket for the fight. conscription comes up again in russia on april 1 st. there is some indication inside russia that mercenaries are refusing to fight or show up. even the russian military leaders are saying they wouldn't throw conscripts into hot spots. if the conscription level says the same and doesn't jump up, could indicate russia is going for a smaller portion of ukraine than what they initially thought or what they were going to try to pull off. >> admiral stavridis, clearly, you know, amid these claims of scaling back, i think it is
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universally believed that russia did not expect to be in this situation that it is in now. that vladimir putin did not expect to still be fighting so hard now. can you talk a little bit about the difference between the ukrainian fighters who are still begging for weapons and worried that mariupol will fall in a matter of days versus the russian fighters, in terms of understanding and believing in the mission? how much does that matter in a fight like this? >> it is everything. think of yourself. all of us should consider what we would feel like if we were on the front lines of this battle. if you're ukrainian, who is behind you? your children, your spouse, your parents, your elders, your cities, your civilization. you are utterly motivated in that fight. go to the other side of the battlefield. think of the russians. many of them conscripts. all of them looking behind them.
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what do they see? first, they might see a dead general back there because nine generals have been killed. kind of unheard of in a conflict like this. so you're not seeing that cohereny of chain of command. deep behind you, who do you see? the smiling face of vladimir putin. not exactly an inspirational figure that you are willing to march into battle and die for. so it's a tale of two mmorales, and the ukrainians score highly. now, let's face it, weapons play in all this. that's why our job in the west is to harness that fighting spirit of ukrainians by giving them the tools to finish the job. that's the story of the next few months, i think. >> ambassador taylor, as these negotiations continue, president zelenskyy continues to ask the united states and other countries in the west, particularly in europe, for more arms, for more. he continues to ask for a no fly zone, to close the sky, as he
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puts it. so what position does that put president biden in, from your point of view, as someone who is shuttled between these two countries? what is the relationship right now, and what more, if anything, can the united states be doing in this moment? >> willie, the united states, just as admiral stavridis said, does have a big responsibility to provide these weapons, to open the spigot as wide as it can go. the ukrainians need ammunition. they've been fighting now for over a month, and they've been fighting fiercely. that takes a lot of ammunition. it also requires additional armored vehicles. it also requires additional stingers to go after the aircraft. so we need to provide that kind of military support. it's not just us, willie. it is also our allies. it is also, frankly, other nations that have the kind of equipment that the ukrainians know how to use and that we can help get the equipment there. i have been talking to the folks
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in the pentagon who are doing that work, and they are working flat out to provide, identify, and move those weapons. that's what we really need to do. it needs to be an all-out effort. it needs to be all of nato, and it needs to be sustained. because as admiral stavridis just said, this is going to be a longer grind, and the ukrainians are using that equipment well but using it fiercely. they're using it intensely, so we need to provide the support. >> all right. still ahead on "morning joe," for more than 7 hours, while our nation's capitol was under attack last year, there was no record of any calls made by then president trump. how is that possible, since everyone saw him on the phone? we're digging into details about that concerning gap. and what former national security adviser john bolton is saying about burner phones. plus, remember this moment? >> russia, if you're listening,
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i hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. >> wow. donald trump brazenly asking russia to release information about hillary clinton's emails. now, he is soliciting help again. this time, he wants dirt on the biden family from vladimir putin, in the middle of a war. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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live shot of the white house at 27 past the hour. former president donald trump has praised vladimir putin as savvy and a genius during russia's invasion of ukraine.
quote quote
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now, he's asking putin for dirt on president biden's son, hunter. >> one thing while i'm on your show, as long as putin now is not exactly a fan of our country, let him explain, where did -- because chris wallace wouldn't let me ask the question. why did the mayor of moscow's wife give the bidens, both of them, $3.5 million? that's a lot of money. she gave them $3.5 million. so now, i would think putin would know the answer to that. i think he should release it. we should know that answer. now, you won't get the answer from ukraine, but why are they giving somebody who knows nothing about energy $187,000 a month plus a $3 million up front payment? i won't even talk about china because they haven't gone into
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taiwan yet. >> right. >> that'll be next. but why did the mayor of moscow's wife give the biden family $3.5 million? nobody wants to ask the question. chris wallace, who is a total lightweight, unlike his father who interviewed me for "60 minutes" who was a good piece. mike wallace is great. he wants to be mike wallace, but he doesn't have the talent. why is it the mayor of moscow's wife gave the biden family $3.5 million? i think putin now would be willing to probably give that answer. i'm sure he knows. >> a fact check, the payments the former president is referring to come from a highly criticized republican-led senate report released just weeks before the 2020 election. it maintained that elena baturina, the widow of moscow's former mayor, wired $3.5 million to a firm associated with hunter biden. the report did not show that
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hunter biden we sie received ane money. hunter biden's legal team long claimed he had no interest in the firm and was not paid any of the money in question. as to trump's claims that putin knows something about the payments, the russian president has previously said he was unaware of any business ties between hunter biden and b aturina. trump himself was seeking out business with the former mayor of moscow in the late 1990s. he had a pageant there. very involved with russia. at this point, ambassador bill taylor, since you were there during this first debacle with the president, wanted to get dirt on the political rival from president zelenskyy, your thoughts on what you just heard from the former president of the united states. >> well, mika, we know that in
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the summer of 2019, there was discussion of additional weapons for ukraine. we know that the united states had been providing these javelin missiles. the trump administration, to its credit, had been providing these javelin missiles that were very effective, as we're now seeing how effective the javelins are. there was interest on the ukrainians. i was there at the time. they were interested in additional weapons, additional javelins. there was a phone call where they had this conversation with president trump. president zelenskyy asked for support for this sale, for additional. as we know, president trump asked for a favor on this same topic, of investigations into his political rival. in the end, those weapons went. thank goodness. they were held up for a period
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of time, which was troubling for the ukrainians. but in the end, these weapons went, and as we see, they are now put to great use against the russians. >> jonathan lemire, mika just said it. vladimir putin has already addressed this unsubstantiated claim about this payment. he did it on the eve of the presidential election. if you look at the interview, he rolled his eyes and was allowed he was being asked about this. he waved it away. now, it is worth stopping and taking stock in the middle of what we're watching in russia. not only did donald trump watch the horrors of what we're seeing in ukraine and say, quote, this is genius and say, this is wonderful, but now he is taking the side of vladimir putin, saying let's exploit how putin feels about the united states right now, and get him to give me this invented dirt that came out of a report authored by ron johnson of wisconsin. you know, we're not shocked nimby donald trump, but the
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things he said during this war i think rise to that level. >> yeah. it is hard to be shocked by him, but this is so galling. it is just so galling. not only are there echoes of the 2016 moment where he openly asked russia for help -- and we know, thanks to the mueller report, it was that night the gru started accessing some of the hacks. wikileaks, the clinton emails, they seemed like they were responding to what trump asked. echoes, of course, as ambassador taylor just said, of 2 1/2 years ago and his efforts to get dirt on the bidens by extortion of ukrainian president zelenskyy. to now do so during a war, where vladimir putin is committing war crimes. the united states has deemed that putin and the russian soldiers committed war crimes and, yet, trump is asking him for help. it is truly staggering. admiral stavridis, taking a step back here, your sense of how damaging this all is, in terms of trump and other voices on the right, including the
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conservative media who still seem sympathetic to the russian cause. we know those video clips are being circulated on state tv in russia. how does this undermine the war effort here? this is the former president of the united states openly asking vladimir putin for help. >> it's the wrong message at the wrong time. in particular, i'm struck by president trump saying that president putin is a genius. if he is a genius, why is his invasion failing so publicly, so broadly? why did he so completely overestimate the capabilities of his generals? why is he mortgaging the future of his nation by cracking its economy? why is he turning to other authoritarian nations around the world to continue to trade with russia? none of that is going to work. it is going to diminish his nation. he is anything but a genius. for senior u.s. political
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figures to call him a genius is shocking in the extreme. he's also, as you say, jonathan, a moral failure. he is someone who has committed war crimes throughout his career, if you will. syria to what is going on now, all you need to do is look at a photograph of mariupol. you know everything you need to know about vladimir putin. he is not a genius. he is as far from it as i can imagine a human being being. >> yeah. for all the republicans who went on sunday shows and tried to sort of pass by what trump said about taking dirt from a political rival in exchange for -- you know, they said, oh, he won't do it again. it is okay, he learned his lesson. clearly, he hasn't. he never will. retired navy admiral james stavridis and former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, bill taylor, thank you, both, once
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again for coming on this morning. coming up, the other big story this morning about donald trump. about burner phones and a big gap in the former president's call logs on a very important day. we're digging into the latest reporting on what trump was doing while his supporters stormed the capitol.
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6:30 in the morning in washington, d.c. sun about to come up there. investigators on a january 6th committee say they're working to account for a more than 7-hour gap in the phone logs of former president donald trump on the day of the capitol attack.
