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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  May 9, 2022 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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this is "andrea mitchell reports." back in washington where the biden administration is stepping up sanctions against russia targeting russian media and banking executives as vladimir putin appeared in moscow for a victory day parade. this is an annual parade. this year it took on added significance as vladimir putin tries to recover from unanticipated setbacks in ukraine. putin falsely claiming to be fighting a pro nazi government in kyiv, which is patently false. putin's assault on ukraine remains far from victorious. on sunday first lady jill biden paid a surprise visit to ukraine meeting with the first lady on mother's day.
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canada's prime minister trudeau also in kyiv to meet with president zelenskyy. and even measure high profile visits from u2's bono performing at a subway station in kyiv. ♪♪ >> here at home, intensifying protests in dozens of cities over the supreme court potentially overturning roe v wade including outside the homes of chief justice roberts and justice kavanaugh. joining me now is keir simmons. a reminder that russia is cracking down on all journalists. victory day is always a huge celebration in russia. it seemed different today.
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scaled down from what some of us might have expected. >> reporter: that's right. i think today there were things said and seen and thin things not said and not seen. you couldn't miss the unpro miez -- uncompromising symbolism, marching through red square followed by tanks and intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear capable missiles. then the speech by president putin in which he said we are fighting for our mother land, we are fighting for our future and blamed nato, claiming it was nato supplying advanced weaponry to ukraine and, therefore, fuelling the conflict there. then there was what wasn't said and wasn't seen. so president putin on this victory day not able to announce a victory in ukraine. there was supposed to be a
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flyover of fighter jets and bombers. that was cancelled, the kremlin said because of the weather. we didn't see as we have on victory days past leaders from around the world joining president putin to watch the parade. he was there on an international geopolitical level, if you like, on his own. that, i think, is all part of the light and shade of what happened today. but what you cannot have missed is that president putin was in no way backing down. the message was absolutely clear that they would continue this fight. he even later met with the father of a colonel killed in ukraine. he gave him a posthumous award to his father. his father talking about his hopes, his hope to god, he said, that there would be less lives lost, but at the same time saying there will be a victory.
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today left no doubt that the majority of people here, according to the polls, support president putin. that's what people told us. one woman, for example -- again, this is victory day, traditionally to mark russia's victory over the nazis. one woman told us, we won in 1945 and we'll win again. >> kelly cobiella joins us. 60 people are now feared to be dead in the latest russian strike against a school. >> reporter: yeah. just an absolutely devastating weekend here in ukraine after that missile strike on a school in luhansk. the governor of luhansk saying a lot of people were sheltering in
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that school in the basement, up to 90 people. they say they were able to pull about 30 people out of that just utter destruction and are fearing that at least 60 have died. among those sheltering in that school, according to local ukrainian officials, were women and children, many people in that area who had been trying to stay safe from almost the constant fighting in that region, shelling by russian forces in luhansk over the past several weeks. at the same time, there was a visit return to kyiv today, a show of support by some top diplomatic officials including one back in kyiv with her own message to moscow. take a listen. >> president putin has failed. he has failed to take kyiv, as we all know, since we're here today. putin failed to replace
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ukraine's government with russian stooges and he failed to subject the proud ukrainian people who across the entire country including those in the east of ukraine refused to bend to his will and told the russians go f yourself. >> reporter: we spoke to a ukrainian soldier recovering in hospital for a number of shrapnel wound. he's fighting on the eastern front. i asked him, when you're better, are you going to go back out? he said, of course, i'm fighting for my children, i'm fighting for my country. >> thank you so much. joining us now is retired lawsuit generally steph twitty. let's talk about what happened today and what didn't happen today because putin on v-day made his remarks. he seems to be sending the same
