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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  June 3, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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the week. also this weekend, msnbc presents the first episodes of a new series about the epic doubtful of a high powered attorney, who represented that guys from charles manson to saddam hussein. it's called devils advocate, and it airs 10 pm on sunday, and on peacock. but right now, it's time for the last word with ali velshi in for lawrence. good evening, ali? >> good evening, my friend, you are on some kind of screen a lot over the course of a week. that is only a good thing. >> if you are saying, ali, that -- normally you are the one dominating the airwaves in ever taking a break or a nap or a sleep. >> i found it hard to prepare for my show tonight. i was listening to your conversation with jared bernstein about the economy, and you know that always peaks my interest. and your conversation about guns. now this. so, thank you my friend -- i would say enjoy your weekend, but you are not going to, you are going to be working. we will see you on tv soon, my
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friend. >> as if i don't enjoy working? >> we do, and that's what we will keep undoing. >> thank you, maybe. >> goodnight. >> it's anger into action. that's with the oversight chair carolyn maloney says she hopes to achieve next week during a hearing, were survivors and parents a few things in uvalde and buffalo will tell american lawmakers their stories. nbc news reports that on wednesday, the committee will hear testimony from the net everhart, whose son, zaire goodman, was injured at the top supermarket in buffalo, as well as from uvalde's soul pediatrician, roy guerrero, and felix and kimberly rubio, whose daughter lexi was killed at robb elementary school. maya so rio, who covered herself in a murdered classmates blood and lay dead to survive will also share her story with lawmakers. tonight, the white house was
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lit in orange in honor of gun violence awareness day. the families in uvalde are still demanding answers, as we learn stunning new details about why police waited over an hour before confronting the shooter, while students called 9-1-1, pleading for help. that texas state senator roland gutierrez tells nbc news that according to law enforcement officials, the chief of the uvalde school district police department, this man, pete arredondo, did not have his police radio with him during the shooting. mike baker of the new york times will join us in just a moment and details how that lack of a radioed affected arredondo's actions. as supervisors were grazed by the gunman, he made a decision to fall back, the official said. using a cell phone, the chief of police called a landline with a message that set the stage for what would prove to be a disastrous delay in interrupting the attack. the gunman has an ar-15, he
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told them, but he is contained. we need more firepower and we need the building surrounded. this new revelation follows news yesterday that pete arredondo was not aware of the repeated 9-1-1 calls from students inside the classroom, including one from a student who warned that her teacher needed medical attention. that's according to the times -- there is a lot of bodies, a ten year olds duty student, chloe torres, quietly told a no 9-1-1 dispatcher at 12:10 pm. that's 37 months after the gunman began shooting inside the classrooms. i do not want to die, please send quote, send help for my teacher, she is shot but still alive, she said. she stayed on the line for about 17 minutes. around 11 minutes into the call, the sound of gunfire could be heard. we also learned that ruben ruiz, a school district office, or was prevented from going inside the school while on the phone from with his wife. the teacher even morales, just minutes before he died.
