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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  January 17, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PST

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holiday honoring the martyred civil rights icon even as his lifelong fight for voting rights is facing another big setback. two major democratic bills have no support among senate republicans and democrats joe manchin and kyrsten sinema are still refusing to change the filibuster rule to pass them with a bear majority. this as the president is about to mark his first anniversary in office this week facing rising inflation, the coronavirus surge and a stalled build back better bill. there are also foreign follows challenges, meeting with president zelensky and his top officials as russia keeps adding forces to their shared border, and u.s. intelligence says russia has sent saboteurs to eastern ukraine to attack russian-backed forces and blame ukraine for it. a false flag operation, try to create a pretext for a russian invasion. the kremlin denies this. we begin with voting rights and nbc's senior capitol hill
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correspondent garrett haake, nbc's blayne alexander in georgia, and inside senior editor, katia tubman. tell us about the events today at ebenezer baptist church with senator warnock, what we heard from vice president harris here in washington. and blayne, it is great to see you back. we're so happy for you and your wonderful new family, expanded family. >> andrea, thank you so much. so glad to be back with you. you know, certainly a lot happening here in georgia, and this location, ebenezer baptist church, of course this was the place where dr. king himself held a pulpit for a long time in the old sanctuary across the street. this is also the place where we are hearing a very loud repeated cry for the passage of voting rights in washington. you know, i've attended this event. i've covered this event for years, and it's very clear here that the tone here today that they are pushing for voting rights. we've heard dr. king's daughter, the reverend bernice king, senator raphael warnock, who is the pastor.
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the senior pastor of ebenezer. he came back here to his own pulpit very literally using his pulpit to try and push his colleagues to pass voting rights, and we've also just heard from vice president kamala harris among a number of other people, speaker after speaker are using this time to send a message to washington. here's what the vice president had to say, take a look. >> today our freedom to vote is under assault. in georgia and across our nation anti-voter laws are being passed that could make it more difficult for as many as 55 million americans to vote. the proponents of these laws are not only putting in place obstacles to the ballot box, they are also working to interfere with our elections, to get the outcomes they want, and to discredit those they do not. that is not how democracies
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work. >> reporter: i've had the chance to speak to a number of of organizers here in georgia, some of the people who played a key role, an instrumental role in flipping the state blue for joe biden back in 2020. they say if there aren't as they call them federal guardrails in place in their words to offset or curtail the law that has been put in place here in georgia by the republican-led state legislature, they're very concerned about what the midterms are going to look like in november. andrea. >> thanks so much, blayne, and garrett, i want to play what we heard from jim clyburn about the opponents of the voting rights bill and the changes to the filibuster. (. >> we are all on the wrong side of history as they are misquoted and misusing the history of this country. i want to say the people on my side stop talking about all we need to do is out organize and rally and get out people to the
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polls. that's not the problem. no matter how many people you get to the polls, if you set up a process by which you can nullify the result, and that's what they've been indulging, that's what we're trying to get rid of. >> it sounds like you've run out of patient, congressman clyburn. >> yes, i have, absolutely. >> that is a very angry jim clyburn. the senate is scheduled to begin debate tomorrow. there are three senate democrats in ukraine right now on that very important mission. so when is chuck schumer going to be able to hold this vote? >> reporter: andrea, he'll get to hold at least the first vote by the end of the week. that's on the up or down question of passing these voting rights bills. with brian schatz having covid late last week, the plans got totally thrown out of whack. those senators who are abroad in ukraine will be back in time for whatever the final votes are on the voting rights piece. it's that second piece, the votes on changing the rules of the senate, which we now know thanks to that speech from kyrsten sinema, joe manchin
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joining with the paper statement, we know those rule changes votes will fail. i think the question now is whether or when that vote occurs, whether the senate democrats decide it is important enough to kind of have a historical vote on changing the rules so that we know where everybody stands, even though they know it will fail, or whether it's better to stay united as a party in favor of those voting rights bills as they press forward and try to figure out what, if anything, can be accomplished on this issue with a reminder that the midterms start in a few months. the first primary's coming up in march in texas. >> let me ask you also about what mitt romney had to say on "meet the press" the will to rewrite the electoral college law, the rewrite to stop future vice president from invalidating legitimate votes as former president trump was pressing mike pence to do. this is what romney had to say. >> the group of about 12 senators, republicans and
