tv Yasmin Vossoughian Reports MSNBC December 4, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
good afternoon, i'm lindsey reiser in for yasmin vossoughian. we've got a lot of ground to cover this afternoon. there will be a news conference one hour from now from the oakland county sheriff's department in michigan. this is coming as the parents of an alleged school shooter in michigan are finally in custody and went been a judge on manslaughter charges just a few hours ago. i'll talk to nicole hockley, who lost her son at sandy hook, for her reaction. we're also going to look at whether school administrators should be held responsible. plus, pleading the fifth is becoming very popular among key trump allies. is there anything the january 6th committee can do to get the information they need from them? more cases also of the omicron variant found in more states as the biden administration ramps up their fight against covid. and the latest fallout from this week's major abortion hearing at the supreme court. i'll talk to a woman with a very
personal family story illustrating what we could be heading for. and next hour, i'll talk to former planned parenthood president cecile richards about where the abortion rights fight goes next. we want to begin with that breaking news. a short time ago, the oakland county sheriff's office announcing they will hold a press conference at 4:00 p.m. eastern on the facts surrounding the arrests of james and jennifer crumbley, the parents of the teenager accused of killing four people at oxford high school in michigan. we'll bring that to you when it happens. here's what we know right now. the couple was arraigned on four counts each of involuntary manslaughter at a virtual hearing this morning. both pleading not guilty. the judge setting bail at half a million dollars each citing concern they could be a flight risk after police had to apprehend them. joining me right now is nbc's meagan fitzgerald. what can we expect to hear at this conference? >> reporter: there are a lot of questions surrounding last night's apprehension. police are confirming that someone let the suspects in so
the question being, who is that person, and will they face charges? we talked to some legal analysts who say the answer is a resounding yes, but we are expecting to get more detailed information at that press conference within the next hour here. the sheriff saying that he's going to give facts about the arrest. what we know, though, from yesterday, is that the attorneys for the couple saying that they were heading back to town to turn themselves in and police are saying that they were found hiding inside a room in that warehouse miles away in detroit. in court this morning, even, we heard from the defense, defending these two suspects, saying that this is a logistical issue. they were trying to contact the prosecution, saying that their clients wanted to get in touch with them so that they could coordinate turning themselves in, but they were not able to do that. and that they were then going to turn themselves in early this morning. but this sort of played right into the hands of the prosecution, saying that they're a flight risk, given this more than ten-hour manhunt, scouring
the area with the u.s. marshals, the fbi, of course, the oakland county sheriff's department here as well. and that is why the prosecution asked the judge for this $500,000 cash bond, and so as of now, this couple is remaining in jail, yasmin. >> all right, meagan fitzgerald, thank you so much for that. i want to now bring in former federal prosecutor and msnbc legal analyst glenn to talk about the case being built right now against ethan and his parents. glenn, good afternoon and thanks for being with us. let's go ahead and start with this morning's arraignment. lawyers for the parents said they were not running from the law when they went to that detroit warehouse. they say it was a miscommunication. let's listen. >> they were scared. they were terrified. they were not at home. they were figuring out what to do, getting finances in order, and the last text messages we had with them and phone calls we had with them, our plan was to
drive to the district court this morning because arraignments were supposed to start at 8:30 for any county arraignment, and we had plans to meet them at 7:30 to text the fugitive apprehension team. >> sounds like the judge didn't buy it, though? >> no. you know, it sounds like they missed their arraignment and they don't get to decide when they will appear or whether they'll appear the day after they're arraignment, and i can tell you that prosecutors will always look at flight evidence as consciousness of guilt evidence. so, it doesn't surprise me that they're being held. they have made matters for themselves infinitely worse by fleeing, by hiding out, and by having to be apprehended by law enforcement and dragged into court. so, you know, it wouldn't surprise me if the judge sort of keeps a fairly high bail set moving forward, because it looks like they have demonstrated, by clear and convincing evidence,
