tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC October 11, 2022 9:00am-10:01am PDT
right now on "andrea mitchell reports," president biden and g7 leaders hearing directly from president zelenskyy to send putin a tough warning as russia unleashes its deadliest missile barrage since the start of the war. ukraine desperate for more air defenses to combat the assault. close senate races boiling over with ohio's democratic hopeful tim ryan on offense against trump candidate j.d. vance in their first head-to-head matchup. >> i'm for ohio. i don't kiss anyone's ass like
him. ohio needs an ass kicker not an ass kisser. the sedition trial is back in trial for the oath keepers today. a live report from the d.c. courthouse. good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. the war in ukraine appears to be at a turning point. russia continues to hammer cities, knocking out power across the country. richard engel is in ukraine. ukraine's foreign minister says the russians are focusing against the country's energy infrastructure. what's the impact having across ukraine with that? >> reporter: it is having an impact, even in cities where the war hasn't really had much of a
day-to-day consequence so far. in the city of lviv, for example, close to the polish border, now there's large sections of the city that are without power. there have been air strikes in kyiv. there's this city of kyiv, since the early days of the war, has been spared the daily violence. it's far away from the front lines. a sense of normalcy had returned to the city of kyiv. if you go around kyiv -- if you went around kyiv a few days ago, a few weeks ago, restaurants -- people were out, families on the streets. suddenly, yesterday, the cruise missiles started raining into the city center, into civilian areas. there was a video that has come to symbolize what happened. a girl was filming out on the streets when suddenly an incoming round came in. that is what's different about this wave of attacks from russia. they are striking far from the
front lines. they are striking areas that until recently -- since the early days of the war, haven't been attacked pretty much at all. they are going after infrastructure. they are going after the power grid. they are going after supply chains. there was an attack in kyiv that -- a missile strike that landed very close to the main train station. it didn't disrupt the train station. it didn't cause significant damage. but it was right in the city center. another attack in kyiv nearly destroyed a pedestrian bridge in a popular public park. that is what's different about this offensive. it is one of the main reasons you are seeing president zelenskyy and other ukrainian leaders appealing for air defenses and why they say this could be a potential turning point. if russia is going to try and once again push its war beyond just the east, beyond just the
south and bring it back to kyiv and bring it back to major urban centers that -- where a sense of normal life has been begun to return. >> richard, we have a clip of that horrible close call with the girl with the missile. let's play a little bit of that. i want to ask you something on the other side. it's terrifying. clearly, this is a civilian population that is under a barrage. zelenskyy wants air defenses. what more does he want? does he want jets? we should help him to establish a no-fly zone. >> reporter: the request from the ukrainians have changed throughout the course of this war. the very early days -- we're
almost at a year mark, it's amazing to think that. this war began in february and soon we will be approaching february. in the early days when it looked like the russians were going to quickly overwhelm the city, they wanted jets, a no-fly zone. then they wanted offensive weapons. now they want air defenses. air defenses will protect against incoming cruise missiles, drones which the russians are using increasingly. they will also allow the ukrainians to conduct more offensive operations without as much fear of retaliation to what are now generally undefended cities like kyiv and other major population centers far from the front lines. >> richard engel, thank you very much. stay safe in kyiv. julianne smith is the u.s. ambassador to nato. thank you very much. at a critical time in the war it does seem that we are at a pivot
moment, a stern warning from the g7 to vladimir putin today has emerged from this virtual meeting. president zelenskyy, of course, addressed them. is vladimir putin going to listen? what evidence is there that putin will back down? theyindiscriminating attacks. we are going to continue to apply maximum pressure on moscow to try and affect putin's strategic calculus. we are going to continue here at nato to reinforce nato's eastern flank. we will continue as individual allies to get the ukrainian
