tv Deadline White House MSNBC March 31, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
you'd think the sax player would be getting ready for his solo... but no. he's currently checkin' his investments. you gotta have a plan outside the band, man. digital tools so impressive, you just can't stop. what would you like the power to do? hi there, everyone. 4:00 in new york. in the nearly 15 months since the deadly january 6 ins recollection there's been a steady drum beat of calls for the justice department to do anything to hold each and every person responsible for the capitol insurrection accountable. and that drum beat grew
particularly loud this week as the january 6 slengt committee pulled back the curtain on the inner workings on the plot from the disgraced ex-president. now brand new reporting reveals that the justice department has indeed expanded the scope of its january 6 investigation from beyond the more than 00 rioters. from "the new york times" reporting, federal prosecutors have widened the january 6 investigation to examine the possible culpability of figures involved in former president trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. the investigation now is the possible involvement of ore government officials to obstruct the election and prosecutors are also asking about planning for the rallies that proceeded the assault on the capitol. including the rally on the
ellipse on january 6 just before a pro trump mob stormed the capitol. the times adds a grand jury in washingtons issuing sweeping subpoenas as part of the investigation. at least one relates to that rally right before the u.s. capitol was attacked. the investigation is also reportedly examining the fake slates of trump electors set to pave the way for trump allies to challenge the certification of the resulting on january 6. lisa monaco previously said they were looking into the fake trump scheme after attorneys general in at least two states asked federal prosecutors to investigate. this bombshell new reporting that we now know do j is indeed looking into the trump elector scheme and other aspects puts comments by attorney general garland around the anniversary
of the insurrection in perhaps a new light. here's what he said back in january. >> the justice department remains committed to holding all january 6 perpetrators at any level accountable under law, whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy. we will follow the facts wherever they lead. >> and as the times points out in its reporting doj's invest dove tails with the probe by the select committee which today heard from someone at the beating heart of the ex-president's innermost circle. his son-in-law and ex-senior adviser jared kushner sat down with the committee. highest ranking member of the trump administration and first family member to testify before the committee. he was not at the white house on
january 6 but the role as the trump insider means he may have a wealth of knowledge on the campaign by trump to overturn the results of lest he lost. the twin invests gaming steam is where we start. joining is congress woman of virginia, a member of the house select committee investigating the attack. thank you for joining us. we watch the meeting your committee held to vote on the contempt charges for mr. navarro and mr. scavino and the most coordinated version of exasperation with the justice department for not dealing with those criminal referrals for folks like mr. meadows that defied subpoenas. have you received any update on the status of referrals?
>> we have not received xhung about those cases. mr. meadows is the one that's outstanding and the full house will have the opportunity to vote next week on the motion out of committee to refer that to the justice department. for the committee to do the work we need to hear from the people and the people directly in involved in the administration who will have insight into what happened that day. we had so many people come before the committee voluntarily. over 800 people spoken to us and the witness today did that voluntarily and providing facts. that's what we're looking for about january 6 and the things that led up to january 6. >> the witness before you today is jared kushner. is that interview ongoing or done for the day?
>> as all the interviews i won't comment on the specifics but as noted he is voluntarily providing information to the committee. >> i want to read some of -- it is so interesting that he is becoming the first family member and the most senior administration official. he wasn't at the white house but there are some great color on the role he played in terms of trying to turn his father-in-law to the truth of the defeat. i want to read some to you. this is from the book "peril." it says on november 7, the day that media outlets called the election for biden, hicks met with trump's son-in-law and senior advisers and others at the headquarters. trump was playing golf. who's going to tell the president the race is over? no one volunteered. kushner, then and with a soft voice who served as the president's confidant spoke up.
there's time for a doctor and time for a priest, he said. perhaps they could be the doctor and give the tough diagnosis. last political rites if they ever came would be left to the family. the family will go in when the family needs to go in he said. but it's not time for that. can you characterize whether he had a question about the results of the 2020 presidential election? >> what i'll say is that we were able to ask for him impression about the third party accounts of the events of that day and so he was able to provide information to us to verify, provide his own take on this different reporting and valuable to have an opportunity to speak to you. >> it feels like what we don't know about this week may be more significant than what has been public facing this week. started with the federal judge ruling on the john eastman case
making an incredibly profound statement of likely criminal felony crimes being committed by mr. eastman and the ex-president donald trump. it was followed by this meeting and you're right. i think six of committee members made the point of doj's appropriate role and liz cheney and others spoke about the role for doj doing more than that and investigating crimes where they occurred. is it still the belief of the committee that potential felonies have occurred and needs to be investigated by doj? >> as a reminder, that there's two separate things happening. the select committee, the role is an oversight committee and provide recommendations. the department of justice, their job as the attorney general garland said in the comments you played around the anniversary of the attack is to identify times
the law was broken and hold people accountable and doesn't matter the level so the justice department is operating independently from the work on the select committee and looking at things to do with the same time frame and the horrific attack on the capitol and caused a loss of life and looking at the same things but for a different purpose and i expect any wrongdoing and hold people accountable. >> much has been made of again -- i want to assert there's likely more we don't know than what we do know but what's spilled over into the public the tactic it is committee is using suggest that the investigation is professional, it is done in concert with the best traditions
of thorough investigation and some friction with potential witnesses around call records and communications. i wonder if there's been any discussion about the kind of evidence that if you were to make a referral as it is suggested you might at the end what kind of evidence or what quality evidence do you have that you think might be of interest to doj? >> we have been collecting factual evidence in numerous variety of ways and direct interviews, written records, logs, 80,000 documents or more at this point that people have turned over to the committee and the information we use for investigation. there's been no communication that i'm aware of to transfer that information to anyone outside the work of the committee. >> a few weeks ago, again, events that are being in all of our sort of public conversations but doesn't have bearing on the
work of the committee but congressman raskin described the momentum as being in your favor as the decisions going your way. how would you describe the committee's momentum right now this week? >> i think that there is a significant amount of momentum. the ruling with regards to the eastman documents which will now be produced to the committee is important because mr. eastman was hiding behind this idea of executive privilege and attorney-client privilege and different things as excuses but because of the facts surrounding his interaction with the former president the judge ruled there's a high likelihood an a criminal conspiracy could have hammed and because of that this evidence is not protected so that has opened the door for the committee in this case and potentially other cases where people are trying to withhold information for that to be provided to the committee.
