tv Alex Witt Reports MSNBC May 1, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PDT
all a very good day from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone, to alex -- reports. breaking news and ukraine. the un is now saying it is conducting a safe passage operation for civilians trapped in that steel plant in mariupol. the russian defense minister released this video showing a convoy, including russian and un vehicles. also some buses near the city. the associated press and pro russian supervision shot this video. of evacuees arriving in the city. about 20 miles or so east of mariupol. that opened up to 100,000 civilians and 200 fighters who were inside that plan. it comes hours after how speaker nancy pelosi traveled to kyiv with international delegation -- she encouraged him to keep up the fight, and said the west cannot shrink from russian threats. >> do not people leave by police. if they are making threats, you cannot back down.
that is my view of it. we are there for the fight. and you cannot fold to a bully. >> the visit came within hours of another -- military strike in odessa. one delegate had a strong warning for president putin. >> if he does anything in regards to unconventional weapons, dealing with anything like chemical weapons or any kind of strategical nukes, all bets are off. >> they are up gregory meeks right there. food is becoming scarce in parts of donetsk. but they say that u.s. support is giving them hope. >> they are trying to scare ukrainians. they are trying to scare the
world. but the fact and the truth is that ukrainians are not -- and our president and all ukrainians will briefly defend our country. and the world is not afraid. >> in just a moment, msnbc exclusive, i will be talking to adam schiff. he was part of that allegation. you can see him there in that photo, standing next to president zelenskyy. we are first going to check in with nbc's -- and julia circuit in washington, for us. welcome ladies to you both. kelly, we go first to you. this capsule week a very powerful u.s. show of support for ukraine, for the defense against russia. how is it being received by the people you are talking to their? >> that is right alex. everyone we have spoken to his very much aware of the u.s. support. down to the dollar figure, they know about the 33 billion dollar package that president biden is proposing. nancy pelosi, speaker of the house will have to get it through congress. they are aware of it.
they are grateful for. it giving president zelenskyy something, he is so grateful for the show of support, and other members of congress visiting not just poland, but visiting him in kyiv. take a listen to a little bit more about the speaker had to say. >> we believe that we are visiting you to say thank you. to fight for freedom. a frontier freedom. and it is a fight for everyone. our commitment is to be there for you until fighting is done. [inaudible] [inaudible]
>> and it comes after another intense 24 hours of fighting. the russian defense ministry say they struck 800 targets in ukraine, just over the past 24 hours. among them that airfield is actually civilian airport in odessa. a runway was seriously damaged, if not destroyed. it is unusable right now. the mayor saying, we will rebuild. it will be bigger and better once it is done. and also, alex, we want to talk to a bit about what is happening in mariupol. there have been developments throughout the day there. we do understand anywhere from 20 to 40 people, the numbers are running the gamut depending on who you talk to, were evacuated from mariupol in the early hours or overnight hours. it is not yet clear if those
civilians have made it to ukrainian held territory. they were first taken to russian controlled territory. we are still waiting to hear more about that. another group of 100 civilians, according to president-elect skis office, we are said to be on their way out from that plant as well. we don't have an update from that. just in the last hour or so, city officials in mariupol said that any other evacuations from other parts of the city have been suspended, now, for security reasons. until 8:00 tomorrow morning. so, a lot going on in terms of getting people out of mariupol. also, alex, we spoke to a man who's made like nine trips to the city on his own, to get people out, becoming more and more difficult each time he goes in. part of the issue is that the people there are subject to all sorts of misinformation, propaganda, and disinformation. and some people just don't know
what to believe. they are being told that other cities, like tony bryan, kyiv are under attack or completely besieged. and they are not safe. so it is better for them to stay in mariupol. the information block out there for them is incredible. they are just confused, trying to figure out whether they should stay or whether they should go. alex. >> that adds nothing welcome to an already very complicated and very treacherous situation. thank you for that update on all fronts, kelly. let's go from there to nbc's julia circuit in nbc. i know we are hearing some new reactions from the top lawmakers. where does it stand overall in this fight, especially on the heels of the president requesting that 33 billion dollar amount in aid for ukraine? what are you hearing, whether they sign? >> yes alex, that is right. as you, know there is hardly any bipartisan support these days in congress. but for ukraine, for the 33 billion dollars that president biden requested there is broad support on both sides of the aisle, from minority leader
