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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  April 16, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters in new york. welcome, everyone, to "alex witt reports," we begin with breaking news on the war in ukraine. this new video released by ukrainian authorities saying what they say is the moments after a russian strike on the city of kharkiv. it happened earlier today. at least one person was killed, 18 wounded in that attack. it was one of several cities targeted by russia in the last 24 hours. ukrainian officials say their military intercepted four russian cruise missiles overnight in lviv, and new attacks were reported also in mykolaiv, kherson, and kyiv. some say russia may be retaliating for the sinking of a
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moskva warship. >> how is it even possible nobody believed us but we have done this. if we are getting enough weapons, enough support, if the world unites around us, we can win it. >> also new today, russia sanctioned british prime minister boris johnson, and members of his government. russia banned johnson from visiting moscow saying he's deliberately aggravating the situation, pumping the regime with lethal weapons and coordinating similar efforts on the part of nato. president zelenskyy is focused on preparing for a russian onslaught in the donbas region. u.s. officials tell nbc news that offensive could start as early as this weekend. they warn that ukraine's military is rapidly using up its supply of artillery and
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artillery rounds. we're going right to matt bradley in kyiv. what do we know about what's happening in mariupol. it's been such a tragedy we've focused on. >> reporter: it really is a tragedy. it's an ongoing tragedy. we have been seeing the bleeding of the city, a major city in the southeast under partial russian occupation, but there's still ukrainian troops, marines, who are holding out, sort of a factory in one part of the city, they have been holding out for quite a while. we heard from president zelenskyy. he said that 21,000 people, he thinks have been killed so far in that city. the size of that city has been reduced to about a quarter of what it was before the fighting started. so really, we're talking about this is the most dramatic example of ukrainian suffering in the face of this russian assault, and that's why so many ukrainians are focused on mariupol the russians are focused on mariupol as well,
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looks like they are trying to take the city to create a land bridge between the russian mainland and crimea. the peninsula in the south of ukraine that russia sees the last time they invaded ukraine back in 2014. so the horrible suffering in mariupol is continuing. we heard from president zelenskyy speaking to the bbc describing the number of buildings that have been destroyed, and the number of facilities, hospitals, schools, the list just goes on and on, and he's also added an interesting point, saying that if mariupol does fall in its entirety to russian forces, that will likely end all diplomatic negotiations that have been going on between ukraine and russia. that's not that big of a deal when you consider it because diplomatic negotiations that were going on before the fighting started, they have been going on ever since, and they've gotten to nothing. so there wasn't a lot of hope in those diplomatic negotiations anyway, but that city is hugely symbolic for the ukrainian people, and the ukrainian
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government. it's been a similar resistance ever since this started in late february. alex. >> matt bradley, thank you so much for the latest from there. also new today, everyone. we are learning that european nations may soon take the most significant step yet, punishing russia for its invasion of ukraine. "the new york times" reports european officials are drafting plans for an embargo on russian oil products. a phased approach with a minimum one month transition period, which likely won't start any kind of negotiations until after next week's french elections. joining me now is cnbc anchor, hadley gamble. first question out of the gate. a oil embargo could cripple russia and between the phased approach and waiting until after the french elections to put up the measure, how much can russia still make off its oil and can it do anything to lessen the hit if it thinks, suspects, even knows that a ban is coming. >> just to be clear, the russians can make money off
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their oil and gas sector, independently of what the european union decides to do, and that's of course as a result of the fact that they can find fires in asian markets, particularly in china, that will not, potentially fall under these sanctions patterns. they are not necessarily listening to the united states, listening to europe when they say don't buy russian oil, don't buy russian gas. they can always find somebody to buy their oil as we have seen again and again with countries like venezuela and iran. taking a step back from this, this would be an incredibly significant move even if it is a phased in approach which it's going to have to be because you have to remember we talk about oil imports, we're talking about a significant amount of money, oil and gas imports to europe, a billion dollars a day. 450 million of that is spent on russian oil, right, and we're talking about countries like germany, italy, austria, poland, and hungary as well. they're going to take a massive hit at this point, at a time when these economies are already struggling. we're already talking about the potential for reception across europe and the united states and elsewhere, and one of the questions, of course, is how big
