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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  August 22, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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>> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. defiant. >> freedom must not, cannot and will not die here. >> liz cheney loses her primary, as donald trump takes down his number one republican target. she charts a new course,
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targeting election deniers in her own party. vowing to block trump's path back to the white house. >> i'm going to work against those people, i'm going to work to support their opponents. i think it matters that much. >> this morning, we go one-on-one. what's your defeat say about trump's hold on the republican party? what can you tell us? what are you going to do? if january 6th can't convince republicans to reject donald trump, what can? congresswoman liz cheney, a "this week" exclusive. we need the affidavit, show your cards. >> new fallout from the search at mar-a-lago. a surprise ruling that could unseal the government affidavit. our powerhouse roundtable on what it means for trump and the republican party. record crossings. >> six or seven that are right now trying to cross the river, they're literally in the middle of the rio grande. >> border apprehensions approach 2 million. texas responds by busing migrants to new york city. >> now the rest of america is understanding exactly what is going on.
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southern border, asfrom the - texas governor greg abbott and new york mayor eric adams face off. >> announcer: from abc news, it's "this week." here, now, co-anchor jonathan karl. good morning and welcome to "this week." if there were any lingering doubts about donald trump's hold on the republican party they were erased tuesday night. liz cheney, trump's loudest and most persistent critic in the party and the number one target of his revengeance campaign, went down in a landslide primary defeat. eight of the ten house republicans who voted to impeach him will be gone in the next congress. and in state after state, candidates endorsed by trump for governor, for senate and for other offices have prevailed in republican primaries. they owe their nominations to trump and their allegiance, too, but as trump tightens his grip on the party the legal walls around him seem to be closing
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in. this week, a federal judge in florida suggesting that he may release portions of the affidavit used to seek an fbi search warrant for mar-a-lago. a criminal investigation the justice department said is open and in its early stages. in new york, the trump organization's chief financial officer is going to rikers prison. trump once called allen weisselberg a loyal employee and one of the toughest people in the business. now he's pleaded guilty and has agreed to testify in a criminal trial likely to happen this fall against trump's company. and in georgia, a flurry of activity surrounding the criminal investigation into the attempt to overturn that state's 2020 election results. rudy giuliani testifying before a special grand jury, and trump ally, senator lindsey graham is next, after a federal judge rejected his effort to avoid testifying. and in yet another legal case, trump pleaded the fifth, something he had never done before.
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unlike the former president, cheney acknowledged she lost, while conceding to trump's chosen candidate in wyoming, cheney launched a new effort to vanquish trumpism and try to block any attempt by trump to return to power. >> we must be very clear eyed about the threat we face and about what is required to defeat it. i have said since january 6th, that i will do whatever it takes to ensure that donald trump is never again anywhere near the oval office and i mean it. >> three days after her defeat, i sat down with liz cheney in the january 6th committee hearing room for a wide-ranging discussion on her election loss, the committee's remaining work and her future in the republican party. i began by asking her about the magnitude of her loss. you're in leadership, considered a future speaker of house, it's
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a lot to give up, any regrets? >> no regrets. you know i feel, i feel sad about where my party is, i feel sad about the way that too many of my colleagues have responded to a great moral test and challenge of our time. a great, great moment to determine whether or not people are going to stand up on behalf of the democracy and our republic. >> i understand you heard from president biden. >> i did hear from president biden. we had a very, very good talk. we talked about the importance of putting country ahead of bipartisanship. i've heard from a number of people. >> some of your republican colleagues here? >> some. yeah. >> there were ten of you that chose to vote to impeach, did you hear from them after you loss? >> yes.
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>> all of them? >> yes. >> explain that bond. >> you know, we have difference of opinions among the ten of us about a whole range of issues. but the fact that we all made the decision we did and we have faced consequences for that decision will be a bond i would imagine forever. >> what does your defeat say about trump's hold on the republican party? >> i think, one, it says that people continue to believe the lie, they continue to believe what he's saying, which is very dangerous. i think it also tells you that large portions of our party, including the leadership of our party, both at a state level in wyoming, as well as on a national level, with the rnc, is very sick. and that you know we really have got to decide whether or not we're going to be a party based on substance and policy or whether we're going to remain as so many of our party are today in the grips of a dangerous former president.
