tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC March 30, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
thank you so much for letting us in your homes during these extraordinary times. we are grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. >> hi, ari. >> hi, nicole. nice to see you. tonight we begin with an important story that is about something that is very wrong during wartime and that has nothing to do with partisanship or politics, it's just wrong no matter who did it and no matter what you expect from them, although in this case it is something done by the former president, donald trump, who has now publicly asked vladimir putin for new help during war to go after the current president and the bidens in general, which are donald trump's political opponents of the united states. this is the request being made of an autocrat, a dictator, who the current president has recently dubbed a war criminal. in is the leader slaughtering innocent civilians in ukraine, who displaced over 3 million people, who has led forces with
civilian attacks and casualties, including children that are widely condemned, not just the united states as war criminals. here is what the former president is doing reaching out to putin. >> as long as putin 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. i think we should know that answer. i think putin now would be willing to probably give that answer. i'm sure he knows. >> this is the former president, who is seen all over the world as a representation of the united states, of the united states government making a request of the person that the united states is trying to
constrain in ukraine in foreign policy and citing specifically the fact that putin is an adversary. the details there that trump assumed or asserted as some type of known facts are wrong. you should know that. these were the conspiracy theories said in his losing bid for rear election were, quote, very, very big on the internet, a quote. there's a pattern here in is the third election in a row where donald trump has brazenly asked a foreign government to intervene on his behalf. remember, whatever people say now, whatever the republican party claims now, this stuff was considered at the time so universally bad that republicans and democrats condemned the first one. indeed many republicans tried to say it couldn't be serious, it had to be a joke because if it were serious, it would be bad to ask for this help from russia, from putin. this first one was 2016. >> i will tell you this, russia, if you're listening, i hope
you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> at the time many, many people, including the leaders of the republican party did not expect that person to become president. as president he went further to the act that got him impeached and for many americans who were busy living life and living check to check made more americans more aware of ukraine, not a country always in the center of american foreign policy or talked about that much. it's in the center of all of our mind now because we've seen so many innocent ukrainians fleeing for their lives. donald trump made it clear he didn't care about the livelihood or human rights or safety of the ukrainian people, as long as he could get what he wants to go after the bidens going into the 2020 race when donald trump did a thing that many called extortion, bribery or betrayal
of office trying to extort ukraine. >> president trump asked his ukrainian counterpart to investigate his political foe, joe biden. >> president trump said i'd like you to do us a favor and goes on to bring up president biden. >> that was action, not just words and certainly not the jokes that some claimed in 2016. we had a whole imimpeachment over it, a whole senate trial. that's a big deal. information was gleaned, evidence was gleaned and in the end, it was the democrats who voted to convict in large part and only one large republican senator basically voting to convict. now, at the time republican senator susan collins, who had voiced criticism of some of trump's conduct there said,
well, the then president learned a, quote, pretty big lesson from the impeachment. that was her defense of voting to acquit. all right. and here we are and this is not a drill. donald trump did a learn a lesson, senator collins, but it was the exact opposite of what senator collins claimed. democrats learned that the entire elected republican party actually said this kind of stuff was okay, asking foreign governments to interfere in the u.s. elections okay, that includes the self-proclaimed hawks, they all found themselves cowing to a newly ascendent political trump axis and why? because they didn't want to face a mean tweet or a possible, possible republican primary, mind you most of these people
don't ever face those primaries and they're in safe seats in safe red states, but just the possibility of that was too much to bear to stand up to the putin axis. that is the wider context that brings us to a story like today. i got to tell you this is more significant than another dose of petty right-wing politics, although that plays into the fuel. this is a former president and the bulk of a major political party of the united states saddling up to an adversary, vladimir putin, right now during this war. and, yes, russia is listening. the kremlin-run tv is calling for regime change here with an eye on donald trump, who is acting out this way on the world stage, they refer directly to getting, quote, their partner trump back in the u.s. white house. e u.s. white house.