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this would mean, or what this would do to their federal budgets, state budgets, they have to find a way to help their own citizens pay for energy. they're going to have to dip in to savings if you will, and so you're going to have to sit back and think about this with regards to the economy, how difficult it would make things politically. we're talking about the confluence between energy markets and politics, and how energy is basically equivalent to national security, so when we think about what happened with nord stream 2, we're talking about policies from angela merkel onwards about essentially giving the security of europe over to vladimir putin. we're also now talking about the bottom line, which is how much people are going to have to pay for oil and gas. how much this will hit economies like germany, which of course is the backbone of europe. >> so i'm curious, though, your perspective on the reality of it. we know putin has warned in his defense n trying to, you know, say to these different countries you can't do this, the global economy is going to face
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destruction, if they move to ban anything from russia there. how would replacing russia's oil supply impact a global economy. i mean, it would chug for a while, certainly, but would it take a long time to try to replace it. >> well, it's a potentially devastating impact on global energy markets at this point, and what we heard last monday from the secretary general of opec, leaders met with them in vienna, long conversations about what opec countries who make up 60% of the oil that's traded globally could potentially do to help out, and essentially they said listen, we're already struggling to get our quotas met when we're talking about what we're releasing to the global oil market every month. we're struggling to meet the quotas we put in place month agency, and you're talking about making up for russian oils globally. no one country can do that. and we as opec cannot commit to doing that for you. the secretary general, he said
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this could potentially, and he's talking about sanctions on russian oil, lead to one of the worst crude supply shocks ever. that was the opec secretary general. this could, in fact, have a major impact on not just supplies globally obviously but on economies and this isn't happening in a vacuum, alex, we're not talking about what this is going to do to europe, but to the united states. these are global markets. >> so we're not just talking about gas and energy, we're talking about food as well. the president mentioned how ukraine and russia, they're the number one and two largest wheat producers, if you think about bread, ukraine bans exports of wheat now, and other food, russia's food experts, they're down. what does it mean for the global food supply. is there any way to make up for that. >> this is a big problem, and something actually that we have been talking about in the region, in the middle east, as i covered that closely, and north africa, what that could potentially mean to countries there that already have social
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and political issues they're dealing with, one of the things we watch closely is the flows of money from countries that are doing well from higher oil prices at this moment to a country like egypt, for example, the biggest population in the arab world, they have been putting money there, the saudis, the uaes, parking money in egypt because they're worried about the destabilizing impact that the higher wheat prices are going to have, not just in egypt but broader north africa, the and we're talking about a country like lebanon, they're in big trouble too. when we talk about wheat prices and that impact, this means for them, social unrest. >> yeah. hadley gamble, i always appreciate your insight. thank you so much, i look forward to seeing you again soon. meantime, let's go to washington and the developing situation there. a fourth bus dropping off migrants from the southern border just this morning. it's at the request of texas governor greg abbott. let's go to gary grumbach
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joining us from washington. where are those migrants, do we know? >> reporter: it has to do with title 42, the trump era order to prevent migrants from coming into the united states as a covid precaution. president biden has said he's bringing that order to an end on may 23rd, and texas governor greg abbott is not happy about that at all. he's doing two different things. first, up until last night, he was slowing down commercial trucks coming in from mexico to texas that were filled with produce. we're talking about tomatoes, avocados, vegetables, standing for hours, even days trying to get in as they undergo different kinds of inspections. that stop last night, what he's continuing to do is stop buss from texas to washington, d.c. and now we're talking through the process of some of these migrant buses. they are crossing the border and attempting to claim asylum, and department of homeland security is processing them. then they are asked if they want to go to washington, d.c.