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>> in addition to trump's gloating about your loss his spokesperson said, she may have been fighting for principles, but they are not the principles of the republican party. i mean, arguably he's right, isn't he? >> doesn't that tell you something, you know, what i'm fighting for is, is the constitution. what i'm fighting for is the fact that elections have to matter and that, when the election is over and the courts have ruled and the electoral college has met, that the president of the united states has to respect the results of the election, and if donald trump's spokesman said that those principles are inconsistent with donald trump's views and inconsistent with the republican party's views, that ought to give every american pause of what the republican party stands for today. >> this is a new beginning for you, you're starting this
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political organization, what can you tell us? what are you going to do? >> i'm going to be very focused on working to ensure that we do everything we can not to elect election deniers and i'm going to work against those people, i'm going to work to support their opponents. >> will you be getting involved in campaigns against those republican candidates that are challenging, denying the results of the election? >> yes. >> including your republican colleagues here in congress? >> yes. >> the is the country better or worse off if kevin mccarthy is the next speaker of house? >> the speaker of the house is second in line to the presidency, it requires somebody who understands and recognizing their duty, their oath and obligation, and he's been completely unfaithful to the constitution and demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the significance and the importance of the role of speaker, so i don't believe he should be speaker of the house, and i think that's been very
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clear. >> so that sounds like, yes, the country would be worse off if he were speaker of house. >> i don't believe he should be speaker of house. you told me, you didn't think donald trump could win the republican nomination again. do you still believe that? >> yeah, i think we have to make sure that he's not our nominee, i do believe there are millions of republicans out there, independents and democrats out there as well, and i think that, you know, i believe in republican policies, i believe if you think about where the country needs to go, what's best for our nation, i believe in a strong national defense, certainly today more than ever, we need that to confront the i believe in low taxes, i believe in limited government. i believe the family should be the center of our lives and communities. those are traditional republican values.
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and i believe that's what we need going into future. we have no chance at winning elections if we're in a position where our party has abandoned principle and abandoned value and abandoned fundamental fidelity of the constitution in order to embrace this personality. >> is the threat trump or is it bigger than trump? you could argue trumpism, in terms of election denying, has taken over the party? >> donald trump is certainly the center of the threat, but election denial, denying the fundamental function and principle, what is at the center of our constitutional republic, is dangerous broadly speaking. and he's certainly leading that effort and leading that movement, and he also, because we know precisely what he will
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do because he has done it, sending an armed mob here to the capitol to try to overturn the results of an election, there's just simply no way the nation can in my view sustain itself if we excuse that and put him in a position of power again. >> if january 6th can't convince republicans to reject donald trump, what can? >> well, i think that as a nation, whether we're republicans, democrats, or independents, we all have to reject that. we have to come together, you know, across those party lines in order to protect ourselves against that kind of threat. >> you said you're going to work against election deniers. and if it's not trump and if it's somebody like ron desantis, ted cruz, josh hawley, tied themselves very
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closely to trump, can you oppose them? >> it would be very difficult when you look at somebody like josh hawley or ted cruz, both of whom know better, both of whom know exactly the role of congress is in terms of our constitutional obligations with respect to presidential elections. and yet, both of whom took steps that, that fundamentally threatened the constitutional order and structure in the t el for oveunt >> what about desantis? >> desantis is somebody who is right now campaigning for election deniers and i think that's something that i think people have to have real pause about, either you fundamentally believe in and will support our constitutional structure or not.