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that's according to the new york times. it's unclear if details of the conversation were relayed to pete arredondo. the new york times report breaks and other details about the response of the shooting, including frustrated agents who eventually formed a group of officers and went against orders to kill the gunman. quote, no one entity or individual seemed to have control of the scene, and quote, the person said it was chaos. failure in police communication that potentially cost the lives, potentially the lives of 19 children and two teachers. the funerals of three more children were held today, including a joint service for two cousins killed in the attack. by now, local officials are refusing to answer any questions. the chief, pete arredondo, has avoided any questions from reporters. there has not been a public press conference by police or state officials about the investigation since last week. texas state senator roland gutierrez, whose district includes uvalda, says that the
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district attorney, the latest official to run away from reporters who have been asking questions, has ordered the head of the texas department of public safety to keep him in the dark. >> the district attorney basically put a stop to any further recording unless it goes out of her office. so, my communications with colonel mccraw, at least on these issues on this investigation, they have stopped. he has been ordered by the district attorney. >> it makes no sense. another issue that has made the lack of communication with authorities even harder to contend with is that none of the information during the press conferences is being given in spanish. that community and uvalde is over 80% latino. this week, axios reported that texas authorities dealing with uvalde school shootings aftermath of so far provided updates only in english, prompting criticism that the many spanish because in the largely latino community are being excluded. leading off our discussion tonight from uvalde's paola ramos, a vice news host and msnbc contributor, and mike
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baker, correspondent for the new york times. he has been reporting on the training of the uvalde police officers. welcome to both of you and thanks for being with us. mike, i have to ask you about this. we have been asking this question since the night it happened. and that is that, since columbine, police have learned that you do something differently now in active shooter situations. there is not likely to be a negotiation, you are not likely to get a negotiator. parameters don't tend to help. most people get shot early on. you need to go in, early even at risk for yourself, something counterintuitive for us not trained as police. but is supposed to be intuitive for police. what happened? how did this happened? how did they miss this memo that the active shooter protocol is different now? >> yeah, part of my question was, where they trained on that exact protocol? they were as recently as two months ago and that's the training they were focused on, the first priority to go in and
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stop the gunman. you may need to lay your life on the line to make that happen. because the priority is saving innocent lives. and we still have lots of questions for the chief about what the decision was and why he made these calls in the hallway there. they are really important questions to hear what he has to say. the general impression of law enforcement, that they've given, is that he transitioned the scene from one being focused on an active shooter to one focused on a barricaded subject. someone inside the room. and maybe there was a process to be more deliberative at that point. >> it's remarkable, paola, because i was there right after it happened. and it's a small town, a small place, people know each other. it was filled with grief. and literally, every six hours, that grief started turning to anger and confusion and frustration. what we did not know initially -- and we learned this at least a day later -- was that the parents had been in confrontation with the police since the moment they heard it was happening. there had been arguments with
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the police about how to handle this. and the parents were starting to feel very, very alienated. now they've been left to wonder whether they their children had been alive if the police were supposed to do with their is supposed to do. >> exactly. that's the direction the stories evolving toward, how this anger and grief and pain is turning into all of these parents in the community wanting some form of action. just today, i talked to one grandfather who lost his granddaughter. he had the same two questions that everyone in the community has, in this moment. and that is, why did this gunman have access to an ar-15? the other question that keeps coming up is, why did it take so long? as you know, ali, you are here, within 24 hours, it was bursting, people want to know, how every single person in this town is just every step one degree of separation. i have talked to a lot of people the past 24 hours. every window someone impacted. the central question is, how will this anger turn into action? how will this one small latino
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community be able to change the direction of that state? the tension, though, that you feel -- and that not a lot of people are talking about -- is that this is a small town that is within a county that is overwhelmingly a trump voting county in 2020. he did six points better in 2020 then in 2016. will this one voice, this one latino community, be able to change the political dynamic in trump country? >> can you tell me more about that? because there are many people in uvalde. and around southern texas. they are many, many generations american. they have latino heritage but they have been here for hundreds of years. and then there are new immigrants. there are some undocumented immigrants. it's a very mixed community. english seems to be widely spoken there. but you have one right into a lot of people who are principally spanish speakers, and they have spanish language newspapers. tell me about this issue, about the communication between law enforcement officials -- which is only an english -- and the fact that there is a