forces the security assistance that they need to defend their territory from these awful, illegal attacks from russia. >> ambassador, we know the priorities for president zelenskyy from the g7 and nato is for more defense air defenses. will he get that? >> as richard engel noted a few minutes ago, what we have been doing here at nato and through the contact group that the u.s. leads as well is we have been in near daily contact with ukrainian military commanders to assess what their real-time needs on the ground are. we then take those requests and pair them with countries that have the capabilities that can be moved to ukraine as fast as humanly possible. those requirements have changed over time. we focused on munitions for a while. we focused on coastal defense for some weeks. now, as you noted, andrea, the focus right now is on air
defense. we have had announcements from the united states and germany to move air defense systems to ukraine. we hope to see those arriving as soon as possible. i think this week, when nato defense ministers are here at nato headquarters, you will see some additional commitments stemming from the contact group to support those ukrainian forces. >> madam ambassador, it does seem that putin, as the president said, not joking, not bluffing. do you think there's a real concern about weapons of mass destruction, chemicals, biological, nuclear? the g7 leaders said there would be severe consequences. do you think he is listening and is he going to heed their warnings? >> we are very worried about the loose talk that we hear from moscow about russia's nuclear arsenal. as you can imagine, we are
monitoring the situation carefully. and we are mres saj ingmessagin russians that they would face consequences, unprecedented consequences or severe consequences should they decide to use nuclear weapons. that said, as you have heard colleagues back in washington say, we don't see an indication right now that russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons. but here at nato, we will keep a watchful eye and monitor the situation closely. >> there was a suggestion in the language coming out of the g7 that they do not doubt who is responsible, that russia was responsible for explosions on the pipelines. have you determined culpability of that pipeline explosion? >> we haven't. we're not in a position where we can talk about attribution. we really want to let the investigation finish and then determine exactly what we can
say publically about what we know about who was responsible for those supposed acts of sabotage and then determine any associated actions or response. >> you can say what the serious consequences would be. >> i don't think we're in a position to say anything specific about the serious consequences. but as the national security advisor, jake sullivan, noted, he has been messaged those detailed consequences directly to the russians. >> let's hope they are listening. ambassador, thank you for taking the time today. >> thank you. fighting words. the race for u.s. senate in ohio gets heated four weeks out from election day. the state of the race coming up next. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. new subs for the all-new subway series menu the new monster has juicy steak and crispy bacon. but what about the new boss?
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ohio senate candidates tim ryan and j.d. vance clashed in their first debate last night. with the economy and inflation dominating the back and forth and congressman ryan painting the republican nominee as too extreme on abortion. ryan also essentially saying, joe biden should not run in 2024. he would like to see generational change. went after vance for his backing by donald trump. >> just a few weeks ago youngstown, on the stage, donald trump said to vance is all do you is kiss my ass to get ply support. after trump took his dignity from him, j.d. vance got back up on stage and said, hey, aren't we having a great time tonight? >> i'm not going to take lectures on self-respect from a guy caught on video kissing up to chuck schumer and begging him for a promotion. we are close to halloween. tim ryan put on a costume.
>> let's talk about j.d. vance in that clash. i thoughtful to show what donald trump said to show the context of why tim ryan was seizing on that. let's watch. >> "the new york times" did a fake story today. j.d. wasn't sure if he wanted my support. d.j. is kissing my ass, he wants my support. i'm 18 points up. >> how did j.d. vance do in taking that on? >> let's remember why j.d. vance got in this position. he used to be an anti-trump critic, prominently anti-trump and did a 180 in the primary.