mcconnell to foreign relations chairman bob the net, who was on with our truck todd this morning on meet the press. chuck asked, him what will it take for ukraine to win? what is the message here. i want you to listen to what mcgahn does says. >> many of answer the following question by saying, it is up to ukraine and what they decide his victory here. but what do you believe is a ukrainian victory? what does ukraine victory look like you? >> while the reason many officials answered that way dear truck is because it is ukraine the must determine what it will or will not accept to end this war. after such horrific human rights violations, war crimes that putin has committed against the ukrainian people. it is hard to understand what president zelenskyy, and the ukrainian people, will except. >> alex, when defense secretary lloyd austin visited ukraine last, week, he made it clear he
wants ukraine to win. that now the 33 billion dollars of assistance is more than just about keeping russia off of, a way from, its borders. it is about enabling ukraine to win this war. with military assistance. with housing, humanitarian aid, with economic development. this money is more than just about keeping rush away from its borders. there is broad support. the question now for democratic leadership and president biden is whether to pare ukraine aid with covid relief, enabling the two to move more expeditiously. it is not clear what decision they will make, but we will see when they come back into town on monday. >> okay. we will take a look for that. thank you so much julia tsirkin, from the white house. let's bring in peter baker, chief white house correspondent for the new york times. peter, let's get into this with, first of all, getting your reaction to senator menendez, who we just heard say it is up to ukraine about what is victory. more effectively, a resolution to the war.
u.s. officials are ready to spend, in total, 50 billion dollars in this war. and that is just thus far. how much responsibility to those inside the white house think they bear, to push in diplomatic track as well? what do you hear about that? >> well, look. they don't see a lot of prospect right now for a diplomatic track. there does not seem to be room for diplomacy at the moment. they would, not of course, objective president-elect we were to find a move that he could live with. obviously, some of their menendez just said, they are going to refer to ukrainians in terms of what they consider acceptable. they don't see it white right now in the white house, they are settling in for what looks like a pretty long and grinding war. the 33 billion dollars that president biden asked congress last week showing another five months, piecemeal here or there. that could be long term, and it could be even longer. >> we are not always privy to
everything going on inside the white house, right? you might be so, but it is not always get back. having said that, even if putin publicly refuses to talk, is there any avenue that u.s. officials can consider in terms of diplomacy? you keep hearing about the military efforts, lots about that. how much effort do you think is going to diplomacy, if at all, even just drawing up potential things? is there work in progress on that? >> to your point, of not knowing what is going on you are right. look what happened last week with the release of the former marine who had been held by the russians in the russian prison exchange. i don't think it is going to happen. there was behind the scenes communications going on for a while. that suggests there are some of a news, but it is hard to see what constitutes acceptable diplomatic solutions which leave any russian troops in ukrainian territory. with russians seem to be aiming at in this point is cutting off
the east in the south, creating a de facto reality on the grounds that ukraine would have to live with. losing part of the territory, part of the population, and just living with it. the same thing played did in 2014 with crimea, launching a separatist war in the donbas. that is not going to the fly in the same way to the 2014, i six. i think there is a lot more sense in the part of the ukrainian gun, clearly, just accepting that as a de facto state. or de facto annexation by russia. it is not going to be unacceptable diplomatic outcome. >> to that point, there has been consistent resistance, if not over fighting, regarding crimea for the last eight years. what we see, now in the way that would extend down the road. let me take a look at the new article saying that the 33 billion dollar request represented an ex warning escalations american investment in the war.