>> i want to ask you a question and i understand the sensitivities to evidence. but even this week in the contempt referral for mr. navorro what was presented by the commit tee is evidence that you have much of the navorro story and the defiance of the subpoena is more than a stunt and less than a fult blockade of information. he did an interview with ari melber. my question is, how complete is the story telling that you are in possession of now? >> what i would say is that for everyone the committee approached it is best to get the information directly from that person and people have made public statements. part of the argument is how can he claim privilege about something that he's gone on
national tv and written about and how can he say that's private and protected? i think he is on his own self violated that notion. we are able to piece together information from lots of different people. phone calls happen and two way or meetings with multiple people. receiving information from both, many of the parties involved helps paint a picture and something happened. a meeting can happen in a room and five people there and five people have slightly different impressions or recollections of what happened that day and the interpretation and it is valuable to hear from every person involved. >> the last question is about the timing to be in a public phase and a report may be for the -- for the coming. is there an update on a schedule or for that? >> we are working to do this
later this spring and we understand that a lot of people are ains to hear the full body of the work and working as quickly and thoroughly as we can. there's still people to talk to. so later this spring we'll certainly let the public know with a date and a concrete plan for those hearings. >> congresswoman, thank you so much. we're grateful. >> thank you. we bring into our coverage katy and neal katol and my friend michael steele is back. all three contributor. katie, we had to have you back because there's an open question. maybe you knew the answer about whether doj would match either in scope or intensity or commitment the 1/6 committee's
work. that question is still unanswered but we have a broader scope of what they are investigating. explain. >> sure. from the subpoenas uncovered the justice department and federal prosecutors are asking far broader questions than the attack on the building. they want to speak to people that organized the rally and involved in the scheme to send fake slates of electors to federal officials to say that swing states that voted for biden voted for donald trump. seems to expand the questions that the justice department is asking and shows they have certainly been active in terms of investigation and evidence gathering. a reason we may not have known that is they had not yet subpoenaed people and they usually do the talking. justice department does the work
in silence but asking people to provide evidence that's when we see the activity and evidence of an investigation and seems there's some work going on and quietly. >> neal, i want to read from one of those -- "the new york times" reporting on one of the subpoenas katie's talking about. a subpoena reviewed by "the new york times" sought information about people at vip attendes es at the rally. and the branches that are involved in the planning of a rally or obstructing, impede the certification of the 2020 election. that sounds like a whole bunch of people potentially falling into that category. your thoughts? >> yeah. exactly. for the reasons katie was saying it's good to say the story about the investigation being expanded to cover not just what happened in the attack on january 6th but
the events leading up to it and whether trump higher up officials were involved. as we talked about yesterday investigations generally start low level and go forward and work the way up but the concern here is that's been almost 500 days since the january 6th attacks and don't have a real sign that the true higher ups in the trump administration and trump himself are subjects of the investigation or being investigated and normally in an investigation you do have signs that -- signs that the investigation's proceeding and looking at particular people. so sometimes the justice department will twaelt say it. sometimes in really bad situations you have leaks from the fbi agents or prosecutors. you also sometimes have interviewees of the grand jury saying i was called to testify. most importantly the way we
generally find out is filing motions to quash subpoenas. they say in court they're making me go before a grand jury. stop this from occurring. the trump people file these motions like candy in all the state court actions but there's been no sign of any such motion here. you have to worry. memories are going to fade 500 days on and still concerned that the investigation hasn't gotten to the place i would like it to go. >> i want to follow up with you. i don't want to overstate what changed since this conversation yesterday. there is still as you said, we know what they look like and act like under intense scrutiny because we covered it three times. to say nothing of the new york investigation and georgia. constant attacks on the
prosecutors and the feb why there's a campaign waged publicly and none of that is happening but what is happening and i guess this is what katie is talking about more quietly is the insurrectionists themselves asked about the impact of trump words and statement and i want to read from a filing from an inrecollection defense attorney in response to a sentencing memo for his case. during interviews the government focused on establishing an organized conspiracy between the defendant, president trump and allies of the former president to disrupt the joint session of congress. defendant answered all questions truthfully and denied the existence of any such plot. what should we read into that in light of this news of a broadening probe?
>> i think there's evidence suggesting coordination between the promotion of alternate slates of electors and disrupting on january 6. there's testimony. we have seen some memos. read some texts. so i think it's not surprising that the justice department is looking into that i think it would be a dereliction of duty not to do that. you have as you were saying a moment earlier a decision by judge carter in california saying it's likely that trump himself committed felonies and you have had i think thoughtful analysis of that decision by "the washington post" about it so all of that taken together to me that big ball of wax says the justice department really does have to investigate where the law breaking started and plans for january 6th. >> michael steele, i'm neither
an ex-solicitor general or doj general but a girl reading the newspapers trying to do what merrick garland is doing on donald trump and looks very, very little. looks like the mob boss m.o. that michael cohen testified to, that everyone that looked at trump testified to, and talked about has so far had the impact of convincing people inside doj that the opposite of the bill barr justice department, the opposite of a politically corrupted doj is to not go near the current president's political adversaries. do you think that's a possibility, likelihood or too i recally -- too early to tell? >> between too early to tell and
likelihood. i think there are political forces within and without beginning to be exerted and i think merrick garland is trying to navigate that and in many cases not that well. because of the nature of this case, the nature of the individuals involved, the underlying question for me, i would suppose a lot of people is if there is no offense here that is worthy of your review and action, then tell me what is. because all the evidence that we have seen and we haven't seen all the evidence, tells us in the public there's something here. the nervousness i think a lot of americans have is to the point that they're going to whistle past this particular thing
because they don't want to up set the political apple cart. it involves the former president of the united states, the former chief of staff, people with big titles and positions held inside the government and don't want to set a bad precedent. the precedent is set if you allow this to go unchecked by doj and the justice system as a whole because the president's behavior, we have seen and heard the words. we have seen the brag doeshs nature that they think they are politically immune and immune from prosecution from this because it's involvings trump. i think we'll watch to the points very closely over the
next 20 or so days to see what comes out of this. you don't get this done now january of 2023 all of this goes away. >> right. >> there's not a republican in the house to advocate for the continuation of this commission and the work. so the clock is ticking. the justice department is up against that clock. i think there's some real truths that have to be addressed over the course of the summer because come november and the republicans take the house we're done. this is of. a new form of prosecution will begin and the justice department to go after committee members and hunter biden and begin investigating the present president out quite for impeachment. >> that's exactly right. i think to constantly push on this notion of re-establishing norms by doing nothing and
criminality is called out by people like federal judges in all of the sentencing and niche where a 1/6 defendant brushed up against a federal judge. they talked about criminality, talked about the risk of it happening again. itch 11,000 more questions for all of you. when we come back more on pressure on doj to do something about the insurrection. plus, the u.s. remains skeptical about a notion of a russian pullback from kyiv. there's a kremlin rejects intelligence claims that putin is out of the loop and misled by his own team about how the war is going. comments of president biden about what may be happening in moscow. more from president biden and the wartime plan to reduce gas prices here at home. rob klain will be the guest on
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the path is gilded with the potential for rich returns. we have learned that president trump and his team were warned in advance and repeatedly that the efforts they undertook to overturn the 2020 election would violate the law and our constitution. they were warned that january 6th could and likely would turn violent. and yet despite all the specific warnings president trump and his
team moved willfully through means to attempt to halt the peaceful transfer of power, to halt the constitutional process for counting votes an ento shatter the constitutional bedrock of our great nation. >> january 6 select committee vice chairwoman cheney this week summing up a significant finding from the panel that donald trump knew that his efforts to overturn the election he lost were illegal and went ahead with it any way. we're back with katie and michael. katie, i imagine there's exasperation on the part of doj but liz cheney could not be more pointed about the criminality and the codes she thinks donald trump violated and talking among other things about the obstruction of proceeding. is there any acknowledgement
