tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 19, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT
make it to one contract, we do have to separate cva's, but that is okay. that really was the turning point, is getting everyone into the same room, having the players interact with each other, many of them didn't know each other even. and just really understanding the challenges that each team has and coming to the table and trying to achieve this goal. >> president of u.s. soccer, cindy parlow cone, thank you very much. congratulations and thank you very much for fighting this battle along with the rest of the team. >> thank you. >> take care. we are rolling right into the fourth hour of "morning joe" and we have a lot to get to. it is 9:00 a.m. on the east coast and 6:00 a.m. out west. president biden has a new plan to address the baby formula crisis sweeping the nation. in volking a law last used
during the height of the pandemic. we'll go live to the white house with the latest. and also ahead the republican primary race in pennsylvania is still too close to call. and we may not know the results until june. but until then, former president trump is urging his candidate to declare victory right now. before all of the votes have been counted. will dr. oz bend to trump's demands. we'll have steve kornacki at the big board on where the race stands exactly. plus trouble on wall street. as the biggest loss in nearly two years and the futures are pointing toward another rocky day ahead. we'll take a look at all of that. willie? >> also this hour, the prime minister of sweden and the president of finland are set to arrive at white house at any moment as they press forward in their bids to join nato. they will meet with president biden after the president issued a statement supporting the bids of those two nordic nations.
prooish stated that the u.s. will provide defense support to both countries while applications will be processed including navy war ships into the baltic sea and air force bombers over scandinavian and training with swedish troops helping to thwart against possible russian cyberattacks. and the u.s. now is officially reopening the embassy in kyiv. operations are limit sod far. only a small group of about 100 employees will return for the time being. american diplomats to ukraine currently are working from poland but have made day trips to ukraine in recent weeks. at same time here at home, the senate voted unanimously to confirm bridget brink. she will be the first diplomat to fill the post in ukraine since 2019. when former president trump ordered the removal of then
ambassador marie yovanovitch. in just a few hours the senate is set to hold a final vote on a $40 billion aid package for ukraine. chuck schumer has now secured enough votes to pass the measure. already passed by the house. it then will head to the president's desk for his signature. the aid package delayed recently in the senate because of an objection from republican senator rand paul of kentucky. joining us now, former u.s. ambassador to russia, now director of the institute for international studies at stanford and an nbc news international affairs analyst, michael mcfaul. ambassador, it is great to have you back on the show this morning. let's go back a couple of stories to the meeting that is about to take place between the prime minister of sweden and the president of finland and the president of the united states. a extraordinary site when you go back two or three months ago to think they would be on the doorstep, on the the brink of joining nato? >> couldn't agree more. let's go back three or four or five decades and remember that putin is now achieving what
stalin did not achieve. these two countries did not join nato in the beginning. they didn't join in several other waves. but news because of his disastrous war and the threats that come from it for their security in ukraine, they've decided to join. remember, he said he was invading ukraine as a way to weaken nato and keep ukraine out. and he's done exactly the opposite. he's united nato internally in a way they haven't been for years and now two more members are set to join. >> okay. so ambassador mcfaul, what is going on with turkey? are they leveraging this war to deal with their own issues? >> i think so. i think it is very transactional. and at the end of the day, i think the negotiations will move forward. the rest of the alliance seems to be very supportive of this move. i am interested where hungary is. we haven't heard a lot from
victor urban that sometimes leans more closely to putin. but with turkey, i think this is a negotiation, they're trying to get what they can while they have this leverage. i'll be shocked at end of the day they don't allow these two countries to join. >> mr. ambassador, good morning. it is jonathan lemire. the white house is leaning in to get the two countries in, they're going to have a rose garden event with him afterwards. they're showing a public show of support. and assuming this does get done and turkey does acquiesce, what would this look like and just how damaging or -- is this to putin and his assessment of the west? >> well, i think it is important to point the fact out that they have having these events. they brought these leaders not white house. they would not be doing that if they were not confident this would get through. so time line, this is fast