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this is a completely voluntary on the part of migrants. they are, they say yes. they get on a bus, and it's a 30 to 40 hour trip by bus from southern texas. they say they have water, food, bathrooms on these charter buses and they can sleep on the charter bus. when they get off the buses they are exhausted, they are confused and they don't know who to trust. that's where the help of the advocacy organizations come in here. we talked to the ceo of catholic charities, he's providing food, water, anything he can do. here's what he had to say. >> they need a place to stay, to live. they want what we all have and they don't have it, and so they're coming in, i think, for some of them, it's like they're getting away from bad situations. they're leaving a place where frankly, because of gangs, son won't join the gang, he might be
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killed. or raped. it's not people who want to come to our country, they want safety. we want safety. so when they come here, our role is to give them that, so we can help them! now, while catholic charities said they're doing everything they can to help. they said if these buses continue, they are scheduled to keep coming in from texas, they will soon run out of shelter space here in the washington, d.c. area. >> and listen, i just have to ask you, who is shouting behind you, and what are they saying, if you know, if you have been able to figure that out. >> there are a number of protesters out in lafayette square, practicing freedom of speech, some of them ukraine, some protesting former president donald trump. >> thank you for that, gary grumbach, appreciate you. next, new details in the investigation into the michigan police shooting of an unarmed black man. the key factors that could determine whether that officer is going to face charges. goings active gum health. and forms an antibacterial shield.
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this evening in grand rapids
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michigan, after authorities released video wednesday showing the fatal police shooting of patrick lyoya. the video showed an april 4th traffic stop that turned deadly. an unnamed officer approached the congolese refugee, and certain portions of this video, they were blurred by police, not by nbc news, a brief foot chase ensues, and what you're about to see is very disturbing after a struggle over the officer's taser a video shows the officer shooting patrick lyoya in the head. >> drop the taser. >> let's go to nbc's liz mclaughlin joining us from grand rapids, michigan, i know there are protesters, and lyota's family calling for justice. what are police saying. >> reporter: they will not
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identify the officer unless prosecutors bring criminal charges against them. minnesota state police conducting that investigation right now, and it's unclear how long it will take. in the meantime, that officer is on paid leave. and is stripped of police powers. the real test here will be if that deadly force was necessary, if the officer or a reasonable police officer in his situation would think that death of great bodily harm were the only other option besides pulling that deadly weapon. prosecutors urged grand rapids police not to release the video until after the investigation was complete. but they decided to do it this week in the nature of transparency. those videos sparking outrage. body camera video was one of them. although it did not include the final moments of patrick lyoya's life. police are calling this a malfunction. it takes about three seconds to stop recording on the body camera video. it's unclear who applied that
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pressure and if it was intentional. the family is heartbroken, calling for justice, calling for that officer to be identified, fired and prosecuted. ben crump, civil rights attorney who's represented other victims of police violence also representing this family and seeking that end. let's listen to what he had to say. >> based on what we see in the video. this officer should be charged and held accountable. for the unjustified killing of an unarmed citizen. it is that simple. >> reporter: and you heard a translator in that video. patrick lyoya and his family immigrated here from the democratic republic of congo in 2014, escaping violence there only to have a violent end here.