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>> you said you're thinking about running for president, running to send a message or running to win. >> look, you run for president because you believe you'd be the best candidate and the best president of the united states, so any decision that i make about doing something that significant and that serious would be within the intention of winning and because i think i would be the best candidate. >> would your path be inside the republican party or outside the republican party? >> i haven't made any specific decisions or plans about this at this point. >> so running as an independent is a possibility? >> i'm not going to go down that path anymore in terms of speculating. >> the rnc is trying to figure out ways to keep you out, this idea of getting into a debate, promise to support the eventual nominee, you're not going to do that? >> i can understand why they would not want me on a debate stage with donald trump. >> so let's talk about the committee. one of the key figures here,
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is obviously mike pence, he said this week he's willing to consider testifying if he's asked. are you going to ask him? >> we have been discussions with his counsel when the country has been through something as grave as this was, everybody who has information has an obligation to step forward. i'd hope that wehe'll do that. >> you think we'll see him in september in this room before the committee? >> well, i would hope that he will understand how important it is for the american people to know every aspect of the truth about what happened that day. >> what about trump, will you ask him to testify? >> i don't want to make any announcements about that this morning. let me just leave it there. >> but it's possible you'd ask him before wrapping up to testify? >> yeah, again, i don't want to get in front of committee deliberations about that. i do think it's very important as i said in the first hearing or the second hearing, you know
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his interactions with our committee will be under oath. >> the republicans have said that they're going to use their subpoena power to subpoena all the records of the january 6th committee, are you concerned about that? do you expect all the material -- you got so much material, is the committee going to make all that public? >> it's all public record. it will be available publicly as our investigation wraps up and concludes, and if kevin mccarthy or jim jordan, or any of the other individuals who are threatening to investigate the committee carry through on that threat and issue a subpoena for me to appear, i'll welcome the opportunity to come and explain to them exactly what we found and the threat that donald trump poses to the country. i would say, they ought to do the same. >> we'll have more of my
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exclusive interview with liz cheney later in the programming. what she told about the fbi's raid of donald trump's mar-a-lago. but first, let's bring in the roundtable. jane coaston. usa today washington bureau chief susan page. ramesh ponnuru. and atlanta staff writer, mark leibovich. susan, there's a lot of ways you can say that liz cheney has no path to a republican nomination, the idea of a presidential campaign. democrats will be reminded of why they don't like her, but take a step back. she's the face right now of opposition to donald trump in this country, what can she do with this new political organization? >> in the short term she told you, she would campaign against election deniers. she'll be campaigning for some democrats, who are running against election deniers.
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she has the stature and the ability to raise money. over the long term, who knows. politics is not a straight line, liz cheney is 56 years old, she can run for president in 2024 or 2028 or 2032. sometimes there are political figures who seem to be making symbolic stances and you look back with the benefit of some hindsight, you see the influence they had on the party and the country. i'm thinking of bernie sanders who not everyone took very seriously at the beginning and had a great effect on his party. we'll see if liz cheney has a similar course. >> teddy roosevelt left the republican party, then the party actually tried to recruit him eight years later to run as a republican again. mark, what's your sense on the role that she has taken on? >> i think she has been, look, i would say she's unleashed, she was pretty unleashed before the election, but i think she'll be an extremely relevant figure in her party, across the board, i
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think she seems to have committed not only to take down donald trump but take down the sickness of her party. she's talking about denial, election denial, but the question is, will she go into covid denial or climate denial? ultimately, i think she'll raise a ton of money and her place in our politics is solidified for the time being and probably beyond next year. >> ramesh, i think i know what you're going to say about her future in the republican party, but it was interesting in that interview to hear her sound for a moment very much like a conservative republican. she talked about strong national defense, limited government, family values. >> that's right, and she in fact as a member of the house when donald trump was in office voted with him more often than, say, elise stepanik who replaced her in the house leadership.
