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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  January 19, 2022 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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see, he is not a snowflake. he can handle it. "all in" with chris hayes starts now. tonight on "all in" -- >> the supreme court didn't have the courage to take it up and they should be ashamed of themselves. >> the supreme court hands donald trump another loss. the january 6th committee will get trump's presidential records related to the insurrection. tonight committee members on the high court's decision, what to expect from the documents and even more new subpoenas. then, former attorney general eric holder and attorney mark elias on the voting rights fight on the senate floor. as the president marks his first year in office, why he is a raising alarms over what could happen in europe. >> consequential thing that happened in the world in terms of war and peace since world war ii. >> lieutenant colonel alexander vindman on russia aggression in
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ukraine. "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we have late breaking developments regard regarding a trove of white house documents that the ex-president has been trying to block the release of. in a huge rebuke to donald trump, the supreme court has rejected trump's attempt to block the committee investigating the january 6th insurrection from accessing those documents from trump's time in the white house. this evening the committee was set to receive a tiny handful of documents, four pages. but in light of this decision that happened 90 minutes ago the committee will have access to all of the hundreds of pages of documents it requested. that's not the only big news tonight. we also have new round of subpoenas from the january 6th committee which we will be getting to in a bit. but to put the supreme court ruling in context, trump had been fighting the release of these documents since last october when he claimed they were protected by executive privilege even as the current
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president, joe biden, the executive of executive privilege, said they were not covered by executive privilege. a number of appeals courts emphatically rejected trump's arguments and now the supreme court with a 6-3 conservative majority has as well. justice clarence thomas was the only announced dissenting voice. trump has nowhere left to appeal. the case is close. the documents gr to go get turned over. a number of close trump allies, including former white house chief of staff mark meadows have been relying on executive privilege to defy their subpoenas to appear before the committee and offer testimony. it's not clear at this time how this ruling will effect those arguments if at all, but we could imagine they will be sofrd son. she and other lawyers filed an amicus brief on behalf of the state local officials asking the supreme court to do what they
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just did, reject trump's attempt to block the national archives from releasing records about january 6th and danya perry joins me now. first, let's start with what the court is holding here and what it means on the ground. . >> sure. so the court summarily denied trump's appeal. so they are refusing to stand in the way of the release, the immediate release of these january 6th reference from the national archives to the select committee. if there is someone working late in the halls of the archives, they may already be in the hands of the select committee. so that is a resounding loss for president trump, former president trump. and the arguments he made. it's a little cabined. the court made clear that this -- they were not relying on one of the primary arguments that had been made in the courts below, that is that president
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biden's willingness to waive any claim of executive privilege, that that is the reason why trump lost. so it is not, i would say, a perfect ruling and it does remain to be seen, as you said in your intro, how this will affect the claim of privilege by various proposed witnesses before the committee. but for right now and for president trump it's a terrible defeat. >> we know that he wanted to stop a bunch of these documents. we think they include binders of talking points about the 2020 election, are some of them, we are led to believe. 700 of the 1,600 requested. to zero in on what you said. one is the question of are these documents subject to executive privilege and the other is the principal is it possible for an ex-president to assert executive
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privilege in the abstract. what you are saying is that the court doesn't reach that second question, essentially, here about whether they can or cannot. that remains to be seen perhaps in further litigation. >> that's exactly right. justice kavanaugh would have, had he conquered, and he would have -- he would have ruled that, in fact, the former president does have quite a bit to say about the nature of the privilege. but the court in that 8-1 ruling decided that it didn't have to decide. in other words, it refrained from making any ruling, said that it didn't have to because, as a court of appeals said below, on any standard trump would lose. and that is because he did not make a particular showing at all, as he often does. he just claims a blanket and absolute privilege. that has not worked for him in the past and it didn't work for
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him here. he made no showing with respect to any single document where the privilege would apply, and that did not fly about with the court of appeals and ultimately with the supreme court. >> yeah, the court's ruling because of the court of appeals, which is what they are upholding here, they concluded president trump's claims would have failed even if he were the incumbent, his status as a former president made no difference to the court's decision. i mean, just to take a step back here, the committee gets the documents. trump loses. but we should also note, like, this wasn't a close call legally by any stretch of the imagination, right? i mean, it would have been a shocking, a truly shocking and lawless action had the court found another way. >> 100%. what he was trying to do, which has worked for him so well in the past, is gum up the system, let this case, you know, take its time going up and down the court system. that has worked successfully for him before. and i am sure his gambit here
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was to have the injunction in place pending a full review on the merits and i'm sure his hope was that with the 2022 elections that the focus would change. and so the real issue here, and this is something that we focused on in our amicus brief to the court, is the urgency, the immediacy, the continuing threat and that this had to be decided quickly, and they did. this was, i think, three months to the day. maybe three months and a day from the time that trump filed his initial petition to the date that the supreme court decided this remarkable -- so bev seen many times before this doesn't always go so smoothly and quickly. happily, it did in this case and the select committee could move on to do their important work. >> yeah, i wanted to reemphasize that point.
