tv Morning Joe MSNBC April 26, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT
is expected to meet with him later today. and they say it is too early to talk about mediation and no evidence so far of their commitment to that diplomatic solution. that comes a day after startling new comments about the threat of nuclear war. in an interview broadcast on state television on monday, lavrov said this, quote, the risks are significant, the dangerous is serious, it is real. it should not be underestimated. this morning we spoke with ukrainian's minister of foreign affairs and we asked him about the rhetoric coming out of russia right now. >> well this is russia's traditionally scare mongering that no one should be afraid of. ukraine has demonstrated we're not afraid of russia and we know how to win and neither the united states or anyone else in the world should be afraid of them either. the response to such blackmailing coming from the russian federation should be
firm and the more congress will support ukraine, the sooner we will put this war to an end. >> sir, are you receiving anything that you would hope to receive if fr the united states. president biden authorized another $800 million package with heavy weapons for your fight in the east. are you happy with what you have now and what else do you need as you move forward? >> it is true to say that the united states is the number one in the world in terms of supporting ukraine defense capabilities and we are deeply grateful to the biden administration for acting in such resolved and swift manner. however i must tell you as a minister of a country at war. will never be enough until russian soldiers leave their
footprints on ukrainian soil. the moment that we win this war, i will say the united states did everything they could and everything was enough to achieve this victory. and this victory will be for us, but also for you and all other democracies across the globe. >> president biden, defense secretary austin and secretary blinken have pledged on going support. i want to ask you, onna human level the people of your country are doing. obviously the world has been so inspired by the fighting spirit and the resilience and pride of your people, not just of the military but the civilians to rally in defense of their country but obviously there have been horrific atrocities in places like bucha and mariupol and well beyond. how is that spirit of the ukrainian people today? >> well, we are bleeding, morally, militarily,
economically and physically but we're fighting. and we'll not stop until we win. russia inflicts enormous damage on us by all means by destroying or cities, by destroying our economy, by committing atrocities, by shelling our cities and our soldiers, but we will not stop because we have no other choice but to win in this war. >> if you could speak directly to the russian people, what would you say? >> you know, unfortunately russian people share responsibility for this war. we see how they vigorously support the aggression against ukraine, how they hate us. so, they share responsibility with putin for what is happening. for all of the massacres, for crimes, for rapes, torture, and looting. i'm sorry to say this. but russia will have to go -- to
undergo the process of de-put inization. russian people have to wake up and atone their sins. >> mr. foreign minister there is talk this could go on in some form, this conflict, this invasion, this aggression by russia for years to come, how are you looking at this war in terms of a time line? you have to stop and begin to rebuild your country for one thing. but before you do that, you have to stop the invasion in the east. how long are you settling in for this war to go on? >> well, we didn't expect this war to last for months. now we are in the third month of the war. we don't have the luxury to make any estimates. as i said, we will fight until we win. because if we lose, there will be no ukraine. but, this victory may be much closer than anyone might think
if we support all of the weapons, especially heavy weapons like western tanks, planes, howitzers which the united states and other countries are already sending us and if there will be -- if there are no restrictions on the sanctions that have to be imposed on russia, oil embargo and disconnecting all russian banks from the international financial system. the sooner this is done, the sooner we will win. >> a portion of our conversation earlier this morning with ukrainian minister of foreign affairs. joining us now, pentagon correspondent helene cooper and national executive director of the association of the united states navy, jason beardsly. good morning to you both. sergeant beardsly, that term weakens that resonated around the world, the aim to weaken the
russian military to the point where it could not inflict this kind of pain on another neighbor that doesn't have capacity to invade another of their neighbors. what did you take that to mean? that is welcomed in a lot of corners, probably a long time coming in terms of the way the united states stands up to russia. but what does that mean as a practical question from our point of view. >> from a practical point of view, it is an assessment late in this invasion that russia is already losing so the united states is looking to make the best out of this, we were behind the timeline. we could have had these weapons invested in ukraine prior to the invasion, the intelligence was there. the white house knew this. so now that we're on the back side of it, i think frankly the administration is trying to make the best out tv and look for the most positive out come which is a weakening of the russian military buts that happening at hands of ukraine. so would you call it a reactive policy position. not an untrue statement but i
