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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  April 22, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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cheers on the twitter crowd, it's especially in the florida situation, he's taking aim at disney but hitting the 1st amendment. look, it's been the law for a long time in this country that you can't administer -- you can't deny a benefit, a government benefit, based on punitive political retaliation. there's a case going back years, 1996, involving a towing company in illinois that was taken off a list because the towing company wouldn't support the current mayor's re-election effort. the supreme court said you can't do this. this is basic stuff you don't politically retaliate on the basis of the political or cultural stance of a corporation. you know what, joe, i remember the year 2019, all the way back in 2019, when san antonio wouldn't let chick-fil-a operate in its airport. and conservatives were rightly
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outraged at this retaliation against chick-fil-a's perceived political or cultural viewpoints. what san antonio did was unconstitutional. what florida is doing is unconstitutional. it is the top of the hour and we're rolling into the fourth hour of "morning joe." coming up, we have the former u.s. ambassador to russia and former u.s. ambassador to ukraine to talk about the latest moves in the russian invasion of ukraine. but continuing on desantis, disney, and the culture wars, david, your latest article in "the atlantic" is entitled "free speech for me but not for thee." in it, you write in part, "as the republican party evolves from a party focused on individual liberty and limits on government power to a party that more fully embraces government control of the economy and the morality, it is reversing many of its previous stances on free speech in public universities, in public education, and in
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private corporations. driven by a combination of partisan animosity and public fear, it is embracing the tactics that it once opposed. the right is now in the process of unlearning liberty. after decades of litigation and legislation, it largely gained what it wanted -- a much more free marketplace of ideas. but it is difficult for a commitment to liberty to survive partisan animosity. if you hate or fear your opponents enough, it is hard to resist the siren song of using raw state power to silence their voices." >> david, when i was up in washington after i got elected, i ran and i said the same thing, as did everybody else in my class. we always said, we want to get as much power, money, and authority to the local governments, to the local school boards as possible. conservatives, that used to be our mantra.
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it's just not -- look, talk about ron desantis in florida. we can talk about free speech here. we can talk about during covid, desantis telling local school boards, you can't run. a state as diverse as florida with 67 county, you can't run your local school system in your county the way you are, whether you're in miami-dade or escambia county, florida. radically, there are like four different states here, but desantis said we have one approach and it's top down and from tallahassee. the same thing with small businesses. no, you can't run your business the way you want to run your business to keep it safe, whether you're a small family business restaurant or whether you're a cruise line. it's -- it is literally what we conservatives have fought against for decades, this top-down approach. now it is championed by a guy who's probably going to be the
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next republican nominee. >> quite possibly. you know, joe, i remember it was called the freedom agenda, for free speech, for example, free speech on campus, more freedom for private corporations, more freedom of conscience, for example, for private corporations, big, like hobby lobby or small like masterpiece cake shop, to do business and have their conscience at the same time, more economic freedom. all of that is being tossed away because it turns out that a big part of the right sadly doesn't like freedom when their opponents exercise it. that's where they draw the line. they want freedom, as i said in the piece, they want freedom for themselves and not for others. you know, this is a core aspect of our liberal democracies, that our liberties apply to all of us. when you're beginning to draw the line that says the liberties apply to my allies and not my enemies, you're undermining america's basic classical liberal structure. >> donny, you're our brand guy.