tracking. it is rather surprising and by the way a little bit controversial inside of ukraine. because the ukrainians have been seeking to join for a long time and they keep saying you have to do this and the other, and you know incremental steps, and then two countries are going forward before that. and in the interim, the united states and other countries in nato have said, while you're waiting to join, we will provide security guarantees. so i'm not sure about the exact timing. i suspect their pushing hard now because they would like to do this at the big nato summit in spain next month. >> so, you just raised an interesting question. >> such a good point. ukraine was fighting for being a part of nato. they really wanted that. and early on experts, foreign policy experts were worried about tracking ukraine to be part of nato because it might
actually be antagonistic toward russia. and those discussions were definitely had. it might have even dragged things out. and ukraine was not qualified to join nato at the time that this war broke out. we all know that. does sweden and finland being fast tracked into nato open up the possibility that ukraine could become a part of nato, because most experts have said ukraine will never be a part of nato. >> you know, it is a complicated question. i think the ukrainians rightly believe when they hear they're not qualified, like you said and that is what they're heard for many, many years. they were supposed to sign a membership action plan, a map, right, a get into the program and get qualified and do the things that you have to do to be a legitimate member and they haven't even signed a map yet. at the same time, you think
qualified and what does that mean. who is providing more than the ukrainians. they're fighting the russians. no one else is fighting the russians. so they say well we have a competent military and we're actually providing security to the alliance in a way that many other members are not. i think that those are -- and agree on that on a level and on the practical level, i think membership in nato any time soon is unlikely precisely because they are fighting and nobody wants to join that fight if ukraine joined nato today, that would mean that the rest of the alliance would have a greater obligation to be fighting the russians right now and few countries obviously want -- in fact no countries would you guess want to do that right now. >> it is so interesting because i mean would anyone argue with the point that ukrainians are laying down their lives and blood for the safety of the world. so, kind of awkward if there are
not -- not considered qualifiable. the leaders of sweden and finland are arriving at white house and meeting with president biden today. this all about their fast track approval process to become members of nato. and as we continue this conversation, we'll be watching live pictures. this conversation of course incredibly important given the fact that nato is unified as it -- as never before, really. because of the war in ukraine. and becoming a part of nato is not something sweden and finland had in the cards for them. but the war changed everything. and so now this meeting and more meetings ahead, fast tracking sweden and finland to become members of nato. but i go back to you, ambassador mcfaul, as we have a thousand mariupol soldiers right now with their lives hanging in the balance in russian territory.
you know, and in moments like this, happening across ukraine, where these people have fought to the death for the world to be safer. the question is, the intricacies of helping ukraine along as they fight this war and helping them get out of this war, will they soldiers be put in death camps in russia or will there be a way to get them to safety, just on a micro level? >> it is a great question. and don't know the answer to your question. i worry that they will be held. i worry, remember in russia propaganda channels, which i watch so you don't have to, they describe these fighters in particular as being nazi soldiers. right. nazi criminals. and then now remember russian soldiers have been accused of war crimes and one is already pleaded guilty to that. and so i worry that there is
going to be a trading here and a false equivalency between these ukrainian soldiers, legitimate soldiers fighting for their own territory, and tieing them to those that committed war crimes and i think that tragically is going to be part of the trade and part of the framing that the russians will pursue in the coming weeks. >> ambassador, we're looking now at a live picture just outside of the white house. the arrival of the prime minister of sweden standing with president biden and to go back to this topic for a moment here, and if you're vladimir putin, you're looking at your initial aims several months ago, let's call it three months, perhaps rolling into kyiv. taking over the capitol, installing a puppet government, all of these objectives to beat back countries like finland and sweden to discourage them from anything. precisely the opposite has happened. what do you suspect, it is impossible to get into his mind, but he makes of the way this is all played out over the last three months.