>> we're joined now by political strategist and former obama campaign operative and josh marshal. if it were a movie, it would be interesting to look at the interplay of domestic politic, international media and a raging war, but it's not a movie, it's a conflagration with serious consequences. i'm not one to sit in this anchor chair and try to lecture people about the american interests or what's the right thing to do on every issue, but this is really far over the line and would seem to have very real consequences during the war. your analysis on both the politics and the policy implications with people's lives on the line. >> yeah. the reality is that we talk
about what's in the american interest but all that donald trump cares about is what is in his interest. and one thing that he's knows very clearly that is in his interest is that this invasion by ukraine by vladimir putin has been a disaster for him both personally and politically. so that is exactly why he is doing this. he needs to move the message frame back to something that worked for him. so it's not just doubling down on support for putin, which he has certainly done. there was a period of silence in terms of praise for putin for a while. that's obviously now over. but the message frame that really worked for him was the idea that what really mattered of the enemy at home, not the dictators at home, the enemies at home, hunter biden at home, that's who we should be fighting with, not the dictators abroad. i think you're seeing this across the gop in a widevariety of spectrums. this was it blatant attempt by
donald trump to move the message frame back to something that worked for him. >> josh? >> like a lot of things with donald trump, it's shocking but not surprising, as we found out in your intro, he's done this over and over again. it's not surprising. and, you know, we know donald trump, we know he does these things. in that way, too, we know his character, but i think it drives home something that there are a lot of foreign leaders, you know, vladimir putin is not the only foreign leader. there's lots of places conceivably that they could come up with if they're going to find the mother load of dirt about hunter biden or joe biden but it always comes back to vladimir putin. even when putin has become a little more unpopular in the united states in the last couple months. and i think, you know, look,
that just tells us something about donald trump and something he has with vladimir putin. now, i will say i think at the same time this is playing into something that donald trump is losing some of his juice in the gop. he's still the leader of the party, but we saw this situation with mo brooks, down in i believe it's alabama. if i have that wrong, i apologize, where he's pulling his endorsements, getting in fights with people he's endorses, trying to drive brian kemp in georgia from power. looks like kemp is going to win his primary. trump is losing some of his grip on the gop and i suspect that even though they will say nothing, that this is making at least some elected republicans say, you know what, i don't want do that again. that wasn't fun and this is --
what's going on here? so i do think both these things are happening at the same time. still his party. still trumpism's party. but i do think this will play into at least some loosening of the grip that trump currently has over the gop. >> and, josh marshal, you may be competing with james carville for shore catch phrases because that wasn't fun could apply to the past year or the year 2020, the year 2016. i mean, just a lot of recent years that wasn't fun. but all levity aside, you're referring to the exhaustion of these republicans who look at this so-called threat and then the question of if you do get a primary and in politics, as jay knows so well, just getting a primary changes the entire year and life of that person, even if they beat it back. but to josh's point, if they
start winning these primaries, what are you afraid of? he's banned from twitter you, don't know if he's going to run again, and he might be able to win the primary. i've got sound here from the senators here who sound downright fine with the latest from trump or the trump/putin axis. take a listen. >> listen, i never give the former president advice. so he can talk about what he wants to talk about. i am interested to hear what happens with hunter biden, though, and the federal investigation into him and i imagine that we'll be learning more about that. so we'll see. sounds pretty serious. >> i don't know if he has dirt on biden. if he does, he should reveal it. >> jay. >> i think what you're hearing is those gop senators understand that what trump has done in trying to move the message to hunter biden away from vladimir putin. they still believe that that is
a winning play and strategy for them that what really works for the electorate is a war against other americans. that's something pat buchanan had insight into in the 90s where he said communism isn't over. i think they recognize that what donald trump was doing was very beneficial for them. that's kind of what ron desantis has been doing. it's no coincidence that he signed this don't say gay bill during this invasion. he want to say forget about putin, these chinese dictators abroad, that real enemy is the gay couple down the street. we saw that with judge ketanji brown jackson, the african-american woman on the bench is the enemy. the entire gop is really in on this in just sort of different areas of emphasis, different