think we're looking to get the best out come here and the sobering words from -- were appropriate framing this. they have no choice. they have to fight this. if they lose, there is no ukraine. >> so defense secretary lloyd austin is in germany this morning meeting with representatives from 40 nations to discuss ukrainian security. he promised to, quote, move heaven and earth to get ukraine the weapons it needs. the meeting comes as willie mentioned a day after secretary austin said america's goal is to ensure that russia is quote weakened to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things that it has done in invading ukraine. helene cooper, you're colleague at "the new york times" david sanger noted the shift and wrote this. quote, the immediate impetuous for mr. austen's declaration, several administration officials said was to set up president
volodymyr zelenskyy of ukraine with what one senior state department official called the strongest possible hand for what they expect will be some kind of cease-fire negotiation in the coming months. but over the long-term, mr. austin's description of america's strategic goal is bound to reinforce president vladimir putin's off-stated belief that the war is really about the west's desire to choke off russian power and destabilize his government. and by casting the american goal as a weakened russia military, mr. austen and others in the biden administration are becoming nor explicit about the future they see. years of continuous contest for power and influence with moscow that in some ways resembled what john f. kennedy termed the long twilight struggle of the cold war. right now we have an ambassador going back to ukraine.
we have the foreign minister of ukraine standing in of our cameras talking to us saying, we're going to pay the price for the safety of the world. it is a an incredible statement as people are suffering and hiding in basements across the country. i just wonder where this is headed strategically in the short-term? >> in the short-term, this is all about getting ukraine to the point, the biden administration and the pentagon in particular views the next four weeks with the fight in the donbas as critical. they believe that what happens over the next four weeks will shape the eventual outcome of this war. if russia succeeds in the donbas, it will embolden putin to decide whether or not he wants to again try for more of the country, because the -- for years they've been fighting in the donbas, but vladimir putin's
aims, according to several senior administration officials i talked to, have never been about the donbas. it is for ukraine. it is ukraine that he wants. so this idea that he's trying to now present some sort of marginal victory to the russia people, have secured help for the russian -- protected the russian minority in the donbas is one thing, but that is more viewed as a fig leaf. but if he wins in the donbas, he then could decide whether he's willing to carve that off and go home, or if he's going to use that to try to move to the rest of the country. but if he does not, if the ukrainians are successful, then that changes everything at the negotiating table. because putin will be negotiating from a position of weakness. and that -- so all of the administration is trying to
strengthen the hand of volodymyr zelenskyy for the next for weeks which they view as completely -- as very, very critical in shaping an eventual outcome. >> it is hard to imagine a negotiating table at this point. >> yeah. but that is where all wars eventually end and if you look at the sort of the long-term strategic gain at some point whether depending on which side wins and right now i would put my money on ukraine, you're going to end up there eventually. but it is hard to see that when you're being bombarded daily. >> jonathan lemire. >> master sergeant beardsly i want to get your take as what you see as the russian tactics. yesterday as we reported they hit a number of oil depots and train stations and that might have been a warning about the austin blinken visit, but it
might be ahead of the assault and lobbying out west to odesa and lviv. so where do you think they go from here? we know they're reinforcing troops it could be couple of a weeks and once the action really starts what, is it going to look like? >> i think it will have a little bit of the characteristics we've seen so far which is disorganized logistically hampered and then somewhat of a panic in the way that they used their attacks. these lobbing missiles and western cities, their attack on supplies and logistics, that is interdicting weapons flow from the united states and i think the astute comments that helene mentioned proved the point of where the pentagon and where the white house are which is we want to get as many weapons in their hands as possible to turn what is a russian resurge in the east into a defeat for them and to do that what russia would need to do to overwhelm that is have really good combined arms strategy. that would include commanders
that were well organized, that could communicate to each other. and really align their forces against certain targets. we have not seen that yet. as a matter of fact, we keep seeing russian generals killed on the battlefield which implies there is some good intelligence that the ukrainians are using for that. so i think russia has a very tall task here. they've got armor and artillery and air, they're not using them well together. they don't have a good infantry and so all of those things point to what is an unlikely case for them. ukrainian has the advantage here but i think the pentagon and the white house are trying to make this a much more uneven handed battle for -- in advantage of the ukrainians. so we'll see if they could get the weapons inside of their forces that quickly. >> helene, general stead, one by one, warship sunk, a friend of vladimir putin's in custody and you could make a list of