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internal white house phone calls obtained by the "washington post" and by cbs news found a chunk of time missing between 11:17 a.m. and 6:54 p.m., which includes the duration, of course, of the attack. as the "post" reports, that gap contradicts extensive public reporting on phone calls the president had with allies during that time. we know he was on the phone. not included in the logs, calls the president made to senator mike lee and to house minority leader kevin mccarthy. the "post" quotes who people with knowledge of the investigation, saying the committee is looking into whether trump communicated by back channels, former aides, or burner phones. trump released a statement. quote, i have no idea what a burner phone is. to the best of my knowledge, i've never even heard the term. according to the "washington post," his former national security adviser, john bolton, disputes the claim, saying in an interview, he recalls trump using the term burner phones in
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several discussions. bolton reportedly said he and trump have spoken about how people have used them to avoid having their calls joining us now, senior capitol hill correspondent garrett haake. we're talking about 7.5 hours of missing phone logs here. we know, for example, he was on the phone with united states senators, members of congress. how does this fit into the puzzle the january 6th committee is putting together? >> reporter: with all due respect to the "washington post," me and my colleague reported this hours long gap in february. after the rally on the ellipse, there were no phone records for donald trump the rest of the day. the committee thinks there are three possibilities. incompletee records were tampered with, or the former president found other ways to make the calls, whether through aides, on cell phones we don't know about.
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i think the possibility of a burner phone is relatively low. anyone around trump or covered trump knew he'd grab the phones of aides or somebody else in the conversation, ingoing and outgoing callsflowed through him. that's the more likely possibility here. at the end of the day, the committee knows what he wasn't doing during this time period. it's the key to their thesis. he wasn't doing anything to call off the attacks, to stop the riot or the attack. that's been central to their sort of public-facing messaging on this all along. getting to the bottom of that is going to be key. they may get help this week. they're expected to talk to jared kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior aide, on thursday. that's the closest to the inner circle around trump on that day that the committee has gotten yet, willie. >> in fact, the opposite. we know he was cheering on the attacks and was flattered by what he saw by his supporters. stay with us, garrett. jonathan lemire, i want to go to
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you on this. i'm thinking about watergate and the 18.5 minuting missing from that case. we're talking 7 1/2 hours of missing phone logs. we know from reporting and what members of congress told us that donald trump, of course, was on the phone all day. >> he spent most of that day after he returned from the rally he held at the ellipse in a private dining area off the oval office. that's what we've reported. he has aen bank of televisions, and he watched the chaos at the capitol unfold. we know he tried to call senator tuberville and ended up getting senator lee instead. we know he spoke to kevin mccarthy. that's when he told mccarthy that, clearly, the rioters loved their country more than he did because he wouldn't stand up for trump's false election claims. we know people were going in and out of the oval office. some of his closest aides, including his daughter and senior adviser ivanka trump. other members of the inner
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circle, including chief of staff mark meadows. we know meadows was receiving all sorts of text messages from republicans and conservative media figures. and to try to get president trump to -- then president trump to tell the rioters to knock it off. garrett, my question to you is this, and let's set aside the idea of a burner phone. this isn't something that donald trump went to the mall and picked up one of those things. >> reporter: right. >> we know he used his aides' phones, and sometimes he'd use his personal cell phone. he rarely used the white house phone. can investigators get the call logs from donald trump's personal cell phone? >> reporter: i think it is going to be an enormous challenge. look at the things the investigators ran up against, legal challenges, lawsuits thus far. the biggest hurdles have been on questions of phone records, whether they be phone records of someone like steven miller, who they tried to get and ran up against the fact he was on a
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family plan at the time, or when they go after lawmakers' cell phone records that might catch other conversations that aren't part of what they're looking for. we've not been able to confirm any specific effort to go after donald trump's personal cell phone number. it would certainly make sense in the contours of their investigation, but if you're going to get bogged down in months and months of legal battles, when the time is so short, maybe go after the information in other ways. i thought for a long time the meadows text messages are the rosetta stone for this. the committee may feel like who he was talking to is enough. we don't know. >> speaking of, garrett, a group of democrats is putting pressure on the supreme court justice clarence thomas to recuse himself from any cases involving the january 6th insurrection. nearly two dozen congressional democrats sent a letter to chief justice john roberts and justice
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thomas, quote, demanding answers regarding justice thomas' potential violation of federal ethics law. this comes days after it was revealed that justice thomas' wife, republican activist, sent text messages to former chief of staff mark meadows where she seemed to pressure him to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. justice thomas was the only dissenting vote in a supreme court ruling earlier this year requiring that trump white house records be turned over to the january 6th house select committee. the lawmakers want a written explanation as to why he did not recuse himself from the case. they also asked chief justice roberts to, quote, impose a binding code of conduct on the supreme court. the only court in the country not currently subjected to a judicial code of ethics. if the court does not act, democrats appear ready to handle
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it themselves. a group of lawmakers have renewed calls for the supreme court ethics act. judiciary committee chair senator dick durbin of illinois is a co-sponsor of the bill. >> we've been waiting a long time. the supreme court has not been cooperative. it's one of the few areas in the federal government not governed by an ethics code. i think it is long overdue. >> garrett haake, isn't this about the credibility of the supreme court? i mean, isn't it on the line here? how is it that justice thomas hasn't been subject to more scrutiny given his wife's text messages to mark meadows, and even the illusion to him, supposedly, reportedly, in those text messages when she says that she's going to be talking to her best friend? of course, that's what that husband and wife team call each other, their best friends. i don't know who else she could be talking about. maybe she could be talking about her best girlfriend. who knows? i doubt it.
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but isn't it worth asking some questions? ultimately, is the credibility of the supreme court at stake here? >> reporter: yeah, this has been an issue under the radar a long time. ginny thomas is a professional activist and has been for a long time. she's been active on any number of issues that have at least tangential connections to potential supreme court cases. here, you've got something that is absolutely connected to the supreme court. they've already ruled once on january 6th related material. who knows what kind of 2020 election-related cases, or god forbid 2024 election-related cases might come before a supreme court on which justice thomas is still a member. as for ginny thomas, she is not a key part of the january 6th investigation. this is sort of somebody who kind of got caught up in the wash, part of what was on meadows' phone. the questions of court credibility are real ones. you see the senate and some democratic lawmakers trying to address it. but i have a really hard time
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seeing how any legislation gets to 60 votes right now. republicans have not wanted to touch this issue, even some that tend to work in a more bipartisan basis on these things say, look, this is for justice thomas to decide or perhaps the chief justice. that don't want to be caught in legislating this, particularly when it could potentially embarrass a figure like clarence thomas who, on the right, is held very much on a pedestal. this is not the thing republican senators want to lean into doing. a lot of talk on this. perhaps the pressure on the chief justice might be more productive than a legislative outlier that will have a hard time getting to 60 in the senate. >> garrett haake, thank you very much. ahead, we return to our coverage of the war in ukraine, where russian shelling continues this morning despite moscow's pledge to let up attacks amid peace talks between the two sides. so where does putin's war go from here? we'll have new reporting on how
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this bloody conflict could end. "morning joe" coming right back. trelegy for copd. ♪ birds flyin' high ♪ ♪ you know how i feel ♪ (coughing) ♪ breeze driftin' on by ♪ ♪ you know how i feel ♪ copd may have gotten you here, but you decide what's next. start a new day with trelegy. ♪ ...feelin' good ♪ no once-daily copd medicine has the power to treat copd in as many ways as trelegy. with three medicines in one inhaler, trelegy helps people breathe easier and improves lung function. it also helps prevent future flare-ups. trelegy won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. do not take trelegy more than prescribed. trelegy may increase your risk of thrush, pneumonia, and osteoporosis. call your doctor if worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes, or eye pain occur. take a stand
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54 past the hour. urgent preparations are under way in the ukrainian city of odesa, where volunteers are bracing for the fighting to reach their doorstep. foreign correspondent molly hunter has the latest from the port city this morning. >> reporter: this is a city on the brink of war. the famous port city is not only on russia's wish list for its strategic location on the black sea, home to ukraine's navy, but also for its culture heritage. now, we can't show you any of the military positions. we can't show you the checkpoints at almost every single intersection. but i can show you the sandbags, the tires, the huge hedgehogs. this military, this city is fortified in the historic city center, and they're ready for a fight. we visited a defense training
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facility, blacksmith, bootcamp, all volunteers. igor last fought in the russian army in kazakhstan in the late '70s. after all these years, he says, he is starting from scratch. he never thought he'd have to pick up another gun. but when exactly the russians might launch an attack, no one here quite knows. >> i believe it can be even in one hour. >> reporter: niccolai is running a volunteer hub, until recently a trendy food court. >> oysters and champagne. this is the second time. the first time, they tried to kill us because we were jewish. now, they want to kill us because we are ukrainian. we are strong. it is our home. >> reporter: defiance runs throughout the streets of o bes odesa. when was this built? >> 1930s. >> reporter: this bunker, last used in world war ii, is a web of tunnels. it is huge, taller than i thought. it is reopen for those choosing
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to stay. this is where you come during the air-raid sirens? people here bracing for impact. coming up, the u.n. reports this morning that more than 4 million refugees have now fled ukraine since russia launched its war. we'll get a live report from poland ahead on "morning joe." ♪ it wasn't me by shaggy ♪ you're never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your discover card. ♪♪ three times the electorlytes and half the sugar.