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i made a snarky comment i think to adam schiff last night how they blocked the mandate against vaccines. to their credit, this was lightning pace by the supreme court standards essentially in what they came to today and means that the delay tactic doesn't work because right now those documents are probably being transmitted and that's kind of the end of that, right? >> that's the end of that. as you say, there will be other fights. they are coming up quickly. there is a new flurries of activity of subpoenas being issued. a number of witnesses who have to come up. so they will have to decide how this ruling affects them. i believe it's very clear now they can not make these blanket statements, the kinds that, you know, mark meadows and steve bannon, in particular, have made, they must show some particularized focus why a
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particular document is or is not privileged. >> right. i think that's an important point because this sort of theory of executive privilege often put forward by this president in particular is a kind of magic wand, like, when you're, like, on a schoolyard, you're playing "time" magazine and, like, you invoke some invisible shield. the court is saying there has to be an actual showing of something that pertains to what the jurisprudence on what creates the privilege is not to, like, you can't touch me. we will see if that works going forward. thank you very much. >> thanks, chris. we have another round of subpoenas as i mentioned tonight from the bipartisan committee investigating january 6th and they are for two prominent far-right extremists and internet personalities, nick fuentes and patrick kasie. nick fuentes is a white nationalist, an internet troll guy, sort of around both horns and trying to get attention. he spreads the great replacement
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conspiracy theory. he flirted with holocaust denial using a grotesque analogy involving cookies and cookie monster. fuentes was a common presence at stop the steal rallies. he was present at the capitol on january 6th. according to his subpoena, quote, on january 6th, 2021, you rallied with your followers outside the capitol. you called on your followers to continue occupying the capitol until the election results were overturned and proclaimed a glorious day on your twitter. the next day you wrote the capitol siege was f-ing awesome and i am not going to pretend it wasn't. for patrick kasie one time ally of fuentes also mentioned foreign funding. quote, as the capital attack began you wrote on telegram at 2:30 p.m. it's happening. you received about $25,000 worth of bitcoin from a french computer programmer funds the
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federal bureau of investigation fbi is assessing whether this was linked to the capitol attack. mr. fuentes received $250,000 worth from the same donor. these come after the subpoenas yesterday to a number of trump's top election lawyers, colluding including rudy giuliani. congresswoman zoe lofgren sits on the bipartisan committee investigating january 6th and she joins me now. these two individuals, congresswoman, how would you explain their significance? . they were very active in whipping up mobs to overturn the election. we want to find out the extent of their ties, who else they were connected with. we are also very interested in the rather large amount of bitcoin funding that came in and how that connects with their
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activities to overturn the election. so we think it's pretty meaty, but i don't want to talk about that without saying how gratified i am at the court decision on the archives material. some of the material has already been received at the committee. the material that had not been protected through the drafting by the former president's lawyers, and we expect other material to flow very promptly. so this is a very important decision, along with, of course, these two subpoenas. >> yeah, are you -- are you -- are you surprised, gratified by the pace here, which of course is -- was always the biggest question. i think it wasn't that much question about the merits. it was a very, very weak case put forward by ex-president trump but whether he could drag this out. were you expecting this to happen at this pace? >> well, i was hopeful that it would. we asked the court to put this
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on the docket for discussion during their conference on january 14th. obviously, we don't know if they did, but my guess is they must have because this, of course, was released here wednesday. monday was a holiday. so that's exactly what we asked them to do in terms of the pace, and i think it's important that the decision was apply the law. as i think i have said before on msnbc, the former president failed to make his case. he failed to show irreparable harm. he failed to show how he would prevail at trial. he didn't make a case. and so that's what the court found. they did cite the nixon case. nixon versus gsa. there is a possibility that a former president would have a claim, but they didn't have to reach that in this case. they just had no case. so i think it's very important that this material will start flowing very soon.
