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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  January 13, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PST

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. good day, everyone, this is andrea mitchell reports in washington. well, president biden is sending military doctors across the countries and promising a big increase at home and rapid tests in the omicron surge. but the persistent confusion over how long to quarantine after a positive result, when to test and what type of mask to wear at the white house playing defense. >> i know we're all frustrated as we enter this new year. masking. masking. mask secretary an important tool to control the spread of covid-19. for some americans the mask is not always affordable or convenient to get. so next week, we'll announce how we are making high quality masks available to american people, the american people for free. >> the president also focusing today on voting rights, headed to capitol hill this hour to
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meet for the first time since july with all the senate democrats. so far joe manchin and kyrsten sinema are opposing the rules that make passage of voting reform possible given a solid republican opposition. we effect e expect to hear soon from senator cinema and kevin mccarthy, why he changed president trumps inaction on january 6th to stop the rioting. later flipped on his progress to speak with the january 6th committee. >> there is nothing that i can provide the january 6th committee for legislation of them moving forward? there is nothing in that realm. it is pure politics of what they're playing. >> let me begin this hour with the coronavirus and the latest remarks from the president, joining us now, nbc senior white house correspondent kelly o'donnell and nbc news' ron
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allen in connecticut. the latest on covid in the schools, kelly, first to you, before we take us through what we heard from the president, i want to hit on text and play what vice president harris said to craig melvin on the "today" show. >> the 500 million tests ordered going to every american, do we know when they will be going out? >> shortly. >> this week? >> i have to look at the current information, i it will be by next week. soon, it is a matter of urgency for us. >> should we have done that sooner? >> we are doing it. >> but should we have done it sooner? >> we are doing it. >> so, kelly, there was a clarification later from the white house. bring us up to speed this was a moment again with the vice president. >> reporter: one could have imagined that if the vice president was pre pareing for that interview, she would anticipate a question on testing. i see why the big obvious topic and her facts were not precise
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on that. the white house has been going through a process of putting the contracts together to try to get those tests and make them available and they expect by the end of january that those tests will be out. so her dates were a little off there. the white house acknowledges that it's in the process, they're moving forward, but the vice president was not precise in her response there to our colleague craig melvin. there was certainly a chance for the president today to add some more information about the response. you get a sense they are trying to be reactive to big questions that americans are asking every day. where do you get masks? what kind of mask to wear? where are the tests? can't find them at my local pharmacy. all those real world questions the white house is trying to address that through some of the steps the president outlined today. so in addition to the 500 million tests that are already in the process of procurement with these contracts i just mentioned and over the next few weeks and even into february,
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those being made available, the president announcing today he will ask for an additional 500 million tests for future waves that may come. so, to sort of build up the stockpile, if you will. then as you played the clip of the president saying, next week they'll talk about how high quality masks can be made available free. that information will come next week emphasizing that tight-fitting masks are the best advice that they're offering right now. andrea. >> kelly, just before i let you go, it is notable that reporters reach out questions of the president. they haven't had a press conference, obviously, these are big issues. he had to sort of sit there and awkwardly shall we say not answer the questions, let the medical experts take over. but it wasn't a great move, was it? >> reporter: well, one of the challenges, this was a previousing where the president then continues on, meeting with is today defense secretary fema
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director and others talking about the military medical teams deploying to a number of places to help hospitals that are overrun. a number in the room, i was one of them. a number of my colleagues in the press court asked questions. the president declined to answer. as we were leaving, i asked more general questions, mr. president, we'd like to have a press conference. we've not hat a lod of those in his nearly one year in office. we would look forward to that. he said, me too. so that would give us a chance to ask a wide range of questions. it's always the president's prerogative if he chooses to respond. we always have questions, we tried today. he declined to answer any today. andrea. >> thank you for that context. that is important. you were in the radio. i wasn't quite sure what the "me too" was in response to i know there is a lot of talk in the press corps getting a general formal news conference. >> reporter: that's what i was asking. >> thanks, kelly o'donnell and
