tv Stephanie Ruhle Reports MSNBC February 3, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PST
i'm chris jansing if for stephanie ruhle. it is thursday, february 3rd. brand-new satellite images reveal vladimir putin expanding his military presence on the ukrainian border. this move coming hours after president biden announced thousands of u.s. troops would be moved into the region. plus, later this hour, president biden heads to the big
apple to try to calm the nation over a dramatic raise in violent crime with renewed conversations about federal strike forces to help stop the flow of illegal guns. and thousands waking up frozen and without power this morning. a massive 2,200-mile storm on the move continuing to dump snow and ice across nearly half of the country. we begin the breaking news. president biden set to speak in less than 30 minutes. the focus, a successful counterterrorism mission in syria that left the leader of isis dead. this is a picture showing the president and vice president as they watched that operation unfold. and president biden on twitter this morning confirming that u.s. forces removed. him from the battlefield during a risky predawn raid. the u.s. had killed several al queda leaders in the region in recent months but this latest target is being seen as
significant blow to isis. first responders on the ground at least 13 people were killed including 6 children. officials say the deaths were caused by the isis leader when he blew himself up. we're covering all angles of this breaking story. keir simmons in london, peter alexander at the white house. peter, what more are we learning about this early morning mission? >> reporter: the details are still emerging, but we have many witnesses to talk about hearing hemters, hearing a clash between the u.s. special forces and fighters on the ground, hearing an explosion. we do know now that a helicopter was blown up on the ground after it suffered some kind of a technical fault. so an operation that lasted, according to witnesses, around two hours. we have been able to reach a man who says he owns the house that appears to have been targeted. he says that a number of families were living in the
house including a widow and her child on one of those floors. as you mentioned, in terms of casualties, there was an organization called the syrian observatory based here in the uk. it is saying that 13 people according to it says good sources, 13 people have been killed, including 4 children and 3 women. as you mentioned, u.s. officials suggesting that the isis leader blew himself up, causing those casualties. so there is still detail yet to emerge, chris, but we are getting quite a picture of this operation overnight. >> peter, this target that we knew a lot about, what are we expecting to hear from the president in, well, maybe less than 30 minutes? >> reporter: we expect to hear from the president and i think he'll detail this in terms of it being a success for the u.s. effort to try to further degrade isis. this was the successor to akbar baghdadi, the isis leader who
killed himself in a not too dissimilar raid that took place back in 2019. the president, i expect, will note that no americans were hurt in this operation and will acknowledge there were civilians who were killed here but will surely say, as the white house and officials here have told us now today, that that was due to this terrorist blowing himself up in the action that took place overnight. president biden as you know has been working to try to stabilize that region after his predecessor, donald trump, had removed u.s. troops from syria there. these types of operations, chris, as you know well, they don't just happen overnight. so i think we may get more details in the next couple hours about whether there were weeks or even months of planning for the operation that took place here. the president certainly would have been briefed in advance of it and hopefully it would have been his order for them to pursue this effort. it is worth noting that this individual whose given name was haji abdullah but referred to as
al quraishi that he was in charge of isis across iraq and in syria. so i think there will be a lot of questions about exactly how much power, how much influence he had, whether or not there were other individuals in the building with him at the time of today's raid. and all of it we expect to hear from the president in more detail coming up within the next 30 minutes. >> of course we will have that for everyone live. thank you so much, peter alexander, keir simmons. now to the escalating tensions in russia, the kremlin accusing president biden of igniting tensions and taking, quoting here, a destructive step, referring to the decision to deploy an additional 3,000 troops to eastern europe. within the next few days, 2,000 troops from ft. bragg will head to poland and germany, 1,000 troops already in germany will move to romania, which borders ukraine to the southwest.
back in washington, members of congress will be briefed on the latest developments by the president's national security team. it comes as russia continues to build up forces on the ukrainian border even within the last few days. the held of nato said significant numbers of russian troops have been moving into belarus and may soon top 30,000, the biggest russian deployment there in 30 years. nbc's matt bodner is in moscow, calipari at ft. bragg and retired four-star general barry mccaffrey. good to have you all here. tell me about these soldiers and their mission at ft. bragg. >> reporter: i was talking to one of the public affairs officers this morning and he was telling me in many ways this is sort of normal pace of operations here at ft. bragg, especially looking at the units that have been selected for these deployments. the 18th airborne corps, which includes the 82nd airborne, will be sending 300 members as you said to germany. that is an h.q. support mission.