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documents, videos, notes, logs, et cetera. >> yeah, so there is a bunch of documents. i wonder if you could sort of describe the parameters. i know it's half of the documents requested that will be going towards you. the significance of actually getting some look into the -- what was going on in that white house in the run up to january 6th. . well, we will be getting the visitors' logs, the call logs, the outtakes from the videos that he made as people were trying to talk him into asking the mob to leave the capitol. notes. drafts of remarks. it's all in the public record, and we will get it all. and it will help us put together the picture of what happened leading up to the riot and on the day of the riot. >> yeah, just for folks that don't know this, of course,
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there is three hours, i think, that go by before the president releases a video statement in which he tells the rioters that he loved them and they have to leave. there is reporting indicating that there were multiple attempts -- there were multiple takes that were not on message enough to be released to the public. apparently, those are in the category of documents that be moved from the national archives into the custody of the committee? >> well, that's our request. and we, you know, if they exist, we will get them. i do think it will give insight into what the president was doing as rioters were terrorizing the capitol and trying to overturn the government. what was the president doing? how was he fulfilling his oath to protect and defend the constitution? we have had testimony on this from people in his inner circle, but i think this will augment our understanding of that, and i'm looking forward to getting
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this information, getting the truth out the door. >> all right. congresswoman zoe lofgren, thank you for your time. appreciate it. >> anytime. don't go anywhere. we've got eisan to the senate floor where democrats are fighting what could be their last battle on the voting rights bill. they have been debating all day. we have mark elias and eric holder here to talk about the implications of this vote and what it means if it fails just ahead. we'll be right back. ead. ead. we'll be right back.pill, once-a-day treatment used for h-i-v in certain adults. it's not a cure, but with one small pill, biktarvy fights h-i-v to help you get to and stay undetectable. that's when the amount of virus is so low it cannot be measured by a lab test. research shows people who take h-i-v treatment every day and get to and stay undetectable can no longer transmit h-i-v through sex. serious side effects can occur, including kidney problems and kidney failure. rare, life-threatening side effects
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senate is in the midst of intense debate as the democratic caucus tries to pass a combined voting rights legislation package that's already been passed by the house's two separate bills. this combined legislation is known as the freedom to vote john r. lewis act. for voters it would make election day a national holiday. states would be required to keep voting lines at a wait time of 30 minutes or less. there would be a minimum number of early voting days and access to no excuse absentee voting. it would create standards for acceptable i.d.s for states that enact voter i.d. laws and restore voter rights to felons ofrp their prison time ends. it would require neutral redistrictst districting, making harassing or coercing election officials a crime and as well as
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reinstating the voting right act's preclearance provision which gave the department of justice the ability to challenge laws with a history of discrimination. that was destroyed by the supreme court under john roberts. the obstacle is republicans don't like this. there is not one vote for it. they are not going to vote for any of it. they will of course filibuster this legislation and 48 members of the democratic caucus are onboard to allow democrats to bypass that 60 vote threshold that has opinion used more and more in recent years. that's not a hard and fast vul. it's a long complicated history. there have been 161 exceptions to the filibuster. in fact, last month a carveout was made to allow democrats to raise the debt ceiling to pay bills unoccurred by the congress and trump administration. but joe manchin and kyrsten sinema are adamantly opposed to making a carveout or the voting
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legislation. they are expected to vote against chuck schumer's plan which is not to get rid of the filibuster but change the rule on it for this one piece of legislation. so if those two democrats hold the line in tonight's vote, they keep the rules as is, it would be the first time either -- against the president's agenda. president biden wants the rules changed. in some ways this is an exercise for the majority of the democratic party to shine a light on the obstacles to voting rights as well as the peril that american democracy finds itself in today. joining me from the front lines is mark elias, founder of democracy docket and voting rights litigation expert. mark, they have been going for a while. they have been debating as the senate sort of is designed to do. how are you feeling right now watching this? >> look, i wouldn't be honest if i didn't tell you that i am saddened that it appears that this bill is not going to pass.