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and that has sparked outrage, especially here in grand rapids. every night since those videos were released, we have seen hundreds gathering in this square outside of the grand rapids police department, even more expected tonight. we've seen even medical students and faculty from michigan state, for instance, with signs saying white coats, black lives, people chanting, demanding justice for patrick, and a broader resurgence of that call for police reform. alex. >> liz mclaughlin, thank you very much, from grand rapids. let's bring in michigan attorney, dana nessel, give us reaction to this incident. what's going through your mind? >> i can't comments on the specifics as it pertains to this particular investigation because the investigation is ongoing and this case might end up being reviewed by my office potentially. i can't comment on that. i have to let the investigation play out as we have to in any officer-involved shooting. but i will say this, the
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question i think we should be focused on is not what happens when a police officer is placed in a potentially life threatening situation, but how do we prevent police officers from being placed in that situation to begin with, and that starts with, sometimes police reform related measures. we had a number of bills that were introduced. i had a number of suggestions in 2020 in the wake of the george floyd killing. but despite the fact that there was a lot of interest in it then, it all seemed to die out in a short period of time. we can't allow that to happen. in michigan, we have better oversight over licensed barbers in this state than we do police officers. we need to make sure that police officers have proper oversight, that they are well trained, that there are the necessary protocols and procedures put in place, for each and every police department in this state. and we have to give police officers the tools that they need to properly and better
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assess situations that they find themselves in, including deescalation techniques which are not mandatory here in michigan, so you know, we need to do a better job overall with ensuring that police officers have what they need to handle the situations properly. >> to your point about the fact that your office may take this case. where's the threshold that you have to cross and then you're on the case? >> well, you know, we handle a lot of these cases. generally speaking, we wait for the local investigating agency or the prosecuting attorney in that county to request that our office take the case, and there's a lot of different reasons for that. my department has great expertise and resources and we handle a lot of these cases. many times you see a conflict that occurs in the local prosecutors office or the local investigating agency, and they
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want the state ag to take over. we do review a lot of these cases. have not yet talked to the prosecuting attorney for kent county, and at this point, i've not heard that he's asked us to take over this case. but of course we'll be prepared to do that if and when that request comes. >> let's switch gears. we're going to talk about reproductive rights, dividing the state of michigan. there's a law currently on the books from 1931. it bans most abortions in the state. that law, though, became unenforceable in 1973 because of the court's roe v. wade ruling. governor whitmer filed lawsuits to block in 1930s law if the supreme court weakens or overturns roe v. wade. your office is not going to defend michigan in this case because of your own personal experience and you have been open about it. i will say, you were pregnant with triplets at the time.
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how did that frame your position that this law is harmful to women. >> i've always believed that women should have the right to have bodily autonomy, and those kinds of difficult decisions should be between a woman and her physician or a woman and her family, certainly politicians in our state should not be able to place themselves either in an individual's doctors office and be making those decisions on behalf of women. my decision not to defend the law wasn't based so much on my personal experience, though i thought it was important to share that but on the experiences of thousands and thousands of women around our state and the understanding that not only do i believe that law to be unconstitutional, but i know that for certain, if it is enforced, women in my state will die. we have 2.2 million women in our state of reproductive age, and many of them will face death or
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great bodily harm in the event that prosecutors in our state are permitted to begin enforcing this law. and it is for that reason that it is unconscionable to me to defend this law. i have invited the republican legislature to come on in and defend the law. they frequently seek to intervene in cases. but interestingly enough, even though this was a week and a half ago that this case was filed, it's been crickets. >> i was going to ask you about that, i mean, that's surprising, yeah? >> yeah, i mean, considering you have a party that all of the candidates that seek to unseek me have said that they will vigorously enforce this law. the state legislature seems to have no interest in actually defending it. so even they possibly see that this is an indefensible law and that it is unconstitutional. otherwise they would intervene. so far we haven't heard anything from them. >> you're aware several states
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are prepared to pass their own set of restrictive abortion laws ahead of the supreme court's decision in the mississippi case. how concerning is this to you overall, and do you think michigan could also enact its own version in the supreme court sides with mississippi? >> that's the thing. we don't need our own version. we have that law on the books. all we have to do as we know with the mississippi law, the texas law. these cases are pending before the united states supreme court. at any time, if roe v. wade is overturned, automatically, this 1931 law will spring back into effect. there's no need for the legislature to do anything in our state. abortion in almost every case will become, you know, not just illegal, but, you know, a prosecutable offense, a felony in our state, which means that i think that doctors, even in the most serious sets of circumstances will be very hesitant to uphold their hippocratic oath, and to assist