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that conservativism has gotten overshadowed. it got overshadowed during this campaign. it will be interesting to see whether it continues to be part of her message going forward, because the more she concentrates on the election denial issue the less those other parts of her agenda are going to come to fore. >> jane, when i was out in wyoming before the primary, it was an explicit strategy that liz cheney had to get democrats to register to vote for her and you saw a lot of that. the people you talked to that were voting for liz cheney were often democrats. are they still going to support her? >> no, because she's not a democrat. it's interesting, because -- i want to separate two things. liz cheney is standing up against donald trump. liz cheney is a conservative republican. those two things exist. but i think we too often combine
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the two. she refused to attend her own sister's wedding. liz cheney's father is still dick cheney. if you were alive in 2004 you perhaps recall that he was vice president to george w. bush, i think her conservativism is getting overshadowed. there have been lots of people have stood up against donald trump, a lot of them have been democrats, a lot of them have been liberals, a lot of them have been lib tear -- libetarians. lot of them have been conservatives. she's the best well-known conservative republican who has stood up to donald trump. democrats were not voting for her because they supported her conservativism, they were voting for her because they wanted to send a message to donald trump. >> well, there's another guy out there that's been trying to maybe be a more middle ground, mike pence, i want to play something that he said this week. >> january 6th was a tragic day
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in the history of our country. the american people have a right to know what happened that day. and in the months and years gncef january my story . what did you make of that? what's going with pence? >> it sounds like he's rolling out this gently, i think at some point, go before the committee, he said he was waiting for an invitation. >> and cheney made it clear that an invitation has been extended. >> it's not a surprise. this is a -- i mean, he can do this. i just don't know how compelling it's going to be at this point. he waited a long time. we'd love to hear what mike pence about that day. >> i think you're not giving him enough credit. i'm saying that acknowledging that mike pence was loyal to
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donald trump fur four years. mike pence stood up on january 6th and if he testifies before the committee, which now seems likely, that's another case where he's standing up at some potential cost to his longtime goal of becoming president of the united states. >> i agree he stood up on january 6th, but beyond that i think it would nice to sort of get the retrorespective from him. >> worth remembering that on january 6th that people were attempting to kill him, his short-term interest in staying alive, what mike pence is doing -- >> they were literally saying, hang mike pence. >> so, i mean, i will never understand why he's slow-rolling this, because if people were chanting "hang jane coaston" i would not be this nice. i think he should go before the committee, but i also think that
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it's worth -- if i could send a message to him -- it's worth remembering that his loyalty to donald trump and his loyalty to the republicans closest to donald trump hasn't been resip row kated at all. >> if he comes before the committee, he has to be there at the committee, at the table, live testimony. if that happens, that will be a very big moment. >> yeah, that will be electric. i think it's interesting, pence came out in defense of the fbi and its agents this week and that i think -- that was a choice that he could have fallen in line with the prevailing tone of the republican party, which is the fbi going after donald trump was an excess banana republic, he chose the other path. a signal of what he might do with respect to the committee. but when you think about his overall political future, you got to remember donald trump put him on the ticket in 2016 to shore-up evangelical support. evangelical conservatives
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support trump more than they support pence now. >> incredible fact. we'll be back. we have to take a quick break. the roundtable will be back for more. and up next, as the border crossings reach a new record, texas has begun busing migrants to new york and washington, settinging up a showdown between greg abbott and eric adams face off in our border report, next. off in our border report, next. we're clearly different. s (other money manager) different how? you sell high commission investment products, right? (fisher investments) nope. fisher avoids them. (other money manager) well, you must earn commissions on trades. (fisher investments) never at fisher investments. (other money manager) ok, then you probably sneak in some hidden and layered fees. (fisher investments) no. we structure our fees so we do better when clients do better. that might be why most of our clients come from other money managers. at fisher investments, we're clearly different. as the day wakes up. and that voice begs you to quit.
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as the pain sets in. and the hill grows steeper. no matter what, we go on. biofreeze. (dad) we have to tell everyone that we just switched to verizon's new no matter what, we go on. welcome unlimited plan, for just $30. (daughter) i've already told everyone! (cool guy) $30...that's awesome. (mom) it's their best unlimited price ever. (woman) for $30 a line, i'm switching now. (vo) the network you want. the price you love. only from verizon. >> i'll t >> i'll take charge of busing these migrants up to other locations including washington, d.c., and new york. the country is seeing something that we've been dealing every single day and that's the fact that we have a crisis on our border. >> in many cases they're boarding buses having been lied to about what's going to be on the other end. >> every asylum seeker that comes to new york, we will get
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them shelter and the support that they need. >> the mayors of washington and new york responding to texas governor greg abbott's decision to bus thousands of migrants to the northeast as the u.s. is now on track to arrest over 2 million migrants illegally crossing the border this year. abc's mireya villareal is in texas reporting on the latest surge. good morning, mireya. >> reporter: good morning, jon. as you probably know immigration is a very polarizing issue, with big opinions on both sides. we spend a lot of time in these border towns. dauking with people who live there and work there. for them this is not a red or blue issue, or democrat versus republican, this is an american issue and they're asking for it to be addressed. along the south texas border, local, state and federal agents are working around the clock to try and slow the flow of migrants. we got a bird's-eye view. of the situation with the texas department of public safety.
