tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 17, 2022 3:00am-6:00am PDT
circles, conservative media figures, or even in the republican party itself. i think we'll be watching how president biden toes that line, if he wants to point blame not necessarily for the shooting itself, but for the sort of theories and cultures and motivations that are stirring up things like this. >> yesterday, white house press secretary karine jean-pierre called it the theory but didn't call in and out those espousing it. thank you, my friend. thanks to all of you for getting up "way too early" with us on this tuesday morning. i'm off to buffalo now with the president. "morning joe" starts right now. senate gop leader mitch mcconnell spent his weekend in ukraine, where he met with president zelenskyy. can we see a photo of them? wow. zelenskyy looks like a guy meeting his new stepdad for the first time. i'm not callingda
>> all right. breaking news overnight in ukraine, where a devastating months' long battle in the key port city of mariupol, ukraine, has officially ceded control on russia. we'll have more on the deal that is right now allowing the city's final defenders to safely evacuate that steel plant. we'll also go live to buffalo this morning as president biden prepares to visit the grieving city in the wake of saturday's deadly mass shooting. it comes amid new reports about the suspect's alleged plan to turn the massacre into a spree. we will talk to a top member of the white house national security council on that. and it is primary day in pennsylvania. the senate race there has been rocked by twists and turns in the key final days. for the democrats, the leading candidate, john fetterman, is recovering from a stroke. on the republican side, an
unexpected surge on the far right from kathy barnette. we'll be watching to see how trump-backed dr. oz performs tonight. good morning. welcome to "morning joe." it is tuesday, may 17th. along with joe, willie, and me, we have pulitzer prize-winning columnist, associate editor of the "washington post," and msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson. washington bureau chief for "usa today," susan page is with us. national editor at the "financial times," ed luce. joe, a lot going on today. >> we do have a lot going on. of course, we're going to be starting in buffalo in a minute. i've got to say, the media reaction to it, especially on the hard right, the trump right, was -- well, it would have been laughable last night if it weren't so tragic. >> right. >> throughout the day, people trying to make excuses for an entire network, an entire media
ecosystem trading in great replacement theory. then after, of course, the tragedy, trying to back up and say, oh, no, we weren't talking about that. we haven't been talking about that, despite the fact they've been talking about it by name. pennsylvania, you talk about the pennsylvania primary. fascinating. somebody that i think a lot of pennsylvania insiders consider the front runner now, despite the polls, attacked donald trump. talked about how she would have a better chance of winning statewide than donald trump. that was fascinating. also, ed luce, really quickly, before we go to quickly, we, of course, will be talking about mariupol. but, my god, the clip that is circulating around all over the place of russian tv, where russian tv analysts are now talking about how miserable russia is doing. also talking about how they're isolated in the world, and they need to just face up to that. doubly fascinating because
nobody shows courage on russian tv. this is where they were talking about using nuclear weapons against the united states just a month or two ago. they say what they say on russian tv because they're allowed to say what they say on russian tv. so i'm not exactly sure what it means, but there is a growing realization that vladimir putin's lies are catching up to him. they're going to have to start telling the russian people the truth. >> yeah. there is an extraordinary clip. it is a very respected russian defense analyst and columnist on live tv. presumably, they weren't, you know, fully warned of what he was going to say, but it wasn't cut off. he said, look, we are geopolitically isolated, even amongst our friends. we're isolated. our soldiers are no match for the ukrainian soldiers. they have morale. they have justification for what they're doing. justification. we'd better start digesting reality because, essentially, we're losing here.
it was an extraordinary, courageous, 4-minute passage. you know, if that's what's happening on controlled, live russian tv, then putin's got real problems at home. >> yeah. we have a lot to cover in ukraine. willie geist, let's start things off in buffalo. >> yeah, president biden will be there today, mika, expected to renew calls for national gun reform legislation during a visit to the city. according to a white house official, the president will ask congress to take action against what he calls weapons of war and to curb access to guns for people with serious mental illness. the trip comes as information continues to come out about the alleged shooter in saturday's attack. in a review of hundreds of pages of internet posts, nbc news reports the 18-year-old suspect was planning his attack for months and intended to continue the violence at other locations, had he not been arrested there at the supermarket. two additional possible spots the suspect allegedly wrote, a black church in buffalo and an
elementary school in the city. the author of the post wrote, they were targeting the school because of its predominantly black student body, which they found by looking up test scores online. after reportedly choosing to attack the buffalo supermarket in february to kill those he called, quote, replacers. "washington post" reports the suspect was nearly caught during a reconnaissance style trip to the grocery call. in a, what he called close call, he was confronted by a security guard after repeatedly entering the store in march to map out the aisles. he made excuses for his strange behavior and fled the supermarket. after identifying the store as, quote, attack area one, the suspect reportedly decided on two other nearby locations to continue, as he wrote, to shoot all blacks. his words. joining us now from buffalo, nbc news correspondent chris pollone. chris, good morning. what do we expect today on the president's visit?
what is the city expecting? how are the people there doing? >> reporter: yeah, willie, the president and the first lady are coming to a city that's still in shock, still experiening grief. when they come here today, they're expected to come to this supermarket. there's a memorial about a block away from where i am of balloons and candles and notes left to the ten victims. they're expected to visit that before going to a community center to meet with the victims' families as well as first responders who came and responded to this attack here on saturday. in terms of the investigation, the owners of tops say that it will reopen. this grocery store is a key part of this community, almost like a gathering center for people who live in this area. they say it will reopen, but that certainly won't be today. federal officials and local officials are still combing through that store, trying to build as good a case as they can against the accusers gunman. as you mentioned, they have
revealed that in reviewing all of these social media posts, both the 180-page manifesto and also social media postings that have been put on sites like discord over the last several months, they believe that this has been in the works for quite some time. as you mentioned, the accused gunman apparently looked at other cities before settling on come to this supermarket. they believed if he was successful in the attack and escaping, he was looking to drive down jefferson avenue here and either go to other businesses or perhaps a church, looking for more victims. obviously, with buffalo police and that heroic security guard engaging him, they were able to stop further carnage. but they believe that he came here back in march to take a look at the place and then was also here the day before the attack and a few hours before the attack out here taking a look around, willie. >> president and first lady expected right where you are at
the tops supermarket a little after 10:00 this morning. chris pollone in buffalo, thanks so much. mika, when you read through the manifesto and you see a black church and elementary school, it sends a chill up your spine. we could have been talking about this incident and charleston and sandy hook all put together. >> this one could have continued, had he not been stopped. following, by the way, an alleged threat last year that led to this suspect being investigated by law enforcement. police say they did not take steps to trigger a law which could have prohibited the accused shooter from legally owning a gun. speaking to the "new york times" yesterday, new york state police declined to say why they didn't pursue the so-called red flag law. that legislation allows a judge to bar people who pose a danger to themselves or others from possessing a gun. in the case of the accused buffalo shooter, a law enforcement official tells the "times" they investigatd a
situation last year where the suspect wrote that he was planning to commit murder-suicide. after being hospitalized for a mental health evaluation, the suspect was reportedly released a few days later. the gun used in saturday's attack was believed to have been bought legally and then modified using a power drill belonging to the suspect's father. joe, there's so many questions here. first of all, he was a minor during a lot of this. he had written all over this gun. there were so many opportunities, potentially, to see a problem, but easy to say in hindsight. >> well, easy to say in hindsight, but a lot of issues that joe biden is going to be talking about today. issues that we're seeing in the papers today. whether 18-year-olds can get military style weapons. i believe we just reported on a court case a week or so ago saying that they couldn't be
banned from getting military style weapons. that somehow infringed on their second amendment rights. but, gene robinson, you look at the challenges facing the biden administration. many people on cable tv, many people on, well, all tv, online, and in podcasts will talk about joe biden going to buffalo with a divided america. debating one issue after another. may i suggest that on many issues, americans aren't quite as divided as you might believe, if you listen to certain television shows. biden said he decided to run for president after charlottesville. this is charlottesville revisited. the majority of americans, not donald trump, but the majority of americans were repulsed by charlottesville. the majority of americans think what happened in buffalo was repulsive. the majority of americans think
that replacement theory is also offensive and offensive conspiracy theory. the majority of americans, for years, overwhelmingly, since sandy hook, have supported expanded background checks. the majority of americans, even though the margin narrows a good bit, the majority of americans do support some sort of increased regulation on military style weapons. don't think that's what joe biden should lead with, but we're talking about what the majority of americans support. he certainly -- whatever he goes up there and talks about, he has an opportunity to unify americans, not behind gun safety laws, but just behind what's right and what's wrong when it comes to race. >> well, and i hope he's able to make progress on that. but we have gone backwards, joe,
in terms of what's right and what's wrong on race. i think we just have to acknowledge that. in the past decade, we have seen, i have seen, a kind of vicious, overt, unapologetic racism surfacing, resurfacing in a way that i haven't seen since the jim crow days of my childhood in south carolina. you can say this is deeply troubling. this is appalling. this is awful. i think this is something that, specifically, president biden has to lean into. because, you're right, the majority of americans would reject that, and also they favor sensible gun laws and also favor
our paying more attention to mental health and all the other issues that are involved. but race is at the heart of this atrocity that happened. i think biden needs to be frank and aggressive about leaning into that in a way that it was -- you know, when this sort of thing could have happened during -- when it did happen during president obama's administration, you know, in charleston, he leaned into the issue. it was, frankly, difficult for him as the first black president to be as forceful as i think the president of the united states can and should be in denouncing
this trend, this effusion of racism that we all see around us. certainly, i as an african-american see and that everybody i know sees and perceives and is appalled by. i think biden needs to go hard at that. >> yeah, he certainly does. you know, mika, as gene said, it was a little more difficult for barack obama for reasons that so many of us will never understand, being the first black president, when you had issues like charleston come up. he was, of course, extraordinarily effective that day and on many other days. but there has been a long history of presidents of both parties calling out racism that just stopped in 2016 and into
january 2017 when donald trump became president. it changed the entire outlook of american policies and, by extension, american culture. you had a president that was telling a black member of congress, a muslim member of congress, telling hispanic member of congress to go home. go back where you came from. that sort of racist rhetoric has infected our politics for the past four or five years. there are people who obviously feel like they've been given permission to speak like that on podcasts, online, on tv, and it is infecting our politics a great deal. i mean, i think back -- i know we all remember this, right after 9/11. what'd george w. bush do? george w. bush went to a mosque, and he had a very clear message for americans. that very clear message was,
this is not about muslim-americans. don't make it about muslim-americans. we're a country that's better than that. we are not going to engage in racism and hatred against muslims. that is a message, unfortunately, we did not hear during the trump administration. it is a message that joe biden needs to be clear about in buffalo. >> and it is a message liz cheney wants to hear from her fellow republicans. she wants them to go on the record because this infection is getting worse. you know, president biden and first lady dr. jill bide reason biden are planning to grieve with the community, but there are going to be so many problems coming at them in terms of what led to this. he will be calling on congress to act on weapons of war and access to guns for people with serious mental illness. these are some of the pervasive problems across the country. then there is the infection in our politics. new york congresswoman elise stefanik, the third ranking
house republican, has denied any role in mainstreaming the so-called replacement theory. she tweeted a statement from a senior adviser that reads, in part, despite sickening and false reporting, congresswoman stefanik has never advocated for any racist position or made a racist statement. 20 minutes later, the house republican conference chair tweeted using the same language of racist ideology, claiming, quote, democrats desperately want wide open borders and mass amnesty for illegals, allowing them to vote. she followed that up with this tweet an hour later. it is a fact that democrats have been explicitly pushing for amnesty for years, specifically for political and electoral purposes. republican congresswoman liz cheney, who stefanik replaced, tweeted this. the house gop leadership has enabled white nationalism, white
supremacy, and anti-semitism. history has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. gop leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them. joe, took a few hours yesterday to watch and read the far right, quote, news networks or websites or whatever covering this, and they completely mischaracterized what liz cheney said, purposefully. they never showed her tweet, and they made it into something completely different. that's the game now. >> well, the thing is, you spew hatred every day. you do your best to get rich off of white grievance. you do your best to make black and brown americans sussuspects. you build a network strategy around that. you build an entire podcasting strategy around that. you build an entire media
ecosystem network around that for growth. people infected with white grievance. then this happens, and you have to spend the next day going, oh, we didn't mean what we've been saying every day, what our strategy has been every day. >> right. >> to get more viewers to get more listeners. and they can't address it directly, so they lie. they've been lying about immigration. they've been lying about these issues for such a long time. i'd asked -- you know, it is interesting, the big spin from the trumpists yesterday was, oh, the great replacement theory, why, liberals have been talking about the great replacement theory for years. whenever people say demographics is destiny, that's the great replace -- no, no, it's not. i've been saying for 30 years, demographics is destiny, not in relationship to immigration, but
in relationship to social security. in relationship to medicare. in relationship to me saying, we need to figure out a way to save entitlements because we're going to have a demographic explosion as americans get older. but it also has applied to the issue of america and the so-called browning of america. here's the difference, folks, because you are going to be lied to over and over again because these people have been caught. they've been caught using racist rhetoric to try to make money. you're going to hear from them that any time anybodydemographi the same thing as the great replacement theory. no, it's not. when you're talking about demographics, you're talking about what is inevitable, what is going to happen. by the way, the great replacement theory, that suggests that jews, that suggests george soros, yes, a
jewish international banker, they will tell you, has this scheme, and it's the great replacement theory. he and the elites on the left are trying to make the country more brown. here's the problem with that, we have been hearing in this country now, and a lot of you are too young to know this. i'm an old man so i remember. we have been hearing this for a generation, that there is going to be a change in demographics. in fact, i looked last night and i found this. a piece for "time" magazine was written in 1990. william a. henry iii. in 1990, he explained the changing demographics in the united states. the piece is titled "beyond the melting pot." this is what he wrote. someday soon, surely much sooner than most people who filled out their census forms realized last week, white americans will become a minority group.