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democrats that are working on the electoral count act will continue to work together. sadly this election reform bill that the president has been pushing, i never got a call on that from the white house. there was no negotiation bringing republicans and democrats together. >> so what about his complaint that there was no bipartisan effort? >> reporter: there may not have been from the white house. from the senate perspective, the strategy here for democrats after joe manchin didn't support the original for the people act, this is how we got into the second phase of voting rights bills. the bill that is being debated now is one that's sort of designed and approved by manchin who was then supposed to go out and shop it to republicans. he was essentially given the task that if you don't like the bill democrats want, take the bill you like and go find people who will vote for it. given that manchin and romney have worked together on the infrastructure bill and other issues, i would be very surprised if no discussion took
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place between those two men, but now this bipartisan group may be soon the only game in town and may be starting with the electoral count act and then perhaps you'll see democrats try to see what else they can build a coalition around that enough republicans might support. again, that might very soon be the only game in town. >> yeah, indeed. let's talk also about what's been happening in arizona, the martin luther king jr.'s family was there, others marching for voting rights in arizona to try to put pressure on senator sinema and possible also on her fellow senator mark kelly up in a very tough re-election vote, another critical vote they would need to change those filibuster rules. >> right, absolutely. it's been a really tough run, andrea, with democrats coming out of 2021 and now heading into this month of january or leaving this month of january with seemingly what looks like a lot of failures, in arizona this push to really persuade sinema who's made it very clear on
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where she stands on whether to vote about the filibuster and where manchin also stands too, outside of that. i think what we are seeing right now is a very strong effort for democrats and also allies and civil rights leaders to make it very clear how important this bill is, even if they can't get the votes to pass this week and they won't get the votes to pass considering how the senate is right now. we can only expect that this issue will be compounded even further into the year, into the midterms, and knowing that they're going to double down on this message of how to have a coalition, how to bring a deal to the table that's going to make sure something gets done, if that is the electoral count act or something else that is much more aligned with sinema or manchin and all democrats aligned too. >> thank you so much and to garrett of course and to blayne alexander in atlanta. joining me now is patrick gas par, president and ceo at
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the center for american progress, former ambassador to south africa, former white house staff as well. what is the plan of action for the president and senate democrats in the face of this likely defeat in the senate on voting rights? i'm not hearing patrick. patrick, i think you may be muted? >> i think we figured it out. my apologies, andrea. >> don't worry at all. it's good to see you. >> great to see you. >> i was hoping to hear you on what path they have the democrats and the white house. >> first senator schumer and senate leadership will get every democrat and every republican to stand on all ten toes and declare to the american people where they're at on these bills. it's interesting to have all these tweets from republican leaders around the country quoting dr. king. i saw the alabama republican
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party release a message about all sacrifices. you can't celebrate dr. king in your rearview mirror, you've got to center voting rights right now. first they'll get everybody to stand up and be counted on this bill, and then after the majority of democrats -- because it will only be democrats vote in support of these bills, they'll then try to reform senate rules to overcome the filibuster. that's where the real challenge stands with senator sinema's statement, and they're going to press on and try to negotiate with her and senator manchin. >> what's the point of negotiating? they're absolutely locked in on this filibuster. >> remember, you're talking to somebody who was part of a white house that was told six different times that our health care bill was dead and we pressed on and managed to push it through. if i said anything as it relates to voting rights, the voting act that passed in 1965 was dwichb up for dead multiple times before president johnson and
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democrats of his day managed to get it through over the filibuster. they've got to press on because it is that consequential to the democracy. that's the point. >> but presidents obama and johnson were not face ago 50/50 senate, and the likelihood in the upcoming midterms of a big defeat or the possibility -- unless things turn around. >> andrea, you're right about the math, and i appreciate the reality of that, but i also appreciate what this means in georgia, in florida, in ohio, in wisconsin, all these places where these regressive bills have passed and where over 50 million americans are likely to have all kinds of difficult conditions imposed on their vote. they have to push on. they have to make an attempt to pass this now, and if they fail in this instance, you know what? they've got to come back again and again, just as they have to come back on the economic and climate plans as well. you don't give up. at the time that dr. king passed away, andrea, he had a 75%
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disapproval rating in america. those views were not popular then. they were lifted up and valorized today because he was on the right side of history. joe biden, chuck schumer, nancy pelosi, and those who were willing to protect our democracy in this moment will be proven to be on the right side of history in the future. we've got to get something done here. >> should chuck schumer, if this fails, should chuck schumer then move on to begin negotiating with, you know, romney and the 12, the gang of 12, whatever you want to call it, on a stripped down bill focusing on the electoral college count and perhaps some other elements that you can get? >> that's a great question, andrea, but i want to just push back against senator romney's contention that no one reached out to him. there were months of negotiations led by senator manchin to try to get republicans on board. should they fail to get these measures through, i suppose they will look at the electoral college act and other aspects of these bills so they could attach to that.