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ron allen, you are in connecticut where administrators are getting creative to overcome staff shortages. >> reporter: exactly, andrea. here in waterbury, the staff shortage got so bad on monday they had to close the school down to essentially regroup. it's a problem, of course, a lot of places are facing across the country. here they decided to come one a different modem where they are keeping the elementary schools opened all day full day and they are closing the middle school and high schools half day and staggering the starts, so that essentially they can optimize the time that kids have in school. that's the goal that everyone has is to not go to full remote learning and to keep kids in school. here you are talking about a district that has fewer than 2,000 teachers and they had a lot of absences. here's how the superintendent explained the problem. take a listen. >> we have about 260 teacher
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absences on a daily basis right now between 260/270. and we have 140 teaching vacancies on top of that we had to readjust. we had to call off school, reassess with our teachers and administrators and say we will go to this new hybrid model. we seen some success since we implemented it. >> reporter: it seems to be work, it's a day-to-day thing. you don't know how many teachers, staff, bus drivers, other support staff you are going to have on any given day. across connect, teachers are also concerned about some of those things that kelly was talking about from the white house about masks, about tests. there have been some teachers complaining and the head of the union, especially, that the conditions in the schools aren't as safe as they should be for teachers and students and everyone. so there is that concern here as well. andrea. >> ron allen in waterbury, connecticut. thank you very much. and vice president harris
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also pressed by craig on the "today" show about the recent calls of a group of prominent medical expert who's have been advising the administration in the past to change the view plan in fighting the virus. >> at what point does the administration say you know what, this strategy isn't working? we're going to change strategies? six former administration officials wrote that open letter urging the administration to change course, to change strategy. is it time? >> it is time for us to do what we have been doing and that time is every day. every day it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down. >> i want the bring in one of the prominent health experts, director of the infectious disease resurgent policy, university of minnesota. what is your reaction? what do you think the administration needs to do in
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terms of moving out of a pandemic phase let's say to an endemic phase? >> well, let me split this into swo spat pamplts as an author of that paper that's being discussed right now, let me say in general the media mischaracterized what we did. what we were talking about was not a criticism of what was going on now, but that we had to eventually get to a new normal. that we were going to have to live with this virus over the course of years to come and our job was to figure out how best to do that as opposed to bouncing from variant to variant. so i just want to clarify that that was not a criticism of what's going on now, or that they needed to change plans of such. in terms of the second issue, though, let me say we are in the middle of a crisis right now. for the next three weeks or so we are going to see omicron continue to be this viral blizzard around the country and it's not going to be business as usual. it's going to be a challenge. we're going to continue to see absentee rates and workers,
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particularly in healthcare of 20, 30%. you can't do what we used to do with that kind of a work force. but it's not going to last long. so i think one of the challenges we have right now is getting people to understand that and to realize if you can't contribute something in the next two-to-three weeks to this issue, it's going to be too late. we need it now and that's what we have to plan for. >> how important do you think it is given this current spike, if you will? that's what we see with omicron and the shortages, how important is it to try to persuade people to wear masks and to wear the right mask? and encourage the guidance has changed and that's understandably the science has changed. we understand that. it's becoming more critical to wear the proper kind of mask? >> well, i used to put this perspective, no. the science was there. we published work back as early as april of 2020 saying that, in fact this virus is transmitted by an aerosol, that kind of
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perfume-like floating in the room and we needed to have a very high level of respiratory protection. the world was slow to come to that. today the cdc has been slow to come to that point. so we all agree now i think those who have expertise in this area, you need these very tight face fitting masks that also have breathable. what i mean by that, fit and it's filtration and the way you get fit is like a swim goggle, if it's going to be that tight then you have to have a material that allows the air to move through. cloth doesn't do that. what we now have is these n-95 respirators are a material that are very porous. but they have an electrostatic charge. it traps it. that's what everyone should be using right now if they want no maximize their perfection. >> is it the case that correct me if i'm wrong that omicron is even more importantly because it's in the upper nasal passages