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you've run a big company before. talk about the other side of this, which is major corporations, global corporations, companies lick disney getting pulled into these culture wars. the ceo of disney stepping out and making public comment about this bill in florida that drew the ire of ron desantis, and here we are. we've seen it a lot lately. major league baseball comes to mind, pulling the all-star game out of atlanta was because of the voting bill there. even stacy abrams said i don't want you to cancel the game, that costs us jobs and income. so how do companies grapple with this new time where they are expected by many of their employees to take a stand on these issues? >> corporations, it's a tough position. when you survey young people, what's very important to them beyond the product they buy is the corporate stances on certain issues. companies get into a quagmire here. disney on the one hand was late coming out, going against don't say gay, and that hurt the
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constituency. then the head of content came out and said going forward we're putting 50% of characters will be lgbtq or minorities, and pissed off the right on that one. difficult position. this desantis character is a scary dude. the republican party is becoming the anti-freedom party, the anti-american party, whether it's a woman's right to choose, gay rights, voting rights. we're in scary territory. i believe desantis will be the next candidate. he won't his turn. a candidate has a certain window when things are going their direction. he is amassing power. when you have basically right now a punishment against a corporation because a corporation spoke their mind about what many people are very, very against in terms of the don't say gay bill, we're in scary territory and nobody is using that word with desantis.
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he's scarier than trump because he's smarter than trump and doesn't give the other side the easy out of this guy is a whack and crazy because he comes across in a much more well-heeled suit. he's a very scary politician. >> donny, i want to go back to the question, the branding question, the corporate question. as you know, a lot of ceos watch the show, ceos listen to you, listen to your podcast, you've worked with a lot of different companies before. there is a challenge that ceos, that corporate boards are facing. it is for this -- they have younger employees that want to move them out of the mainstream on social issues. let's talk about mlb. again, major league baseball took the all-star game out of atlanta without even reading the bill. stacy abrams and others are
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saying don't punish atlanta. we need the all-star game here. but mlb responded quickly to twitter, to social media, they responded quickly to their young employees. didn't really have a conversation. the same thing with disney. they have a twitter conversation, people chant "don't say gay," it becomes this -- and then you look at what actually the bill is about and it's teaching sexuality -- about sexuality, saying you can't do it, talking about it for basically 5- to 8-year-old, which of course, yes, the entire bill was a setup. but the majority of americans, the majority of americans don't want kindergartners, for third-graders to be taught sexuality in class. but it becomes something much bigger and suddenly it's -- you know, young people working at disney saying you're either for us or you're against us. you need to move swiftly.
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it just seems to me that corporations, instead of having the conversation with their employees, instead of doing it thoughtfully, they move quickly, too often they overreact and they find themselves in the position mlb and disnigh found themselves in. >> yeah. disney was in a tough position. they didn't come out initially against it. i agree most people don't want sexual orientation brought up. but what happens when it's time to draw your family's picture in class and a little boy draws a picture of his two mommys or daddies? it's certainly not a black-and-white issue, but the problem disney had was they didn't react initially, then came forward and got blasted for it. if korngs had their way, they'd be completely agnostic. disney did a misstep. you can't err on the side of carefulness, and i think you
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can't kind of -- if they their way, they would put their head in the sand. but unfortunately, they didn't have their way and there was a lot of brouhaha against them. to your point, joe, the answer is less is more for companies, but sometimes they can get -- this is going to be a big thing going forward with corporations. as i said earlier, young people want to take stances. they're damned if they do and damned if they don't. i feel for disney. >> they need to be thoughtful to it. let's bring in founding editor of the washington freebie continue, author of "the right: the 100-year war for american conservativism." thank you so much. how timely for you to come in on this conversation on where conservativism is right now. give us your thesis. it's fascinating. >> thank you, joe and mika, for having me. i think the way it relates to our current discussion at the moment is since the end of the world war, without communism to unite the conservative movement and to provide a connection on national security between the
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conservative movement and the american people, we've seen the right become much more pow you louse, more more nationalistic, much more like overseas, and we've seen the right embrace a strategy of using political power, which they are very good at getting, to attack the cultural power of the left. i think that's what's happening here in the disney case. they're responding and punishing disney for coming out so strongly against the florida parental education law. >> matt, elise jordan here. i'm really excited for your book. i've always enjoyed your writing. this is such an important topic. but could you tell me how in the book you address the authoritarian strain that really has come into focus on the right? that's what i've observed over the last four years working with a polling group, going around doing over 100 focus groups. what has surprised me is the shift in thought on the right towards a more authoritarian-leaning philosophy.