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that's the way the sausage is made, but they've got to press on, and we all have to really push back on mitt romney and other republicans who say that they didn't have an opportunity to weigh in here. voters are imperilled. the democracy's imperilled. history will not absolve you of that. >> did the president wait too long to push hard for voing rights? >> i'm sympathetic to activists who have been frustrate that had we haven't had a more robust campaign around these,s. i will say that the president has spoken a number of times about voting rights, said it's an existential matter for our democracy. i understand the frustration of activists who had hoped that we would have leaned into this sooner, but we also recognize this is a president who came in with an unprecedented pandemic he had to manage, economic crisis, foreign affairs crisis, all of these things have to be balanced in the agenda.
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but we're pressing now. >> patrick gaspar, thank you very much, good to see you as always on a very significant day, a day of remembrance and of service. thank you, patrick. >> thank you, andrea. and truth and consequences for the world's number one tennis player facing the music for his refusal to get vaccinated. that's coming up. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. mitchell mitchell reports" on msnbc. i think they look good, man. mm, smooth. uh, they are a little tight. like, too tight? might just need to break 'em in a little bit. you don't want 'em too loose. for those who were born to ride there's progressive. with 24/7 roadside assistance. -okay. think i'm gonna wear these home. -excellent choice. we were alone when my husband had the heart attack.
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the u.s. surgeon general is warning that we have yet to see the peak of the omicron surge. as more americans test positive for covid, including today the nation's top military officer, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff mark milley who is working remotely and isolating himself from others. his most recent contact with president biden was last wednesday january 12th. he is experiencing minor covid symptoms. he was vaccinated and boosted. as covid case numbers reach new highs in some states, we are seeing a hopeful sign, numbers starting to level out in the early hot spots in the northeast. all this as approval over the country's covid response hits a new low. in a cbs ugov poll with just ore one in three americans saying that the u.s. efforts to deal with the pandemic are, quote, going well. novak djokovic arriving back in his home country of serbia this morning after three australian judges upheld that immigration
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minister's decision to cancel his visa on public interest grounds they said over his vaccination status. plus, ending his hopes of defending his australian open title. most players in the tournament are pleased just to be talking about tennis again rather than covid culture wars. >> if he's not playing, it will be a great australian open, with or without him. >> joining us now is nbc sports analyst mary carrillo. mary, it's so good of you to take the time to talk to us today. so i want to talk about the precedent that has been set. we're already seeing france's sports ministry saying they're not going to let an exception for him, his vaccination status for the french open in may. do you think this could lead to djokovic maybe changing his stance in time to compete? >> andrea, i think he's got to. i mean, one of the great secret of happiness and unwith of the great secrets of politics is
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knowing which battles you can win and which you can't. djokovic, i keep waiting for my sport to make vaccination compulsory. it's not a team sport. in serbia where djokovic is from, only 30% of the country has been fully vaxxed. novak feels that it's a personal choice, but now he's paid the price. it would be tragic, a shattering impact on his career if he can't play anymore. i mean, if he's not allowed to -- he wouldn't be allowed to enter the united states. he wouldn't be allowed to enter england for wimbledon and the u.s. open. he's -- i really think he's got to change his ways, but he feels so strongly about this. i push back on the people who -- the judge or the final judgment that he was going to foment anti-vaxx sentiment in australia. he wanted to win the australian open for the tenth time. he wanted to win his 21st major, but the fact that ever since
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covid hit he has not been vaccinated, that's just been -- it's been a source of endless, endless frustration. he's been so incredibly ambiguous to us, to all of the people who follow tennis about whether or not he's been vaccinated. now we know he hasn't been, and i got to think he will be sometime soon. this is getting crazy. >> was the final blow the fact, the revelation that he had appeared in public after he had tested positive and not revealed that, if he was aware of it? >> the first blow -- that's a great question. the first blow was that he posted something that said he had a special exemption. i'm on my way to australia. there's been so many tough lockdowns in australia, especially in the state of victoria. that aggravated a lot of people. he posted again and said i want to clear up misconception. it's then that he acknowledged he'd been in two different countries and yes, he knew when he had covid for the second time back in december that he spoke
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to a journalist without telling him. i mean, this is -- the second post is what really killed him. there was a time when he was back on the court practicing for the australian open. for a couple of days there i liked his chances, but then it became an unwinnable war. >> and does it affect his legacy if he comes back, gets vaxxed, appears is a winner. he's a phenomenal player. there's no question about it. >> yes, he is. >> i think it affects people's perception, his legacy. this is not the first time that novak djokovic has done things to polarize people, his fans. i mean, the serbian fans of novaks are very strong and nothing will change their minds about how great a player this man is, and what he has done not only for tennis and not only for himself but the country of serbia. i don't know where it will land in the grand scheme of things if he decides not to get vaccinated. this is a guy who's younger and