that's typically the standard, that they are a flight risk. >> consciousness of guilt. that's a term that keeps popping up today when we're discussing this. you know, the prosecution and the defense are disagreeing over whether the weapon that ethan crumbley allegedly used was kept locked up. here's what the oakland county sheriff told alex witt a little earlier. >> the prosecutor said that the handgun was stored in a manner to allow access by the minor child. defense lawyers are saying it was locked. so, there's a discrepancy there. was it a gun lock? was it the firearm itself that was secured behind some sort of a lock? can you describe that? >> we have no evidence that it was locked. none whatsoever. >> how important is that to the parents' case? >> you know, it's somewhat important but the defense attorneys at this point are on what is largely a public relations campaign. that's not a criticism of the defense. they're trying to make whatever
arguments they think they can make in good faith to try to minimize their clients' culpability, but you know, it's hard to -- it's hard to understand how parents would buy a 15-year-old troubled and volatile young man based on the reporting a gun, give it to them and then, when school officials saw that he was hunting for or looking for ammunition and they contacted the parents, the mother is reported to have tweeted to her son, lol, i'm not mad at you. you just have to, you know, not get caught. i mean, that is such devastating and frankly very hard to understand a reaction from a parent that, you know, i, for one, am happy that the prosecutor, karen mcdonald, decided that she had enough to bring involuntary manslaughter charges against these two parents for their reckless conduct. >> glenn, i got to be quick with
this last one but do you see the school or the district coming under any legal heat since he was let back into the classroom despite apparent concerns over his behavior? >> yeah, lindsey, the devil's in the details. we'll have to wait to see how it plays out but it seems to me that when they called the parents and the parents, according to the public reporting, resisted taking ethan home, taking him out of school, it puts the school in a bit of a dilemma. do we put this 15-year-old kid out in the street when his parents have declined to take him? but there's going to be a lot of time to see what went wrong and whether this could have been presented -- prevented by school officials. >> all right, glenn kershner, you are staying with us and we will bring you that news conference from the oakland county sheriff's office live at 4:00 p.m. eastern. and coming up a little later this hour, nicole hockley, the ceo of sandy hook promise, and a mother of one of the young victims of the newtown school shooting, her thoughts on these charges and whether the move signals change.
we are also following new developments in the january 6th committee's efforts to get information related to the capitol attack. former trump justice department official jeffrey clark was originally expected to be deposed today, and all indications were that he would plead the fifth. but that will now have to wait until december 16th. the committee announced that the deposition has been postponed due to a medical condition clark is facing. the delay comes as another trump ally, attorney john eastman, who is expected before the panel next week, says he will also invoke the fifth amendment. joining me right now is nbc's julie tsirkin on capitol hill and back with me, msnbc legal analyst, glenn kershner. what can you tell me about clark's postponement and the committee's next moves? >> reporter: lindsey, look, the committee last night said they received ample evidence when it comes to that medical condition that prohibited jeffrey clark from appearing this morning in the capitol for his rescheduled deposition. there's still a healthy dose of skepticism, though, among committee members who have been
up against roadblock after roadblock when it comes to trying to get jeffrey clark to cooperate. on wednesday, there was that 11th hour letter sent by jeffrey clark's attorney to the committee right before they were object to vote on a report issuing contempt of congress for jeffrey clark. his lawyer said he will appear for a deposition and he will plead the fifth amendment, but look, the committee ultimately wants to hear information from the witnesses they subpoenaed and that includes jeffrey clark. so while they did unanimously report out that report to hold jeffrey clark under contempt of congress, they are going to put a pause button on it before the full house because they want to see if clark does, in fact, appear before the committee. let's take a listen to adam schiff, a member on that panel. let take a listen to what he said on msnbc last night. watch. >> the committee is satisfied that it is genuine, that is, there's ample documentation. this is not yet another ruse, and frankly, given his pattern