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you know, the times that i came on your show and said how essential this bill was, i wasn't saying that because i thought it was a nice -- i was saying it because our democracy needs it. and so i appreciate all the senators having an opportunity to say their piece, but at the end of the day, tomorrow morning, voters are going to wake up around the country and face an onslaught of voter suppression legislation and congress will not have helped. >> you were mentioned yesterday by one of the key players of this drama, senator joe manchin. now, we should be precise here. manchin is onboard with this legislation on the merits, all 50 democratic senators are. he is not onboard with changing the filibuster rules. you can decide whether that's a distinction without a difference. when asked if this doesn't pass, he mentioned you. i want to play that for you and get your response since he mentions you. take a listen.
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>> there are a lot of people saying that you are making it so that they are not going to be able to vote in the next election. >> the rules are there. basically, the government will stand behind and make sure they have a right to vote. we have that. the things they are talking about are in court. mark elias haven't offered that in court. they struck down gerrymandering. things are happening, okay? we act like we are going to objecting instruct people. that's not going to happen. >> the message is we've got mark elias. i ask you, mark elias, is he right? >> look, i am worried. so i appreciate the confidence that the senator has and that others have had in me and the litigation my team and i bring. we are in fact litigating in a lot of places, including in the ohio case that he mentioned. let's be clear. litigation is not aulttive to the problem of mass voter suppression. it is not enough to say that we,
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as lawyers, will go to court to protect voting rights. it is the obligation of congress to pass the laws necessary to ensure that those rights are protected, that states are following them, and to give tools to litigators like me to be in court. so, sadly, no, it's not enough that me or lawyers for the government are in court. we needed congress to act and now that they are not going to, we will need to redouble our efforts in court, but it's not going to replace the needed legislation. >> yeah, i just to add one more thing, which would be curious to hear your response, i mean, when i saw joe manchin say that, we've covered the ohio case, we had you on to talk about it, i mean, the ohio casey essentially went in your plaintiffs favor because there was laws -- there was a referendum and -- i think a constitutional amendment to ohio that created these protections for non-partisan gerrymandering. it was a legal change affected by the state of ohio.