>> it is hard to get into his mind. that is for sure. but think you just ticked it off, willie. ukraine has won this war. okay. when the historians write it, because of all of the things that you just said, did he not achieve any of those things. putin was caulking about ukrainians as russians with accents and he was going to reunify them and denazify the kindergarten demiltize and that is failed and now he's pivoted to donbas. i don't want to trivialize that fight. that battle we do not know who will win the battle of donbas and it is hard to predict what will be the peace settlement given that it could be a stalemate for a long, long time. but on the major objects he's failed and many russians realize that. and even on russian television, on state controlled television, you're starting to hear little
bits of that debate. what i don't know is does putin understand it. and what is he going to do about it? will he respond by saying it is time to go home. that i think is probably unlikely. that is why i think there so going to be a long fight in donbas. >> just looking at leaders of sweden and finland together and arm in arm with the united states, nato, if you could talk mr. ambassador about russia's relevance in the world stage as a power. given how they've bungled this war, almost being mocked around the world about how badly their logistics and their forces are fighting. if you could give us a sense of what sweden and finland add to the alliance, in contrast? >> it is a great point about russia on the world stage. you know, whatever you think of
putin, we've talked many times, i'm not a big fan. i've been writing things negative about him for 20 years. i was one of the first americans on his sanctions list. and yet having said all of that, before this war, i would even have said that he restored the economy, he had this russian military modernization touted, making russia's army one of the most strongest in the world, that is what we thought before this war. and on the international stage, working with xi jinping and this alliance around the world. he had a stature that russia did not have 20 years earlier. and he just completely squandered it with this war. and even those that are allegedly friendly to him, publicly they say supportive things, privately they're like oh, my goodness, we thought russia was a strong important power to us. i'm thinking about the chinese in particular. what do they bring to the table? so i think it is a dramatic blow
and i don't think putin ever recovers from it. i think this is the beginning of the end of putin-ism. i don't know whether that will happen. it is the beginning of end. on the other side, i would underscore what you just said. nato, before 2014, before putin first invaded ukraine, was in a lot of trouble, let's be honest. the mission statement was not clear. there was well before trump there was complaints that people weren't doing enough. the trump era was an extremely difficult time for the alliance. and now nato is back. nato is unified. and with two more members. nobody has done more to strengthen nato than vladimir putin. >> ambassador mcfaul, elise jordan here, i read with interest that ambassador bridget brink was unanimously confirmed to her new post as the ambassador in ukraine. can you talk about the significance of this unanimous vote and of our embassy
returning to limited operations in the beginning but operates in kyiv. >> i think it is fantastic. and i wish i was unanimously voting on by the senate. i think that is the right way to do it, by the way. we should have our -- our arguments about who is qualified and not, and then have these kinds of votes of strength. because ambassador brink is going to kyiv not just to represent president biden, she's going to represent the united states of america. look at them put up the flag. this is an american flag for all americans. and you feel that when you're an ambassador. and i think that is -- is important in places like this. i'm glad we're back in kyiv. it is not just symbolically important that we're there but it gives us an ability to interact with the government in a day-to-day basis. by the way, especially our military folks that are part of the embassy, they're going to be
in much closer contact with their ukrainian counterparts. and then finally i know bridget, i note ambassador brink and i worked with her at the white house when i worked for president obama. she's going to be a fantastic ambassador. she is the right person and in the right place and the right time. >> ambassador michael mcfaul, thank you for your insight as always. we appreciate it. another major issue facing the biden administration this morning is the nationwide baby formula shortage. nbc news chief white house correspondent kristen welker joining us from the white house with the very latest. >> reporter: good morning. president biden has been on defense over what critics say has been a slow response to the baby formula shortage. but nose he's taking his strongest action to, pushing private industry to ramp up production and adding urgency, the head of the fda testifying on capitol hill in a short time as families nationwide desperately await relief.