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messages, the same anti-nazi messages which are so fake from the get go. he didn't announce any extension, expansion, escalation. he didn't declare war rather than a special military exercise. how do you read all this? >> andrea, thanks for having me again on your show. obviously this war is not going the way president putin intended. additionally, his military has been exposed as a third rate military and he's been embarrassed on the world stage because of the actions in ukraine or lack thereof. so when you put all this together, there's really nothing to celebrate. he's had limited success in ukraine. in the donbas he's been able to take a couple of towns. of course he's knocking on the door of mariupol with probably success there. but for the most part there's
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been a lack of strategic objectives and he hasn't been able to meet anything that he intended to accomplish. having said all this, where do we go from here would be the next question. i think that he's in a bad spot right now because putin does not want to be seen as losing this war. so he's going to continue to push and grind at this thing until either he eventually comes to grips here or ukrainians win. >> i want to play something for you, which is bill burns, the former ambassador to moscow and the last to meet face to face with vladimir putin which was last november. he was trying to warn him not to invade and that he came back thinking that it was quite possibly he was going to invade. this is bill burns speaking at a financial times event on
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saturday here. >> he's in a frame of mind in which he doesn't believe he can afford to lose, so the stakes are quite high. he's staked so much on the choice that we made to launch this invasion that i think he's convinced that doubling down still will en able him to make progress. >> what does doubling down mean in terms of what he has, general? he's got numbers certainly on his side. he's got artillery, he can bomb. what does it mean for the people of ukraine and their military? >> he's trying to double down in a couple of ways. first of all, in his propaganda. if you notice in his speech today, he turned the victim not on ukraine but on himself and the russian people as the victim and he said nato was the
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aggressor. that has been a shift in his tone and rhetoric. that's part of doubling down. the other piece of doubling down is he still has more forces that he can put in this fight and he can continue to grind away at this thing. we've often said this is going to be a long fight here and i believe that it will take months, maybe even years before we get some resolution going here. if you notice, he's not even coming to the negotiation table. he's going to fight this thing to his perceived very end. it may be some short-term objectives that he calls success, but he has got to save face in his mind. >> do they need more from us? we're giving them the howitzers and more advanced weapons and
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intel. do they need jets? >> right now the ukrainians have what they need to compete with russia. so that competition, you're seeing that going on now. the weapons that we and the west have put in there, it is making a difference, as you can see. they're able to compete. they're able to push the russians back whenever they gain terrain. but they're going to need more capability if we intend to destroy the russians or if we intend to kick the russians out of ukraine. they are not formal enough in terms of ukraine to be able to kick the russians out or to destroy them. if they intend to destroy them or kick them out of ukraine, they're going to need more weapons and people to accomplish that goal. >> the president was notably angry, we're told, on friday and
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chewed out, if you will, the ci national intelligence for all these leaks, including the leak from nbc news from the intel that helped them identify it. what do you think of those leaks and how damaging it might be? >> from my perspective, it is pretty damaging, first of all, from our own national security. we want to be able to protect ourselves, number one, but also our sources and methods. we have plenty of folks out there that put themselves in harm's way to gather certain intelligence and do the things that we need them to do. and we put them in harm's way whenever we leak intelligence and we put our methods in harm's way. so i agree with the president that we shouldn't be leaking any
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type of intelligence information. >> general twitty, it's always good to see you. thank you very much. th first lady delivering her own brand of diplomacy on a secret visit to ukraine. bono and the edge from u2 visited outside the capital city, previously occupied by russian forces before performing with members of a ukrainian rock group in a metro station. membek group in a ♪ so darlin stand by ukraine, stand by ukraine ♪ ♪ won't you stand, won't you stand by ukraine ♪ tand, won't uo tand, won't uo stand by ukraine ♪n't find my way out of it.