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along the lines of some of what's in this proposed legislation that created the safeguards you could then litigate with. >> that's exactly right. i mean, the case in ohio that you and i did discuss was based on a constitutional provision that the voters had put in place in ohio to prevent excessive partisan gerrymandering. you're right. that exact concept, a provision similar to that, is contained in the freedom to vote act and that would give much needed tools to bring this kind of case successfully elsewhere throughout the country. >> i was listening to some of the debate today on the floor and to some of what the republicans were saying and one of the arguments you hear from conservatives, republicans, is that this is essentially a partisan exercise and you symbolize the partisan nature of it. you are a lawyer who represents
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the democratic party. you are a democratic. i don't think you make any bones about that. that's the party you are loyal to to. this legislation was writ bin democrats so that they have a better chance of getting elected and now along simple party lines they want to force it on america so that they could increase their chances of being re-elected. what do you say to that? >> yeah, so, look, i think this is a place where the media, your show notwithstanding, has a lot of work to do because the fact is the goalposts have moved. in 2006, voting rights, the reauthorization of the voting rights act was passed 98-0 in the senator. walmart and the business roundtable push for the passage. it was signed into law by a republican conservative president. what has changed is not the democratic party. what has changed is not the lawyers like me are somehow advancing, you know, pro-democratic party legislation. what's changed is the republican party. there was not a single vote in the house of representatives,
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not liz cheney, adam kinzinger, no one on the republican side who voted in favor of this. there is not a single republican who will vote in favor of it. that is a real problem for our democracy because i have made this challenge and offered to republicans over and over again, if they will identify a piece of legislation that they believe is suppressing voters, that is preventing lawful voters from exercising their right to vote, i will join with them in seeking to strike down that law. but there is nothing they want to do to remove barriers to voting. and that's the problem. it's not a both sides issue. it's a one side issue. >> yeah, i mean, the last point i would make if you want to get rid of mark elias partisan democratic laurie essentially, you know, enforcing voter access by lit gangs, like, we had a process called the preclearance process to the department of justice, the duly elected and
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constituted elective branch which did, you know, went through and looked at possible changes as a kind of, like, neutral arbiter on behalf of the voters that has been taken away that is trying to be restored as one of the things we're doing here. >> yeah. i mean, if they want less litigation from me, they should vote for this legislation. because if you had this legislation, there would be less need for me to bring litigation. if the republicans want less mark elias litigation, engage in less voter suppression. i'll make them a deal. if they stop suppressing the vote, i will stop suing them for suppressing the vote. >> all right. mark elias, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thanks. breaking news tonight between the senate fight and the supreme court ruling and i can think of no better person to break it down with than the former united states attorney general eric holder and he joins me next. former united states attorney
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general eric holder and he joins general eric holder and he joins me next. ♪ life can be a lot to handle. ♪ this magic moment ♪ but heinz knows there's plenty of magic in all that chaos. ♪ so different and so new ♪ ♪ was like any other... ♪ do you struggle with occasional nerve aches in your hands or feet? ♪ so different and so new ♪ try nervivenerve relief from the world's #1 selling nerve care company. nervive contains alpha lipoic acid to relieve occasional nerve aches, weakness and discomfort. try nervivenerve relief. hey lily, i need a new wireless plan for my business, but all my employees need something different. oh, we can help with that. okay, imagine this. your mover, rob, he's on the scene and needs a plan with a mobile hotspot. we cut to downtown, your sales rep lisa has to send some files, like asap! so basically i can pick the right plan for each employee.