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i can see a group of four or five that have been made it across into the u.s. a second group is now just crossing the rio grande. and it looks like they're going to be intercepted by the crews on the ground. the u.s. is on pace to hit a record-breaking 2 million encounters this year. on the ground, we watch as dozens of migrants cross into the u.s., almost immediately turning themselves into agents standing by. the majority of the migrants crossing into eagle pass don't have any intention of staying here. this family is from venezuela, they're planning to ride the free buseshe tas governor is sending north to sanctuary cities like new york and washington, d.c. their young children already making plans to work, go to school, and learn english. >> reporter: so far, immigration officials say new york city has taken in some 6,000 migrants.
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all have been processed by immigration officials, many seeking asylum through title 8 an immigration policy which allows migrants to lawfully live in the u.s. while their cases are pending. critics questioning whether governor abbott's busing strategy is leading to even more border crossings. new york mayor eric adams calling out abbott during a conversation with "nightline's" byron pitts. >> you have a person who's using those who are seeking refuge in this country as almost as political showmanship. he thinks that this is a theatrical performance, it is not. >> reporter: abbott responding, calling it a crisis for nation, not just border states. >> before we begin busing illegal immigrants up to new york, it was just texas and arizona that bore the brunt of all of the chaos and all of the problems that come with it, we need our fellow americans to
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understand how significant, how prolific the challenge is that we're dealing with. >> reporter: while millions of migrants have been expelled using title 42, the pandemic rule without processing their asylum claims, simply turned around and come right back in. so this group was picked up here, instantly ran their information, border patrol said they can't for whatever reason request asylum, this is the international bridge right outside eagle pass and they got out, right on top of the bridge, and now they're walking straight back into mexico, so that's basically title 42 in a nutshell. >> reporter: the biden administration has remained quiet on issues unfolding along the border. the homeland security mayorkas acknowledged they have work to do, but that's not good enough for abbott. >> this is a crisis caused by the biden administration. remember two years ago, we had the lowest number of border crossings in decades.
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today we have the highest number of illegal crossings into the united states ever. >> reporter: new york city officials are now working with nonprofit organizations to open up temporary shelters, 13 of them within hotels and they're also working with school officials to make sure they make room for these children that are coming in from the texas area. >> so, mireya, where do things go from here? how long are texas taxpayers going to be paying to bus migrants to new york and washington, d.c. >> reporter: jon, the question on everybody's mind right now, as of what we know, in talking to law enforcement on the border, they're saying right now there's no end in sight for this busing strategy created by abbott, but what could slow things down is the cost that you just mentioned. the rides are free for migrants. but this whole strategy is being funded by texas taxpayer dollars. jon. >> mireya, thank you. appreciate it.