long before the day arrives, the presumption that the, quote, typical u.s. citizen is someone who traces his or her decent in a direct line to europe will be a part of the past. by the time these elementary students at brentwood science magnet school in brentwood, california, reach mid-life, their diverse ethnic experience in the classroom will be echoed in neighborhoods and workplaces throughout the u.s. i could keep going and reading, but the point is, mika, the point is that there is no great conspiracy theory here. george soros and international bankers and this cabal of left-wing people at security society meetings aren't planning anything. this has been happening naturally since 1990. there's just some white americans who can't handle it,
so there are white politicians who are trying to use this and make it as bad as possible. i want to say one final thing, too. it reminds me, what's happening here, of what anne applebaum said was happening in hungary. what does orban do to seize power? what did he do? he talked about the great wave of muslim immigrants coming into hungary. the only problem, they never came. it was a made up problem. and here, you have elise and you have all of these other people talking about, oh, there's this great wave coming in. this is the democrats. it's been their plan all along. >> yeah. >> i've said this a million times, it makes me tired to say it again but i have to say it again. because, obviously, there's some people that are listening to her and listening to other people on tv that are obviously just ignorant of the facts. let me say it again. in my lifetime, mika, and in
your lifetime, and in willie's lifetime, the lowest number of illegals crossing the mexican border came when? at the end of the obama-biden administration. let me say that again. in our lifetimes, in willie, mika, and my lifetime, the lowest level of illegal crossings across the mexican border came the last year of barack obama's year as president of the united states. and this is the environment that they're going to build the wall. this is the environment when all of this anti-immigrant rhetoric rises to the top. at the very time immigration is at its lowest level ever. that was a democrat, elise. check it out. you can even look at the numbers that donald trump's
administration put out when he was president of the united states. they admitted it, the lowest level of illegal border crossings were when a democrat was president of the united states, right before donald trump came in. >> so the transformation, susan page, of elise stefanik, to me, is tragic. i met her at the beginning. but this is what's happening throughout the politics and even in local and senate races. how do you see what's happening here in washington with -- i mean, we literally started the show with the mass shooting, and we're ending up talking about the language being used in republican politics. some republicans say that's not fair. we didn't do this. is it? >> it's all related. we see that in the use of the alleged shooter's access to websites that promote replacement theory, or his aspirations fueled by what happened in new zealand. it's not just in america.
it is very much in america but not only here. who is now the face of the republican party? is it elise stefanik, or is it liz cheney? it is clearly elise stefanik. >> for sure. >> these republican candidates who espouse replacement theory or make a hat tip to it with language that echoes replacement theory, will they be penalized by voters or rewarded by republican voters in the primaries? the moment, it looks like they will be rewarded. >> well, willie, i wonder if many of these republicans, if they were approached today and said, do you -- do you reject racism? do you reject replacement theory? how many of them would walk away without an answer? >> yeah, they'd be scared to say they do reject it because they worry about losing votes and their power. you're right, mika, elise stefanik was a garden variety establishment republican. she worked in the bush white house. she worked on the romney campaign, working with paul ryan
there, getting him ready for debates. she found currency in acting like donald trump, and she has accelerated up into a leadership position in the party. gene robinson, this horror in buffalo a couple days ago seems to me to be sort of the culmination of all these conspiracy theories that used to live somewhere in the fringes of the internet, being completely mainstreamed by a president of the united states, by members of congress, by primetime cable, things people dared not say in public now are just part of the conversation. they are. that message is getting to the wrong people, including an 18-year-old in buffalo who thought he was doing something in the name of his race, by going out and attacking 82-year-old woman shopping at a grocery store. >> yeah. willie, we hope it's the culmination which implies an end point. i fear, in fact i'm sure, that it's not. >> you're right. >> this is not the end of this.
i think it makes a huge difference that for decades, since the -- certainly since the '70s to 2015, 2016, that our two major parties had essentially a compact. essentially agreed that racism was bad. diversity was good. so any republican president before donald trump during that period, one could imagine coming out today after such a horrific thing and issuing a forceful denunciation of -- >> right. >> -- the racism, of the appalling replacement theory,
would have embraced the nation's diversity as its strength. >> right. >> would know the history, the idea of talking about, you know, killing african-americans as replacers when we have been here literally since way before this was a country. you know, i trace my family here back well over 200 years. you know, the idea -- and so republicans, the party and the individuals who led it, would be out, would be forceful, and would be forthright and would, you know, join hands. march across the pettis bridge, if necessary. >> right. >> that republican party is gone. >> no, they're afraid to do that. >> what are you hearing from republicans in the wake of buffalo? you're hearing these sort of lame defenses. oh, we didn't say that.
we didn't mean that. i've never said a racist thing. what do you believe? what is in your heart? >> right. who are you? >> who are you? we thought we knew who you were, elise stefanik. clearly you're not that. you're not that conventional republican we thought maybe you were at one point. but what is this now, that you can't even -- you can't even forcefully denounce racism and replacement theory? in fact, you go right back to it, even in the wake of buffalo. who are you? what kind of person are you? >> she's one of many. we'll come back to this. we have to take a break. still ahead on "morning joe," after being surrounded for months, ukrainian troops have finally been evacuated from that steel plant in mariupol. we'll talk to ed luce about the significance of that defeat. plus, the fda announced plans to ease the nationwide baby formula shortage.
there are still several safety hurdles to clear before production can restart. also ahead, it is primary day in six states, continuing this conversation. the biggest story lines playing out in pennsylvania. we'll take a look at the trump factor playing out in that battleground state. and congress hasn't held a public hearing on ufos in about 50 years. that's changing today. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. joe." we'll be right back. we are her teachers, her therapists, chefs... oh, that's why we're tired. it's because we're doing it every single day, all day. how do you like learning at home? i kind of don't like it. i kind of don't like it either. i just want you to have everything. everything that you want in life. ♪♪
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hours. we want to turn now to the latest in ukraine. the long standoff at the steel plant in mariupol coming to an end as ukraine surrendered control to russia, allowing hundreds of its fighters to leave the devastated complex. more than 200 soldiers, some seriously injured, were evacuated yesterday to russian-controlled territories. ukraine's military says per an agreement with moscow, those soldiers eventually will return to ukrainian-held areas. president volodymyr zelenskyy says the move was to, quote, save the lives of our boys. ukrainian officials say they still are working to rescue the remaining soldiers, although it is unclear how many more remain inside. the evacuation of the fighters marks the end of the longest and fiercest resistance of the war so far. meanwhile, the united states senate could give final approval to a massive $40 billion aid package to ukraine after voting overwhelmingly yesterday to advance it out of debate. the 81-11 vote sets up a final vote later this week.
all no votes came from republicans. the package passed the house with a significant majority last week but was stalled in the upper chamber after objections from senator rand paul of kentucky. senate minority leader mcconnell pushed for the passage of the bill sunday after meeting with ukrainian president zelenskyy in kyiv. according to the "new york times," hours after the meeting, mcconnell offered a strong counterargument to republican isolationists who questioned sending another aid package to ukraine. this is not some handout, mr. mcconnell declared, in comments that could have been easily directed as lawmakers he leads, writes the "times." it is important for the united states to help. it is important for the free world to help. it is important for the ukrainians to win and, hopefully, not many members of my party will choose to politicize this issue. a quote from mitch mcconnell. joe, that is a direct shot, of course, from mitch mcconnell to rand paul and to many other members of his house constituency who say, why are we
sending all this money to ukraine when we have all these problems at home? the package is going to pass, but there is a group of republican holdouts mcconnell was speaking to directly yesterday. >> yeah, there certainly was. obviously, isolationism has been a growing trend in the republican party for some time. donald trump, of course, hated nato. he hated that the united states would have to defend other countries if they were drawn into war. he tried to destroy nato. you had staff members chasing him around europe when he was going from meeting to meeting, trying to get him to say that he actually would, the united states would be there for other members of nato. eventually, they forced him to say something. there is no doubt, he was an isolationist. he pulled troops out of syria. 2,500 troops. it was tragic. he was always skeptical of expanding nato.