that those are serious crimes worthy of investigation? >> i don't know if the justice department is exasperated. i think that for the justice department, the justice department's point of view is this. is liz cheney somebody to put in a witness box before 12 jurors and can she with just the public assertions secure a guilty conviction against a former president? is that how you start a criminal investigation? you used the analogy of a mob boss earlier. those investigations do not start with a criminal investigation. against the mob boss but built from the ground up first going after lower level lutds to find out in their communications and records and financial records
that lead them not just to the mob boss but to an actual crime committed that they can prove before a jury of 12 people so i do agree that liz cheney and other committee members made allegations, said things that are extremely alarming but i don't think the justice department uses them as a convinces witness. for the department i don't know that they're exasperated by cheney. the committee wants to pull together the information top down starting with donald trump and the lieutenants and people like the rally organizers to paint a full narrative what they see as the events of january 6 and what led up to them. the justice department is starting with the people that committed the most visible and provable crime of breaking into capitol and obstructing congress and trying to find evidence that
leads them to other crimes. what they were and who committed them and continue to do so until they exhaust the options and they're working on different time frames. >> you brought up witnesses in a box. how act jeff rosen, the acting ag with the notes? bill barr wrote a book saying donald trump is unfit for office and would vote for him anyway and clark trying to overturn. any consideration to put them in a jury box? >> i think if they put rosen in the jury box they lose immediately because he said i have no idea what trump was doing and his state of mind. he did know that trump wanted to fire him but pressed on that by the committee he said he can
fire me. if he disagrees with the reason why. the justice department needs to build a case and do need to use the evidence as possible and have things in public view that are damning and not sure -- bill barr saying the president's unfit to be president is it a crime to be unfit to be president? is there a part of the u.s. criminal code that says being unfit to be president is a crime to put you in jail? that is the narrow world within which the justice department is working and garland said that this is slow work which is unsatisfying to a public that wants immediate accountability so i think he thinks about that because he's publicly said and i think he understands that a mismatch creates public concern and understandable for that to
happen in some ways because you -- that disconnect is difficult to process why the department sees itself doing a job to outlast the committee. federal prosecutors are going to do the job that they have set out to do why if the committee gives a referral they don't need to act on it. if the committee -- if there's a republican led committee and refer something about hunter biden to the department they'll evaluate it. they see themselves apart from political timelines and understand it's frustrating. >> i think the frustration isn't in this partisan pressure cooker. i think it comes from disorienting nature of a federal judge in central california saying likely felonies were
committed by eastman and trump. i don't think the anxiety -- i think the american left is -- when mueller found what? ten acts of criminal obstruction of justice and decided to do nothing i think this is a broken rule of law in america. i also talked to someone that thinks that the justice department is proving it is not political by being in the advance stages. there's investigation of hunter biden. let's me show you how political we are not. i'm not as familiar with the criminal code and when cheney reads from it it's intriguing. i think it's a fog of people inside the legal establishment kaling the trump conduct to
overturn an election a couple plot, a crime against democracy and as katie said we don't see any crimes yet. we have to start with the guy that parked the car for the insurrectionists. >> right. you just encapsulated the frustration of so many millions of americans. i have been to go back and say i really appreciated what you heard from katie because she laid out in a very clear and responsible way how the process is playing out and how in many respects it's supposed to play out. and that's our frustration watching this unfold because we have judges saying there's something here. there's more than a there there and members of the committee pronouncing what some findings are. there are bread crumbs laid out by the committee. you don't have the full loaf.
you have the crumbs. and what the committee is essentially saying to the justice department is, there's a loaf here. and you need to move towards where the loaf is and trying to give you that pathway to get there. trying to be mindful of your point about the politics because you don't want this to get steeped in the politics because all that does is give the trumpian maga world a hook to hang a thousand hats on. to make the kind of noise to confuse the public. the public i think is genuinely interested in what this committee is finding out. and they're waiting as patiently as they can for the full narrative but they're also watching the justice department to katie's point saying, you guys aren't moving yet. why not? that's part of the process and to katie's last point about the
justice department outlasting the committee, yeah. that's a real possibility and likelihood and then what happens afterwards? that is a big concern or at least it should be going forward. >> katie issue michael, a responsible conversation about this. thank you. neal, we went so long and kept him so long he had to teach the students so sorry he didn't hear from him again. after a break, the war in ukraine. despite russia's promises to scale back the forces cities in ukraine are under attack and what we think we can deduce about what putin's next moves might be. that's next. stay with us.
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>> this president joe biden speaking carefully a short time ago and trying to flesh out for the reporters in the room the u.s. intelligence assessment about how informed russian president vladimir putin is about how things are going in ukraine. the assessment suggest that is he is misled by some advisers about russia's failures on the battle field. the kremlin spokesperson says that neither the u.s. pentagon or the u.s. state department have real information about what is happening and don't understand president putin coming as russia's promises to scale back attacks in ukraine appear to be broken or completely disingenuous from the start. forces continue to pound kyiv and the city of chernihiv. there's attacks in nearly 20 ukrainian cities and towns in the past 7 days. today nato secretary-general
stoltenberg said that there's no intention to withdraw from ukraine and appears to be what they have suggested, repositioning the forces for more potentially brutal attacks. let's bring in ali arouzi and on set welcoming julia iaffi. julia, we have talked about this. we tend to sort of flatten news about both countries, ukraine and russia. but tell me your -- what is everyone getting at with putin? sounds like misinformed is that he's watching tucker carlson and a difficult time sort of presenting difficult truths about ukraine. is that a fair read of this assessment? >> i think it is. i think correctly this is what happens in dictatorships, right?
especially ones based on fear and fear of imprisonment or death. people are scared to bring bad news worried that the messenger will be shot and i think that's the case here and the case in the lead-up to the war because he seems to have miscalculated so, so badly and fundamentally. he was getting such bad information or making such wrong assumptions about ukraine and how russian forces would be perceived when they went into ukraine and seems like this is not a new phenomenon. this is something to hear in moscow even back in 2018 that he was isolated and the information getting to him was less and less good. actually i heard about this happening in like 2014, 2015. but then the two years of covid didn't help and i think his
circle has shrunk and now reported tension between him and the people in that tiny circle around him. i wonder where he is getting any information. >> do you worry that we're getting to the point where this is becoming almost clinical? talking act intel assessments and troop redeployment. every day someone is dying from a brutal bombardment of russian troops. the truth is ukraine is a living hell for civilians and children. >> yeah. i think it speaks a lot to the helplessness and desire to see the war end and so i think i see people in the west trying to look for hope in the negotiations that ended earlier this week. and any kind of russian promises even though this government has never kept its word. >> right. >> and has used tactics like
this in syria helping to claw back every inch of territory and technically participating in and then hosting talks to give them cover to do the damage but i think people really want to believe that this war is about to end or could end soon. even though people in moscow are telling me i wouldn't have much hope for the negotiations. many in moscow i think rooting for the negotiations to fail because they want putin to see this through. that original crazy plan. they want him to finish it and people i'm talking to in washington say prepare for months or years of this. >> we are always grounded in this truth that julia's talking about. take me through what you have seen and reported today throughout the country. >> reporter: hi.
it shouldn't come to a surprise that russia did exactly the opposite of what they said they would do. zelenskyy, u.s. officials, heads of nato con firms there's no massive withdrawal and continued to bomb the places. the russians said two days ago to scale down their troops to build mutual trust but they continue to bomb kyiv. still heavy fighting on the outskirts of kyiv in irpin they want to capture to get into kyiv and chernihiv with heavy bombing throughout the last few nights and throughout the day. they continue to pound that place and they practically encircled chernihiv and turning it into a disaster that mariupol. it is difficult to get food in there, gas, water, electricity is low. no running water and chernihiv
shares a border with russia and belarus. but i think this also speaks volumes about how badly the russian invasion is going. the crown jewel is kyiv for them. completely botched effort to and that's why they may be saying they're going to shift their focus on to the donbas region, where the pentagon said that there were a thousand foreign troops joining the russian troops there, so they need back-up. they can't even do it by themselves to take the donbas region. so that area is probably going to see some really heavy bombing in the next few days as they reposition and rotate troops around the kyiv area, because they have still the bulk of the troops that they had there originally. they still have there. only a tiny portion have gone, and they're probably just getting some rest to come back into those positions. >> ali live in lviv, thank you so much, my friend. we'll have more with julia ioffe on the other side of a quick break. ioffe on the other side of a quick break.