tim ryan is trying to take advantage of that saying, you can't trust him. he will do whatever to get the job he wanted. i think j.d. vance did an okay job. this was really a debate about who is more ohio. you saw tim ryan talking about how j.d. vance was out in silicon valley investing in china and this is a state hit hard by loss of manufacturing. they are trying to appeal to white working class voters. we tend to think this is ohio, so it's going to go republican, because it's tended to trend that way recently. j.d. vance needs to make an affirmative case for himself and he needs to make sure people don't see tim ryan as this solve moderate. that's what tim was trying to get across. he is not progressive. i think he did a good job of that. >> sam, what tim ryan did do is by saying joe biden should not run in 2024, there should be
generational change, that he is taking on nancy pelosi and take on schumer, trying to establish his independence and the age issue. >> right. what's fascinating is you have two candidates trying to distance themselves from the prohibitive heads of their party. you have tim ryan saying, joe biden's time is past. generational change. casting himself as the younger democrat. then, of course, j.d. vance having to duck and dodge the accusations that he was -- can i say this on cable -- kissing trump's ass, because he said it himself, it's just quoting. i think each of them has some liability. what was evident from the debate is they don't like each other. there are obviously very bitter elections. but in this case, it was visceral. that's a commentary on the state of politics but also on the state of the race where they have been vicious attacking one another. trying to be the more authentic
ohioan. each of them has liability, but in j.d. vance's case, arguably the bigger liability because he is so new to the state, because he is so fresh in politics, and because his path to this nomination did go through aligning himself with donald trump. i'm fascinating, does that alliance hurt him in the context of a general election in ohio? it's a trending republican state. that's a big bet that tim ryan is making. so far, the polls show, it's a closer than expected race. >> kimberly, let's talk about tommy tuberville and his comments which were so racist, conflating descendents of slaves seeking reparations with all criminals, basically saying black people are criminal, and not stepping back from that and republican leaders defending it
on trying to deflect from it, has this become normalized among republican leaders because they are so eager to win the senate? >> i think it has. it has been normalized. of course, we have seen the former president using racist language to describe black and brown people as criminals for years now, ever since the 2016 election. so it isn't new. it's of a piece with what we are seeing across -- not everyone is using as patently racist language as he is. but even in the debate between j.d. vance and tim ryan, we saw j.d. vance harping on the issue of crime and talking -- linking it to things like illegal immigration. those are the types of issues, the things that drive fear among voters, that republicans think they have been very successful with in the past. we're seeing that again. that's among those things that underlined.
people are talking about the economy. but on the republican side, this push on crime, this push about -- to scare voters. on the democratic side, trying to make as much political hay as they can on the issue of abortion, which seems to have moved voters at least for a while, are what you are seeing underlying. this is still very much about culture wars. that's what's going to happen beyond the midterms into 2024. >> speaking of georgia and wanting to win at all cost, scott and cotton, both campaigning today for herschel walker, despite the allegation allegations. whatever happened to family
values? >> i can take this one. go ahead, brendan. >> i was going to ask brendan about it. i'm sorry. >> this i think reflects the tribalism of politics today. republicans are all in. they can't change their candidate. they are stuck with herschel walker. we knew herschel walker was going to have a ton of baggage. this is what happens when donald trump gets to pick our nominees. he basically cleared the field and we didn't get to have a primary where some of the things would come out. rick scott, whose job it is to elect senate republicans, is going to try to wave the flag of republicans and tell people, it's okay, herschel walker is going to vote however we want him to vote in washington. this is not a deep red state anymore. georgia is a state where it's -- where joe biden won last time. you can't just wave the republican flag and think it's going to be good enough. that seems to be the best they can come up with. i don't know they have a better answer. there's a big debate on friday.
he will be on the stage with raphael warnock. maybe he can get past it. we will see if he is skilled enough to do that. >> i should point out, you are from atlanta. you know of what you speak when you talk about georgia politics. sam, when is somebody going to talk about whether or not herschel walker is completely unqualified on the substance of any issues that he has been questioned about? >> you know, if you look at what raphael warnock is doing, that's the undercurrent of them. he has not touched the issues of abortion and the allegations that herschel walker paid for an abortion and tried to encourage the mother of his child to get another abortion. instead, he has gone after him for lying, insincerity and a lack of policy chops. i think that's probably the smart play. you don't want to get into the gutter, especially if your opponent is getting damaged on