so, ed luce, obviously, mitch mcconnell's comments, very important to the republicans in the senate and to the republicans in the house, as well, talking about the benefits of the united states supporting ukraine. i found it interesting. we're going to talk about this russian television commentary in a little bit. i found it interesting that just as vladimir putin's mouthpieces on russian television love fox news, they love playing fox news clips all the time, they also noted that it was rand paul that was doing russia's bidding, that was doing vladimir putin's bidding, but said, "well, we can't count on him much longer. they're probably going to be able to roll him." >> yeah, i mean, rand paul, as you know, is warning about the inflationary impact of this bill, which as somebody who
works for a financial newspaper, it's laughing. there is no basis in that. they are paying close attention in russia to this bill because they know $40 billion in, you know, ukrainian currency, is a lot of weapons, a lot of support, a lot of sustenance for a country gaining confidence. it is preparing a counter in the east to try to disperse some of russia's gains there. so $40 billion, we're beginning to talk real money here. this is an extraordinary act by the yiet. >> united states. >> it is. a retired russian colonel is giving a damning assessment of russia's performance in ukraine, appearing on state television in russia yesterday. as part of a panel, he said the invasion isn't going the way the kremlin is poor craig it. he said the global isolation is
more daunting than russian leaders are letting on. the colonel downplayed president vladimir putin's threats against finland, calling on the russian president to avoid, quote, saber rattling over its application to join nato. he said it is such a poor tactic that it is almost, quote, amusing. the former colonel urged viewers not to accept the russian state's narrative about the war. he criticizegistical failures of the russian military on the ground and dismissed claims of low morale in the ukrainian army. he said russians shouldn't, quote, take information tranquilizers. ed luce, you know, that seems like perhaps somebody's point of view on russian state television and not something that came from above. that seems pretty damning toward vladimir putin. >> yeah. the fact that, you know, this guy has standing. >> right. >> he's not a --
>> what do you make of this? >> i think it is just a sign that putin isn't controlling the narrative at home. i mean, it is clear that the broadcaster is generally censored, generally propaganda. print has been a little more free in russia. what most people see has been the pipeline of lies about ukraine and about de-naziification campaign. so the fact you have somebody this respected, and he is -- you know, i've asked about him. he is considered to be a pretty important, credible figure. >> yeah. >> he can say this, it is a measure of putin's lack of control over the narrative. >> susan page, is that what you're finding? >> can you believe this is where we are after three months of war? we're in a situation where ukraine is getting some real money because they've earned it,
showing they can hand up to the russians. putin is criticized by a respected analyst on his own tv show. finland and sweden are joining nato. i mean, this is not the war we expected to have. >> no, it's not. i will say, joe, the explanation for sweden and finland joining nato, apparently some needed. i was watching coverage. there was damning questions, how in the world could they join nato? this, of course, will create a bigger problem. >> well, i mean, my god. >> i know. >> finland and sweden in nato. finland with an 860-mile border with russia. finland with a great military. sweden with a great professional military. the coverage, the protection they cover for the baltic states that are on the front lines and
have been fearing putin's wrath for years now. >> and watching ukraine. >> it is -- not only do they have an 860-mile border with russia, they're also a couple hundred miles away from st. petersburg. it's extraordinary. it is a defensive coalition. we've said it time and time again. it has always been a defensive coalition. gene robinson, we find ourselves in a fascinating position right now. it is just like the op-ed that a consultant of the chinese government placed in "the new york times" on sunday several months ago. old bill clinton quote, if you find a turtle on top of a fence post, it didn't get there by accident. so you don't have people connected with the chinese government writing op-eds in "the new york times" saying, "don't worry. we have a lot more interest with trade with the west than we do with russia. we're not going to get involved
where this war." that certainly was a good guide for us. but here, when you have somebody as respected as ed says he is, that's knocking vladimir putin's saber rattling toward finland, saying it is embarrassing, that it is a joke. when he's talking about morale that russians are being fed lies, suddenly -- and you and i will remember this -- it is like looking up at the pole of bureau during the may day parades, going, is somebody in power? when something like this happens on russian television, it doesn't happen by accident. this is not the young woman who held the sign up at the beginning of the war. this was planned. this was staged. i personally find it hard to believe that it was vladimir putin that, at the end, signed off on this saying, yes, say that my ideas on finland are
foolish. i don't think that's happening. something is happening out there, but as bob dylan would say, we don't know what it is. >> we don't know what it is, but we don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. >> yeah. >> so, you know, my question about that is, was this a message primarily for the russian people? was this, like, you know, when walter cronkite went to vietnam, came back and said, you know, we're losing the war? that was a huge moment in terms of u.s. public opinion on vietnam. most trusted man in america saying, you know, the government is wrong. alternatively, was this a message for vladimir putin? was a decision made that putin needed to hear this, needed to hear truth spoken, so that he
could get out of, you know, whatever -- so he would lose whatever dilutions he has about how the war is going? or was it a bit of both? the second thought i had just looking at that map, you look at the map after -- you put sweden and finland in nato, and the baltic sea becomes a nato lake, basically. >> mm-hmm. >> it is. >> that is something that no soviet leader would have -- they just would have found it appalling and unthinkable. and the idea that this is what vladimir putin has wrought, that he has, instead of this great victory, he's created geopolitical disaster for russia, could not be clearer than what you see on that map.
>> wow. >> and the final thing that he said that i thought was chilling, had to be chilling to the russians watching. let's but up the map one second, t.j. the final word he said was, we have to face the fact. we are isolated. we are alone in the world. this came after he mocked vladimir putin for saber rattling against finland. this understanding that all of this saber rattling over the past several months has isolated russia to an extent that it's never opinion so isolated. ed, one final tell i thought was fascinating is when he talked about how the ukrainians' morale was better because they had something they believed in. they were fighting for their homeland. this is, of course, a regime that has denied that there is
such a thing as a ukrainian state. they are russians. they are part of greater russia. the fact that the russian people heard last night that the ukrainians were doing as well as they were doing, because they were fighting for their homeland, also, again, quite a tell. >> yeah. remember, these comments, which strike at the very heart of the entire basis for putin's war, come on the day that putin held a meeting with russia's allies, so-called allies, five countries, the four stands and p pe -- belarussia. uzbekistan, kazakhstan, armenia, kyrgyzstan, the four said not one word.
these are putin's, if not puppets, pet allies from his near abroad. they're not behind him. >> ed luce, eugene robinson, susan page, thank you all for being on this morning. it is good to have you. thank you. we just told you about sweden and finland moving to join nato. a key member could stand in their way. we'll tell you why turkey may block the expansion. plus, a white house homeland security adviser joins us ahead of president biden's trip to buffalo. we'll talk to him about the administration's efforts to crack down on domestic terrorism. also ahead, is elon musk trying to back out of his deal to buy twitter? the new data he says he wants before he can take over. "morning joe" will be right back. joe" will be right back
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deputies investigating the deadly shooting at a taiwanese church in southern california are calling the attack a hate crime. the shooter is a 68-year-old man who is an american citizen brn in china. they believe sunday's attack on the congregation in laguna woods was motivated by political tensions between china and taiwan. the gunman lives in las vegas and drove 275 miles to the church, where police say he tried to chain the doors closed and use super glue to disable the locks. deputies found bags of ammunition inside the church, as well as molotov cocktails. the sheriff reports the attack could have been worse if not for the heroic actions of a doctor and other church members. john chang rushed the gunman, jamming his weapon, allowing other parishioners to hog tie the suspect with an extension word. he was fatally shot during the
confrontation and others were injured. there were notes of hatred inside the suspect's car for taiwanese people. it is not clear why he chose that particular church j ahead on "morning joe," president biden expected to make a push for gun safety measures during his trip to the grieving city of buffalo today. we will talk to a top white house adviser ahead of the president's visit. plus, a leading voice for gun reform on capitol hill. senator chris murphy of connecticut joins our conversation when "morning joe" comes right back. "morning joe" "morning joe" comes right back my way out of it. the lows of bipolar depression can take you to a dark place. latuda could make a real difference in your symptoms. latuda was proven to significantly reduce bipolar depressioms and in clinical studies, had no substantial impact on weight. this is where i want to be. call your doctor about sudden behavior changes
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developing stories right now. president biden and the first lady are expected to depart the white house in about one hour for buffalo, where they will visit the scene of saturday's massacre and meet with some of the victims' families. we also have the latest for you from ukraine. more on that rare moment of candor on russian state television. what it means. plus, an operation is now under way to safely evacuate ukrainian soldiers from that mariupol steel plant, as russia prepares to take full control of the key port city. and another big primary day. five states hold elections today, including pennsylvania. we're watching a hotly contested senate race there. at 7:00 a.m. on the east coast, the polls in pennsylvania are now officially open. >> man. along with joe, willie, and me, we have white house correspondent for "politico,"
co-author of the "play book" and senior contributor eugene daniels. former that chief of staff, former aid to the hillary clinton and biden presidential campaigns. joe, the primaries are one to watch today. it really is. >> well, it really is. fascinating, eugene daniels. i've been in politics enough, that you look at -- let's look at the latest pennsylvania numbers again. it's usually when you have an outsider that hasn't had any money, that hasn't had hardly any media support, and there's a late charge at the end, that outsider wins, at least in my experience, nine out of ten times. i don't know if this phony populist that dr. oz is, i don't
know whether he can hold on. i would guess in the republican party of 2022, putting money on kathy barnette might be a safe bet tonight. but, you know, she's ended her campaign basically going after donald trump, which i think is fascinating. saying, hey, you know, trump says i can't win? i did better in the county i ran in in 2020 than he did. who is he to tell me i can't win? again, fascinating ending to this race. >> no, absolutely. you know, this is someone who has been supportive of donald trump when he was president. she was in washington, d.c., on january 6th, marching and talk and spreading the lies. at the same time, she has kind of come behind. you know, it's been interesting to watch, like you said. you have republicans and republican leadership who are getting really nervous. one, because this is, again, a test of donald trump's resill
resilience and hold on the gop. he's chosen dr. oz instead of the others who are in the republican primary. but also because they see her as more extreme and less of a sure bet for the general election in november for that senate seat. that's something they're really focused on. you know, donald trump has attacked her. you've seen her attacked on fox news quite a bit, something that doesn't typically happen, right? that shows this coordinated -- she's called it a coordinated attack, to make sure she doesn't make it to the primary as the winner. >> mika, we also have mehmet oz. trump supported him. his previous positions, now becoming a trump republican, which he hasn't been all his life. mccormick didn't get the support of donald trump, probably
expecting it, wanting it. a veteran of the united states army who won the bronze star. we'll see what happens tonight. it'll be a fascinating race. as joe said, you wouldn't lose a lot of money, perhaps, if you bet on kathy barnette, who i'd say most people didn't know the name a week ago. >> we have john heilemann coming up in a few minutes, and we'll talk more about this. first, president biden is expected to renew calls for national gun reform legislation during his visit to buffalo today. according to white house officials, the president will ask congress to take action against, quote, weapons of war, and curb access to fw guns for people with serious mental illness. more information is coming on the shooter in saturday's attack. in a review of interview posts, nbc news reports the 18-year-old suspect was planning his attack for months. intended to continue the
violence at other locations had he not been arrested. two possible spots, the suspect allegedly wrote, was a black church in buffalo and an elementary school in the city. the authors of the post said they were targeting the school because of its predominantly black student body, which they found by look up test scores online. after reportedly choosing to attack the buffalo supermarket in february to kill those he called, quote, replacers, the "washington post" reports the suspect was nearly caught during a reconnaissance style trip to the grocery store in what he reportedly described as a, quote, close call. the alleged shooter was confronted by a security guard after repeatedly entering the store in march to map out the aisles. according to the post, he made excuses for his strange behave behavior and fled the supermarket. after identifying the
supermarket as attack area one, the suspect reportedly decided on two other nearby locations to continue, as he wrote, to shoot all blacks. willie. >> it is a chilling document. joining us from the white house ahead of president biden's trip to buffalo this morning, deputy homeland security adviser josh geltzer from the white house. thank you for being with us this morning. this is a moment that every president for a generation now has had to confront. a horrific mass shooting in this country. hundreds of them over the course of that generation. and the question is what to do about stopping it. a combination of guns, of mental health, of social media, of politics. what, today, might we hear from president biden? what does he propose to do? >> thanks for the opportunity to join you this morning. let me express condolences to all those grieving in buffalo but around the country, around the world for the lives lost in this horrific attack. i'll let the president speak for himself. but i think the day as a whole
will be about conveying condolences. a community appears to have been deliberately targeted, as too many communities have been, by this type of violence. of course, we have policy work we continue to do to address the intersection of the issues you've mentioned. domestic terrorism, hate crimes, firearms. today, i think the focus will be on bringing what comfort the president can to those who are grieving. >> one of the things this president does particularly well, unfortunately, because he understands it well. from your analysis, when you look at guns, let's say, that this young man bought a semiautomatic rifle illegally. the attachment, the clip he used was not legal. what does the president propose to do about that? is there a gun solution you think is viable, where it hasn't been for the past generation, where you don't have enough people in the congress who say, yes, we're willing to take that step to slow down gun violence in this country?