of, you know, spending weeks when we were trying to get his voluntary cooperation, stringing us along, then being subpoenaed, then coming in and refusing to testify and then on the eve of holding him in contempt, a new claim, this time, that he's going to invoke his fifth amendment right, that was among the, you know, all the many disparate claims that he made when he showed up for the deposition. he never suggested at that time that he believed what he said would incriminate him, so that's a new defense. >> reporter: look, referring a witness for contempt of congress is a lengthy process, and that's exactly what's happening right now with steve bannon, so the committee, of course, would rather hear from jeffrey clark because remember, referring a witness for contempt of congress doesn't guarantee they'll actually get that information at the end because of how long it takes but in the meantime, they also granted short postponements to other trump allies that were subpoena, including kayleigh mcenany, the former white house press sblt. she has a little more time to get her documents over to the
committee next week. you also mentioned they're set to hear from john eastman t former trump campaign attorney who tried to pressure vice president pence to overturn the election on january 6th. lindsey? >> glenn, what's the significance of pleading the fifth in these cases and how do you think these strategies will hold up? >> yeah, it feels like the fifth amendment is becoming somewhat contagious among trump loyalists, first jeffrey clark, at least through his lawyer, said he'd be invoking the fifth and now we hear john eastman, one of the lawyers working with donald trump to overturn the election results will also plead the fifth. here is -- there are two consequences that flow from somebody pleading the fifth. first of all, if, in fact, your truthful testimony would incriminate you, make it clear you committed crimes against the united states, you should plead the fifth, because the constitution offers you that protection. and frankly, the only way congress can overcome the invocation of the fifth amendment privilege by a witness is to grant a witness immunity and compel his testimony.
so, i think we're going to be talking about immunity quite a bit in the near future, but the other implication, lindsey, of people like jeffrey clark, a former government official, pleading the fifth, virtually announcing he committed crimes, the department of justice must open a criminal investigation of that. there really -- there's no two ways around that, and what that means is they're going to have to interview perhaps dozens of doj officials and employees, and we never like to have an organization investigating itself like that, so i think we're also going to have to start talking more about the propriety of a special counsel being appointed so there can be at least some separation between the department of justice and the special counsel investigating one of their own, jeffrey clark. >> glenn, if all the others who are subpoenaed follow steve bannon, clark, and eastman's leads, how long could this be drawn out?
>> it could be drawn out a very long time and lindsey, let's hope when more of these cases transition into the courts, as steve bannon's case has already become a criminal prosecution, let's hope the courts keep all these defendants on a short leash and they don't let them weaponize the delay that is ordinarily, you know, built into the criminal justice system to run out the clock. we've seen nefarious litigants do it. we've seen donald trump do it over and over again. we've seen don mcgahn do it quite successfully. let hope the courts don't continue to allow themselves to be used that way. >> all right. glenn kershner, nbc's julie to the best of my recollection tsirkin, thank you so much. we meant to roll video of jeffrey clark. we apologize for the error. still ahead, would you pay a hundred bucks for magic dirt? it may sound like a modern-day jack and the bean stalk but it's
a real product, sold as a covid cure. inside the rise and fall of online pandemic pyramid schemes. plus, if these walls could talk, the money mystery found inside joel olsteen's mega church in texas. details of the bizarre discovery. >> it was just like unbelievable, the things he was telling us they found in the wall. hey found in the wall abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating and it works fast. in as little as 7 days try fast acting biotic gummies from align. the #1 doctor recommended probiotic brand.