under growing pressure, president biden now taking dramatic action to address the nationwide baby formula shortage. on tuesday he invoked the defense production act, requiring suppliers of key formula ingredients to prioritize delivery to formula manufacturers. >> i've done everything that is safe baby formula. >> reporter: the president launching operation fly formula. ordering the military to direct planes to transport formula to the u.s. from other countries. these drastic measures usually reserved for war time coming after the crisis had been going on for months. leading to anger from voters and desperation from parents. >> that is the one goal in -- as a parent, to make sure our parent has what they need. >> reporter: even some democrats say the administration should have aced sooner. >> i give everybody an f on the entire spectrum of this. nobody focused on this like they
needed to. >> reporter: the formula shortage so severe, it is now leading to new hospitalizations, 11 week old baby clowe is one of four new cases linked to the shortage at the medical university of south carolina. clowe had gastrointestinal surgery on monday but with allergies to dairy and soy, she needs a special formula that is impossible for her parents to find. the mother telling kate snow. >> we tried everything for her. sorry. we need to have her on the most hypoallergenic formula to see if this will help her to keep us out of the hospital. >> so many families in so much pain. administration officials say the order for private industry to ramp up production has gone out effective immediately and the flights could take off within days. we'll be watching closely to see
if that actually happens. overnight, the house passed two bills aimed at addressing the shortage. through know head to the senate, mika. >> nbc news chief white house constituent kristen welker. thank you very much. and coming up this hour, more on the war in ukraine. retired four star general barry mccaffrey joins the conversation to break down the latest military gains and losses in ukraine including one report that russia has fired a number of its senior commanders. also ahead, the race between dr. oz and dave mccormick in pennsylvania is still too close to call. but former president trump is saying that shouldn't matter and that oz should declare victory now. before all of the votes are counted. steve kornacki has the latest from the big board. plus, wall street set for another bad day. andrew ross sorkin will be here at the markets open to talk about what is going on,
especially with rising inflation. and again, live pictures from the white house right now. president biden with the leaders of sweden and finland. a show of unity as the two countries, once neutral, prepare to join the nato alliance. we'll have much more live coverage right here on "morning joe." we're back in just a moment. we're back in just a moment. every year we try to exercise more, to be more social, to just relax. and eating healthy
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>> what a story. no one on television gives you a better live shot. >> we love kerry sanders. 6:25 in the morning in los angeles. 9:25 here on the east coast. the republican primary election in pennsylvania still too close to call this morning. dr. mehmet oz and dave mccormick each expressing confidence they will prevail when all of the votes are counted. but a clear result could be days if not weeks away. as mail-in ballots are counted. earlier we spoke on "morning
joe" to nbc news national political correspondent steve kornacki. he broke down the current state of the race. >> basically what we could show you here is mehmet oz's lead in this republican senate primary sits at 1241 votes and if you remember, basically 24 hours ago at this time, we were showing you a tally of just over 2400 votes. so essentially in the last day, that oz advantage over mccormick has been cut in half with what came in yesterday. overall, it is not a ton of votes that came in yesterday. and overall it is not a ton of votes that are left to be counted here. but what we could show you, the 1241 is the difference right now. where are the remaining votes. one place, it is the still the case, allegheny county and the pittsburgh area and it is david mccormick's home county, there is a batch of ballots or several dozen precincts where they have not counted up. it is not mail ballots, here we're talking about votes that were counted on election day and
election officials say that several dozen precincts they had issues with the memory chips to load in to get the account and talking about maybe tomorrow, maybe over the weekend, monday, tuesday, being able to get to those ballots, get those ballots counted out. how many of them are there. we think in the republican race, 1500 to 2000, something like that. again, mccormick's home county, he's been doing well here. when they do count those ballots that, batch in allegheny, he's probably going to gain maybe a couple of hundred on oz. we don't expect it is enough to vault him into the lead but the 1241 could come under a thousand. another place where we have some same-day voting remaining is philadelphia. and again here we're talking about maybe 800 votes. there are not a ton of republican voters in philadelphia. there are sp precincts where they haven't counted up the election day vote. talking about 800 or so votes on