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can you talk about that a bit? >> elise, in my history, i cover 100 years. what i found in that research was that there's always been a tension between the conservative elites here in washington or new york city and the broader grassroots movement, which was more populist in orientation. what's happened in the last six years in particular is those conservative elites who once kind of guiding the movement, directing it, channeling that populist energy, they've been displaced. the movement is much more to populist and anti-elitist and much more willing to accept strategies that the right and conservative movement would have abandoned or rejected as being too centralized in the past. so we now see the right that is becoming so kind of distraught at the condition of america, at the rise of cultural progressivism in the united states that it's willing to use the levers at its disposal, political power to go after it, to change the country. >> david french, you were
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writing about this literally yesterday. you said it's time to stop using the term" conservative" to broadly describe the right or the republican party in any way. i'm curious, from you and matthew, because i know it's true for joe in the last six or seven years, what it's been like to be an actual conservative, all those fundamental things that you believe to be true and to sort of keep your head about you as the party and the movement has moved away from you. how do you describe what's happened in the last several years? >> well, i mean, there's been a seismic change. you know, i frequently get the question, well, what happened to you? i thought you were a republican. and one of my answers is what do you mean what happened? i was for free speech five years ago, i'm for it now. i was for economic freedom five year & am now. america's global alliances, i still am. in many ways it's the reagan adage that i didn't leave the
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democratic party, the democratic party left me. i have a question for matt. the book is fantastic, by the way. and where do you think the heart of the movement is? once trump is gone and that towering figure moves on, either is defeated or moves on after another term as president, is that limited government, free speech, three legs of the reagan stool movement just receding or is it still viable? >> thank you, dude. i'm glad to hear you liked the book. i liked yours. i think when you look at the 100-year history, you realize that the right is not one thing. it's many things. and in fact when you take that broader view, the type of conservativism that you and i came of age in and joe did, the reagan conservativism, that may actually have been more of an aberration. i think there's no going back after trump. i think that even if trump doesn't run in 2024 or if he loses the nomination, we've said it here on the show, desantis is
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waiting in the wings. the alternative to desantis would be a man like glenn youngkin who shares many of desantis' positions but has a different style and approach. when it comes to the social conservative part of the republican party and the right using their political power to challenge the cultural left in education, in corporate america, in the media, and in the public health authorities, i don't think there's any going back for the near future. >> i'm quite confident i speak for david french here, if i don't, david can correct me after i ask you this question, matthew, but over the past six years the two things that have disturbed me the most have been the right's positions on race and my own churches, the evangelical churches' posture towards trumpism and some of the things we've seen. i spent my entire life going on shows, going on politically
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incorrect at the time, going on "hardball," talking about how what kevin phillips and other people in the media were saying about the republican party and race were a lie, that the southern strategy was an oversimplification, that my family, we were conservatives and i explained why we were conservatives, why people in my community were conservatives. and i was proven wrong. i was shocked by what i saw over the past five, six years, donald trump and the muslim registry, donald trump saying hipanics are breeders, telling people to go home, black members of congress. help me out. david and i will wrestle with where our church went in the past five, six years. talk about race. how could it be that people like david french and myself and other republicans grew up saying everything that liberals said about our party was wrong when
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donald trump actually seemed to validate much of what they were accusing us of? >> well, you can't write american history without writing the history of race in america. so race does play a big part in my book, joe, and the conservative movement's relationship with the civil rights movement and also the changes in the civil rights post the civil rights act and voting rights act of '64 and '65. i think that one problem is that there are no longer any gate keepers. i talk about how buckley jr., after the 1960s and '70s made a great effort to kind of police the boundaries of what american conservativism would be. and by his later career, he was definitely saying that opponents of civil rights, opponents of political equality for black americans, were not part of the conservative movement. we no longer have gatekeepers like that because of changes in the media, but i also say on a
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larger level, when you look at what's happening with the hispanic vote in the united states, and its seeming trend toward the republican party, i think that there's been a myth in both parties that hispanic-americans are single-issue voters and the issue is immigration and border. that clearly is not happening and hispanic americans care much more about the economy and education. republicans are benefitting from that trend so they're not likely to re-examine their preconceptions. >> yeah, and there's no doubt about it, matthew. you look at people like david shore have shown that the white left is -- they're formal progressive than most black voters, than most hispanic voters, and democrats are seeing the consequences of that. matthew, we know you have a class to go teach so we'll let you go do that now.