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making it more critical to wear the right kind of mask than perhaps [ inaudible ] >> you are absolutely right about that andrea, i think that's a message you want to get out loud and clear. if you were in situation in the past where you didn't get infected, oh, i can keep doing that. no, this virus is that much more infectious. i say somewhat jokingly, yet at the same time in a serious nature, be every the delta virus came along, you could get in an elevator have a long conversation and walk to the office. today with omicron, if the elevator opens, you get a good whiff, you can get infected. that's the kind of world we are living in with this transmission. that's why you are seeing so many millions of people get infected every day in this country. >> i also want to ask you about a report the "new york times" has from the cdc. they've research and development that children who get infected
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with covid-19 may be more vulnerable to diabetes. >> yeah, at this point we're learning a lot of what's happening to this virus to people. we talked before here on long covid and what it means and the challenges. we're now looking at a professional neurologic conditions that might be consistent with a prophet covid infection and this one here. this is all the more reason we want to perfect these infections if we can. we are still understanding what it means to be clinically ill, right now, acutely ill. more so we only have a limited understanding of what the long-term sequella or effects are of these viruses. so i think this is a very important point and all the more reason we don't want our kids to get infected. >> doctor, thanks so much on all of it. >> thank you. >> we appreciate. >> thank you. we want to go to the floor where senator kyrsten sinema is
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speaking. >> these division, making it more and more difficult to find lasting, broadly-supported solutions to safeguard our freedoms, keep our country safe and expand opportunity for all of citizens. so two questions face us as a nation. where does this descending spiral of division lead? and how can we stop it? our country's divisions have fueled efforts in several states that will make it more difficult for americans to vote and undermine things that all americans should have in our elections and our democracy. these state laws have no place in a nation whose government is formed by free, fair and open elections. we must also acknowledge a painful fact. the state laws we seek to address are symptoms of a larger, more deeply-rooted problem facing our democracy.
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the divisions, themselves, which have hardened in recent years and have combined with rampant disinformation to push too many americans away from our bake constitutional values. -- basic continue institutional values. in the spring of 2017 after trump took office i wrote an opinion piece in the arizona republic highlighting my concerns of the strains on our constitutional boundaries and the shrinking effects for our founding constitutional principles. in the years that followed, my colleagues and i were called upon to participate in two separate impeachment trials for crimes against our constitution. and on january 6th last year, i was standing in this very spot speaking in this very chamber defending arizona's fair and valid election against disinformation with violent insurrectionists halted the presidential certification.
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threats to american democracy are real. i share the concerns of civil right advocates and others i've heard from in recent months about these state laws. i strongly support those efforts to contest these laws in court and to invest significant resources into these states to better organize and stop efforts to restrict access at the ballot box and i strongly support and will continue to vote for legislative responses to address these state laws, including the freedom-to-vote act and the john lewis voting rights advancement act that the senate is currently considering. i support these bills because they strengthen american's access to the ballot box an better ensure american's votes are counted fairly. it is through elections americans make their voices heard, select their representatives and guide the future of our countries and our community. these bills have treat the
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symptoms of the disease. but they do not fully address the disease, itself. and while i continue to support these bills, i will not support separate aions that were sent the underlying disease of division infecting our country. the debate over the senate 60 vote threshold shines a light on our broader challenges. there is no need for me to restate my long-standing support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. there is no need for me to restate its role protecting our country from wild reversals and federal policy. it is a view i've held during my years serving in both the u.s. house and the senate. and it is the view i continue to hold. it is the belief that i have shared many times in public settings and in private settings. senators of both parties have offered ideas, including some that would earn my support to
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make this poid more productive, more deliberative. more responsive to america's needs and a place of genuine debate about our country's pressing issues. and while this week's hairy discussions about senate rules are a poor substitute for what i believe could have and should have been a thoughtful public debate at any time over the past year. such a discussion is still a working goal. but a discussion of rules falls short of what is required. american politics are cyclical. and the granting of power in washington, d.c. is exchanged regularly by the voters from one party to another. the shift of power back and forth means the senate's 60-vote threshold has proved maddening to members of both political parties in recent years. viewed either as a weapon of obstruction or a safety net to