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no wayyyy. no waaayyy! no way! [phone ringing] hm. no way! no way! priceline. every trip is a big deal. it is the top of the hour, and we have breaking news from ukraine. russia pledged about 24 hours ago to let up on the northern city of chernihiv, but according to the governor there, russian forces spent the whole night shelling the region. proving once again that vladimir putin cannot be trusted. the overnight developments show
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chernihiv -- show exactly why nato countries are approaching russia's claim that it is drawing down troops with skepticism. russia says it wants to increase trust at the negotiating table, but officials believe it may be repositioning its forces to stage a larger assault on the east. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel has more from ukraine. >> reporter: the new talks between russia and ukraine began with deep mistrust. no handshake. but after 4 hours, the most significant progress so far. russia's deputy defense minister announcing russian troops would drastically reduce activity in central ukraine around kyiv and the city of chernihiv. ukrainian officials saying no foreign troops. all have to leave ukraine. but that ukraine would negotiate on the future status of russian-backed separatist ars
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in donbas, leave open crimea, and not pursue nato membership in exchange for international security guarantees. but is it real progress or a trap? russia only agreed to scale back in areas where it was already suffering heavy losses. and in the east, russia continues to bomb civilians indiscriminately, in mariupol and kharkiv, where andre was hallway of a hospital. russians blew out the windows. he was escaping his home was, suddenly -- i heard the whistle, then i lost consciousness. badly injured in his leg, he said he somehow managed to get his wife and daughter into their car. but as they were leaving, russian forces hit the moving car. his wife 24 years old and studying to be a hairdresser told him, i'll be with you
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forever. it would be her final words. andre was recovered by ukrainian troops. his injured daughter was take bin relatives. he has no idea where. his wife's remains are still in the car. too dangerous to reach her. i can't imagine how that must feel. i also can't express what is happening inside of me. it feels like a dream, a nightmare, but i can wake up, while my wife cannot. he only has one picture of her with him, but he can't bare to look at it. >> nbc's richard engel reporting from the ground in ukraine for us. joining us now, pentagon correspondent for the "new york times" helen cooper. policy reporter amy mckinnon. msnbc contributor mike barnicle. jonathan lemire is still with us, as well. helen, let me begin with you. you hear the stories from the ground. you're reminded of what's happening in mariupol at this very moment, and there is no
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wonder why ukrainians don't trust -- skepticism puts it too lightly -- just don't trust russia in the negotiations as they're sitting down in turkey. it's a beginning, a start, but everything they talked about is very hypothetical. everything is sort of pie in the sky. when you look at what's happening on the ground, why would ukraine trust russia at this point? >> hi, yeah. from the beginning of this conflict, vladimir putin has shown us that he -- that you really cannot believe anything that russian diplomats or russian envoys or what he says. it is clear that this whole idea of russia drastically reducing its strikes in chernihiv or its troop presence on chernihiv or kyiv is actually basically a front for the fact that they're losing there.
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they're not drastically reducing anything. all through the night, they were striking these cities. but what is at play on the ground is the fact that the russian military, both in kyiv and in chernihiv, very largely stalled. for weeks, they've been beaten back by the ukrainian military. so it is a little bit sort of ironic in the extreme, that vladimir putin would then turn around and say that he's going to calm down there. he is calming down there because, in many ways, he's been beat back. his troops haven't been able to move at all. i think that's very much -- the pentagon seems to think it was a disguise in an unusually, sharply worded press conference yesterday. the pentagon press secretary john kirby said beware, we are not going to believe this. we expect this is more repositioning. russia is pivoting towards the
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eastern part of the country, the donbas region. even there, they still have quite a bit of a fight. they're focusing on that region because that, for putin to have any chance of trying to sell his one month into ukraine as any kind of a victory to the russian people, he has to, at the very least, get donbas. he has to have some kind of land bridge between crimea and the donbas region. that's why mariupol has been taking such a pounding in the south. but he still doesn't even have mariupol, so it's -- the events of the last night certainly show that, i think in many ways, this is a cynical employ by russia to buy itself some negotiating time. >> yeah, the pentagon yesterday quick to point out, they don't view this as a pullback by russia. it is a change in strategy,
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perhaps, as you say. amy, in your piece in "foreign policy," you lay out a series of potential outcomes here, a way of perhaps saving face at home for vladimir putin or just a way out of this. which of those do you find to be most likely, as we watch him continue to wipe out mariupol, for example? but to suffer losses, frankly, around kyiv and other places in ukraine? >> well, what we wanted to do with this piece is -- i mean, it's been clear russia was not going to achieve its aim of rapidly toppling kyiv and overthrowing the government. russians were going to have to shift their strategy. what we wanted to do was kind of lay out, really cover the waterfront of where the potential options are of where this conflict may go. my colleagues and i spoke to a dozen u.s. and european officials, as well as military analysts and regional experts, to try and unpack what they saw as the most likely scenarios of where this conflict may go.
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all were pretty quick to point out that war is inherently unpredictable. this conflict has already taken a number of twists and turns which, you know, many could not have predicted. but there were five key scenarios which emerged. i think that the ultimate result may actually be a combination of some of these scenarios. i mean, what we have seen in the past couple of days really does kind of bear out some of our reporting. that, you know, russia may well now look to focus effort on eastern ukraine, on the donbas. as we heard from the pentagon yesterday, you know, russia is claiming it is pulling back from kyiv, but western officials really warning we may only -- what they may be doing is just preparing for a far more fierce assault on eastern ukraine. there's a significant portion of ukraine's armed forces are positioned there. if russia is able to surround them and cut them off, that could be quite a pivotal moment in the conflict going forward. >> yesterday, the president was asked, you know, if he believed
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vladimir putin in terms of withdrawing or scaling back on his assault on ukraine. his answer was very tentative, we will see. i guess the question i have for jonathan lemire is, what is left in the administration's toolbox and in nato's toolbox if vladimir putin, once again, is lying? >> well, certainly, white house officials believe that vladimir putin, once again, is lying. and right now, it's trying to do more of the same at greater pace. president biden yesterday held a secure video call with the leaders of italy, germany, the united kingdom, and france, and urged them to keep it going. to say, look, though the war seems to be going poorly for russia at this moment, it's not the time to ease up. we need to keep the economic pressure on, the sanctions on, as well as the economy on. mike barnicle, the state of play here. we heard, you know, some encouragement from the ukrainians yesterday in terms of
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negotiations with russia. some concessions for the first time they might be willing to give. certainly, the west doesn't feel like moscow is serious, at least not yet, about actually making a deal. even if -- they're more likely repositioning forces than pulling any out. it is not a cease-fire if you are still bombing eastern ukraine. what should be the approach here? how do you eventually, can you eventually take putin and moscow at their word? >> i don't know. i don't know. because putin lies. he sends low-level functionaries to the negotiating table in turkey. may be the deputy of registered motor vehicles. they're not somebody with any clout. helene, amy's piece has five ends to the war. a peace agreement, bloody stalemate, partition, victory, or black swan event. each of those possibilities
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involves what vladimir putin wants to do, no one else but vladimir putin. what is the latest you can tell us in terms of communication between the pentagon, between our top generals, the joint chiefs, and the russians, is there any? >> that's a really frighteningly easy answer. no. they have not been talking. we asked this question every day at the pentagon. every day we hear back, no, there hasn't been communication. you know, there is a deconfliction line they call, which is open, and they test that twice a day. that's there, but that's there for in case of, like, an emergency that is too scary, really, to necessarily think about right now. russia has not been open to phone calls from general milley or the defense secretary, lloyd
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austin. general mark milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, they stopped trying to talk to their russian counterparts. they haven't had talks in quite some time. the idea of sort of an open line of communication between the u.s. and russia is not necessarily there, except for at a low level. so it's been -- as this has gone on, this becomes increasingly sort of tense, but it's also been a case of watching the russian military show on the ground the limits of what it can do. >> helene cooper, are you hearing anything from your contacts, your sources, about mariupol? we have some reports from high-level ukrainian sources that they need weapons to try and make a last-ditch attempt to protect this city, which is
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basically flattened, but that we're days away from mariupol being taken completely. and the difference between saving mariupol and having it taken completely is something about getting weapons over the polish border, but waiting for permission from other countries, maybe the u.s. are you hearing anything about sort of blockages in coordination? >> the pentagon says there hasn't been blockages. they insist that they have been getting weapons into ukraine fairly quickly. within, you know, days of approval from the white house. so that's something that if you talk to the people here, they think that they're getting things over there fairly quickly. of course, on the ground in mariupol, it is going to be a lot different because this is a city that's been under siege for
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weeks now. it has held out. so we've been -- there's been almost, you know, from the outside this expectation that mariupol would fall at any moment. it hasn't. it has continued to hold out, in large part because of the fierce resistance by these very brave ukrainian troops on the ground. so i would not, at this point, predict an end for mariupol, but the city has been largely, as you say, flattened by russia. you know, without the ability to take it over, similar to what they've done in kharkiv. without the ability to actually win on the ground, they've just struck and struck and struck from the air. >> amy, moscow, obviously, miscalculated. they thought they could perhaps topple kyiv in a matter of days. here we are past the month mark, and there is no sign of that. u.s. officials also seem to have overestimated the strength of the russian military. they're conducting their own
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review, as we reported today. what is your sentiment? what went so badly wrong for the russian military? >> i think there's several answers to that question. i mean, one is, you know, there's serious questions about what kind of information put putin is getting from his top officials. he's been isolated during the covid-19 pandemic. officials who want the see him have to isolate for two weeks at a time. the more authoritarian regimes become, the more afraid officials become to give honest answers to senior leadership. i mean, i think few russian officials are going to be willing to say to putin, "look, boss, we think this is a bad idea." there is kind of the information com component, but there is also the way the operation was conducted. troopers along the border weren't told they'd be sent into the biggest land war since world war ii. they were given 24-hours notice,
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and it didn't give them time to get more food for an expenses conflict and to exchange encryption keys with comrades to make sure they could talk over secure lines. young soldiers weren't psychologically prepared for a conflict. they didn't have enough supplies. they were communicating on clear, unencrypted lines, making them easy targets for ukrainian defense intelligence and ukrainian military. from day one, this war as really a debacle. the third part, of course, is the fierce resistance which we have seen from the ukrainian armed forces, backed, you know, by western armaments, by arms sent from the u.s. and from partners in europe. i think all of these things have combined, you know, to really make this, you know, a great -- someone put it to me once, you know, when this war has its name in the history books, it is really going to be called the war of underestimations.
