tv Ayman MSNBC April 2, 2022 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
i'm ayman mohyeldin. let's get started. this as ukrainian officials claim the entire kyiv region has been liberated from russian invaders. but that good news comes with a dark warning. president zelenskyy saying russian forces have left land mines, trip wires around the capital, causing a, quote, catastrophic situation for civilians. let's go now to nbc's ali arouzi in ukraine for us. let's talk a little bit about the interview you had with the mayor of chernihiv. this is a city that had been heavily bombarded throughout the course of the past month, and there was some reports that russia was backing away from it
or arefocusing its attention elsewhere. >> hi, ayman. we talk about the cascading humanitarian crisis in mariupol, the relentless bombing, that's what the russians are doing the chernihiv right now. it's a city that's been encircled by the russians. it's been cursed by geography because it shares a border with belarus and russia. and i had an opportunity to speak to the mayor, and he painted a very grim picture oof what's happening in his city. he says that the russians have destroyed about 15% to 20% of all the apartment buildings in theth city. about 60% of the private homes. they've blown up the bridge that connects chernihiv to central ukraine. they've c blocked all the roads connecting chernihiv to the rest of ukraine. they're not letting any humanitarian aid into that city. they said the only way humanitarian aid gets in is by private citizens using boats, kind of sneaking through the river to get very tiny portions
of aid into that country. they've blown up a thermal powered stations there. so, there's noat gas. there's no electricity. there's no running water. there's no food in that city. the only way he was able to speak to me was because he had a generator. it's another disaster in the making there. he says there are about 100,000 people still in chernihiv, but they don't want to leave. they've decided to stay there. some of them are fighters. some of them are civilians helping the fighters. and he said the russians are angry with them that they won't give up their city. and that's probably why they're bombing it so hard. but hebo said the only way the russians are going to be able to take over that city is if they make peace with the russians or if they kill every single person in that city. and it was hard even talking to them. you can see he got emotional by the end of the interview. it was very tough for him. he says he's very isolated in chernihiv. i was asking him about reports
of, do you know if the russians have backed away their troops. he goes, i don't really know. he say, i'm totally isolated here. i'm not getting reports from outside the country. i can just concentrate on what's going on here. but the resilience, again, that you see with him, with so many others of the ukrainians here is just unbelievable. they will fight until the last person standing in every one of their cities, towns, and villages. and chernihiv is no different to anywhere else here. >> absolutely heartbreaking, the account that he gave to you in termsyo of what is taking place there. nbc's ali arouzi live in ukraine starting off this hour. here's a headline from "the boston globe" this week, as the westk, closes ranks against put, trump asks the russian war criminal for political help. that's where we start our ukraine coverage tonight. charles glowing, "new york times" columnist, joyce bantha,
professor at university of alabama school of law and msnbc legal analyst, and host of the dean over dell low show on sirius xm. charles, i'll start with you. this'l week, congressman adam schiff who led the first impeachment case against trump weighed in on trump's request for dirt from none other than accused war criminal vladimir putin. listen. >> at least he'sin consistent. consistently immoral and unpatriotic to be appealing to putin. this man, donald trump, cannot change. he will not change. he is who he is. he will always seek to cheat. he will always seek to get foreign help. it doesn't matter whether putin is attacking russia. it doesn't matter people are dying. >> what do you make of trump's latest request? >> well, it seems to me this is what happens when you -- republicans -- refuse to follow through ons an impeachment,
right? these are manyac of the people o are now trying to be hawks on the ukraine situation were some of the very same people who refused to vote for impeachment of donald trump, which probably admit he would not be able to run again, so he wouldn't be able ton, ask for help. i saw zelenskyy give that speech to congress, and everyone in that room rose to give a standing ovation to that speech. and they called him brave. and theyal said that he was -- what the ukrainians were doing was amazing. but they didn't stop and pause to remember at all that they had to undercut ukrainian's ability to defend themselves by withholding $400 million in military aid because he was trying to extort them. and because we have refused to act on impeachment on donald trump -- and when i say "we," i'm looking at the republicans -- this is what you get. you see a man who says, i was not -- i was slapped on the
wrist, but i was not handcuffed. and therefore i can do it again, and i will. and the consequences, i can bake. >> joyce, here's how white house communications kate bedingfield responded to all of the. listen. >> what kind of american, let alone an ex-president, thinks that this is the right time to enter into a scheme with vladimir putin and a brag about his connections to vladimir putin? there's only one, and it's donald trump. >> aside from the horrible optics, are there national security implications that concern you about what donald trump is doing right now? >> it is deeply concerning, and it demonstrates, i think, so clearly and such a straight line, as charles does, the failuress, of the first impeachment, whereth adam schif i think recalling his closing argument, if you do not convict him, he do it again.