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fitter than roger federer who might only play a little bit more i'm guessing, and robert nadal who's older than djokovic and who's had more injuries. to my mind, this guy is the great est of all time. so i really -- i really wish the guy would just get the jab and get on with it and get on with what he can do on the tennis court. >> i want to also ask you about -- tennis hall of famer, your friend chrissy evert sharing her ovarian cancer diagnosis after her sister lost her battle with the same disease. just a tragic outcome. what do we know about how she is, how she's doing? >> she's okay. she's actually commentating for espn during the australian open and euro sport. chrissy is remarkable. she's a great frent of mine, and her younger sister, jeannie who
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died from cancer, we played juniors together. i've respected them for so long. chris is strong, lord knows she has got everybody in the tennis world and throughout the world hoping for the very best for her. i think she'll do fine. she's just started chemo treatment, she's got five more. that will knock her out for a little bit, but hopefully it will also knock cancer out of her body. >> praying and hoping, you know, if anyone can beat this, it is chrissy evert. i don't know her. i'm just a huge fan girl. >> you're right to be so. she's lovely. >> everyone wants her to really pull through and beat this horrible disease. mary carrillo, it's great to see you. thank you so much. >> my pleasure, andrea, my pleasure. and a show of force, a bipartisan group of u.s. senators today in ukraine as russian aggression shows no signs of slowing down. their colleague senator bob
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menendez, the chairman of the foreign relations committee joins me next. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. reports" on msnbc. aleve it... and see what's possible. your heart is at the heart of everything you do. and if you have heart failure, entrust your heart to entresto. it's the number one heart failure brand prescribed by cardiologists. entresto was proven superior at helping people stay alive and out of the hospital. heart failure can change the structure of your heart, so it may not work as well. entresto helps improve your heart's ability to pump blood to the body. and with a healthier heart, there's no telling where life may take you. don't take entresto if pregnant; it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren,
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is in ukraine today meeting with president zelensky and other officials to reaffirm the u.s. commitment to the embattled country as it stares down a potential russian invasion. joining us now new jersey senator bob menendez chairing the foreign relations committee who's pushing for new sanctions on russia if it does invade. senator, thank you very much. your legislation would sanction top russian military and government officials and target the banking sector. past sanctions have not worked, but we're told that the administration is planning much tougher sanctions, so they banking and finance systems, the toughest of all. mitt romney said on "meet the press" yesterday that we should be sanctioning them now, not after they invade. what is your response to that? >> well, the effort here is to deter russia from going in and invading ukraine or otherwise disrupting ukraine as we saw in
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recent cyber attacks and false flag operations, and so if you sanction them already, that doesn't mean that, you know, it's one less reason for putin to be, you know, retrenching himself from invaing he'll say, well, i might as well invade, and then leverage from there. so we believe that the sanctions that i consider defending the ukraine sovereignty act which i have wrote with others and has over 40 senators already sponsoring it, i call it the mother of all sanctions bill. it's far beyond the typical sanctions we leverage. not only does it have sanctions against putin and other high ranking officials of the military and russia, but it also sanctions its extraction economies, it sanctions its sovereign debt. it potentially unplugs it from the swift, the international
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financial transaction system, which was the sanctions that i helped develop that ultimately brought iran to the negotiating table originally, and much more, as well as giving -- authorizing a half a billion dollars more in military assistance to ukraine. so i believe that knowing that the dam cleez is over your neck is going to potentially deter putin to the extent that he has not already made a decision regardless of what we or anyone else does. >> are you coordinating with the white house and state department, the nsc on this? >> i wrote my legislation independently of them, but i am glad to see that they have, in fact, endorsed the legislation and this week as we return to the senate, i'll look forward to working with several of my republican colleagues, you know, senator portman, senator rubio, senator corden and others all
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have different ideas and hopefully we can incorporate it in a way that creates a unified powerful voice that not only has the administration made it clear to putin, there will be incredibly severe consequences to the russian economy, and therefore to the russian people beyond putin, but that there is the support of the united states congress behind it as well, and we are speaking with one voice. >> we understand that the administration is considering a military aid to insurgents, to ukrainian insurgents as well as to the ukrainian government, which has been ongoing, and it will increase. where do you stand on that? might that drag us into conflict ourselves? >> well, andrea, a lot of the military equipment we have already sent into ukraine and may continue to send is the type of equipment that an insurgency would use, small arms and other