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>> all right. helene cooper and amy mckinnon, thank you, both, very much for your reporting this morning. we appreciate it. still ahead on "morning joe," what republican senators are saying about judge ketanji brown jackson after another round of meetings on capitol hill. plus, there's growing pressure on the biden administration to end an immigration restriction that is slowing down the asylum process for ukrainian refugees. and at the top of the hour, the president of latvia joins us here on "morning joe," as thousands of refugees are making their way into that country. one more story before we head to break. amid the turmoil and destruction at home, ukrainian figure skaters brought beauty and grace to the ice at the world championships in france. they didn't have time to get costumes, only a month to prepare, so they wore yellow and blue shirts with "ukraine" printed on the back.
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the skating pair gave an emotional performance in friday's ice dance, the rhythm dance. the audience rose to their feet at the end and waved ukrainian flags to show their support. [ applause ] and ivan smoratko earned a standing ovation from the crowd after his performance at the men's short program. the 20-year-old also wore ukrainian colors. smoratko struggled through some of the more complicated components of his routine, but the audience still rewarded him for his skating. what you need? like how i customized this scarf? check out this backpack i made for marco. only pay for what you need. ♪liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty.♪ [sound of helicopter blades]
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sunrise over lower manhattan. chris rock has yet to publicly speak about being slapped by will smith. ticket sales for rock's stand-up comedy tour soared, as you might imagine, the last 48 hours. stubhub experienced 25 times the daily sales for rock's tour the past two days compared to a month ago. cumulative sales in the last 48 hours are more than the total tour in the month of march. rock is set to perform for the first time since the slap tonight in boston. meanwhile, jada pinkett smith, will smith's wife, made her first comments since sunday's incident. a post on instagram on her page reads this,this is a season for healing, and i'm here for it. mika? as covid cases rebound, the fda authorized a second covid-19
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booster shot of pfizer or moderna for people aged 50 or older. the cdc quickly signed off on the decision, paving the way for those eligible to get a new round of boosters. the cdc says a second booster can be administered at least four months after the first one. both agencies did not consult their committees of independent vaccine experts before authorizing the new dose. instead, relying on other studies, including one from israel which has been giving a second booster to certain populations since december. meanwhile, a contagious omicron subvariant is now the dominant covid-19 strain in the u.s. based on cdc data, the ba.2 subvariant now accounts for over half of all new cases nationwide. health experts say the subvariant spreads about 75% faster than the earlier version
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of omicron, but data suggests it does not cause more severe illness. it has caused a spike in infections in the uk and germany in recent weeks, though cases in those countries are now declining. the white house and supreme court nominee judge ketanji brown jackson continued to court republicans as her confirmation vote ges closer. judge jackson met with four senate republicans yesterday, senators tommy tuberville of alabama, bill haggerty of tennessee, susan collins of maine, and mitt romney of utah. senator romney praised judge jackson after the meeting. quote, her dedication to public service and her family are obvious, and i enjoyed our meeting. he told reporters he won't announce his decision on judge jackson until the day of the vote. senator tuberville of alabama also complimented judge jackson,
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saying he believes she respects the constitution. willie? >> that vote expected to come next week. from the world of sports, the nfl has adjusted its overtime rules with concerns that that coin toss to begin the extra period has too much impact on postseason games. of course, it does. owners voted yesterday to approve a proposal that guarantees each side gets the ball in overtime. beginning this season, if the team possessing the ball first in overtime scores a touchdown on that series, the opponent still gets a possession. why is this top of mind? you'll remember january's epic afc divisional round matchup between the chiefs and the bills. played a major factor in this new decision after outcries. kansas city won one of the best games in nfl history on the first series of overtime without buffalo even getting a chance. the rule for regular season games, which allows the team which has the ball first to win if it scores a touchdown, will remain unchanged.
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there is renewed speculation tiger woods could return to top flight competition at the masters next week. the golfer reportedly played an 18-hole practice round at augusta national yesterday with his son charlie, a budding star, and his friend and fellow pro justin thomas. the five-time masters champion remains on the active invited players list but has not indicated whether he is ready to play his first major and first pga tour event since he was injured in a car crash in february of last year. >> wow. >> mike barnicle, he is at 15 majors. not saying he is going to catch jack at 18 majors, but you know that is top of his mind. of course, he won the masters three years ago. >> boy, i would love to see tiger woods play in the masters. >> yeah. >> phil mickelson clearly is probably not going to play. tiger woods is still golf, no matter what has happened to him over the last couple of years. severe injury. i mean, there was some question whether he would be able to walk well ever again. he's back on his game playing
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with his son, a future star as you indicated. it'd be so great for golf, televised golf. it would be a welcome addition to the spring. >> yeah. we all remember how electric it was when he won the masters out of nowhere a few years ago. tiger woods, he almost lost a leg in that crash. there was real struggles to walk even for months for him. the fact he is out there on the course -- i mean, if he was competitive, that'd be a bonus. even if he can walk out there, the ovation he will get from those at augusta will be really something special. willie, curious, what do you think of the nfl overtime rule? do we think this levels the playing field? i mean, you're right, the bills/chiefs game is the reason why this happened. it was -- we were all sort of robbed of what could have been a mahomes/allen dual for the ages in overtime. chiefs went down the field and scored. >> you can't have a coin toss determine whether a team has a
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chance to play in the nfc championship game and potentially win a super bowl. who wanted to see that game end? let's give josh allen the ball. we've seen mahomes do it. i'm glad they arrived at this decision. mika, you and i had backchannel discussions about it, and i think you agree. >> i was involved at a close level. exactly. coming up, the first ukrainian refugees finally enter the united states. why a trump-era policy is causing delays at the border. plus, we'll speak with the president of latvia, that has opened its doors to thousands of ukrainian officials arriving. "morning joe" is back in a moment. orning joe" is back in a moment nucala is a once monthly add-on treatment for severe eosinophilic asthma that can mean less oral steroids. not for sudden breathing problems. allergic reactions can occur. get help right away for swelling of face,
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33 past the hour. the first ukrainian refugees
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entered the u.s. after a harrowing journey, including being stopped at the u.s. border multiple times under a trump-era policy that has impacted all asylum seekers. nbc news correspondent antonia hylton has more on what's next for the refugees and what is to follow. >> reporter: this is now home for sophia and her three children. adjusting to a new life in california with relatives they had never met until a few weeks ago. >> we all had lives, beautiful lives, full of happiness and friends. >> reporter: it feels like everything changed in the matter of a couple weeks? >> yes. >> reporter: they fled ukraine three days after the bombings began, heading for mexico. >> i have family and friends in usa. >> reporter: but sophia was turned away by border patrol twice. how did that leave you feeling? >> that moment, i was really destroyed. >> reporter: the u.s. border is still officially closed to
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asylum seekers because of title 42, a public health policy put in place during the trump administration that remains under president biden. denying entry due to covid. on her third attempt to enter, attorney bookie saw sophia and helped her get an exemption. >> every day that passes, it becomes more and more absurd for the administration to claim title 42 has any basis in public health. >> reporter: for months, the biden administration has been under pressure to end title 42. immigration advocates hope it will be lifted in early april, restoring the asylum process for all refugees. >> what i'm very worried about is all of the families just like sophia's from haiti, cameroon, el salvador, other countries, that are languishing. >> reporter: officials expect an immediate uptick in refugees trying to enter. many are waiting in shelters along the border, hoping to make an asylum claim as soon as the possible ends. sophia is grateful she and her children are safe, but her heart
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is in ukraine. >> i want them to stay safe, to stay alive. i feel sorry for all the guys that are dying, for all the mothers that will not see their sons anymore. >> nbc news correspondent antonia hylton with that report. willie? let's go live to warsaw, where we find nbc news correspondent josh lederman. you're looking at different angles, including a refugee crisis and children crossing the border and filling the schools in poland. what more can you tell us? >> reporter: willie, obviously, priority number one for the refugee children here in poland is to get them out of ukraine and somewhere safe. but these parents also want to ensure that there's some semblance of normalcy and stability for these students, and that they don't fall behind in their education because they have fled a war. that's why you have hundreds of thousands of ukrainian children
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here in poland who are trying to find some way to attend school. while polish schools have taken in many of them, there are language barriers. they teach in polish, not ukrainian. other students are attending school, ukrainian schools, virtually by zoom, like so many american kids did during covid. for a lucky few, they are able to attend ukrainian schools here in poland. we visited one this morning, that before the war, they had about 200 students. in just the last month, that number has swelled to 1,200. there is a waiting list of 1,000 students. everybody wants to get their students in where they can be with fellow ukrainians, learn in their own language. they also can't afford to pay for it. so this effort now being supported by average polish citizens who have really stepped up to help with volunteering, with financial assistance, with supplies. i want you to hear from a woman
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that we met this morning. she's an attorney. she runs her own law firm. she is in the middle of getting her phd. willie, she walked away from all of that to focus on helping her ukrainian neighbors. take a listen. >> believe me, i am not exceptional. all the pols are doing their best to support the refugees and support the ukrainian people who stay there. like, i just don't feel that i can do nothing more than helping here. right now, i completely stopped working commercially and only focus on helping the ukrainians. >> reporter: since she left her law firm, she's taken ukrainian refugees into her home. she's arranged for her friends and family to take in other refugees. then she spends her entire day helping this school, getting humanitarian shipments to ukrainians who are still in the country, and doing whatever else she can to facilitate assistance for the ukrainians, who she says are just like pols.