the 2nd airborne will be sending some 1,700 service members into poland. both units advertised this is what they are about. the 82nd airborne says it can be ready to go in 18 hours. that 18th airborne corps calling itself the contingency corps for america. these are troops that are deployed frequently on things like this. in fact, some of these elements were deployed to help with the evacuation in afghanistan. so they are ready to go at a moment's notice. what is not normal is why they are going. this is a unilateral move between germany, poland, and the united states. these are troops that are here to bolster our allies not to of course fight ukraine. that is something that the pentagon is making clear. it is that russian buildup that has people concerned and people around the globe concerned. it is those circumstances that are not normal. as to the base itself, a place where a quarter of a million people live. this is sort of a daily course of business. >> thank you for that, cal. general, it's worth reiterating the biden administration says we're not going into ukraine.
these are not combat operations. so, explain what is happening here militarily and anything you might bring to this whole idea according to vladimir putin that this is doing nothing but igniting tensions. >> we're in a tricky situation, obviously. we have publicly said we're not going to fight for ukraine. they are a non-nato, non-european union nation, but we have a 30-nation alliance in nato, which expanded in europe as you know. many of these states are enormously vulnerable to russian intimidation. the bawl stick states in particular, poland, and other nations, romania in particular. so what you're seeing is a political statement by president biden and secretary austin saying we will, without question, support our article 5 nato responsibilities. but nato is in disarray.
the germans are essentially disarmed for all practical purposes and are unwilling to confront the russians over ukraine in any significant way. so it's a problem we don't want to see a massive russian invasion of the -- coming up in a few weeks. >> matt, what's the reaction in moscow? what are they saying about the buildup in belarus? >> reporter: thank you, chris. we're seeing a very strong reaction to the u.s. move here at moscow today. let's begin at the center, what dmitry peskov said this morning -- "it is absolutely obvious these are not steps aimed at de-escalating tension. on the contrary, these are steps that lead to an increase in tension. that is the only way to treat it." he also said that any measures takes to ensure its own security, its own interests, are now absolutely understandable and justifiable. but those are actually some of the tamer remarks.
i also want to flag some comments from the deputy chairman of the state duma's international affairs committee. he characterized it as destructive steps and says this exposes the united states and nato as the aggressors in this situation saying that this is an attempt to destabilize an already fragile negotiation process around the situation in ukraine and russia's security guarantees. but he's also saying that the united states is now pushing russia to the toughest possible response. all these guys of course are saying this as we continue to see what is clearly an unprecedented buildup in belarus, a nation that does border several nato members. they're talking right on past that when they do address it, it's of course just an exercise and what we do with our allies and on our territory is none of your business. chris? >> i'm not sure the comments by folks around the kremlin are any kind of surprise, but to that
point, do you think there are any circumstances under which you could see these u.s. troops being drawn into a conflict? is there a danger of that? >> no. i'm confident that there will be no nato ground combat forces that would fight the russians in the ukraine. i think poor mr. putin put himself in a terrible box. he's got 16 battalion combat teams that in my judgment could seize most of ukraine in probably under 90 days. ukrainians are going to fight. it's going to be a massive disaster for him if he does. so we should expect, i believe, in the coming weeks some form of military intervention using covert forces, manufactured uprisings among russian-speaking citizens, but putin has personally committed himself for mother russia to bring two-thirds of the ukraine back into the fold. sooner or later he's going to take a serious shot at it.
but it may not will right now something that he can tolerate. the casualties, the political impact, the economic sacrifices they'll have to make don't make it a logical move. >> so, erin, you've been talking with people in ukraine, the area around belarus. are they ready for a fight? >> reporter: well, chris, ukrainians that live near the board we are belarus that i was speaking to say that war is unfathomable. they point to the fact they have relatives who live in belarus, relatives who live in russia, that they cross this border every single day. war is unthinkable to them. but at the very same time, some 30,000 russian troops are expected to be assembled in nearby belarus just miles away, and ukrainian military in that region, according to experts is vulnerable. keep in mind, the military to this point has been trained on the conflict to the east.