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large spanish peaking component in that town. >> as you said, it is deeply embedded in the community. most people speak english. but many people speak spanish. the first thing i noticed, within hours, here i once was at a local square and there was a prayer service being done in english and spanish. i talked to neighbors in both english and spanish. and ali, i even called a local pawnshop to ask about guns. and the operator, the machine, it speaks to you in english and in spanish. so, to speak to this community -- to not speak to this community in spanish, that's offensive. authorities here are supposed to not just keep the community safe but i believe they are also supposed to act as translators to the community. so, to me it begs the question, does this disconnection, did it translate into the response? had these kids been white, had these families been white, would we have seen those images of those parents being pinned down and those moms being handcuffed -- done because they were brown of
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voices? again, if words get lost in translation, it can be extremely dangerous. it can lead to danger. >> we are getting lost in translation even just in english in this particular instance, which is extra complicated, particularly for parents and families who have lost loved ones. mike, you talk about the police having been trained in the right way to deal with an active shooter. one thing that confuses me -- and sadly i have covered many, many mass shootings, including school shootings -- was the number of various police and law enforcement to officers involved. there are always a few, a few agencies. there is state police, the fbi. i can always get to four or five. but we are up to a dozen here. between the lack of communication and the main kind charge of having a radio, and apparently making some bad choices, you also have a lot of different kinds of police involved here. i guess my question is, any one of them could have had bad training on active shooters at
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this point. could you explain a little of this to me? >> i think the interesting thing about having multiple agencies on scene is that that is exactly why they do this training. and when they were doing it and the validity schools, they were inviting different agencies from around the region, federal and local agencies. they were part of that conversation, a conversation to figure out what would be the coordination? what does this look like in real, practice in a real event? how do we work together and communicate? how do we move through these hallways and have knowledge about where we are on what we are going to be doing? that is the whole purpose of the training. so, to see this breakdown of communication, it really does not match up with what they are doing to begin with. >> and tell me about this so-called do not breach directive. they were told, don't do this. and then a bunch of law enforcement people, mostly border patrol -- who are very heavily armed, tactically armed -- decided to sort of form their own group in the hallway of the school. and then go into the classroom and take on the gunman. how did that decision-making
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occur? because it also seems like a breach of protocol. except, in this particular case, it was the right one, the right decision to take the gunman out. >> this is more of an ad hoc response. this was not necessarily a specialized tactical unit made to breach the door. but it was really an ad hoc group that had been in the hallway and was ready to go in. and as we heard from one person who is familiar with this, as they were going in, they could hear in an ear piece, do not breach, don't go in. and they decided to go in anyway. they were deciding to defy that directive and make it happen anyway. >> i do want to ask, you paola, about something -- you are commenting about the county voting. there's another layer of complexity. i didn't meet a lot of people who i was there who were not either gone over nurse or who supported widespread gun ownership. this is a tricky one for them to navigate here. because a lot of people said to me, look, i believe in the second amendment and i believe
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that everyone should have a gun. but this is not working for us. >> so far, would i have noticed is that the majority of the people that i have talked to, specifically in this town, they draw the line at the ar-15s. you are right. i have already spoken to a couple latina families, many latino folks, and many of them, if not all of them, do own guns. again, it's part of the culture. they are not just latinos -- they are texans. they are american. they draw the line at the ar-15s. if you go a bit north of this town, then the discussion starts to change. i have also had discussions with other folks that are not necessarily from this town but from the county that are talking about the need to have these ar-15s. because they want to protect themselves from, in their words, the illegals that are coming. so, again, it's a discussion that starts to stimulate simulate and resemble from what you hear from these trump communities. that is, they need these guns and because we are just miles away from the border, would i have already heard is this connection between the safety and what is going on at the border. >> it is a multi layer complex and textured issue.
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i am glad that you were there to get some of that, paola. it's not only close to the border but it's on the main thoroughfare from the border. it's a lot of issues that one tiny, under-resourced community needs to deal. with paola, thanks for your reporting. and mike, thanks for your great reporting. coming up, it was a really bad day for yet another member of trump world. >> they were coming to my door, where i live, which by the way, is right next to the fbi. instead of calling me and saying, hey, we need you down in court. we have got a warrant for you. i would have gladly clam. what did they do? they intercepted me getting on the plane. and then they put me in handcuffs and they brought me here and put me in leg irons. and they stuck me in a cell. that -- what they did today, it violated the constitution. >> what you just heard former trump advisor peter navarro
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described is in fact not actually a violation of the constitution. it's a process of being arrested and brought to court, which is what tends to happen when you have been indicted for contempt of congress. that is next. at is next whenever heartburn strikes get fast relief with tums. it's time to love food back. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums ♪ ♪ it's the most wonderful time of the year ♪ it's timit's spring!od back. claritin provides non-drowsy symptom relief from over 200 indoor and outdoor allergens, day after day. feel the clarity— and make today the most wonderful time of the year. live claritin clear. your spirit is stronger than your highs and lows. your creativity can outshine any bad day. because you are greater than your bipolar i, and you can help take control of your symptoms - and ask about vraylar. some medicines only treat the lows or highs. once-daily vraylar is proven to treat depressive, acute manic, and mixed episodes of bipolar i in adults.