tangent that they pick, but that's what they really believe, that the real enemy are other americans. >> that goes also to the fact that -- josh, the war has completely ruined the little bit of benefit that putin had gotten from this whole trump dance for four years. because it's just a reality and people talk about fox news and tucker says this or that. we checked and it's a weird part of our job here because i don't know what mussolini's approval numbers were, josh, but putin's disapproval numbers are off the charts among independents and democrats. they used to be lower among republicans now are back to 75% negative even among republicans. even those who rely on fox news or facebook or whatever, there are certain things here with the way this war is going, they see what the shelling is, they see what the facts are. if you have any connection to the military, you know anyone
with a military family, you great conversational input piece about all this. you see what putin's doing, he's brutalizing the civilian landscape and almost everyone in the republican electorate says putin bad but now donald trump still wants putin's help. i guess he's too weak to win elections on his own. he can't win with the force of his ideas, words, campaigning. he's so weak he needs this potential war criminal abroad to help him. it's not the strongest message with those negatives. what do you see there, josh? >> yeah, i think those quotes from the republican senators kind of told the case. they want the benefit, they want to talk about hunter biden, they want to talk about all the many tens of millions of dollars he's, you know, gotten corruptly from overseas and all these conspiracy theories, but they also kind of don't want to touch the trump part of it. they want to move it to hunter
biden. they don't want to cross donald trump, they want to get the benefit but, again, i think can you see they are kind of like i think they're hoping like, all right, let's move on to ron desantis or something like this. i do think that is happening. but, again, it shows us again why does it always come back to vladimir putin for donald trump? it speaks for itself that he's not popular right now and he still goes back to him. so something's driving that that's not public opinion. you know? >> yeah. >> what can you say? >> and what is it? and as responsible journalists, we ask those questions. we can't always just fill them in with any vagaries but what is it? briefly, i want to us go from moscow to ohio where we see the senate primary and it shows you some of where the mood is at least in a room stacked with partisan republicans and whether a moderator can even mention facts. take a look.
>> 5 million more people voted than were registered to vote. >> the claim that mr. gibbons just made about more ballots cast than registered voters has been fact checked and no evidence has been found to support it. >> the 2020 election was stolen from donald j. trump. >> several claims have been fact checked. >> mark zuckerberg spent $5 billion to buy of boards of elections. >> again, statements that have been fact checked, no evidence found to support them. >> what do you see there? >> what i see is that the gop is a house that has been built by donald trump. so you may say, well, maybe donald trump isn't the guy you want in the house anymore, but, you know, he still own it is. it's still his. it's still something that he erected in is his ego and his ability to change the message and to like dictate terms to the gop that is still driving this.
so as much as we may say, oh, they're moving on to ron desantis, et cetera, et cetera, they are still very much in his house and donald trump knows how to push his message and his ideas forward. >> i completely agree with that. completely agree with that. i think both things are happening at the same time. you know, as you said, he built the house. the about big lie is mortgage orthodoxy. it's even more orthodoxy. trumpism is totally triumphant. the conspiracy theories, the big lie, all this kind of stuff. they may think he has too much mileage on him to be president again, but, yeah, it's still his republican party that's been totally made -- remade in his image. >> right. and as you say, it's unusual historically to have people in a party work so hard, bend over
backwards to resuscitate the losing candidate. when mitt romney lost, you didn't have republicans running around saying let's pretend he won. so the analogy of that house and who is going to live in it hold and, chai, was it not rick ross, the boss, who said i built it ground up, you bought it renovated? >> i think rick ross did say that. also i'll say lanlord, generally don't evict themselves. they may evict a tenant who lives in the house but they don't evict themselves. and the problem for the gop is you're trying to get the landlord to evict himself from his own house. good luck with that. >> and i'm running over on time but my last short question, josh, is have we tortured this real estate analogy enough? >> no. no, i don't think so. i think it has still mileage on it. >> it has more mileage. >> yes, it does. >> it went meta but i did want to ask about that amidst of
seriousness of the breach. i want to thank you for covering all of that in depth. there's a big moment on the january 6th probe and more witnesses and trump's own family testifying this week. and judge jackson with a big, big win today. we don't use the word clinch but we'll tell you why she's very, close, close, close to clinching her seat. and new intelligence of putin's advisers lying to him because they fear for their lives. it was a point raised by a kremlin veteran on this program. stay with us. this program. stay with us 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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congress is putting the pressure on trump insiders and there's a key january 6th vote coming next week. what's new today is the house now has planned the vote on contempt charges for trump's former adviser peter navarro. navarro has not spoken much about the contempt vote from the committee. he did release a statement about it on paper. they also submitted statements from navarro drawn from his