despite the russian atrocities piling, up in americas justifiable sympathy with ukraine here, is there a point where the white house feels fear is that public sentiment way may turn against this ongoing military assistance? will americans begin asking for some type of diplomatic off-ramp? >> there is concern about, that i think, obviously. this is a lot of money. if you do the math, it looks like it is roughly about the same, or even a bit more, then we spent four war fighting costs in afghanistan each year over the last 20, before we got it. that is a big commitment of resources and american treasure in effect. i think at the moment we feel like there is a solid bipartisan support for this in washington. could be caught up in congress, ancillary issues like immigration and covid relief right now. in terms of the logistics of passing it in congress. and i think you are right. there is a worry that there could be fatigue in the public at some point about this. most americans have been polled support what president biden is doing, or want him to do more.
but there is always the victory sentiments with the polls, right. saying that america should not be the leading player. a lot have been saying, that anyway. i think there is that strain of, is this enough for the rest of the world? why do we care about what happens far off? what can rise in the months to come if people get tired of watching what is happening on the ground over there, they will be asking the question you are asking. which is, is there a point which america doesn't responsibility to continue -- ? >> if you want to bring down just in terms of dollars and sense, is there a point where regardless of sentiments, potentially, america just won't be able to afford funding at these levels? and you could have an option to of holding back financially from ukraine? >> it's a lot of money, obviously. but we see in washington, in the world to spend, money you just spend it. there is no point in requiring money to be spent on offsets, i think the national that as much as anything else.
-- whether domestic or international. the question, again, is at what point does the appetite begin to run out. you've heard the president say last, week do not worry. the europeans are going to be blowing up. the europeans are as committed as we. are they will pay lots of it. i'm afraid, but it was obviously attended a domestic audience to make clear to the american public won't just be the united states picking up the tab. but that is a concern, obviously, in the white house. >> all right peter baker, as always, great having the shot. thank you so much for that. we look forward to seeing you next week. also, for all of, you we look forward to seeing representative adam schiff in just a moment. he is on the, road bearing a couple of technical difficulties. we are working to get that fixed in the control booth. we are gonna be back with him after a break. also this. a major development in the criminal investigation of donald trump raises this question. is he now in the clear? in miss mary trump will be joining us with thoughts. later, a republican senator get support from two of -- most troublemakers on the
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public the long hearings on the awaited public hearings january 6th capitol on the riot are on the january 6th capitol riots horizon. the first, one tonight. are on the rise, in a series of eight hearing, some slated for prime time feelings. now the question, is will people watch? let's go to nbc's allie raffa, joining us from capitol hill as always. ali, as you know it's been over a year of trip trip trip, leap giving up intelligence. some of it significant, but all about this failed coup. will these hearings and of being much must-see tv? >> yeah, alex, well congressman jamie raskin, who sits on the january six committee said recently that these hearings will, quote, blow the roof off of the house. he saying the hearings will do that because they will reveal crimes around the attack on the capitol, on january six, that
haven't been alleged yet. alex, i think it's important to note that the committee doesn't have to have these public hearings, they could well wrap up their investigation and submit a report to congress. but they are making a conscious decision to do this because they want to show, with the help of exhibits in the forms of videos, photos, staff testimony, witness testimony. they hope for some lawmaker testimony. to show whatsapp and on january six, why it happened and to explain why it could never happen again. listen to what congresswoman madeleine dean had to say about this, earlier today. >> now, and what they have been searching for all along, it's who else was a part of this. where the participants? where was the money? who are the meetings with? who was a part of the planning of an attempted overthrow of a free and fair election? it's going to be so much. you know they have interviewed more than 800 witnesses at this
point. and so, i guess, the only thing i think matters it's the truth, and that's what this committee will put forward. >> but alex, this big issue the committee has been dealing with for the past few months is an avalanche of leaks of their evidence. in the form of audio recordings, texts, emails. that's something, that as they continue to build evidence ahead of these hearings, it's safe to assume they will try as much as possible to keep those tightly private. >> yeah, absolutely, understandably so. thank you so much, appreciate that ali. joining me right now is mary trump, author of the reckoning and a host of the podcast the mary trump show. good to have you as always, my friend. let's talk about this. the january six committee public hearings that starch tonight. some are slated, of the eighth, for prime time. donald trump's role on that day is going to be highlighted in the hearings. first of all, do you think he's going to watch? if so, how do you think he might react? >> i think he won't be able to
