Skip to main content

tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  April 27, 2022 3:00am-6:00am PDT

3:00 am
into your decision to step aside today? >> well, that wasn't helpful. >> oh, back in 2015. kevin mccarthy lost his shot at becoming house speaker, after admitting the benghazi committee was driven by partisan politics. seven years later, he's at it again. this time, caught on tape, telling the truth about fringe members of his own caucus. is the gavel slipping through his fingers once again? plus, shocking new numbers on what types of allegations republican voters would consider to be a major problem for a candidate. turns out, anti-semitic, racist or homophobic remarks would be a problem for many of them -- is that shocking? and breaking news overnight, on the war in ukraine, russia cuts off gas supplies to poland and bulgaria, seen as a retaliation for the west's new pledge to keep supplying weapons
3:01 am
to ukraine. and u.s. diplomats begin returning to ukraine. we'll discuss the significance of that may have step, when state department spokesman ned price joins us later this morning. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is wednesday, april 27th. joe. >> a lot -- a lot going on, mika, right. >> a lot going on. your former party is fascinating. >> fascinating is a term you can use for it. but, as i was saying, a lot going on today. today is holocaust remembrance day. and it seems to me, for most of our lives, most of our adult lives, whenever there was holocaust remembrance day, we were looking at black and white photos, trying to figure out how madness spread across germany and the rest of the continent the way it did that would lead
3:02 am
to such grave tragedies. how one man would be responsible for each evil and influence so many others. these pictures are actually historic reminders and unfortunately bring warning still to us today. unfortunately, more relevant than ever, as we see in europe, one man's evil. just one man, one man's evil designs on others. bringing unspeakable horrors to an entire nation of ukraine. domestically, you see the fire hose of falsehoods that the russians use, the big lie that hitler used to get to power. you see so many things being employed. you see neofascists, neopoints being deployed in segments of america. we're going to be showing you shocking polls today that show that republicans, barely a third of republicans consider
3:03 am
anti-semitic remarks disqualifying. trim lines, i'm an optimist. i think trim lines in this country, it's going to be shocking to a lot of people that i say this, i think trim lines in the past several years have actually been good. i think trim lines in the republican party, you can't tell whether it's a growing segment of the republican party. or a shrinking segment of the republican party. we will see how things go in 2022. because these 2022 elections, they're not a referendum on joe biden. they're not a referendum on nancy pelosi. they're not a referendum on chuck schumer. they're really a referendum on the republican party. and we're going to see a lot primaries over the next several months that are going to be a referendum of the republican party. where republican voters have to decide where they want to go. do they want to move back towards the views of ronald reagan and margaret thatcher?
3:04 am
or do they want to move in a more neofascist direction, a direction they were going that of course culminated on january 6. on this national, holocaust remembrance day. and, mika, also, madeleine albright's funeral, obviously going to be something very personal to you and your family, all of us. >> i know. the former secretary of state's funeral will be had held at the national cathedral at 11:00 a.m. she died last month after a battle with cancer. her three daughters will be speaking. president biden expected to give a eulogy, as well as bill and hillary clinton. she served as secretary of state under president president bill clinton. more than 1400 people are expected to attend. there will be lots of foreign leaders, top diplomats and
3:05 am
people they inspired as well. she loved to spread the spirit of democracy and teacher where and anywhere she could. secretary of state antony blinken, nancy pelosi, al gore also expected to be there. i notice mitch mcconnell is coming, i'm sure many republicans will be there as well. she was very bipartisan in her effort, talking about democracies that would work, joe. >> well, like your father, she understood, if she couldn't work with republicans, she couldn't work with congress. she couldn't make the changes that she knew needed to be made. you know, willie, it's extraordinary, this woman. and as you know, there's been a long connection with the brzezinski family and madeleine albright. she considered herself to be part of the brzezinski family. they returned those deep feels.
3:06 am
you see those two people in the middle, dr. brzezinski and madeleine albright, dr. brzezinski fled poland because of hitler. madeleine albright, because of totalitarian sweeping in, first, because of hitler and then because of stalin. but i had a dear friend of ours, yours and mine, and i won't reveal his name, willie, because he didn't know it was going to be said on the air. but he said it's remarkable that as much as he had deep and abiding respect for people like brent scowcroft and others in republican administrations, that it was these two democrats, chased out of europe by hitler and stalin, who actually -- who understood best just the dangers and the evils that the soviet
3:07 am
union and that european totalitarianism posed not only europe, but the entire world. that her warnings, her warnings about fascism, her warnings about russia. her warnings, just like dr. brzezinski sadly have all come to fruition. and we're seeing it play out every day. >> yeah, there's a through line between the two stories, holocaust remembrance day and madeleine albright. her family escaped the nazis. went to london, and avoided the blitz and came back home and then stalin and the soviet union. as you say, it informed her career, it informed her life, that experience as a child, young woman, right up until the end when she would come on shows like ours, just months ago, warning about vladimir putin's ambitions. warning about what could happen in ukraine. writing a book about fascism, the potential for it that it
3:08 am
could happen at home. it's all connected. richard haass is at the table, the president of the council on foreign relations. what are your reflections this morning, richard, and the warning that madeleine albright gave to all of us, recently about russia, about what could happen here at home that were informed completely with her own life? >> willie, the great debate from the american foreign policy for more than a century how to you balance the interest and values and madeline argued that you need most. on the other hand, she said you got to stand up to aggression. i think it came together in the form of yugoslavia when the united states intervened there and what's going on now, and the other story is obviously ukraine. and again, this is how do you defend human rights. how do you stand up with democracies with other democracy, how do you push back against fewer aggression, in
3:09 am
this case in the form of vladimir putin. these are the sort of issues and big regrets for the times when we didn't stand up, things like rwanda when the united states could have done more, should and didn't. >> and mika, she did say explicitly, this is going to happen with vladimir putin if we don't stand up to him. you can make the case that joe biden and this white house has in many ways directly through not conflict has stood up to vladimir putin and taken that heed from madeleine albright. >> yeah, i was just so moved by one of the pictures we just shared of madeleine albright and my dad. that picture struck me. the two of them shared a life, a shared experience. the two of them were a circle of utter worldly brilliance. with the personal experience that provides the foresight needed for a time like today. and also so much joy. they're both incredible people. and there's so much energy and
3:10 am
joy and knowledge that these two people brought to the world. and tried to teach us, and i think during the past five years, six years, seven years, if became very frustrating to them, as they were watching this country change back into ways that they knew all too much about. also with us, we have the host of "way too early" and white house bureau chief at politico, jonathan lemire and national security and intelligence reporter at foreign policy, amy mckenon here in washington with he. good to have you. let's get developing news overnight. russia is halting its delivery of natural gas and supplies to poland and bulgaria. the suspension comes after both countries refused russia's demands to pay for the gas in rubles, instead of dollars. bulgarian officials are working with state gas companies on alternative sources.
3:11 am
while poland says it's been working for years to reduce reliance on russian gas and there wouldn't be a shortage of gas in polish homes. many see that move by russia and in response to what is happening in germany right now, where the u.s. is set to lead a new coalition of global allies to coordinate defense and humanitarian aid to ukraine. secretary of defense lloyd austin announced what it being called the ukraine contact group. yesterday, while leading the first unofficial meeting at ramstein air base in germany. there austin and joint chiefs chairman mark milley, convened officials from more than 40 other nations to discussion the assistance efforts. >> i'd like this whole group today to leave with a common and transparent understanding of ukraine's near-term security requirements, because we're going to keep moving heaven and earth, so that we can meet them.
3:12 am
let's be clear, russia's invasion is indefensible and so are russian atrocities. we all start today from a position of moral clarity. russia is waging a war of choice to indulge the ambitions of one man. ukraine is fighting a war of necessity to defend its democracy, its sovereignty and its citizens. >> war of necessity, war of choice. where have i heard this before. i think from richard haass. richard, also out of that speech, out of that meeting, germany, once again altering their foreign policy in a very significant way, sending the first shipment of heavy weapons to ukraine. saying it's going to give ukrainian forces up to 50 anti-aircraft pieces. they were a major piece of germany's army for about 50 years. and, richard, you know, today,
3:13 am
as we remember and mark holocaust remembrance day, it is so critical for us to understand the heavy, heavy shadow that has followed the german people, german leaders, all these years. and we are seeing only now in 2022, germany move beyond passivity that they've been required, not only by the world community, but also politically internally after two world wars in the 20th century to actually move aggressively. this is extraordinary and sometime sigh hear criticism that germany, they need to be doing more. i understand why zelenskyy would say that, i understand why ukrainians would say that. but anybody else outside of the war zone that says that is just ignorant of history.
3:14 am
this is an extraordinary move for a country still deeply haunted by your past. >> joe, you're right. germany has changed more in the last two months than in some ways in the last 70, 75 years. it's changed remarkably fast but not predictively, i'll be honest with you. i didn't see this coming. there's two big debates going on in germany that are really interesting. and they're both based upon this tension. on one hand, they want to have good relations with russia, that's part of german history. on the other hand, they have haunting guilt about the second world war and the holocaust. so the question, when they see the pictures of atrocities, should they be doing more? that's a big issue. we see militarily, they're doing a lot more. and that enters the second debate, germany is still importing a large amount of russian gas. and then you have the government applying themselves on such things as not supporting the use of nuclear power so you have
3:15 am
this enormous debate also in germany what more could germany be doing to reduce its imports of gas from russia. the german foreign policy is isn't play as a result of what's going on in ways that we haven't seen. again, it's one of the many remarkable, unintended results of vladimir putin's aggression. >> well in germany, of course, the wealthiest country in europe. germany, at the center of europe. and this is going to change the direction of european defense policy for decades to come. most likely. also, let's go back to the russians cutting off gas shipments to poland and bulgaria. i'm wondering, richard, do you know how to say cut off your nose to spite your face in russian? >> i missed that day of class. but it isn't again a message in
3:16 am
germany. i think what they're basically saying we're prepared to cut off gas. there's mutual dependence here. russia needs the revenues from it. the germans need the gas in order to run their factories, heat their homes. i think what this is a bit of a shot across the german bow. and it's russia saying we can mete out economic sanctions as well as being on the receiving end, and the revenues they would lose by doing this are really small, joe. again, germany is the big prize in this game. so, i think that's what this is about. >> willie, it's interesting, secretary austin, over the past several days, far more aggressive in language about russia saying -- saying russians are just acting abhorrently. we're going to provide the heavy weaponry they need to only help ukraine survive, but also to drain the russian military so they can never do this again. that's certainly language that some people in america wanted to hear for some time.
3:17 am
but also, of course, that the ukrainians have wanted to hear. never mind that useful idiots. people that are just this side of the complete lackeys for vladimir putin would say, oh, this proves what americans have wants to do all along. somehow trying to blame. jonathan shea had a great article yesterday in "new york" magazine saying these with putin on the far, far right and far, far left of american politics are trying to blame america. saying here's what america wanted all along. blaming us for vladimir putin, but going in and destroying a large swath of ukraine. i don't think lloyd austin is listening to that. some very strong defining language about where america and the west is right now. and we're not simply satisfied in helping keeping that government afloat. he wants to drive russian tanks out of -- out of occupied ukraine. >> yeah, much more muscular stance officially now from the
3:18 am
department of defense and secretary of state blinken as well on his trip to kyiv when he came out, and they were talking about weakening the capacity of russia town flick this kind of pain on another neighbor. to inflict further pain upon ukraine. and you had secretary austin yesterday now back in germany talking about this contact group created in europe of not just nato countries but non-nato european countries that are all going to work together on ukraine. it's just the kind of language a lot of americans want to the hear. and as you said, president zelenskyy has been asking for a long time. american diplomats as promised officially have returned to ukraine yesterday. yesterday, embassy officials travelled to lviv and met with their ukrainian counterparts. that return is a major step since the embassy had been closed because of the invasion. the state department promises more travel in the future. and the eventual reopening of the embassy. >> i can confirm that. the deputy chief of mission and members of the embassy team traveled to lviv, ukraine, today
3:19 am
agency secretary blinken announced yesterday. our diplomats are returning and have returned to ukraine this week, on a temporary basis. today's travel was a first step ahead of more regular travel in the immediate future. and as we've said, we're accelerating preparations to resume embassy kyiv operations, just as soon as possible. >> by the way, directly from the state department spokesman ned price, we'll hear from him at the top of the fourth hour this morning. jonathan lemire how much of this is strategy, the trip to kyiv which is supposed to be secret until president zelenskyy let the cat out of the bag. and the announcement very explicitly that america is going to take a stronger stance in the war and stronger stance against russia? >> certainly some western officials believe that russia's move to cut off gas supplies in part directly linked to what we heard yesterday from this new working group that was convened in germany with secretary austin there.