and here we are headed into the midterm election with the former president yet again asking for a favor that would help him with his political campaign. trump has shown us over and over again that he is of the mentality that is not held accountable, not only will he continue to re-engage in whatever you want to characterize it as, political misconduct or criminal behavior, not only will he continue to engage in it, he will double down. he will go a step further. and here we have him reaching out to the same authoritarian ruler who is bombing and killing innocent ukrainians and yet again asking for a political favor designed to help the former president advance his own personal interests.rs that's the national security interest, the national security concern that you're talking about, having someone close to in power who's willing to advance personal interests, not the interests of the country.
>> so, dean, when you take that into context of the mindset of donald trump, which i'd hate to put you in, were you at all surprised to hear trump soliciting help from an alleged war criminal? should there anything -- should there be anything that surprises us anymore about donald trump? >> no. first of all, can i say, though, ayman, happy ramadan. tonight is the first night of ramadan. and in the spirit of ramadan, i promise not to make fun of you as much as i usually do when i come on your show. but thank you for having me cohost the show tonight. ayman, here is the thing, should we surprised that vladimir putin is donald trump's 2016 campaign manager is being evoked by donald trump again? of course not. this is donaldga trump. he's the guy literally last saturday night at a rally in georgia and he called vladimir putin smart. he called him smart while he's literally killing women and
children. there's ain connection from january 6th and putin's attack on ukraine. both have the same goal. anti-democracy and install a dictator. and that dictator, in our case, would have been donald trump. and i think, you know, republicans of 2020 should have to answer for donald trump's conduct here, what he's doing over and over, and asking for help. have every republican member of congress answer for it, are you fine with it? are you w pro-putin or are you pro-america? are you pro-trump or are you pro-america? if you're pro-donald trump, you're not pro-american now. we're fighting a proxy war, and donald trump isar giving aid an comfort to our enemy. so, there's no overlap. you're either pro-trump or pro-united states of america. let republicans answer for that on the campaign trail in 2022. >> charles, let me go back to something you brought up, and that is republicans in all this. republicans were, as you mentioned as well, you know,
reportedly squirming when they heard about trump's request to putin. some rebuked him. most chose to stay silent. is there something republicans can do?ca what more should republicans do given the fact that this is a party that, by most accounts, has totally lost its backbone when it comes to donald trump? >> first of all, i don't want to hear about republican squirming. i don't believe it. it is -- it's completely false. you know, we -- the idea that, you know, that they have to choose -- they actually have already chosen. they chose during the impeachment trials. they basically said they were fully okay with this happening. and they lettr it slide. that was the only question during the impeachment. was this okay for the president of the united states to do what he did or not? and if he were not okay with it
vote yes to convict. and if you were not okay with it, the vote was no to convict. and they almost all voted no. so, there is -- you know, i don't -- there is the political question of optics. is there something they could do to make it look less bad in the moment while we are engaged in tryingen to help ukraine fend o russia? there is the optics of that. but the truth, the nut of it, the reality of it is that they've already given into this. >> joyce, all of this raises an interesting political dilemma for inme, which is after being acquitted not in one, but in two impeachment cases with little traction so far on any of the other investigations that are taking place with overturning the elections, whether it be in georgia or elsewhere, with the
lack of traction in the investigation into then trump organization finances in new york. is trump untouchable? and if he feels that he is untouchable, howe dangerous do he become? >> something that we've always seen with the former president is his willingness to continue a dark descent when he's not checked. this is n the former candidate that said he could shoot somebody on fifth avenue without losing any of his supporters. one of the central problems where trump is concerned is that that isce increasingly becoming reality, whether it's folks calling him teflon don or people who believe he's in essence too big to fail, that there's no way to cabin him in. in many ways, ayman, this becomes the central dilemma that merrick garland, the attorney