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save the country from radical policies. depending on whether you serve in the majority or minority, but what gives a legislative filibuster other than a tool that requires new federal policy to be broadly supported by senators, representing a broader cross-section of americans? a guardrail. inevitably viewed as an obstacle by whoever holds the senate majority but which in reality ensures that millions of americans represented by the minority party have a voice in the process. demands to eliminate this threshold from whichever party holds the fleeting majority amount to a group of people separated on two sides of a canyon shouting, that solution to their colleagues and that makes the rift both wider and deeper. consider this, in repeat years,
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nearly every party line response to the problems we face in this body, every partisan action taken to protect a cherished value has led us to more division. not less. the impact is clear for all to see. the steady escalation of tit for tat in which each new majority weakens the guardrails of the senate and excludes input from the other party furthering resentment and anger amongst this body and our constituents at home. democrat's increased use of requiring culture for judicial nominees under president george w. bush led to similar tactics by republicans under president barack obama. the 2013 decision by senate democrats to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for most legislation nominations led directly to a response in 2017 by senate republicans, who
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eliminated the threshold for supreme court nominees. these short-sided actions by both parties have led to our current american judiciary and supreme court, which as i stand here today is considering questions regarding fundamental rights americans have had for decades. >> kirsten cinema on the floor, says this will not contain all the flaws of the system, making it very clear she will not support a change in the philly bifrt move, within an hour of the president of the united states making that direct appeal to the democratic caucus. she is preemptive and being successive in this 50-member kauvenlths our garrett haiku is -- garrett haake is standing by. this seals the deal for any
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voting reform, unless they win over republicans, which is certainly not happening. >> reporter: i guess from a neighbor of yours, this is probably the most they have heard senator sinema, she has made clear this issue, she says she strongly supports both of these voting rights measures, she has voted for them. she says she will continue to fight for them in basically every way, except, she says, changing senate rules to allow them to be passed by just 50 votes she has been very clear in her views on the idea that the legislative philly buster is a safety net, a barrier, an emergency break to prevent the fleeting majorities from rapidly changing the direction of federal policy on that view, she is pretty dug in. i can think of no more direct way to say, don't even try to change my mind, mr. president, than to come to the senate floor and give a speech on this very
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topic in the hour before he arrives here. so a massive barricade to democrat's hopes of changing the rules to get these bills passed, which even senator sinema to the great frustration of her fellow democrats supports exnot so much in the way she is willing to change the rules to see them become law. >> she sound like she was echoing mitch mcconnell without saying so, in that she did not like the rhetoric in that speech as you have been saying for a couple of days now. that was not going to win her over. so stay with me. also on capitol hill, your beat is so busy, house minority leader kevin mccarthy shooting down the january 6th interview. today being questioned intensibly by reporters, saying he will not provide any information surrounding the attack on the come. in nay of last year, he said he would be willing to cooperate.
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>> reporter: would you be willing to testify about your conversations with donald trump on january 6th if you were asked by an outside commission? >> sure. next question. >> sure was the one-word answer. you watched him ducking all of the questions. >> reporter: yeah. >> going into another things about the sergeant in arms and the security on the hymn, ducking all of the very specific questions by all of our colleagues in that room. >> reporter: yeah. >> what he said specifically after january 6th when he was critical and january 28th going down to mar-a-lago and appearing with the former president. and then, of course, when he had said about cooperating and now not when they were trying to get him in front of them. >> reporter: yeah, an incredibly frustrating news conference with minority leader kevin mccarthy just now, not engaging at all with the subject of conversations with his
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conversations with then president trump on or around january 6th. whether or not he believes the american people deserve a full accounting of the then president's actions and what he knows about it or even, you know, about that "sure" response in may. then a theoretical question, now a serious ask by the committee for him to come in and testify. mc car think said he thinks the whole thing is political. he has long complained about speaker pelosi not being willing to seat some of his choices on the committee. his feelings nowithstanding the committee is duly constituted by the house of representatives. the question i was hoping to ask leader mccarthy, didn't get an opportunity to do so is, if the next step is a congressional subpoena, which multiple courts have found to be valid, will he comply with it? that is something that the january 6th committee has not taken off the table. they want to get to the bottom of this speaker pelosi, for her own part in her press conference