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today, as the first white house staffer to face criminal charges stemming from the investigation into the january 6th insurrection at the capitol. navarro appeared before a judge this afternoon, after being
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arrested and indicted for contempt of congress. he faces charges for failing to comply with a subpoena for documents and testimony, from the january 6th committee. now, earlier this week, navarro filed suit against the january six committee, in an attempt to block its subpoena, as well as a separate criminal subpoena that he received from the department of justice. navarro has insisted all along his unable to cooperate with the committee, because of issues of executive privilege. that is an argument, we should note, that has already been shot down by the court. so how exactly does navarro whom you may remember, served in the white house as trump's trade advisor, and all that china stuff that they were doing. how does navarro fit into trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election? well, in a letter accompanying the subpoena, the committee chair, benny thompson, writes, quote, that navarro worked with steve bannon and others to develop and implement a plan, to delay congress a certification of, and ultimately change the outcome
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of the 2020 presidential election. mr. navarro described this plan as the quote, green bay sweep. unquote. indeed, navarro has never been shy about his involvement in the so-called, green bay sweep. he boasted about it, right here on msnbc, to my colleague, gary melber. >> my focus, harry, was simply on green bay's we plan, which is basically to have, and it started flawlessly to have the battleground states challenging the results that will trigger 24 hours and the hearings in the house and the senate. and by that we, could bypass the media and get out the truth of what probably happened in the battleground states. mike pence's job at that point was to take ten days, and go back, and give the state legislatures, who really are the ones who have the power to determine whether the election is fraudulent, to give them a
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second look. >> that conversation went on for a while, by the way. so that's what we know that navarro was up to in the lead up to january 6th. not for many really good reporting, because he actually told us, here on msnbc, without a subpoena, we don't have subpoenas on msnbc. we actually book guests and ask them to come on our show. but the fact is, he's willing to fight his subpoena in court, to risk jail time, to avoid speaking to the committee, after talking to anyone who would listen about this green bay sweep thing. which begs the question, is there more about which the committee wants to talk to peter navarro, because we all know this part of the story. less than a week until the january 6th committee holds its first primetime televised hearing, this is not the only big generally sixth development today. the new york times is reporting that on january 5th of 2021, with tension brewing in the white house, over vice president mike pence's refusal
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to go along with navarro and bannon and whoever else's plan, princess chief of staff, a man named marc short had a warning for the secret service. quote, the president was going to turn publicly against vice president, and there could be a security risk to mr. pence because of it. marc short, for what it's worth, has already testified to the january six committee back in january. joining our conversation now is paul butler. he's a lot professor at georgetown university, and a former federal prosecutor and msnbc legal analyst. we're also joined by ryan riley, justice reporter for nbc news. he's been following navarro's legal drama for us all day. good to see you. paul butler, let me ask you about this. if they go after navarro, and they convict him, he still doesn't actually have to testify, right? he just goes to jail for contempt of congress. so explain to me what you think is going on here? >> so, navarro is charged with criminal contempt, which means if he's guilty, he could be sentenced to prison for two
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years. but even if he's convicted, how wouldn't be required to testify to the january 6th panel, or to turn over documents. this prosecution is really about punishing navarro, based on his disrespect for the congressional subpoena. >> ryan, talk to me about what you think they know about navarro, or what they want to hear. we certainly know that the giants committee calls in people to verify information they already have. but in navarro's case, as in the case of a bunch of people here, they've either written books or talk about it and disagree on tv. so what's going on -- what's navarro's problem? is it the legitimacy of the committee? >> you know, it's interesting. there's an reporting on nbc news to confirm now that the doj is actually declined to prosecute to other trump affiliates who were subpoenaed and who have been referred for congress, you know, prosecution.