3:20 am
and there does seem -- this was deliberate, this was blinken and austin, we've known for a few weeks now that they were working, the u.s. was working to get cabinet officials to kyiv, that from the president himself. and they wanted to change the rhetoric. they wanted to talk about the two "w"s here. winning the war, as opposed to not losing it for ukraine and to weaken russia. and we heard that again from secretary austin yesterday, this is a deliberate strategy, but, richard, you were just expressing some concern in escalation in rhetoric. tell us why. >> i'll tell you two things i'm uncomfortable with, the pentagon, kirby suggesting this yesterday, that we now support militarily pushing russia out of crimea and you of the donbas. not one inch of ukrainian territory ought to be occupied. and that we are prepared to see ukraine use military means to bring that about. that's a big, big policy shift on the part of the united states. second of all, we'll hear more
3:21 am
from foreign minister lavrov in a second. if you talk about weakening russia in terms of the conventional force that essentially means that russia is going to become more, not less reliant on use of nuclear weapons. it's interesting during the cold war, think about it, we had conventional inferiority on our part. we adopted a document, we would use arms first use of them, in order to competence tate for our conventional military inferiority. if we have an expressed policy of weakening russia in terms of military forces overall, that is simply going to mean, in order to remain a great power, russia has to put more, not less reliance on nuclear weapons. we just need to think that through. again, i'm sitting back here watching all of this, and i'm surprised at what seems to be the extension of our aim, expansion of our aims, both in ukraine, what we're prepared to do militarily and more broadly. i'm just saying, let's take,
3:22 am
let's be aware, be mindful, that this does increase the role that nuclear weapons will play. if vladimir putin is literally getting pushed out of all ukraine, crimea and the donbas, might a desperate putin be more desperate to use nuclear weapons. all i'm saying, we need to think this through. >> and, richard, i certainly agree, and we've been talking about this from the beginning that the united states has to be careful not to be swept in over the line. because of the possibility of nuclear weapons. because of the possibility of world war iii. it's been threatened before. and so, i certainly -- i certainly understand that. at the same time, you have vladimir putin right now who is showing absolutely no restraint whatsoever, against the ukrainian people. and doesn't it make sense to say, you're not going to be able to define the perimeters of this
3:23 am
war anymore? if you continue pushing, then the ukrainians, well, they may push you back into russia. they may even go into crimea. isn't that -- didn't we learn from ronald reagan, didn't we learn from others, that is the best way to get people like vladimir putin to the negotiating table. >> joe, i would make it clear to him that he's not going to succeed in ukraine. and, you know, as he tries to advance, he's going to meet fierce resistance, ukraine, armed from the west. i think the difference between what reagan faced and what biden faces is this russian leadership is lots less institutionalized. and i just think we need to be mindful of it. i actually agree with most of what we're doing, don't get me wrong, i want to see russia weaker. by the way, russia will be weaker as a result of this war. that's not the issue. i think we need to go back to what president biden said the other day.
3:24 am
let's talk less. let's not be so aggressive in our rhetoric, let's just be purposeful in our policy. >> we've got a couple of thing, amy mckenon, first of all, american diplomats headed to ukraine, the conference in germany about weapons. the shift in rhetoric by lloyd austin, especially on the part of the americans toward the word "winning." but on the other side, we've got russian moves into moldova, specifically transnitsia, and what is that and clint will back us with the map. >> it's been a big week. with the shifts in war and where this is heading of course, russia's efforts in moldova. and a sliver of breakaway land east in moldova. the moldovan foreign minister
3:25 am
was here in d.c. last week, i met with him, at the time, this was just a week ago, he said they haven't seen any changes in the situation in the breakaway rege championship borders, between moldova and ukraine. now, of course, we've seen explosions there. i think it's testament to the fact that vladimir putin still has tricks up his sleeve. >> right. >> on friday, we heard from a russian commander who was saying that the russian new goal was to push west along the coast of the ukraine to reach the moldovan borders. american analysts are skeptical, whether they can do that based on taking cities in ukraine. but russia has other leaders in which to try and destabilize moldova which is another country much smaller than ukraine. has less than 3 million population that has hoved between russia and the west in the years but more firmly in the western camp may seek to pull
3:26 am
back. >> we'll get the claim about this move into moldova in a moment i think he thinks it's a distraction, a strategic distraction. talk about the meeting in germany. also the cutting off of gas to poland and bulgaria. it is self-districtive to an extent. but it shows how far russia will go. they don't care. >> yeah, this could be self-sabotage to an already failing russian economy. i think what this speaks to what i said before, europe is very heavily reliant on russian gas and the kremlin still has tricks up its sleeve that it can use to wrong-foot the europeans which have been supportive of ukraine. of course, europeans and the biden administration have been preparing for this. we're very aware of this energy independence and how it could give russia this leverage. poland is 45, 50% dependent on
3:27 am
russian gas. right. and they're not expecting to have any disruption in supply, with bulgaria, it's different, 90% dependent on russian gas but they're saying for the next few months they're not having to ration gas. >> amy, still ahead on "morning joe," we'll have air defenses out of harm's way amid russia's sought. plus, armed services committee member senator angus king joins us on the heels of his trip to poland, where he saw the refugee crisis first hand. and a stunning exchange on capitol hill. stunning, where senator rand paul appears to repeat russian talking points. it is unbelievable. >> yeah. >> what do they have to say. >> yeah, this is exactly, mika, what rand paul is talking about. again, it's like people are doing putin's bidding in america. you see it on cable news shows.
3:28 am
you see it in prominent voices on the far right. prominent voices on the far left, they seem to be doing his bidding. rand paul, we'll play the tape. but rand paul suggesting somehow that the old soviet union gives putin justification. >> wow. >> it's crazy. also ahead, more new audio recordings of house minority leader kevin mccarthy, this time, he can be heard expressing concern that some of his own gop colleagues might insight violence after the january 6 capitol attack. and vice president kamala harris becomes the latest highest ranking official to test positive for coronavirus. it comes amid new reporting about just how many americans have been infected. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
3:29 am
(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. ♪ 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.
3:30 am
finding the perfect developer isn't easy. but, at upwork, we found her. she's in prague, between the perfect cup of coffee and her museum of personal computers. and you can find her, and millions of other talented pros, right now on (music) talented pros, right now who said you have to starve yourself to lose weight?
3:31 am
who said you can't do dinner? who said only this is good? and this is bad? i'm doing it my way. meet plenity. an fda -cleared clinically proven weight management aid for adults with a bmi of 25-40 when combined with diet and exercise. plenity is not a drug - it's made from naturally derived building blocks and helps you feel fuller and eat less. it is a prescription only treatment and is not for pregnant women or people allergic to its ingredients. talk to your doctor or visit to learn more. 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. there are lots of choices when it comes to your internet and technology needs. but when you choose comcast business internet, you choose the largest, fastest reliable network. you choose advanced security. and you choose fiber solutions with speeds up to 10 gigs available to more small businesses than any other provider. the choice is clear:
3:32 am
get unbeatable business solutions from the most innovative company. get a great deal on this limited time price with internet and voice for just $49.99 a month for 24 months with a 2-year price guarantee. call today.
3:33 am
the situation remains inside that steel plant in mariupol where thousands of ukrainian fighters and civilians still are shelter. a ukrainian military spokesman said yesterday russian forces continue to batter the factory relentlessly. he said the shelling and air strikes, quote, do not stop. the mariupol city council yesterday released new photos of a makeshift hospital inside the plant with an aim to highlight the conditions civilians are facing there. the council captioned the post, scary photos, but the world needs to know what's going on. 24 hours under fire from the russian army, unquote. council added, many wounds lying in unsanitary and terrible
3:34 am
conditions without medication. he also says the food and water situation inside that plant is catastrophic. joining us at the big board, national security analyst for nbc news and msnbc analyst clint watts. clint, let's start there in mariupol. so there's been some talk, but no one takes the russians' word for anything to open up a humanitarian corridor and get civilians out. they're bombing the plant on the contrary. what does it look like in mariupol? >> very consistent, willie, whatever they say they do, they usually do the opposite. last week, we were talking about mariupol and this steel plant, consistent throughout this. putin and his army, they are harmering this with indirect fire. if you went there and looked, you'd see something similar with lots of utility strikes and missile strikes. the question is how they're going to take that plant. it's one thing to starve them out over time. i was hopeful maybe there could
3:35 am
be some sort of prisoner exchange. what i think we're going to see more focus and potentially a naval effort coming from the sea to cut this off. it's also curious that vladimir putin was lying in discussions with turkey essentially saying he's not attacking, they clearly are. if you look at what's happening in the south, they would burn up troops again just trying to take the remaining areas. what they would like to do is reposition, and they're starting to do this, some of these troops here from mariupol to donetsk. they want to reproduce that combat power and move it north. that brings us here to the east. today if you went and looked at the battlefield, you're seeing the russians take a much more deliberate and actually much smarter approach than they did in the first three to four weeks of the war. the first three or four weeks the reason you see the blue patches they were taking independent attacks and getting chewed up. that's not happening here.
3:36 am
what you're seeing them do is bringing forces in down from izyum. here in izyum, you're seeing them use mutual lines of attack across this area to essentially reinforce this area. it's slower but seeing small ats of progress each day. is this what we'd expect more zlined armored fighting, remember, they have a new commander and new front and they're very focused here. separately, what we're watching for in the next two to three weeks, the combat power has picked up. you're sees the russians advance here. inch forward here in a much more disciplined way. they will try and move here, and slovyansk. and another town of kramatorsk, this is a key point, i expect you see the russians take the troops to mariupol and move them north and link them up here in a circle. there's question whether the russians can do that, do they have the combat power to do that, or are they moving too slow. there are the ukrainians
3:37 am
especially about able to reinforce. it's starting to play out in the next two weeks. major operations on both sides here in the east. >> all right, clint, thank you. the biden administration is open to a peace deal between ukraine and russia, that would allow ukraine could become a neutral nation. that would not align with nato. that's what secretary of state antony blinken told senators yesterday. his statement came after a lengthy exchange with republican senator rand paul of kentucky who seemed to suggest u.s. support of ukraine joining nato may have led to russia's invasion. >> now, there's no justification for the invasion, i'm not saying that. but there are reasons for the invasion. and i think it's added nothing. in fact, had ukraine been in nato as you've advocated and many others have advocated, we would now have toos in ukraine. >> you look at the countries that ukraine has attacked over the years, georgia, moldova, and
3:38 am
ukraine, these are countries not part of the nato. it has not attacked nato countries for -- >> you can also argue the countries attacked were part of russia. >> well -- >> were part of the soviet union. >> i firmly disagree with that proposition. it is the fundamental right of these countries to decide their own future. >> but i'm saying that the countries that have been attacked, georgia and ukraine, were part of the soviet union. and they were part of the soviet union since the 1920s. >> but that does not give russia the right to attack them on the contrary. >> no one says it does. >> but being part of this empire by force, when everything came to a head, it is abundantly clear until president putin's own words that this was never about ukraine being potentially part of nato. it was always about his belief that ukraine does not deserve to be a sovereign independent country. that is must be resumed into russia in one form or another.