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>> "the 100-year war for american conservativism." >> david, can you pick up on the race issue? i know your experience is the same as my experience. >> yeah. you know, i think another dynamic here is it has become so -- people on the right have become so focused on combatting political correctness and being provocative whenever someone is trying to police or -- whenever they perceive wokeness, that the anti-woke movement is moving so far that it is beginning to embrace racial provocateurs at best and outright racists at worst, and all part of owning the libs, all part of taking on the left and trying to show that the left can't set the agenda in any way, shape, or form, and you end up embracing or allying yourself with movements and mind-sets that are remarkably
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destructive and toxic. >> all right. david, if you could stay with us, we have big news to talk about, about kevin mccarthy who said he didn't say something and then was caught on tape saying it and is still denying it, which is just incredible. we'll have that political firestorm out of washington. also, former u.s. ambassador to russia michael mcfaul will be joining us with the latest on the war in ukraine. we'll be right back.
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it's 24 past the hour.
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there's a live look at capitol hill in washington, d.c., on a beautiful friday morning. news from there not so beautiful. >> not so beautiful. david french, i want you to hear the kevin mccarthy tapes and get your reaction.
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dow do . >> so, david, we get to another depressing part of my former party, conservativism, just the
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falsehoods. you have mccarthy saying something, "the new york times" reports it, reporters report it, he lies about it, says it never happened, a tape proves he's a liar. it happened when he said that donald trump was on putin's payroll in 2016. he was continue fronted with it. he lied and said he never said it. he was shown a transcript. he said it was fake news. then the tape comes out, proving again that he lies. trump of course lied about the election, tried to undermine the election by lying about it, lied every day at press conferences during the covid press conferences so much that they had to yank him off the air after a while, lied about even weather patterns, hurricanes. i want to get your reaction to kevin mccarthy and the culture of lies in my former party. >> yeah. i mean, the lies there and the brazenness, because "the new york times" talks about this and
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even references very precise quotes and references, you know, that they heard the conversation and yet still the lies come. but there's also another part of this, joe, that i think is really interesting to me, and it's a window into the six years and extreme version of six years of conversations, that go like this -- behind closed doors in private conversations, people give vent to their concerns about donald trump. and i mean give vent to it. but then when it's in public, they will deny they ever said it, it's trump, trump, trump all the way, and you feel -- you know, you have whiplash because the same person you've seen on tv glorifying donald trump you know because you heard was absolutely lacerating donald trump behind closed doors. it's been going on for six solid years. and that's just an extreme version of the kind of conversation, joe, i know you've had, i know you've had with
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other people. oh, my gosh. >> now america is hearing it. >> people come on our set and do it, joe. they say one thing on the air and something different off the air. also on that tape, there are two people on the tape, liz cheney and kevin mccarthy, one became a pariah in the republican party and it's not kevin mccarthy. david french, thank you so much. and i have not -- it's not gone unnoticed the poster over your left shoulder, of john rand. a huge win for your grizz last night in the twin cities. >> down by 26 and came back. absolutely. >> david, thanks so much. always good to talk to you. >> thank you guys. there is new evidence this morning of potential war crimes allegedly committed by russian forces near mariupol. satellite images suggest mass graves that may contain as many as 9,000 bodies. the besieged city's mayor is calling it the biggest war crime of the 21st century.