the republican side. you could see oz is actually been doing quite well in philadelphia. so whatever gets counted there in philadelphia, may actually end up benefiting oz a bit. those are the two places with out tanding day vote and what is left is the mail-in ballot and we think the number there is about 15,000 remaining now around the state. again, they are scattered in different counties. we think there is about 15,000 or so uncounted mail ballots. mccormick has been leading oz in the mail count. the ballots counted up yesterday, mccormick led oz by 7 points. that is main reason that he was able to eat into the oz lead. he's been out pacing him in the mail-in ballots. it is a trump endorsed candidate, in this case mehmet oz have been worse with the mail-in ballots than with the same day ballots. so the bulk of the votes to be counted here are mail-in
ballots. mccormick has been doing better than oz in mail-in. we're talking about a seven point difference in how they're doing on the mail-in ballots. so if you add all of this together, what it looks like is mccormick will get a big avenue boost when they get around to allegheny county, again that might not be until next week and oz may get some when they count what is left in philadelphia and could mccormick -- are there enough remaining mail ballots and can mccormick win them by a large enough margin that he could actually erase all of the this oz lead and move into the lead in this race. and of course when they all is said and done, the thing to keep in mind is that state law in pennsylvania man states a recount for any result that is within -- i don't know how that just happened -- any result within half a point. we're at one-tenths of one percent right now. and mccormick maybe just catches
oz or hangs on and wins this or leading think about by 15,000 or a a thousand votes and the secretary of state has indicated probably going to call a recounts next week. that could end up stretching, by the way, until june 7th. >> so still perhaps a couple of weeks away before we know who won that race. steve kornacki reporting for us at the big board earlier this morning. coming up next here, wall street yesterday suffered one of the single worst days since those dark days of march 2020. we'll bring in cnbc's andrew ross sorkin to see what they look like today. and the leaders of sweden and finland meeting with president biden right now at the white house. retired four star general barry mccaffrey will join us for the latest on the war in ukraine and the significance of those two nation's imminence into nato. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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with investors on edge after stocks had their worst day by far in two years. the dow, nasdaq and s&p all went into a free-fall yesterday. it is the fourth time the dow fell more than 900 points this year alone. something that never happened last year. investors continue to worry about inflation and the odds of an upcoming recession. especially after retail giants like walmart, target and lowe's all posted extremely disappointing earnings for the first quarter. joining us now, co-anchor of cnbc's squawk box, andrew ross sorkin and lynette lopez. i can't wait to get to your column. but first what is going on with the big companies and the -- and the earning reports, andrew? >> well, what is really happening here is costs are going up. this is inflation at large. we're feeling it.
we're seeing it. oddly enough, the consumer is still quite healthy. the consumer is out there. the demand is strong. this is what the federal reserve to some degree is trying to reduce. in a way by making things more expensive at least short-term. but what you're seeing right now when it comes to target, when it comes to walmart, when it comes to lowe's and we saw a little bit early on with amazon, is just the costs. the costs of doing business are so much higher. the cost of shipping things is so much higher. we're see in the price of gasoline. all of that is contributing to a situation where the companies have been eating some of that cost. so in a perverse way, prices haven't gone up as perhaps they should have. meaning target, walmart, they were holding the line on prices. and easting the cost. that means that their margins, their profit margins have gone down and that is what hit the stocks. but what it also said is that it is very possible we're going to start to see much higher prices from the companies in the future
and then the question is, will that actually reduce demand because the customer wouldn't be paying it any more. >> all of what andrew is saying leads to what lynette calls to the summer from hell. in her latest column on wall street heading into a summer from hell. top investors say it will bring in biblical reckoning to the market. it is clear that the everything bubble has burst. since the start of 2022, the s&p 500 has fallen by more than 18%. the tech heavy nasdaq down nearly 30%. a punishing combination of still hot inflation and hyped interest rates and war in europe, lockdowns in china, unprofitable companies facing reality and recession fears is making it clear this isn't just a short draw down, it is a pivotal shift for markets. she continues, unless you are a seasoned practitioner, i suggest you avoid looking at your 401(k) until next year. no one really knows where the bottom is or what it going to