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senate at this hour where the attempt to bypass the republican filibuster and voting rights legislation is expected to get underway any there. you see senate majority leader chuck schumer there. eric holder is the chair of the national redistricting committee. he has been following these voting rights fight and joins me now. it's great to have you. first, why after your time as attorney general the sort of law of democracy, voting rights protections, redistricting have been your big focus in public life. >> well, what i said when i left the department of justice was i never was going to leave the work, and specifically never going to leave the work of protecting the right to vote. it's something that animated my professional life and something that i have given a substantial amount of time to. i have got a book coming out in
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may of next year that talks about the fights that we have had since we have become a republic to make sure that everybody had the right to vote and the battles that ensued. and it seemed that this is the most important thing i could focus on. our democracy is at stake. i am not being hyperbolic, not being alarmist, i am not exaggerating. our democracy is at stake. the passage of these bills is critical. the voter suppression going on is unbelievable. the subversion of the infrastructure of the electoral system is hard to fathom. these are things that we can put a stop to, but we have to address it and that's why i decided that this would be something i would focus on. >> all right. i want to talk -- we just talked to mark elias about some of the substance of the bills here. i know, obviously, you want to talk substance and i -- we agree, i think, largely, on the substantive case. you know, you were worked in the upper everybody lons of the
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obama administration and what strikes me is that the democratic party is 99% onboard with this and sinema and manchin are not, at least not in changing the filibuster to do it, and that essentially no one can make them do this thing they don't want to do and that's where we are tonight and so tonight is essentially spotlighting that these two individuals are standing in the way of this and that is what tonight is about unless i am misreading what tonight or today has been about. >> yeah, it's likely that this is not going to be a good night for democracy. that doesn't mean that the battle ends tonight. it means that i'll be working with mark and we will be coming up with more lawsuits, we will be trying to come up with ways to use state constitutions as we did in pennsylvania as we are using now in north carolina to bring lawsuits and to force greater amount of transparency. we will be engaging citizens around the country for them, for people in this country to get involved in this fight. you know, this is the loss of a
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battle. but it is not necessarily the loss of the war. and this war will go on. this fight for voting rights and voter protection and for our democracy will continue. >> what do you think joe manchin and kyrsten sinema's relationship to the democratic party and democratic caucus will be? >> that's an interesting question. this is something that i think is core to the democratic party. that is, the fight for voter protection. it has been something that has animated this party for, you know, for decades. this is something that is a clear differentiator between the democracy party and the republican party. we stand for democracy. we stand for the voters having a say and the direction of this nation. they are putting themselves outside the gambit of the democratic party in that regard. what their relationship to the party will be going forward we will have to see. as a democratic, i am extremely disappointed in the positions that they have taken, especially given the fact that senator
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schumer has come up with a way, you want to keep the filibuster? we will make it a talking filibuster and apparently that is not even enough for them. given what's at stake here, the protection of our democracy, the change, the slight change in how the filibuster would be conducted in the senate, i thought that might be enough to bring them onboard. >> i want to ask you about some other big news tonight about the supreme court and the trump administration. supreme court moving quite expeditiously to allow those documents to be transmitted from the national archives to the committee rejecting the claims of executive privilege. how significant do you think that is, and your general sense of the january 6th committee's work since it's part of the effort that you are talking about, sort of safeguarding american democracy. >> well, i think the committee is hitting on all cylinders. i am heartened by the pace which they are proceeding. they are moving expeditiously.
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i am heartened bit the court's decision today. if you look at the opinion, it really is kind of a back of the hand, the assertions made, the claims forwarded by the trump legal team. the opinion is basically a paragraph, maybe a paragraph and a half, and to see edgesly says that all of the claims made by the trump lawyers in the lower courts were rightfully denied. the fact that the committee will now have access to these documents is extremely, extremely significant, both because the documents themselves be valuable, but also a guide to help the committee decide if there are additional witnesses who need to be called or whether or not you need to requestion witness you have already spoken to. this is a very critical and important decision. >> we have gotten more news about the various interlocking parts of the department of justice's case of the people present at the riot or in recent last week the seditious conspiracy alleged by the department to stop the peaceful
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transfer of power. and i know that you are a prudent and lawyerly enough individual that you are not going to step on the toes of merrick garland, the current attorney general. i will just ask, is it -- people that look at the facts surrounding donald trump and think, god, it looks like there is some criminal exposure in his activities to stop the peaceful transfer of power, are they crazy or not? >> no, i think that -- no. you're not crazy. i think that the use of the seditious conspiracy charge is something that is extremely significant. that is an indication that the department of justice is going to be looking at a whole variety of people. not only the people who were there, as merrick garland said, but people who were not there. the fact that he said in that speech that he gave on january 6th, three words, at any level. that is really, really important. seditious conspiracy at any level. but it is an indication that the justice department is looking at anybody who might be connected to what happened. the insurrection on january 6th.