what's different now? >> the president has been very clear that the current state of firearms in this country leads to too many days like saturday in buffalo, with too many lives lost. he has done what he can through executive action, including working closely, obviously, through and with the justice department. we also recognize that there is a connection between firearms and other issues that this administration has tackled head on. that includes hate crimes. that includes domestic terrorism. the wide spread availability of certain types of weapons can make an attack like saturday's attack more lethal, more deadly, more possible in the first place. >> all right. we'll be watching as the president leaves in a couple hours. deputy homeland security adviser geltzer, we appreciate it. mika? >> thank you. more on the races in pennsylvania. president trump's pick in the senate primary, dr. mehmet oz, is looking to ride that
endorsement to victory. but a late surge from conservativekathy barnette is causing concern from establishment republicans. she backs the big lie. after trump said she couldn't win a general election, she pointed out she did better than trump in her district during her failed 2020 congressional bid. quote, who is less electable with those numbers? that race is now in a statistical three-way tie for the lead between oz, barnette, and former hedge fund executive david mccormick. lieutenant governor fetterman's stroke over the weekend could shake his support. the battle for the senate may be getting more focus, but the attempt to stop far-right state senator doug mostriano from winning the nomination is clear.
mastriano was leading polpolls. complaints could become a full-blown intra-party battle, should he win today. mastrianoports overturning the 2020 election and was at the capitol january 6th, though he says he left before the insurrection. let's bring in host and executive producer of "the circus" on showtime. msnbc national affairs analyst john heilemann joining eugene and willie and me. she may have extremist views, but she punches back in a way we often talk about. there's so many people who are afraid to punch back at donald trump. well, this woman just has no problem doing that. >> well, maybe because she's punching back not from the right but from the even trumpier side.
she is punching back against dr. oz who is a scam artist, just like jd vance is a scam artist if you take them by their own words. what they were saying not so long ago. dr. oz shape-shifted remarkably fast. i suspect if you have kathy barnette going to the republican base, i'm even trumpier than trump, i'm even trumpier than trump's hand-picked shape-shifter, well, then maybe it actually helps her out as we go forward in this primary. john heilemann, first of all, we're talking about mastriano. i don't see how the guy doesn't win the republican primary tonight. he has momentum on his side, and donald trump jumped in. i do want to talk about how fascinating it would be if you have barnette winning in pennsylvania. of course, brian kemp is going to win in georgia. it will be a humiliating loss to
donald trump. and adding salt in the wound, of course, is that mike pence is going to be going down there. kemp asked him to go down and campaign for him. then you, of course, have nebraska, where the ricketts just basically brushed trump aside and made sure their candidate won. this is fascinating. fascinating republican primary process. filled, obviously, with a lot of pitfalls for donald trump. >> last week, we had to give trump credit for what he did in the ohio race. give him credit in the sense that he clearly had an important, if not decisive role, in putting jd vance over the top. now, he's gotten to this run of primaries here where he could end up being, if not humiliated, certainly taken down to size a little bit, from a bunch of directions. establishment candidates like
brian kemp could win. trump endorsed a far-right challenger who doesn't seem likely to win. you have the case in pennsylvania. you can see a bunch of chinks in the trump armor in terms of the sway he has over the republican party. barnette is the most interesting of those cases, i would say. she represents a different challenge to trump's power, which is not the republican establishment triumphing over maga world, but someone who sort of says, maga world doesn't belong to trump. trump doesn't lead maga world. maga world leads donald trump. he is, in a weird way, facing challenges from his right and left within the republican party. he can take blows from both corners. a right cross to the jaw and a left cross to the jaw for donald trump over the next 24 hours. >> adrienne elrod, looking at pennsylvania, and i mentioned the republican establishment,
what is the republican establishment? what does it look like? >> it is hard to tell. i mean, just like john and joe pointed out, you have kathy barnette who is out trumping trump, which i didn't think we knew was possible until maybe this primary. look, this is a state, taking the 30,000-foot view, that democrats could flip the senate seat. look who we have running on the democratic side. john fetterman, lieutenant governor, really strong candidate, has been embracing president biden's agenda. you have someone like conor lamb, known for his moderate chops. and then you have malcolm. all would be outstanding candidates. if mccormick wins, that'll be the biggest challenge for the democrats. bring it on with kathy barnette or mehmet oz. those are two folks think we could run against and win in pennsylvania. >> willie? >> john heilemann, where is the smart money? you've been talking about kathy
making her a favorite in some corners. she came out of nowhere. is mccormick still there? he is at least in the ball game with the other two neck-and-neck. where are people leaning today as they head out to the polls? >> well, i think as joe said earlier, in a race like this where you have someone who is an unknown candidate, who came out of nowhere, momentum matters. she's gotten a ton of coverage, some negative, obviously, but to the base she appeals to, the negative coverage is only fueling her rise in ways. reports yesterday, willie, in addition to mastriano, who we knew was at the capitol january 6th, there are photographs that suggests barnette was also at the capitol january 6th. you know, to the republican establishment and to a lot of democrats, of course, that is disqualifying and horrifying. obviously disqualifying and horrifying to a lot of people on this show. but in the state like pennsylvania that has been in the republican ranks, has been
infected by election conspiracy theory as much as any state in the country, and is a state, in a lot of ways, because of its role in 2020, the last state to be called. the state that put joe biden over the top, this is a pivotal state for a lot of reasons. on the republican side, it is not a demerit, having been at the capitol january 6tkathy bar the top. you'd be a fool to bet against her. you'd be a fool to bet against her. she's not guaranteed to win. mccormick is still in the race. margin of error. oz is still in the race. any could win, but she seems to have what it takes in a primary like this. momentum at the end is what you want in a close-fought primary race, especially an inter-party race, where the fervor of the base makes the difference in a lot of cases with the close race at the end. >> eugene, the last poll, you see dave mccormick at 22%.
barnette and oz moving out front. if that plays the same, it's one of those two that win, and mccormick finishes a distant third, then we won't be able to predict, of course, where these races go in the general election. i suspect that adrienne is exactly right. dave mccormick would be the strongest republican in a general election statewide. that's not what republicans are doing. if these numbers would hold up, the one thing that we could be certain of, as we leave pennsylvania, is main street republicans like dave mccormick and dolan in ohio, they're just unelectable in every state except maybe utah, where a mitt romney can get elected. this republican party, if they reject dave mccormick, the guy, again, most likely to beat democrats in the fall, then the republican party has -- i mean,
they're just -- i think they're throwing -- you know, they're throwing some of their strongest candidates to the side of the road. >> yeah. adrienne just told you, any democrat will tell you david mccormick is someone they feel less likely to beat in november. some of the other candidates, more what used to be the fringe of the republican party is now the mainstream of the republican party, right? so when we're talk about the establishment, who is the establishment? it is donald trump. it is these maga republicans, as the president has called them, because that is who is leading the party, who is making a lot of the decisions. you can see that happening on capitol hill, as well. the establishment of the party is donald trump. anyone who follows him. you can see that with kathy barnette, as she has started to surge. people are getting more interested in her because she is espousing some of those same things that donald trump has espoused. but this is something that republicans behind closed doors have been saying for months,
that they have been worried about donald trump kind of mucking about in the primary process. they were worried about the candidates he would choose in the pimary and how they'd do in the general election. we had representative emmer early last year, and he said he would want the president to stay out of it and let the process play out. that is not what's happened. they're worried for this reason that joe laid out. >> they have a lot of rasons to be worried about. let's go down a quick list of what donald trump is doing to the gop, what he is doing to mitch mcconnell's hopes of becoming majority leader agai, in a year where the democrats seem to be handing it to republicans, going, please take the majority in the house. we don't want it anymore. take the majority. this should be so easy for republicans. yet, you look in georgia. he endorses herschel walker.