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according to maxar, the images show a mass burial site with more than 200 more graves starting to appear at the end of march and continuing to expand in april. ukrainian officials say the new grave site appears to be significantly larger thas disco russian troops retreated from bucha. this morning mariupol's mayor says 20,000 civilians have been killed in his city since the war began. those images emerged just hours after vladimir putin ordered his troops to blockade rather than storm the last ukrainian stronghold in mariupol, a sprawling steel plant where hundreds of soldiers and civilians have been holed up for weeks. but one ukrainian soldier inside the plant tells nbc news that russians continued shelling the plant yesterday and that those inside are facing diminishing supplies of food, water, and
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ammunition. joining us now, former u.s. ambassador to russia michael mcfaul. he is director of the institute for international studies at stanford and an nbc news international affairs analyst. also joining us, former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, john herbst. he's now senior director of the atlantic council's eurasia center. ambassador mcfirst of all, i'll start with you and with the people trapped in the steel plant in bucha. no hope? i'm sorry. in mariupol. >> well, it looks pretty dire, but it's amaing how they've been fighting. i heard weeks ago that mariupol was supposed to fall. we kept hearing reports that it was and it hasn't. i'm gotting to to pretend i know how to predict the outcome, but i am amazed that they are still holding on as long as they have. >> so let's talk about the russian troops, and if you could, tell us the challenges
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that they appear to still be facing, ambassador mcfaul. we heard they were going to sweep into the donbas region. it just is not happening yet. obviously, there's a lot of mass there. but that's what we heard before they went into kyiv or were supposed to get into kyiv in a couple days. they never got there. what are the prospects in the east? >> well, joe, before i answer that, i want to always, always, always remind people that there's a difference between battles and wars, right. the war for ukraine, putin has lost the war for ukraine, his invasion of ukraine because, remember, he was going to annex the whole place because he thinks ukrainians are just russians with accents. that didn't work. he was going to denazify, that didn't work, demilitarize ukraine, that didn't work, going to take the major cities, that hasn't worked. he lost the main battle in this war, the battle for kyiv.
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so now he's shifted. the language they use is radically different than just several weeks ago, and they shifted to donbas. it feels to me -- i'm not a military expert, but it feels to me it's just the beginning. this is going to be a more conventional fight, and everybody says the russians have the advantage and they do in terms of numbers and tanks. they don't have the advantage in terms of will. and i think it's premature to predict that they will achieve their military objectives in this battle. >> ambassador herbst, good morning. thank you for being with us today. the world has marvelled at ukraine over the last couple months, its military, its people, regular civilians out in the street bus horrified by the scenes we continue to see even this morning. we talked about the satellite images of the mass graves in mariupol, also what we saw in bucha with journalists going into that city. if you could, describe how the ukrainian people that you work
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so closely with are holding up because president zelenskyy has made the point that, yes, we are inspiring the world in many ways, but we're also being devastated by this war and we need more support and we're going to need it for a very long time going forward. as ambassador mcfaul said, this could go on for years. how are the people and the leaders of ukraine holding up right now? >> there are two critical factors here. first is a large majority of ukrainians understand they are fighting not just for their country, their sovereignty but also for their liberty. they understand that putin's war objectives makes ukrainians pursuing ukrainian-type things to be quote, unquote nazis. when he talks about de-nazi-fication, he's talk about de-ukrainian. people like tim snyder and others are talking about genocide in terms of russian policy. so they understand they have no choice unless they want to be
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under the boot of an authoritarian kremlin. the other key factor, of course, is leadership. zelenskyy's been a master at rallying his people to face this danger and telling the west that the west has a vital stake in ukraine defeating putin. and this is absolutely essential. the united states and our western partners have to send more weapons to ukraine to make sure they can defeat putin and protect themselves. >> two russian oligarchs are believed to have killed themselves along with their wives and children this week. this is according to russia's state-run news agency. the former vice president of one of the country's largest banks found dead with a gunshot wound inside his apartment. there's apparently a theory according to russia that he shot his wife and daughter before taking his own life. then, ambassador mcfaul, a day later, media outlets in spain say the body of another oligarch was found hanged to death along
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side his wife and daughter. it's believed this is a top russian gas company executive and that he killed his family with an axe before committing suicide. neither man was reportedly on the sanctions list. what does this mean? can you help us understand it? >> well, two things, somewhat unrelated. first, i don't know the details, obviously, but i do know that russian oligarchs and russian elites across the board are extremely stressed, disappointed, not supporting this war. you hear hints of it publicly, but privately, i hear about it all the time, i mean literally every day wondering if there's way to stop this, wondering what they can do. and i think they're pretty despondent. tragically, very few of them have actually defected or said something against the war.