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they're just across the border, and they deserve this help. there are so many polish citizens like them. the question is, willie, how much longer can they sustain this? it is taking a financial toll. it is taking an emotional toll. even some of these volunteers who are so selfless tell us they don't know how much longer they can really keep it up at this pace. willie? >> the polish people, the polish government have stood tall in this moment. now we know more than 4 million refugees have left ukraine. the majority of them going to poland. nbc's josh lederman in warsaw for us, thanks so much. mika? let's bring in "morning joe" reporter daniela pierre bravo. tell us about some of the organizations facing down this humanitarian crisis. >> good morning, mika. as tens of thousands of refugees cross into poland from ukraine each day, some of the first faces they see belong to team members of polish humanitarian action. like press officer helena, who has been working on both sides
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of the border. that work includes providing translators who speak ukrainian, english, and russian. in one case, those translators were able to save the life of a newborn baby who arrived in poland with hypothermia. she also talked ability the people still in ukraine, unable to leave. social workers are caring for the elderly, single mothers, and the disabled. that includes providing food, water, and hygiene products. don't forget, temperatures there often drop below freezing. the group is also bringing coal to families who can't heat their homes. another organization is amer americare. i spoke with the vice president of programs and polish field officer adam keen, who told me the number one need is medicine and medical supplies in ukraine. many hospitals are simply out of essentials, from bandages to antibiotics. americare just transported 12 tons of medical supplies to ukraine, delivered last week in the middle of the night.
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of course, mika, there is a psychological support needed for refugees. that includes emergency funding for crisis counseling to respond to refugees who are enduring the trauma of war, fleeing to communities where they don't know what the next step of their life is going to look like. in a testament of how dire the situation is now, the organization planned to have a presence in poland at least for six months. international federation of the red cross is another one of those leading organizations we often hear of in times of large-scale operations. they're working with the poish and ukrainian red cross to help displaced refugees. one of the things that made suns a difference is providing things like sim cards and mobile charging stations to help families stay in touch. in conjunction with the polish red cross, they're hoping to also roll out this week pre-paid debit cards to some of the most
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vulnerable refugees. this will help them provide access to cash for people who otherwise wouldn't have it. not only will it give them access to basic necessities, but in the words of the coordinator, it will help them provide these refugees with the dignity to be able to make choices in a time where they have such little control over what comes next. >> yeah. the polish red cross is doing an amazing job, by the way. i know i hear from people everywhere across the world, asking how can i help? where can they learn more? because there's obviously some organizations that you might not want to turn to, but there are a lot of organizations that are very credible and can really make good use of financial contributions or anything else. >> yeah, that's right. each of the organizations i just spoke about has info on their websites, offering ways for people to donate and get involved. >> great. >> we'll also be posting that
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info on >> all right. "morning joe" reporter daniela pierre-bravo, thank you very much for that. coming up, new details surrounding a 7-hour gap in former president trump's phone logs the day of the january 6th attack on the capitol. also ahead, u.s. under secretary of the air force gina ortiz jones joins us. "morning joe" is back in a moment. my name is douglas. i'm a writer/director and i'm still working. in the kind of work that i do, you are surrounded by people who are all younger than you. i had to get help somewhere along the line to stay competitive. i discovered prevagen. i started taking it and after a period of time, my memory improved. it was a game-changer for me. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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isis. the latest gunman, who was shot by police, is said to be a 27-year-old from the west bank. willie? the families of victims of the sandy hook elementary school shooting in connecticut rejected an offer from conspiracy theer theorist alex jones. he faces a trial for damages after he falsely claimed the 2012 mass shooting was a hoax. the plaintiffs say they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from jones' followers because of the hoax conspiracy promoted on his show. according to court filings posted online, jones, quote, extends his heartfelt apology for any distress his remarks caused. too little, too late for that, mika. >> yeah. after more than 200 failed attempts over the course of a century, lynching is officially a federal hate crime. president biden signed the new emmett till anti-lynching act after more than 120 years of
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unsuccessful efforts to pass similar legislation. the historic bill is named for emmett till, who was abducted, tortured, and shot in the head in 1955 when he was 14 years old, after a white woman said he whistled at her in a mississippi store. >> the same racial hatred that drove the mob to hang a noose, brought that mob carrying torching out of the fields of charlottesville a few years ago. racial hate isn't an old problem. it is a persistent problem. a persistent problem. >> today, we are gathered to do unfinished business. to acknowledge the horror in this part of our history, to state unequivocally that lynching is and has always been a hate crime. and to make clear that the
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federal government may now prosecute these crimes as such. lynching is not a relic of the past. racial acts of terror still occur in our nation. and when they do, we must have the courage to name them and hold the perpetrators to account. >> a federal crime in the year 2022. lawmakers are paying tribute to the late congressman don young. the longest serving republican in congress. president biden arrived on capitol hill yesterday to honor the late republican maker. he died after losing consciousness while flying back to alaska. he was first elected to the house in 1973 and became the longest serving member of the republican party in the history of the house. he was one of 13 house republicans to vote for president biden's bipartisan infrastructure bill late last
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year. congressman young was 88 years old. plans to build statue honoring sandra day o'connor and ruth bader ginsburg have been approved. the house passed the bill. the statues will be placed at the capitol. the measure, which was originally sponsored by senator amy klobuchar, passed the senate december and now heads to president biden's desk. justice o'connor became the first woman to serve on the high court when she was nominated by president ronald reagan in 1981. she retired in 2006. ruth bader ginsburg nominated by bill clinton in 1993, was a strong and beloved liberal voice on the court until her death in 2020. still ahead on "morning joe," we go back to ukraine where fighters are prepaying for more attacks despite their
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pledge to reduce military activity. plus thousands of ukrainians who pled to poland are now moving on to another nato member. latvia's president joins us live at the top of the hour. we'll be right back. the top ofr we'll be right back. >> tech: cracked windshield? make it easy and schedule with safelite, because you can track us and see exactly when we'll be there. >> woman: i have a few more minutes. let's go! >> tech vo: that's service that fits your schedule. go to >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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there were reports that talks kicked off with no handshake, and ukraine warned its negotiators not to eat, drink, or even touch anything, so basically, new york subway rules. >> despite moscow's claims that it will scale back operations in northern ukraine, the governor of one city accused rusia of
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increasing the intensity of strikes overnight. he also alleged that russia is deliberately exterminating civilians. chief foreign correspondent richard engel has the latest on the ground. >> reporter: ukraine accuses russia of playing a trick saying russian promises negotiations to drastically reduce military activity around kyiv and a nearby city is merely a ploy for time to rearm and consolidate forces. president zelenskyy saying ukraine isn't letting its guard down. the signals we hear from the negotiations can be called positive, he says, but they do not drown out the explosions of russian shells adding ukraine isn't willing to surrender anier is toir to russia. promises can't drown out what russia is doing to the city of mariupol. new satellite had images show how russian strikes have levelled entire blocks. the pentagon also expressing deep skepticism about russia's
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supposed trust building withdrawals around kyiv. >> we're not prepared to call this a retreat or withdrawal. >> reporter: russia invade are the from three directions. from the north, down from belarus toward kyiv, from the east toward kharkiv, and from the south toward mariupol. russia's northern front around kyiv has been a disaster. huge russian losses and logistical failures, including a 40-mile long convoy that ran out of gas. the pentagon believes russia could now focus on the other fronts while rebuilding forces around kyiv. this was a russian position. you can see the z that's become the mark of this war on the russian armored vehicle. it seems that they were destroyed just as they were camping out in this area. you can see all of their equipment, clothing, jackets and food just left here right at the
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back of this armored vehicle. across ukraine now, they are not bracing for a russian cease-fire. not taking the russians' word, but preparing for more russian attacks. >> president zelenskyy is warning his people not to let their guard down despite talks of deetc. krlation. in a video posted to social media, he had this to say. we have put the translation up on the screen for you.