help himself, actually. i don't know, honestly, how he will react. because, alex, as you've pointed out, there has been no accountability for anything he's done thus far. which is an enormous problem. so, i think it's going to be interesting to hear how he responds after the fact. because then we will be able to gauge just how much, if at all, the hearings get under his skin. >> yeah, very good point. a lot of the reason he probably never gets held accountable for things as because he's the king of obfuscating. running out clocks and the like. which is largely what has happened in the new york da's prosecution of him, potentially. that being said. ivanka trump, jared kushner, they both testified for eight hours before the 16 committee. liz cheney added, after
ivanka's testimony, your cousin, that it was helpful. so, what does that tell you? and do you see ivanka and jarred testifying in primetime, and how would that shake the foundations of mar-a-lago? >> i think it's highly unlikely that they would participate in a way that is that public, honestly. but i'm not at all surprised that the committee found their testimony helpful. now, of course, we don't know if that means it was helpful because it helped fill in the timeline, or if it was helpful because it made more clear the extent of donaldson bald men or they kind of donaldson bald meant. but it's really important to understand that, if avant and jarred feel that it will be better for their future to look out for their own good, even if it is at the expense of donald, that's exactly what will happen. >> really? so, in other words, you think
that your cousin has word from her father, that approach? >> yeah, it's really important to remember that every relationship in my family's transactional. and every relationship is conditional. so, if it gets to the point where ivanka and jarred feel that they are in more danger if they continue to defend their father that they would be if they cooperated, then that's what will happen. because what's donald i don't think understands is that his turning on them or other people is useless, because he's the big fish that everyone is going after. so, it would be of benefit to jared and ivanka, again, if that's the calculus they make, to make that decision. >> okay. let's look at the 2022 midterms together here. according to an account by the new york times, trump has endorsed candidates and at least 40 republican primaries this month.
how big of an indicator do you think these primaries are going to be to gauge his hold over the republican party? and how damaging could it be if many of them lose? >> i think it will be a good indicator, actually. what we have seen, the trend has been the candidates he is supporting are the most extreme. so, if his candidates succeed in the primaries, then that would suggest that that is where the republican party is going. the real test, though, will be if his preferred candidates who do prevail in the primaries prevail in the general elections. >> yeah, good point. all these endorsements, partially helping to fuel the prospect of a trump 2024 presidential run. there is this new atlantic article that just suggests, to counter the former president, here's the quote, the league title there, just call trump a
loser. republican strategist say a best way for a republican to depose trump in 2024 will be to call trump a loser as early and as brutally as possible. and then, take a listen to what the akhter of this article, mark we've of, it told me about it yesterday. >> it's reminding republicans, specifically republicans, that there might be this cold around him, there might be this mystique around him. but, in fact, despite his entire brand being built on i'm going to help america win, we're going to be so tired of winning after i'm done with my term, it just reminds them that look, the guy lost not only reelection which is difficult to do. he lost the senate for republicans, he lost the house for republicans, he lost the white house for republicans. >> so, do you agree with him? >> i couldn't agree with mr. leibovitz more. i'd also like to add, because of donald, we've lost over 1 million american lives.
what astounds me during the 2016 primary was how unwilling the other republican candidates where to go right at donald. right at his record. it was as if they couldn't figure out how to deal with him, because he was so outside the norm of american politics. they cannot make that same mistake this time around. and neither can democrats, quite honestly. because, as mr. leibovitz that, donald didn't just lose the white house, he lost everything else for republicans. this is why we see the republican strategy of just making it harder for people to work vote, because they know they can't win a fair election. because, with donald at the top of the ticket, they just will not be able to get the votes. >> before i let you go, can you tell me about this democracy defense fund that you've just launched? what's it, about who's at four, who is a targeted too? >> thank you so much alex, for
the opportunity. the democracy defense fund is a hybrid political action committee. its goal is three fold. first, to hold or, preferably, increase the margins that the democrats have in the house and the senate. also, though, we want to focus on at the races of electoral significance. attorneys general, secretaries of state. that will have a serious impact on how votes are counted and how elections are called. because we know there are republicans running for these offices who have already stated they believed the lie that the 2020 election was rigged somehow and they will never consider democratic winds legitimate. we also really want to help americans understand what is at stake in 2022. which is, quite frankly, the future of american democracy. they need to understand what's happening with voter suppression and also voter subversion which, again, is the
undermining of americans believe in the legitimacy of american elections. which, until now, have never been questioned. >> okay. well, to all that i say, you go girl! thank you very much, mary trump, appreciate your time, good to see you. i'm the dangerous, and escaped inmate and a corrections office. the urgent man hunt in the mystery, next. urgent man hunt in the urgent man hunt in the mystery, next. when i first started fostering koli i had been giving him kibble. it never looked or felt like real food. but with the farmer's dog you can see the pieces of turkey. it smells like actual food. i saw a difference almost overnight. healthy poops, healthy dog, right? as he's aged, he's still quite energetic and youthful. i really attribute that to diet. you know, he's my buddy. my job is to keep my buddy safe and happy.