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only one to the best of my knowledge has left the country and said he doesn't support the war. the second thing is rather ironic, what you just said. they weren't on the sanctions list. well, that's a problem. and i want to applaud the biden administration and the eu for the tremendous number of people that they put on the sanctions li. i think by one count it's now -- off the top of my head, i'm just remembering i think it's 900 people and companies on the u.s. list. that's fantastic. by the way, the russians are now responding, adding to their list. they added some more people yesterday, americans. mark zuckerberg is now on the list, just so you know. joining me, i've been on the list far long, long time. but it's not enough. so when the americans say, well, we have 900 on the list, the ukrainians say, well, we have 6,000 that we would like you to put on the list. and i think it just underscores a lot of folks sometimes say, oh, we've done all we can on
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sanctions. that is not true. there are a lot more people that could be sanctioned. there are a lot more people that should be sanctioned in russia. >> ambassador herbst, we had richard oss, president and cfo, on the show talking about how this war comes to an end, and he said we've asked the question repeat lid over the past six, seven weeks what does vladimir putin want. he said we need to turn that question around and ask what does the west want? what can we liver with? what can the ukrainians live with, more importantly? of course the answer to that becomes so much more complicated with the mass graves, the war crimes committed on a daily basis. i'm curious, what is the answer to that question? what can both ukraine and the west live with to bring this war to an end? >> well, i think we have to first support the ukrainians, because they're the ones who are suffering and dying. if they decided they need to end
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the war to reduce that suffering, it's hard for us to say no. our objectives should be to defeat putin and ukraine, which is also zelenskyy's objective. it's not just because you want to make sure ukraine is safe and secure. it's because putin's objectives go beyond ukraine. he's made clear he'd like to have a similar amount of control in all the states of the former soviet union as he's seeking in ukraine. so if we don't defeat putin in ukraine, if he manages a victory there, we have to worry especially about our baltic nato allies who we are pledged to defend with our soldiers. if we send enough weapons to ukraine and maintain stronger sanctions on russia, i think putin will lose and we will be defending ourselves in the most cost-effective way possible. that should be our objective -- victory in ukraine. >> then ambassador mcfaul, i was just going to ask you a question that no one would have dared to ask six weeks ago or even three weeks ago. but is victory in ukraine over
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the russian military where the russian military is driven out all of ukraine, is that a possibility now? do the ukrainians believe that is a possibility? >> well, that's a hard question for me to answer. i personally don't think it's a possibility. when you say "all of ukraine," that means crimea, that mean where is they've been for eight years. but we've been wrong about these things before, joe. that's why i hesitate, right. the second thing i want to keep emphasizing who gets to define what victory is or not? that's why i went into the long list of all the things they do, because what i fear is that people, including programs like yours, are going to say, well, now mariupol has fallen and that's a victory for russians, that they've achieved their accomplish accomplishments, and i don't want us to do that. i think that's very dangerous. and then third, i completely agree with ambassador herbst,
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the definition of victory and when this war should end needs to be decided by zelenskyy, not by president biden, not by the eu, not by the national security council of the united states. we need to be supporting them in what they decide is victory and the terms for the peace. and i want to keep saying this. they've already won the war. we're now talking about one battle in that war and how it ends, i think we need to support the ukrainians in the way they define victory in that battle. >> i couldn't agree with you more. let me say just for the record, ambassador mcfaul, we said all day yesterday that vladimir putin calling off the attack in mariupol, that steel plant, was a defeat for him, a setback for him, an admission from vladimir putin that he didn't think his forces could get in there without getting mauled. i think, mika, that's the case.