interview here on "the beat." >> mr. navarro made multiple appearances. can you please queue the clip. >> it wasn't about this interview, which is interesting. i have so much knowledge to share with you about what i was involved in and what i know. >> he has so much knowledge to share with the journalist, but he refuses to share that knowledge in response to a lawful subpoena. >> that's part of the excerpt they aired and part of the argument made. the committee has to make a case for contempt which can lead to indictment. in the report they tried to make that case against both these trump aides. moon while, others are cooperating instead of risking contempt like a former pence aide. the former vice president did not go along with many things trump denied -- i should say
trump demanded, including that fake electors plot, which and a half -- navarro discussed on the show. he's probably the highest member of the administration to go in there this way. mark meadows parsley cooperated but didn't talk. and then you have brooks, who we just talked about earlier in the program, a trump ally who was there at the january 6th stop the steal rally, who was with trump to the end saying they don't work together anymore and he might cooperate with this committee, even hinting he would take it under advisement if they do go ahead and reach out. brooks also told nbc trump asked him to simply reverse his 2020 loss and that he was still pushing that demand as recently as six months ago. >> did he directly tell you to fight to decertify the election, the 2020 election?
>> he did not use the word decertify. he used the word rescind. he mentioned having a subsequent election for the presidency. >> that goes well beyond january 6th or early 2021 into trump's ongoing efforts. now, the committee is also pursuing this seven-hour gap in trump's phone logs from that fateful day. trump has publicly denied he would try to hide it with a burner phone and said he doesn't know what that is. and john bolton said he heard trump use the very phrase "burner phones" repeatedly and that he knows what it means and said they discussed using the tactic. and there's news on the d.o.j. probe, and we'll get to all of the above when we're back after our shortest break in one minute.
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we are back with the "new york times" magazine legal writer emily bazelon. >> and eli mystal's book and viewers might notice what appears to be a hair pick. >> out of respect for emily, i'm going to keep it in. >> it's in there for a second, which can be your image people or mft to the the book if you ever get to that point. two writers here know how hard that is. so shout out to that. let me start with emily. i just walked through the developments and it's a tale of two responses to the committee.
the majority of people, including jared kushner, cooperated. and then these clashes over the few who don't. what do you see that impacting the final evidence report conclusions that come out of this? because while we in the press are following the steps, ultimately they're trying to put together an entire story. >> what's curious to me is the decision not to appear before the committee at all. it's pretty routine for advisers to a president to say i'm not going to answer certain questions, i'm going to negotiate over what kinds of materials i'm going to turn over, but when you just completely stiff the committee, you invite a contempt citation, which is what's happening here and then you're basically daring congress to go to the justice department and ask for help to really be able to enforce a contempt citation. congress has that power to enforce on its own but has not chosen to use it for many
decades. it all depends how it plays out in terms watch the committee actually learns. i think witness necessary these cases often hope they can stall. that sometimes works and then the committee has to finish their work without being able to speak with them and learn what they know. >> that's fair. we just heard from congressman adam schiff, ellie, about this process and those who are ducking. here's what he said. >> both of them simply failed to appear. that makes it very easy for the justice department. there's no right, no privilege that allows you to say i ain't even going to bother to show up to claim privilege. it didn't fly with us and it won't fly with the justice department either. >> when he says it won't fly with d.o.j., he's going as far as a member of the committee i think can responsibly go. he's previewing what he believes is a potential indictment, which is different than mark meadows and i've explained that is a bit
of a different fact pattern. do you agree with schiff? are you that bullish? what do you think arlen should do? >> the january 6 committee wants it to be one way but it the other way and that is the merrick garland way. the merrick garland way is to do what is necessary to bring these people to justice. we've gone through the meadow situation. that's a travesty. why are navarro and others not showing up for the committee? because of what's going to happen to them. maybe merrick garland will indict them for contempt. is he going to ever have to talk to the committee? maybe not. saw it happen from steve bannon and that was the earliest one and now we're talking here in march, almost april and it's just about to happen to navarro