happen next. so you laid it out pretty starkly there. what are you hearing from people on wall street, what are you hearing from some of the companies about where we're headed. >> you know me, i don't like to be dramatic. but i am hearing this is going to continue for months and months. and the investors are saying the s&p could go down as much as 40% and the nasdaq could go down as much as 80% and that is analogous to the 2001-2002-ish tech bubble that burst. the tech sector is going to be hit the hardest. we have a lot of unprofitable companies in the tech sector that were using debt to fuel growth but when interest rates go up, you have to pay back that debt and if you're mot making any money, then you're sunk. these are big companies. this is like uber, that they also do things like we worked it where they came up with their own metrics to value how much money they were taking. we have community adjusted
ebitda, or whatever. uber makes up its own metrics to show that it is a healthy company. there are so many of these things going on in the tech sector, and because the market is now being more careful about the money and where it goes, well, they're going to poof, poof. >> is it just inevitable, lynette, that a recession will happen. >> i don't know if it is inevitable. the stock market is the economy, it is in the the economy. you have to remember that it is possible for certain sectors to have a bad time without the overall economy going into a recession. but we have so many factors grinding down on our economy right now. there is not just the fed raising interest rates, it is commodity prices going up because of russia and ukraine, we have the issues in china with covid, meaning that the supply chain is still very, very messed up. and we have, you know, americans
are scared. they're getting more nervous and when americans get more nervous, they start to be more careful about the things that they're buying and people might have a highering -- a hiring freeze at their company and don't want to purchase certain goods and that will slow us all down. we're hoping, we're hoping that the fed could stick the landing, that the economy will just slow and not go into recession and that prices will lower and come down as this frankly like calamity of different events descending on the economy just kind of fades, hopefully. but none of that will happen this summer. to sore the summer, hold on to your hats. the stock market is just going to puke. >> so andrew, we've heard publicly now from the leaders of some financial firms that likely, not for sure, but likely that we're heading toward recession. what are you hearing from the people you talked to every day? >> well, i'm not going to take the other side of lynette because i think she's right
there will be a puke if you will. but i'm not sure it is going to happen this summer. in fact, some of the technical analysts are suggesting that it is possible that actually things could flatten out, be very volatile this summer. but then i think the real question is what happen this is fall and there i think you're going to see a market shift and it could be downward. having said that, the market is always sort of a -- is trying to prognosticate what the world looks like 12 months from now, 18 months from now. rather than what it is today. so it is possible that a lot of this is sort of being moved forward, if you will. if you could sort of put your brain into a bit of a time machine as to how to predict what that world will look like and when you look at prices today in terms of the stock market, things are pre-pandemic. in some ways that makes sense and some in ways it doesn't. pre-pandemic was still a little bit of alice in wonderland because things wither good and some people thought they were too good. so there may still be some
movement on the down side. but i will also tell you there are some people on wall street that are thinking to themselves, if you are playing this, if you will, for the long-term, ten years out, five years out even, that actually as these prices get low, and everybody freaks out, that is when you're supposed to be buying. i'm not suggesting that. but i know a lot of people look at these moments and think i should be selling. that is not usually not the right answer either. >> okay, cnbc's andrew ross sorkin. and lynette, thank you very much. coming up, a big move in illinois to ban government guns. we'll also introduce you to the man who has eaten a big mac nearly every day for the past half century. swear to god. "morning joe" will be right back. t back
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♪♪ making friends again, billy? i like to keep my enemies close. guys, excuse me. i didn't quite get that. i'm hard of hearing. ♪♪ oh hey, don't forget about the tense music too. would you say tense? i'd say suspenseful. aren't they the same thing? can we move on guys, please? alexa, turn on the subtitles. and dim the lights. ok, dimming the lights. right now, we're all feelin' the squeeze. we're having to get creative. find a new way. but birthdays still happen. fridays still call for s'mores. you have to make magic, and you're figuring out how to do that. what you don't have to figure out is where to shop. because while you're getting creative, walmart is doing what we always do. keeping prices low for you every day. so you can save money and live better.