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we're back with julia ioffe. i want to know what you're hearing from your sources about zelenskyy, about his sort of, what is sustaining him, and how is he doing, and how are the ukrainian forces doing? that seems to be sort of the twist that people did not -- if they knew about it, they didn't talk about ahead of the war. >> right. i think they're concerned that he -- that everybody has enough stamina to keep going, because the russians are not done with this war yet. >> yeah. >> and i think the other thing that's important to keep in mind is putin hasn't really achieved any of what he set out to do. he can't even -- he hasn't even been able to conquer the donbas, so when they're talking at the negotiations, that they want maybe -- or they're all talking about maybe just splitting off these so-called people's republics, they haven't even gotten the full territory of them. >> and there's incredible resistance from the ukrainians
lives there. >> exactly. exactly. >> so, what does that portend for not just how long this could go on but how it could end? >> i don't know that there is a good ending for this, even if some kind of ceasefire is reached, some kind of settlement and putin doesn't achieve his aims in ukraine, which i really hope he does not. i worry that it will still be a carved-up, destroyed country, deeply traumatized country. i also worry, you know, or even if the ukrainians win, just all the way, push out the russians, it will still be a deeply traumatized, broken country. russia will still have the sanctions on them. it will be a deeply traumatized and angry, embittered country. we now have a couple polls out in russia, and again, with all the disclaimers that it's hard to do polling in russia, even -- and now especially it's even harder, but it seems like people are really rallying around putin
and russia, the support for him, support for the war is only going up, despite the sanctions, despite all of this. >> just nationalism? wartime nationalism? what's driving that? >> yeah, and a lot of anti-western feeling, bitterness that russia isn't being understood, that their demands are just being, you know, dismissed, and that all of russia is being punished, so i think that's the other thing is going to have this angry hermit kingdom that has lots of nuclear weapons. >> incredible. what else can we do to help russia or to help ukraine beat russia? >> i don't know. i'm so glad this is not my job to think of policies. i can describe the problem for you if you want. >> yeah, yeah. because it seems that russia is revealing itself and revealing what you're talking about, that they have no intention of stopping, and it just makes zelenskyy's calls to do more all the more gut-wrenching.
>> yeah. i mean, talking to sources in -- i talked to one source in moscow who said that he hopes to see ukraine turned into the small land-locked western state and he hopes russia doesn't stop until that happens, and he says this is now existential for russia because of all the sanctions, because the world is so -- or the west is so unified against russia, that they now have to win. otherwise, they look like losers. they will not be respected on the world stage. the source told me if we don't win this, russia will be everyone's door mat, and so we have -- he said this is all or nothing for us. >> that's terrifying. that's more terrifying. julia ioffe, thank you so much for your great reporting on this and for being up here with us. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a short break. don't go anywhere. s after a short break. don't go anywhere. smokin', yolkin', flippin', dippin'. if you're not oozing, then you're losing. tater totting, cold or hotting. mealin', feelin', pie-ing, trying. color your spread. upgrade your bread. pair it. share it.
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there isn't enough supply, and the bottom line is if we want lower gas prices, we need to have more oil supply right now. between ramping up production in the short-term and driving down demand in the long-term, we can free ourselves from our dependence on imported oil from across the world. look, i know gas prices are painful. i get it. my plan's going to help ease that pain today. and safeguard against tomorrow. i'm going to continue to use every tool at my disposal to protect you from putin's price hike. >> hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in new york. president biden there warning the american people that there would be a cost to defending democracy, specifically defending against russia's aggression and war in ukraine. it would mean sacrifice here at home, coming in the form of rising prices of goods, including prices at the pump.
putin's price hike. since the start of the year, gas prices have increased by nearly $1 a gallon. today, president biden announced measures to combat those rising prices, a major part of which is a plan for releasing 1 million barrels a day from the strategic petroleum reserve every day, on average, for the next six months. this 180 million barrel withdrawal will be the largest release from the reserve since it was created. the strategic petroleum reserve is a tool that presidents have used only a handful of times in the past, including during the first gulf war, including after hurricane katrina and during libya's civil war in 2011. this move comes as increasing prices and inflation are the number one concern among americans. the latest nbc news polling finds that 35% of americans feel that the cost of living is the most important problem facing us as a country.
that's a 12% increase just since january, and they're blaming people. most of them are blaming president biden. 38% of people hold him responsible, with just 6% blaming russia's invasion of ukraine. also today, the united states leveled new sanctions on russian technology companies. this is a white house fighting fires -- putting out fires on multiple fronts and we're lucky now to be joined by white house chief of staff ron klain. hey there. >> hey, nicole, thanks for having me. >> so, i know you're busy this time of day. this is sort of when all the problems that you haven't dealt with yet end up on your desk and everyone wants an answer before normal end of business, so we're happy to see you. i wonder if you can explain the policy, explain what you hope it achieves, and then explain how sustainable it can be. >> well, so, nicole, look, what we need, as the president said, we need to replace the gap in u.s. supply caused by the president's decision to block
russian oil imports into the united states. to punish the russians. but that obviously creates a gap in supply here in the u.s. in the long run, we're going to fill that gap by increasing oil production here to make up that difference. the president talked about that today, talked about things like use it or lose it for oil leases to be given to the industry. what the industry tells us is it will take a few months to ramp up production and make up the lost russian oil. so in the meantime, what we're doing is this release of a million barrels a day from the strategic petroleum reserve. that's a bridge in our supply to get us to where domestic produced oil can make up what we've lost from russia. we think it's very sustainable. we think it will take about six months for domestic production to catch up, so doing a million barrels a day for six months closes that gap and helps make sure that we minimize the impact on the american people. we know -- president said from day one that if russia went into ukraine, we would put crippling sank sanctions on russia.