wrong on so many levels. i don't even know where to begin. georgia republicans, again, quietly freaking out, going, my god, he did this to us in 2020. he is doing it to us again. you look at pennsylvania. dr. oz? i mean, it is going to be so easy to turn that guy around in circles. he's changed positions as quickly as jd vance. maybe even more quickly than jd vance. total hypocrites and total liars. the republican party in arizona has never been crazier than it's been. you look at the people leading in the gubernatorial race. you look at the people that are leading in the senate race. absolutely outrageous. of course, you have wisconsin and ron johnson. that speaks for itself. i mean, in all of these swing states that biden won,
wisconsin, pennsylvania, ohio, arizona, what am i missing? georgia, yeah. joe biden has low approval ratings, but republicans aren't taking advantage of it. >> right. and, you know, this is, as you said i think a second ago, related to pennsylvania, you know, this is mitch mcconnell's worst nightmare. the pennsylvania race, again, the litany you laid out, joe, is potent and compelling. i think that donald trump -- i would go back to kathy barnette. kathy barnette is right in a lot of ways. donald trump is giving democrats a gift in a lot of those places by getting involved in races where he is going to end up with people who are, by far, the weaker candidates to run in states where a strong mainstream, what used to be a mainstream republican candidate, and i take eugene's point, the mainstream of the republican party is now the extreme, but what we used to think of as mainstream conservative candidates would have a strong
shot at winning gubernatorial races and senate races. they'rekathy barnette is right. in some cases, we point at trump. no doubt, he put a lot of his clout on the line, and he either is going to -- in some cases, his clout is going to stick the republican party with the wrong candidate, making it hard to win the general election, or the candidates he endorsed are going to lose, like the kemp race. but she's right, that the base is now dragging donald trump as much as donald trump is leading the base. you can't overemphasize the notion of what has happened in the transformation of the party into a trumpist party, is trump's power is real with the republican base, but the republican base itself has a mind of its own. so in some of these states, like arizona and other places, the genie is out of the bottle. in some ways, trump is racing to keep up with the base rather than the other way around. i think that is the deeper problem that republicans have in a lot of these states going forward. the parties have gone bonkers.
it is partly trump's fault, but now it is a self-case. we'll have an update from steve kornacki in the races. also, a spike in hate crimes against african-americans. we'll talk about the troubling rise in violence with reverend al sharpton. first, developments in the nationwide baby formula shortage. the new steps the fda is taking to address the problem. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. watching "" we'll be right back.
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president biden is sending hundreds of american troops to somalia to help counter the extremist group al shabaab. the move is a reversal of former president trump's order to pull out more than 700 u.s. troops stationed there. senior administration officials say the extremist group has gained strength and now is a larger threat since the united states withdrew more than a year ago. officials did not disclose where the troops will be based, of course, but said biden approved the deployment yesterday following a request from defense secretary lloyd austin. about 500 american troops will be repositioned from elsewhere in the region. u.s. border officials encountered more than 230,000 migrants at the u.s.-mexico border in april. that's according to court documents. the number tops march's previous 22-year high of just over 220,000. it is the fourth time since president biden took office that monthly border encounters have topped 200,000.
numbers for the month of may, so far, are consistent with those in april, mika. amid the nationwide baby formula shortage, parents and caregivers are searching for relief. abbott nutrition and the fda announced they have reached a deal to reopen the michigan plant to begin making formula. it could still be weeks to months before any appear on store shelves. joining us from los angeles, nbc news business and tech correspondent jo ling kent. jo, good morning. >> reporter: hey, mika, good morning. there is some welcome news from the fda and abbott nutrition, that there is a way forward here to reopen that critical michigan plant. but the company must clear a lot more safety hurdles before it can resume making this formula. this comes as the fda says it will also allow more formula imports from abroad. this morning, a glimmer of hope for parents desperate for baby
formula. >> you go from store to store, and usually there's nothing there. >> reporter: the fda striking an agreement with the formula manufacturer abbott on new steps to reopen the company's critical michigan facility. the company initiated a recall and closed the plant in february after reports of serious bacterial infections in four infants, leading to two deaths. abbott has previously said there is no evidence to link its formulas to the illnesses. on monday, abbott's ceo saying in a statement, our number one priority is getting infants and families the high-quality formula they need. adding, we're deeply sorry that our voluntary recall worsened the nationwide formula shortage. according to the justice department, abbott must overhaul its safety protocols before production can restart. if the fda and a federal court approve the deal, the plant would be allowed to restart in two weeks. but it could take up to two months before more formula hits store shelves.
the fda commissioner previewing the plan with savannah on monday. >> the fda is likely to approve it? >> yes. of course, every step of the way, we have an obligation to watch, to make sure that the problems have been rectified and that the formula will be safe. >> reporter: the agreement is welcome news for foster parents brian and rebecca gang. a 10-month-old in their care needs a certain formula for a sensitive stomach. >> i had a foster mom find some in massachusetts and got me a few cans. it's not like i can nurse her. it's hard because i can't do anything else. >> reporter: the fda announced increased flexibilities for importing formula, allowing manufacturers who don't usually distribute baby formula here in the u.s. to get their products on shelves, as long as they pass
those safety and nutritional standards. countries like australia and new zealand and the uk that have similar safety infections to the u.s. could soon be providing formula. mika? >> all right. nbc's jo ling kent, thank you very much for that. coming up, it's been nearly a decade since 20 children were murdered at sandy hook elementary school in connecticut, but mass shootings are commonplace in america, happening almost every day. senator chris murphy has been at the forefront of the fight for common sense gun reform since that tragedy in his home state. he joins us next in the wake of the mass murder in buffalo. e mas and contains high quality protein to help manage hunger and support muscle health. try boost® today. only two things are forever: love and liberty mutual
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katherine massey was a powerful voice in the community, and she spoke out against stricter gun control in the local newspapers. about a year ago, she wrote a letter to the editor of the "buffalo news," referencing, quote, another gut-wrenching account of gun violence. she called for more federal oversight of firearms. in 2018, massey contributed to the "buffalo challenger," and her article began by discussing, quote, screams of anguish from family members bent over in hock and grief due to their loved ones, infants to grandparents, lost in the rampage of gun murders. she writes, evidence of the major contributing factor is obvious. it is the ultra easy access to firearms. in another piece for the "buffalo challenger" last year, she outlined federal efforts to crack down on gun violence and how buffalo has benefitted.
she ended by writing, "hallelujah." massey wrote on a range of issues dating back decades. in 1999, she criticized the government's lack of funding for medical facilities for veterans. in 2009, she offered a scathing review of the, quote, pitiful local train station. remembered by friends and leaders as someone who wanted to improve her community, katherine massey was 72 years old. joining us now, democratic senator chris murphy of connecticut. he's a member of the foreign relations committee. today, we talk about guns and gun reform. you were there. you were so moved by sandy hook, and you've been fighting ever since. but what has moved the meter, if anything? >> i can't believe it's been almost ten years since sandy hook. listen, we have had a lot of
successes. we've changed a lot of state laws. but, of course, we haven't moved the needle federally. the fact of the matter is, unless you enact gun legislation on a national level, you can't make a big difference here. in new york state, 75% of the illegal guns that are used in crimes come from outside of new york. they come from states that have loose background check laws, where criminals can go and buy as many guns as they want online or at a gun store, load them in the back of their van and sell them illegally, in places like new york city and buffalo. states that have tougher background checks laws have lower rates of crime. that's just the truth of the matter. so until we pass federal legislation, even in states like new york that have relatively tougher gun laws, are going to still be on the front lines of this epidemic. it's just beyond me why people don't listen to folks like katherine, who have been crying out for common sense federal
legislation, supported by 80%, 90% of americans. my hope is that, yes, we'll have an opportunity over the next week or so to try to, once again, find some common ground. once again bring a vote to the floor of the senate, and see if we can move the needle. this is our choice as a nation, to allow this level of slaughter. there is no other nation in the high-income world that has anything like what happens in the united states. the reason is primarily because we choose to allow this nation to be awash, not just in guns, but in these high-powered, military style guns that are designed for mass killings like what we saw in buffalo. >> you know, senator, it's so often whenever somebody starts talking about gun safety laws, you have people on the far right talking about how it is radical. how it is an isue that divides americans and splits americans down the middle. you know better than anybody, after sandy hook, the support for expanded universal
background checks, back grund background checks for guns shot up to 90%. support for stronger red flag laws has gone up. checking into backgrounds for people with mental health problems, like the shooter in buffalo, has shot up. and what you're talking about right now is not taking guns away from citizens that use them legally, that have them legally. i don't think americans understand that the overwhelming majority of crimes that are committed with guns are used by people who didn't buy those guns from a gun store. they got them illegally. so what in the hell is wrong with us stopping criminals from getting guns illegally to commit other acts, to commit other acts of crime? >> so, you know, when i get in conversations with gun rights supporters in connecticut, they
often start adversarial. then i say to them, listen, what about background checks? don't you support background checks? that person who is sort of approaching me aggressively, thinking we're in disagreement, says, yeah, of course i support background checks. i'm talking about you taking my guns away. i believe the second amendment protects the right of every individual to be able to own a firearm. period, stop. but the reason there is 90% agreement in this country on just making sure that everybody goes through a background check before they buy a gun is because nobody, including gun owners, wants criminals to be able to own guns. the reality is, that is the primary reason why rates of violence are so high in some parts of our country. lots of criminals still have guns. now, we should also have a conversation, joe, about why any law this abiding citizen needs a 30-round magazine flip or a 100-round drum of ammunition. those are the tools of mass
shooters. to protect your home, hunt or shoot for sport, a 10-round magazine will do you just fine. there are lots of conversations that have broad consensus in this country. the reason we're not able to get votes in the senate is not because there is a lack of consensus but because in the republican party right now, they still need that stamp after approval to win a primary. until they have another way to demonstrate their positions other than the gun lobby support, we'll be a little stuck. >> senator, good morning. this is a frustrating conversation, i'm sure, for so many people who watch our show, to say here we are again, trying to get something done. as you say, there have been some things done in states across the country, but by and large, we keep seeing these incidents. as you know, the vast majority of these mass shooters do buy their guns legally. the department of justice says 77% of them buy them legally. let's take the case of this 18-year-old in buffalo. walks into a sporting store in upstate new york. passes an instant background
check. gets his bushmaster semiautomatic rifle, makes the illegal modifications, and kills ten people in a supermarket. red flag law maybe should have been in place, but he wrote something on a test in high school that sounded some alarms but he said he was joking so it didn't register. what do you do about a case like his? where should the intervention have been here? >> well, first of all, we used to have a broad federal ban on these types of weapons. it's not coincidental that during the ten-year period of time that we had a federal restriction on assault weapons, we saw a dramatic reduction in mass shootings. we also during that time didn't allow for you to buy these 30-round magazines. these mass shooters get some kind of perverse, false confidence when they are able to get their hands on these video game weapons. i just wonder whether, in
newtown, adam lanza would have ever walked into that school if he couldn't have in his possession that high-powered rifle with those big magazines. so we do need federal legislation. we have proof that it works. but i also just think there's a moral signal sent when congress does nothing year after year. i mean, i'm not agnostic as to what congress should do, but i think every single year we do nothing, we are sending this unintentional but real signal of endorsement to would-be mass killers. their brains are breaking. when they see congress doing zero to send a signal of moral condemnation to these acts, they perceive it as a green light. listen, i think there's policies that work, like bans on assault weapons, but i also think that every year we do nothing, it's, unfortunately, driving these numbers upwards. >> eugene daniels? >> senator, eugene daniels here. good to see you. one of the things almost every mass shooting has in common and
they're multi-faceted. here, we have access to guns. we have possibly some health issues. more importantly, i think, and, you know, the president is going to talk about this later today, you also have this obsession with white supremacist and the replacement theory, this racist replacement theory. how do senators, how does congress, how does the white house, attack a multi-faceted issue? at this point, it seemed to stymy not just because of the lack of movement on gun control but these other issues, as well. >> yeah. i do think it is important for us to just take a second and talk about the very clear trend line in mass shootings in this country. 75% of extremist shootings in this country are committed by white supremacists. you see this through line, from el paso to charleston to buffalo, where white supremacists who feed off of this online conversation about
the replacement theory, fed by mainstream conservative and republican institutions, are turning their anger into mass violence. so this is a moment for my friends in the republican party, who more than occasionally endorse these hateful theories about replacement, to stop it. to stop it. to stand down. to condemn this kind of talk. to stop suggesting that muslims or immigrants or black people or jews are a threat to society. because every time they say things like that on the senate floor, every time they go on fox news and repeat that lie, they are, unfortunately, feeding this river of racist ideology into the brains of people who are contemplating mass violence. i know that is not the intention of my republican colleagues, but they have to be really careful about the things they say right now. >> well, it may not be the intention, but they certainly
know that that sort of language can lead to vviolence. they do it anyway. so, senator, i just want to throw some numbers out here, and i'm going to speak really slowly so people in the audience who may think that america is divided down the middle on the need for more gun laws, to protect the safety of americans, that maybe they can take this in. i think this is very important. because people are just -- the lies are spread so much about guns out there. they can go on their google machine, type in a quick search on these polls, and find it themselves. 83% of gun owners, senator, 83% of gun owners support expanded background checks. 83% of gun owners, according to a recent poll.