and schivino. they're thinking of seeking maybe one day jenny thomas to come and sit in front of the committee. when she says no, then they'll think about subpoenaing her and then they'll think about holding her in contempt, that will take more time. then they'll go over to garland. is garland going to indict the wife of a supreme court justice? the end game require merrick garland to stand up and it hasn't happened yet. >> that's four questions you've asked and answered. to be fair now emily gets up to four if she wants to use that and then i have less time for questions but it's fine. she main or may not. that's her call. you're speaking to what you view as an avoidable set of delays? because i'm going to push back on you a little and say the
bannon came relatively quickly, the trial schedule is not something that merrick garland has a magic wand to control. it might get boring of what happens if the committee dissolves. or what happens that congress exists, even if the congress that held him in contempt is gone. isn't there a substantive difference between bannon where there's a schedule and other things he hasn't announced. and by the way, just for viewers, let's be clear. defying a subpoena with no real argument or written evidence from the government, you can close that out quickly, which is different from the meadows case to be fair. >> i agree with what emily has been saying about the congress's need to also potentially use its
inherent contempt power. remember, all this is bouncing through garland from the committee because garland won't use the biggest tool in his shed, which is the fbi. these people are not denying fbi subpoenas because if you deny an fbi subpoena, you sit in jail while they sort it out. but merrick garland has not sicked the fbi on them. >> that's fair and it goes to whether they view the january 6th case as a trespassing case with a couple of proud boys or whether they view it as a coordinated plan to be investigated, not to be prejudged, that may have reached political elites in the republican party or the white house. emily. >> i was just thinking about the difference between the two branches. so congress does have the power to enforce a contempt citation on its own but it hasn't in such
a long time. so that it has sort of taken that power away from itself. that means it can kind of issue these contempt citations for free. doesn't have to really worry about being held accountable. whereas i think that merrick garland, the attorney general, he can't just do this for show. he would have to really enforce. i think he's making the argument for why he should but it also would be a dramatic move to go after former presidential advisers in this way. and he doesn't -- so far we haven't seen him have the kind of temperament and appetite for that. he seems like a more cautious attorney general who wants to seem more moderate and i think that's part of why we're not seeing that, though i understand ellie's point of view. >> fairly put and i would note without any rhetorical questions. so i think folks who have watched the show for a long time that ellie is down to zero,
emily is down to four and she gets to carry those over till next time. and for twitter, i'm joking, i'm joking. >> thanks for having us. >> appreciate it. >> i mentioned this big news, it's a break through for judge jackson's quest to reach the supreme court. it is key to her math potentially getting above 50. so we're going to have that update within the hour. but first the pentagon now says putin is misinformed. the kremlin vet who told us about this very thing before that intelligence leaked that they'll overthrow putin before giving him bad news joins me next. next st. and i love the science behind neuriva plus. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger.
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this is day 35 of russia's invasion of ukraine. there are developments, there are peace talks, but there's also the fact that russia is not where it thought it would be, not remotely close at this point in the war. intelligence says vladimir putin may have gotten to this point because he didn't know where he was even 35 days ago, that he's been misled by his own top aides. they say putin misleads, that he is lied to and is a liar. they say he would pullback from a suburb where there was bombing. russia claimed it would pull back but there's been more bombing. you're looking at what was once a market now completely damaged and unusable. and recovering bodies and an
11-year-old girl discussing her neighborhood bombed. neighborhood bombed. >> this is part of the reality against the period where russia said it was going to partially pull back. you have world leaders and ukrainian refugees saying they already know vladimir putin so nothing about this development is surprising. >> we're talking about trying to set the conditions for decreasing military tensions, but i think it's way too soon to feel any confidence in that. >> i would say we have no reason to trust russia, to trust lavrov, to trust putin. >> condition number one, please
don't trust putin. >> that's the view of the actions by putin against this military context. but how did putin get into this place? well, u.s. intelligence has a report now that says they have information and intelligence that suggests he continues to be misinformed about the invasion by, quote, yes men. reuters and others have covered that story. you see the headline about yes men and you have this tension between putin and his own military leaders. you have top u.s. officials in the biden administration breaking it down like this. >> one of the achilles heels of autocracies is you don't have people in the system who speak truth to power. >> his senior advisers are too afraid to tell him the truth. >> i'm joined by someone who has been exactly such a senior adviser to a russian president.