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earlier today told me she trusts the committee to make the decisions they need to make so they will ultimately get to if bottom of january 6th, their stated mission, andrea. >> garrett, what you and i both need now is to talk to the lawyers. we have two standing bishop, former u.s. attorney joyce varns and boston globe senior attorney kimberly atkins. joyce, first to you, you have jim jordan saying he won't cooperate, congressman perry, now, of course, the republican leader. they keep asking them as well as inviting mike pence who is signaling he is also fought going to cooperate. so sit because a legal battle would be very protracted to go after current sitting members as compared to let's say mark meadows? >> there is some interesting legal questions here that have never been explored before and i think, andrea, it's safe to say
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that the committee can issue these suspense if it wants to. we heard a little bit of hessitance. it's whether they can enforce them when enev itably these people decline to testify and say they won't comply with the suspense subpoenas. the doj could see this as a question that has to be resolved in congress. congress and the house has health ethics measures they could use at least against their own measures. but doj contains criminal enforcement capacity and like with steve bannon who completely failed to comply with the subpoena was very flagrant about refusing to comply, doj would have this decision point to make about whether they would let these people get away with avoiding testimony or would force them to. i think the better view is
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someone must enforce these subpoenas or congress' power to investigate comes to an end. >> and kim as the other lawmakers i was just mentioning, jim jordan, congressman scott perry saying they won't cooperate. meadows, we're waiting to hear from the justice department as to whether they will proceed on the criminal referral. where does this leave the committee? >> yes, i think that choice is absolutely right. i think this is more. it has even more to do than just getting to the bottom of what happened on january 6th. it's about preserving congressional powers of investigation. we have seen former president trump and those in his close circle use obstruction and refuse ale to cooperate as a norm as a tool in every investigation. we saw that with the mueller investigation, with impeachment investigations and others. now we're seeing it happen now. if the january 6th committee doesn't issue suspense, in my view, then it's essentially
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creed ceding that in the peace of any congressional investigation. if it's one as serious as an insurrection that happens at the capitol, how can they possibly assert it anywhere else? so i don't' many choices that chairman thompson has if he wants to protect that power of congress. yes, it's a protracted legal battle. i think the only thing that shows is that suspense should have been issued much sooner. >> and garrett, let's listen to what kevin mccarthy the republican leader said a year ago today january 13th on the house floor in the aftermath of january 6th. >> the president bears responsibility for wednesday's attack on congress by mob rioters. she v he should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. these facts require immediate action of president trump. accept his share of responsibility while brewing unrest. ensure president-elect biden is able to successfully begin his
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term. >> president-elect bind, garrett, on top of everything else, criticizing donald trump and acknowledging that, you know, the steal is a lie specifically. we got the videotape. he made that speech. and then two minutes later he when to the mar-a-lago and flipped. >> reporter: sort of onew year, new me vibe from there majority leader. he was asked and said what he meant is then president trump had a share of the responsibility. mccarp think does not want to talk about this. he doesn't want to talk about it with the press, with the committee, he doesn't want to talk about it with anyone who might have questions about it. he repeatedly told reporters, he has said all he needs to say about this either on the floor or contemporaneous interviews in that week or so after january
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6th and he went to mar-a-lago to speak with president trump. something else he was asked about today. he does not want to engage in substantive conversations about the then president's role or what he has said or done about it. that appears to be not capping changing now. >> clearly he thinks donald trump is his ticket to the speakership. and it's sort of will you believe me or your lying eyes. it's pretty amazing, political jujitsu. thank you very much, garrett and joyce and, of course, kim. the diplomatic dilemma talks with russia to lower tensions, will russia back down from the border? senate chris murphy joins us next this is andrea mitchell reports on msnbc. andrea mitchel andrea mitchel reportons t caught the bouquet, so he's checking in on that ring fund.
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for the foster kids who need it most— at we have breaking news from buckingham palace. queen elsette is stripping andrew from royal roles. this is after she had been
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defending him by not taking any action quite some time in this investigation. now prince andrew's roles will be added to other members of the royal family all after a judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against prince andrew by virginia jeffrey, who says she was sexually abused as a teen during encounters she says were set up by jeffrey epstein, a top diplomat, excuse me, obviously, sorry, in any case, we have more on that throughout the day on ms nbc. but, obviously, this is a big setback for bucking ham palace. meanwhile, a foreign diplomat calling it a failure to reach an agreement risks a potentially cat strofing outcome. "new york times" advocate, a lot of different signals from different players.