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. at this hour, first lady dr. jill biden is flying home after her surprise mother's day visit to ukraine. dr. biden greeting ukraine's first lady with flowers and a hug. in a mother's day show of solidarity, she had not been seen in public since the russian invasion began. she thanked biden for what she called a courageous act. later, the two first ladies visited a classroom which had
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been transformed into temporary housing. they works on arts and crafts with some of the children living there. earlier today the first lady met with the president of slovakia. nbc's mike memoli asked what she had relayed to the president. >> what was the first thing you told the president when you spoke yesterday after your meeting with the ukrainian first lady. >> i said just how much i saw the need to support the people of ukraine. the horrors and brutality that the people that i had met had experienced. >> joining me now is carol lee. carol, the surprise visit, it was more than symbolic. let's listen to what she said to
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say while she was there. >> i wanted to come on mother's day. i thought it was important to show the ukrainian people that this war has to stop. this war has been brutal and that the people of the united states stand with the people of ukraine. >> from my observation, she has a lot of influence on policy. >> that's right, andrea. she has a very unique role. it's not a formal role in terms of being an advisor, but her perspective can carry a lot of influence. it was significant that she called her husband, the president, after this meeting which really underscores the closeness between these two. you can expect the first lady
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will return from this trip and convey to the president what she saw, what her experiences were. to that extent, anyone who has covered joe biden over the years knows this is somebody who really cares about what his wife thinks. to your point, she does have a lot of influence. the visit was a symbolic visit to be sure, but also was something that was really the epitome of american soft power and a lot of officials have made a trip to the region inside of ukraine, but we haven't seen anything like this particular visit. the hope is that it sends a message of solidarity that's different from what other u.s. officials have brought in terms of hard equipment and military aid and those sort of things. this was on a different scale. it was more emotionally connecting and showing that the u.s. is standing with the ukrainian people who are
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suffering so tremendously. >> and the fact that she's an educator also, she's the first first lady with a full-time job. she's kept her real job, her profession at community college teaching. so the way she reacted with the children, of course, was very meaningful. but also seeing mrs. zelenskyy, the first time anyone in the ukraine had seen her since the invasion. she's been targeted by the russians, we know that. >> i think this was an important statement by both women. it was a declaration of how close the united states has been with ukraine, has become with ukraine during this war. and the increasing commitment of the united states to provide not just moral support but armament and everything else. there is no one closer to joe biden than dr. jill biden. there is no one who more conveys
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the growing commitment. this is not a visit that would have taken place in the early weeks of the invasion. this reflects a change, a growing commitment by the united states to ukraine in resisting the invasion from russia. >> also mike memoli's notes were extraordinary. he was one of only two reporters, i think, who were there. a very small group. even the others traveling to eastern europe with the first lady did not know beforehand. >> it's such a privilege to be a reporter on a trip like this. these are of historic importance. it's important for the world to have the reports that come out from journalists on the scene.
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>> i've been in a war zone in baghdad in 2010 when she and the then vice president went to see the troops and say there. there was an rpg that was fired into the embassy while they were there. she doesn't hesitate at all in these situations, i can tell you that. thank you very much. the supreme court draft decision on abortion rights has midterm candidates shifting strategy, especially in key swing states. stay with us. , especially in ke swing states swing states stay with us - wooo. - wooo. wooooo!!!!! woohooooo!!!! w-o-o-o-o-o... yeah, feel the savings. priceline. every trip is a big deal. you never know what opportunities yeah, feel the savings. life will send your way. but if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis,
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reports and associate justice brett kavanagh. joining us is nbc's blayne alexander. happy first mother's day to you. >> reporter: thank you so much. it was a fantastic mother's day weekend. here in atlanta we saw what we saw around the country in cities from corner to corner, which was these protests, a number of protests popping up. but it seemed in some ways they were almost getting more personal. we saw the incident in madison, wisconsin, where a molotov cocktail was thrown through the headquarters of an anti-abortion rights group. certainly it's seeming on the week anniversary of when that draft opinion was leaked that the protests are only intensifying. we're seeing increasingly the focus go to the states. we talked about the trigger laws where there are about 13 states that would immediately ban