much of the burden would fall on russia but we would feel some of the pain here at home and we're seeing that pain in rising gas prices, in the putin price hike. our effort today is to soften the blow on american consumers, as we do what we need to do to confront president putin's aggression. >> we've monitored your rapid response today to the policy rollout, and you pushed back on someone describing the move and the policy as a drop in the bucket with in language you're using. it's about closing the gap. if you could just follow up on that and explain how the defense production act is also being deployed to help with this what the president called pain at the pump. >> yeah. so, the tweet you're talking about, someone noted that global oil production's 100 million barrels a day, what does 1 million barrels do? well, again, most of that production continues to flow and indeed opec plus raised its production today so it's not about replacing all the oil production in the world, because again, that continues. what it's about is replacing the
gap in production by these sanctions against russia and in that context, this is a very significant release and gets us to the bridge. in terms of the defense production act, another step the president announced today was using his authority to accelerate the production of some key minerals here in the u.s. so we can make sure we continue to produce batteries for electric vehicles, because again, you know, in the long run -- in the short run, we have to close this gap on oil supply. in the long run, of course, i think all americans want us to move to cleaner power, move to a place where no country can hold us hostage over oil supply in the future. we're running a clean energy economy based on energy here in the u.s. the defense production act order that the president did today helps make more progress on domestic battery production for electric vehicles. >> talk to me about how important it is to, you know, not just make this announcement today, just be here today, and i'm not trying to rope you into joining us every day at 5:00, although we wouldn't mind.
we always have questions. but how important is it for the president to be out in front of this, understanding, as you said today, that prices are painful, explaining how much oil came from russia, how much we can sort of back fill through these strategic reserves and what the long-term plan is? how much of your time is spent figuring out how to not just solve the problems but communicate and try to calm people down? >> well, look, nicole, i think it's very important. i mean, the president's been very straightforward. we've really been at this in terms of putin's aggression for three or four months now, and it was very important for the president to go in front of the american people and the world and say, hey, we believe putin will invade ukraine and lay that out, first then laying out his plan to do it through false flag operations and false provocations to take away putin's -- any kind of putative rationale for what he did and then engage the allies publicly and show we have a united front.
i think everything we've done has helped bring the allies together to confront russia and russian aggression but for that to be sustainable for the long run, we have to have the support of the american people. they have to understand what we're doing and why we're doing it. the president's been very honest that this would not be cost-free for us, as we impose these devastating costs on putin, he would be able to impose some costs back on us and that is what we're seeing but we're trying to make sleer to the american people, we're going to try to soften that blow any way we can. we're trying to look out for the consumers here in this country, even as we deal with this crisis in europe. i think that's part of presidential leadership. i think as we've seen presidents in the past, when they face these kinds of foreign policy crises, and that's what you're seeing from president biden now. >> the ex-president who was impeached twice, once for trying to get dirt on the biden family and the second time for trying
to prevent the president from becoming the president, president biden, that is, has for a third time engaged a foreign leader, vladimir putin, again, this time, and asked him for dirt on the biden family. i wonder -- not your reaction personally as an advisor to the president, and i know anyone in your job also serves the first lady and the family and these things are unpleasant, but as a national security question, what do you do with all of this sort of axises of flirtation and support for vladimir putin, even at a time when the u.s. secretary of state has accused putin of carrying out war crimes in ukraine? what do you do with sort of the axis of republican affinity for putin that extends from donald trump asking him for more favors to work against current american president, tucker carlson giving him safe harbor, at least in a pr space? >> yeah, i think it's disgusting. it's obviously disgusting, nicole. i mean, we have vladimir putin,
who every day we wake up and see him dropping bombs on hospitals, on schools, on children, and we have the former president, who thinks that's a great person to try to engage in a political scheme with. it's absolutely disgusting. we're grateful for the fact that most republicans on capitol hill are working closely with us to try to confront president putin. we have had strong bipartisan support for aid to provide economic aid, lethal aid, military assistance to the ukrainians fighting president putin, but if donald trump thinks that some kind of crackpot scheme conducted in conjunction with vladimir putin can serve his political interests, that will fail, as it has failed every time, and it says a lot about who donald trump is, and how much he cares about our country's security. >> well, those questions have been asked and answered, and i'll ask you what those answers mean another time. i do want to ask you about the president's comments today about
this intelligence assessment, about what putin does or does not know, what he is and is not hearing. if you could elaborate on this idea that he's not receiving difficult truths from the battlefield and how does that shape our strategy or our approach to him and any peace talks? >> well, nicole, i want to be careful about what i say on this topic. i do think there are some publicly released reports that indicate that president putin may not be getting it straight from his military advisors, may not be listening to his military advisors, may be isolated from his military advisors. i think that's all interesting. it's important and affects how we understand what's going on, but in the end, what really matters isn't president putin's mindset. it's what president putin is doing on the battlefield. and what he continues to do on the battlefield, notwithstanding his promises to do otherwise, is to inflict a devastating destruction on ukraine and that's why we continue to send every single day more weapons to the ukrainians, more assistance to the ukrainians, more aid of
all sorts to the ukrainians. to confront that aggression and try to push back the actions by president putin inside ukraine. in the end, you know, no matter what president putin says, this is kind of distrust but verify. we don't really trust what he said. he said he had no intention to invade in the first place. he did. we don't trust what he's saying now about a pullback around kyiv. we just see kind of a repositioning of russian forces and most importantly, what we need to do is help the ukrainians in this struggle any way we can. >> just really quick, last question, is the president feeling healthy? i know he was in a socially distanced meeting yesterday with the cia director who tested positive for covid. >> yeah, president feels fine. i saw him today. looks great, sounds great. american people saw him today earlier talking about gas prices. covid is around. that's a reality. it's a reality in all of our workplaces. we take reasonable precautions here at the white house. the president, as you know, is
fully vaccinated, got his second booster shot the other day, and so he's well protected from serious illness. >> white house chief of staff ron klain, i hope you are too, my friend. thank you for spending time with us today. thank you. >> thanks for having me, nicole. >> joining our coverage, ann applebaum, author of "twilight of democracy," also joining us, msnbc contributors charlie sykes, editor at large of the bulwark and katty kay. charlie sykes, i'm going to start with you on both the policy and the psychology of gas prices. there is less that a president can do than people think, but it's so important to be seen as responsive. i wonder if you think that this white house struck the right balance between those two dynamics, those two political realities. >> well, i think they're trying to, and they need to keep it up. this is the thing about this white house. they need to be reminded every
once in a while, you can't just have one speech. you need to say it over and over and over again, but you're right. i think the most important thing that the president did today was to say to the american people, i get it. i care. i am engaged on this issue. and politically, i think that's probably going to be more important than the policy decision. now, i've always been skeptical of the release from the strategic reserve because it feels like a gimmick, but in this particular instance, we have a strategic reserve for crises and this is an international crisis. this is a time of war. so, i do think it is justified, but to your point, i think that politically, what the biden administration has to do is to acknowledge that this is top of mind for the voters. this is what they care about. and up until now, i'm not sure that the voters see the white house as being as engaged on this as they should be. so, this was a good first step but it's only a first step. >> katty, there are so many connections that voters who are still exhausted and fatigued and
in a sour mood over covid, they have anxiety and anger over the cost of everything, groceries, gas, housing, whatnot. and despite the fact -- i saw a poll yesterday. 98% of americans are anti-putin, only 1% which sort of belies tucker carlson's programming choices, but i digress. the white house hasn't connected all that, right? part of the reason the prices are as high as they are is because of the oil embargo and people don't seem to be putting those pieces together. it is a daily, sustained messaging campaign that gives you a shot at understanding how all that fits together. do you think that's what they're embarking on today? or do you think they realize that? >> i'm sure they realize that. i'm sure that they realize that they have a problem holding this country with them. they've got a problem holding
the western alliance with them if prices carry on this high, and the pain gets too much for people in the struggle against russia and to protect ukraine. this is a real issue, and prices aren't going to go down. i mean, this is going to help, the strategic reserve release, but we -- there's a much longer term problem here with cutting off supplies of oil and gas from russia that the west is going to have to face and that the west got itself into by being so dependent on russia. communications can help, but it seems to me that the war in ukraine, whilst people support it in this country, it feels much further away for them than it does for europeans. i mean, europeans are feeling this war viscerally. it's really close. we went through this in the second world war. we were occupied. we know what it means, especially for those central and eastern european countries. americans understandably, it's really far away. and it's one thing to say, yes, i support the ukrainians, yes, i oppose the russians, but when you're asked to pay a cost every
single day, and as we know, americans drive a lot more than europeans do, you really feel it if you are a working class american. you're really feeling this. that's hard when it's a war that's so far away. >> and ann, it is -- it's a distance, and it's also, you know, we've struggled in this country to sustain a conversation about our own democracy and about our own very real threats to protecting and honoring our most sacred democratic traditions, namely the peaceful transfer of power, which one of the two parties annihilated, obliterated, and save for liz cheney and adam kinzinger, isn't interested in restoring. i wonder if you can just speak to both ron's comments about the disgusting -- he used the word disgusting about donald trump speaking in a tv interview directly to vladimir putin to continue the effort of sullying donald trump's political adversaries but of sustaining our country's attention on the alliance, not just with our ally, ukraine, but with the democracy in this fight.