he was the russian foreign minister under boris yeltsin and his deputy has assumed that position for putin. welcome back. >> thank you. thank you. >> you know, there's no great intellectual victory laps during this kind of grim war and humanitarian crisis, and yet for the sake of making sense of what's happening, which is what we endeavor to do here, here on day 35 i'm quoting u.s. intelligence about, quote, yes men and what american officials are probably saying about putin. you did diagnose this very information chain problem on "the beat." you referred to the quote yes men around putin, and you explained to us then why putin would sooner be overthrown than get bad news. let's just take a quick look at that. >> is there anyone inside the russian government who can even give him the bad news? >> that's less possible than overthrow him. that's a russian tradition.
they fear to tell the boss the truth, but one day they might come with a weapon and escort him either to the grave or to retirement. >> a few weeks later how is that playing out? and as a foreign policy leader, why do you think that the united states is not only finding this, whatever their intelligence is, it's drawn the way yours is on experience, but making this part of their public presentation now today? >> well, they probably have intelligence but i just have the knowledge of tradition and a little bit of insight in what happens in kremlin in my time when i was foreign minister. it was difficult to report unwelcomed news to my boss,
president yeltsin. but at least it was possible occasionally. and he would listen, he would never change immediately his mind but later on he would call me on direct line and say something like, oh, okay, okay, you'll do it your way. so he was amenable. this guy i just want to be very clear that, yes, he could have been deceived, misinformed by his entourage, but the policy, this band-aid type policy is his. that's what is important to remember. that they deceived him on some facts and the whole situation reminds me that about a
sycophant folks and gullible when a sycophant had persuaded the crowd to sing and was after the piece of cheese. so those guys around him, they are mostly crooks. they are after the cheese. they are after the money. so they wanted him to authorize funding for the military, for the operation, for everything, for killing, for bombing, but they wanted to steal and they did a lot because you can see how badly russian army is doing in fact. and they -- so they were telling him what he wanted to hear and he kind of stupidly opened the cheese and they stole the cheese and he is now in a ridiculous
position. but again, he -- it does not relieve him from the crime which he authorized and which he pursues. >> yeah. and i don't know the crow-cheese story as well, though it rings a bell and we know what it is for people to go after the cheese or the money and, as you say, they're pilfering so they have a different structure if there's a kleptocracy and there's so much stealing going on. if this is, as you say is russian tradition and putin has kgb experience, i don't know how they track you but some people over there know you and you said it then and now u.s. intelligence says it and at what point does putin hear about all this and have an incentive to improve his incoming information? does that ever happen?
>> that may be, yes. that may be but he will do it very, very kind of surreptitiously because otherwise he will be exposed even surround him so he will do it very calmly but maybe very ruthlessly, too. and that happens, yes, that's also russian tradition but it's not bad news for us because, you know, that means that the kingdom will be against itself inside and as was said, this kingdom cannot stand so that's good news. >> yeah, really fascinating.
you know of which you speak, which is why we keep coming back to you and like u.s. intelligence, you have to talk to people who have been there to get an understanding of this as we're in this tough spot. thank you so much, sir. >> thank you, sir. thank you. >> absolutely. when we come back, the news i mentioned, the biden white house thinks they may be over the line with judge jackson. we'll explain why. we'll explain why. ♪ ♪ nice suits, you guys blend right in. the world needs you back. i'm retired greg, you know this. people are taking financial advice from memes. [baby spits out milk] i'll get my onesies®. ♪ “baby one more time” by britney spears ♪ e*trade now from morgan stanley. i don't just play someone brainy on tv - i'm an actual neuroscientist. and i love the science behind neuriva plus. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. ♪
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