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up next, as the war in ukraine approaches the six-month mark, new fears the confict could be escalating. we're live from the war zone. and later, more of my exclusive interview with congresswoman liz cheney, why she's warning of a really dangerous moment for our country. wait 'till you hear this— thankfully, meta portal helps reduce background noise. zero lace model. adjusts to low light. and pans and zooms to keep you in frame. take a look at this. so the whole team stays on track. okay, let's get you some feedback. i'm impressed. great, loving your work. meta portal. the smart video calling device that makes work from home, work for you. i'm greg, i'm 68 years old. i do motivational speaking meta portal. the smart video calling device in addition to the substitute teaching. i honestly feel that that's my calling-- to give back to younger people. i think most adults will start realizing that they don't recall things as quickly as they used to
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did you say yes?! the new xfinity supersonic bundle. it's kind of a big deal six months of war in ukraine, our look at the stalemate amid concerns of a nuclear catastrophe. plus, more of my exclusive interview with liz cheney, up next. exclusive interview with liz cheney up next. i'm steve, i lost 138 pounds in nine months on golo
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when this history of this era is written putin's choice to make a totally unjustifiable war on ukraine will have left russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger. >> president biden six months ago this week responding to russia's invasion of ukraine and this week brought a dire warning about the safety of europe's largest nuclear power plant. abc's britt clennett is on the ground in ukraine tracking the very latest. >> reporter: yeah, the daughter of a close putin ally, reportedly killed in a suspicious blast today. her family saying she borrowed her father's car suggesting that he was the target, now dugin is a staunch supporter of the war here in ukraine. now investigating it as a murder. if it turns out ukraine is behind the attack, adds to signs that ukraine's willing to take its fight beyond ukrainian territory. this week, six months into
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putin's invasion of ukraine, there are serious fears that the fighting could turn into a nuclear catastrophe. the attacks threatening the safety of the largest nuclear plant in zaporizhzhia. the tense situation there, sparking an exodus. we visited an evacuation center in zaporizhzhia as hundreds arrived. we have been told to expect a huge convoy of cars coming in from the russian-occupied areas. here they are, taking everything they have to find a safe passage and get out of here. >> reporter: this woman from the site of the plant traumatized, saying it's bad there. we spoke one of the plant's engineers asking us not to show his face for fears of retaliation. "it might well be like another chernobyl. if the storage is hit badly there will be radio active pollution." global calls to visit the plant
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growing this week, culminating with a visit by president zelenskyy with u.n. secretary-general. >> to might endanger the security of the nuclear plant and the facility must not be used of any military operation. >> reporter: zelenskyy also meeting with turkish president erdogan. a call between macron and putin appears to have made headway, an independent visit by the iaea to inspect the plant as soon as possible. this week, the u.s. also stepping up its commitment to ukraine. announcing plans to send $775 million military aid package that takes the total of u.s. spending in ukraine to $10 billion since the war began six months ago. with no signs of slowing down. firepower to help ukraine's fight in this war, including 16 new howitzers and sending
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15 reconnaissance drones used in identifying key russian targets. the u.s. enabling ukraine forces to attack russian military in crimea for the first time. the toll on civilians continues. a firefighter at the scene sends us this body cam footage showing the destruction left when shells slammed into a residential building and a dormitory killing six people and injuring more than 20. and six months on, the humanitarian crisis worsening by the day, people of all ages fleeing russian-held territory to reach freedom. >> when we first saw an ukrainian flag, we're like, hey -- >> you guys cheered when you saw a ukrainian flag? >> yes, a feeling like we are really free people. >> that there is a snapshot of what we saw in zaporizhzhia, desperation, relief, reflection of what it's like to be free of those occupied territories, especially with that power plant, the largest in europe
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under threat. six months on, potentially taking the destruction outside the borders of ukraine. jon. >> thank you. coming up, more of my exclusive interview with liz cheney, what she had to say about merrick garland and the fbi and how they handled the search of donald trump's mar-a-lago estate. her revealing answers, next. -la estate. revealing answers, next. bill, mary? hey... it's our former broker carl. carl, say hi to nina, our schwab financial consultant. hm... i know how difficult these calls can be. not with schwab. nina made it easier to set up our financial plan. we can check in on it anytime. it changes when our goals change. planning can't be that easy. actually, it can be, carl. look forward to planning with schwab. schwab! ♪♪ trelegy for copd. [coughing] ♪ birds flyin' high, you know how i feel. ♪ ♪ breeze driftin' on by... ♪ if you've been playing down your copd,...