3:39 am
>> so, amy mackinnon, let's just look at what's happening with nato now, what this invasion into a sovereign nation that is not a part of nato has done to nato's not only sort of world integrity, respect around the world, but also new membership. >> right. i mean, ukraine and georgia were both told in 2008, at bucharest, at nato that they would be one day offered into nato but there was never a road map for that. and that has caused tensions because both of these countries have pursued membership in nato, but nato has not reciprocated. now there's questions was that the right response and criticism of putting these countries in gray zone, indeterminate category. i think, you know, looking forward to what ukraine's security situation will be like in event of a peace deal in the
3:40 am
event this war ends, the ukrainians have asked for security guarantees from the west. they have said they're willing to be essentially neutral but at the same time, asking for security guarantees from the united states, european and western countries. but it's very unclear what that will look like. because what they're essentially asking for is article 5 which is the whole sticking point in the first place of why nato was hesitant to extend membership to these countries which have lived under russian threat for many, many years. >> willie. >> richard, i'll give you a chance to go to senator paul's argument if you want to or try to figure out what point he was trying to make. also just asking, what does a negotiated peace look like. how do you negotiate peace with vladimir putin who doesn't have interest in peace and killing thousands right now and has designs moving south of the country. is there a peace to be had here? >> short answer is no. the this situation is not ripe
3:41 am
in any way. in order to have peace that succeeds, you have to have leaders both willing and able to make a deal. vladimir putin is able to make a deal if he wanted to. >> he's not willing to. >> he basically thinks he can do militarily. he's worried if he were to ever make a deal, would he have to compromise that would make him look weak. he would worry about not just the international but domestic consequences of that. i also think the ukrainian price of the deal as gone up, because of atroatrocities, they want thr to stop. it's one of the many reasons we're heading towards a long war. i don't see either side prepared to make consequences, particularly vladimir putin. it only takes one man to start a war, he did that. but it takes everybody to stop one. at the moment, no one's there. as for rand paul, i'm tempted to say we ought to be thinking about the air defense systems in
3:42 am
alaska. i think tony blinken's response was exactly right. we can argue it until the cows come home about nato enlargement, whether 2008 was a mistake, i think it was. as amy said to put ukraine in a gray zone, not moving in that direction. but this is about sovereignty and this is about respect for boards, not to change them by military force. and vladimir putin's ambition to create a legacy. there's any rule, you don't change borders by force. saddam hussein learned that in 1981, vladimir putin cannot be allowed get away with this and that's where rand paul was way off base with this. >> and a prominent fox news host in the early days of the war said he was rooting for russia. back to the idea of peace talks, there's been talks in the last couple of days. they say, of course, the biden administration would love the shooting stopped as soon as possible.
3:43 am
they recognize it's not their call to make. it's going to be what president zelenskyy wants. he'll be the one that accepts a deal when it comes in the conflict with russia. he's been clear. he doesn't want to give up any territory to russia. particularly after the atrocities we saw in places like bucha and other suburbs of kyiv. and there's a date looming, that may 9th victory day, which triumphed in world war ii, some have pegged to that would be a moment where putin would try to escalate the conflict or strike some sort of deal. officials i talked to, they don't see that happening. first, they don't know where putin would go. they don't think he can extend this conflict any farther than the donbas, it's long-range shelling. and he can't sell a deal because he hasn't won anything yet. it would be too much of a humiliation for him to do so. at most they say he claims a hollow victory and shelling
3:44 am
continues. >> richard haass, amy mackinnon, thank you as well. coming up new polling for voters ahead of this year's midterms. we'll look at what allegations would be serious to support a candidate. you're not going to believe this, or maybe you will. plus, the omicron variant is ripping through china, and showing flaws of its zero covid policy. "morning joe" is coming right back. back trelegy for copd. ♪ birds flyin' high ♪ ♪ you know how i feel ♪ (coughing) ♪ breeze driftin' on by ♪ ♪ you know how i feel ♪ copd may have gotten you here, but you decide what's next. start a new day with trelegy. ♪ ...feelin' good ♪
3:45 am
no once-daily copd medicine has the power to treat copd in as many ways as trelegy. with three medicines in one inhaler, trelegy helps people breathe easier and improves lung function. it also helps prevent future flare-ups. trelegy won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. do not take trelegy more than prescribed. trelegy may increase your risk of thrush, pneumonia, and osteoporosis. call your doctor if worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes, or eye pain occur. take a stand and start a new day with trelegy. ask your doctor about once-daily trelegy. and save at this is a game changer who dares to be fearless even when her bladder leaks. our softest, smoothest fabric keeping her comfortable, protected and undeniably sleek. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you. this is the new world of work. each day looks different than the last.
3:46 am
but whatever work becomes, the servicenow platform will make it just, flow. whether it's finding new ways to help you serve your customers, orchestrating a safe return to the office... wait. an office? what's an office? ...or solving a workplace challenge that's yet to come. wherever the new world of work takes your business, the world works with servicenow. does daily stress leave you feeling out of sync? new dove men stress-relief body wash... with a plant-based adaptogen, helps alleviate stress on skin. so you can get back in sync. new dove men. a restorative shower for body and mind.
3:47 am
3:48 am
♪♪ "the new york times" released new audio from house minority leader kevin mccarthy expressing concerns that the rhetoric from some republican members could insight more violence after january 6. the recordings from january 10th, 2021, show republican house -- a republican house leadership call are part of the reporting for the upcoming book "this will not pass" by alex burns and jonathan martin.
3:49 am
>> other thing that we have to do is, these members on either whatever position you are calling out other members that's got to stop. tension is too high. the country is too crazy. i do not want to look back and think we caused something or we missed something and someone got hurt. i don't want to play politics with a of that. >> joining us now, white house editor for politico, sam stein, former chief of staff, adrian elrod, she was a senior aide to the hillary clinton and biden presidential campaigns. and senior political correspondent for the washington examiner david drucker. and, joe, i'll let you take it away. it's just amazing, every time more tapes come out, kevin mccarthy just finds a way to pretend that they don't exist. or he meant something else, when it's right there. >> yeah. and then, david drucker, used to
3:50 am
be being caught lying through your teeth repeatedly would be disqualifying to be a leader of a political caucus on capitol hill. no longer. and kevin mccarthy, the latest, of course, shows again -- shows that he does one thing in private and then he criticizes big tech publicly, when he's even talking about the possibility banning certain people from twitter. >> well, he's going to have to have a conversation with his members about this. look, you know, i think that there are a couple of issues at play here, joe. one is that we're six months out from an election. kevin mccarthy has raised more money for house republicans than any republican leader in history. that includes the most recent past republican speakers of the house. and unlike decades ago, or even 20, 30 years ago, you don't have a lot of republicans that are going to be after mccarthy's job, in a very overt way.
3:51 am
they're going to look to let the dust settle and see where this thing goes where in the past, you have to look over your shoulder. i think for trial being, despite the statement, he's not necessarily in a horrible position. he's fine with trump. i think where he has to worry is a build among conservative media personalities that are going to start putting pressure on him, by influencing how voters take a look at this, right? so what mccarthy has to look out for, if republicans go back to their districts and some of their committed primary voters start to say, i don't like their leadership, what about he said this, what about the time he said that, what are you going to do about that? then that starts to become a problem for mr. mccarthy, and that could be a problem. and we've seen in the past how a republican speaker of the house can lose support, get tripped up. and so i think that it would benefit mccarthy to be much more
3:52 am
out front about what he meant at the time, why he said what he said what he said. why he apparently changed his mind. we know, because the politics within his conference dictated that he change his mind. and you cannot, as a party leader, in this day and age, lead members where they don't want to go, because they don't need the party fundraising to get ahead. >> yeah. of course, you're so right about people in the trumpist part of right-wing media starting to attack mccarthy, maybe that will have an impact in districts across the country. that's all begun. david, it's worth noting you've written about kevin mccarthy's public grudge to make good with trump after the january 6 attack. in your gook "in trump's shadow the battle for 2024 and the future of the gop," here's what you wrote. the house minority leader aimed to keep trump focused and in the fold by collaborating with him
3:53 am
post-presidency in the same way he did when he was president. mccarthy's plans would seem to be ransacked. initially mccarthy held trump respond for the mayhem publicly and privately. his rhetoric in regard to what happened january 6 and in regard to the 2020 election wasn't all that indistinguishable from cheney's and it caused a big schism in the relationship. splintering the party and passing on a chance to win the majority, a problem a majority of his minority conference didn't believe existed. so he scurried down to mar-a-lago to smoke the peace pipe. and of course, everything else is history. >> yeah. look, i think this shows, i think is this a good rereminder the reporting from alexander
3:54 am
burns is a good example. they were forced to flee from the capitol, you know, the building right over our shoulder. and they immediately, many of them thought, many of them, majority, privately, glad that trump lost, at least glad that he's out of their hair, thinking okay, this is something he can't come back from. that's what's reflected in the calls from the wider conference that mccarthy held that we're hearing now. yet what they discovered immediately is that republican voters actually had a different view. and that impacted how mccarthy's members were reacting. and so, he made a calculation that the best thing to do, not just to maintain his position as leader, but that to position the republican conference to make a comeback and by the majority, was to maintain his relationship with donald trump. look, his strategy had always been, rather than fight with trump publicly, keep him in the fold. ask him for his advice. make him feel valued.
3:55 am
that way, he could continue to have his own influence over the direction of the party, meaning mccarthy's, rather than being at trump's whim. and that's what he did after january 6. that's what i covered. interesting thing, joe, when i was interviewing trump, this was in may of last year for "in trump's shadow" i said, listen, seems like mccarthy is occupied with keeping the peace with you. trump looked at me and rolled his eyes, said, yeah, i know. >> so, is this a great segue to your poll, sam. i'm going to let you lay it out here. explain what you asked voters. >> so, we noticed there were a number of candidates running for office either accused of sexual abuse or violence. we tested a number of different attributes, whatever you want to call them, negative attributes. >> like a felony, major crime. >> sexual misconduct.
3:56 am
domestic violence. homophobic remarks, anti-semitic remarks. what you can see, it's a major felony, for felony major crime, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, but if you break it down by party identification on responses that's where things get super interesting. so, felony/major crime for republicans, democrats, roughly the same. domestic violence, we're seeing splits, 67% of republicans say it's a major problem, 81%, democrats. anti-semitic remarks, 47% of republicans said it would pose a problem. democrats, 71%. racist remarks even bigger split. homophobic remarks, 25% of republicans said it would pose a major problem if a candidate had that in his or her background. so is just goes to show the
3:57 am
appetite for parties. there's high-profile candidating running for office who do have those problems in their backgrounds. but in the context of a gop primary, not much of a problem. >> so, joe, you know, the question i have for you, what does this tell you? is it an opportunity for democrats? or are social norms so broken down that it's kind of the wild west out there? >> it seems to me that democrats have so many opportunities to show just how out of the mainstream republicans are, not only in a lost of their legislation, in protecting all americans, but also in their viewpoints, about what america means that it is -- that it is the nation that has a statue of liberty, at the head of new york harbor. that we are a nation of immigrants, that we are a diverse nation. and that our diversity has
3:58 am
always made us powerful. and also that we are a nation that's turned its back on our original sin. and we keep moving towards a more perfect union. willie geist, when you see, earlier, what i was talking about at the beginning of the show that 2022 is not a referendum of joe biden, it's a referendum of the republican party. and the future of the republican party especially if you look at some of the people running in the primary some of the horrific things they're saying. if you look at this number from sam's poll, only 38%, only 38% of republicans think that people uttering racist remarks are a road block, are a serious road block for the election. so only 38% think that it's a major problem. less than half of republicans believe that uttering anti-semitic remarks, spewing
3:59 am
anti-semitic remarks, are a serious problem and a road block to being elected. that tells you a large chunk of the republican party right now, a large chunk of the republican base are, well, i'm not exactly sure what word you would -- i've been using the word "fascist" for some time. that there is a fascist strain in the republican party for at least a third or so of those members. >> yeah, those numbers are just extraordinary. jonathan and i were looking at it with our eyes popping at it perhaps we shouldn't be surprised over the last six or seven years so much of that has been given cover by former president donald trump. you can say and think the things in public that you were saying and thinking in private. now, we see it showing up in the polls. you're right, some of the members of congress right now, especially some of the newer members of congress who say the most extreme, the most racist, the most homophobic things are
4:00 am
the ones who raised the most money. yes, in districts where that works, but the more extreme the better it appears for members of congress and people running this year, jonathan. >> numbers are just eye-popping. racism, 38% think it's a problem. 25%, homophobia. those are staggering numbers, it does show when donald trump first came on the scene in 2016, part of the pitch was we're not going to be politically correct anymore. some people said that makes sense but for some people, it gave thought for homophobia and misogyny and others. we're seeing things like herschel walker, some troubling things in his background according to a recent poll, he's way ahead.
4:01 am
adrian alrod, we're looking at senate and house who have extreme views and that maybe won't be held against them in a republican primary. but a general election could be a different story. i know there's some gop strategists who say the environment looks really good for them right now. they can keep their heads down and win back the house at least november, if not both, they can trip themselves up with these candidates. how do democrats take advantage? >> yeah. jonathan, i think you just laid out the landscape perfectly. i mean, what we're looking at here, you know, a lot of people believe this is an environment that is good for republicans. especially given the fact that democrats hold the presidency in the house and usually the opposite party does well in the midterms, that's just tradition. when you look at herschel walker, being the nominee in georgia, for example, and you also compare that to the poll that sam just went through, shows that 1 in 3 republican voters are okay if their
4:02 am
candidate supported or their elected official committed domestic violence. i mean, those are the contrast ads right there that democrats can run. by the way, i don't know what independents are thinking on the numbers, but i can't imagine that the majority of independents are okay with their candidates committing domestic violence or making racism remarks. so, the contract as written right there, democrats have never won an agenda to run on a list of accomplishments that the biden administration has accomplished so far during biden's tenure. they can also show that they're candidates of integrity. and that they -- they would not commit some of these acts that a lot of the republicans candidates that look like they're going to be the nominees have committed. >> and, of course, willie, it seems that the republicans have learned all the wrong lessons. these primary candidates at least have learned all of the wrong lessons from 2022.