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abortions should roe v wade be overturned. we've seen a number of states preparing legislation or advancing legislation on both sides of the issue, either to strengthen abortion rights in the state or strengthen laws that would further ban abortion in the state if roe is overturned. >> if there is legislation brought to you to ban contraception, would you sign it? >> i don't think that's going to happen in mississippi. i'm sure they'll have those conversations in other states. >> you're not answering the question. >> as is always the case -- there's so many things we can talk about. >> reporter: that's just one issue that has certainly gotten more intense focus. another one are abortion pills that are available by mail. that's something we've seen at
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least louisiana and other states prepare to take action against. it's really just advancing the conversation of all eyes on the supreme court to see what exactly happens with the final decision. it's setting up to what could be a patchwork of different laws when it comes to abortion rights across the country. that has set up some important battles between states themselves and also between courts and the federal government. >> it is a whole new situation indeed. blayne alexander, thanks to you. joining us is one of the first midterm candidates, a democrat in a crowded wisconsin democratic primary field. here's a bit of that tv ad. >> i'm at the supreme court where it looks like ron johnson is going to get exactly what he
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wants, overturning roe v wade. join me to defeat ron johnson. >> joining us is wisconsin state treasurer running against republican senator ron johnson in the midterm. sarah, it's a crowded field. so you are a prime example of how this abortion issue is becoming center stage in these critical election races. it's only been days since the draft opinion, the draft majority opinion which indicated how the ruling may come down at the end of june.
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wisconsin is already extremely polarized. talk to me about that and the change you're seeing now in the calculation of why you're running this ad. >> well, i will tell you in wisconsin this is a real issue, because we have a complete abortion ban on the books. there's no exception, not for rape or incest. so i have been seeing a lot of great energy. people have been calling me and saying i know you don't think this issue is an after thought. i've been frustrated with my own party because they've had 50 years to codify and they haven't gotten it done and i know you'll prioritize it. ron johnson has called roe a tragedy for this country. we don't need politicians making health care decisions for women. >> it got violent over the weekend. of course, the molotov cocktail was thrown. talk to me about that, because that's certainly something we haven't seen before in
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wisconsin. >> let me be clear, violence is unacceptable and is not the answer. what's the answer? the answer is for people to get involved in this campaign and to work to elect pro-choice democratic women. how are we going to change the law? we've got to elect more democratic senators that are pro-choice. let's start right here in wisconsin. you can get involved in my campaign. we are taking volunteers and donations because that's what it's going to take to beat ron johnson. it's all hands on deck. >> what are your other concerns in wisconsin? wisconsin is quickly becoming a test as well for a chance to overturn elections. it's becoming a big issue given the fact that you've got republicans in the legislature. >> i will tell you when i travel
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the state, they just want someone who's going to focus on common sense kitchen table issues that matter most. for example i was talking with someone who was skipping their prescription drugs, because they can't afford it. we have these forever chemicals poisoning our great lakes and our rivers and our drinking water, to young moms who can't afford child care. this is what they want their lawmakers to focus on, not conspiracy theories like ron johnson has been doing or spending july 4th in russia. they want to see real things getting done in the u.s. senate. >> in terms of this democratic field, is there anyone in that field you would not endorse? is it at this point just important to have the party united after the august primary against ron johnson, as far as you're concerned?
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>> i will tell you, when i ran for state treasurer in 2018 it's incredibly important that we all unite. you only win by two or three votes per precinct. our elections are close. we are used to that in the state of wisconsin, but i know this is going to be a galvanizing issue that's going to bring women to the polls because we do not want politicians like ron johnson making health care decisions for women and affecting our freedom. >> thank you so much. we do hope to talk to all of the candidates in this race including of course the republican incumbent ron johnson. growing concerns from the white house as the number of covid cases across the country go in the wrong direction. couny go in the wrong direction.