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>> president zelenskyy saying they have no reason to trust russia and you can understand why. we heard that skepticism from the pentagon a moment ago. we also heard it yesterday at the white house from president biden himself. >> i don't read anything into it until i see what their actions are. wohl see if they follow through with what they are suggesting. we're going to continue to keep strong the sanctions. we're going to continue to provide the ukrainian military with their capacity to defend themselves. and we're going to continue to keep a close eye on what's going on. >> nobody should be fooling ourselves by the kremlin's now recent claim that it will suddenly just reduce military attacks near kyiv or any reports it's going to withdrawal all its forces. has there been some movement by some russian units away from kyiv in the last day or so, yeah, we think so.
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small numbers. but we believe this is a repositioning, not a real withdrawal. we all should be prepared to watch for a major offensive against other areas of ukraine. >> the secretary of state echoed the sentiment from president biden while travel yesterday saying we are beyond skeptical. how can there be trust from a country that's bombing maternity hospitals. >> i have a new story on this today. a senior official put it to me this way. the russians have lied about everything else. why should we start believing them now? they do think, which we have seen the missile ofs landing in areas where they were abandoning, so there's good reason to doubt them. and u.s. officials have told me they think instead this is about russia repositioning, not withing troops. but rather they are moving other
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places in ukraine, where they can still hit kyiv at a distance. the long range bombardmentes can still happen. the ground forces are going to focus in the east. the white house also told me this. there's been speculation among other world leaders and foreign policy analysts at a certain point president biden is going to need to get the of then the phone with putin. if this war would. only come to the end as they speak, and the white house acknowledges that may be the case, but they are not ready to do that yet. they have said this. they feel like a call like that can only happen if rush shows genuine intent to start winding down the violence. they have not done so. they have taken no steps towards a cease-fire. they are not going to put president biden on with putin at this point. they don't want a phone call and then the aftermath of that to be more russian war. so that is something to watch perhaps for the weeks ahead, but the white house is not ready to do that now. as also they do review of their
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own intelligence. it's just how badly they misjudged and overestimated the strength of the russian military thinking they would be far more with a foe than they are. and also just as one aid put it as a final point, they are continuing to shake their heads about how badly russia has messed up, although they used more colorful language than that, messed up this invasion and achieved next to none of their tactical gains. >> another thing they have messed up is underestimating joe biden. another reason there's no to get on the phone is that president biden made himself very clear about how he feels about vice president vice president. vladimir putin. and he says he doesn't care. he doesn't care. he does not care what vladimir putin thinks at this point. because this just needs to stop. he's a butcher, to use president biden's words.
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joining us now is chief foreign affairs correspondent and ann dree ya mitchell. what are you hearing from your sources about anything pertaining to russia scaling back or weapons getting into the hands of ukrainians trying to salvage mariupol? >> first of all, what john kirby said really is the guide of what we should be thinking. it's not a withdrawal, it's not a reteet, it's a repositioning and we should brace for a major offensive elsewhere in ukraine. weapons are getting in. the armed services committee said they are satisfied with the flow of weapons getting in, but they are not getting to mariupol. mariupol is still besieged and a sdr. to the point of whether there would be ka call between booid skpn putin, they are so eager
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not to give any impression that they are cutting ukraine and president zelenskyy out of this. i think it would be unlikely until president putin agrees to meet with president zelenskyy, which he's been calling for from the get go knowing full well that all these other people who have been termed the junior varsity by several people in terms of the people at the negotiating people, maybe except for the oligarch who has been so active in london and not sanctioned as the others were because they thought he could be helpful. and there he was at the table. the other people negotiating there have no connection or access to putin right now. not even his own foreign minister. to say they are bringing these proposals back to him suggests that they might be some progress
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in these talks at the table. not at the table that counts. that long table that vladimir putin sits in. until he decided to meet with zelenskyy, i can't see any further call where it could suggest even if putin would agree to the call after being called a butcher and a war criminal, i don't know how that would work. >> probably not a good time. as the war in europe continues, ukraine's neighbors remain on high alert. the united nations now says more than 4 million ukraines have fled the country since the war began five weeks ago. thousands of them have made their way to latvia. the nato member shares a border with russia and is now 600 miles away from ukraine. that's about the same distance of washington, d.c. to atlanta. also moscow is equal distance. the president of latvia joins us
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now. thank you so much for joirning us. i have a lot of questions for you. my first is please give us a sense of what you make of vladimir putin's invasion of ukraine and now claims he is scaling back. >> yes, of course, russia has violated international law. the main principles of of international law which lie down already in the united nations statutes from 45. it's greatest violation of independence as territorial and other states and our launch piece order is based on this principle, which russia is now violating. concerning the latest information about russian intention, i would say we have no reason to trust russia, to
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trust lavrov, to trust putin. if we would see in reality that there are some actions that they are stopping, then it will be another situation. but now such kind of announcements there's no reason to trust that. there's a repositioning of russian forces from one front to another front. but that does not mean stopping of the aggression. >> do you have any sense of anything that hasn't been done yet through nato or on the part of the united states that could perhaps inspire vladimir putin to pull back? >> yes, that is one very important tool that is to give
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weapons to ukraine. because only the resistance of ukraine is a reason for russia to stop the aggression. we see that putin countered that ukraine will in two or three days and he will have a kind of blizkrieg, no, it's not the case. ukraine is highly motivated to defend the country and if we want nato and the states should support ukraine because ukraine is fighting for our values. to isolate from the economy, this is done by heavy sanctions.
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the sanctions already enforced but it's not all sanctions. there are a lot of potential sanctions. so ukraine is fighting for the country and in principle, ukraine is stopping the aggression through military means and then economic means by european union, by united states and also to have heavy pressure to russian economy buzz the russian economy is feeding the military. and if russian economy suffers military force is also at stake for russia. >> there's also the ongoing concern that this escalates, that this goes beyond ukraine's board rs. i'm wondering about the summit that you are hosting in a few
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months. the goal is to accelerate the development of cross border energy transport and digital infrastructure in the region between the black, the baltic seas and i'm wondering if the russian invasion of ukraine really reenforces the need for these goals, perhaps help strengthen central europe from russia's aggression. >> i would say that rush has intention to follow the line which is started by ukraine. the weakness of the west is a weakness of the united states. weakness of europe is an invitation to do so. it's a provocation for russia, our weakness. but we are not weak. nato is not weak. united states are not weak.
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and european union are not weak. and therefore, our response is to show strength. we should strengthen nato eastern flank through further deployment of u.s. troops, of troops of other nato countries to this area so there was already last week a summit of nato states in brussels. we decided to double the number of multinational battle groups from four to eight in different countries. so this is the right answer to russia and this is real peace politics. because only our strength can guarantee peace. >> good morning, mr. president. thank you for taking time with us this morning. among your 2 million or so citizens in latvia, you have a
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large russian polllation. i think it's a quarter of your population. given the way that vladimir putin has framed his invasion of ukraine as sort of reunifying russia and bring those people back into what russia he believes should be. i'm cuious about the reaction from the russians who live in latvia about what he's doing. >> the russian minority is largely integrated in our society. of course, like in other democratic countries like in united states, germany, latvia, there are small minority which supports russia, which supports putin, but it is a minority and in general the people all around supporting ukraine.