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women when they're facing agree grievous bodily harm or death because they're afraid of going to prison. that should be incredibly concerning to me and anyone in our state. >> thank you for coming on the show. the unimaginable in ukraine, but true if the russian atrocities amount to war crimes, how would any one of the bad actors be held accountable? be e ♪ ♪ ♪simply irresistible♪ applebee's irresist-a-bowls are back. now starting at $8.99. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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guest says the evidence of atrocities is everywhere, but will the perpetrators ever be held accountable. joining me now is msnbc contributor, jack crosbie, correspondent for rolling stone, good to see you, jack. there's a lot to dig into here because we have all seen the ar after math in bucha, in the ukrainian towns. your article, you wrote proving what happened is a complex, almost impossible task. why is that, if there are massacred bodies laying in the streets, mass graves that hold remains of tortured citizens, why is it so hard to prove what happened? >> so what sources i've spoken to speak about is two standards of proof. when journalists like myself, i was not in bucha. i'm back in new york now, but when journalists like myself visit a scene like this, what we're establishing in order to tell stories that are true and that we can confirm, is a different standard of evidence
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that war crimes prosecutors need to actually be able to build a legal case about these crimes. a journalist like myself will come into this place, interview victims, we will interview survivors and we will try to establish what happened there and who is responsible, and to a certain extent, you know, i go in there if i have two or three sources that confirm to me that something happened, then i can write that, and i know that that is true. when you're trying to bring those cases to a legal trial, you know, as anyone who's observed legal trials in the united states knows a lot of times the prosecution's evidence needs to be airtight. formal investigators i spoke to, from ngos like amnesty international and international organizations, they have to establish this chain of evidence that is so much more demanding than what, you know, a visitor like a journalist can see. so we know that these things happened, and we know who did
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them, but proving that in court is a different standard. >> and all the aggressive, repeated denials by putin sake, oh, no, no, it's the ukrainians coming in and doing it to their own people. deny, deny, deny, how much does that complicate the prospect of getting proof because that gets out there in the ether. >> and i think this is more done to sort of complicate the public narrative of what is going on here. and these are outspoken propaganda efforts, right, the more people that the russians can convince that they weren't responsible, the more sort of muddied this public dialogue and discourse around this. this is a strategy that they, you know, have perfected in a lot of the russian federation, sort of wars of imperialism in the past-day-old or so, covering for their own actions and covering for the actions of the client states. we saw this especially in syria.
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if they can seize on any possible smidge of plausible deniability for an attack, they will, and even in cases where there's not that, which in ukraine, and in syria, many of these were in contraveritably russian attacks, they will deny it. talk is cheap for them. if that fools one person, it's worth it. >> when all is said and done, win or lose, how much will that factor into if russians be held accountable. if the unthinkable happens, and they end up with control over ukraine, could they ever be held accountable. >> what i have spoken to among sources who have worked in the international organizations is the system of international justice that we have right now is not unilateral. what we have right now is a system of international justice for the victors where the only way that someone is going to be held accountable for the crimes that they have committed in a
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war if their side in the war loses the war. the most prominent war crimes trial we have had, the former president of yugoslavia, that only happened, he was only able to be prosecuted because he was overthrown, and removed from power. you know, there's a reason why, and this goes back to us as well. you know, there's a reason why no u.s. president has ever been put on trial for war crimes because they stay in power, and if vladimir putin stays in power, he will never face any accountability for what he's done in the same way that leaders of countries all around the world never face any accountability for the war crimes that they have. it's possible at some point down the line that putin may offer up some generals or lower level ranking members of his intelligence and military apparatus, and offer them up to criminal courts in exchange for us letting the russian
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federation back into some of the things that they have been ostracized from, i don't know how the politics of that will happen, but the sheer fact of the matter is that justice is not applied in the ways that it needs to be in the international system. >> got to say, listening to you, entirely sobering and somewhat unsatisfactorily what you're saying, not that i'm contradicting you, my friend, jack crosbie, thank you so much. a sudden heavy downpour may have been responsible for a 43 car pile up on a florida highway yesterday. lightning and hail had also been seen on the road near orlando just before that crash. it closed all of the westbound lanes for more than an hour. no one, though, fortunately, though, seriously hurt. amazon says it's going to add a 5% fuel surcharge to third-party sellers because of the rising cost of gas. the extra fee won't be charged to customers but you are going to feel it in the form of higher
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new questions today following a multibillion dollar deal following saudi arabia, and donald trump's son-in-law, and former white house senior adviser, jared kushner. saudi crown prince, invested $2 billion in kushner's private equity firm despite the advisers warning this is a bad idea. joining me now, vicky ward, investigative journalist and executive producer of chasing ghislaine on discovery plus. good to have you back on the show. let's get into this. a spokesperson for kushner's firm told "the new york times" that affinity like many investment firms is proud to have pif and other leading organizations that have careful screening criteria as investors. a spokesperson for the saudi fund declined to comment on the investment process. i know that you wrote a book about jared kushner, you know more details than most about his relationship with mohammed bin salmon, the saudi prince.