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related elements. i think putin has to, as part of his calculation, as i said on a hearing on russia we held about a month ago, that he has to think about how many body bags is he willing to accept as part of his effort to invade ukraine. i know the ukrainian people we have a large diaspora hear in new jersey, they are strong. they are committed. they are fervent in their belief in their native country, and they will do what is necessary to defend it, and you will see all types if putin makes this mistake, you will see all types of ukrainian society coming out in an insurgency that will send a lot of russia's sons back to russia in a body bag. >> let me switch gears and ask you about yet another missile test today overnight from north korea. this is the fourth just seasons
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-- since the beginning of the year, and it seems as though they're undeterred. they're making enormous progress according to all the experts with hypersonic tests last week, which can evade our own missile defenses and our allies'. so what are we going to do? we don't seem to be able to engage them in diplomacy. the biden administration has been asking and asking making overtures fruitlessly and no response. >> well, the biden administration ultimately ended up in a far worse position after president trump played with kim jong-un and ultimately gave him into national acceptance and all kim jong-un did is dramatically advance their weapons system. that's why i'm glad to see that linda thomas-greenfield, the united states ambassador to the u.n., has submitted to the u.n. a sanctions committee, a series of names and entities to get the
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u.n. involved. these are a violation of u.n. security council resolutions, and russia and china have to see north korea's actions not only as a threat to the west, but as a threat to their own security, and so it is my hope that we can press at the u.n. for a coordinated effort that sends a real message to kim jong-un that these provocations are not the way to get what he may ultimately want. >> not a great time on the foreign policy front. thank you very much, a lot of work for you and the committee, senator menendez. and joining us now is peter baker, "the new york times" chief white house correspondent who was formerly a moscow bureau chief for the times and former u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. welcome both of you, peter this crisis with russia and ukraine has only gotten worse. the talks last week are at a dead end according to russia and
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according to u.s. officials in response to that. so where does the biden white house go? >> well, i think the problem for the biden white house is that what putin wants or says he wants they can't give. he's not going to agree to any kind of limitations on nato, certainly not at least explicit limitations on nato accepting new members like ukraine. it's not going to back off the idea that ukraine should have the right to determine its own alliances and its own affiliations. what they have offered are, you know, talks about where we might place missiles and talks about whether exercises can be limited on both sides to avoid provoking each other. that kind of thing doesn't seem to have gotten much traction with putin and moscow. and so the real question for biden, president biden at this point is what does putin actually want out of this? does he actually want a full scale invasion at the risk of his body bags that senator menendez was talking about. that would seem to be counterproductive domestically for him. if that's not the case, what is
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he trying to accomplish here. one thing we do think he's trying to accomplish is destabilize ukraine as a western oriented government. he's trying to destabilize to some extent the west, trying to get the united states, president biden, and the west a little off balance at this point. where does it go from here? that's the question president biden has to answer. and the intelligence agencies are telling him there's a very real threat of a military, this month. >> how does putin back down having sent all these troops and heavy equipment and reinforced them, helicopters and others, other military equipment in recent days since the talks? doesn't he need an exit strategy? >> well, no. i actually don't think he needs an exit strategy. that's what people in democratic countries, leaders in democratic countries have to worry about. he will shape the narrative inside his country any way he wants, and that's why i think it's very hard for the biden administration. there isn't an obvious, you
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know, face saving tactical move that they can do to deescalate. i think their only chance, frankly is a much bigger, bigger negotiation, not just missiles here, troop movements there, but i call it, andrea, helsinki 2.0. helsinki in 1975, we all sat there for three years, by the way, the negotiations took three years, and it was basically a settlement of world war ii, a settlement about the borders that had not been resolved and codified since world war ii with the soviet union, the united states, canada, and most of europe, and i think you need a big negotiation like that because if we try to square the circle like peter just said on nato and ukraine, there's a no win strategy there. there's a no win play for president biden. >> and what about arming the ukrainian insurgents, you know, expanding what would have been, you know, a likely grass roots guerrilla movement.