his own. look, this is what will come up in the debate is a forum for voters to decide if someone's policy acumen, to assess issues and dive into them, does it matter? or is herschel walker merely a vehicle for a republican yes vote among the 100 votes in the u.s. senate? if voters don't care, i just want him to vote yes on certain issues and if that's that, fine, he might pull this off. that's what we will see in the next couple weeks, especially during the coming debate. >> it's going to be quite a debate. brendan, kimberly, sam, thanks to all of you. putin's russia, as the word responds to massive strikes against ukraine, will the russian president's allies stay by his side? you are watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. . moving his money into his investment account in real time
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consequences. joining us is keir simmons. russia's foreign minister was asked about possible negotiations today. lavrov said he would be -- that russia would be willing to have under certain conditions vladimir putin talk to president biden about ukraine. the position has always been no peace talks without ukraine involved. is that putting the u.s. on the defensive? >> reporter: i think russia is searching for options, if you like. certainly, sergei lavrov, the foreign minister had a lot to say, about the possibility of in negotiation, maybe peace talks and opening up the possibility between president putin and president biden at the g7. russian officials told me they haven't decided whether president putin will go to the
meeting. there was a meeting between president putin and president erdogan. lavrov suggests they might have a conversation about turkey host something talks. lavrov, the russian foreign minister, saying they have not had any serious proposals from the americans, which of course might be for the rush sla russi make a proposal, you might argue. that sets out there is always this rhetoric from the russians. it doesn't necessarily mean anything like this is going to happen. president zelenskyy is expected at the g20. he would have zelenskyy, putin and biden in the same place. that doesn't mean there would be progress. >> there were talks that were hosted by erdogan months back. the u.s. position and the ukrainian position was that lavrov and others speaking for vladimir putin were not willing to put anything on the table and
didn't have any latitude to do any negotiating. at this point, zelenskyy is not going to negotiate given the beating they have taken against civilian targets, for instance. neither side seems willing to negotiate. this could be just a pretext. how are the latest attacks seen in russia? does this satisfy the hardliners who wanted more military action? >> reporter: i think you make good points there. in the end, there's no appetite for compromise on either side. you mention the hardliners. they have been incredibly vocal. they have been celebrating this latest barrage from the russians on ukraine. they have been calling for that kind of attack for weeks. i think there is an open question about what happens if this latest version of this russian offensive doesn't work, what do president putin and his hardliners do then?
what do the russian people think? the reality is that if you take, for example, polling by the independent poller here in russia, the support for president putin and for this operation in ukraine, russians are anxious, stays around 80%. just below it now. was just above 80%. the thing that upsets russians is the draft. that shifted opinion in many russian homes. >> keir simmons, our man in moscow, thank you. joining us now is the former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, william taylor, and the former u.s. ambassador to moscow, mike mcfaul. how is this assault against ukraine sustainable? he might be running short of munitions. >> it served no military objective. let's be clear about that. the one place that he didn't attack was the front line where
ukrainian soldiers are. he attacked civilians, non-combatants, terrorizing the ukrainian society at extraordinary cost. he used incredibly sophisticated weapons to bomb playgrounds and doesn't serve any military purpose. it was vendetta. response because of the attack on the bridge the day after his birthday. okay. it's personal. that the problem for this entire war. it's all about putin's personal ambitions. no security objectives for russia. i hope some day the russians will begin to understand that. >> ambassador taylor, how long can ukraine sustain? they have lost so much energy infrastructure, there's no power in lviv and other major cities. they are taking such a beating. >> andrea, they will fight until they win. they have made it very clear that this will not intimidate them, that these attacks, as
ambassador mcfaul says, in an attempt to intimidate or terrorize, it will fail. it will fail. the ukrainians have been strong, and they are united. they are united with their military, with their president. they are united with their civil society. they will fight until they win. they are absolutely convinced. these attacks are not shaking that resolve. >> ambassador mcfaul, the president said last week, controversially in some quarters, that he thinks vladimir putin is not joking, not bluffing about talking about all means, including nuclear means. when the g7 today threatened serious consequences, undetermined but we understand jake sullivan did make it specific to the military with the national security officials, is that deterrence? do you think putin would do anything backed into a corner?