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>> former ambassadors michael mcfaul and john herbst, thank you both for coming on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," pentagon press secretary john kirby tells us why he still sees major challenges ahead for russian military. we're back in just a moment. (johnny cash) ♪ i've traveled every road in this here land! ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ crossed the desert's bare, man. ♪ ♪ i've breathed the mountain air, man. ♪ ♪ of travel i've had my share, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪ ♪ i've been to: pittsburgh, parkersburg, ♪ ♪ gravelbourg, colorado, ♪ ♪ ellensburg, cedar city, dodge city, what a pity. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪ for copd, ask your doctor about breztri. breztri gives you better breathing, symptom improvement, and helps prevent flare-ups.
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check out today. angi... and done. earlier on "morning joe," we spoke with pentagon press secretary admiral john kirby to explain why american officials are challenging vladimir putin's claims that mariupol is a success for russia. >> well, we still have seen resistance inside mariupol. obviously, that resistance has been dwindling over time as the russians have continued their onslaught. but we still see pockets of resistance inside mariupol, and we also see, again, the russians applying even more firepower. most of the air strikes that we're seeing in ukraine are focused on mariupol and to the north in the donbas. but they have definitely still been pounding mariupol. what can you tell us, admiral, about the failing of russia's
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military and the challenges that they're even having now as they try to move into the donbas? >> yeah. you know, it's a great question, joe. you saw that they announced a new general who's going to be sort of running the whole show now. it's clear that they are trying to learn from the mistakes that they made in the early days and weeks of this war, command and control, unit cohesion, operational maneuvers, trying to make sure they're maneuvering forces in a more efficient way. the integration of air and ground, which was deeply lacking in the first few days of the war where air commanders weren't talking to ground commanders. they're trying to fix that. you can begin to see the seeds of those efforts to improve their performance in these early days in the donbas. for instance, as i was telling willie, you know, before they started moving in big maneuver forces, they started moving in command and control elements and helicopter support and logistics and sustainment. clearly they are trying to learn from it, but there's a lot of
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challenges they have to overcome. this is not a military that's known for being very adaptive, not known for having leaders who are encouraged to take initiative and change the way they're doing things in the moment. this is still going to be, we believe, a challenge for them. >> you've been sanctioned by russia along with david ignatius and our friend biana. i think it was ned price who said it was a sign of weakness to an extent that the strategy keeps changing and this sort of lashing out. how do you see that beyond it being kind of a bj of honor at this point? >> yeah. it's a pretty good group to belong to. if you look, also sanctioned journalists, david and othel me that i was being sanctioned or why, but if you took a look at some of the people on that list, it's clear that information bothers mr. putin. he doesn't want to have to deal with the truth and people that are telling the truth.
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journalists on the ground, writers like david, me, and ned from the podium, being honest and open about what we're seeing the russian forces do inside ukraine, clearly he wants to shut down the free flow of information, and i think part of the sanctions are an effort to demonstrate that. that is a sign of weakness. that's what tyrants and dictators do, try to siphon off the truth from their people and lie to them. >> we spoke on this show about two months ago at the dawn of the russian invasion, and i asked you whether or not there's a chance if american troops would ever be on the ground in ukraine. you said the president has made it clear there will not be american troops on the ground. has anything in the last two months changed that for you? have any of the horrors we've witnessed in mariupol or bucha changed your calculus at all? is there a chance american troops could be in ukraine? >> the president has still been very, very clear, and he's been asked about this even recently. there will be no u.s. forces fighting in ukraine, fighting in this war.