4:03 am
republicans had a pretty good 2022 unless your last name was trump. why? because donald trump said the extreme things, called hispanic s breeders. he pushed the muslim registry, the muslim ban. he called countries in the caribbean, shithole countries and charlottesville, we know what he said. and then more fascist, women of color, members of congress, go home, go back to where you came from. the crowd started chanting that. this is, again -- this is why donald trump did not win the suburbs of atlanta. did not win the suburbs of philly. did not win suburbs in swing states that he needed to win. and yet, a lot of these republican primary candidates
4:04 am
are adopting that sort of scorched earth strategy. and you see at least a third, maybe 40% of the republican base are going in that direction as well. that just -- that helps elect primary candidates that aren't going to win in the general election. >> yeah. but in many cases, as jonathan said you look at a candidate like herschel walker. he's up 50 points in that primary, hand-picked by trump because he liked him in the 1980s. if you watched just recently, david drucker there was a debate for the pennsylvania senate seat. and it was just a contest to see and declare who was closer to donald trump. dr. oz has been endorsed by donald trump but the other candidates are saying i was appointed by donald trump. i followed the trump legacy, i follow the maga agenda. there are many, many races
4:05 am
around the country, where the race is really to the aversion of donald trump. >> that's correct. and it's really about an audience of one in many cases. look, i think to understand how republicans are reacting to this particular election, you have to look at 2020, number one, and the fact that they gained 14 or 15 house seats. and that they came really close to maintaining their advantage in the senate. and so, the message to them was that trump may be problematic. but that it wasn't necessarily a death knell for us. you look at generic ballot cycling, they're actually up. in midterm elections, look, guys, we've seen it, they're down a few points in the generic, and they just roll. the other thing that matters here and this poll is really striking, really interesting,
4:06 am
but who's going to show up. numbers right now about voter enthusiasm show republican voters more likely to show up in the midterms than democrats. even if have a problem candidate, if you don't have the voters to show up in a particular race, it's not going to matter. finally what i say, voters in theory have all sorts of problems with all sorts of candidates. if you ask them do you think this candidate is a racism, is an anti-semite, someone who is morally bankrupt would say i don't think that person is this way. right now what do voters care about the most. they care about the economic situation and inflation and a number of things that don't have anything to do with this. if democrats want to capitalize on this one. they have to get more voters to the poll, that will look like they show up today. two, they have to show they're dealing with voters' biggest problem on the docket which sin flation. then you can say, look, i'm dealing with inflation. our voters are showing up and by the way, you may not like the
4:07 am
republican that is running against us. that's the only way they're going to counteract the problems they have in the midterm election. we've seen it time and time again, voters make decisions in ate very particular way. and it doesn't necessarily reflect polling and an important question. >> and then, the question is why did georgia republican voters think that the best person to address the extraordinary complex issue of inflation is herschel walker. we'll leave that to the good voters of georgia to sort through. good luck with that. >> it kind of bruised the poll. david drucker, sam tine, adrienne elrod, thank you. let's sneak in a quick break. up next, we'll get a report as russia escalates aggression, some calling gas blackmail.
4:08 am
>> and ned price will be our request on state department reopening the embassy. and first, angus king joins the table here in washington, just back from poland. "morning joe" is coming right back. finding the perfect project manager isn't easy. but, at upwork, we found him. he's in adelaide between his color-coordinated sticky note collection and the cutest boxed lunch we have ever seen. and you can find him right now on when the world is your workforce, finding the perfect project manager, designer, developer, or whomever you may need... tends to fall right into place.
4:09 am
find top-rated talent who can start today on ♪ baby got back by sir mix-a-lot ♪ who can start today unlimited cashback match... only from discover. before discovering nexium 24hr to treat her frequent heartburn... claire could only imagine enjoying chocolate cake. now, she can have her cake and eat it too. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day, all-night protection. can you imagine 24 hours without heartburn? (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. ♪
4:10 am
♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪ >> tech: when you have auto glass damage, trust safelite. this dad and daughter were driving when they got a crack in their windshield. [smash] >> dad: it's okay. pull over. >> tech: he wouldn't take his car just anywhere... ♪ pop rock music ♪ >> tech: he brought it to safelite. we replaced the windshield and recalibrated their car's advanced safety system, so features like automatic emergency braking will work properly. >> tech: alright, all finished. >> dad: wow, that's great. thanks. >> tech: stay safe with safelite. schedule now.
4:11 am
>> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ this is the new world of work. each day looks different than the last. but whatever work becomes, the servicenow platform will make it just, flow. whether it's finding new ways to help you serve your customers, orchestrating a safe return to the office... wait. an office? what's an office? ...or solving a workplace challenge that's yet to come. wherever the new world of work takes your business, the world works with servicenow.
4:12 am
♪♪ a live picture of the white house. a beautiful live picture. it's 7:12 in the morning. let's turn back to ukraine and go straight to lviv, where we find nbc news foreign correspondent raf sanchez, raf,
4:13 am
good morning. so much to talk about with you today. let's bring today, russia, gazprom cutting off sales of gas to poland and bulgaria. those countries say they can weather that for some time. but what are the practical impacts not just on those two countries but on russia itself. >> reporter: yeah, willie, russia now striking out at the economy of europe, using energy as a weapon. it's something putin has threatened to do for a long time. he's now done it, albeit in a relatively small way. as you said both the polish and bulgarian governments are saying they were planning to wean themselves off of russian hydrocarbons anyway. this is a faster time frame than they were expecting but they can manage this. willie, i'll tell you what thing that really matters it's a whole lot warmer in eastern europe today than on february 24th the day.war started. so the demand for gas, not as high as it was. the president of the european commission is calling this
4:14 am
blackmail, by the kremlin, and saying the member states of the european union will hang together here. that they have contingencies in place that they will make sure poland and bulgaria have what they need. and that they will not be intimidated by this. now, willie, russia has threatened to do this time and time again. what they've done today is a relatively small step, bigger steps could be taken. could we see them cut off oil and gas to germany, to europe's biggest economy? possibly. that's something that would devastate the economic powerhouse of germany. the german chancellor has said it would plunge them immediately into recession. but it is also a move that would devastate the russian economy. those exports are worth hundreds of billions of dollars every year from vladimir putin. at this point, it is not a step that he is prepared to take. and the european union seems
4:15 am
prepared to call his bluff, that he will not actually move ahead with a step like that. willie. >> germany getting about 12% of its oil from russia. large impacts not just on germany but as you say on russia as well. raf, let me ask you about the situation in mariupol right now. we've been describing the scenes and getting a look inside the steel factory where the fighters and civilians are holed up. thousands of them. conditions described in there as catastrophic. the rhetoric from russia is they want for explore the way to get civilians out of there. practically speaking, though, ukraine says russia continues to shell that steel factory. so what is going on actually on the ground there? >> reporter: so, willie, as you said, big disparity between what we're hearing from the kremlin and what's going on the ground. the secretary of the general of united nations met with vladimir putin at the kremlin yesterday. he sat at the end of that very long table, and he came out of that meeting saying that the
4:16 am
russian president had agreed in principle to allowed united nations, the international committee of the red cross to go to mariupol and to escort the ukrainian fighters and civilians out of what remains of that steel plant. now, that could be significant. ukrainians refusing to come out of the steel plant so far, because they simply don't trust russian promises that if they do, they will not be massacred or taken into captivity. but if there are observers on the ground that might give them confidence to come out. willie, russia has not given the world for confidence at this point. just to play devil's advocate, there say universe in which vladimir putin might want this evacuation to go ahead. because he has so many troops tied up for so long in this siege at the steel plant, he really wants to free those soldiers up. get them out in the donbas where the fighting is raging on the eastern front. i will tell you, there is no sign so far on the ground that
4:17 am
anything is moving on this theoretical evacuation. the secretary-general of the united nations is coming here to kyiv. he's going to meet with president zelenskyy. we'll see if there's anything more to say about this. but for now, that steel plant under siege, the conditions in the tunnel underneath it almost unimaginable and russian fire still raining down on them. willie. >> we're getting the images of a makeshift hospital in the bowels of that hospital there. in need of food and water. of nbc's raf sanchez in lviv. raf, thanks so much. joe. >> of course, it would make sense for vladimir putin to do the humanitarian thing in this instance. i know it's impossible for him to do that but to actually let the red cross come in and escort those people trapped inside the steel plant that would actually, yes, it would move the ukrainians out. move the ukrainian fighters out
4:18 am
to a safer space. it would also, though, as raf suggested, free up so many russian fighters to go eat into the donbas. and actually fight the fight that vladimir putin claims is the reason he invaded ukraine in the first place. one more example of vladimir putin strategically doing the wrong thing. makes no sense. let's bring in right now, a member of the intelligence and armed services committee independent senator angus king of maine. also u.s. special correspondent for bbc news katty kay, and nbc news contributor mike king -- >> mike barnicle. >> mike is the king. he is the legend. whatever you want to describe. we'll come to you, senator king. senator, before we talk about what's going on in russia, i'd love for you to reflect on madeleine albright. i know you knew her very well.
4:19 am
share a story about the secretary of state. >> she was an extraordinary person, as you know, she was a great stateswoman. a national, and international figure. but also a very warmer. . when i first came to the senate, she sort of adopted me and i think it was because i had ed muskie's seat. and the story is one of her first policy jobs at all as a young person was in muskie's office as a legislative assistant. they was the first woman in that job. a funny story, she had a going away party. she told me this story, she said muskie was trying to articulate her role in history of the office but he didn't get it exactly right. he said i want to thank madeline for brings sex to our office. >> wow, okay. >> anyway, she was an exceptional person, both as -- >> i bet she got a kick out of that. >> as a national figure, international figure, but also
4:20 am
just as a warm and extraordinarily thoughtful person and her experience, i should mention, of course, she was a refugee. >> yes. >> and that experience informed her policy. and she knew what dictatorship looked like and continued her warning us of that -- of that possibility right up to the time of her death. i'll be there, mika, i'm sure is going to be there this morning at the cathedral for her service. it's a great loss to the country. >> a great loss to the country. and of course, we see it there. you telling that story, fascinating, in so many ways she was a trail blazer, whether in ed muskie's office or secretary of state. but women who are major figures like thatcher, like lagarde, you could name so many other leaders. she wasn't a woman who was secretary of state.
4:21 am
she was a secretary of state who happened to be a woman. >> exactly. >> exactly. >> when we look back at her, we don't go, oh, what a wonderful american story. no we just think, hey, that was a tough leader and we were blessed as a nation to have her on the front lines of the fight for freedom throughout her entire life. speaking of the fight for freedom, let's talk about, senator, i'm curious what your reaction is. let's talk about not only the robust weapons package that the allies just agreed to send. but also talk about this new arrangement, where you have secretary austin leading coalition that's going to meet once a month, to assess how they can best help the ukrainian people. the ukrainian fighters. it seems we're moving into yet another phase, and once again, i will say it, the biden administration and nato allies are coordinating in a way, again that would have been unthinkable five years ago. >> well, you're absolutely
4:22 am
right. and i don't think the administration and the president got enough credit for putting together one of the most amazing coalitions in recent world history. and holding -- >> agreed. >> and holding it together. winston churchill once said the only thing harder than fighting with your allies is fighting without your allies. and it's hard to hold something like this together, 30, 35 countries have done an amazing job. the administration, tony blinken, has done an amazing job of bringing these various people of different interests and different backgrounds. by the way, i think there was talk earlier in your program, about the extraordinary, 180-degree change in german foreign policy as a result of this invasion, but also the leadership that, i think, joe biden and the administration has provided. that 40-person, 40-country meeting yesterday was something that i don't recall ever seeing
4:23 am
anything quite like that. and it's one of putin's many miscalculations to underestimate both nato, joe biden, the west generally, and now cutting off oil and gas to poland. i think is another miscalculation, just john mccain used to say russia is not but a gas station with an army. and now they're not a gas station. they're going to find that europeans finding the energy they're getting from russia. this is the signal to the rest of europe, you better not depend on russia for your energy supplies. >> yes, we, the nato countries, the west, everybody, don't realize, you got to get off that dependence now. but katty kay, a gas station with an army. an army not doing very well. losing warships, losing on many
4:24 am
levels. >> i was just thinking the same as you, not a great gas station, not a great army. senator, you're right, the biden administration deserves an enormous amount of credit. and the europeans that i spoke to said there was a sea change in how americans approached them over ukraine. they spoke, they shared intelligence with them as allies and that was a real recognition within the white house that this coalition was going to work if the united states and europe were in lockstep over things like sanctions and weapons supplies. so, the coalition has held. it's in a very good position. the battle on the ground is working. the ukrainians are taking the fight to the russians in a way we didn't imagine. what worries you? what keeps you up? you look at intelligence all the time. you look at the armed services all the time. at this stage of the battle, two months in, what are you worried about? >> there are two things enter related. what is putin's next step? here's embarrassed. i wouldn't want to be in his inner circle right now.