>> one of the things that i hope will come out of the war, which of course i hope will -- other than a victorious and sovereign ukraine, is a deeper sense and a deeper understanding not just in america but all across the democratic world of just what's at stake. when we're talking about distant autocracies who threaten democracy, we aren't only talking about twitter trolls. we're not only talking about people who make menacing noises or unpleasant speeches. we're talking about people who kill, rape, maim, murder, who are willing to break laws, who are willing to break conventions, who are willing to -- who want to change borders, who want to change the way the international system works. the system that we created, we americans created, and that we benefitted from. and i hope that the biden administration will be able to use this moment to explain that to americans, that this is a -- this isn't just, you know, kind of war of words.
it's not theoretical. it's very real. you know, people in ukraine are now dying to defend a political system that we take for granted. they're dying to defend an open society, the ability to choose their own leaders, the tradition of rule of law that they have struggled to reach for such a long time, and it seems to me this is a great moment to try and galvanize or begin that deeper conversation, and i just hope that the administration will seize it. >> yeah. and it's incumbent on everybody. the administration can lead it but you're so right. it's right there if we continue to pay attention. anne, charlie and katty are all staying with us. there's much more on what we're talking about, this fierce battle to protect democracies against these forces of authoritarianism, not just in ukraine but as we are talking about, here at home and all around the world. we'll continue that conversation. we'll talk about what america can be doing to defend
our democracy more directly. plus, house republicans seem to finally be tiring of one of the looniest far-right disigh pales of the disgraced ex-president. what north carolina's madison cawthorn said that was too much for kevin mccarthy. and later, a veteran moscow reporter weighs in on vladimir putin's motives and what it could take to end the war in ukraine. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. dline whites after a quick break.
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in ukraine, and what is undeniably the inspiring spirit and the fight of its people, as anne said, to defend and die for their democracy, anne reminds us in the "atlantic" today that all democracies must be defended and vigorously. that there are no rules, only enforcers that protect them against autocracy and autocratic forces and as ukraine as proven, she says, if it's strong enough, belief in one's democracy can be fiercer than its opponents and even its own political division. she writes this. quote, take democracy seriously. teach it. debate it. improve it. defend it. maybe there is no natural liberal world order, but there are liberal societies, open and free countries that offer a better chance for people to live useful lives than closed dictatorships do. for decades now we've been fighting a culture war between liberal values on the one hand
and muscular patriotism on the other. the ukrainians are showing us a way to have both. they overcame their many political divisions, which are no less bitter than ours, and they picked up weapons to fight for their sovereignty and their democracy. anne, your piece tied my brain in a knot and i actually thought of something chris wallace said in this interview he did with the "new york times" over the weekend in advance of his sort of new role at cnn. and he talks about some of what you get at. it's not opinions and differences in ideologies and differences between how we should deal with our problems that ran him out of fox. it was this absence of truth. and i wonder if you could speak specifically to the dangers to a democracy of a truth and fact-free zone. >> well, russia is a truth and fact-free zone, and it's not an -- it's not accidental. the putin regime has been trying to create cynicism and apathy
among its citizens for a decade by feeding people with, you know, kind of firehood of falsehoods, endless lies, one after the next, that nobody -- people stop taking them seriously. people don't know what to believe, and they start to believe that nothing is true at all, and you can never know anything. that's the road to noncitizenship. if you don't believe anything, nothing's true, everyone's lying, then why should you participate in politics? why should you really do anything at all? you just want to stay away from the public sphere because you don't understand it. and that attempt to demotivate people has succeeded in russia. they've rendered a large part of their country kind of apolitical or anti-political, you know, people are just -- they'll just go along with what's said by those in power. they won't protest. they won't start their own grassroots movements. they can't organize things for themselves. and that's all of our fate, really, if we don't -- you know, if we don't find a way to put some values at the center of
what we do and who we are. >> katty, you also write something incredibly profound in your bbc piece. the dangers of wishful western thinking. we've come out of a dark period of ugly political division and tragic medical crisis, and we're longing for something good to believe in. 44 million brave ukrainians seem to have risen to the challenge and given us cause for hope in the power of the underdog, but there's a growing recognition this fight will go on for longer than either russia or the west anticipated. this is no time to be unrealistic. wide-eyed realism will help zelenskyy more than wishful thinking. elaborate. >> well, look, i think, you know, everybody's got caught up in this sense of the hero, of zelenskyy and we're flying ukrainian flags and there's a longing for him to succeed, and i think, you know, every time that he makes gains or the ukrainians make gains on -- in
ukraine militarily, that's what we talk about. but we also need to recognize that he is up against a huge foe that the russians will go back and regroup and everybody i speak to fully expects that it's going to be another assault that is even more bloody, and if we give into this idea, slightly, of wishful thinking, of thinking, well, the ukrainians are winning, they are -- this david has given goliath a bloody nose. the risk is we perhaps don't give them what they really need, which is hard realism that carries on supplying them with weapons, and our politics, and i think it's really about public opinion in the west and here in the united states, needs to realize that this is going to go on for a long time and the ukrainians, valiant though they have been, have not won yet, and if we turn our back on them, if we don't carry on the pipeline of arms fast and in huge quantities, they may not prevail, and that will be on us as well. and i think anne's right. you know, freedom and democracy
comes at a price, and to some extent, we've been lazy in the west for the last few decades. we have forgotten that it comes at a price, and it's -- the ukrainians are showing they're prepared to pay that price. we have to back them up. >> well, and this is a necessary turn, charlie sykes, i'm going to make it with you. it's not just that we've been lazy, and it's not just that we haven't nurtured and brought blood and oxygen to the most vital organ of our democracy, freedom and thought and information and tolerance. it's that we've sawed it off on purpose. one of the two parties totally hostage to the autocratic impulse of their leader, donald trump, and i read what you wrote yesterday. i'm going to read it again today. it's called "trump's treason." it is as if he, donald trump, is recapitulating all of his most
egregious scandals multified by a factor of genocide and daring us to do something about it. it is at this moment amidst a brutal war of aggression that trump once again reached out for putin's help in attacking the sitting american president and by extension his country, this country. i feel like you take anne and katty's arguments to an ugly but necessary conclusion, that not only are we nurturing democracies, not only are we not taking care of our own, but one of the country's two parties is actively working to damage this one. >> well, first of all, let me say that i could not agree more strongly with anne and katty, and both of their articles are really important, because one of the things i think we've learned is that we are not immune to history. there has been a certain complacency about liberal democracy and now perhaps a