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without new pandemic funding, 100 million americans could develop covid-19 next fall and winter. the biden administration is renewing its call for another $225 billion in covid relief money to provide therapeutics, testing, vaccines and boosters. >> we're going to have a lot of waning immunity. this virus continues to evolve. we may see a pretty sizable wave of hospitalizations and deaths this fall and winter. whether or not that happens is largely up to us as a country. if we can prepare, we can act and prevent that. but we're going to need congress's help to fight this
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battle. >> joining me is chris van hollen. the white house is asking congress for 22.5 billion emergency aid funding. the republicans are asking for a much smaller number, 10 billion. they've already stripped 5 billion in global aid from that request. what happens now? >> this is an urgent matter. if you have danger coming right at you, the smart thing is to be prepared and get out of the way. if you just close your eyes, you get run over. if we don't take action now to prepare for the scenarios you were just discussing, that danger is going to hit us and hurt us badly. so we've got to pass this emergency legislation, $23 billion to purchase more therapeutics, to be purchasing more vaccines and more testing. the terrible irony is these are
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being manufactured here in the united states but others around the world are entering the contracts to purchase these items right now to protect themselves in the future while here we have republicans refusing to move forward. >> what do you say to some critics, largely republican critics, who say that some of the states are still sitting on unspent covid relief money from last year? >> that is covid relief money to help with the economic fallout from the pandemic and that is continuing. states have been programming those funds. to claw back monies where they've already identified what they're going to spend it on just makes it harder for those states to recover in the long run. this is an emergency. it's coming at us. we need to be prepared. that's why it's unconscionable that republicans continue to
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drag their feet on this. i don't know what they're thinking, but again, when danger is coming right at you, it's better to be prepared. >> as you know, today is so-called victory day in russia. it stems from the soviet victory over the nazis. vladimir putin is using it now to display his weaponry, his troops. bill burns argued this weekend in a financial times interview that he is going to double down because he's in a corner. >> well, first, what we saw was a sickening use of propaganda. of course we've gotten use to this from putin. here was a day where they were celebrating the russian defeat of the nazis in world war ii at the same time that putin's attack in ukraine puts himself
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at the feet of the fascists as president zelenskyy said. he is now committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. so the west has been united here and along with other democratic partners, we are continuing to supply the ukrainians with the weapons they need. we're continuing to increase our sanctions and isolate russia. so right now you have a battle along that eastern edge of ukraine. putin wants to move his forces forward and we want to work with the ukrainians to push them back. time is of the essence. i know the administration is working with our allies to make sure that we get them everything they need so that putin fails in this aggression. i do believe that all signs indicate that he is failing. in his speech today, he had to concede the deaths of russian soldiers and russian generals.
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as time goes on, we need to break down that iron curtain of misinformation that putin has been using to try to break through more to the russian people. >> i want to ask you about the abortion vote that senator schumer has scheduled for wednesday. it's clear you don't have the votes. you don't even have all the democrats on board, to say nothing of republicans. so aside from the symbolism, what's the point? >> well, putting everyone on the record is important. i mean, democracy is about accountability. it's about showing voters and the american people where everybody stands. as we head toward the elections, the american people have a right to know who wants to protect a woman's right to reproductive freedom, to protect the right to choose. that's what this bill would do.