72% of all nra members support expanded background checks. you know why? because they don't have anything to worry about in their background. they want other people that own guns to be responsible gun 81% of americans, according to a recent pew poll, support background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows, 81%. 63% support the banning of military-style weapons. 63%. almost 2-3 americans and almost 2-3 americans support banning -- this is the way the question was asked -- banning high-capacity ammunition magazines with more than ten rounds. you've got in every one of those issues i just broad up, almost two-thirds of americans
supporting measures and in most cases eight out of ten americans supporting these measures. seriously, how could any -- any organization have as much control over a political party and over a legislative body that basically they're able to tell 80%, 90% of americans to go to hell on expanded background checks? that they're able to tell 80% of gun owners to go to hell on -- on these other issues. they can tell 81% of americans who go to hell on private gun sales and background checks. they're allowed to tell almost two-thirds of americans to go to hell when it comes to military-style weapons. tell two-thirds of americans to go to hell banning high-capacity magazines with more than ten
rounds. you get into these discussions and there's no justification. they start having semantics games with you. oh, actually you're using the wrong word for this. come on, come on. they're doing whatever they can to change the topic because they know the american people are against them but they've got -- i guess they're getting a lot of money. i don't get it. >> listen to me, background checks polls better than baseball and kittens, no joke. it's absolutely true. nothing in this country that enjoys 80%, 90% of public support anymore except stricker gun laws to make sure criminals don't get guns. everybody thinks only law-abiding citizens should get guns. the question is what's going on in the republican party? why aren't they paying a political price? partially because democrats are not often wanting to run on this issue. partially there's a mythology
partly wrong in parts of america where you talk about guns in swing districts or purple states, you're going to lose. that's just not true. in fact, this issue wins everywhere. that 80% number exists in texas just like it does in connecticut. second, you have this bigger problem in the republican party -- the party has become ba bereft of ideas. the only idea is to hate government. the only way they have come to transport government is support the ability of citizens to be armed against the government, which is what the nra supports. so that stamp of approval has become important in a republican party that doesn't have a lot of other big ideas, despite the fact 80% of americans support common sense measures. democrats have to talk about this more. we have to find a way for conservative republicans to show how conservative they are without the nra stamp of approval and we have to change the laws in the senate. we have a majority in the senate, house and president who
supports background checks. the americans did their job. they put people in both parties to get this done and it's a back rule stopping us from getting this done. >> senator murphy, thank you for everything you're doing and being on this morning. eugene daniels, thank you as well. still ahead -- the latest on the ukrainian soldiers who surrendered after a lengthy standoff at a steel factory in ukraine. richard engel joins us live from ukraine at the top of the hour. also ahead, republicans congresswoman elise stefanik denies she's promoting replacement theory but her tweets continue to push key messages of the mythology. and the domestic trial of amber heard and johnny depp have many concerned. we'll have more on that in just a moment. ♪♪ ♪
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one minute from now at the top of the hour, we'll go live to ukraine on the heels of russian troops overcoming the last pocket of resistance in mariupol. richard engel reports on what that defeat means for ukraine's ongoing fight. in our fourth hour, biden versus bezos. the white house is hitting back after the amazon founder criticized the administration's approach to inflation. how that fight is playing out on social media. the third hour of "morning joe" is just one minute away. away.vs comprehensive solutions, and shows me how to get the most out of my workplace benefits. what's the wi-fi password again? here... you... go. cool, thanks.
no problem. voya helps me feel like i got it all under control. because i do. oh, she is good. voya. well planned. well invested. well protected. you're pretty particular about keeping a healthy body. what goes on it. usually. and in it. mostly. here to meet those high standards is the walgreens health and wellness brand. over 2000 high quality products. rigorously tested by us. real world tested by you. and delivered to your door in as little as one hour. what a beautiful day in washington. welcome back to "morning joe." president biden and the first lady are expected to depart in
just a few moments from now for buffalo, new york. they are expected to begin the visit with a stop at the scene of the crime, the grocery store where a memorial has been set up. they will then meet with the families of the victims, along with first responders and community leaders. the president will deliver remarks this afternoon, where he is expected to call for stricter gun safety measures. we'll get to that in just a moment. willie? but we begin this hour with new developments out of ukraine, where hundreds of fires from the steel plant in mariupol were evacuated after they laid down their arms, ending a long standoff there. joining us now from ukraine, richard engel. good morning, richard. how did this end? >> ukrainians say this ends with them taking the city but this is something of a minor victory today for russia. it is the first time that russia
is able to say it fully controls a major ukrainian city. it has been a long time coming. the ukrainian soldiers were holding out in the steel factory in a pocket of the city of mariupol but without supplies and enforcements able to reach them, they could not hold on forever. it was ultimately a tragic end after some of the longest, fiercest resistance of this war. several hundred ukrainian fighters, many of them severely wounded, surrendered from their last stand holdout, a steel plant in the city of mariupol. they had been battling for months, even as russian forces besieged the port city of a half a million and bombed it relentlessly, destroying a theater where hundreds of children were sheltering and a maternity hospital. the bunkers beneath the steel factory became the fighters'
alamo. but they couldn't stay here forever, surrounded and with little food or water. they were evacuated to hostile territory, moved to a russian-controlled enclave in eastern ukraine. under a deal, they're supposed to be transferred to ukrainian government territory later. ukraine's president zelenskyy says combat operations in mariupol were over for now. "ukraine needs ukrainian heroes alive. that's our principal," he said. "the work continues to return our guys home, and this requires delicacy and time." it's unclear how many fighters remain in mariupol. western intelligence officials expect some will form an underground resistance. natalia's husband bogdon fought at the steel plant. now in turkey, she hasn't heard from him in ten days. from him in ten days >> of course, my husband is very strong. husband is very
strong >> reporter: this is victory for russia but elsewhere in ukraine, russian troops are facing setbacks. according to a nato official, since russia began this invasion nearly three months ago, it has lost one-third of its total combat power. that doesn't mean one-third of its soldiers but one-third of its ability to fight in this country and that is a very significant loss. and ukrainians are optimistic that it's just a matter of time, we believe, before they can retake mariupol. >> we will see. nbc's richard engel in ukraine for us. thank you very much. about those setbacks for the russian military, a retired russian colonel giving an honest and damning assessment of russia's performance in ukraine. appearing on state television yesterday as part of a panel,
the colonel said russia's invasion of ukraine is not going away. the kremlin is portraying, he said, the global isolation his country is facing is more daunting than russian leaders are letting on. the colonel downplayed the threats made by vladimir putin against finland, calling on the russian president to avoid, quote, saber-rattling over its application to join nato. the colonel said it's such a poor tactic that it's almost, quote, amuse ig. the former colonel also urged viewers to not accept the nugs russian-state narrative about the war. he criticized the strategic failures on the ground and questioned low morale in the ukrainian army. he said russians should not, quote, take information tranquilizers. joe, we're not used to hearing any criticism of this regime or russian military on state television inside russia, let alone this kind of full-throated and extensive critique, not just of the strategy but of president
putin's handling of the war and rhetoric around it. >> which is why it's so significant, willie, again, nothing happens on russian state tv unless the state allows it to happen on russian state tv. we assume, of course, that vladimir putin is in charge. he's the autocrat pulling all of the strings in the russian government, russian military and russian propaganda outlets like that russian state television. but it's fascinating, as i said, eugene robinson last hour, perhaps maybe it was 12 hours ago, i don't remember how long, however long we've been on the show, that what's so fascinating here, it's almost like we're looking at a mayday parade in the old soviet era where you're looking up and trying to figure out which members of the bureau have been moved around, who's closer to brezhnev, who was
pushed aside? and in this case why you have somebody so respected in russia was allowed to go on television and actually mock president putin's saber-rattling over finland becoming a member of nato. mocked it. i wrote it down. we have to face it, we russians have to face it, we are isolated in the world. we are alone in this war against ukraine. that's a fascinating admission. again, one that's very damning to vladimir putin. and, finally, he said that ukraine -- and i thought this was so -- so telling. he said ukraine had better morale than the russian soldiers in part because they were defending their homeland. what's at the center of vladimir putin's belief system about ukraine? that it's not a real country, that there's not a homeland. that they're part of greater russia. so why would they be defending their homeland if the official
line from russian tv is they don't even have their own country? so much to sort through here. nothing happens by accident on russian television, unless you have a producer that runs out with a sign, but that producer is quickly escorted offstage and arrested. in this case, mika, you had a very respected voice, former russian colonel going on for an extended period of time talking about how difficult this war was going with russia. it is fascinating. and i can't wait to get a read from the intel community to figure out exactly why that was allowed to happen. >> by all accounts, it appears every which way this has been bungled by vladimir putin, and again, this being shown on state television now. this has not gone as he has expected and proving, once again, he's not a grand strategist, quite the opposite.