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but has declined -- the doj has declined to do so. and that's because they actually negotiated. you know, mark meadows actually worked in some way with a committee, and what peter navarro did here was just completely stonewall the committee. he did not engage at all. and he didn't even, you know, when he was subpoenaed for his first communications with the trump lawyers, he did not also turn over that material, which we was supposed to go for the grand jury yesterday, on thursday. so this is a pretty quick turnaround here. and you know, he went to -- throwing around a lot of these terms that he seemed to pick up on tv's, about prosecutorial misconduct, and how this, you know, he believes this constitutional rights were violated. and reality, i think it's someone experiencing the criminal justice system for the first time in their 72 year life. this is an individual who wasn't necessarily different way than any other criminal defendant would be. in fact, getting arrested at the airport arguably isn't much better scenario than getting
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the door kicked in, as the break of john. so it's not necessarily, not necessarily a great argument to make, when you compare to how many other people go through this. and i would also note that the district judge here during this hearing, he sat for an hour, and basically explained how the system to prosecute this defendant. that's not a lot of how people go through this system. >> let me ask you, paul butler, because ryan was just talking about the other two people whom the justice department has declined to comment. read from the new york times. the reporting there, the justice department is saying based on the individual facts and circumstances of their alleged contempt, my office will not be initiating prosecutions for criminal contempt, as requested in the referral against messrs. meadows and scavino. matthew and grace, the u.s. attorney for the district of columbia, wrote to douglas and letter, the general counsel of the house on friday. my office is review of each of
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the conduct referrals arising from the january six committee's investigation is complete. can you give us some sense of why some of these contempt referrals work, and end up with an indictment and arrest, and some don't? >> so, navarro and steve bannon basically told the house committee to get lost. they've refused any kind of meaningful assistance. mark meadows, on the other hand, turned over thousands of pages of documents. he didn't give the house panel everything they wanted, but he gave them a lot. the justice department usually says no, when congress asked to prosecute somebody, and that's true whether it's a democratic or republican administration. the department doesn't want to get too involved in congressional disputes that are often rooted in partisan politics. so, ali, it's actually more remarkable for the justice department than trying to lock up, bannon and navarro with close ties to trump at this point, it's too late for this witnesses to help the january
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six panel. so the doj sending a message to other future congressional witnesses, if you, like navarro and bannon, don't even make an effort to respect the law, if you totally refused to testify, then you will get locked up. you will face serious criminal consequences. >> ryan, we are going to be, we're gonna be seeing these public testimony that's gonna go on before the game with six committee. what is it that they are going to argue? we heard jamie raskin say that donald trump was a one-man crime wave. but what are they going to do that's gonna convince anybody who is otherwise unconvinced about what happened on january 6th, and what led up to it, to change their mind? >> they have promised new video in connection -- that's amazing, because a lot of online sleuths who have been investigating have turned up a ton of video, both from the defendants they have filmed themselves as well as all these clothes circuit television footage from inside the capitol.