welcome back. new developments as the omicron variant makes its way through states on both coasts. researchers say they have sequenced its genome, and that data should help us understand if the variant will spread faster, make people sicker, and whether current vaccines will prove effective against it. the biden administration isn't waiting around, announcing new stricter covid-19 testing requirements for all travelers coming to the u.s. those are set to take effect this coming monday. nbc's scott cohn joins us now
from san francisco international airport where the cdc is expanding a pilot program, testing passengers as they arrive from overseas. scott, how does this work? >> reporter: yeah, lindsey, as you said, the passengers that are getting on the flights that will come off here in san francisco, they got tests when they went on and presumably showed a negative result. this is more about trying to get a handle on what is going on with this omicron variant. so, they had this pilot program going already at sfo and all the busier airports with international travelers. they're now expanding it and they're looking specifically at travelers coming from south africa, india, germany, britain, and france. they can either take a test inside the arrivals area there. those are all pooled and they'll test those later, or they can pick up a test here on the way out. the idea is to figure out where this variant has been and where it's going. >> they're both voluntary
programs. they're both seeking to start gathering data. they both offer passengers one of two testing options, one of which is a pooled pcr test on site, the other is a take-home test that is self-administered within three to five days of the international flight. >> reporter: and they're even going beyond that here at sfo. they're actually testing the waste water as they try and figure out where this variant is going. the idea is that experts say that travel bans and a lot of these measures have a limited effect and that they buy people a few days to try and figure out what's going on with this, and to make the most of that, testing is key, and lindsey, the thinking is that it's still going to be a couple weeks before we know exactly what's going on with this omicron variant and how much of a threat or how little of a threat that it may be. >> fascinating pilot program, though, and the fact that they're testing waste water. nbc's scott cohn, thank you. and the u.s. joined nations across the globe in shutting down travel from african countries after south africa
reported infections of the new omicron variant. but according to dr. kavita patel, the u.s. should learn from south africa, not punish it. joining me right now to explain is dr. kavita patel. so doctor, good to see you and you write about how this travel ban really misses the mark since this variant was likely in the netherlands first. do travel bans have any utility today in our global society? >> yeah, lindsey, i wish they did, but they really don't have any evidence of utility, and particularly within the case of covid, which we know is, one, it's global, and two, our borders just prove, as scott kind of emphasized with what's happening at sfo, that our borders are just so porous, so yes, you might get some days but let's be clear. now we have evidence of community spread in the united states and as i referenced in the blog post that we have evidence that it was there -- in other countries before south africa picked it up. >> so, essentially, the u.s., many believe, is actually punishing south africa for
having a strong surveillance system, one that, by the way, we ourselves don't even have so how can we be ahead of the curve, knowing that until we reach herd immunity, which might keep increasing with more variants, knowing we will see more variants? >> i think we can do two things, and by the way, i used to work in the government. i understand the situation sometimes we're in where things are not as easy as it is to talk about in a couple minutes but i've been there and i know we can do it. we need to set up more of kind of a preexisting research network. for example, we should have surveillance systems, in addition to what we do now, which are like academic and healthcare systems, but we should do these in schools, correctional facilities, and nursing homes, we should have a cohort of places we always sample from, even when cases are really low and we don't have much happening. and number two, south africa is almost unparalleled in how they do what we call real-world data collection, like, so there's what we have in models and data from, you know, epidemiologists and scientists and then there's
what's happening on the ground, what i see in hospitals and clinics. getting that data together and getting it out to the public quickly is what we just don't do a good job of. we usually wait and lindsey, it can take weeks to months to get insights from that real-world data so those are two things we can start with. >> i have a couple more questions i want to get to but not a lot of time so i'm going to tick through them. what early conclusions can we draw from some of the anecdotal data? most of the cases have been mild. is that a sign of hope? >> yes, satisfying early data shows natural immunity is not good enough, something we've known a little bit in the u.s. but it's a lot more data from south africa. >> and i want to get your thoughts on a story from my colleague on black oxygen organics, which is essentially dirt that people are putting on their bodies as a natural covid treatment. it's a multilevel marketing company. they've since gone belly up, but why do you think people are so eager for something alternative, even if it's literally dirt for $110 a bag? >> yeah, brandy's done great reporting throughout this