4:25 am
he's got to be wild about the failure of all of these miscalculations and things that are not working. so what does he do? the history is in chechnya and syria, he bombs, he attacks civilians, he increases the pressure on the civilians in order to try to bring pressure on the government or whatever group he's trying to destroy. so that's one possibility. and we're already seeing that. the other, of course, that we don't like to talk about is nuclear weapons. and it's important to realize that russia has a different view of nuclear weapons than we do, more than anybody else in the world. they view nuclears weapons as part of their stockpile of weapons to use in a conflict. and they actually have a doctrine which i'm sure you're familiar with called escalate to de-escalate. the idea if losing on the battlefield, raise the stakes by using tactical nuclear weapons
4:26 am
and dare our respondents to respond in kind. they're losing on the battlefield. now, they've always said they wouldn't do that if the motherland was in danger but putin considers crimea part of the motherland. this is what makes putin the second dangerous person in history. he's a dictator, he's immoral. he has a fantasy of rebuilding soviet union and reincarnation of frederick the great. and he has nuclear weapons. >> yeah, mike barnicle, maybe it's time to try something different with vladimir putin? >> well, i don't know what difference we can concoct without risking widening the war. it's part of vladimir putin that wants to us entice us into a larger war. but senator king, you just pretty much described the degree of depth of danger that we face
4:27 am
in the ukraine. there's a very powerful picture on the front page of "the new york times" this morning. of a 21-year-old ukrainian soldier burying his twin brother. and if you can take a look at that picture. he's got his left hand softly, gently on his twin brother's forehead. his twin brother killed in battle. my question to you is, in this sometimes silly, sometimes spoiled but always great nation of ours, getting people to concentrate on the danger posed by putin and what is going on in ukraine, sometimes seems to be fleeting by the hour. each and every day. and i'm wondering when you go home to maine, if you've noticed any difference in the degree that people feel about the war in ukraine, from a month ago, to this past weekend? >> i'd have to say no, mike. i think people are still engaged
4:28 am
and concerned. in fact, most of the correspondents i get is from anguished constituents saying why don't we do more. why don't we do any no-fly zone, why don't we do more, go in and wipe this guy out. i think that's again an extraordinary job by the administration of walking a very thin line between lethal aid, humanitarian aid, giving the ukrainians the tools they need to win without stumbling into world war iii. and that's -- that's a narrow line. and i think you're right, i think putin would, at this point probably think maybe he would like to see us move in that direction. so, this is a -- i brought with me, i'm not going to pull it out and read it. but the aid that we've supply said extraordinary. 50 million rounds of ammunition. howitzers, javelins. stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
4:29 am
and the will to fight, by the ukrainians and the tools that we and the other countries in the west have given them, is what's -- is what's stymieing vladimir putin. and raising the issue of the ukrainians actually winning this war. >> yeah. senator, would you do us a favor, because i think it's so important for americans to see this, will you get that piece of paper out and let us see it? >> yeah. >> i think it's critical. so many americans, they watch tv, they see what's happened here. oh, we should do more, we should do more. we've done an extraordinary amount. and we've done it in phases, and we've done it in a way that doesn't start world war iii. i really do believe, it's one of the great diplomatic accomplishments of the past 50 years by an american president. can you run us through that list? >> yeah, i'll run down. 1400 stingers, 5500 javelin
4:30 am
anti-tank missiles. by the way, we've given them ten javelins for every russian tank. 14,000 antiarmor systems, 1700 drones. 90 155 millimeter howitzers, vehicles to tow the howitzers. 16 m-17 helicopters. two armored personnel carries. 7,000 small arms. as i mentioned 50 million rounds of ammunition. 75,000 sets of body armor. unmanned aerial systems. laser-guided rocket systems. the list goes on and on. it's a two-page, single space. it's amazing. the other thing i want to mention. yesterday was a milestone. we were talking about informing the allies, tony blinken was at capitol hill yesterday. it was his 100th briefing of congress since all of this started. that's pretty amazing, too.
4:31 am
that's -- that's -- he's in engaged the congress, for a while, we were having briefings practically every day from somebody in the administration. >> wow. >> yeah, and what we're hearing back from mika's brother who's of course, the ambassador of poland. he talks about a spirit of bipartisanship that would have been unthinkable a couple months ago. when you have republicans and democrats going over, getting advice there. i had an administration official, senator, telling me said i went over and i spoke to a group of 30 senators, republicans and democrats alike. why it was actually like talking to a group of human beings. thats there was a spirit of bipartisanship. and i must say, you know, i've done a lot of reading throughout my adult life. on harry truman and what truman did in '46 and '47. and moving beyond to create the world that we live in right now. and i must say, as i was
4:32 am
writing, reading and writing a book about it, i found it hard to believe that a truman could talk to a vandenberg. that staffs could coordinate the way they did. all be damned if it's not happening, willie, on capitol hill right now. for an american senator, i don't know whether you agree, but for americans who say we need to do more, you're showing us we are doing more. and we're willing to go to the next level, while walking that fine line. >> well, i think that's absolutely right. you mentioned bipartisanship. i was in poland and germany not long ago with a group of ten senators, entirely bipartisan, and we met, it was the most -- it was interesting on all levels. and powerful and disturbing when we went to a refugee center just off the ukrainian border. but we met. we had dinner with a group of german bundestag members of their parliament, of various parties.
4:33 am
to see their engagement and their involvement in this was really impressive. so, you know, it used to be the old saying was politics stops at the water's edge. that hasn't the case in recent history. but i think -- in this situation, it is, certainly the case in the u.s. senate. i mean, if you interviewed ten of us you couldn't tell which party was which. >> right. >> which is obviously the way it ought to be. >> yes. that's happening, senator in poland as well with a very divided country coming together to embrace ukrainians. if you look at the headlines even this week, what is it, wednesday? you have really a change in rhetoric towards ukraine here in the u.s. lloyd austin using the word "winning." we have this incredible meeting in germany with 40 nations getting together. and it really -- this list that you just read to us, it seems to me that maybe we are edging towards doing things a little differently toward russia. maybe. we'll see. >> well, you know, this will go
4:34 am
down in history as one of the great miscalculations in the last 200, 300 years since napoleon went to moscow. it was -- or hitler tried to take on the russians. >> right. >> that was a huge miscalculation. but everything that putin wanted to achieve, he's done the opposite. he's united the ukrainians. he's united the west. he's strengthened nato. sweden and finland want to join. it's a nightmare for putin. >> exactly. we're sending ambassadors back into ukraine saying it's here to say. senator angus king, thank you very much for coming up on this morning. coming up new reporting on intelligence sharing between the u.s. and ukrainian forces that likely stopped a major attack in kyiv. plus, china's authoritarian government got control of covid early on in the pandemic. but now, it's struggling to stop the omicron variant. we'll look at what has changed? and as we go to break, we've got a special feature, featuring
4:35 am
my discussion last night with valerie biden who happens to be the president's sister. fascinating stories about their family from the childhood to the political battle still playing out today. it was at the biden institute in delaware. go to know your for much more. "morning joe" is back just just a moment. "morning joe" is back a moment 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.
4:36 am
we believe our military heroes deserve a company who will fight for them just as they do for us. from buying to refinancing, the loan professionals at newday usa have given enlisted veterans a different kind of financial experience. with more ways to help more veterans, no bank, no lender, no one knows veterans like newday usa.
4:37 am
4:38 am
4:39 am
welcome back to "morning joe." china has taken its extreme covid lockdown measures in shanghai to a whole new level by building fences around people's homes to keep them inside. now, some residents are fighting back. nbc news correspondent janis mackey frayer reports. >> reporter: harsh new tactics in shanghai to enforce the covid
4:40 am
lockdown. metal fencing put up around some apartment buildings to keep residents from getting out. security guards on duty 24/7. authorities call it hard quarantine. the people are fed up. videos posted in social media showing some pulling the fences down. much of the city locked down for over a month now and struggling. with isolation and lost income. this man not wanting to be identified to avoid trouble with local officials. >> it's going to take an even longer, if the most basic problems are not getting solved. >> reporter: the world's largest container port still idle, with more than 500 ships waiting to dock. with all of the covid rules keeping shanghai at a standstill, covid still rampant. 21,000 cases added saturday and 39 deaths. and lockdown fears spreading in
4:41 am
beijing. authorities here announcing mass testing. triggering panic buying at stores with most items whiled from shelves, and long lines of people anxious to stock up. wary of the shortage in shanghai. that was captured in viral recordings that went viral on social media this week. there ain't no water, no food, says one man. censors quickly removed it. the government here insisting lockdown measures will only will be lifted when covid is eliminated. until then, authorities are building fences and tightening control. >> nbc's january miss macke fraher there. and writing why no one dare tell china's xi the lockdown isn't working. and wuhan early in 2020 and
4:42 am
trumpeted that success to the world. now more than two years later, the omicron variant is running rings around beijing's zero covid. the very rigidities of the political system built by the chinese communist party are hampering the country's ability to anything other than a lockdown whac-a-mole. as the lockdown in shanghai has shown. the editor of that op-ed joins us now. also with the former director of the committee to protect journalists now a fellow at the center at columbia generalism school. joel simon. joel and robert are co-authors of the new book infodemic, how censorship made lis sicker.
4:43 am
robert, let me ask you to expand on what you wrote about china. in the book, which is you can hide information and lock people down only for so long until they start to push back. >> indeed, china did a good job of its standards locking down wuhan when the pandemic broke out in early 2020. and it stuck with that policy. but what we're seeing now, you've got a system of top-down information. and the people do not pass up truthful information that run the country from beijing. chinese are continuing to impose the draconian lockdowns, that's like the tristate of new york, could you imagine, sealing people in their rooms and how long can that go on. you know, the problem that we saw, information, censorship is the real legacy of this pandemic
4:44 am
for many countries, because the leadership in beijing doesn't know how else to deal with this, except through censorship. >> joel, you know, if they tried that in the tristate area for too long, people would rebel inside and outside living their lives. >> yeah. >> but in an authoritarian state like china, of course, it's a different situation. what is the recourse of the people, average citizen, in shanghai, maybe coming to beijing soon lockdowns like this, how do you push back from a system like this? >> i don't think they have a recourse. you're recognizing that. they're starting to see resistance but it's small and marginal. the thing about the chinese information system is when it becomes mass action, or popular action, that's when the government really clamps down. we saw it even with the outset of the pandemic in wuhan, there were a few independent bloggers.