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>> eric holder, former attorney general for the united states, thank you very much. i should note before we let you go, the cloture vote is happening. we will see what happens pursuant to that. thank you very much, mr. holder. >> thank you. coming up, president biden holds a press conference to mark one year in office, takes a victory lap for his wins, issues a really chilling warning about the situation in russia and ukraine. i will explain ahead. us rsia an ukraine. ukraine. i will explain ahead driven by our award-winning science, who uncover new medicines to treat mental illness. it includes the compassionate healthcare professionals, the dedicated social workers, and the supportive peer counselors we work with to help improve - and even change - people's lives. moving from mental illness to mental wellness starts in our circle. this is intra-cellular therapies.
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remember, mom's a kayak denier, so please don't bring it up. bring what up, kayak? excuse me? do the research, todd. listen to me, kayak searches hundreds of travel sites to find you great deals on flights, cars and hotels. they're lying to you! who's they? kayak? arr! open your eyes! compare hundreds of travel sites at once. kayak. search one and done. correspondents are crowded in the chamber as the president strides briskly in to face the press and the cameras. >> i see we're trying a new experiment this morning. i hope it doesn't prove to be a disturbing influence. >> today is the 67th anniversary of the first ever televised presidential news conference. happened on january 19, 1955,
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you saw when president dwight eisenhower answered reporters' questions on tape. president's news conference filmed for tv and news reels for the first time. today president biden marked one year in office by holding his tenth press conference. it ended up being the longest in presidential history. it lasted 1:51. biden began with a vigorous defense of all his administration has achieved in its first year. >> we went from 2 million people being vaccinated at the moment i was sworn in to 210 americans being fully vaccinated today. we created 6 million new jobs, more jobs in one year than any time before. unemployment dropped, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%. child poverty dropped by nearly 40%. the biggest drop ever in american history. >> while he stood firm in his accomplishments, he admitted he wished he would have done more covid testing earlier.
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he pointed out he has gotten no help from across the aisle and that is largely, he says, because of donald trump. >> one thing i haven't been able to do so far is get my republican friends to get in the game of making things better in this country. think about this. what are republicans for? what are they for? name me one thing they're for. did you ever think that one man out of office could intimidate an entire party where they are unwilling to take any vote contrary to what he thinks should be taken for fear of being defeated in a primary? >> biden also took several questions on the looming russian invasion of ukraine. he was unequivocal in his warnings to russia about the consequences of such annanevation and what a war in europe would mean for the rest of the world. >> if he invades, it hasn't happened since world war ii.
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most consequential thing that happened in the world in terms of war and peace since world war ii. >> the president's not alone in that incredibly stark assessment. there are alarm bells going off all over europe and the world. we've got the perfect guest to talk about it. alexander vindman, former director of european affairs for the national security council and he joins me next. security security and he joins me next [bacon sizzles] ♪ [electronic music plays] ♪ woo! [bacon sizzles] ♪ [i'll pick this one up.] ♪ i earn 3% cash back on dining including take chase freedom unlimited. so, it's not a problem at all. you guys aren't gonna give me the fake bill fight? c'mon, kev. you're earning 3% cash back. humor me. where is my wallet? i am paying. where is my wallet? i thought i gave it to you. oooohhh? oh, that's not it either. no. no. stop, i insist. that was good though. earn big time with chase freedom unlimited
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right now there is an extremely volatile situation on the border of ukraine, where russia has been amassing troops for months. secretary of state met with ukrainian president and president biden is warning russian president, vladimir putin of severe sanctions if he invades. today he said he thinks putin will, quote, move in. >> russia will be held accountable if it invades. one thing if it's a minor
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incursion and we have to fight about what to do and not do. but if they do what they're capable of doing with the force they amass on the border, it is going to be a disaster for russia. >> that comment raised concerns about the u.s. response to a quote, minor incursion, at least from the ukrainians, who quickly put out a smoke signal who said that does not help us. the white house clarifying, quote, if any russian military forces move across the ukrainian border, that's a renewed invasion and it will be met with a swift severe response by our allies. and united states national security council was removed from that position by donald trump after trump's first impeachment, after he testified about the infamous phone call where trump tried to extort his counterpart for fabricated dirt about joe biden. wrote a book and colonel
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vindman, who's an exprtd in ukraine and russia joins me right now. i guess let's just start with setting the stage of why we are at this point. i mean it's very clear that putin has had -- has wanted to create a kind of sphere of influence and control and strategic depth in what were the sort of former vasal states or under the spear of influence of the ussr. and has attempted to reconstitute that in various ways, but why are we here right now? >> we saw this build up occur at the beginning of 2021. and i think it was on the assump shn that russia had to act, ukraine was slipbug tween its fingers. it did so because it saw a country choosing its own
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destiny, choosing a path towards democ raegs. and really, this continuing enterprise. he thought he may have achieved what he wanted, snapping up part of the country. it turns out they were wrong. and making progress on can d mockeracy agenda. but the question is why now? and it's mainly because of a sense of opportunity. a sense of weakness within the united states. i have every reason to believe that if we had had not had an insurrection on january 6th, because of pt p president trump, they would not believe there's a vulnerability in the united states. the polarization that trump continues to nourish in the united states helps.