whole new generation is discovering why we need to defend those values but to your point, i was listening to ron klain and you asked him about what donald trump did when he reached out to vladimir putin, and he said -- he described it as disgusting, and i guess i want to push back a little bit because i think that understates it. this is part of problem of donald trump. we kind of run out of words to describe what he is doing and of course it's disgusting but it's much worse than that. it is a fundamental betrayal of the country and it is dangerous. it is dangerous because he is the odds-on favorite to be the republican nominee for president again. he is sending a message to vladimir putin that we are not united, that perhaps he could wait out our national resolve, and it was a betrayal because the way that trump put it was, well, putin might actually give me this dirt on joe biden because he doesn't like this country. he made it very clear that putin might do it because he would want to damage the united
states, and again, we have done this so often over the last five years, sort of take a deep breath and say, okay, this is not normal. this is outrageous. but i think we need to understand how dangerous it is at a time of war, and katty is absolutely right, we sometimes tell ourselves these kumbaya stories. we think it's a movie that has a happy ending. and the reality is that we may be in for a long, bloody period that will amount to genocide, and the former and perhaps future president of the united states is providing aid and comfort to the one man who is committing these crimes. and i do think that we need to, again, i know we're bored, i know we're tired, i know that it's tedious to talk about, you know, what the orange god-king is talking about, but these things have consequences. it would not matter if he -- you know, the disgraced twice-impeached defeated president would just go off into
the wilderness, but he's not, and that's why we need to confront and understand what the possible consequences of his remarks and his posturing might be. >> charlie, i couldn't agree with you more. i mean, we started this hour yesterday with those comments, and i was disappointed that even mitt romney was a little ho-hum, oh, we shouldn't do that. how do you wake up the rest of the republican party? they know better. >> you know what? we've been over this before. >> i know. >> if there's any moment -- i mean, how many breaking points have we come to? we thought that january 6th would be that breaking point. but i would propose one data point, and you mentioned this a little bit earlier. there are surveys out showing that there is virtually no americans who are trusting in vladimir putin, who like vladimir putin. who have confidence in vladimir putin. this is bipartisan.
so, this is not 2016 anymore, and i wonder whether or not trump's bromance with putin is playing the same way now that he thinks it would, you know, thinking that it's still 2016 so there is a possibility that at least there are some doubts out there, but i am very much struck by the fact that not a single elected republican anywhere has really pushed back against these comments and i had the same reaction to mitt romney's comments you did. i thought, really? if there's any moment where you say, look, this is the former president who is betraying this country in a time of war, i would think this would be the moment. but you know, we're ground down. we're numbed by this. >> well, we aren't. none of us is numb. but the republicans are busy with this next story. orgies or something? madison cawthorn? straight ahead for us, it might still be possible to go too far in today's republican party. what madison cawthorn said that finally got the leaders of the
speaker, russian state tv cameo appearance star, freshman congressman from north carolina, a man named madison cawthorn. in an interview last week, cawthorn went on and on about sexual perversion that goes on in washington. he said his colleagues invited him to a, quote, sexual get together, quote and he's seen them do cocaine in front of him. that was enough to irritate his republican colleagues and for him to get a rebuke from house republican leader kevin mccarthy, who has declined to discipline other members for things like attending a white supremacist conference, accusations of sex trafficking of a minor, or regularly amplifying false conspiracies. the house gop leader sat mr. cawthorn down yesterday and says he, quote, lost his trust in him and that there, quote, could be, end quote, consequences. cawthorn's antics seem to have exhausted republican voters and party leaders in cawthorn's
district just weekends away from the primary, as well as north carolina senator thom tillis, now throwing his support behind one of cawthorn's primary challengers, saying he's fallen short of the most basic standards. we'll explain why this matters in a conversation about a democracy. this is gross stuff, charlie, but you can't have this conversation without having this conversation. liz cheney the, the most vocal defender of american democracy in the republican party right now, along with adam kinzinger, who the two of them are the two lone republicans on the january 6th subcommittee, have framed everything they have done from joining this committee, from being thrown out of the good graces in liz's case of republican leadership by kevin mccarthy, she is so far over the line that mccarthy didn't just oust her for leadership, he's actively campaigning for and funding her opponent, and i wonder, again, on this question
of not just not taking our democracy for granted but not doing it more harm, how important is liz cheney's political survival? >> well, i think it's immensely important because again, what does it take to be a pariah in the republican party? it is to tell the truth. it is to say that we stand by the constitution, we stand by democracy. if she is effectively excommunicated for that, then it really tells you about the culture of the republican party. you know, look, up until yesterday, despite all the lies, despite all the bigotry, despite the jerkitude of madison cawthorn, kevin mccarthy was okay with him. he was going to support him for re-election. he's going to support marjorie taylor greene for re-election. he's going to support paul gosar so the conspiracy theories, the anti-semitism, the showing up at white nationalism conferences, that's okay, that's acceptable. but liz cheney telling the truth about january 6th means she gets
ousted and it takes madison cawthorn talking about cocaine and orgies to get him tossed out so this is one who was willing to tolerate everything up until that moment. you don't have a liberal democracy that functions unless people are held accountable, and unless people are willing to stand up for the rule of law and defend the constitution. and if that becomes, you know, a death penalty issue for one of the major political parties, that's a very bad omen. >> and it is sort of this structural reality that i wanted to ask you about, anne, and how our allies and our adversaries look at, you know, we have a very closely divided and very tight public support for donald trump, who's the most prominent republican in this country still, and president joe biden, our incumbent president. they're neck and neck, and i understand that our allies don't trust that we couldn't revert back to, if not trump, trumpism,
and i wonder if you can speak to this question of the importance not just in this country but around the world of voices like liz cheney's. >> look, one of the reasons that putin invaded ukraine was that he and the people around him watched fox news. they follow american culture wars and political division very closely. they participate in it with their, you know, with their trolls and their disinformation. the impression of american weakness and american division is profoundly important. it emboldens autocrats, it weakens other democrats, it provides bad examples for people to follow. we have had two or three other leaders in recent months since january 6th hint that they might try and do the same thing. the president of brazil has said, well, if i lose an election, it's only because it was rigged. in other words, he also is planning to steal an election, just like donald trump tried to steal an election. so, you know, we are a model.