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is that something that we should be doing, ambassador? >> we are doing it. there's been a lot of focus on this insurgency thing because of somebody's story, but when you give military assistance to the ukrainian army, you're arming the insurgents, and the ukrainians, of course, should have the right to defend themselves. i think we're making too big a deal of this focus on insurgents versus general military capacity. i personally don't think that putin has decided to move in and occupy territory, right? he's got a lot of other options. he can bomb. he can use artillery. we shouldn't assume that russians are going to hold territory. in fact, i would predict, if i had to, that you're unlikely to see that. you're more likely to see a limited military strike where the insurgent psy scenario doesn't play itself out. >> according to ukrainian officials they already tried to hit 70 ukrainian websites on friday. they've been denying any
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complicity, but it's apparently, according to ukraine, it's, you know, hackers, russian hackers tied to the russian intelligence services. >> that's right. exactly, russia has mastered the art of what we now call hybrid warfare. they practiced it in estonia, in georgia, they've used it against ukraine in the past. the point is right on point. it may not be a full scale invasion of the source we envisioned. not necessarily a sign of world war ii style invasion. there could be some other hybrid version of that. a retired russian general quoted by my colleagues in the "new york times" saying what they're likely to do is sort of pound them from the air the way you do. that was the way he put it to an american reporter, the way you do it. so we shouldn't necessarily look at it as necessarily a world war ii style invasion.
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there are all sorts of options that could be very destabilizing for ukraine short of that. it would put the biden administration in a real test as to how far they're willing to go. as it was, putin took crimea, seized it, annexed it in 2014, and still has it. been able to get away with it. three presidents have not been able to do anything to dislodge them from that. they're looking at that as sort sort of a model where they can go from here. >> it's all so ominous. thank you both. that synagogue standoff in texas. the latest on the international investigation into what motivated the terrifying 11 hour hostage situation inside the texas synagogue and how the rabbi says it ended. a dramatic tale. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. g "andrea mitl g "andrea mitl reports" on msnbc. “wow, i'm learning about my family.” yeah, yep. which one, what'd you find? lorraine banks, look, county of macomb, michigan? look at grandma...
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vice president kamala harris's latest stop on martin luther king day alongside second gentleman doug emhoff serving
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food at martha's table in southeast d.c. for a community service event. this video from just minutes ago. and yesterday president biden and his family visited the phil abundance food bank in honor of martin luther king day, a national day of service just two days away from his one year in office. the rabbi from a texas synagogue who was held hostage for ten hours saturday told cbs today that he and two others escaped by throwing a chair at the gunman. authorities have identified the suspect as a 44-year-old british national. officials in the uk have arrested two of his sons. the fbi is calling this a terrorism-related matter targeting the jewish community. joining me now nbc news information correspondent tom winter. i want to clarify something because when i last checked, they were talking to the two teenagers. they weren't under arrest. has that changed? >> they're in custody, andrea. it's important to remember that the laws in the uk when it comes to terrorism offenses are quite different than they are here, and so their ability to take
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somebody into custody or effectively arrest them is, as we might see here, but yet charge them are different. it's the same police agency that was involved in the investigation into the bombing of the arianna grande concert. we saw them take into custody a whole host of individuals, many of whom were not eventually charged as a result of that investigation. normally here if i were to come on the air and say they arrested two people in boston today in connection with this attack, we would then expect charges, a court appearance, et cetera. that's not necessarily the case in the uk. that's something we're going to continue to track closely. it's important to remember that the fbi said in their press conference on saturday night once that all came to a conclusion, that they believe that this individual acted alone in their hostage taking and then obviously their demands for the terrorist aafia siddiqui. >> and also this dramatic story from the rabbi today speaking to
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cbs about how they were not rescued they themselves by the fbi, but they were rescued by him having had counterterror training because so many synagogues have been, you know, attacked and on guard, that he threw a chair at the hostage taker? >> yeah, i think the number one thing in having gone to a number of these classes whether it be for active shooter, anti-hostage, andrea, the focus is if you can get away and you can run away and you can get out, that's what you need to do. that's the most important thing. so this account, which our colleague mike hozner has confirmed with several law enforcement officials and from the rabbi himself, obviously, saying this morning in an interview with cbs that he -- they saw an opening at some point, the other hostages and himself. he told them to leave the building and then he threw a chair at this hostage taker and himself fled the building.