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decision that he made, without attacking a rank-and-file law enforcement personnel, these attacks on the fbi must stop. calls to defund the fbi are just as wrong as calls for defund the police. >> former vice president mike pence calling on republicans to stop attacking the fbi after the agency's search of donald trump's mar-a-lago home for highly classified documents trump took from the white house. at the conclusion of my interview, i asked liz cheney about the fallout from that raid and the pushback from her fellow republicans. the execution of the search warrant by the fbi at mar-a-lago, what was your reaction when you first heard about that? >> it's a very serious thing. i think that, when you think about the fact that we were in a position where the fbi, the
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department of justice felt the need to execute a search warrant at the home of a former president, that's a really serious thing for the nation. i was ashamed to hear republicans immediately attack the fbi agents who executed the search warrant. i, you know, was disgusted when i learned that president trump had released the names of those agents, when he released the unredacted search warrant and that has now caused violence, we've seen threats of violence the judge himself, his synagogue had to cancel services because of threats of violence, this is a really dangerous moment. >> at the heart of those attacks from your fellow republicans on the fbi and on doj is the idea that this was politically motivated, are you entirely confident that there was no political motivation behind this by the biden administration or
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by the attorney general? >> i've seen no evidence that there was any political motivation. you've now got the judge reviewing whether or not the affidavit or portions of it will be released, it also seems to be the case that there were clearly ongoing efforts to get back whatever this information was, and that it was not, not presented -- the former president was unwilling to give back these materials. now we'll see, we'll learn more. but, you know it's really serious thing. and i just think that for us as a party to be in a position where we're attacking career law enforcement professionals in order to defend a former president to conduct the way he did is a really sad day for the party. >> could it be his handling of government records, classified information that could be what brings donald trump down, after
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all of this? >> look, we'll see -- everyone has an obligation and a responsibility and, you know, clearly, the handling of classified information is something that's really serious. >> our thanks to liz cheney for taking time to speak with us. coming up, senator mitch mcconnell is warning republicans they may not win back control of the senate this year. nate silver and our roundtable weigh in, next. our roundtable weigh in, next.
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there's probably a greater likelihood the house flips than the senate. the senate races are just different, they're statewide. candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcomes. when i think all is said and done an extremely close senate, either our side up slightly or their side up slightly. >> senate republican leader mitch mcconnell sounding a
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rather pessimistic note about his party's chances of retaking senate control in the midterm elections blaming candidate quality as polls show democrats leading in a number of hotly contested races, so what are chances that democrats win in states where they had been expected to lose? here's fivethirtyeight's nate silver. >> everywhere you look this day, there's a poll showing a democrat tied or leading in states they were expected to lose, that includes tim ryan in ohio who leads by one point over republican j.d. vance in our polling average. and mandela barnes leads ron johnson in wisconsin. by four points. fivethirtyeight average in north carolina shows a dead heat. but there are a couple things to keep in mind before you get too carried away. first, some of these states are places where polls have erred in the past. in ohio, biden lost by eight points.
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the polling problems in wisconsin are notoriously correct, for instance predicting hillary clinton to win in 2016. russ fieingold to win when ron johnson won. the election isn't being held. tim ryan has a big fund-raising event. republicans announcing $28 million commitment to vance this week. the political environment might tilt back to democrats. still, the fivethirtyeight forecast now has democrats' chances of keeping the senate up above 60%. in ohio and north carolina, i think the gop is favored. in wisconsin, though, the state that biden actually won in 2020 i think the race is more of a toss-up. >> thanks to nate and to our graphics team for that. susan, if you look at the polling right now, it looks like democrats could pick up, maybe
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even a couple of seats in the senate. no first-term president has picked up senate seats in the midterms since jfk. is it going to happen this time? >> so history says it won't happen, but we have a situation where with some really weak republican candidates. in swing states. we have a new poll coming out tomorrow in nevada, some thought that senator catherine cortez was the most endanger incumbent in the senate. >> seven points. >> more than she has been before. maybe it's a summer surge. we'll see. >> what do you think, jane? >> i think that history tells us that in general the party in power has a rough time in the midterms, but history has never witnessed dr. oz's campaign and what a crudite is. i think mitch mcconnell is right