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there is a lot they could turn up there. would i anticipate is the connections between some of the organizations -- the outside organizations -- that actually went into the capital and preplanned to storm the capitol, including the oath keepers, who had members who come pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy. what kind of overlap that the committee has discovered, between these efforts to invade the capital, and the more legal efforts proceeding january 6th to overturn the will of the american people? i think there is some overlap. we have seen some images of individuals affiliated with, those in trump's orbit, who have also been right next to these people. there is some footage from a garage, in fact. between the proud boys and the oath keepers. there's a lot of critical footage. and i'll be interested to see what the committee does. >> but for the fact that democracy might be at stake, the stories are pretty funny. guys, thanks very much. paul butler and ryan j. reilly, we appreciate the context
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vladimir putin told his army to go invade a sovereign nation. while ukrainians have retaken plenty of territory from russia, the war has nuclear and insight. the new york times editorial board writes, it is the ukrainians who must make the hard decisions. they are the ones fighting, dying and losing their homes to russian aggression, and it is they who must decide what an end to the war might look like. an nbc news report on the war at 100-day shows the iranian people remain steadfast in their resolve. quote, of course we want peace -- but we want our territories back, said anna, whose house in a small village outside kharkiv was destroyed when russian forces invaded. quote, if not, then what are we suffering for. alina reuben said, i understand it more clearly now that under the compromise is not an option. we still believe --
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nato secretary general jens stoughton stoltenberg said that member nations have to be prepared for the long haul, quote, in ukraine. to that end, the u.s. is sending advanced launch rocket launcher system's and javelin missiles to ukraine as part of the biden administration's latest rounds of military systems. president biden said that the weapons will allow the iranians to more precisely strike targets on the battlefield in ukraine. meanwhile, washington obtained a commitment from kyiv to not fire long-range missiles into russia, as they are concerned about escalating the conflict. joining us now is the retired u.s. navy commander james stavridis and msnbc chief international security and diplomacy analyst. he's the author of the new book, risk at all -- nine conflicts and the crucible of decision. admiral, it's good to see you again. thanks for being with us. >> my pleasure, ali. >> let's talk about something that you and i have been
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talking about more than three months now. you are a military expert. we can discuss all pros and cons of the ukrainian military versus the russian military. but in the end, the unknown here has been the ukrainian resolve to fight, the actions of their leader and the fact that the people -- and i saw while i was there -- it is gruesome and it is horrible what is happening to them. yet they say they will fight on. that is not something that vladimir putin seems to have calculated on very well at the beginning of the war. >> yeah, and it's a mystery to me. he ought to understand a fellow slavic nation better than he appears to have. and i commanded ukrainian troops in combat. they are not, obviously, nato members. but they deployed alongside nato, ali. they deployed to afghanistan. i had plenty of them under my command. they were also a part of nato missions in a number of other places. they are tough and
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professional. they have great war fighting spirit. and let's face it, if lattimore putin is going to invade the country and you are ukrainian on the front lines, then you look behind you and what do you see? you see your family, you see your elders, you see your cities. you see your civilization. that is immense motivation. putin really missed it on this. and frankly, i attributed to the way that he has eyelets elated isolated himself, particularly over the last decade. 20 years of power not only corrupts absolutely. it makes you absolutely ignorant about what is happening. >> let's talk about these long-range weapons ukraine is getting. they needed america -- america had second thoughts about this. they wanted an assurance from the ukrainians that they will not use these weapons to launch into well we all agree is russian territory. they can launch into the now
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russian controlled ukrainian territory. explain this to me. why are there these nuances? most of the world believes that the u.s. is leading an alliance in a fight against russia with all but u.s. and nato troops on the ground doing it. >> you are exactly right. all but nato and u.s. troops on the ground. nato and u.s. jets in the air. nato and u.s. war ships in the black sea. and nato and u.s. weapons are landing in russia. it's actually quite consistent with the game plan, which is, put the weapons in the hands of the ukrainians, but don't allow them to use them in a way that creates confrontation between a nuclear armed russia and the nuclear armed nato alliance. it is a pretty narrow sea to sail. but i think that the administration has it about right. >> it's a narrow sea to sail. and you understand that as an admiral. does russia?