4:45 am
we profiled one of them in the book. he was amazingly courageous. he wanted to document what was happening in the city. he was one of a handful of people that did that, he disseminated information in the world. as soon as the chinese got word of that, they arrested him and confined him with a handful of independent information activists and they imposed their narrative. and that model of censorship and control spread along with the disease from china, to iran, to egypt, to russia, to authoritarian countries around the world. and we saw a wave of censor shi and information management that rob and i together at the committee to protect journalists, we never saw a global crackdown to protect freedom on this scale. >> so, robert, we're seeing parallels on the situation in russia with the war where the truth of what's going on in ukraine isn't getting to many of
4:46 am
the russian citizens. certainly, very few. and those that have stepped not protests. we saw protests early on. and they seem to have vanished, too. are we seeing a similar model there? and what can be done about this? we're seeing uprising in shanghai and china. maybe beijing is next, but it's not going anywhere. >> right. i mean, the situation in russia is different in that russia doesn't have the incredible surveillance capability and social control mechanisms of china, but it does have a lot of power. and what happened during the outbreak is that putin disappeared. he wasn't seen. a lot of strongman, authoritarian leaders did that. they were really frightened when the disease came along because they didn't know how to deal with it. what they did, they cracked down on anyone that departed from the official narrative. we didn't see putin for many, many months. then he appeared. we remember the pictures in the yellow hazmat suit in a
4:47 am
facility. he shook one hand and ironically, the person whose hand he shook came down with covid so we didn't see putin for a long time. what he did, they pass laws on the official narrative. the exact same thing now with ukraine. up to 15 years -- five years imprisonment for calling this war in ukraine a war and not a military operation. so, same playbook for covid as now ukraine. and one big difference, there were some independent journalists in russia in 2020 who brought us news from the ground. in ukraine, since the ukraine war, they left. there are no independent journalists left in russia. >> joel, you've got containment on a couple of different levels. you've got global containment against the virus. you also seem to have global containment of the spread of truth. in other words, people trying to
4:48 am
actively spread misinformation, instead of the truth. >> yeah. >> which do you think lingers the longest? which is more dangerous? >> i think they feed off each other. what we found in the book, there were two strategies of modern censorship. one is one which is the one we saw in china which is a kind of modified hierarcical lockdown. the other is called censorship through the wings, sometimes called flooding. it's not the information that's feared. it's the tension. leaders can actually pump out misinformation, lies that are intended to just confuse people. and to overwhelm them with information that they don't know how to process. and the effectiveness is a kind of -- is a kind of censorship, in which people are unable to fully participate in public debate and engage collectively around the public health in
4:49 am
which, because there's just a wash of misinformation and lies. and with an element of that in this country, both in the book. we also look at similar strategies in places like brazil and india, where there are these elected autocrats that use the strategy very, very effectively. and the global information system, on which we depend was simply not up to the task of responding to a global pandemic. it really failed. >> and such a conversation includes the critical need for localed me, at the local level to into this this. the new book infodemic, how censorship and lies made the world sicker and less free. joel simon and robert mahoney, thank you so much. coming up next, we'll look at this morning's front pages from across the country. including a deadly strain of bird flu found in florida. also ahead on "morning joe" -- >> whether you call that bluster, whether you call that propaganda, this has become a
4:50 am
pattern. these certainly are provocative statements. we think they are deeply irresponsible. >> state department's spokesman ned price weighing in on russia's escalating rhetoric about the possibility of nuclear war. ned will be our guest in just billionaire, who made his fortune with help from the kremlin now is denounced vladimir putin. that oligarch spoke exclusively with nbc's tom winter who joins us ahead. you're watching "morning joe" on a busy morning, we'll be right back. sy morning, we'll be right back insights illuminate better choices. allowing us to see differently and do more. with kpmg you have the people and technologies, to uncover insights and turn them into action. when we act on insight, with the right people by our side, opportunity is everywhere. let insights reveal new opportunities.
4:51 am
before nexium 24hr, anna could only imagine a comfortable night's sleep without frequent heartburn waking her up. now, that dream... . her reality. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts, for all-day, all-night protection. can you imagine 24 hours without heartburn?
4:52 am
with age comes more... get more with neutrogena® retinol pro plus. a powerful .5% retinol that's also gentle on skin. for wrinkle results in one week. neutrogena®. for people with skin. i'm lori wilson.
4:53 am
i'm an executive coach and a fitness enthusiast. i've been taking encour for over a year now. it's part of my daily life. one of the things i love about encour is just the mental focus it gives me. i do yoga probably four to five times a week. i feel like i have more strength and more energy, and i'm able to balance better. - encour contains pure german creatine for strength, energy and focus. available for just $35.99 a month at this is xfinity rewards. our way of saying thanks, with rewards for the whole family! from epic trips... to the original jurassic park... on us. join over 3 million members and start enjoying rewards like these, and so much more in the xfinity app! and check out jurassic world: dominion, in theaters june 10th.
4:54 am
this is elodia. she's a recording artist. 1 of 10 million people that comcast has connected to affordable internet in the last 10 years. and this is emmanuel, a future recording artist, and one of the millions of students we're connecting throughout the next 10. through projectup, comcast is committing $1 billion so millions more students, past... and present, can continue to get the tools they need to build a future of unlimited possibilities. 54 past the hour. beautiful shot of washington, d.c. on this beautiful wednesday morning. and washington will be remembering madeleine albright today. time to take a look agent the morning papers. the tampa bay times has a front page feature about a deadly strain of avian influenza that has killed countless birds
4:55 am
including eagles, ducks, black vultures, experts say the migrating birds likely spread the illness out of europe and through north america. this particular strain does not appear to pose a threat to people. we move to the rome news tribune in georgia which reports that republican governor brian kemp has signed the largest tax cut in the state's history. kemp says the bill will gradually reduce the state income tax rate by about a half percentage point over six years. >> yeah, so mika, first of all, a couple of things about this, as we look at the rome news tribune. that's where my mom is from. dalton, and rome, georgia, first of all, she went to shorter college there, and that's where she graduated and really got interested in music and classical music. but also, though, governor kemp, this is a guy that was on the
4:56 am
top of donald trump's enemy list in the republican party, he is just crushing david perdue. i think this may be the first example of where donald trump's power inside of the republican party really really is seeing a shriveling, at least in an important state like georgia. >> yeah, it's a state he was very interested in. let's move to the advocate, a louisiana state senate committee has advanced legislation to repeal its raise the age law. the move would funnel all 17-year-olds who are accused of crimes into adult prisons. supporters are pushing for the change less than two years after raise the age legislation formally ended the practice in the state. "the register citizen" in connecticut highlights lawmakers' decision to move forward with sweeping legislation to reduce carbon emissions in the state. the bill intends to add thousands of electric cars, trucks and buses to the state's
4:57 am
roadways over the next decade. ”the star-ledger” reports a statewide crisis unfolding in new jersey as more than 7,000 defendants remain in state jails and thousands of victims await justice while courts grapple with unprecedented judicial vacancies. according to a state official, the number of vacancies will hit a historic high of 75 by sunday. that's incredible, and the journal news reports that the number of anti-semitic incidents across new york city and its suburbs increase substantially in 2021. according to an antidefamation league report, new york led all states across the country in reported incidents. the largest increases in anti-semitism occurred in new york city's five boroughs. we'll talk more about this when the head of the antidefamation league joins us on this
4:58 am
holocaust remembrance day. plus, the latest on a new standoff in eastern europe this morning as moscow cuts off gas supplies to a pair of nato countries. also ahead, how u.s. intelligence sharing is aiding ukraine's fight against russia. nbc's carol lee joins us with this new reporting on this. "morning joe" is back in a moment. reporting on this "morning joe" is back in a moment
4:59 am
this is what real food looks like fresh real meat and veggies. the food dogs where built to eat.
5:00 am
the farmer's dog is changing the way we feed our pets. visit to see your dogs personalized meal plan. finding the perfect project manager isn't easy. but, at upwork, we found him. he's in adelaide between his daily lunch delivery and an 8:15 call with san francisco. and you can find him, and millions of other talented pros, right now on
5:01 am
it is the top of the hour. the 3rd hour of "morning joe" with developing news overnight to start with. russia takes direct aim at the european economy, cutting off gas supplies to poland and bulgaria. kyiv calling it quote gas blackmail after a new pledge from the west to keep supplying ukraine with heavy weapons. also ahead, vice president kamala harris tests positive for covid-19. as a new study shows more than half of all americans have now been infected. welcome back to "morning joe." it's wednesday, april 27th. jonathan lemire, mike barnicle and katty kay are still with us. a lot to cover. a lot of really important movements and developments pertaining to ukraine to cover this morning. >> really are. things are starting -- the pace is starting to pick up a bit. again, we've fought this war.
5:02 am
we've seen it fought. we followed this war, reported on this war in several phases. we now seem to be moving into a new phase. the united states beginning to coordinate more on the ground in europe with other leaders, and we're talking about, again, more robust supplies and instead of just talking about saving zelenskyy's life and stopping kyiv in falling, now we actually have american leaders talking about pushing russia out of ukraine and making sure that they're never in a position where they can invade and cause so much damage in their region again. of course, you have putin apologists here in america, useful idiots, and perhaps worse claiming this is what medical care -- america has wanted all yearlong. no, what america wants is for putin to stop invading
5:03 am
countries, went in in occupied crimea, went into syria. seriously, the fact that these fools, these idiots are trying to blame the united states for yet another aggression is really, it's striking, and willie, of course, as we mentioned earlier, today's holocaust remembrance day, we're going to be talking about that very soon. but my gosh, as you look at the pictures of the holocaust, we have our entire adult life seen that as something from another time, another place. very distant, we pray that it stays that way, but, you know, growing up, reading about world war ii history, you always wondered how one person, one person could cause as much pain, as much suffering, as much damage as adolph hitler, here, you have as angus king said, you have vladimir putin, that one man causing so much suffering in the ukraine, and he has nuclear weapons. and there's not -- there's just
5:04 am
not an organized institutionalized pull it bureau to keep him in check in 2022 like there was to keep khrushchev in check in the early 1960s, a very dangerous time. also very dangerous here at home. i think we are moving in the right direction as a country, and yet you have well over a third of the republican party saying anti-semitism is not a disqualifying factor. racism is not a disqualifying factor in voting for political candidates. that is something new. that is something that's come along with donald trump. new at least in this century, and there's, without a doubt, there is a new level of comfort with anti-semitism among republicans. less than half say anti-semitic remarks would be a reason, a
5:05 am
major problem for voting for somebody. and only 38% say racist remarks would stop them from voting for a candidate. that means four in ten republicans obviously wouldn't see it as a reason not to vote for a candidate. again, some disturbing trends here. we continue to watch vladimir putin's disturbing behavior over seas. it's important to keep all of this in mind as we remember the holocaust today. >> those sentiments we saw on the screen at home, perhaps only laying dormant. in the last several years, americans, particularly republicans in this poll have been given license by leaders to go out and save them, and republicans saying them themselves, as for ukraine and echoes of what happened over the last century on the continent of europe, one of the most heartbreaking story lines has been people who survive the holocaust, now living in ukraine
5:06 am
and remembering all of this, having it wash over them again as they see civilians butchered in places like bucha and mariupol. we're going to talk about holocaust remembrance day. we want to start in ukraine where a new standoff is underway this morning over the question of oil and gas between russia and several key members of nato. nbc news correspondent erin mclaughlin has details. >> in germany, more than 40 nations brought together by the u.s. tuesday, showing their support for ukraine. >> i applaud all the countries that have risen and are rising to meet this demand. but we don't have any time to waste. >> in a significant economic escalation, russia halting gas deliveries to poland and bulgaria, citing rules that unfriendly countries must pay for gas in russian rubles. this as the war shows no signs of slowing down. russian troops striking
5:07 am
transportation targets in ukraine, including a key bridge outside odesa. the russians claiming complete control over the kherson region. the mayor says they have taken over city hall, and he fears they're planning to hold a sham referendum in order to legitimize their presence. >> we of course totally against this because it's temporary occupied. >> sitting across from the u.s. secretary general in his infamously long white table, vladimir putin says he hopes for a positive result in negotiations with ukraine. the comment comes after his foreign minister warned the threat of nuclear war is real. >> loose talk of nuclear weapons, nuclear escalation is especially irresponsible, it is the height of irresponsibility. >> reporter: the united states now pushing forward with plans to restore its embassy in kyiv, announcing the first american
5:08 am
diplomats have arrived back in ukraine. western support on full display outside the capital wednesday morning as they showed off antitank weapons provided by the british. this soldier tells us we need to have many modern weapons. antitanks, it's very important to us. >> erin mclaughlin reporting from kyiv this morning. joining us now, nbc news white house correspondent carol lee, and mark, a 26 year veteran of the cia, serving in iraq and afghanistan, one of the agency's most decorated field officers. good morning to you both. mark, let me begin with you, something we have been discussing over the last couple of hours this morning, and that is the rhetoric, it seems stepped up rhetoric from the defense secretary lloyd austin during his trip abroad, meeting with president zelenskyy in kyiv, and reporting to germany, and ramstein, and forming this nato collective, contact group that are going to work on the question of ukraine but saying we now want to weaken russia. we want to destroy their capacity to inflict this kind of
5:09 am
harm on another country and another neighbor or any further on ukraine. richard haass expressed reservation given the nuclear stakes here. what did you make of the comments? >> it was really long long overdue. i see secretary austin, he envelopes his ukrainian counter parts in a bear hug, the bear hug seen around the world. that's the america that i want to see. ultimately for the last several years, russia has been engaged in a hybrid warfare campaign against the united states, whether it's election interference, cyber attacks, bounties against our troops in afghanistan, so it's finally time that we push back, and, you know, it's okay to say things like we want to weaken russia because in fact that should be the stated goal of the administration. i think that they have, you know, balanced out kind of the escalatory rhetoric and, you know, at the end of the day, i think that if we see that the russians would start moving
5:10 am