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he has major talking heads on fox news pandering to hiz interest and a false equivalent between the u.s. and russia. really [ inaudible ] and also the perception of fractures between the u.s. and europe. he perceives they exist. he sees it's only going to get harder to act in the future and the time to act is now. this is likely to be, as president biden put it, the largest offensive in europe since world war ii. it's going to be enormously impactful on geopolitical politics and frankly, we should do everything in our power to avoid this from happening. because when the first shots are fired, we don't have a good idea of how things are going to unfold. it's better to prevent and do everything to avoid this catastrophic outcome, rather
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than deal with the consequences of reshape the geopolitical landscape. >> i'm not an expert but i couldn't agree more in that respect. massive landward incursion on the european continent is, you know, bad. with horrible historical ant seedants. what's the diplomatic off ramp? look, russia's a nuclear power. russia is not and nato is not going to send ground troops to eastern ukraine to fight russian soldiers. blinken is in the region seeking a diplomatic off ramp. what is the off ramp? >> it's not that easy to take pieces off the table right now. i think, frankly, it's one of the places where this administration fell short. maybe they thought this was diplomatic coercion and the scale might be smaller, more limited, something that doesn't
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drag the u.s. into another major confrontation in europe. that's what we're facing. i think it's just not going to be that simple. i think we should be doing a lot more and we shouldn't just consider a diplomatic track. there's also a pressure track that makes a lot of sense right now. allies along the western ukrainian border. they're going to want assurances that article five mean something. that already is seepage to nato not being involved, at least bilaterally or unilaterally. they're going to make commitments to ukraine because of their own national security interests. we should be doing more. i think we should be positioning. we talk about reactionary measures, positioning troops in europe after an escalation. that is the wrong way to look at it. we should be doing things now.
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right now we don't have a war yet. if we position troops in europe and say nato article five is ironclad. we'll protect nato interests, how much more benign does that seem than positioning many troops in eastern europe when shots are fired? when there's russian blood being spilled? with regards to arming the ukrainians, how much more sense would it make to do it now, to prevent than after shots are fired? i've got a long piece going to foreign affairs friday morning that eliminates wishful thinking about how limited this might be or how the u.s. might be able to navigate escalating bilateral conflict. senator menendez proposed a potent, wide-ranging bill that is another powerful diplomatic tool to bear. we need to pull out all the
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stops to avoid this, to safeguard u.s. national security interests. >> of course, your brief at the national security council was exactly this part of the world. and yrb know it's been one you followed very closely. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow" show is right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. i'm in a weird place. >> you sound weird. >> thank you very much. i'll explain. thank you for joining us this hour. i know this does look a little different and sound a little different than it usually does. i'm at my home studio in all of its cabiny glory. there have been time thins past i appeared with no notice because something was desperately wrong. this is not one of those times.

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