we're going to go to what we mentioned at the top of the show. president biden departs for buffalo at any moment now. according to a white house official, the president will ask congress that take actions against, quote, weapons of war and curb access to guns for people with serious mental illness. those elements, mental illness and access to firearms are two of the driving factors behind some of the mass shootings we've been seeing for decades now in america. another component is the internet and roles of social media in providing a platform for hatred, which all too often leads to violence. nbc news senior national correspondent kate snow has the details. >> he came into my community with hate. he drove hours to come here and do what he did. >> reporter: zeneta everhart's 20-year-old son's zaire was working at tops, helping an
older woman with her groceries in the parking lot when he was shot in the neck and the woman shot and killed in front of him. incredibly zaire survived. his mom also happens to be director of diversity and inclusion for a new york state senator. this young man apparently had a document that he put up online. he broadcast part of it live. >> i think the first thing we have to do is talk about it and stop acting like there is no racism in this country. >> reporter: asian american women were targeted in spa shootings in atlanta in 2021. mexican shoppers at a walmart in el paso in 2019. jewish worship ars targeted at a synagogue in pittsburgh in 2018. black parishioners at the mother emanuel church in charleston in 2015. the shooter in buffalo referenced previous shootings. he claimed he was radicalized on 4chan and cites the great replacement theory that suggests jewish elites are bringing people of color into the u.s. to
replace whites. scott richman with the anti-defamation league said it's easy to find on social media sites who don't have moderation policies. >> we're talking discord and gab and parlor and telegram, cites like that. >> reporter: they don't have rules about what is said? >> people can put whatever they want on there. >> reporter: senior law enforcement officials say the fbi is seeing a growing number of racially motivated extremist incidents on social media. the buffalo shooter livestreamed his shooting on twitch. but that video is still circulating. an outrage for this man who lost his dad saturday. >> our matriarch, angel, hero was taken from us inappropriately. it's hurtful and makes us angry. >> reporter: he and his attorney benjamin crump say they are
considering action against social media companies. >> we also have to hold account the individuals who curate this hate, who are indoctrinating these young people with this hate. >> reporter: hate that hurts so deeply. >> nbc's kate snow with that report. now saturday's mass shooting in buffalo comes amid a rise in racial violence across the country. according to data from the fbi, in 2020 there was a surge in hate crimes targeting african americans. there were just over 8,000 reported hate crime incidents that year. and fbi data shows about 65% of them were based on race, ethnicity or ancestry bias. within those categories, black americans made up more than half of the victims. hate crimes statistics for 2021 haven't been released yet but experts say the assault on black americans has continued. joining us now, the host of
msnbc's "politics nation" and president of the national action network, reverend al sharpton. ceo and national director of the anti-defamation league, jonathan greenblatt. he's the author of the book "it could happen here: why america is tipping from hate to the unthinkable and how we can stop it." also with us, founder, producer, creator and host of the culture story theories, alyssa london. she's an msnbc producer. it's good to have you all with us. reverend al, i would like to start with you, with a sense of what you hope to hear from the president today. and also just the fact that this mass shooter could broadcast his crime live. it shows the level that this has gone to on every level, including social media. >> i think that's one of the most compelling things that a lot of people are missing, that
this shooter was proud of what he was doing, committed to it. where he was actually livestreaming him doing it. he wasn't somebody that was running away from what he did. he wanted to continue if he wasn't arrested to do it at other places, but he wanted everybody -- this is what i'm doing. this is what we're about. that is what is frightening to us. i hope when the president goes today, and there's no one better given a real compassion and feeling of families than president joe biden. i was in the room when he met with george floyd's family the day before we had the funeral services in houston. he's very compassionate. and so is dr. jill biden. i think he meeting with first responders and community leaders is good and then dealing with gun issues is good. i also want him to come out and go from empathy and really dealing with this as a national hate crime level that is not just against blacks, but it is
against anyone that white supremacists feel are not like them, which clues jews, asians, latino americans, lgbtq. the night this happened, when i was called by our people on the ground in national actions network in buffalo, i reached out to greenblatt and the head of the latinos. i said we need to call on a white house conference on hate crimes. we may not all agree on every issue but we all are being targeted and the president must raise it to that level to say we've got to deal with hate. we have to deal with those in the social media companies that allow this to have platforms. we have to deal with every element to breakdown how we stop this so that a young man at 18 years old could think not only am i going to do it, plan it, drive three hours to do it, i'm
going to livestream it because this i want the world to know i'm a part of that. we cannot let this go across any of the racial or ethnic lines in this country. >> reverend, of course, it's hard to always monitor every dark corner of the internet, of social media. but we do know that there are republican leaders in the house, the united states congress. we do know there's a powerful news network. we do know that there are powerful voices on the trump right that are pushing the great replacement theory. of course, no, when we called it a great replacement theory, we weren't talking about a replacement theory. there have been studies, there have been articles, it's not hard to see if we open our eyes that you actually have people that are doing everything they can to get more viewers, to make more money, to get more people
listening to their podcasts, to get more followers online by pushing white grievance against brown and black people. turning whites against blacks, whites against hispanics, whites against muslims, whites against jews and what is the consequence? you and i were in charleston in 2015, where you had black parishioners gunned down by a white shooter. you were in pittsburgh where we saw members of a synagogue downed down in 2018, 2019. hispanic americans gunned down at a walmart by another person who went there because of the great replacement theory. now again in 2022. let's just start with a simple question, have you heard, reverend al, has any republican called you?
has any member of the media called you from these right wing outlets and say, we want you to know, we do not support the great replacement theory. we think it is racist? have you heard that from any republican leaders? >> i have not heard from any republican leaders, not one, any of them in the media. and i know some of the right wing media people. they get on fox and blast me but they have -- tucker carlson went to africa with me once. these people can reach out if they wanted to reach out. but they are trying to make high ratings, make money. but it's costing lives and it's not just lives in my community and certainly i'm all over this. i've talked to many of the victims in buffalo. i'm dealing with george floyd's family that in a few days is the second anniversary of that killing. but you can't just fight for your tribe. you got to say this goes across jews, latinos, lgbtq. none of them are reaching out
because this whole replacement theory is something that is making money for them, making ratings for them. but it is hustling their own people at the cost of what is going on in this country. the replacement theory must be displaced by real americans that want to live in a country that you're not targeted because you're not like somebody that thinks they're superior. >> jonathan, you've written an entire book about the dangers of this rhetoric that was just out recently and it applies here. i think for some people who weren't familiar with the great replacement theory, it's important to point out that while it signals out black and brown people, it blames it on the jewish people. says this is a great conspiracy orchestrated by the jews of america, like so many conspiracy theories we see out there. so when you hear this theory, not just in the fringes of the internet, not in the dark corners of the web, but from the mouths of prominent politicians
and media figures, what alarm bells go off for you? >> look, i think it's fairly stunning, willie. there is a direct line from charlottesville, virginia, to buffalo, new york. from tiki torch-bearing neo-nazis protesting confederate statues coming down and chanting "jews will not replace us" to the racist terrorist who murdered ten innocent people at the tops supermarket this past weekend. why? they all believe in this great replacement theory as you said. the idea there's a jewish cabal using black and brown people and muslims and immigrants to create a genocide. it's a fiction, it's a lie. but this individual, he murdered ten innocent people in an effort to try to ignite, quote, a holy war as he wrote between jews and
gentiles. we need to call this what it is, domestic terrorism. the buffalo shooter was no less a terrorist than the shoe bomber or underwear bomber or hostage taker in cauleyville, texas, to groups that promote these ideas, these hateful ideas that radicalize individuals, that spread their poison online. they're as dangerous as groups like isis or hezbollah or hamas and it reminds us white supremacy is a global terror threat and it needs to be treated as such. reverend al and i, we had our differences, we don't agree on every issue. the jewish and black community don't but we see buffalo made something abundantly clear as you just heard the rev say. we're in the same boat. we have common enemies. we have to stand together to fight the ideology and tolerance that threatens jews and blacks and latinos and lgbtq, now more
than ever, as the rev said, we need a strategy from this administration to fight hate once and for all. >> jonathan greenblatt, you actually had people going on claiming, oh, we don't really support replacement theory. what you're hearing, vloggers and other people say, oh, what you see on fox news is not -- is not people supporting replacement theory, even though they're saying they are supporting replacement theory, because that would be, of course, attacking jews and, of course, there are jews at fox news so why would they be it? the fact is fox news released an entire documentary attacking george soros, jewish international banker, for his, quote -- quote -- demographic war that he's been waging on the west. it doesn't line up any cleaner
than that. >> you're right, jon. we've talked about this on your show before. i pushed back on tucker carlson, you see it from laura ingraham as well. when these individuals use their primetime platforms to sanitize scapegoating, mainstream this kind of malice, we're all in danger. it jeopardizes all of us. so, you know, we've watched at abl, we track extremists and watch ideas move from 4chan through discord and reddit and facebook suddenly find themselves on the tucker carlson show and watch them mutate and seep into the body politic, it isn't just some abstract issue. it leads to lives lost. the murders of 11 parishioners at a synagogue in pittsburgh, the murder of ten shoppers at the supermarket this weekend.
by the way, the murder of the parishioners at the church in south carolina, the walmart in el paso. again and again, there's a bloody trail the great replacement theory left in its way. >> i would like to bring in alyssa london, msnbc contributor. alyssa, i want to talk a little bit about how hate travels like wildfire through this country in many different ways and republicans on the far, far right, depending on who you talk to, appears to be the establishment now, are saying don't divide us. we don't think of it that way. you're trying to make a connection that doesn't exist. can we make a connection between the language being used like replacement theory in our politics and what happened in
buffalo? >> absolutely. i actually think that replacement theory goes back hundreds of years as a native american woman. we know western expansion even put bounties on indian heads not that long ago. and while the lists of the minority groups that have been stated in the last few minutes of the show have left out native americans, i'm sure they did not mean to, to not status. i think replacement theory is actually something that america was built upon in order to seize lands from a people that already had claim to it, and as someone who is concreting content about the day-to-day brutality of the culture and mixed race identity of many of us as a result of us
intermarrying with the other minority groups listed, i would definitely say replacement theory is something that we cannot look past and we should also add native americans to the discourse. >> what do you say to these republicans who continue to tweet about it but say it has no connection, especially with such a personal connection to this issue? >> i would say that replacement theory is clearly something that republicans that are not connecting this shooting to -- a replacement theory is something they clearly don't want to connect with what just took place to their political views. i think that is more about communication strategy than actual truth. >> reverend al sharpton, if you can give us a sense of where we go from here, whether it's buffalo or any of the mass shootings that we have endured
over the past week because there are now a daily occurrence. but what happened in buffalo seems exceptionally evil if it's possible. >> i think where we go from here is that we must collectively -- and i agree with her, including native americans, and we should always do that, because they were here as the natives of this land. but i think we need a white house summit. we need to set a national strategy on how we deal with hate and how we hold those accountable that in any way advances towards what led to this -- what happened in buffalo. this young man was radicalized by organized efforts that used communications. it didn't just drop out of the sky. it happened because it was methodically organized and we're going to keep doing it. what we cannot do is go from buffalo to the next scene the next scene and the next scene. we need to stop and say collectively, we don't have to
agree on everything. we're going to be attacked by people in our area for even being together, but i would rather be attacked for standing with people i disagree with on some issues than be going to the next funeral to do another eulogy because i didn't have the courage to stand up and say enough is enough, we need to work together and stop this. >> well, and how hard is it forren mccarthy to stand up and say replacement theory is wrong? how hard is it for paul ryan, member of the board of fox news, to say replacement theory is wrong. it has no place on our airwaves? how hard is it for members of the senate to stand up, republican members of the senate, and say we're deeply offended by replacement theory as it's currently being used online, as it's currently being used on the air, as it's currently being used by house republicans? how difficult is it for them to just stand up and say that, just speak out against this evil?