humiliation for vladimir putin and it is clear that the military and the logistics are failing in ways that perhaps many didn't predict. but how much of this actually gets to vladimir putin? >> that is the million dollar question. is he being told or not. is he certainly could not, not be aware of the fact that none of his initial strategic goals were accomplished in the first two months of the war. he was aware of the fact that his troops couldn't take kyiv and he's lost 15,000 troops in two months. which is a stunning number. it triples more than triples, quadruples number that the america lost in afghanistan. so over 20 years. so he's aware of that. but whether he has processed or been told of the infinit other
ways that his military has come up short is an open question. we don't know what going on behind closed doors in the kremlin. it is hard to say. but what is very clear is that russia has lost -- russian military has suffered a huge naval humiliation in losing the moskva which is the flagship of the black sea to neptune missiles which are slow coming from the ukrainians to take down the ship. fact that they didn't have defenses up or were able to detect them were shocking and that is on top of all of the other shocking mistakes that we've seen from the russian military, so it is hard to imagine how he can't actually see some of this. >> it may be a very large geopolitical opportunity opening
up. pentagon correspondent for "the new york times" helene cooper and retired master sergeant jason beardsly, thank you very much for being on. and coming up, elon musk and twitter reaching an agreement. it is far from over. but amazon founder jeff bezos seems to take a swipe at the reported deal. andrew ross sorkin joins with us latest on that. and also this morning, the biden administration will grant nearly 80 people clemency as it announces new programs to help the formerly incarcerated get jobs. white house domestic policy adviser susan rice will be our guest. also ahead, presidential debates have been the norm for the past six decades. but could that be changing and why. steve kornacki will break down what is at stake. "morning joe" returns in just a moment.
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welcome back to "morning joe." it is 20 past the hour. beautiful shot of dallas this morning. the markets open in about 10 minutes with dow futures slightly down. after twitter signed off on elon musk's $44 billion offer to buy the company. twitter's founder and former ceo jack dorsey called musk the, quote, singular solution to the company's problems. but there is a lot we don't know. include wlog is going to lead the company. who will be on the board? how much control musk will take. what will happen to the employees at twitter? and what twitter will even look like for users. we do know must have been has a major focus on free speech.
tweeting yesterday, quote, i hope that even my worst critics remain on twitter because that is what free speech means. willie. >> let's talk through this with our friend and co-anchor of squawk box, andrew ross sorkin. is this a done deal. $44 billion to acquire twitter. there will be a lot of regulatory hoops he'll have to jump and interesting amount of shade thrown by jeff bezos talking about china having acsec to the public square that is twitter. >> to answer your first question, under the metrics the way regulators look at a deal like this, it would go through. there is no anti-trust issue or anything like that. but i think there is a real conversation in washington about the transaction likely not going to block it in any real way,
though, about the issue you just raised which jeff bezos was tweeting about last night which is to say twitter doesn't have a business in china but elon musk does. the second largest business. ant we've seen over the years that the influence that the chinese have used on american businesses across the board. and so there is a question mark at least out there today about whether that influence could be used if for example there were people tweeting things that the chinese found objectionable, where they would call elon musk and say you need to change the algorithm to fix that. there were reports several years ago that elon musk himself was upset about some coverage on social media in china and he actually went to the government, according to these reports, to have those removed. so, when we talk about free speech, i think there is a lot of questions here about how this ultimately will all look. >> yeah, if elon musk is the gaetz keeper, who is allowed in
the gate and who is kept out. this is a story to those on twitter. namely people in the media and politics. is this as big of a story in the business world? obviously $44 billion is a lot of money and he's the richest man in the world, all of that is true. but does this matter beyond the political media universe that sort of inhabits twitter? >> the truth is that twitter is a much smaller business than most of quote/unquote big tech in the value. we get earnings later today from microsoft and alphabet and google and apple. however, it is unique in that twitter is probably most powerful or influential social media platform on the public discourse on any given day. even though it has a lot less people on it, they are our politicians, our celebrities, newsmakers, news organizations an the like. and so that is where all of this
interest i think really lies in terms of determining what that conversation ultimately looks like. >> so what do we know about how elon musk perhaps conducts his other businesses about his personality that would tell us about the kind of impact that he could have on twitter. whether or not he would perhaps put donald trump back on the platform or would he try and, you know, shape it in way, if there is an unflattering picture of him with someone who is -- a criminal or something, someone standing next to someone who has done nefarious things, will he have that picture taken down. what has he done in the past that might give us some insight. >> i'm going to give you the most balanced view i can, which is to say that one of the things that he's talked about and by the way we have talked to people in the former obama administration and others who praised him for this, about