everybody watches us. we're the one country whose internal political battles get played out on television sets and, you know, radio stations around the world. and we are -- we set a terrible example. i mean, we are -- we essentially have, you know, it's not just that they're extremists. it's that they're trivial, you know? there's a part of the republican party and the establishment who have become trivialized and they don't value things, and they think it's all a joke or it doesn't matter or it's all about politics. and that's where, you know, liz cheney stands out. she's one of the few republicans who still takes the language of the constitution and of democracy and of the oaths of office that she has sworn, she still takes those things seriously, and you know, it's extraordinary to say that she's almost on her own inside her congressional party. >> it's extraordinary and it's the piece of the madison cawthorn story that interests me, katty, that i've covered him
before. i'm aware of his existence. mostly because he's catty and petty and beneath the dignity of what anyone would want to think of as being an elected official, but because there's a place for him in kevin mccarthy's gop and there isn't a place for liz cheney, is what, to me, is just so gobsmacking, and i wonder, as you know, the war in ukraine, it came up in this public hearing in the january 6th committee. i know for the 1/6 committee members, it is front of mind, that they are fighting for democracy at a time when our country is standing with the democracy in this fight against a brutal dictator in ukraine, but i wonder if you feel hopeful or not so hopeful right now, watching our politics play out at this hour? >> i wish i could say i felt more hopeful. i wish i could say i felt more hopeful over the last few years, nicole, about the health of american democracy.
i mean, look, what got madison cawthorn eventually to having kevin mccarthy say enough is enough was that he turned on his own, right? he accused republicans of orgies and taking cocaine. it was not that he took a knife to a school board meeting, which he did. that seems to be fine. but in a way, that knife to the school board meeting is such a reflection of where we are in terms of democracy in this country, and the health or rather the ill health of democracy in this country, what is somebody doing, what is an elected member of congress doing, taking a knife to a school board meeting? i think for people watching american democracy in the world, that says everything you need to know about how polarized this country is, how dysfunctional this country is at the moment, how hot tempers are that somebody -- that a school board meeting is a place you take a knife to, that school board meetings have become this hotbed of anger and polarization and misinformation, and it was because madison cawthorn just
criticized his own party members and his own bosses in capitol hill. that was the only reason that kevin mccarthy turned on him. it was fine for matt gaetz to be investigated for sex trafficking. that's okay. for all the things that marjorie taylor greene has done and said. it was that he went after his own and in the end, that was too much for him. i think it's just -- the whole story is a sign of the fragility of democracy in this country. >> it certainly is. and no three better people to help tell that story and help us understand it. i'm really grateful to all of you. anne applebaum, charlie sykes, katty kay, thank you so much. the moscow bureau chief from the "new york times" who left russia and is now covering the war from istanbul. everyone is trying to figure out where vladimir putin's true motives lie. gure out where vladimir putin's true timoves lie.
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are you taking a statin drug to reduce cholesterol? it can also deplete your coq10 levels.ger than any other chew. i recommend considering qunol coq10 along with your statin medication. the brand i trust is qunol. question about me pulling back the forces depends on how you read exactly what's going on. thus far, there is no clear evidence that he's pulling all his forces out of kyiv. there's also evidence that he is beefing up his troops down in the donbas area. depending on your view of putin, i'm a little skeptical. >> color him skeptical. that was president joe biden earlier today casting doubt on vladimir putin's claims that russia is in any way, shape, or form scaling back its military presence from ukraine amid ongoing peace talks.
"the new york times" is reporting that there are some conflicting signals from russia that could be a sign of what they describe as new tensions in the kremlin hierarchy about the course of the war. joining our coverage, "new york times" bureau chief, antawn. we first got to talk to you when you left moscow and started covering the war from turkey. i wonder if you can tell us first, how things have changed in russia based on your reporting since you left. >> well, i think in the general public, what we're seeing from what we can tell from polls and interviews is that people are kind of over that initial shock of the invasion, and many people influenced by 24/7 propaganda on tv have kind of accepted the kremlin view of things, that this was an invasion that needed
to happen. and an invasion that needed to happen in order to prevent ukraine allegedly from invading those pro-russian territories. russian-backed territories in the east of the country. >> how many people do russians think have died from the russian military? >> that's a great question. officially, the number is i think just over 1,000, about 1500. you know, it's obviously a huge country, and in the military families, they're scattered all over the place, so i think at this point, you're not really seeing this sense in the public at large that this is a war where many people are dying. and of course, you know, these casualties are not discussed widely in the state media, on television, on the radio. i think it was really only twice in the course of this war that
the defense ministry went out and gave the death toll, which we obviously believe to be a significant understatement of the real toll. >> and what is the -- i mean, your reporting is in line with reporting i heard from julia ioffe since the war began, support has grown for putin, sort of the dynamics of a country at war, they have rallied to his support. is it a sign that the sanctions didn't work or is it just a human nature dynamic of a country at war? what is your assessment from spending time there and covering it? >> yeah, i think the sanctions, it's really too early to tell. they are only starting to have an effect. all those western companies pulling out, for instance, many of them are continuing to pay employees. so we'll see job losses, we'll see goods disappearing from
store shelves. that's going to be a process that takes several months. so at this point, actually, i thing it's a moment where, you know, propagandists on tv are saying look, they hit us with all these sanctions and we're fine. and many people so far are willing to believe that. and the second thing is, yeah, it is a rally around the flag effect that is probably typical in any country at war, just think back to 2003 and the united states. but also, thinking back to what happened in the united states, so obviously, extremely hard to compare these two situations. that can dissipate. so going forward, one of the main questions to ask is at what point does the kremlin decide that the risks of going ahead, continuing with this war, are too great to bear compared with what ever can be achieved on the battlefield. >> it's just so important to
have peers of our own, what katty kay and others call wishful thinking with the truth and your knowledge. thank you for spending time with us. we'll continue to call on you. please stay safe. a quick break for us. we'll be right back. ht back. can never have too many pillows! sometimes, i'm all business. a serious chair for a serious business woman! i'm always a mom- that is why you are smart and chose the durable fabric. perfect. i'm not a chef- and, don't mind if i do. but thanks to wayfair, i do love my kitchen. yes! ♪ wayfair you got just what i need. ♪ [zoom call] ...pivot... work bye. vacation hi! book with priceline. 'cause when you save more, you can “no way!” more. no wayyyy. no waaayyy! no way! [phone ringing] hm. no way! no way! priceline. every trip is a big deal.
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the choice is clear: make your business future ready with the network from the most innovative company. comcast business. powering possibilities™. today, the biden white house marks transgender day visibility by announcing new measures to protect transgender americans. amid a wave of republican-led anti-trans laws in states all across this country. amid the actions announced today, the option to check x under gender on u.s. passport applications, in addition to that, attorney general merrick garland reaffirmed the justice
department's commitment to investigating hate crimes against any member of the transgender community. all of it underscored by a special visitor to the white house press briefing today. 40 game winning jeopardy champion amy schneider, the show's first trans woman champ visited the white house and met with doug emhoff. thanks for letting us into your homes in these truly extraordinary times. "the beat" starts right now. hi, ari. >> thank you so much. welcome to "the beat." we begin with the expanding doj criminal probe into the january 6th insurrection. we now know it is larger than it's ever been, and there are reasons for that. it has now expanded to include that fraudulent electors plot we reported on, indeed some have admitted to in public, and the planning of the rally itself. we have a rally organizer subpoenaed on the federal criminal side. that is a big deal any time that you see these subpoenas fly,