♪ beautiful shot of san diego, this morning. welcome back to "morning joe." now time for a look at the morning headlines from across the country. in minnesota, the star-tribune details a major development in the george floyd case. thomas lane, one of the officers who helped restrain floyd, pleaded guilty yesterday to aiding and abetting manslaughter. lane will now avoid trial next month. with both state prosecutors and his defense attorneys recommending a sentence of 36 months. a big move in illinois. making the front page of the chicago sun times this morning with governor j.b. pritzker signing a bill to ban the sale and possession of ghost guns, making illinois the first state
in the midwest to do so. ghost guns refer to firearms that users could assemble at home using parts that they bought on the internet with zero background checks. in ohio, the lima news features a front page story on the department ofless disinformation board taking a pause. the director has resign add mid concerns that the group could stifle free speech rights, dhs secretary admitted it become a distraction. >> and a beat down in the bay area after the mavericks lost game one of the finals last night by the final score of 112-87 to the golden state warriors. it is just the first game, guys. in florida the bradenton her old said the circus is coming back
and it will now include any animals after the company experienced costly fights with a number of animal rights groups. rehearsals will begin next june with the u.s. tour expected to launch in the fall of 2023. and a story out of wisconsin, where a man is celebrating 50 consecutive years of eating big macs. done gosky is since may 17th, 1972, and my goodness, he eat two big macs every day. he holds the guinness world record for the best big macs eaten in a lifetime. he will continue the routine until he dies, he said. and said there is really nothing else he would rather eat. mika, i know you're not a fan, but my lord is it a delightful treat. and the saw is what makes it good. >> and joe re-tweeted this story. ch course he did.
he's probably at mcdonald's right now. >> for a breakfast big mac. >> three months after kyiv closed its doors, the message that it is sending across the globe. plus russia is using new laser general barry mccaffrey will join us after a quick break. we're back in just one minute. what's on the horizon? the answers lie beyond the roads we know. we recognize that energy demand is growing,
and the world needs lower carbon solutions to keep up. at chevron, we're working to find new ways forward, through investments and partnerships in innovative solutions. like renewable natural gas from cow waste, hydrogen-fueled transportation, and carbon capture. we may not know just what lies ahead, but it's only human... to search for it. 51 past the hour. happening right now the president of finland and prime minister of sweden are meeting with president biden at the white house. just a short time ago, we saw the two nordic leaders arrive at the white house as they push forward with their bids to join nato. we're expecting to hear from both of them along with president biden when they deliver remarks in the next
hour. of course, we'll take that live. meanwhile, the uk's ministry of defense has released a new and damning intelligence update, saying that, quote, in recent weeks russia has fired senior commanders who are considered to have performed poorly during the opening stages of its invasion of ukraine. it also notes that, quote, a culture of cover-ups and scapegoating is probably prevalent within the russian military and security system. and many officials involved in the invasion will likely be increasingly distracted by efforts to avoid personal culpability for russia's operational setbacks. let's bring in retired four-star general barry mccaffrey, nbc news analyst. that sets us up well for my first question. if putin was a strategist, which he is not, what strategy would there be at this point for him
to claim any part of ukraine? >> i think he's run out of ideas. it's an astonishing strategic failure. the whole notion of him increasingly micromanaging the battlefield from moscow is astonishing. you know, mika, generals can lose wars but they can't win them. they're won at the combined arms, joint action, the integration of electronic warfare and artillery. and that kind of problem can be fixed is going to take the russians years. their logistics system doesn't work. generals are not going to fix that overnight. they're rail dependent. they can't distribute their ammunition and fuel across a battlefield. so, russia armed forces in ukraine, which has absorbed a tremendous amount of their combat power, which has
devastated their infantry formations, mindfully, and they're very difficult to replace this trained manpower, and backing out of that situation, looking at the astonishing strategic change and the imbalance where germany is rearming and finland and sweden coming into nato, and the movement of nato forces into the eastern bloc nato countries. in the longer run, putin has put himself in a box from which there is no exit. in the short run, though, neither side right now has a tactical advantage, and ukraine continues to be in peril. >> and what is the possibility for some sort of creation of a port city that can be utilized to prevent world food shortage?