pandemic, this one in particular. i think people are desperate to, especially because things have become so political, lindsey, unfortunately, people are so december pralt to prove that what we know and what's basic vaccines, masks, air quality, that that doesn't work and they're willing to do anything, spending lots of money, and in some cases, harming themselves, and we see this in other parts of medicine but never so much as we're seeing in covid. we've seen it in cancer, taking care of children, but we're seeing a lot more of it and a lot of people making money that really don't deserve to off of covid. >> i mean, there are some remedies, some people claim that taking a bath in epsom salt and baking soda will draw out the vaccine. that's not true but it's not necessarily harmful. but is something like this that maybe people are bathing in, putting on their skin, drinking even, is something like that harmful? >> it can be. remember, the skin is your largest organ, so it's not as if putting it on the skin is, quote, outside the botd. your skin is active with blood vessels and absorbs things. who knows what you're putting on there. i find it stunning. people talk about chemicals,
quote, unquote, in vaccines. there are no chemicals in vaccines, they don't alter the chemistry of your body. bathing in dirt could be harmful. just take a moment back, be thoughtful. i try to do that with everybody anyway. don't get so emotional and look at what's in front of you and look at the facts. >> all right, dr. kavita patel, we covered a lot of ground with you today. thank you so much. >> thank you. still ahead, new details about the parents charged in connection with the deadly school shooting in michigan. the bizarre open letter ethan crumbley's mom wrote to former president trump years before the shooting. this as we await a news conference scheduled for 4:00 p.m. from the oakland county sheriff's office. we're going to monitor those developments, bring you the updates live. but first, a mother turning her tragedy into action. nicole hockley, ceo and founder of sandy hook promise, joins me live after the break. sandy hoo live after the break or businesss small business owners prosper during their most important time of year. when you switch to t-mobile and bring your own device,
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as we await a news conference from the oakland county sheriff's office in michigan in about half an hour, we're seeing new images out of pontiac, michigan, from last night as it became the latest community to grieve over a crime that has become far too familiar in the u.s. america has had 59 school shootings this school year alone, more than 5,000 children 17 or under have already been killed or injured by a firearm this year. we can't show you how the u.s. compares to other countries in this area, because there's nothing to compare it to. no other country comes anywhere close. i'm joined now by a woman who lives with that grief every day, nicole hockley is the ceo of sandy hook promise and the mother of dylan, who she lost to the horrific sandy hook school shooting in newtown, connecticut. first off, thank you for being with us on such a tough topic. >> thank you for reaching out. i appreciate it. >> you know, a blog has surfaced by ethan crumbley's mother and it's a letter to donald trump in
2016, and blaming, among many things in the letter, immigrants for ruining her son's education, but also thanking trump for giving her the right to carry weapons on her job. knowing what law enforcement has uncovered so far, knowing that the parents have been charged, do you foresee this kind of becoming some potential precedent or are the allegations at this point too unique? >> i think that the right to bear arms comes with the right to safely store them as well, and that means that minors and prohibited people should not have access, so i do think if you're going to be a gun owner, that's your choice, but the responsible gun owners that i have spoken to around the country, even some yesterday, are all about safe storage, and that is paramount to safety for everyone. >> there have been some disturbing details to come out of this, and what warning signs there were. your organization, you and your organization, you're passionate about educating people on what people should be looking for, whether it's a parent, a
teacher, a classmate. what are some of those things that you can tell our viewers? >> well, there's so many different signs that can be downloaded for free from our website, so i urge people to go there, but a lot of the signs are something that we've seen specifically coming out of this week's school shooting. threats about making harm to someone else. bragging about access to firearms. the photos that he showed of himself holding his weapon as well as the behavior -- the disturbing behavior and drawings that he did that his schoolteachers caught. these are all overt signs of someone who is at risk of harming themselves or someone else and needs help and needs an intervention, maybe before we see an active tragedy occur. >> you had mentioned that the right to bear arms is held sacred for so many americans. how do we balance that with keeping our kids safe? >> it's really easy. if you are a firearm owner, you keep your guns safely stored, and you keep the ammunition locked away, away from the firearm.