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we see this supreme court on the verge of striking down a constitutional right to choose, for a woman to have a safe and legal abortion. this legislation would create national protection by putting roe v wade in the statute. i think voters have a right to know who is going to be standing up for them, because part of the goal of republicans is once they strike down this constitutional right and get that out of the way, then they want to move forward and pass national legislation that would outlaw safe and legal abortions nationally and override state laws like the state of maryland where we've codified roe v wade. so this is an urgent issue and voters have a right to know and this vote is part of that. the end game, how long can russian forces keep up their relentless assault across ukraine, next. heir heir relentless assault across
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do your eyes bother you? because after all these emails my eyes feel like a combo of stressed, dry and sandpaper. luckily, there's biotrue hydration boost eye drops for instant moisture. biotrue uses naturally inspired ingredients. and no preservatives. try biotrue [zoom call] ...pivot... work bye. vacation hi! book with priceline. 'cause when you save more, you can “no way!” more. no wayyyy. no waaayyy! no way! [phone ringing] hm. no way! no way! priceline. every trip is a big deal. ukraine could be a step closer to joining the european union of a virtual meeting today with president zelenskyy and the eu. this that meeting ukrainian leaders showed off a questionnaire for his country's
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entry into the union. joining us is ben rhodes. great to see you. what does ukraine joining the eu mean officially? or is it more important for the economic benefits after the war and rebuilding? >> i think two things. you'll remember way back in 2014, the precipitating event for the annexation of crimea was about whether they could draw closer to the european union and sign essentially an association trade agreement. so the the fact that here we are with the russian invasion having actually trggered membership process for ukraine, i think it signals importantly, but also substantively that ukraine's future is towards zero. as you alluded to in your question, we focused a lot on weapons. there are going to be enormous needs for the sustainment of
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ukrainian government and its budget with the reconstruction of ukraine at some point and in that case, the european unon can play an enormous role in providing the funds and financing, the debt forgiveness, tools to allow ukraine to weather the economic storm and budgetary storm of the war and hopefully get to that place where they can rebuild as a member of the european club on the back end. >> as well as on the sanctions because europe is so reliant on russian energy and they are taking that step on oil, not on natural gas yet, but this weekend they took it a step forward. these phasing out oil. which would do something to putin's ability over the long-term to keep maintaining his military. this is an expensive war for him too. although his resources are vastly bigger than ukraine's. a senior defense official spoke about russia's efforts in the donbas saying, quote, i would
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not characterize it as successful at all. going become to the victory day speech, does he even have a win to celebrate now? >> apparently not. the fact that even putin could dress up what they have been doing in the donbas and around mariupol as a victory, as a success, i think it tells you something about the current state of of the russian military operation. it also suggests, though, we're in a protracted phase of the conflict. the sustainment of weapons into ukraine so they can both be on defense, but potentially go on offense against those russian forces. the sustainment of the ukraine's government, these things become more important. it's clear that despite russia's effort, they have not been able to consolidate the kind of of gains they might have wanted in the south and east of ukraine to announce some sort of victory today. >> i was talking to the retire theed lieutenant general earlier. he ended by saying ukraine has
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the weapons from us to push back, to take on the russians or go head to head with the the russians, if you will. but not to drive them out, not to win. not to get them out of ukraine. what more do you think they need, and is the u.s. willing to do that? >> that's right. and that's what i hear too in talking to people in ukraine and in the region. that there's this focus on the fact that they have been receiving a a lot of antitank weapons, a lot of artillery. but for them to actually go on some offense in places like the donbas to push back russian forces, you get into tanks, long range artillery, potentially planes would be. and the reality is there's some division within nato on that. i think the united states is much more forward leaning. you see with the latest package and secretary austin and blinken's visit, a signal that the united states is moving to heavier weapons and can be used for those types of offensive
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purposes. i do think that germany coming on board to that, given they are a major arms manufacturer, and other nato allies, that's something that president zelenskyy is really working on and what he wants to be able to get through the fighting over the next several weeks. >> ben rhodes, your perspective is great to have as always. thank you so much for being with us today. >> thank you. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow us online on facebook and on twitter. garrett haake is in for chuck todd with "the daily rundown" right after this. with "the dai ♪ oh, oh, oh ♪ ozempic® is proven to lower a1c. most people who took ozempic® reached an a1c under 7 and maintained it. and you may lose weight. right after this up to 12 pounds. in adults also with known heart disease,
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protected and undeniably sleek. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you. if it's monday, a newly depleted russian military parades through moscow. as putin tries to justify his war in ukraine. and president biden prepares to sign legislation furthering the u.s.'s involvement in the conflict. plus senator schumer is poised to move for a vote on abortion protections this week after senator mcconnell says a national abortion ban is possible if the supreme court overturns roe v. wade. and battleground politic, we're about to hit a key stretch in midterms. they battle on abortion, immigration and pocketbook issues like soaring inflation and record prices at the gas pump.