opening up the algorithm, so the public could see what the algorithm is doing, why are you seeing what you're seeing on the what is being blocked and down ranked and that is far beyond what facebook and instagram and others have pledged to do or even been asked to do by regulators and that could do a lot for trust. one of the things that he said over and over again is that he wants platform to be a place that people trust and understand. so let's put that on one side of the story. on the other side, there have now been numerous examples over the years where he has tried, when he was unhappy with either coverage in certain cases, or tweets that went out, there was somebody who was following his airplane at one point with what is public information, where he went after them, employees who have spoken out, so those are the two sides of this story. and then the timely you asked about former president trump, and he said at that ted conference that he didn't say it
specifically but trump but he said i'm not for lifetime bans, i'm for temporary timeouts which i think implies that if former trump were to try to come back on the platform that he would allow it. by the way, it is possible that twitter would have allowed if he became the nominee any way. unclear, but that is the way he would govern all of this. he wants more information rather than less out there. and that of course raises questions about misinformation bigotry and all sorts of other things but there is also the commercial interest here which is to say he can't have the whole thing running rampant because it is run on advertising and they don't want to be next to that content either. so it is a very -- there is eye needle there thread here and it is fascinating to watch him do it. >> andrew ross sorkin, thank you very much. we'll watch how this unfolds.
coming up, president biden is set to grant clemency for the first time since taking office. white house domestic policy adviser susan rice will join us to discuss the administration's new plan to help the formerly incarcerated find work. plus we'll take you inside of a new group promoting president trump's lie that the election was stolen. that is ahead on "morning joe."
♪ 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. ♪ welcome back to "morning joe." some low lying clouds on a foggy day here in new york city. it is 9:32 if the morning in new york and 6:32 on the west coast. a new york state judge is holing former president trump in civil contempt ordering him to pay $10,000 per day until he turns over documents subpoenaed by the state's attorney general who was investigating trump's business practices. nbc news senior washington hallie jackson has detailed. >> for former president trump, it costly complication. a new york judge is holing the
president in civil contempt ordering him to pay $10,000 a day until he turns over documents subpoenaed by the state's attorney general. the judge delivering this message to the former president who was not in court. mr. trump, i know you take your business seriously and i take mine seriously. attorney general letitia james call the ruling a major victory. she's conducting a civil investigation of possible tax fraud at the trump administration and whether the company inflated value of assets for tax breaks and loans. the trump organization said it turned over more than 750 documents and denied any wrongdoing but they argue the company has been slow to produce documents central to the investigation. in court documents pointing to cabinets holding mr. trump's files and post it notes that he used to communicate with his employees. the former president's attorney saying they intend to appeal the court's decision. adding they producted all of the
documents covered by the subpoena months ago. >> what the judge wants to know, is whether or not or the other side, trump tried to supply with the subpoena or just rubber stamped and said we looked and couldn't find any more. >> there is more focus at his time in office as a trove of new text messages sent and received by mark meadows spotlights the trump team's efforts to overturn the election and their reactions to january 6. nbc news has not verified the 2300 messages first reported by cnn. as the attack an ott capitol unfolded, meadows got a barrage of texts from allies including his predecessor mick mulvaney writing president trump needs to stop this now. from donald trump jr., they will try to expletive his legacy on this if it gets worse. >> and that is leading us to the morning papers. the las vegas sun has a front
page feature about the growing number of evangelical church leader embracing a new cause. promoting from the pulpit, former president trump's false claim that the 2020 election was stolen. we've moved on to the "miami herald" which reports ron desantis has signed a bill that created a 25-person office of election crimes and security. the group will have the power to enforce election-related laws and investigate any accusations of crimes. to the arizona republic, doug ducey has barred schools from mandating masks for students and bans government agencies in the state from requiring covid-19 vaccinations. it replaces a previous version that was ruled unconstitutional by the state's supreme court. to illinois where the chicago sun times reports cases of
anti-semitic hate have risen to historic levels in the state and across the country. up 34% from the year before. an it is also the highest number recorded since the anti-defamation league began tracking such incidents in 1979. and the san diego union tribune highlights the city's approval of a ban on flavors tobacco and flavors e-cigarettes. health advocates are praising the move. dozens of small business owners say the ban will hurt their bottom lines. and up next, white house domestic policy adviser susan rice will be our guest. we're back in just a moment.