tactical nuclear weapons u.s. intelligence is going to pick this up. secretary defense austin's trip was a home run, and to see him envelope his counter part in that bear hug, a good moment for the united states, a great moment for the ukrainian people. >> mark, let's continue talking about this, expand it out a little bit more generally. i have never thought of russia as an enemy. i don't think it's -- i don't think it's wise for the united states to declare countries enemies whether it's russia or china. we have to figure out a way to work with them on a global stage but there's no doubt, russia sees the united states as an enemy, whether we consider them enemies or not, they consider us to be an enemy. vladimir putin considers us to be an enemy. you look at state tv, they consider us to be an enemy. while we have been trying to deal with russia, while we have been trying to contain vladimir putin's worst instincts, so he doesn't actually damage himself
5:11 am
and damage the russian people. he's invaded georgia in 2008. he's invaded ukraine in 2014. went into crimea and has occupied crimea since 2014. he has shot down commercial airliners, he's gone into syria, committed mass atrocities, committed war crimes in syria. you look at the attacks against the united states, the disinformation campaigns, election interference in 2016. what he attempted to do, you know, impede one of the most important things in democracy in this country at least, and that is an american presidential election. continue with the disinformation campaign, so i'm not exactly sure from his stooges on television. his stooges with news letters. his bots that he sends across twitter. i'm not exactly sure what the
5:12 am
united states is supposed to do, but stop this man from being able to cause misery and continue invasions of other countries. we're not talking about going into russia. we're not talking about deciding who their leading is going to be. we're just talking about stopping him from continuing his pattern of reckless -- one reckless invasion after another. >> well, that's right, and i think, you know, for the first time we've seen the u.s. administration come into power, and not kind of push forward this idea of a russian reset. i was involved in some of these in the past, and i think a lot of us in the intelligence community would roll our eyes, and you know, sometimes administrations want to kind of, you know, reset the policy with russia, and we went along with it. it never works. the biden administration, led by a president who had four decades as experience, as a senator and vice president, certainly understands the importance of the nato alliance, and he knows kind of the true nature of
5:13 am
russia, and vladimir putin, and so finally, we're at a point where we're kind of countering russia. i do a lot in terms of, you know, looking at the hybrid warfare space, and one of the things we have never done is push back on russia. we are finally doing it. secretary of defense austin's comments are open for the world to see. that's a good thing. it takes two to tango, and russia is not interested in a partnership, and we have to understand that and counter it with the right policy. >> that's a great point. carol lee, you might want to make comments about that, also you and several nbc colleagues have new reporting this morning about how u.s. intel helped ukraine protect air defenses and shoot down a russia plane carrying hundreds of troops. give us the details on that as well. >> well, mika, a lot of attention has been paid to the military equipment that the u.s. has supplied ukraine, and rightfully so, it's billions of dollars. and one of the things officials say that was critical to positioning ukraine to where they are now to be as successful
5:14 am
as they have been is intelligence early on, and this is really detailed stuff. this is telling the ukrainians exactly where and when the russians were going to attack their air defense systems, for instance, and other aircraft and that allowed the ukrainians to move it and avoid being attacked, also providing information that allowed them to take out russian assets, and so to be able to do that early on, for instance, one of the things that this allowed them to do was to hold on to an airport near kyiv that the russians, if they had taken, would have allowed them to bring in a lot of equipment and to mount a pretty successful assault against kyiv. the fact that the ukrainians had this intelligence early on allowed them to hold on to that and position them to where they are now, and where the u.s. is now saying, okay, maybe they can win this thing, and what we're told is that this is an unprecedented level of intelligence sharing for a non-nato ally. and that they have removed largely all of the restrictions here, so they can continue. >> that's so fascinating and the
5:15 am
fact that the ukrainians can pick up on it and work with it. what we're seeing is over time ukrainians have a shared passion, a shared mission, an understanding of the mission. they have troops that are organized, their logistics are good, and they're smart about their fighting. >> yeah, one of the things i have heard in the last few days is that over the last few years, ukrainians have understood who their enemy was and they studied the enemy. russia didn't study ukraine or to the extent that the russians tried to understand ukraine, they bribed ukrainians to say they were pro russian, and that fell apart. they weren't doing real intelligence, and the ukrainians had a much better take on the russians. nobody wants to talk about the intel because obviously as people have said to me, lives could literally be at risk if they share intelligence. we had that list. we saw that impressive list, from senator kaine that we know about. how much more is being given. is it cyber, is it human, is it
5:16 am
where is the intel coming from and how much more of it's being given to the ukrainians, and how essential to them is it in this fight. i suspect after this is over we're going to hear about a whole load of stuff we didn't know about. >> that's absolutely right. in our own reporting, we have withheld things we know at the request of the military who said it's too sensitive, and it would put people at risk, and news organizations do that at times when it's really critical, so even just based on that, there's a whole set of things that are not publicly known that the u.s. is doing, and obviously there's tons of things that we would love to know and don't know in years to come for sure. >> we want to pause here. we're getting news just into us, an extraordinary diplomatic moment between the united states and russia. just now, the two countries trading an american marine jailed in moscow for a convicted russian drug trafficker jailed here in connecticut. the diplomatic maneuver tricky, of course, under any
5:17 am
circumstances but of course more so during this war. russia released trevor reid, a marine from texas who was arrested in 2019 after russian authorities said he assaulted an officer. he was in prison in moscow. president biden thanked american diplomats for their hard work saying the negotiations that allowed us to bring trevor home required difficult decisions that i do not take lightly. so jonathan, what else do we know about this? trevor reed is a texas marine in moscow, 2009, arrested they accused him of assault ago police officer. his family said it didn't happen that way. he had been in jail for a thousand days, in an undisclosed european country is the place where the prisoner swap happened, again, extraordinary, given the context of what's playing out on the world stage. >> there's been next to no contact between washington and moscow for nearly two months yet this did come to be. and this just happened, the president of the white house put out a statement. we're going to learn details as
5:18 am
the day goes on. trevor reed, the russian police say that he had a night of drinking, he was being given a ride to a police station by a police officer, they claim he assaulted the officer. the family says that's not true. he has been in prison for three years. his family has been very public about trying to get him back. met with the president recently. his case has really gained a lot of traction, a lot of attention in recent weeks in particular. and now, they have sent -- there's this exchange for this russian pilot accused of trying to smuggle cocaine into the united states. that's who's going back in the other direction. so we're going to learn more about this. there are some russian other americans still held in russian captivity, including another marine who knew reed. that person is still there. the president's statement, though, the idea that it required difficult decisions he did not take lightly underscores just the moments of real tension right now between these two countries but yet, this is good news, and reed's family has said they are overjoyed to hear he's on his way home to the united states.
5:19 am
>> as jonathan pointed out, it was trevor reed's parents, they demonstrated outside the white house for a long time. they're in lafayette square, they had signs up, stood outside the white house, and president biden ultimately gave them a meeting last month that led to this moment. >> obviously great news for the marine and his family. also, mark, good news that russians and americans are talking at least on some level. always very concerning when you get these reports that our military is not speaking at a top level. we always, even through the worst parts of the cold war as you know better than anybody, we were always able to continue that dialogue. but one of the problems in this conflict is that there just haven't been good mediators, good people to go between the united states and vladimir putin. and of course i think one of the most glaring signs of that is just how weak and feckless the united nations has been. you actually said yesterday, one
5:20 am
of the most shocking developments out of this war on a diplomatic level is how utterly irrelevant the united nations has become. i remember back in 1993, madeleine albright, who washington will say good-bye to today, but madeleine albright said the u.n. must reform or die. here we are, what, 30 years later, and they're just utterly feckless. >> and i think that, you know, the u.n. has been almost irrelevant in this conflict. i mean, you actually don't even hear from them, which is pretty extraordinary. you know, obviously one of the issues is that, you know, one of the permanent members is the instigator of this conflict, so the idea of security council resolutions or anything really getting done is certainly problematic. but i think that, you know, as we see the nato alliance really flourishing, you know, another international body, the u.n. certainly has been stagnant, so i think there has to be some things, you know, when this conflict is over. we have to take a look at the
5:21 am
u.n. as an institution, you know, how to make it more effective. you know, the u.n. does do good things in terms of peace keeping, in terms of humanitarian assistance around the world, but when it comes to something like this which is, you know, stopping or even mediating a conflict, they have been completely irrelevant and frankly for a lot of us who do believe that a strengthened u.n. is in the interest of the international community, it's kind of sad, and so i think there's some things that have to be done in the future to reform the united nations for sure. >> all right. thank you so much, mark, it is always great to have you here. also, something obviously needs to be done to reform the red sox bull pen, but we'll talk about that on another day. also, thank you nbc news white house continue carol lee, always great to have you here. we mentioned several times that today is holocaust remembrance day, and it comes amid a new report from the antidefamation league that found anti-semitic incidents in the united states reached an all time high last year.
5:22 am
let's bring in ceo and director of the antidefamation league, jonathan greenblatt, he's the author of "it could happen here, why america is tipping from hate to the unthinkable and how we can stop it," you know, jonathan, we've had this discussion before. i had this discussion in congress, and on "morning joe," we've seen incidents of antise -- anti-semitism in europe, we've seen it at elite academic institutions in this country through the years. we've seen it, really, in the united states, more contained. yet we showed a very disturbing poll this morning that said less than half of republicans consider anti-semitism to be disqualifying in voting for a candidate. and of course this year, anti-semitic attacks in the united states have reached an
5:23 am
all-time high, and i've got to say, it seems we've seen one disturbing headline after another disturbing headline, especially from new york city. what's going on. >> well, joe, the data is very damming, and on this day, this solemn day, holocaust remembrance day, to think that we tracked in 2021 the highest total of anti-semitic incidents the adl has ever seen is absolutely shocking, and we're in this moment where offenses across the board are on the rise. we saw 167% increase in assaults, anti-semitic assaults in 2021. and we've talked on your show about what i will characterize as the normalization of anti-semitism. and so to your point, and to the data that sam showed in the prior hour, the idea that more than half of republicans think an anti-semitic comment or offense is okay for an elected
5:24 am
official is damming, that kind of casual anti-semitism. make no mistake, neither party has a -- there was fighting in gaza, you had jews being beaten and brutalized in midtown manhattan and los angeles, and you had many people frankly from the left making wild claims about the jewish state. and that has spawned a kind of anti-semitism as well. and i'll be very clear with you, it's fine to criticize the state of israel. this isn't about israel. this is about jewish people feeling vulnerable in the places where we pray and the supermarkets where we shop, and i will tell you in 2021, that is inexcusable and unacceptable for any minority. >> jonathan, where is it coming from? why is it different now. go inside these numbers, incidents up 34% from the previous year.
5:25 am
assaults up 167%. particularly bad in new york and new jersey. is it that it's become okay in some circles to express these anti-semitic sentiments, never okay obviously to sucker punch somebody walking down the street in brooklyn, but there's the soft anti-semitism where people sort of let things slide, and it leads to this -- the numbers that we see here. >> that's exactly right. soft anti-semitism, willie is a good way of putting it. it's kind of the casual use of things like, it's okay to wear a yellow star or claim you're being dehumanized because of covid-19 precautions. or it's okay to say that israel is a nazi state because you're unhappy about their policies in the west bank. i mean, this kind of casual rhetoric leads to shocking results in the real world. i will tell you something else. social media has a lot to do with this as well. the adl, we found last summer, just a random week in august,
5:26 am
over 130 million people were exposed to anti-semitic content on twitter. twitter and facebook, these have been cesspools of stereotypes against jews, and other minority groups as well. social media is the place we have to focus. >> jonathan, anti-semitism seems to be like an eternal virus without a vaccine. it's been going on for centuries, and it continues and strengthens today, partially. i think you're right, as a result of social media. do you ever get so frustrated thinking that, you know, we're never going to come up with an answer to stem the tide of anti-semitism? >> well, i'll be honest, sometimes the data and the reality can certainly be daunting. look, i'm the grandson of a holocaust survivor, the husband of a jewish woman who fled repression in the middle east so
5:27 am
the reality, as you said, this seems to be an eternal challenge, and yet i believe in american exceptionalism. this is an amazing democracy that gave my wife's family and grandfather's family incredible opportunity, so i believe there is a need for safety through both more security, and solidarity. and i think although we're fighting hate, we've got to have a kind of hope, so there's a lot of positive things happening out there as well. jews are more accepted than we have been in any place in the world. so i think there is reason for some inspiration, but look, the fight against hate needs to be relentless. we can't give an inch, whether it's coming from political people on either side of the aisle, coming from people motivated by fundamentalism of their faith. we've got to focus, focus, focus, that's the only way we win. >> no doubt about it, and we have to all come together. i've got to say, jonathan, i remember after the pittsburgh
5:28 am
synagogue massacre, i remember after some of these other anti-semitic attacks, you and reverend alex came together and talked time and time again on "politics nation" on the weekend, and he talked about how black americans and jewish americans, they have to lock arms together in this battle because as you said, the attacks are not just against jews. the attacks are against people of color, and an attack against one is an attack against all, right? >> of course. i mean, the adl, we were founded in 1913, the mission, that statement that our founders wrote wasn't justified anti-semitism, it was to secure justice and fair treatment to all. and i think it's absolutely true that anti-semitism is a canary in the coal mine. it auger forms of anti-semitism,
5:29 am
homophobia, the adl has been focused on fighting other forms of intolerance because the jewish people will only be safe when all people are safe. i might not agree with reverend alex on everything, and every politician on everything, but we can lock arms in the fight against anti-semitism and hate. >> it's inspirational. thank you so much, ceo and director, such an important message to remember on holocaust remembrance day. yes, it is. and still ahead on "morning joe," covid is inching closer to president biden after vice president kamala harris tested positive yesterday. we'll talk about the precautions being taken as the president prepares for a series of large public events. plus, vladimir putin helped make him an oligarch. he's now calling on the russian president to end the war.