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but do you think we are closer to a real conflict after the talks this week? >> well, andrea, we may well be. no one knows for sure who is in vladimir putin's head. that's the great guessing game. it's before before sure it was a prelude to an invasion, he was willing to have talks to see what demands he might be able to satisfy before actually going in or whether this was all you notice kind of a big effort to exert leverage, get the west's attention, extract concessions. he hasn't gotten any concessions, not substantive ones. and i just think that there is a lot of reason to think that this is the real thing. but it appears that russian diplomats will go back to moscow now. no real tangible breakthroughs. we will see what the next action move is, whether they're going to continue talking or this escalates to a more dangerous
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level. >> it's hard for some people to even contemplate that putin would have built up100,000 troops. there are reports now of more groups going in, helicopters, live fire exercises this tweak, didn't back down without getting something him yet his demands are a non-starter that nato shut off access to pressuring states like georgia and ukraine as well as to other countries like finland and sweden who might be talking or thinking about membership. michael, wendy sherman talked about the possibility that russia would do something, not an incursion, specifically not something kinetic, that we'd have some hybrid move in terms of disinformation, cyber attack, other aggressions. she said that sanctions would be in play should it be some sort of a mixed response. what do you think about that? would the allies hold firm?
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>> well, that is another big question here, andrea. putin has quite a lot of leverage. he's got everybody off balance. he's got everybody guessing. he really has the authoritarian leader of russia can call the shots on his approach, whereas the u.s. is trying to wrangle you know many allies in europe to trent in united front. our european allies, in particular, are more vulnerable than the united states economically. so they are understandably more wary of imposing major sanctions on russia among other things, some of the big european countries notably germany are heavily dependent on russian energy and particularly as we are here in the middle of winter losing natural gas would be another blow. are you right, it's another complication for the u.s. it's not binary, i not necessarily 1200,000 troops across the border all the way into kiev. there is all kind of things
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putin can do. he is showing he is skilled at disinformation, creating lot of confusion, so the u.s. has to be prepared to have multiple options in response. that is a very complicated game. i think putin has the upper hand in it unfortunately for the u.s. >> we will hear from jake sullivan at the white house. they've had a challenging week on the russian front. thank you so much. joining us is democratic senator on foreign relations, he is a part of a group of senators who are going to ukraine next week. to assess their ability to respond militarily. senator, this afternoon, there is going to be a bill introduced by ted cruz to impose sanctions on russia related to the nord stream pipeline. it needs 60 votes. are you opposing it. he was on the floor an hour or so ago defending it. tell me your reasons why you think it is a bad bill, that it
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would not help a united front against russia but actually would potentially splinter us with our allies? >> well it won't shock folks ted cruz is much more interesting in embarrassing joe biden and harming him politically than he is in american or ukrainian security. this piece of legislation is actually designed to perpetuate trump's again da to splinter the united states from university. it doesn't sanction russia. it sanction german individual and german-affiliated entities right at a time we are trying to work with the germans to translate to issue there is going to be a crippleing devastating set of sanctions that will be visited on the can't if they enter ukraine any further than they have. so this piece of legislation soldier been to stop nord stream 2. it isn't going to stop a russian incursion into ukraine. in fact, it makes those more likely because it will splinter the united states from germany,
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because the bill sanctions germany, not russia. this bill i think will be defeated today. my hope is we will immediately take up legislation sponsored by senator menendez, the chairman of the foreign relations committee. it could bring them together through a set of sanction on russia if russia moves forward with this invasion. >> and would give people the back story the reason why senator schumer permitted action on this cruz maybe today is that was the price they needed to pay the day before the christmas break to finally get ted cruz to stop single handedly blocking 40 nominations, including the ambassador to china, critical ambassador nominations and judicial nominations from even getting a vote on the floor. am i correct on that? >> that's right. all last year senator cruz blocked every single biden nominees. all the nominees that would be helping ukraine, our ambassador to the european union, the european ambassadors. he did so to secure this vote a.