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caused the shutdown of his latest film, being mortal. he told cbc that he hopes to make peace with the woman involved. >> it is the opinion of the woman i am working with. i did something i thought was funny. and it was not taken that way. the company, the movie studio, wanted to do the right thing. so they wanted to choke it all, out investigate it. and so they stopped the production. now, we are talking, in trying to make peace with each other. >> we are going to go back now to our top story, one of our top guests. that of california congress men adam shift. we have now cleared up a bit of the technical get difficulties as to give you the evidence, the proof, that he was there with the speaker of the house and president zelenskyy just a bit earlier in kyiv. welcome sir. i'm glad you are here. i know it is your first visit since a ukraine, specifically kyiv. i want to ask you about that. because kyiv was attacked with rockets shortly before that
trip. did you feel safe during the ukraine part of your trip? >> we felt safe as we could under the circumstances. we had very good security around us. naturally they don't want us discussing any of the details of that. but it was really an important opportunity to speak directly to president zelenskyy, as well as to show support for having the speaker of the united states congress, as well as a delegation of chairs and committees, time to kyiv to meet with him and discuss how the rules are proceeding, and what more we could do to help. >> what did you, sir, hear from president zelenskyy? what did you learn? we did you feel it was anything you would not heard before? >> certainly there were a lot of things i could discuss that i had not heard before in terms of the things that ukraine has. what we might do to further help. i was particularly interested in his insights in terms of his
intelligence operation, how it has been going since the events of the committee last year. but we also discussed with the weapons ukraine, and topping the list or multiple rocket launch symptoms. which i think would be quite devastating in this new phase of the war. which, leslie close ambushes by ukrainian forces. more funding each other with a lot of artillery. we brought that back, just got off the phone from a delegation with president biden. showing what we have heard from president zelenskyy, and other observations. >> can you give us president biden's reaction to the call? what's he said in the general term, if not specifically? >> we gave him the gratitude he shares with us. it went into a number of
specifics that we discussed about the weapons that are needed about how we strengthen our intelligence operation. about the desperate food shortages that would be caused by russia's mining of the port city of odessa and elsewhere. we are getting out to the rest of the world. we discuss these with the president, on the way. working on the funeral. so we had to cut off the conversation. >> absolutely. we know that he is going to be in minneapolis. that starts in a couple of hours. let me ask you on a personal note. it has not been lost, really, on the world, the way president zelenskyy has been able to maneuver this beyond horrific experience over the last two plus months. and the lead up to, it the stresses, the pressure. and yet he seems to be a
constant rather. i was curious your take away from him. the level of admiration, respect, wondering how in the world he gets it done. he has risen to such a level in the mind's eye of so many, based on the way he has performed. >> it is interesting to ask that question, because we were all in the delegation, marveling at him. he was a committed actor. then became the president of ukraine. [inaudible] love the military situation, the humanitarian situation of people. he has such confidence and products such confidence. he fired not only on ukrainians, but all around the world. . >> pretty remarkable. let me ask you about your sense of any real estate diplomatic process. clearly it takes two to
negotiate anything. vladimir putin has not publicly indicated any serious in trust in negotiations. as anything changed you are aware of? >> i think as war crimes have been discovered, and defended by the russians, they were pushing ukrainians away from the negotiation table. . [inaudible] right now [inaudible] so that when the times comes for the negotiation they are negotiating from a position of strength. we want that victory by ukraine here, want to be able to make this kind of unprovoked war -- that is certainly our object here. >> what did president lewinsky say about the prospect of negotiation?