>> yeah, joe, it's not hard at all. and the silence is deafening coming from these republicans. but, look, we've been through this so many times. jonathan just went through so many mass shootings happening in our country targeting people of color and people of different ethnicities. when they stop driving headlines, these issues sort of go away and people move on with their everyday lives and don't think about what just happened in buffalo, that's when a lot of these republicans said i was able to survive the last 72 to 100 hours without having to address this, without having to talk about this. but it's so important we continue to hold them accountable, and not just those who have a platform on television but every single american. we have to remember this and make sure we're calling this out for what it is. frankly, i'm amazed the fcc is still allowing some of these people to go on fox news and make some of these claims. there's clear think a correlation. they know exactly what they're
doing. it's the ultimate dog whistle and it's costing lives. and it's got to stop. >> it's so obvious that it's part of their plan. >> right. >> and their business plan or however -- >> absolutely, yes. absolutely. >> incredible. adrienne elrod, thank you very much. ceo and national director of the anti-defamation league, jonathan greenblatt, reverend al sharpton and msnbc contributor alyssa london, thank you all very much for being on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," we'll go live to buffalo for the very latest on the shooting investigation. also ahead, elon musk threatens to pull the plug on his deal to buy twitter. why he's pushing the brakes and how it's impacting the markets. and the truth is out there. congress is going to hold its first hearing on ufos in over 50 years. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. right back.
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the united states senate soon could give final approval to a massive $40 billion aid package to ukraine after voting overwhelmingly yesterday to advance it out of debate. the 81-11 vote sets up a final vote later this week. all no votes came from republicans. the package passed the house with a significant majority last week but was stalled in the upper chamber after objections from senator rand paul of kentucky. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell pushed for the passage of the bill sunday after meeting with ukrainian president zelenskyy in kyiv. according to "the new york times," hours after that meeting mcconnell offered a strong counterargument to republican ice isolationist messages. this is not some handout, and comments that could have just as
easily been directed at lawmakers he leads, writes "the times." it's important for the united states to help and it's important for the free world to help. it's important for ukrainians to win and hopefully not many members of my party will choose to politicize this issue, a quote from mitch mcconnell. that's a direct shot, of course, from mitch mcconnell to rand paul and to many other members of his house constituency, who say why are we sending all of this money to ukraine when we have all of the problems at home. a package is going to pass but there's a group of republican holdouts mcconnell was speaking to directly yesterday. >> yeah, there certainly was. obviously isolationism has been a growing trend in the republican party for some time. donald trump, of course, hated nato. he hated that the united states would have to defend other countries if they were drawn into war. he tried to destroy nato. you had staff members chasing him around europe when he was going from meeting to meeting,
trying to get him to say that he actually would -- the united states would be there for other members of nato. eventually they would force him to say something. but there's no doubt he was an isolationist. he pulled troops out of syria. 2,500 troops, it was tragic. he was always skeptical of expanding nato. so at least obviously mitch mcconnell's comments very important to the republicans in the senate and to the republicans in the house as well, talking about the benefits of the united states supporting ukraine. i found it interesting, we're going to talk about russian and television commentary in a little bit, but i found it very interesting that just as vladimir putin's mouthpieces on russian television love fox news, love playing fox news clips all the time, they also
noted that it was rand paul that was doing russia's bidding, doing vladimir putin's bidding but said well, we can't count on him much longer. they're probably going to be able to roll him. >> yeah, rand paul, as you know, is warning about the inflationary impact of this bill, which suddenly working for a financial newspaper is laughable. there's no empirical basis in that. but they're playing close attention in russia because they know it's $14 million in ukrainian currency is a lot of weapons, a lot of support, a lot of sustenance, for a country gaining in confidence and it is preparing a major counteroffensive in the east to try and dislodge some of russia's gains there. and so $40 million, we're beginning to talk real money here. this is an extraordinary act by the united states.
coming up next -- it is primary day in pennsylvania and we have steve kornacki standing by. plus, a live report from bucks county on the hard-fought senate race that could decide the balance of power in washington. "morning joe" is coming right back. back discover is accepted at 99% of places in the u.s. ["only wanna be with you" by hootie & the blowfish]
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a retired russian colonel is giving an honest and damning assessment of russia's performance in ukraine. appearing on state television yesterday as part of a panel, he said russia's invasion of ukraine is not going the way the kremlin is portraying it. he also said the global isolation his country is facing is more daunting than russian leaders are letting on. the colonel downplayed president vladimir putin's threats against finland, calling on the russian president to avoid, quote,
saber-rattling over its application to join nato. he said it's such a poor tactic that it's almost, quote, amusing. the former colonel also urged viewers to not accept the russian state's narrative about the war. he criticized the logistical failures of the russian military on the ground and dismissed russian claims of low morale in the ukrainian army. he said russians should not, quote, take information tranquilizers. that seems like perhaps somebody's point of view on russian state television and that's something that came from above. that seems pretty damning towards vladimir putin. >> and the fact this guy has standing. he's not a peacemaker. >> what do you make of this? >> i think it's a sign that putin isn't controlling the narrative at home. it's clear that the broadcast is generally censored, it's generally propaganda.
what most people see has been garbled in terms of the pipeline of lies about ukraine and this de-naziification of ukraine. so the fact you have somebody disrespected -- and i have asked about him, he's considered to be a pretty important, credible figure can say this, it's a measure of putin's lack of control over the narrative. >> susan, is that all you're finding? >> can you believe this is where we are after three months of war, we're in a situation ukraine is getting real money because they earned it, because they have shown they can stand up to russia. putin being criticized by his own on his tv, finland and sweden joining nato. this is not the war we expected
to have. >> no, it is not. i will say, joe, the explanation for sweden and finland joining nato apparently some needed. i was watching a lot of different types of coverage last night and there were all of these damning questions as to how in the world they can be allowed to join nato because this, of course, will create a bigger problem. >> well, i mean, my god, right? >> i know. >> finland and sweden and nato. finland with an 860-mile border with russia. finland with a great military. sweden with a great professional military. the coverage, the protection they cover for the baltic states that are on the frontlines and fearing putin's wrath for years now. >> and watching ukraine. >> it is not -- not only do they have an 860-mile border with russia, they're also a couple hundred miles away from st.
petersburg. it's extraordinary, and it is a defensive coalition. we said it time and time again. it's always been a defensive coalition. coming up -- amber heard will be back on the stand in her legal fight with johnny depp. we'll have the latest on their competing claims of violence and why the courtroom battle could have a chilling effect for abuse victims already hesitant to come forward. "morning joe" is coming right back. "morning joe" is cominrig ght back because platforms this innovative aren't just made for traders —they're made by them. thinkorswim® by td ameritrade first psoriasis, then psoriatic arthritis. even walking was tough. i had to do something. i started cosentyx®. cosentyx can help you move, look, and feel better... by treating the multiple symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx.
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56 past the hour. amber heard is back on the stand and underscrutiny by johnny depp's legal team and in the explosive defamation trial that has returned this week after a week long break. the vivid details of their relationship have been on display in court and in the court of public opinion. possibly discouraging other victims of abuse to come forward. joining us now, nbc news correspondent stephanie gosk. >> good morning. amber heard's testimony is not just being cross-examined in the northern virginia court, the public is picking apart every detail of this trial with a lot of criticism and mockery directed right at heard. raising concerns that this very unusual civil case may make victims of abuse think twice about coming forward. regardless of the verdict. >> reporter: amber heard telling
the court johnny depp abused her. >> just pulls his arm back with the thrown and throws it at my face. hit me right in my -- it felt like my eye. >> reporter: and depp's legal team getting tough on cross-examination. >> there aren't any medical records reflecting that you sought medical treatment for any of these injuries, are there? >> i did not seek medical treatment after australia, no. >> not for the rape? >> no, i did not want to tell anyone. >> reporter: and then comparing photos of heard to her description of the injuries. >> your nose doesn't appear to be injured in any of these pictures, does it miss heard. >> that is why i'm wearing makeup. >> and makeup covers up swelling, right. >> reporter: depp is suing for $50 million. heard is counter suing for $100 million. for weeks their volatility relationship has been described in vivid detail in court. >> there was mashed potatoes smeared all over the bedroom
door, on the wall. >> reporter: both actors accusing each other abuse. both denying those accusations. the case is taking on a life of its own. each day a crowd gathers, cheering mostly for depp and booing her. online it is a similar story. depp has not escaped ridicule but heard often gets the worst of it. there is open mockery of her descriptions of abuse. >> i said, johnny, you hit me. >> the hashtag just for johnny depp has gotten views on social media. >> i never expected heard to be made such a joke. she's a litigant in this country whichsy constitutional right. >> reporter: some worry abuse victims no matter how different their stories may be will stay silent after watching this celebrity trial turn into public
spectacle. >> she will be back on the stand today for more tough cross-examination. willie. >> stef, there has been so much focus on some of the sorted details of this case as you said, they become hashtags and click clocked for instagram and tiktok, but how march longer might this go on. >> at times it felt like it is endless, day after day of this and people picking it apart moment by moment. but we are not done. there is still about a week and a half, maybe 27th is when the closing arguments are scheduled to take place. and there is still are a number of witnesses that will come forward for amber heard including ellen barken and possibly her sister and there is the possibility that johnny depp could take the stand again, willie. >> so, stephanie, here, okay, i admit it i have not been following this really closely. >> i'm not surprised to hear that, joe. >> yes, i know.
there were headlines -- what is making is fascinating, i took my kids to see pirates of the caribbean and johnny depp, this great actor that the kids loved and my friends loved johnny depp and then the trial in england went very badly for him and it was almost in a stage where he was, i guess you could say, he was almost canceled. people saying they wornt work with him again. so i guess what shocks me surprises me, is seeing these headlines and the packages, what is different with this trial versus the last trial. >> what is interesting, because it is on camera. and people are tuning in and watching while there is a court that will determine who is telling the truth and who is not in this case. you have the public really picking apart the testimony of both of these people and it has been -- i mean at times a
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