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obviously a tremendous outcome, a great outcome for them in what was undoubtedly a very scary situation dealing with an armed hostage taker. that armed part of that, andrea, is something that we're going to still take a look at and i suspect authorities are as well. there's very few exceptions for somebody who came to the u.s., and he came here on december 29th, very few exceptions that that person could legally purchase a gun. how did they get that firearm that allowed them to take these individuals hostage and under duress. that's something we'll continue to follow. >> and that lasted for some 11 hours, just simply terrifying. thank you very much. >> sure thing. and protecting the vote, why the one voting rights bill that some support in congress won't do anything for the next election. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. mitchell reports" on msnbc. we discover exciting new technologies. redefine who we are and how we want to lead our lives.
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it's about who gets to count the votes. joining us now is civil rights attorney, former prosecutor david henderson. and michael wallbun, author of "the fight to vote" out tomorrow. michael, your book is timely. it looks at the voter restrictions and suppression in the country and what's being done to make voting more difficult and more politicized. what are you most concerned about? >> well, this is a big moment in history. we've been fighting about who gets to vote, who gets a seat at the table of democracy from the country's beginning. but what we're see right now with the big lie, as you say, with states moving to restrict voting, driven by that big lie, and on top of those voter suppression laws, you might call them election subversion laws, changing who counts the votes and attacking election
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officials. that's why those of us who support this national legislation think there is no alternative to strong national action. the lesson of history throughout the country's years is that sometimes t federal government has to step up. and i would say this looks like one of those moments. >> but you say they have to, but they're not. i mean, we see no possibility in the senate right now. so what's at stake here, michael? >> well, a lot is at stake, and i don't have any predictions, especially about the future. but i would ask senator manchin and senator sinema who support these bills what their plan is for protecting voting rights, and i would ask the minority in the senate, the republicans who are blocking voting rights with the filibuster, do they want to stand on this side of history? it's a pretty big moment, and i know the folks working on this aren't going to let anything
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stop the push. it's hard. it may not succeed, but there's no choice, i think, but to continue trying. >> david henderson, how much of this, the resistance to change and also the new laws, is tied to the demographic change in the country, the shift away from a majority white country to a more diverse population? >> you know, it's hard for me to think of that question on a day like today without thinking about dr. king's legacy, not only because it's mlk day, but because i'm lucky enough to office with someone who worked directly with reverend king. i asked him recently what he thinks dr. king would say in response to where we're at in terms of voting rights. he thought dr. king would acknowledge we've made great progress, because we have, but making progress was never the goal. the never goal was to put one foot in front of the other. the goal was to enter the promised land as embodied by the american flag and the ethos surrounding it.
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when i look at the current state of affairs when you look at january 6th, people attack the capitol to stand for the notion that everyone's vote shouldn't count. that's akin to saying that every person shouldn't count. that's the worst possible thing that can happen in a democracy like ours for people to think they can't make a difference through the way they vote. from the perspective of somebody who is boots on the ground as a civil rights lawyer helping people coming into any office day-to-day, what concerns me is republicans are screaming this from the rooftops. it seems like the overall response is little more than a whisper. >> and david nderson, i would not call you a lowly civil rights lawyer. i think that you're in the vanguard of any hope for any kind of change in this country. michael, you trace the roots of this back to the 2000 election. >> well, for a long time there's a question -- the question about
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voting rights seemed as if it had been settled by dr. king and john lewis, and linden johnson and those who won the voting rights act of 1965, but in 2000, when you had the recount in florida, it kind of revealed a lot of the flaws in our election system, and partisans realized hey, we can win an election by suppressing the other side's vote, or try to turn out more voters. and as we've just discussed, the country continues to change demographically so there's more of a backlash. you know, this notion of widespread misconduct, donald trump took it to an extreme, but he didn't start this argument. but he has taken it to a point where for the very first time, while some of this is new, some of this is old, some of this is very new. something driven by the big lie. >> we've got to leave it there. thank you so much, both of you. and that does it for us, for andrea mitchell reports today, garrett haake is in next for chuck todd when "mtp daily"
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