>> it really did not come up, but i can recall. because again, they are so focused on making sure that the military, economic needs of the russians have not been negotiating seriously, or in good faith. but what. ukraine it was not really eager to sit down. >> earlier this, week as you know, defense secretary austin said this about our goals with russia. here is the quote. we want to see russia weakened to the degraded or can't do the kinds of things that has done in invading ukraine. does america think it is beneficial to keep this war going, if it weaklings russia? all you interpret those comments by the secretary? >> look, i think we all want the war to end.
and we also want to make sure what [inaudible] . i certainly favor keeping those things on russia. rebuild its military and threaten its name again. but the priority is to end this war. and the loss of life. and so we obviously are working very closely with ukraine [inaudible] that is obviously foremost. >> the president has asked congress to pass an additional -- 33 billion assistance in ukraine. if they pass it that brings the total u.s. spending in ukraine to nearly 50 billion dollars. how much money is america willing to spend to support ukraine? is there a limit? should there be?
and let me just say we may have gotten the answer listening to the house speaker in the statement that she made. you are standing right there with her when she said, and i quote, the commitment is to be there until the fight is done. is that the answer? >> i think that is the answer. we will be there to support people as long as there are people to support. in the day, the reason why is that we have a very strong interest here. in addition to wanting to support ukraine, our ally. the reality is, if russia gets away with this, there is no reason to believe it will stop with ukraine. it may invade other of its neighbors, including nato allies. [inaudible] could lead directly to a war with russia ourselves. so it is -- to support ukraine.
as long as -- support. and, as well, help ukraine. the new russian ability to make is part of the future. i think the american people have demonstrated enormous support for ukraine's doing. it is coming back to what russians are doing. we will be their standing shoulder to shoulder, we showing these invaders. >> last question to you, sir. what's does ukrainian victory over russia look like? >> forcing russia out. reclaiming the territorial integrity. and deciding that some gusty. if ukraine wants to join the european union, they should be able to join the european union. if ukraine wants to join nato, they should be able to do that
as well. they should have the right to self determination, like any other nation. i think it is very much a fight between freedom, the freedom to choose your governments and direction as a nation, and oppression and tyranny. represented by putin's russia. that is where we are in that fight. >> i have one question that comes to mind on the heels of that. that, is what will justice look like for russia? how much will it have to pay if these allegations of war crimes, genocide, horrific atrocities, or proven to be intentional at their hands? >> i think russia should be given a restitution. people like putin should be held responsible as war criminals. -- national tribunal. when they are doing is just butchering people. hundreds of ukrainians dying
every day, sometimes even -- ukraine poses no threat to russia. it is a different, unprovoked war. the world has to respond, forcefully. [inaudible] >> congressman adam schiff, safe travels my friend. thank you for being so generous with your time all you are on this voyage back home. thank you. coming up next, a man hunt and mystery. accused's killer escaped jail with a sheriff's deputy. is she on the compost or a victim? she on the compost or a victim number one motorcycle insurer. that's right, jamie. but it's not just about savings. it's about the friends we make along the way. you said it, flo. and don't forget to floss before you brush. your gums will thank you.