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plans to grant clemency to 78 people. his first such actions since taking office. three will get full pardons and the remaining 75 will see sentenced commuted. all but a few are serving drug offenses. several new measures are intended to overhaul the criminal justice system and to use employment programs to prevent those formerly incarcerated from returning to prison. let's bring into the conversation white house domestic policy adviser and director of the domestic policy council susan rice. susan, it is good to see you this morning. so tell us more about this program and the president's decision, how did he choose these 78 people who were incarcerated, what kind of offenses were they in jail for and what is the goal not just for them but for nonviolent drug offenders going forward. >> good morning, willie, it is good to be back with you. let me put this in context. first of all, april is nobody as second chance month.
the month in which we recognize the value and the humanity of offering a second chance to those who have made major mistakes in their lives. and in particular those who are returning from prison. the president announced today two important steps. one as you mentioned were the commutation of 75 nonviolent drug offenders who on average had served almost 10 years of their sentences. many of whom have been on home confinement successfully during covid and three full pardons. but in addition to that, willie, we're announcing today a set of very expansive actions, 20 actions by 12 agencies that taken together will make it easier and better for those who are coming out of prison to get jobs, get housing, get back on their feet. why are we doing this? not just because it is the human think to do, but it is smart to fight crime.
back in -- the president wants to fight crime and it is putting more cops on the street and funding the police and taking ghost guns and other violent and deadly weapons out of the hands of criminals and going after repeat offenders. it is about community violence intervention efforts that help prevent violence in our communities. it is about putting in place the kinds of strategies that reduce the overall risk of violence, including education, housing and the like. but one piece of that comprehensive strategy, willie, is helping formerly incarcerated people. that they are able to be productive members of society. so that is what this piece of the pillar is about. >> ambassador, good morning, it is jonathan lemire, the president granted his first full pardon. i wanted to ask you about one in
particular. abraham bolden, the first black secret service agent assigned to presidential detail. he faced federal bribery charges that he attempted to sell a copy of secret service file and he had lied. explain to us why this particular case moved the president. tell us more about him? >> this was the first african american secret service officer. he's 86 years old. he was wrongfully convicted of a crime that now most everybody believes he did not commit. and he has waited all of his life having lived in and tried to serve honorably for his name to be cleared and i think the president felt very passionately that he was extremely deserving of this full pardon. >> it is called the incarceration to employment program. admirable effort to get low level nonviolent drug offenders out of prison. do want to ask you as your hole as domestic policy adviser about
what you see with the economy right now. obviously historically low unemployment and more jobs than we could fill and yet inflation up at the highest levels we have seen since about 40 years ago. this is a political problem, as you know very well. going into the midterm elections but more importantly it is a real world problem for people at the gas tank or the grocery store. what can you do from where you sit, what could the president do where fr where he sits to bring these prices down? >> well, as you said, there is much good news in the economy with record low unemployment rates, more people back in the work force. wanls going up. but yes, inflation is a real concern and it is painful for most families and so what the president is trying to do is first of all reduce the factors that are contributing to inflation. our supply challenges. working to reduce gas prices by letting more of our petroleum
reserves out into the market. coordinating with allies to reduce the global prices through increases supply. working on the food price challenges as well. so we ever working to approach this in a comprehensive way. but the reality is the inflation we're facing, a lot of is a function of what is happening with russia's brutal invasion of ukraine and the price impacts of putin's policies both on energy and on food. and this is a global challenge that we're facing. it is not only in the united states where we're seeing elevated prices, it is all over the world. so we're going to take all of the steps that the president has at his disposal, obviously the federal reserve has an important role to play. but this is an effort we're going to work also in tandem with partners around the world. >> americans now paying as much as $5 a gallon for gas in some places. white house domestic policy adviser susan rice joining us this morning from the white house. and ambassador rice, thanks for