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i mean, russia has said that this is all about war, this is all aggression. is it a legal thing, where the west can say, we are not attacking you? our troops are not talking, you are weapons or not landing in russia. explain to me why this is important. because i think most people watching would say, it feels like an old-fashioned proxy war. >> let's face it, old-fashioned proxy wars had the purpose of avoiding direct combat and confrontation, confrontation between the major powers, backing factions. thus, you create a kind of thunder dome inside of ukraine. look, this is not the creation of the west or of nato. this is the creation strictly of vladimir putin. and i am kind of tired of this argument i hear sometimes, that, oh, nato is at fault, because it has expanded. beto simply the former warsaw pact countries to join nato. they wanted to join nato because they spent decades with
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a russian boot on their throat. it is no mystery to me why they joined nato. and as your graphic shows, we were glad to have them. we welcome them. but ali, no nato tanks ever rolled to the east. they have been plenty of soviet tanks rolling to the west, into budapest in 1956, into prague in 1968, and around warsaw. we have seen those tanks rolling out west. so have those nations. that is why the war has started. >> and of course, on that map we showed you, we added sweden and finland with the caveat that they are expected to join -- that's the opposite vladimir putin wanted. he will end up with more nato as a result. admiral, always good to talk to you, thanks for the remarkable content in history that you bring to us. >> thank you, ali. >> admiral james stavridis, the book is, to risk, called non conflicts and the crucible of decision. we appreciate your time.
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coming, up the markets are on a rollercoaster and the price of oil continues to go up. what's the white house is doing when it comes to the economy -- and what president biden says congress needs to act on as well. that's coming up, next. g up, next allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily stops your body from overreacting to allergens all season long. psst! psst! flonase all good. ♪i'm a ram♪ by chris stapleton expectations come with the territory. ♪♪ but raising expectations. that comes with determination. pushing ourselves further. lifting others even higher. ♪♪ and knowing that recognition isn't given. it's earned. ram j.d. power's #1 brand in new vehicle quality. ♪♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (sha bop sha bop) ♪
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390,000. the unemployment rate held at 3.6%. it's an important number -- it's low. i cannot too like the unemployment lumber, because the denominator changes each month. 390 is a good number. -- means higher wages, which i happen to believe is a really good thing, but it also happens to be a key component in inflation. gas prices are another component and inflation. they have reached a record high, the national average -- i don't think i need to tell you this, if you drive, you know. at $4.76 a gallon, good luck if you are in california or hawaii. there are continued global supply chain issues causing higher prices across the board. federal reserve continues to raise interest rates to try to counter inflation. but throwing the kitchen sink at inflation could lead to a recession. here's what president biden said today about the may jobs report. >> i know that today has good news, but a lot of americans remain anxious. there is no doubt that high
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prices, particularly on gasoline and food, our big problem. americans can tackle inflation from a position of strength. they can still tackle it. >> that's actually really, really important economic point. joining us now is betsey stevenson, professor of economics at the university of michigan. she served as an economist under the obama administration in the labor department. it's a key point that president biden makes. inflation can hit you when things are down and it can hit you when things are up, when the economy is moving quickly. it is just simply more people than the goods and services that are available. the president is making the argument that if we had to deal with inflation, which is bad, we are in a better place to deal with it then we could be. >> oh, absolutely. it is a good thing to have a job. it is a good thing to see wage growth and it's a good thing for people to see the enormous numbers of opportunities out there with employers having record numbers of job openings.