where the fbi is joining the search for an accused killer who escape from jail and the female corrections officer is also missing. nbc's maggie vests joining us now with all on this. maggie, what can you tell us? it is quite a mystery at this point. >> alex, good morning. it is quite a mystery. as you said, the fbi joining the search as well as the atf and even the secret service. they're calling this now a nationwide manhunt. the u.s. marshals even offering a 10,000 dollar reward for info that leads to an arrest of accused killer casey white. meanwhile, the local sheriff in alabama pointing out this and made and his deputy have been missing since friday morning. and, truly, could be anywhere. >> the search crowds for an
accused killer and the corrections officer who walked him out of an alabama jail. lauderdale county authorities in the fbi conducting a nationwide search to find 38 year old casey white and deputy vicky white. the two are not related. clues traced back to 9:41 am friday. that the dwight picked up casey white from jail for a mental health evaluation, and appointment authorities say did not exist. they later found the deputies patrol car at a shopping center. >> what does the evidence tell you about how this unfolded? >> the evidence indicates that she assisted in this escape. we are not clear as to whether she assisted willingly or in some form or fashion she was coerced or forced to assist. the sheriff warns, casey white is dangerous. in 2020, while serving time for a previous crime spree, he confessed to the 2015 stabbing of connie ridgway. white later pleaded not guilty and tried to escape the same jail he left friday.
ridgeway's son has questions. >> how did he get out? how? my only hope is they catch him soon, before somebody gets hurt. >> austin believes there, adding that he's not worried for his family safety. he does have hope. that casey white gets caught. he also hopes that casey white, at this point, is okay. again, missing since friday morning. authorities telling the public, if they see the, pear call 9-1-1. >> i bet. maggie left, but thanks for the heads up on all of that. let's go down to politics, everyone. in tuesday's primary matchup in ohio, which is seeing by many as a critical test of former president trump's power over his party. hillbilly elegy author and venture capitalist j.d. vance, who in the path himself called himself a never trumper, is leading the back after trump's endorsement. leading that connect with josh vandal. -- mirroring trump's belligerent style. let's go to nbc's jesse, joining us from ohio. i know voting is days away, but
what are you hearing there about how much trump's backing means to voters? >> yeah, alex, the sense we get from the voters so far that we've spoken with is that the former presidents messaging and policies stick with them. and that's something that several people we talked to have been looking for. but the endorsement itself hasn't necessarily been enough to persuade them. right now, we're in delaware county, which went heavily for donald trump in 2016. last so in 2020. so, we're hoping to hear from people who might be more moderate and see what they're trying to hear from candidates in the senate primary, in the final days of this race. here's what one undecided, who said she's a big fan of the former president, told me at a josh mandel event on friday about what she wants to hear from the top candidates in this race so far. >> do you think donald trump's influence is on the line here in ohio? >> i do, but i also think that these gentlemen and anyone running really needs to look at the reason why trump was accepted by so many people.
and that is putting america first. >> i think that, with j.d. vance, it's all about him and not his connections, or his non connections to trump. i just feel that he's got some really good policies and good ideas, regarding the border. >> the reality is here, though, alex, even if donald trump's candidate loses, his brand might still win. because several candidates in this race have pinned themselves to his policies. his america first agenda, alex. >> okay, jesse curry, from ohio. thank you for that report. joining me now to discuss that and more, don calloway, democratic strategist and founder of the notional voter protection fund. -- msnbc political analyst. and david jolly, former congressman from florida and an nbc political contributor. my sunday, family good to see you guys again. let's get into this, david. i'm going to start with you and
get your reaction to that visual we put up. and we're going to do it again. j.d. vance, sandwich there between marjorie taylor greene and matt gates. i mean, vance was once a never trumper. now he's campaigning with two of the farthest right members of the party. of all people to attach yourself to, what is your reaction to this picture? >> i think your question, alex, perfectly reflects and contextualize as the reporting we just heard. that, yes, it is fascinating to see if donald trump's personal endorsement has an impact. but the greater way to look at this is how donald trump broke down and reshaped the orthodoxy of the gop and his image. marjorie taylor greene and matt gates are products of that new orthodoxy, and that is why their currency is valuable in the ohio race. regardless of who emerges of a lot of these primaries, ohio and across the country, what we are seeing is a party shaped in trump's image. here's the only thing to look for. i'm not worried about which