5:30 am
nbc's tom winter joins us with more of his exclusive interview with that oligarch that was also a household name during the first impeachment trial of former president trump. and ahead in our fourth hour, state department spokesman ned price is our guest. we'll ask him about the news we just reported at this morning's prisoner swap with russia. we'll also talk about the return of american diplomats to ukraine. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ bonnie boon i'm calling you out. everybody be cool, alright? we've got bonnie right here on a video call. we don't take kindly to video calls. oh, in that case just tap to send a message. we don't take kindly to messages neither. in that case how 'bout a ringcentral phone call. we don't take kindly to no... would you can it eugene! let's just hear her out. ha ha ha, i've been needing a new horse. we've got ourselves a deal. ♪ ♪ ♪ ringcentral ♪ this is not the stallion i was imagining.
5:31 am
5:32 am
5:33 am
♪("i've been everywhere" by johnny cash) ♪ ♪i've traveled every road in this here land!♪ ♪i've been everywhere, man.♪ ♪i've been everywhere, man.♪ ♪of travel i've had my share, man.♪ ♪i've been everywhere.♪ ♪♪ can a company make the planet a better place? at walmart, we're pursuing 100% renewable energy in our operations. and aiming to protect millions of acres of land. so we can all live better.
5:34 am
vice president kamala harris is isolating in washington this morning after testing positive for covid, despite the strict safety measures surrounding her. the big question now is president biden at risk.
5:35 am
nbc news chief white house continue peter alexander has the latest. >> reporter: this morning, covid-19 reaching the second highest office in the land. vice president kamala harris who received her second booster shot earlier this month tweeting i have no symptoms and i will continue to isolate and follow cdc guidelines. i'm grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted. a harris aid telling nbc news she's now taking the antiviral treatment paxlovid, as the administration takes steps to expand the availability of the therapeutic, proven to reduce hospitalizations and deaths by nearly 90%. >> we now have plenty available and anybody who is eligible, anybody who is high risk should be getting paxlovid. >> the cdc says most americans have been infected with covid, including nearly 60% of adults, and 75% of children. pfizer is now asking the fda to approve a booster shot for children ages 5 through 11. the vice president's aids say
5:36 am
she tested positive tuesday before a scheduled intelligence briefing with president biden in the oval office and left without seeing the president. the white house says harris was last together with the president and first lady eight days earlier at the easter egg roll. before spending the week in california, returning to washington monday night. despite its strict protocols, the white house acknowledges the president could still test positive. >> it's possible the president like any other american could get covid. the bottom line is he is vaccinated and boosted. he is very well protected. >> reporter: the infection for america's most powerful woman is the latest in a string of positive cases among top administration officials and lawmakers with at least 80 cases stemming from an exclusive dinner in d.c. last month. the president has a full plate this week slated to attend several large gatherings. including memorial services for former secretary of state madeleine albright, and former
5:37 am
vice president walter mondale, as well as the annual correspondents dinner on saturday night. >> peter alexander reporting. still ahead, the markets open in just over an hour after a brutal day on wall street yesterday. we will dig into two of the factors spooking the markets right now. soaring inflation and fears about a covid resurgence in china. that story next on "morning joe." n china. that story next on "morning joe. >> tech: when you have auto glass damage, trust safelite. in one easy appointment... ♪ pop rock music ♪ >> tech: ...we can replace your windshield and recalibrate your advanced safety system. >> dad: looks great. thanks. >> tech: stay safe with safelite. schedule now. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
5:38 am
5:39 am
i'm lori wilson. i'm an executive coach and a fitness enthusiast. i've been taking encour for over a year now. it's part of my daily life. one of the things i love about encour is just the mental focus it gives me. i do yoga probably four to five times a week. i feel like i have more strength and more energy,
5:40 am
and i'm able to balance better. - encour contains pure german creatine for strength, energy and focus. available for just $35.99 a month at when you need help it's great to be in sync with customer service. a team of reps who can anticipate the next step genesys technology is changing the way customer service teams anticipate what customers need. because happy customers are music to our ears. genesys, we're behind every customer smile.
5:41 am
americans are already paying more for just about everything these days, but now they're also watching their 401(k)s, which have been getting hit hard by a stock market nose dive. nbc's hallie jackson reports. >> reporter: nervous investors watching wall street this morning after the markets tumbled tuesday. the dow down some 800 points
5:42 am
while the tech heavy nasdaq dropped more than 500 points to its lowest close since 2020. that dive driven in part by a tesla stock slump, which happened after the company's ceo, elon musk moving to buy twitter for $44 billion. global concerns like higher covid rates and the lock down in china and the war in ukraine are driving the selloff. the slides being blamed on soaring inflation and fears of a possible recession. prices are climbing for americans who are spending more on everything from groceries to gasoline. >> we have prices rising for a lot of things at the fastest rate they have ever risen for a while, four decades. >> reporter: the cost of food up nearly 9% while gas prices have jumped 18% in the last year. to help ease inflation, the federal reserve indicating it may start aggressively raising interest rates as early as next month. >> our goal is to use our tools to get demand and supply back in
5:43 am
sync so that inflation moves down and do so without a slow down that amounts to a recession. >> reporter: those rate hikes could affect your expenses. >> your mortgage rates, your car loan, before people were doing a lot of refinancing because rates were so low. now you'll probably see that start to slow down because rates are going to increase. >> that was nbc's hallie jackson reporting. and coming up, another disturbing example of gun violence ripping through america. this time, at a little league game in south carolina. what police are saying about a shooting in north charleston that sent children running for cover. "morning joe" is coming right back. cover. "morni jngoe" is coming right back
5:44 am
5:45 am
5:46 am
5:47 am
officials in charleston are offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in a shooting incident on
5:48 am
monday near a little league game. it comes as new data reveals guns killed more kids in 2020 than any other cause of death. nbc's kerry sanders reports. >> reporter: monday night at the pepper hill park baseball field in charlton, south carolina, moments of terror. a hail of gunfire nearby sending frightened little leaguers and their parents scrambling for cover. >> all of a sudden, i just hear boom boom, like two fireworks going off. and then literally two seconds later, it was like the fourth of july out there. >> i just got down and listened to my coach, and i heard bullets at the fence. >> blake and laurie ferguson and their four kids are at the baseball field nearly every day. their 8-year-old son cylus was on the mound. >> i heard my coach say get down, get down, so i just got
5:49 am
down. and i was really scared, scary. >> reporter: a nearby fight carrying over to the park. authorities say dozens of shots were fired, damaging cars and causing panic on the field, leaving families and kids traumatized. >> get off the field. >> crawl that way, crawl that way. >> how do you explain this? >> we got home last night, and she's still shaking. our 5-year-old is still crying. we had a sleepover in our bedroom last night because they're so scared. >> reporter: it's an unsettling trend nationwide. according to data from the cdc, a record 45,222 people died from firearms-related injuries in 2020 in the u.s. across the country, a rash of shootings. philadelphia averaging 1.5 homicides per day, and just last week, police releasing this video that appears to show a sniper shooting more than 100 times into a washington, d.c.
5:50 am
neighborhood. in charleston, the mayor says it's time to take action. >> our police department is going to start taking guns off the street again. >> that was nbc's kerry sanders reporting. and coming up, an nbc news exclusive. a russian oligarch whom the kremlin helped make rich is denouncing vladimir putin, a move that carries obvious risks. tom winter has that reporting. s. tom winter has that reporting.
5:51 am
bonnie boon i'm calling you out. everybody be cool, alright? with ringcentral we can pull bonnie up on phone, message, or video, all in the same app. oh... hey bonnie, i didn't see you there. ♪ ringcentral ♪
5:52 am
5:53 am
5:54 am
5:55 am
54 past the hour. an nbc news exclusive. an oligarch steeped in controversy. you may remember him from robert mueller's first investigation. for years he supported pro russian causes in ukraine, but now with his homeland under russian attack, firtash is speaking out against putin and speaking with nbc news's tom winter. tom joins us now with more. fascinating. >> it is fascinating, mika. questions have swirled around firtash for years, including whom he's made his money with, his thoughts on vladimir putin and what's happening now in ukraine. that's the first question we asked.
5:56 am
>> what has your reaction been to what you've seen going on in your homeland? >> i want to cry. it tears apart my soul. >> one of the richest men in ukraine firtash made billions and supported kyiv. >> to believe that such a massacre can be taking place, no normal person could bereave it. >> firtash has made a career of betting on the right party, the right player. >> i was never pro-russian, but you have to understand i'm a businessman. >> firtash is taking aim at vladimir putin. >> translator: he is never going to come out victorious. >> if you could pick up the phone and call him, what would you tell him? >> translator: it's time to stop. there will be no victory. the longer this war takes, the worse it will be for the russian people. >> do you think that your
5:57 am
personal safety is a concern? >> i don't really have a choice. >> putin's wrath isn't the only risk. here in the u.s. he's accused by federal prosecutors of conspireing to pay bribes abrade and is fighting extradition in austria. firtash has been living at this villa under house arrest for the last eight years here in vienna. what do you say to the indictment against you? >> translator: 100% not guilty. >> in that case, there's a specific filing that says you're an upper echelon associate of russian organized crime. what's your response? >> as i discussed with you, we're in the middle of a criminal case. how improper that statement in open court was and we've instructed mr. firtash not to dignify it by answering.
5:58 am
>> that's lanny davis, now representing firtash. during the 2020 presidential campaign rudy giuliani held up a memo prepared for firtash's austrian attorneys to fight his extradition. and the memo talking about hunter biden. >> your name came up in connection with the impeachment of president trump, specifically an effort to dig up dirt on hunter biden. did you ever try to do that? >> translator: i never took part in the digging up of information, whether on trump or biden. the fact that i'm being dragged into this whole situation connected to julian any, i never met him, not by phone, not in person. >> your home land has you sanctioned. why is it, do you think, so many people allege so many bad things
5:59 am
about you? >> you know, when you want to know something about a person, you should look at who his enemies are. then you can judge what this person is worth. >> firtash says he'd rather go back to ukraine right now and fight if prosecutors will let him and experience what he calls the new ukraine. >> translator: we have to say a big thank you to mr. putin and i believe we should be building him a monument in the center of ukraine because he turned out to be the only politician that in the last 30 years managed to unite the country as one whole. >> firtash addressed one of the elephants in the room, which is whether or not he would try to use his billions to flee austria if the order eventually came down for him to be extradited to chicago. he said he is not somebody who flees and does not want his family to have to deal with any sort of allegations that he's somebody who has fled or has that sort of reputation. >> it's an incredible story.
6:00 am
what is firtash doing now and what does he want from prosecutors? >> he says he spends his day focused on two things, the logistics in ukraine using his business to provide supplies and running a network with competitors to focus on an effort to get information to ukrainians. he says he also has a russian language component of that trying to get information to russian citizens. he says what he wants from prosecutors, other than the charges being dropped obviously, is for him to be able to travel back to ukraine right now to help out with the war efforts. time will tell if any of that is granted. >> tom, let me ask you a question i know a lot of our friends watching right now would be curious to know about. it's more general questions about vladimir putin and his olig