general, the decision he has to make when determining who to go after close to the former president, perhaps the former president himself. we'vees all heard the calls fro thed former president's calls the official in georgia to find the 11,000 votes he needed in order to steal the election. it was not georgia voters who stole the election from donald trump. it was donald trump who wanted to steal it from them. and so this notion that he didn't know, that he didn't intend to overturn the election, the evidence continues to mount in favor of being able to prove intent. if we are going to move forward as a country that continues to believe that no man is above the law, that there's accountability for clear misconduct, that trump should be held to the same standard that everyday americans are held to, then instantly i think we'll see pressure on merrick garland. i know you set up the question by talking about the slow rule
in this regard. but it seems to me in the last weeks we've started to see some strong hints that doj is not as faint hearted as many peoplear believe. >> yeah, we'll wait and see how that plays out. charles, joyce, dean, please stick around. we're just getting started on a busy hour. the ginni thomas texts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the democratic values of the thomas family. but first richard lui is here the headlines. >> will smith saying he's resigned from the academy of motion picture arts and sciences after slapping chris rock during last weekend's oscar ceremony, the president of the academy saying the group is continuing to move forward with disciplinary proceedings against smith. sarah palin running for congress. she'll compete to fill the seat of the late republican, don young. she's among 50 candidates on the ballot set for later this year. the ba.2 only con subvariant
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justice clarence thomas was the lone justice to dissent earlier this year, and the supreme court rejected donald trump's push to withhold documents from the january 6th committee. new texts between thomas' wife ginni and trump's then chief of staff mark meadows put that vote back in the spotlight this week. but that's only part of the story here. let me explain. trump -- thomas' decision was just the latest in a long history of antidemocratic judicial opinions. in his more than three decades on the court, clarence thomas has consistently pushed to make it harder for many americans to have their vote count, to erode institutions, like the free press, and to dismantle nearly a
century's worth of democratically enacted laws. as fox's ian mill hiezer puts it, thomas' opposition to democracy is not rooted in nepotism. it appears to be principle. joyce, i'll start with you. thomas has supported many efforts to weaken the voting rights act, for example. he's also call on the court to overrule "new york times" versus sullivan, one of the most important cases concerning freedom of press in this country. and given that history, should we be surprised that he was the lone dissenter in that trump case? doesn't his record speak for itself? >> so, justice thomas has been consistent, and as you say, he has often been a voice against goals of the progressive end of the country and certainly the progressive part of the legal
system. his against the voting rights act in section 5 and section 2, those two separate but very important protections. his decision in the national archives, the lone vote in dissent, saying that the former president shouldn't be turned over to the january 6th committee, though, was something of a surprise. for one thing, he found himself alone in that dissent. and by the same token, the argument was a very good one to make because the documents so clearly belonged in the hands of the january 6th committee. >> dean, thomas was an early proponent of the so-called independent state legislator doctrine. that is a theory, i believe, that would allow state lawmakers to ignore their state constitutional and writing the laws governing congressional presidential elections. experts have warned this could allow a state legislature to
gift its electoral votes to a candidate regardless of what the votes in that state were. does that sound familiar to you? have you heard that anywhere else? >> i think the republicans are going to nominate clarence thomas in 2024. he sounds like exactly what they're about, antidemocracy, living in a surreal other world where you justify making it harder for people to vote of color. and he's obviously of color. in shelby county 2013 seminal case, he not only sided with the majority, he had his own opinion saying essentially racism is over, folks, get over it. and something else about clarence thomas i think is important to talk about, he wrote a really good article in msnbc about his wife ginni thomas, lobbying $200,000 from antimuslim bigot to lobby this new court over the muslim ban. and clarence thomas did not even
reveal that his wife had gotten paid this amount of money to lobby the court. so, this supreme court is for sale with clarence thomas. if you read about this in another country, you would say, that's not a robust democracy. that's some sort of third world dictatorship or at least a hybrid autocracy situation. this is outrageous. and i hope democrats step up their game even more in 2022. >> charles, i've got to put this in perspective of just our democracy here because there's no doubt our democracy was threatened on january 6th. but the attack on our democratic institutions seems like it started a long time ago because it seems to me, at least when you look at members of congress, where republicans are underrepresented in terms of the population size that they represent, when you look at members of the supreme court who were confirmed by the senate, by senators who represent 40 million less americans, when you