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back to conversation i was having with joe about nuclear capabilities, i think we can all understand that escalating the war and making it about the united states versus russia, two nuclear powers, that could lead to dangers well beyond ukraine.f conflict between the united states and russia would not be good for the ukrainian people and ukrainian cities and towns and not for the european continent or our own national security. it is a tough place to be but the president is right. i mean we have to be mindful of the possibility that a much broader and deeper and global war could result from this kind of outcome. >> a portion of our conversation earlier on "morning joe" with john kirby, let's turned to colonel. thank you very much for being with us. i am curious of your view of the
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package announced yesterday, $800 million more flowing into ukraine, what do you make of it? does it change the blast as russia moves into the east? >> i think an interesting focus the biden administration is taking. they're approving the request the ukrainians are making. it is a difference of what we saw two weeks ago or months ago were looking at the ukrainian requests and passing judgmentover the worthiness of their requests. we are giving what they are asking for. i think it is going to make a difference with their performance which is already been superb against the russian military.
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>> i am interested of what you said. what do you mean by that? >> there are a couple of phases of this war that we all watched with amazement. one thing the russians can't do in a short period of time is improve the performance of their soldiers. they are suffering from severe moral issues that you know to improve a unit that suffers 20% or 35% of casualties and bringing in re-enforcement to get that unit back up takes months of peacetime training. we understand taking the unit from the north and shifting them to the south and putting
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the hands and mariupol with replacements. these are not well-trained units. the russians got a significant challenge to overcome. >> colonel, i spent high school representing a navy town in florida and fort walton beach, you grew up with children of fathers who fought in vietnam, heard the stories of profound cultural problems in the military culture from '75 to '79, '80, sort of this post vietnam era. it may have taken the united states quite a few years to readjust this military culture post vietnam.
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here we see profound cultural challenges that the russians have faced in this ukrainian invasion. i don't think many of us could imagined. your answer to willie's question raises a much larger question for the russians. how the hell do they turn this operation around when they are going through such a profound cultural collapse inside the military ranks? >> it is a great observation for your part. first, i would say five to seven years of my service in the corp was with an organization suffering tremendous issues of discipline moral, equipment problems and you name it, the corp i retired from 2006 was
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lightyear. the russians are going to have and as i mentioned before, they got a year's long effort to turn the russian military around. i mean the corruption and the lack of leadership and lack of nco corp and training issues and conscript base. these things are going to be institutional changes that i think are not going to be accomplished well in the best possible manner within the course of the decade. >> i can't imagined it being turned around before that. colonel, thank you so much for being here and we are so grateful for your service to our country. thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, colonel. coming up, we'll take a look at the morning papers around the country and willie, what do you have coming on "sunday today"?
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>> jack wants to know. >> well, hopefully a conversation to bust up a week of news with actor sienna miller, charming, a great conversation about a new netflix series she stars in called "" "anatomy of the scandal," sienna miller is coming up on "sunday today" on sunday, we'll be back with "morning joe." >> interesting. >> interesting priceline. every trip is a big deal.
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michigan. the "lansing state journal" reports of nassar's victims, attorneys representing the women suffer significant injuries because the fbi failed to take actions of nassar's abuse. half of what that number was to years ago. omaha's acting deputy chief says the drop is part of a national trend. to missouri, a front page story
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about the state house passing a parents' bill of rights. parents they fail to meet transparency standards including allowing parents to review instruction materials and visit the school during school hours. to colorado, where the "gazette" writes state lawmakers are seeking to invest $100 million with child care with a bipartisan bill. childcare shortage during the pandemic. >> well, willie, we have to wrap it up now. i would love for you to sum up in a few seconds of the 47th hour of broadcasting we did.
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>> it is a long road but it is a gratifying road. we are happy to be here and we love being on at 9:00 in the east coast. >> happy friday, everybody. that does it for us, "jose diaz-balart reports" picks up the coverage right now. good morning, it is 10:00 a.m. eastern, i am jose diaz-balart, we begin this busy friday morning with all eyes on the fierce standoff at mariupol. a critical city at a pivotal point to this conflict. we'll bring you the latest from ukraine. in florida, governor desantis is expected to sign a new bill dissolving disney's self governing status. on this earth day, we are taking a closer look on a sewage crisis right here in the u.s. specifically affecting communities of color. ♪♪