firearms -- school shootings, the guns always come from the home, and the minors are getting them from their parents. it's the same with suicide and kids that die by suicide with a firearm. it's coming from within the home. if we kept the guns safely stored, then the kids would not be able to access them, and we wouldn't see this. so, it's a huge right to have that responsibility of bearing an arm. just keep the guns safely stored away. keep them safe from kids, please. >> have you made any headway with your organization in lobbying to legislatures to codify that into law? >> there's a lot of safe storage acts under consideration right now, and there's one even in connecticut. ethan's law, which is all about safe storage following the tragic death of a young man, ethan. this is not a difficult thing to do. this is also just behavior that gun owners should do. it could be enforced with legislation, yes, and many states have this, but this is something that if you are going to be responsible as a gun owner, you need to do this
yourself without a law telling you what to do. >> what advice do you have for pontiac, michigan, and all the other communities and all the other families now trying to heal from this gun violence? >> my only advice is to really just be respectful that everyone's journey through this is very unique. everyone grieves differently. and in different ways and at different times, and to just treat each other with absolute kindness and compassion, because this is a journey that you have now started that sadly never ends. you can never get over the loss of a child, the murder of a child, and the irreparable damage to the family and the community. my heart is with you. and if i can be of any service, i just want to be helpful. >> nicole hockley, thank you for your time. >> thank you. all right, still ahead, supreme court hearings this week cast a dark shadow on the future of reproductive rights. so, what does a post-roe vs. wade world look like? a very personal perspective
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welcome back. following this week's supreme court hearing, challenging an almost 50-year precedent on abortion rights, many are bracing for a new data over one of the country's long egs-running cultural divides. what are the consequences of a post-roe america? an almost certain surge in dangerous and illegal abortions. according to the latest
statistics from the world health organization, 6 out of 10 unintended pregnancies end in abortion. 45 of those are unsafe. 97% of those unsafe abortions are carried out in developing countries. my next guest says that statistic is about to change if this week's hearing swings in favor of the anti-abortion rights movement, saying millions of american women are poised to suffer the same fate as her great-grandmother, who died from an illegal back door abortion in colorado 85 years ago. joining me right now is carly pierson, attorney and opinion writer at "usa today." carly, you said in your piece that both your grandmother and great-grandmother would be turning in their graves listening to wednesday's oral arguments. what was your reaction to the justices' questioning? >> thank you. first, i want to say thank you for having me on. i love msnbc, and i love this show. my reaction was, i wasn't
surprised. i feel like feminist progressives, black women, have been saying for a long time, watch out. they're coming for your uterus, and that's, in fact, what we saw. i think justice kavanaugh's questioning was laughable. his attempt to pretend like he was even giving space, attempting to listen to the arguments, the pro-choice arguments. it was -- but it was predictable. justice sotomayor was in a sole crusade, basically, on her own, as she has been on so many issues since she came to the court. >> i want to read a little bit from your piece, and you say by even greeting to take this case, certain members of the supreme court are considering potentially turning back the clock on women's rights and republican instating the dangers that killed my great-grandmother. she likely lay in her hospital bed for days, raked by fever,
cramping, intense pelvic pain as her body attempted and failed to fight out of deadly bacteria. such would be the fate of millions of american women if the supreme court dares to backtrack on women's reproductive rights. how gut-wrenching is it to think that the tragedy that your great-grandmother suffered all those years ago could potentially be the only option for many american women in just a few months? >> it's remarkable. it is gut-wrenching. this was a tragedy that marked my grandmother's life in a way -- in unspeakable ways. after her mother's death from the botched abortion, her father battled depression, alcoholism, homelessness. they were shipped around to different relatives' houses. her father ended up remarrying a woman, and we have, as a family, we have some -- a hunch that there was sexual abuse by the
stepmother and her children. i think we are going to watch half of the united states, above all the midwest and the south, slide back into 1936 america where women are forced to seek unsafe, nonmedical abortions, which have horrendous health outcomes, including what you just read from my opinion column. >> and i want to show the driving distance that women -- countless women will be from their nearest abortion clinic should roe v. wade be overturned. you write, women always have and always will find ways to end unwanted pregnancy. what's the worst case scenario here? >> that's a good question. the worst case scenario. i think there's multiple worst case scenarios. on the one hand, you could be