look at republican presidents who have won the electoral college vote but do not have majority vote in this country, you start to really wonder if or not we are living in a functioning democracy. how do we make sure some of these more, you know, examples that i'm talking about don't actually become the norm and we reverse this trend where we're seeing the majority is actually underrepresented in the political and democratic institutions of this country? >> well, since you want to step back, let's step back. the senate is one of the most undemocratic institutions in the country, and it was designed to be. the electoral college was designed to be undemocratic. so, we start from a position that we shouldn't from the position of being nostalgic about democracy is eroding but rather start from the position we were never established to be a true democracy in the first place. not everyone was ever supposed
to be able to vote and people should not have framed it. so, we moved away from what the founders wanted toward more democracy. but the institutions that the framers installed in the beginning are still there, and they were never designed to be democratic. and so we have this broad system that on the face of it, we start with the ideal that one man, one woman, one vote. but it was never that. and it will never be that. and what we are doing now is tinkering with this system to make it even more out of step with the idea that each person represents the same amount of power. and so we have to really look at this as a systemic issue much bigger than one election because we are drifting and drifting and drifting further away from the idea that each person's voting power is equal. right now i think we have a situation where it's, like, 35%
of the senators represent something like 65% of the -- of the population. and the inverse is true as well. so, we're already out of whack. and we have to adjust some of the major systems in order to get back to the idea of democracy. >> yeah. and i couldn't agree with you more on that description. that's a very good way to kind of put it in perspective. guys, i'm going to ask all of you to stick around for us. we're going to squeeze in a quick break. when we come back, could a republican member of congress actually face consequences for his ks? i'll tell you about that. his ks i'll tell you about that ( ♪♪ ) ( ♪♪ ) ( ♪♪ )
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members of his party participated in cocaine-fuelled orgies. senator thom tillis from cawthorn's home state went so far as to endorse cawthorn's primary challenger. in response, cawthorn blamed the left and the news media because that's so much easier than just actually taking responsibility for your own actions. charles, joyce, and dean are all back with me. mccarthy here said that cawthorn admitted his claims were exaggerated. but what could have possibly motivated cawthorn to make those claims about his own party members in the first place? >> first of all, let's start with the idea that it's exaggerated. what does that mean? i do words for a living. which word was exaggerated? what is an orgy? what kind of drug? is it not cocaine? some kind of drug?
i'm very curious to answer the idea of which drug and which part of the phrase is the exaggeration. that said, i think the problem here is they will tolerate all manner of conspiracy theories and all manner of things inappropriately said as long as it's against democrats. when it became about them, that was the bridge too far. and that is why cawthorn is in trouble. >> yeah, i know you bring up a really good point on the language. i didn't even think about that because i thought it was so absurd the way he just basically decided to criticize cawthorn when everything else has been given a free pass when it comes to racism and anti-semitism and white nationalism and white supremacy that comes out of the party. what do you think of cawthorn's statement pinning all this on the left and the media? >> the first thing going back to kevin mccarthy being upset. didn't you see "eyes wide shut"
you're not supposed to tell people. you get in trouble if you tell people. asked why it was exaggeration, i think it was ex stassi, not cocaine. i just want to point to one thing. lauren backed up madison cawthorn. there might be something going on. i don't have any mental images of kevin mccarthy in an orgy but i think there might be something going on behind the scenes. it might be big republican donors inviting these younger, attract republicans to come up with some fun. i'm not kidding. and kevin mccarthy, you're hearing republicans say that about democrats. they would cheer that. but don't say that bt aus. all seriousness, i think there's something here. i think there really is something going on, maybe not to this extent. exaggeration is not a denial. so, i don't want to -- no mental images here, but i think there's