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it is overwhelming support for ukraine. >> that's interesting. mr. president, andrea mitchell has a question for you. >> thank you so much, mr. president. i was in your wonderful country not too long ago for the nato summit and enjoyed your hospitality. now at this juncture when there are talks in turkey, what do you think of this proposal that ukraine has made to have other countries as a guarantee f you will, of the security going forward? could that be trusted? would turkey, france, israel, finland, sweden, could that be done if they include nato members, without getting into a nato guarantee, which nato has resisted? >> nato is -- ukraine is partner of nato, but it is now not an
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ally -- not a member of nato. and therefore, proposal that ukrainian side to have several states, it's very interesting. if it is proposed from president zelenskyy, from ukrainian side, then i would support this proposal. >> all right. president of latvia, thank you so much for being on the show with us. >> thank you very much. all the best. >> thank you. all the best. then there's this. former president donald trump has praised vladimir putin as savvy and a genius during russia's invasion of ukraine. just imagine that after the conversation we just had with the president of latvia. now he's asking putin for dirt on president biden's son hunter. >> one thing while i'm on your
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show, as long as putin now is not exactly a fan of our country, let hymn explain where -- because chris wallace wouldn't let me ask the question. why did the mayor of moscow's wife give the bidens $3.5 million. that's a lot of money. she gay gave them $3.5 million. so now i would think putin would know the answer to that. i think he should reare lease it. think we should know that answer. >> he goes on to repeat putin would be willing to probably give that answer. i'm sure he knows. trump's claims are false. we fact checked them earlier in the show. let's focus on what just happened here. the former president asking vladimir putin for help gathering dirt on a political opponent during a bloody, brutal war that putin started. is there a word that describes
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this? >> no, other than galling, which is what we said earlier. three key factors here. this is so rem any sent of what trump did in 2016. where he asked them to find hillary clinton's missing e-mails. that it's reminiscent of what he did in 2019 with president zelenskyy, now hero and symbol of democracy, where he pushed zelenskyy to get dirt on the bidens and threatened to withhold the military weapons that ukraine is now using in its defense. now to underscore the point you just made, he's doing this during a brutal war, where the government has assessed that putin and the russian forces committed war crimes, unspeakable atrocities against the civilians of ukraine. i would add a political dimension. vladimir putin is without question the least popular person in the united states. how is this a good idea from donald trump if he's eyeing a
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return to the political stage if he wants to run again in 2024? it's certainly clear he's still obsessed with relitigating 2020. not enough attentions was paid to the hunter biden story even though it was fact checked and deemed nonsense back then. but he's still obsessed with that that he's playing this putin card when right now even most trump-friendly republicans are run wag from all things putin. yet donald trump, he just won't. >> so in the political world, i guess we have seen this story before. but actually in the grand scheme of things, historically even, i think this is very dangerous. a former president pandering and reaching out to a war criminal, a man that our current president rightfully calls a butcher, a man who is bombing maternity wards and children's hospitals. i think that we might want to
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take a step back, and i ask you, president trump making comments like this, number one. is there precedent for anything like this? and number two, does it undermine us in any way? >> it certainly undermines us in terms of the way russian propaganda will grab this. the russians have been so effective not only at using these kinds of statements through social media internally and for their own people's consumption, but repurposing them and finding the weak points and insert them into our own dialogue, into our own social media culture. so you don't know where this is going to end up. but that said, i think this is really going too far beyond what any of us could have imagined the former president saying. the praise for putin and now this really imitating what he did to cause the first impeachment. the famous call that perfect call to president zelenskyy at
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the time. so it just seems as though the republican party is going to have to come to grips with this. this is going to be toxic to some members in the senate who had been aligning themselves and trying to get closer to the former president for purposes of avoiding a primary challenge. this just has to be something that is align they will not cross, even though they didn't rush to defend liz cheney and oh who is broke away from trump, it has to be a red line for people, for others to be reelected in 2022 and also for 2024, which is the parody of questioning that we saw at the questioning of judge jackson last week by those who were wanna bees firefighter 2024. >> thank you so much.
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we'll be watching adrea mitchell here at noon eastern on msnbc. we have some breaking news. according to "the new york times," republican senator sue son collins of maine will vote in support of judge jackson for the united states supreme court. her decision will allow president biden and senate democrats to claim some degree of bipartisanship around the historic nomination, though it's unclear whether other republicans will join senator collins. senator collins met with judge jackson on tuesday. said they had a great conversation. she was impressed by her, alleviated any concerns she may have had and said she will vote. that will allow president biden to say at least one and there may be others coming. she met with senator romney yesterday. we'll see about them. this is a bipartisan vote, even if it's one republican. i would remind people that three republicans voted for judge jackson nine months ago to sitten the court of appeals in
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washington. susan collins was one of them and so was lindsey graham. >> you can hear the cheers from the white house from here. this is what theyed. they. ed to say she received bipartisan support. she didn't need it they were going to get all the democratic votes. she would have been confirmed and gone to the highest court in the land. but this is important politically. they wanted to say this. and susan collins met with judge jackson a couple times in the last couple weeks. and you're right, there maybe other republicans who follow suit. senator romney is sort of top of that list and tom tillis has given clues he's considering supporting judge jackson as well. so there may be a couple republicans. you mentioned the republican ares who backed her for her previous job, lindsey graham will not be doing so this time around. even though nothing about the candidate's resume has changed. but this is significant for the
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white house. and it is something that's an historic moment also. we shouldn't lose sight of that. the first black woman who will head to the supreme court and now will do so with at least some republican support. >> still ahead on "morning joe," the house select committee investigating the january 6th attack on the capitol is ramping up pressure on former president trumps's inner circle. the panel wants to hear from jared kushner and lawmakers also want answers about trump's missing call logs. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. we'll be right back. we're hoping things will pick up by q3. yeah...uhhh... [children laughing] doug? [ding] never settle with power e*trade. it has easy-to-use tools and some of the lowest prices. get e*trade and start trading today.
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expecting toed january 6th committee pushing further than ever into donald trump's inner circle expecting testimony thursday from trump's son-in-law. >> we know there are a lot of trump family members who tried to intercede to get donald trump to call off the dogs on january 6th. >> the criticalers and view coming amid a week of major developments in the investigation. the committee focusing on what "the washington post" reports was a seven-hour gap in trump's january 6th call logs and white house diaries. >> we have multiple points of evidence to try to fill in what was donald trump doing and greater importance, what was he failing to do while the capitol was being attacked. so we're able to put those pieces together even when we get incomplete records. >> the post reporting that the gap covered the same period of time at the key moments of the
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attack. as the rioters entered the capitol and lawmakers fled the building. the committee would not comment, but nbc news recorded that it did not show calls to or from trump on the afternoon of the riot. the full house now also preparing to vote to recommend holding two top trump aids in contempt of congress for refusing to koom kom police. senior aids each claiming executive privilege. trump standing by his false claims about the election in a statement responding republicans must get tough and not let them get away with the crime of the century. this as a federal judge said monday trump, quote, more likely than not committed a crime in his attempts obstruct the vote. the judge ordering john eastman to turn over 100 e-mails he sought to shield from the committee. >> that was garrett haake report ing. coming up, the u.s. and russia are at odds over ukraine. but there's one place where the
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moments ago, a capsule touched down on earth after a mission to the international space station. on board an american astronaut who hitched a ride with the russians. nbc's sam brock reports. >> thank you very much. we are like my space brothers and space sister. >> reporter: 250 miles above earth's surface is arguably the only space these days where russia are still currently finding common ground. >> undocking confirmed.
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>> reporter: overnight the american astronaut leaving the international space station after 355 consecutive days in space, a new american record. he returned with two russian astronauts. the return to earth coming just weeks after russia's invasion of ukraine. prompting the local condemnation and crippling sanctions on russian elites and businesss, including their high-tech and aerospace industries. but tensions on the ground so far have not seemed to undermine comradery and commitment to science on the space station. >> we are one crew. i think the friendship. >> reporter: but the head of the space agency has inflamed relations with with threats. recently suggesting russia could let the space station crash down to earth. that prompted former space station commander scott kelly to strike back on twitter before hitting nasa's pleas not to fan
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the flames. >> astronauts separate what's happening in the world relying on one another for survival. >> when you're in space, you recognize you're here. there's earth. we have stuff that's important to us and that is our emotional support, our friendship, working together. but also literally, relying on each other for our lives. nasa's dependency on yaush has waned in recent years thanks to the expansion of commercial space flight. the current iss agreement involving five space agencies expires in 2024. so far russia has yet to extend its role. in a statement to nbc news, nasa says it continues working with all of our international partners. >> that was sam brock reporting. and coming up, the ongoing fallout from the oscars and the possible consequences facing will smith for sheriff's departmenting chris rock.
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get started with internet and voice for $64.99 a month. and ask how to add securityedge™. or, ask how to get up to an $800 prepaid card. will smith has apologized to chris rock for slapping him at the oscars, finally. now the academyis weighing a potential punishment for the star as the comedian prepares to take the stage tonight in boston. here's nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer. >> reporter: this morning the group at the helm of the oscars facing a critical decision. the board of governors set to soon meet is still reviewing the slap scene and heard around the world. >> oh, wow. >> reporter: the powerful committee of over 50 members has the authority to sanction or
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suspend will smith's membership. they can even revoke his oscar for the attack on chris rock, but even harvey weinstein kept their awards despite being kicked out of the academy. >> security here tonight is tighter than some of the faces. >> reporter: former host pit goldberg is a board member. >> there are consequences. there are big consequences. >> reporter: after the shocking moment played out in front of a live television audience of over 16 million americans, 16 million more began viewing what happened online in a social media sensation. jada pinkett smith posting tuesday, this is a season for healing. she was the target of rock's joke. >> jada, i love you, g.i. jane 2, ien can't wait to see it. >> reporter: she discussed her hair loss two weeks ago. >> i don't care what people feel about this bald head of mine. guess what, i love it.