>> a couple of things. i think putin is achieving a military objective by threatening to use nuclear weapons. rather than -- i would use the word deterrence. he deterred the west and the biden administration from giving fighter aircraft, tanks, the sophisticated weapons they have made a decision not to do that. that is his military objective. second, i don't have the intelligence, secret information about what the assessment is and whether he will use a nuclear weapon or not. we can make the assessment of its utility. i think the utility would be very, very low. not one leader in the world would support vladimir putin. i don't think many people in his inner circle would support his use of that military weapon. third -- nuclear weapon. third, if he did it use, there's no more constraints on the side of the west. we should attack all the weapons
that we have been holding back, that we would use there. finally, maybe even an attack against russian forces inside ukraine. i'm sure something along those lines are what jake sullivan discussed. i don't know the details. those are the things that mr. putin has to think about when he thinks about using this weapon. finally, to ambassador taylor's point, it won't mean the ukrainians will capitulate. exactly the opposite. the idea that he uses a nuclear weapon and they quit is absurd. >> just to draw on that point, to ambassador taylor, do you think that we should now be giving these advanced missile snz. >> i do. we should give the ukrainians at built to attack russians wherever they are in ukraine. they have shown they are responsible and effective at all the weapons that we have provided. we should absolutely provide
them with these weapons. we should lay the groundwork for other heavy weapons that we are talking about. certainly, the anti-aircraft missiles. we can see the importance of that. certainly, the aircraft that are going to be necessary. certainly the armor that's necessary to push the russians back out of the country. that's what the ukrainians want. they want the russians gone. we should be providing those conventional weapons to enable them to do that. >> ambassador mcfaul, let me ask you a quick question about brittney griner. we are going to see on the 25th of october the appeals. they will be back in court. is that a date beyond which she will be, you think, either be released in a trade, despite the increased tempo of the ukraine war, or be sent to a prison camp, which is the worst fear for her family and friends? >> i don't know. i honestly don't know. the talk of a trade has
subsided. it faded. the russians have upped the ante. they want another person who assassinated a chechen in germany as part of the deal. it's very difficult to understand what will happen next. >> which is not very optimistic at all, obviously. thank you very much to both ambassadors, taylor and mcfaul. in his own words. the oath keepers' leader expected to take the stand in his own defense. will it help or hurt his case? the latest from the court next. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. nbc. think he's posting about all that ancient roman coinage? no, he's seizing the moment with merrill. moving his money into his investment account in real time and that's... how you collect coins. your money never stops working for you with merrill, a bank of america company.
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the way to go. reilly is outsid courthouse and former u.s. attorney joyce vance. an fbi special agent was on the stand this morning. another agent is there now. give us the highlights. >> reporter: essentially what we are learning is there's a lot of tension within the oath keepers organization in the months leading up to the january 6 attack, particularly after the election and of course certification date on january 6. the north carolina oath keepers broke away from the larger organization because of the concern with the extreme rhetoric that we saw coming from elmer stewart rhodes, who is as you said, showing really aggressive tendencies and was talking about opposing the peace peaceful transfer of power with force. there are events in d.c. that
the oath keepers took place in. we saw the million maga march in november and again with another event in december. we have seen some communications revolving around that. what the defense is trying to say is that a lot of these communications, particularly for the non-rhodes defendants, they were focused on providing security operations and security services for some of the speakers, for individuals in trump's orbit and people who opposed the certification of the election and that they had pre-planned to storm the capitol. the prosecution has evidence to suggest there was an effort to oppose the peaceful transfer of power, even if there wasn't as much specific planning about invading the capitol itself. >> joyce, rhodes is expected to take the stand in his own defense. given how this trial is going, is that a good idea? >> it's always a dicey call. but it's a call that has to be
left up to a defendant. the lawyer doesn't actually make that call. before a defendant testifies, judges will often bring them into the courtroom and have a colloquy on the record with them to make sure they understand their rights. rhodes is a yale educated lawyer. he is as capable of maybing this decision as any defendant could be. the real issue here is that defendants don't testify unless the prosecution's case is very, very strong. >> on a separate track, january 6 committee, they are holding what could be their last investigative hearing. they could have an informational hearing down the road. are supposed to be presenting an interim report. our understanding is they have so much more to do and time is going to run out. if, as all polling would indicate, if they lose control of the house, they expire. does that information most
likely get turned over to the justice department? i know it's a parallel track and it's not a prosecutorial track. whatever happens to all of that? >> committee members have gone on record as saying that while they weren't perhaps keen on turning over their evidence to the justice department early on in these hearings, as the hearing wrap up, they do plan to share information with the justice department. that's very helpful to doj. it gives them a leg up on evidence which they may have to obtain for themselves via subpoena or grand jury. this lets them know what's out there, what witnesses have said in another forum. even if we do face a timetable, if the house returns to republican control, the evidence itself lives on. of course, it is entirely likely that the committee will manage to turn out a report. it's a big undertaking, but they have career staff who are prosecutors. the leader of the staff for this
committee wrote the report that was used to follow the rally in charlottesville. he has a lot of experience in putting together the evidence in a publically digestible form, which is what we can expect from the committee before there's a transfer of power, if the midterms don't come out well for the democrats. >> joyce vance, ryan reilly, thanks to both of you. join us thursday at noon eastern. our special coverage of the next january 6 hearing. we will be on throughout the hearing, all afternoon, the three of us together. running on empty. oil production cuts are fuelling calls for american to reevacuate its relationship with saudi arabia. the white house is responding today. this is "andrea mitchell reports." that's next on msnbc.