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the $2 billion question here is why would nbs do this, especially if as "the new york times" is reporting, his own panel of advisers said not a good idea. this is a huge risk. >> correct, alex. jared kushner has no track record as an investor. zero. he was in the real estate business before going into the white house, and as i wrote in kushner inc., he wasn't very good at it. also as i reported in kushner, inc., you know, it appeared that much of his foreign policy was orchestrated for the benefit of the family real estate business which was in trouble. why now has mbs given his fund with no track record $2 billion to invest while last night i broke news on my sub stack news
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letter, vicky ward investigates saying that basically jared kushner, according to three very well-placed sources with direct knowledge, handed over to mbs and his father, american intelligence suggesting that a cousin of mbs who has long had the support of washington, who is considered a hero by the cia being given a medal was thinking of sticking up his hand and deposing, this is a man who was the crown prince at the time. jared kushner basically handed the saudis this information thereby giving mohammed bin salman the opportunity to get rid of his rival, kneecap him. this man has not been heard of since 2020. so basically jared kushner gave
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information that was supposed to belong the americans to the saudis, thereby giving mohammed bin salman his job as the crown prince of saudi arabia. >> now, look, this is a huge thing that you're reporting, and i just want to say nbc news does not have this reporting. you're saying that you broke it last night in your sub stack news letter. have you heard any response by jared kushner or someone representing him upon making these claims? >> nope. i have not. and when i reported kushner, inc., you know, there was a rumor. it was much more vague than what i'm reporting now, and at that time, a spokesperson for jared kushner said, you know, that this rumor that he had given intelligence to the saudis was not true. but the intelligence community pushed back, democrats in congress did ask for an investigation into this. as you know, alex, he was not
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given top secret security clearance by the cia, and this, i am told by my sources, this was the reason. it was because he -- you know, let me just take you back in time. when mohammed, this guy you may not have heard of, a guy who risked his life to save american lives, given a medal. when terrorist bombs were on flights coming to america, he gave us the flight members. this was a long time friend of the west. he was the crown prince when donald trump became president. but then early in the trump administration, nbs, the then the deputy crown prince came to the white house, met with jared kushner. and hears rumors that the two of them are plotting. he said to people he trusted,
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there's been a financial deal, and if their plan works to displace me, you will one day see evidence that money has changed hands. mbs will pay jared kushner money to displace me, and that is -- and he started to build support for himself in america. jared leaked that back to the saudis, and mbn was deposed and has now been locked up and tortured, we're told, disappeared in 2020. >> this is not the direction i thought that our interview was going to go, and i'm going to reiterate to everybody, this is your reporting via your sub stack news letter, and whether or not you get a comment from jared kushner or even have reached out, that's on you. this is very interesting, but again, nbc news has not confirmed this. i imagine this is going to make some headline news and people will start talking about this as a possibility. vicky ward, thank you, our time
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is up, but this is very interesting, thank you. she fainted after getting a covid shot on live television and is living proof of the vaccine's safety, and not to conspiracy theorists, up next, why they keep on telling her she's really dead. telling her she's really dead. we believe there's an innovator in all of us. ♪ ♪ that's why we build technology that makes it possible for every business... and every person... to come to the table and do more incredible things. homegrown tomatoes...nice. i want to feel in control of my health, so i do what i can. what about screening for colon cancer? when caught in early stages it's more treatable. i'm cologuard. i'm noninvasive and i detect altered dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers, even in early stages. early stages? yep, it's for people 45 plus
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some new and remarkable revelations today about a rampant conspiracy theory surrounding a tennessee nurse who happened to faint after getting one of the first covid vaccines. so, take a look at this. tiffany dover fainted after getting the shot but was then back in front of the cameras minutes later, feeling just fine. conspiracy theorists, though, already had made up their mind she was dead. her story's the subject of a new nbc news podcast. tiffany dover is dead. here's a short preview for you. >> the video has since been shared around the world. so have false claims that dover passed away or has disappeared. >> tiffany, if you are still