candidates emerge or not, there already to be trumpist candidates. but is there a leading republican figure? like a rhonda santas, and asa hutchison. somebody who recognize this moment and says now is the moment where i can flirt with putting my brand on candidates, and begin to compete with the trump brand. if we don't see, that will go through primary day with little impact. but we very well may see that come out of this. >> don, to you. i'm curious of your perspective on this. what it tells you, the three options here. doesn't scare you? does it make you roll your eyes? or does it make you laugh out loud? >> a little bit of both, i'll be try violent i believe. it scares me a little, bit but not much. it certainly makes me laugh, but you don't want to laugh too hard because these people are now flirting with senate seats where they can have extraordinary influence. as opposed to being buried in the minority of the house. but it certainly makes me roll my eyes, and this is why. i talked to a lot of people on not even on the progressive side, but get moderate democrats all the way to progressives, who want to find
a way to participate in the american democracy by running for office. they're accomplished people, people of goodwill, like j.d. vance once was when he was the bestselling author of hillbilly elegy. what happens when you partner these folks with trump offspring like marjorie taylor greene and matt gates? the credibly accused child molester. you get good people who could've added substantively to the american discourse, and you get them running around in the mud. when you're rolling around in the mud with pigs, you get 30 in the pigs get happy. it's really disappointing to see decent people, who happen to be republicans, going to this low is common denominator. i wonder what's the future of the republican party when that's the type of talent that's being degraded. >> yeah, well, i'm going to say, i was listening to you but i had to stifle a laugh a couple of times at those visuals. really good. let me get to you, susan. about vance's bid for the ohio senate. which is probably the first big test of donald trump's influence over the party, and the voters in the midterm elections. how do you think it's going to play out? >>, well it's too close to tell
right now. we're looking at a three-way race. it is important to recognize that donald trump's endorsement did help advance. he dumped jumped up from a distant third place in the polls to being downright competitive. when we look at it in a broader context of trump's endorsements, it's really only powerful when there is a vacancy. when you look at how he's playing, how the issue is playing out in the governor's races, the four races that he's been really paying attention to. alabama, idaho, the one in ohio, which is leading, and also camp in georgia. especially camp in georgia, who he is now spending money against. all of those incumbents are up, and up significantly. i can't help thinking, if you have a record of legislating and governing, perhaps you just can't get torn down by the smoke and mirrors of donald
trump. >> there is a new poll i want to go over with you, it shows that the president standing with americans has improved slightly. but there's also the scalpel. this shows a major drop in support for the president, trump probably the most essential voting bloc for the party, black voters. early in biden's term, 87% of black adults approve of the job he was doing. it's all the 74% last summer. now it stands at 67%. that's a 20 point drop, don. why do you think that is? the president promised he would have black voters backs. has he kept that promise? >> well, there's a couple of things. politics has a midterm drop off, people are trying to think about nba files a graduation right now, we're not trying to worry about the midterms. we will get to that in september, october. the second thing is, i think the president of the administration have not done a great job. yes, covid is part of that, omicron, we call it all mariano the community. covid has been a part of him not being able to get out
himself and do what he's done with the infrastructure investment in jobs act, the parts of build back better that were able to pass and become law. you're seeing good work on the administrative level, meeting at the local level and private sectors. to make regional transformational change, particularly in the transportation sector. you've seen good things that the administration hasn't sold. lastly, this administration hasn't delivered on some big and bold promises, namely student loan debt. that is something that the president can do with the strike of a pan, it's well-established now that he has the executive authority. he hasn't done it yet. those are the types of kitchen table issues that really would do immediate work to close the racial wealth gap. we haven't seen, it and you're seeing a dip in american african american enthusiasm as a result. >> quick to, you david. these polls numbers reported today, today have anything to do with what republicans are doing? >> republicans have the benefit of just running against dams. what i'll say to my friends, november's gonna be rough. the economy is bad. there's conflict on the world
stage. just remind voters about the contrast. democrats want fewer guns on the street, republicans want. more democrats want lower health care prices. democrats don't care who you love her how you look, they believe ladders of opportunity should be available for all people. there's a contrast between these two parties, that led democrats to power and could keep them there. >> okay. well as you know, could have a café don't go. now you go first next time, season. ladies first. it is a political cartoon elon musk used to make a political statement. the message behind and the impact it's had, that's coming up. behind and the behind and the impact it's ♪♪ up
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