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>> reporter: after will smith apologized monday night calling his behavior unacceptable and inexcusable, chris rock has yet to make any public comment. this week in boston, he's kicking off a series of soldout shows. his ticket sales exploding after the center stage saga. now in the spotlight, a podcast rock recorded earlier this year explaining that after a violent childhood fight, he resisted confrontation. >> as my shrink put it is to me, you have been scared to be angry every ever since. >> reporter: today all eyes back on the comedian and what he will say next. >> that was miguel almaguer reporting. coming up, one of america's top military leaders is standing by. undersecretary of the u.s. air force joins the conversation, next on "morning joe." e joins t ne oxtn "morning joe."
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the biden administration has released its budget proposal for the next fiscal year complete with a bump in funding for the department of defense. the air force and space force are using those funds to better prepare the country's armed forces for the future. leaders say a new direction is necessary to keep up with china. joining us now is undersecretary of the united states air force jena ortiz jones. good to have you on the show with us. given the aggression, the russian aggression in ukraine, one of the biggest issues has to do with the air force. that's the discussion of potential no-fly zone and the big issue of jets. can you talk to us about the challenges on both of those fronts? >> good morning, it's a pleasure to be with you this morning. the president has been very clear about our policy on a
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no-fly zone. we are encouraged by the way in which the alliance has rallied. the alliance has never been stronger. we continue to look for ways to make sure we're supporting ukraine's efforts to defend itself, defend its territorial integrity. >> thank you for being with us this morning. if the no-fly zone is off the table and you all have made clear that there will not be a no-fly zone despite requests from president zelenskyy. as someone like you who understands what it means to sort of fight for control of the air space, how to you control what russia is toing? how do you stop what russia is doing from the air, which is wiping out entire cities like mariupol in the absence of a no-fly zone? >> as we look at the way ahead, we're doing this in concert with our partners and allies. it's been $2 billion that the administration has provided since the start of the administration. it's been a billion dollars over the last couple weeks. so i think there can be no
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question about our commitment to the ukrainian people. but we are looking to make sure that we're making measured steps in concert with our allies in the interest of long-term stability in the region. >> so obviously, their focus has been rush yarks but so much of this budget is about indeed, ab so let's pivot there. tell us why this is needed, what sort of threat china poses and also the part -- the role that space force plays in this, which i think is a branch of the military that a lot of people don't know much about, and president trump introduced it a few years ago. tell us what role it would play. >> this is a record budget, the administration has provided not just the department of defense but the department of the air force split between the air force and secretary kendall has been clear about the transformation needed.
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when we think about -- that's a different set of capabilities than what we'll need in the high end fight in the indo-pacific. this is tied to our understanding of what are those capabilities that we're going to need to have air superiority. to your point about the space force, when you look at just the investments that china has made certainly in their military but in their space capabilities in particular, it's important that we have -- we continue to have space superiority. you'll see in the budget, for example, investments in a resilient architecture focusing on missile warning, missile tracking and these are the types of things that are so critical, not only, for example, the gps, but the same satellites that affect everyone's every day, such as atm banking. space is decisive, this budget reflects our commitment to make sure we have the capabilities to ensure space superiority.
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to ensure we have air superiority. so things, for example, for those that want to nerd out on the next generation of air dominance in the family of systems, one of the new types of fighter platforms and capabilities that we'll need, that's all reflected in the budget based on the urgency with which we need to transform. >> under secretary of the air force, gina ortiz jones, if you could stand by, we would love for you to join us for the next conversation, russia's invasion into ukraine became the backdrop of the inaugural forbes 30/50 summit in abu dhabi earlier this month. as part of the event, tied to international women's day, i asked hillary clinton about taking up arms. here's that and more from the summit. >> the level of defense and determination, grandmothers and young women taking up arms for the first time is tragic but
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inspiring. >> i don't consider myself a refugee, i consider myself as an ambassador of freedom. this war is not just about ukraine. we are fighting for world freedom. >> just a few months ago, i had to flee my country because of the taliban. choosing between two choices of staying in fear with my daughter, 12 years old, or leaving everything behind. >> international women's day now has a new global capital. it is the forbes 30/50 summit in abu dhabi. >> there's a lot we can do when we are supported and networked by others. and that's why i think this conference is so critically important. >> secretary clinton, it's such an honor to meet you. >> i'm so happy to meet you. i'm excited to hear about what you're doing. >> it is really important when
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you're trying to create a more diverse environment, you need to not just emphasize, you need to meet them where they are. >> not only was i fighting against being a fashion model, i was also fighting with being a woman in a man's world, and on top of that, being a black woman. but i'm glad i'm living that now. i'm fighting so you guys don't have to fight as hard. >> when i talk to young people about what they're going to do with their lives, and how they're going to figure it out, they come to me, how did you know you were going to be so successful. i was prepared to work very hard so i always say to young people, do the thing that scares you the most because it's probably worth it. >> at this very serious time for the world, what's your call to action? >> all of you who are gathered in abu dhabi, empowering women, everything that we can think of that we would want for ourselves our our daughters or our granddaughters is something that we should be focused on.
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and i'm excited because there's a whole new generation of women who are demonstrating that they're determined to make a difference, and that's what i think we need to be reminded of on this international women's day. >> now, while the inaugural summit came together at this time of great crisis, it also saw generations of women come together to hear from one another, to help each other exchange ideas. remarkable women of all ages, some driven from their homelands came together to mentor each other, and also pay it forward. what started with the inaugural 50 over 50 list last summer quickly went global, and now the forbes 30/50 summit is the global capital of international women's day in abu dhabi. let's bring in chief content officer and forbes media and editor of forbes randall lane. let's recap.
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there was so much that we did, it exceeded expectations, but it was a time of crisis. explain how it all came together. >> well, it was most of all, inspiring, in everything we went over is inspiring. it came together with the idea that we need international women's day to be more than just a hash tag. what came together is the 30 under 30 list which has been going on for more than a decade, and has become the dominant community for young leaders around the world, and the 50 over 50 list, the cross mentorship on this day is something that's new. women from around the world, we have more than 28 countries there, women from every generation, talking to each other and mentoring both ways was a really really inspiring four days. >> randall, who was there and who stood out? >> to me, what stood out, i mean, obviously we had the big names whether it was your conversation with hillary clinton, tyra banks and huma
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abedin, and delivering results. we had a service day where the women of the uae were mentored and created memberships. we have partnerships going on where we had two women who both work in the area of land mines, including heidi klum with a new partnership, and there were results there, results from women, maybe who haven't heard of, who are unbelievable women, women leaders from around the world and the results will feel across the air. >> one of the biggest issues that we really addressed with these lists but also these events is diversity skpin -- and inclusion. we have gina ortiz with us. i want to ask you about the challenges especially being women's history month, of diversity. >> thank you for highlighting that, secretary hillary clinton,
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and then reflecting, actually on the passing and the leadership and the service and the sacrifice from secretary madeleine albright is an inspiration to me and i think so many others that know that we stand on the shoulders of those giants as we are privileged ourselves to be addressed as madame under secretary. but also it's a real responsibility to make sure that we are paving the way and knocking down those barriers so that women can serve to their full potential. frankly all of our airmen and guardons and civil servants can do so. it's not just about numbers. it's truly about making sure we are tapping into the full talent across the force. that's what the times demand. we need talent as diverse as the opportunities and challenges that we face as a country. >> undersecretary of the united states air force, gina ortiz jones, thank you, and randall, i'll close by asking you to give
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us news here. looking ahead to the next summit, what can we expect, and also we're extending our deadline for the u.s. 50 over 50 list, take it away. >> again, as the under secretary said, diversity is so important. the majority of people at the summit were people of color. we did it at the louvre, which celebrating one humanity, and next year we're going to make it bigger. because of that and because of the crisis right now we're extending the 50 over 50 application deadline until june to make sure we get everybody. everyone has a chance to apply who wants to apply. become part of this community, become part of these communities as well as 30 under 30, next year this will be really the most exclusive in the best way possible event that creates change and positive change for women. >> and the women who headline these lists end up going to the event and the list that has
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submissions open right now is the u.s. list. then we're going to do asia. then europe, middle east, and africa. go to or to nominate deserving women who are finding great success after the age of 50. chief content officer of forbes media and editor of forbes, randall lane, thank you, nice working with you. look forward to working with you more. chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. good morning, i'm chris jansing, live at msnbc headquarters in new york. it is wednesday, march 30th. this morning, the leaders of the u.s. and ukraine are expressing deep skepticism about the latest negotiations are russia after what seemed to be progress following a day of peace talks. a reality check on any optimism because there are serious questions about whether russia is making a sincere bid for peace or if it's an empty exercise meant to buy time for


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