forced to carry out a pregnancy to term. as a mother, i know what that means and what that entails. and i wouldn't wish it on any young girl or woman who wasn't ready to handle a child or give it up for adoption. i think -- that's one worst case scenario where our bodies are now controlled by the state completely. and we are forced to do something as traumatic as go through nine months of pregnancy and give birth. i think the other worst case scenario is what my great-grandmother faced, right? and then what her daughter faced, my grandmother, which is the trauma of losing your mother to a dirty, unsafe, nonmedical abortion. it's pain for days. it's bleeding, vomiting. it's -- it's not something that
should be happening in the wealthiest economy in the world. >> carly pierson, we'll have to leave it there, but thank you. coming up at 4:00 p.m., cecile richards joins me live with more on what's at stake and what's ahead for the political fight over abortion rights. ahead for the political fight over abortion rights there are new developments in the investigation of a big mystery at joel osteen's mega church in texas. hundreds of envelopes filled with money were found in the wall of a bathroom. the discovery comes seven years after houston's lakewood church reported someone stole $600,000 from a church safe. nbc's morgan chesky reports. >> we're praying for you. >> reporter: the inspirational messages pack his houston church with thousands but this morning, pastor joel osteen in the spotlight with a money mystery. >> but i mean, it was just like, unbelievable, the things he was telling us that they found in the wall. >> reporter: during his morning radio show, host george lindsey took a call from a man who
identified himself as a plumber who recently worked inside osteen's lakewood church. the station asked callers to chime in about interesting discoveries. >> there was a loose toilet in the wall, and we removed the tile. they removed the tile. went to go remove the toilet, and i moved some insulation away and about 500 envelopes fell out of the wall. >> reporter: envelopes full of cash, checks, and money orders. >> i went ahead and contacted the maintenance supervisor that was there, and i went ahead and turned it all in. >> reporter: the church confirmed the find in a statement, writing, "an undisclosed amount of cash and checks were found." adding they notified police but lakewood has no further comment at this time. houston police wouldn't share how much was recovered, but did state friday, evidence from the recovered checks suggest this november case is connected to a march 9, 2014, theft report of undisclosed amounts of money at the church. that money disappeared from a
church safe. and while police launched an investigation, no arrests were ever made. with regular services planned for sunday, police documented the evidence and left it with lakewood staff, but call the case an active investigation. >> and that was morgan chesky reporting. so there was a push to get the plumber who found the cash a reward, but crime stoppers said the time to report tips has already expired and tips need to lead to an arrest. right now, there haven't been any and no suspects have been named. still ahead, a news conference on the arrests of the parents of the teen accused of killing four people in a school shooting. that update expected in the next 15 minutes and we'll bring it to you live. but first, the country at the center of discussions at a forum focusing on defense. russia. we're live with what experts say are the biggest threats to u.s. national security. ay are the biggest threats to u.s. national security.
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no heavy perfumes, and no dyes. finally, a light scent that lasts all day. new downy light! this afternoon, concerns are growing around a russian build-up of troops on the ukrainian border. according to the associated press, president biden is scheduled to speak with russian president vladimir putin on a virtual call on tuesday. the u.s. is threatening sanctions as putin has deployed more than 90,000 troops along russia's border. officials say the rise in military pressure is the beginning stages of russia's plans to destabilize and possibly attack ukraine in 2022. president biden addressed the
rift before heading to camp david last night. >> we're aware of russia's actions for a long time, and my expectation is we're going to have a long discussion. i don't accept anybody's red line. >> earlier this week, secretary of state antony blinken met with russia's foreign minister who said threats of new sanctions would not be effective. some of the country's top leaders from both sides of the aisle are gathering at the reagan national defense forum in california. they're discussing the current defense challenges facing the u.s. and how to combat threats against national security. this is a live look right now. of course, we see defense secretary lloyd austin speaking. nbc's courtney kube joins me now from the reagan presidential library in simi valley. walk us through some of the big headlines from today's forum. >> reporter: well, what we're hearing right now from secretary austin, right behind me, is about both russia and china. those have been the two issues that have really dominated much of the conversation here. of course, the conference is