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with that means is that you really have a chance to look around and find the right job for you, when that is going to be a great match for your skills, when that will provide you the wages that you want. and maybe one that lets you live near family or friends, one that allows you to enable you to provide childcare or elder care. it's a great time to get the job that you want. so, that is good for a lot of people. now, this is also happening at a time when prices are rising. and that is hard on people. there is no denying that. but if we are looking at what is causing the price rises, we saw a clear link between putin invading the ukraine and gas prices starting to spike. and so there is not much the administration or the fed can do about rising gas prices. that is just a pain we are all going to share. obviously, the fed needs to take some steps to bring inflation down. but realize that a lot of these things causing inflation, they
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are what you describe -- supply. we don't have quite enough to meet demand. so, with the fed is going to try to do is tamp down our demand by raising interest rates. and that is kind of a thing that has to work across the board. it is not going to necessarily solve the direct problems. >> yeah -- it is not a stiletto. it's a sledgehammer. and part of the problem here is that they use a lot of data. economists like you and the fed, they study, study, study data. but it's as much art as science. what is the danger here? what are people worried about? the fed has been pretty clear this week -- yet another fed official said, okay, we will get this. we will tackle inflation. and the truth is, betsey, they can't. inflation can be solved. the problem is that the fed can try and solve it so hard that we end up in a recession. >> right. so, the whole thing that the fed is trying to do is make sure that demand is not greater than supply. so, they can bring demand down. the problem is that if they bring dan demand down a lot,
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and then we end up in a recession -- they want to bring it down just enough. that's why you hear people talking about the goldilocks economy. you bring down demand, get rid of some of that pressure on prices, but not so much that people start to lose their jobs. that could be a tough place for them to land. that is actually why they have moved slowly. you don't want them raising rates really rapidly, all in one meeting. and have this 50 basis points at the time and let's see how the economy is cooling. let's make sure we don't cause a lot of job loss. but we do need to get prices down. the way to do that is to get people to basically spend less. >> are you worried about some kind of a switch changing in the economy, where people go from, all right, i am buying stuff, and if things are expensive, i'm a bit unhappy -- to suddenly, credit card and mortgage rates skyrocketing, to the place where everyone shuts down for a while? is that a harder hole to dig
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yourself out of them having inflation that is too high? >> i think -- one thing i just want to be clear about is that inflation hurts a lot of people. people don't like it. but it is a shared pain. unemployment really hurts the people who lose their jobs. and it is actually more of a disproportionate knock on those who are the ones who lose their jobs, who get laid off, who get pushed out of the labor market. so, there are two different kinds of pains. i think we should -- >> this is an interesting point. so, every one of us feels inflation. every one of us does not feel unemployment. >> absolutely. >> if a certain percentage of the population is unemployed, the rest of us do not feel it? >> exactly. i do think that is worth keeping in mind. that's why we don't want to move too quickly. all we need to do is make sure that people can believe that the fed can bring down rates, so that we don't start to adjust inflation expectations. the reason the jobs report was such a great report is that it showed us two things. one, everything that we did in
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terms of fiscal policy and monetary policy, it's the fastest recovery we have ever had, historically. that is great. that has put most people back to work. we are almost back to where we were prepared damac. and then less than two years, it took us eight years to get to this point following 2008. that's a real victory. and yes we have to bring down prices. but, right now, employers want to hire a lot of people and a lot of people are showing up to take those jobs. they were able to add 390,000 jobs this month because they wanted to hire. and people came in from the sidelines, increasing the labor force participation in order to take those jobs. and as long as we see labor supply expand, we don't have workers contributing to the inflation problem. >> it's another discussion -- >> on an adequate supply of workers. >> it's another discussion for another night, because we do have a labor supply problem -- imagine if we actually had good immigration problem. but another conversation for another night.
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thank you as always for joining us, betsey, betsey stevenson is a professor of economics at the university of michigan. tonight's last word is up next. is up next new poligrip power hold and seal. clinically proven to give strongest hold, plus seals out 5x more food particles. fear no food. new poligrip power hold and seal. a monster was attacking but the team remained calm. because with miro, they could problem solve together, and find the answer that was right under their nose. or... his nose. only two things are forever: love and liberty mutual customizing your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. if anyone objects to this marriage... (emu squawks) kevin, no! not today. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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[ growling ] still get nightmares? all the time. and that's tonight's last word, you can see me again tomorrow morning on my show, velshi, 8 am eastern on msnbc. tomorrow we will introduce you
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to a group of women who work underground to provide safe, illegal abortions in the days before roe v. wade, going up against the police, the mob and the catholic church to do it. these women are out of the shadows and telling their own story in a brand-new hbo documentary, just as the supreme court is poised to turn back the clock to the very time when they head to risk jail time to get women to health care that they needed. that is tomorrow morning at 8 am eastern on velshi, the 11th hour with stephanie ruhle begins right now. >>stephanie tonight, the end oa tumultuous week, that's on better debate over gun violence. and another trump insider indicted. peter navarro describes an arrest with handcuffs and leg irons. we preview the drama still to come. and a great jobs report noted by really high gas prices. what you make of mixed signals for america's economy? th