something other going on with the gop caucus. >> i was going to say cawthorn obviously did not watch the movie "fight club" where the first rule of fight club is you don't talk about the fight club. senator ted cruz is also under fire after "the washington post" reported new ties to john eastman, who helped overturn the 2020 election. you have multiple january 6th investigations taking place. what legal implications could this have for senator cruz? >> it's hard to say at this point in time. we don't really know if there will even be something as simple as a subpoena issue for senator cruz by the committee. so far they've shown a real hesitance to do anything that approaches sending subpoenas to members of congress. but the reporting is very interesting in a couple of regards. we learned, for one thing, that
senator cruz had been a co-clerk of john eastman. that's the federalist society lawyer who authored this story, step-by-step master plan for stripping the election on january 6th and preventing congress from certifying the results. and the fact that tlerp co-clerks is something that's very telling to lawyers. they clerked together in the fourth circuit chambers of conservative judge michael litting. that means they were very close at one point in time. and there are echos back and forth of their different plans. so, what the future holds for cruz is unclear. the fact that there is a line of communication between he and eastman seems likely. they've both declined to answer, eastman by asserting the fifth amendment when he testified to the committee and saying answering questions about coordination might incriminate him. cruz declined and said through a spokesperson that he didn't believe he had read eastman's
memos until a couple of months after january 6th. but there's an awful lot of overlap between these two. >> all right. panel, please stick around. we've got a lot more to discuss. next, republicans go back to an old playbook, queer fear mongering. to help prevent bleeding gums, try saying hello gumwash with parodontax active gum health. it kills 99% of plaque bacteria and forms an antibacterial shield. try parodontax active gum health mouthwash.
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allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily stops your body from the safer you drive, the more you save with allstate. overreacting to allergens all season long. psst! psst! flonase all good. are you a victim of the gop gaslighting machine? if you have listened to any of the b-list anita bryants on fox over the last week, there's a good chance you have been. conservatives have launched a coordinated effort to demonize florida's don't say gay law. any critic is smeared as a quote, unquote groomer, someone seeking to manipulate and sexually abuse children. it is a horrific lie rooted in '70s era fear mongering, and it is part of republicans fear
mongering that we're seeing used more and more often in the run up to the 2020 midterms. i'll start with you on this one by breaking down florida's don't say gay law. and explain to us, if you can, why some people are so upset. there's one passage in particular that i just wanted to read really quickly. and here it is. classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade three or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards. so, first off, that means third graders can't read a book about, say, an elephant with two moms. that's wrong. but what's more serious is the second half of the sentence, that reference to age appropriateness, is so vague that it could actually chill any speech related to, you know, the civil rights of lgbtq plus
topics all the way through 12th grade. >> you're exactly right. ayman, look, if you allow me, i'm going to pull back the lens here a little bit as well to help our viewers to understand why this is happening. this is happening not in a vacuum. this one particular attack is not happening in a vacuum. it has its own issues around it and debates around it. but it is connected to the anti-critical race theory debate. it is connected to the anti-protest laws that have been passed. it is connected to the book banning that is going on. it is connected to all the things that are surrounding schools. and the reason that that is is that republicans needed a reason to win back white suburban women voters. trump had done a pretty good job. he was selling in the first election into the second one the idea of crime and immigrants,
that you were unsafe because these adults were coming to your home and they were going to do something horrible to you in your home or your community. that lost its potential tendency with the kids in cages and when george was killed, crime committed by police. now republicans are scrambling to figure out what can we do to refocus this energy, the panic, and make it work for these particular sets of voters. they had absence of surge in sub port of immigrants, strangely enough, and also among men because men were attracted to the vibrato of trump. but the women were not. and this issue of centering children as victims and centered that debate around schools has become incredibly potent, and it works for them. and so this antigay agenda is part of that.