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vote he knew would fail. sol we're in a weaker position in the country because senator cruz decided to hold up all these national security nominees. no order to get them unlocked, we agreed taking up time on a vote not going to pass just in order to satisfy his demand that were necessary for us to get biden's national security cabinet filled. >> you have been going to ukraine for several years now. you have been a real expert and know these people. what do you want to learn when you and your colleagues go at some point in the near future? >> this is going for my seventh or eighth trip to ukraine. i know president zelensky well. we are going to bring a bipartisan delegation republicans and democrats to show not withstanding this stunt by senator cruz, we stand together in our support for ukraine. we want to deliver that message to ukrainians. we want to deliver that message to europe. we want to visit it to pressure the europe poons to get stronger in the sanctions they are willing to impose on the
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russians. we don't want to make clear from the russians, separate and aside from disagreements on voting rights or the president's build back better agenda. we are together on stopping russia from entering ukraine. i think this bipartisan delegation will do that we want to make sure president zelensky is serious about this invasion. of course, we have significant intel that tells us this invasion is perhaps imminent. that has not always been shared. our view of the seriousness of this invasion by our partners in and around europe. so we want to bring that intelligence to president zelensky and make sure he sees this threat as serious as we do. >> and also in the last hour which kyrsten sinema was on the floor and flatly rejected authorization on filibuster rules, despite her claim she is committed to voting on the reform, but these voting rights bills according to president, in his speech in atlanta and on the pulpit in the next half hour when it gets up there is they
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can't pass without changing the filibuster. so is it dead now without having all 50 democrats? even if joe manchin can be persuaded? >> yeah, i'm disappointed that we are going to have a small group of democratic senators that won't allow us to pass a voting rights bill into law and i know that some of my colleagues feel that by preserving the filibuster, they are preserving the senate. i just worry that there is not going to be a senate around any longer if we don't stop republicans from successfully engaging in a stall of an election in the way they tried in 2020. they got close to seating donald trump as president even though he lost. they are cleaning up their mistakes. they are passing all sorts of state laws designed to allow them to install donald trump as president in 2024, regardless of whether he wins or loses. so my colleagues that say they want the filibuster to preserve
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the senate may be cutting off their nose despite their face. our senate may not be around five years from now if our democracy falls apart after he loses 2020. we will work at this. we will not give up. obviously, it's a disappointing day. >> senator chris murphy, thanks very much. safe travels over the next week. >> thank you. and the uphill battle, president biden bringing the power of the bully pulpit straight to the senate. he's already been rejected by one of the two people he's trying to persuade. is it all over for voting rights any time soon? this is andrea mitchell reports on nsnbc. nsnbc >>
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. anymoment president biden will taking the trip to the capitol on voting rights. minutes ago, senator kirsten
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cinema calling out both parties for today's polarized political climate. republicans are still lockstep with any filibuster change. as minority leader-mile-per-hour mcconnell showed again yesterday ripping into president biden's . >> yesterday he invoked the bloody disunion of the civil war -- the civil war -- to demonize americans who disagree with him. the president's rant -- rant -- yesterday was incoherent, incorrect and beneath his office. >> well, so is the voting rights push doomed? joining us now former democratic congress wham debra collins, brandon book and jonathan lemire, host of "way too early" right here on msnbc. donna, i want to get your reaction to mitch mcconnell's
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remarks. >> well, i think mitch mcconnell completely misreads what the president was saying. the president was acknowledging, in fact, that across this country, even since the november 2020 election, dozens and dozens of laws have been passed around the states and many more being considered that will curtail the voting rights of americans. so i don't think the invocations that president biden made were extraordinary. i mean, we are facing a circumstance in this country where voting rights have been -- been repealed, where people are having, you know, the -- don't have the opportunity for mail-in voting, for absentee voting, for same-day voting registration. this is really outrageous and i think the president was calling all of us to action on behalf of democracy. so, you know, as much as mitch mcconnell waxed and waned on the