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relationship after opec slashed oil production to keep prices up. in effect, underwriting putin's war in ukraine, because that gives him more oil profits. this after the chairman bob menendez threatened to cut off u.s. assistance to the saudis for siding with russia in the war despite thousands of troops in the most advanced systems helping to protect the saudi kingdom. here with me is the diplomatic correspondent for "the new york times." senator menendez said, there's no room to play both sides of this conflict. either you support the free world in trying to stop a war criminal from wiping off an entire country off the map or you support him i don't think they could get this done in the senate when the senate could always change hands, but would a freeze on the armed sales be enough to deter the saudis or paying attention or feel that they have the oil production and they are aligned with vladimir
putin on this. >> unfortunately, i think the saudi attitude maybe that they have the leverage here. of course, american military support is important to the kingdom, but they had to price in this kind of american reaction, so to speak, price it into the vote they cast and the position they took this this opec move that will have the effect of raising global energy prices and gasoline prices at the pump here in the united states. i think that the big question for the saudis is whether this is largely posturing a few weeks before midterm elections in which republicans have made gas prices a big issue. and the saudis maybe calculaing that there's going to be a lot of bluster from president biden and the democrats, but no real action, which let's be honest. if you look the at the track record going back for many years now, there tends to be much more tough talk in washington about
cracking town on the saudiss than any actual cracking down. >> even joe biden telling me in the 2019 debate before the election that he would make the sauds a pariah because of the khashoggi murder and one of the reasons why this is so controversial. the worst reason is that gas prices are going up. even before they announced it, in anticipation of the pec plus decision, which is the saudis and russia. >> that's right. and it's not just gas prices. in what you'd hear from administration officials, there are a bunch of issues with which we have to work, including increasingly trying to have some kind of a diplomatic breakthrough with israel. we saw in the trump administration the abraham accords, this normalization between israel and other arab states. the big prize at this point is saudi arabia. i think biden officials would
like to see that happen. so it's not just about the energy prices. that means that saudi arabia has a lot of leverage. it always has. and the u.s. never really takes that step to throw relations into a crisis. even when the saudis drive us craz crazy, as they often do. >> one way to get more oil pumped, although the equipment, the refinery equipment is really way out of date, is venezuela. they are doing something -- they are lifting sanctions and letting chevron start pumping again. but the dictatorship has not done anything and that would be politically toxic, especially in florida. >> very difficult for president biden to make a move like that, which would put more oil on the market. ourvegs however, i don't think u.s. officials think it would be a game changing amount of oil to change the trajectory of prices. i was traveling in south
america. this specific topic came up. what he essentially said is if they take important steps to talk to the opposition and diminish the repression, there can be some kind of move by the u.s. to be reciprocal. it didn't sound like we were on the brink of it. and i adopt think you should hold your breath. >> the best information from that trip, thank you vufr much. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow us online on facebook and on twuter. chris jansing will be with us after this brief break. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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good day. i'm chris jansing live at msnbc headquarters in new york city. talk about a political pressure cooker. democratic and republican campaign officials are juggling as many as 10 competitive senate races with controversy over how national democrats are spending critical campaign cash. we'll dive into that dollars dilemma with early voting already underway in many states. one state on the bubble, ohio. last night's huge debate between tim ryan and jd vance did not disappoint. as combative as you'd expect from a toss-up race. this morning ryan said vance is getting more help from his party. >> mitch mcconnell gave him $million.