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about candidate quality. i also think that a lot of the issues -- look, none of us know what's going to happen, i have been wrong so many times before and i'm likely going to be wrong right now, but i think looking at each of these races, they're a lot closer than people would have thought in 2021. when i think a lot of republicans would be running on school closings and critical race theory, both of which seem like i'm referencing movies that came out 30 years ago, and so i think -- we're just not sure what's going to happen, especially when you have so many people who are going to tether themselves to trump to help them win. you have ron desantis campaigning for doug mastriano in pennsylvania. but donald trump is also going to campaign for mastriano. you have a host of candidates who are endorsing other candidates who have voiced, you know, in oklahoma hard-core antisemitism. candidates doubling down on why people like
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mitch mcconnell are concerned about them. it's interesting, because, you know, you see in the primaries, those are base elections, you want to get the most out of the people who already like you. in the general what you're supposed to do is come across like a normal person, and yet, it just seems with republicans, they're saying, what if we just didn't do that? >> but if you look at mcconnell and when he says candidate quality matters -- i mean, this's basically a slur, i mean, but who's to blame for candidate quality? >> although of course the idea that candidate quality matters more than senate -- that's political science 101, it's impossible to argue against what mcconnel is saying on that point whereas the house races, a lot of it is national trends the makeup of the district, you got your results, the senate, if you've got a candidate who's just a bad candidate it's matters more. as for who's responsible, i think the answer has to be republican primary voters, first and foremost, for those places.
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>> you said the actual voters. the people who nominated these people. that's quite a statement. >> but former president trump did exert some influence in these races and he did often for candidates who are weaker. oz in pennsylvania being the preimminent example to that. >> i'd add mitch mcconnell, he can just wash his hands of this by candidate quality matters. look, he could have washed his hands of donald trump or certainly led a more vigorous fight to move on from donald trump after january 6th than he ultimately did, and when you basically empower donald trump to be the leader of the party, which he and many of his allies in congress and the senate did, you allow donald trump to have outside sway of picking the dr. ozs, the j.d. vances and the herschel walkers of the world, which you're just stuck with.
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>> it's not just how the primaries have gone, it's the people who haven't gotten into the primaries knowing what those primary voters who are listening to donald trump would do. there was no way larry hogan was going to win a republican primary in maryland. no way sununu would have won a republican primary in new hampshire. >> although we did see brian kemp -- >> that's the one example. georgia. georgia. >> georgia, that's right. there are obviously specific factors, the state's republicans having seen donald trump tank the entire ticket up and down in january of 2021, that may have been a wake-up call to a lot of republican voters that they don't want him selecting the candidate. >> democrats still have to deal with something the unpopularity of joe biden. a couple of ads that we've seen in two house races. >> i was the only democrat to vote against trillions of dollars of president biden's agenda because i knew it would make inflation worse.
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>> joe biden's letting ohio solar manufacturers being undercut by china. but she doesn't work for joe biden, she works for you. >> she doesn't work for joe biden. those are two democratic candidates that are making it clear in their advertising, we aren't with that guy in the white house, he may be a democrat, but. >> biden's popularity is lower than donald trump's popularity at this point. traditionally midterm elections the president's popularity rating means a lot. the reason it means less this year, it's the popularity rating of two presidents. because you have a referendum on joe biden. you have a referendum on donald trump as well. you tell me who wants -- will republicans want trump out there campaigning in competitive races in october or will democrats? >> you may not see it there, but it's interesting, mark,
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when you talk to the white house about this, why the environment has improved, gas prices are down, inflation seems to be going in the right direction, some legislative wins, they don't mention the january 6th committee, trump's legal problems, they seem to genuinely think that's irrelevant. are they right? >> first of all, this doesn't mean they're secretly happy that liz cheney -- >> even privately they don't think that january 6th committee has had an impact. >> but i think they're happy to have donald trump's legal problems front and center for them. if nothing else, it's two weeks since that search has happened, that no one has talked about inflation, no one has talked about gas prices and so forth, if nothing else, it's a welcomed distraction from things, i mean, look, people aren't talking about their legislative victories as much as they'd like to. donald trump remains an asset for democrats in the white house. >> i also think -- >> we're out of time. save that for next week.
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