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senate floor, he really misunderstands what's happening across this country when it comes to curtailing voting rights. >> he either misunderstands or he simply is choosing to ignore. >> well, exactly. >> you know? jonathan lemire, nbc news has confirmed reports that the vice president, president of the senate, of course, and a former senator, kamala harris will not be joining president biden for that meeting today with the senate democrats. it's worth noting that the white house never said she was going to be there, but do you think it's notable that she's not going to be taking part in this? >> i think the vice president's role has come under a lot of execute knee in recent days, including even today with her answer to our colleague craig melvin about the testing surge coming from the white house and whether they've been prepared for this omicron variant. she sort of gave a somewhat meandering not particularly clear answer on that. but i think whether she is president or not, the issue is that the president is about to make a trip up pennsylvania
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avenue with seemingly no real chance of success here. we just heard from senator sinema restating again her opposition to any sort of change to the filibuster. senator manchin has said the same in recent days. so despite the president using the bully pulpit, despite that fiery speech on tuesday in atlanta which drew mitch mcconnell's wrath but was welcomed by a lot of democrats who were wondering where that's been, who say voting rights should all along have been the priority of this presidency, it seems like it's not going anywhere. that's a question of this is about politics for sure to signal to the base, if the president hears them, but doesn't seem like there will be any real meaningful ability to protect voting rights now as we head into this midterm year. >> it's a question that, you know, chuck todd first asked on sunday on "meet the press," was the atlanta speech just a messaging speech for the base, or did they really have a strategy, because for chuck schumer to be going to the floor with no prospect of winning this vote is remarkable.
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kyrsten sinema just sort of nailed the coffin on this. vice president harris as you have just alluded to, jonathan, with craig melvin in that really strong interview had this exchange on voting rights when craig asked the vp why is it taking democrats so long to convince their own? >> why has the administration not been able to get senate democrats on board? >> we are not giving up. >> but the question was why has it taken this long? >> but you're acting as though it's over. >> i mean, you -- >> it's not over. >> so it's going to happen by monday? >> i am saying it's not over and we don't give up. we don't give up and we will not give up. >> brandon, is we don't give up and we will not give up a good enough answer for where the strategy is? >> well, this is remarkable about today. what kyrsten sinema said on the floor should not have surprised anyone. we have long known where she is, we've long known where joe manchin is. so they ran head-first into this
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fight with no chance of winning. i don't even know if those two are the only two that are a problem for them. look, they failed on the build back better act and instead of turning to issues that are top of mind for voters, inflation, covid, they ran head-first into something that had no chance of success. they're making an absolute mess of this. i know, i guess, why they're doing t because they've made so many promises and have used so much hyperbole around this issue that you can't just walk away from it, but i don't know what their strategy is. i think it is as jonathan said to let people know that they've heard him, but i wonder now are they actually hurting themselves even more by elevating this again. you can only promise things so many times and not deliver and they keep going back to the well on this and i don't know what the game plan is next. >> john, overnight former president obama added to the pressure, invoking, of course, the civil rights icon john lewis. it was his first op-ed we understand, a very strong op-ed, but that also does not seem to be persuading members of the
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senate, democratic caucus. >> look, i think democrats are really between a rock and a hard place here. senator sinema basically told president biden don't waste your gas coming to capitol hill and i can it's unfortunate because voters are being disenfranchised, their votes suppressed all across this country and senator sinema has decided that she is the one to stand in the way of voting rights. shame on her. >> of course, all the senate republicans we should not forget, senate republicans in all of this. thank you all to brendan buck and donna edwards and, of course, my colleague jonathan lemire. that does it for today's edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show online, on facebook and on twitter @mitchellreports. chuck todd with "mtp daily" starts right after this brief break. @mitchellreports chuck todd with "mtp daily" chuck todd with "mtp daily" starts yep! subways got so much new
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♪♪ welcome to "meet the press daily," i'm chuck todd. president joe biden is about to meet with senate democrats on capitol hill. it's the party's voting rights agenda remains at a dead end in the senate. it is entirely unclear what the president can say or do now to break this impasse. talk about a cold welcome to the hill, moments ago senator kyrsten sinema before meeting with the president one of the key democratic holdouts aga