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alive, for the love of god, please say something. >> some claiming on social media the woman in the video was not dover. >> i'm, like, 50/50 on this, that that nurse is acting. >> this is a story about how conspiracy theories start in the age of covid. >> if the vaccines are so safe and effective, then why do the manufacturers need liability protection? >> and how hard it is to make one go away. >> well, joining me now is the podcast creator, nbc news senior reporter of high esteem, brandy. i want to get to the timeline here. so, tiffany dover gets her shot on tv. she faints. and then the crazy claims on social media that she was dead. how long did that take? >> about 30 seconds, i would say. >> what? >> what you had -- well, this is a really -- this is why -- this is one reason why this story is so fascinating is because this was december 17th. if you remember december 17th, 2020, all of us, so many of us,
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were sort of glued to our local news, to our live streams of these events at local hospitals because this was the first time we were seeing anyone get the covid-19 vaccine. so, this is what was happening here. so, a lot of the people that were also watching these live streams weren't as happy, maybe, as the rest of us at this new thing that was coming out, and they were watching sort of watching for something bad to happen. so, when she fainted, one anti-vaxxer called it a gift from god because this was the example that they wanted to show the world, that these vaccines were unsafe. of course, that's not true, but this is what they were looking for. >> okay, but brandy, i mean, how did this continue? the hospital where she works said she's fine. family members, she's fine. the chattanooga, tennessee, police, the town in which this happened, hey, folks, she's alive. they showed proof. how did these things stay alive? >> it's sort of the perfect storm, because not only did you have a bunch of people who really needed to believe this, who really wanted to believe
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this, so would no matter what, but you also had this storm of social media, so what happened was tiffany stopped posting. she was a prolific poster on social media, as most of us are. she posted to facebook. she posted to instagram. and after all this, she just stopped. maybe that's because tens of thousands of people were suddenly following her to see her every move. and so, her family started getting harassed. she just stopped. so, for a lot of people, it became almost like a true crime, whodunit, trying to find this beautiful nurse who passed away on live tv. it's just -- it had a lot of the elements that sort of made it ripe for this kind of conspiracy theory thinking. >> so, then, what do the social media sites like facebook, what do they do about taking down false posts about this woman, let alone anything else? i mean, can anyone promoting these lies be held accountable? >> well, this is really interesting, because we want content moderation, right? we've decided that, especially
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when someone's being harassed and at the center of a conspiracy theory, we want to be protected as users, and facebook and youtube, after a couple of weeks, did go through content moderation. facebook deleted a group that had tens of thousands of members called "justice for tiffany dover," another one called "where is tiffany dover?" again, tens of thousands of members all trying to do detective work to find her. they did delete that, but what you have -- and youtube deleted the videos too. but what do you have then? then, you have, why are they trying to make it disappear? you have, again, the social media companies now added to the complicity of this conspiracy theory. so, even -- and this is a story about that. we look at, how do you deal with a conspiracy theory? because the hospital, tiffany herself, the social media companies, they all made little mistakes that sort of combined, kept this conspiracy theory going. >> it is extraordinary. sometimes i don't know how you keep it all in your head, what you do, and keep yourself from just going nuts, given the stuff you see out there. it is remarkable. >> it's never boring.
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>> that's for sure. thank you for coming on and sharing about this and for all of you, the first two episodes of "tiffany dover is dead," they're available starting monday from wherever you get your podcasts. scan the qr code right there on your screen. you can listen to a preview and follow the podcast. meantime, the mayor of new york city calls out black lives matter in an outcry over gun violence. i'm going to speak about that with former mayor, bill de blasio, in just a bit. mer mayore blasio, in just a bit. 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. [copy machine printing] ♪ ♪ who would've thought printing... could lead to growing trees.
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