>> looks pretty dim to me. fortunately, ukrainians have hung onto odesa. that's absolutely vital. in the long run without the port of odesa, it's hard to imagine how ukraine remakes as a viable economic mariupol, which is devastated, which cannot be recovered in ten years for the russians. of course, the whole notion of the exit from the black sea, with turkey controlling the straits, is another question. the u.s. navy, the nato naval are likely to try to get into the black sea or the sea of azov and confront the russian navy, as weak as it is. so, again, you know, at the end of the day, it's not just military power, it's economic power. but to put a cap on all of this,
the ukrainian morale, fighting tenacity, delivering weapons through the coalition of the willing has started to pay off. this battle has swung clearly in favor of ukraine in the longer run. >> it really is an astounding turn of events, including, general, the scene playing out right now at the white house where the president of the united states is meeting with the leaders of sweden and finland as they now are on the doorstep of joining nato, something unthinkable just a couple of months ago. but another of the failures of vladimir putin to expand nato, including finland, which shares a large border with russia. you've seen a lot in terms of the shifting of the balance of power over the years. what is the significance of this move, assuming it does happen, these two nations joining nato? >> it's monumental. to go back to the disintegration of the ussr, which has motivated a lot of what putin is up to, it
resulted in a so-called peace dividend, not just parts of the united states but the european nations. the germans almost did away with a viable military force. so did sweden. the crucial strategic island of gotland in the baltic sea, during the cold war, sweden had more than 100,000 troops on that island. now there's 400. and finland basically went to a mobilization military force. only 19,000 some odd full-time troops, a million man reserve force they would call in and a lot of artillery in stockpiles. so i think that both finland and sweden felt the vulnerability to russian aggression, along with the baltic states, along with all of the front line eastern european nato countries. so, they want into nato badly. i think when they are in there,
it adds strategic deterrence to russian mischief. this is good news for peace, not just war fighting. >> retired four-star general barry mccaffrey, thank you once again very much for your insights this morning. well, just moments ago, we got some really big news for anyone who has watched nbc news over the last three decades. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams, one of the leading reporters covering the supreme court and the department of justice, is retiring. after nearly 30 years on the job. his career has been defined by speed, accuracy and expertise in the stories he's covered, including most recently him breaking the news that supreme court justice stephen breyer was retiring. he also covered a lot more, including the legal battles over marriage equality and obamacare and major news events like 9/11
and, of course, the battle for the white house in the year 2000. pete will still be reporting for us through july. we know he'll be busy. we want to congratulate him, though, right now on an incredible career. my gosh, pete williams, i -- i congratulate him and i thank him. he's always been a wonderful supporter throughout the years for anyone who comes to nbc and is trying to learn the ropes. >> you just touched on it, mika. not only is he the very best that has ever done what he does, which is covering the justice department and covering justice in america, but he's also one of the kindest people you will ever meet. one of the most generous people you'll ever meet. you see that in tributes to him online. since his announcement was made, young reporters, veteran reporters saying what he meant to them and how he changed their lives of and careers. he was, mika, you'll agree with me, when there was breaking news, there was the person you wanted on the screen with you. pete's here, he's going to put
it down in simple terms, explain it to us, make it die gettable. it was always about the news, about his reporting. there was no self-grandizement. it is pete williams, and it's a gut-punch he's leaving to all of us but we're happy for him. >> and we'll see more of your fabulous focus groups. really insightful. can't wait for it. jose diaz-balart picks up the coverage right now. good morning. it's 10:00 a.m./7:00 a.m. pacific. i'm jose diaz-balart. very busy thursday. right now on capitol hill, the head of the fda is ed testifying before lawmakers as millions of families scramble to find baby formula. as president biden now takes major steps to address the shortage. also happening at the white house this hour, leaders from finland and sweden are meeting with president biden as they apply for nato membership amid