about larger defense issues, but those two countries and the potential threats that the u.s. is facing for them are really where the discussion has been. so secretary austin now just speaking about the threat from russia. as you know, lindsey, the reason this has gotten so much more attention, even in the last few days, is because the russia military build-up along the border with ukraine has really accelerated and it's not just combat troops. defense officials are now saying that in fact they have logistical capability along the border, and that's one of the things that's really been a game changer for concern. the one thing that i'm consistently hearing here, though, is that they don't really know -- the defense officials don't really know what putin is up to. is he really planning an invasion of ukraine or not? or is this just about him messaging and sowing chaos with the west? the defense officials i speak to really seem to not know. the other big issue is china. secretary of defense austin just spoke about china. he continues to call it a challenge and a pacing challenge for the united states, but
today, he spoke about some of the specific concerns, and that is the -- one of them is the military build-up that china has been undertaking for the past several years. we hear a lot about the hypersonics capabilities that they have had, some of these recent tests, but beyond that, china is also really building its nuclear arsenal. they're also building up other military capabilities and it's to the point now where defense officials here are concerned that the u.s. may start to fall behind where china is militarily, lindsey. >> so, courtney, let's go back to russia for a second and given that we are seeing this kind of open pressure campaign from russia there on the border, and given the fact that the president is considering sanctions, if sanctions would be effective or at least if the foreign minister of russia is saying they wouldn't be effective, what other options are on the table for the u.s.? >> so, i mean, one obvious one is working with nato allies and nato partners and working with ukraine to try to help them fight back against russia.
you know, the u.s. already provides the ukraine with military, both lethal and nonlethal military capabilities, so weapons and equipment. the u.s. also does some training of the ukrainian military. i suspect defense officials bloo believe that may be the next step, stepping that up or providing more aid to ukraine and working with nato allies but the reality is, when i've been asking around here, do you think there could actually be a u.s. military component, is it possible if russia were to invade ukraine, would the u.s. military actually get involved and fight against russia? so far, the people i'm talking to here don't think that's going to be the case, but it's really too early to know. i think what's really striking, though, about this story is just, you know, whenever we have russia, it builds up equipment on a border, it's not like this is the first time that's happened or whenever china is moving militarily, whenever there's a concerning military movement, we often have analysis from defense officials and intelligence officials about
what they think the country is up to. this is a really unique situation, and every person i'm talking to keeps telling me the same thing, that they really don't know what putin is up to. they can't really understand the timing here. that's what's so unusual about this case, and that's, i think, why so many people here are really talking about russia more than many other issues today. >> all right, fascinating, courtney kube, excellent reporting there on the ground. we appreciate it. coming up in our next hour, we are waiting for new details in the arrest of james and jennifer crumbley, the parents of the teenager accused of killing four people at oxford high school in michigan. a news conference is scheduled to begin in just moments. we'll bring to it you live. and later, the democrat to do list, after averting a shutdown, there's still plenty left on the plates of senate democrats ahead of the christmas holiday. maryland senator ben cardin joins me live with a preview. ry joins me live with a preview unleash the freshness... [upbeat music] still fresh ♪ in wash-scent booster
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♪ but it's not like christmas at all ♪ mommy? that's mommy. whoa. ♪ and all the fun we had last year ♪ ♪ pretty lights on the tree ♪ ♪ i'm watching them shine ♪ watch the full story at xfinity.com/sing2 it's the top of the hour, i'm lipid lindsey reiser in forn vossoughian. we expect to hear more about the arrests of james and jennifer crumbley, the parents of the teenager accused of killing pour people at oxford high school. they're both facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, and we will, of course, bring you that
press conference live when it begins. nbc's meagan fitzgerald is live in pontiac, michigan, and also joining me, msnbc legal analyst danny cevallos and law enforcement analyst. we also learned of an update from the school district. what can you tell us? >> reporter: that's right. the school superintendent saying that he is asking for a third party investigation to take a look at safety practices and procedures throughout the district, and you'll remember, this is coming because the superintendent really coming under fire here for making statements just the other day saying that this suspect did not need any disciplinary action. disciplinary action was not warranted. and that became a sense of contention and frustration and anger for a lot of people in this community, because then just yesterday, we heard from the prosecutor who said that, you know, the student was able to return back to class even after there were drawings that a teacher found of this