yes, they don't like gay people generally speaking, but they've already lost that war. the issue around acceptance of gay people moves faster in the changing of the polls than any other metric in modern american history. they lost that war, but they didn't lose it if you center it on kids and schools. and those moms become energized again. so, that is part of what is happening with this law. >> joyce, charles provided us with incredible context. and i just want to pull on a thread that he laid down there for a minute. there are some democrats thought the gop would tactically retreat from lgbtq issues, but it seems they clearly, as charles was saying, never fully retreated. can you describe the onslaught of court battles and anti-lgbtq plus laws that preceded this piece of legislation and got us
up to this moment? >> well, the culture war is certainly in full force. and i think folks who believe that the republican party would back away from this issue and accept defeat were sadly mistaken on this issue. the florida law is an interesting one. it's already been challenged in the courts. and when i say interesting, i think perhaps that's a marker for saying exceptionally poorly written. the statute is very vague. there's a constitutional document, doctrine that requires laws to be readily understood so that people can draw a line between conduct that's acceptable and conduct that's impermissible. and this statute is so very vague that it likely will be susceptible and challenged in the courts, although it will come up through one of the country's most conservative circuits, the 11th circuit court of appeals. but that won't be the end of it. we'll continue to see attacks on
the lgbtq community. we'll see attacks on trans youth playing sports. i think this is being centered on children in an effort to hope that white suburban moms will come back to the republican fold. my hope is that in the course of discussing these issues as a country we'll be a little bit more sophisticated than that and we'll uncover them for the political poise they are, for instance these transgender laws that are aimed at preventing crossover in sports. and it really addressed a non-existent problem, a problem that exists only in the minds of politicians who are seeking to single out trans kids and use them in a really unseemly, dangerous way that subjects them to ridicule and bullying and achieves no societal good. so, perhaps this is one of those issues where the lines are drawn so precisely and in such an unseemly way that's clearly political that voters will see through that and perhaps reject
these efforts. >> dean, let me switch gears for a moment. you wrote a piece about president biden signing the emmett till antilynching act into law, and with all the bigoted school laws passed around the country, it will be next to impossible to discuss this in your classrooms. tell me a little bit more about this. what's the thread to connects all of these to one another and what you are writing about? >> sure. look at the big picture. you know, joyce is talking about maybe this is overreach by the gop. it's up to democrats to paint how dangerous the gop is. look what they're doing. they want to ban abortion. they want to ban books. they want to ban mention of gays. they want to ban trance gender teens from playing sports. and they want to ban black history. and yet the gop is the party of -- wait for it -- freedom. are you kidding me? this is tyranny by the gop.
there are now 15 states that have critical race being pan banned. most of the laws don't even mention critical race theory. what they do is ban laws that cause literally discomfort and guilt. what they mean is white guilt over black history, be it black achievement or black suffering at the hands of white bigots. this being in their mind is determined to rewrite the past, whitewash the past about the sins of white bigots and some keep this gop in power. and there are teachers literally struggling how to teach about slavery. one teacher said i can't even talk about the slave owners being white because i'm afraid i'll get fired. that's literally what these laws are about. they're causing censorship by the teachers. and in florida the head of the education commission there, he's going around censoring and terminating teachers and dragged
about terminating teachers who talked too much about black lives matter. the goal of the gop is to erase black history, erase black achievement, and erase the lgbt community. the democrats have to run on this gop tyranny. they're trying to take our freedoms away. a lot of this is based on religion, some bigotry. 100% it's wrong. democrats got to run on this. >> all right. i just want to end on a slightly light hearted note after that conversation. i'm glad you finally moved that vase of flowers away from the front of the tv where you've had it. if you've watched this show, every time dean comes on, he always has that vase of flowers smack in front of the tv. luckily we finally realized he can move it. >> it looks great sitting there. ayman, thanks for letting me on. it really brought the show together. >> we're trying to help your
room rater score as much as we can. anything you can to get that. dean, joyce, charles, greatly appreciated. thank you very much for joining us. have a good night. amazon workers on new york's staten island just made history after the break. staten island just made history after the break. allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily stops your body from overreacting to allergens all season long. psst! psst! flonase all good. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for whatchya... line? need. liberty biberty— cut. liberty... are we married to mutual? only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ wayfair's got just what you need to be outdoorsy. only pay for what you need. your way! shop the biggest selection of outdoor furniture and furnish your habitat from you habitat. get a new grill and cook over an open flame. now that's outdoorsy!
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