your time this morning. we appreciate it. mika. >> good to be you. >> and coming up on "morning joe," they've been a staple in presidential elections since 1960, but after the rnc voted to withdraw from commission on presidential debate events, could we have the first presidential election in five decades without the candidates facing off? steve kornacki joins us next with a historical look back to explain why debates matter. your heart is at the heart of everything you do. and if you have heart failure, entrust your heart to entresto. ♪ ♪ it's the number one heart failure brand prescribed by cardiologists. entresto was proven superior at helping people stay alive and out of the hospital. heart failure can change the structure of your heart,
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waxed. natural. sensitive. new dove ultimate antiperspirant. our unique water based formula and 6x more glycerin. helps restore skin to its best condition. new dove ultimate. . >> i say to mr. nixon, and i say to that what we need is a discussion of the problems that concern the american people, and we need to stand on the same platformat the same time. >> the president is too busy to debate. i expect the true reason mr. nixon won't debate, is that he is afraid, not so much of me,
but of the people. >> i am ready. i am eager to go before the american people and debate the real issues face to face! >> for the past decades, debates, we could get a look at the biggest change in a generation. we have had televised debates since the nixon/kennedy debate. that could change. the republican party withdrew events held by the commission on presidential debates. right now, there is no clear alternative which democrats and republicans have agreed. going to correspondent steve.
it has been a bumpy and uneven history. you start with 1960, the famous nixon/kennedy debate. we have been going ever since. that is not the way it played out. after the debates of 1960, we show you here, we entered a period that entered three presidential elections with no debates. lbj said, i am way ahead in the poll, no reason to debate. george wallace, in the race. nixon did not want to have him on any debate stage. you saw george mcgovern. we had three straight elections where there were no presidential
debates. what changed everything, it was 1976. gerald ford was the un-elected president. appointed vice president. succeeded to the presidency when nixon resigned. he was behind in the polls, jimmy carter, one-term governor of georgia, they both saw an incentive. in 1976, carter and ford saw an incentive to debate. the debates were back on. they turned to the league of women voters who sponsored the 1976 debate. it continued in 1980. at the last minute, carter and regan debated. the famous line, there you go again. won the election. in 1984, the pattern was established, that is when the next big change happened. the two major parties look at this why are we letting the league of women voters set this
up? why don't we do it ourselves? it was set up by the two major party, there have been debates in every cycle. it has been bumpy. in 1992, bush senior at the time, his campaign had issues with it. folks remember that campaign. the clinton campaign sent people as chickens, to event, trying to bait him into debating. the economic crisis. there has been drama around the debates, they have been doing this since 1988. as you say, with the republican national convention backing out of the commission, the question becomes, what happens? do they negotiate something that looks different? is it even possible we go back to the debate desert era, and
don't have them? >> what might the debates look like? the rnc, we don't like the moderators, say donald trump runs in 2024, what network hosts t who the moderator is. what do you think it could look like? >> at this point, if this is the position that republican convention holds to, how you get a debate. it would depend who the nominee is. could a new format emerge? all bets are off then. is it a compromise, do they get someone sympathetic to them. as part of a panel. more partisan, one from the left, one from the right? is that a compromise that emerges? it could change dramatically,
once you take out the arbiter who has been there for the last decades. there are so many ways to get on the air now, maybe they go back and say they don't need it. >> i think that would be a loss. the debates are a valuable part of the election process. like they do in france, the candidates at a small table talking to each other. i would love to watch that. another four hours of "morning joe" in the books. jose picks up coverage after a quick break.