i was at the border cross section there yesterday speaking to a border guard and she's telling me she has been ordered if she sees anything, to call the ukrainian military, call for backup. i was speaking to truck drivers who were stopped at the border crossing, one russian truck driver telling me he is concerned about war. take a listen to what he had to say. >> translator: i think this is pointless. we don't need this. we're just friends and we have to remain friends. that's it. otherwise, a lot of young people will just die. >> reporter: are you afraid? >> translator: no, i'm not afraid. why should i be afraid? russian people aren't afraid of anything. >> reporter: and what that russian truck driver says matters according to experts i've been talking to. public opinion, sentiment in russia and ukraine will be a
factor in the kremlin's calculus, chris. >> erin mclaughlin, matt bodner, calipari, general mccaffrey, thank you. i want to bring in california democratic congresswoman sara jacobs who just got back from kyiv and is member of the senate armed services committee. good morning. i want your reaction to the syria and have counterterrorism mission. have you been breeched? >> i am looking forward to the briefing we'll be getting from the white house as is constitutionally mandated and in hearing president biden speak. i think it's always good when you take an isis commander off the battlefield and clearly this was someone who caused a lot of harm and damage. i will be looking in my briefings to get answers on the civilian casualties that we are seeing reports of. and i also think we need to look at our counterterrorism strategy more broadly and understand that for 20 years we've been taking commanders off the battlefield
and yet we're still seeing this threat continue to grow. and so how do we make sure that our counterterrorism strategy is effective? and a big part of that i think is making sure we are doing everything we can to protect civilians. >> meantime, we have this escalating situation with russia and ukraine. what's your reaction to the president's decision to send more troops to eastern europe? what are the questions you have when you get briefed later today? >> i think president biden is making the right decision to send more of our troops to our nato allies in the east, to poland, to romania. i think it's incredibly important that he has continued to say that we are not sending american troops to ukraine. and when i was in ukraine, i can tell you the ukrainian government told us they do not want american troops. the ukrainian people are ready to fight. they are ready to stand up for their democracy and freedoms and just need us to give them a little support to help them do that. but we do have a treaty alliance with our nato allies, and i
think it's important that putin sees that, one, there will be severe consequences if he does decide to invade ukraine, and two, we stand unite wld our nato allies and there's a fundamental difference between nato and non-nato allies and we will respond if he attacks non-nato allies. >> you are part of a commission ta that focuses on nonmilitary tools and end the broad base of sanctions. what do you think? what tools would change putin's behavior? >> i think we need a two-prongd approach, which is exactly what the biden administration is doing, one, to work with our partners and allies in europe and around the world to make sure that putin understands the real severe consequences if he does decide to invade while having a very robust diplomatic strategy to try and get to a de-escalation, to try to get to a resolution of this crisis. so what i'll be asking the
administration and continue to push on is are we doing everything possible on the diplomatic front to try and make sure that this doesn't end up getting to war. >> congresswoman sara jacobs, thank you so much. we'll be very curious to hear what you learn at that briefing today. we appreciate your time this morning. also happening now, very dangerous weather situation that's unfolding across the country, a wicked winter storm unleashing a nasty spell of snow, ice, and brutally frigid temperatures over a 2,200-mile stretch across 20 states. it's impageanting more than 100 million people from new mexico to new england. the situation is so bad in oklahoma the governor has deployed the national guard. meanwhile, just to the south of there, 45,000 texans are waking up without power this morning, the storm still impacting air travel at this hour. more than 3,900 flights have been cancelled this morning. let's go to nbc's shaquille brewster in detroit where residents are getting hit for a
second straight day. well, shaq, you have become our cold-weather reporter, whether the subject is weather or not. how are things looking there? >> reporter: reluctantly. no. things are looking not too bad. one thing that we heard in the days leading up to the storm in detroit especially is that they were going to be facing these record snowfall totals. that didn't come about. you did have more than 24 hours of rain and snow here in the detroit area. and you see the scene behind me. you see dogs enjoying some of the snow and some of the precipitation down here. but they didn't get that record. that's a sigh of relief for many people. the concerns are the cold temperatures, especially this the midwest area, as folks try to dig out from all this snow. you know, some areas saw upwards of a foot of snow, but now you look further south and you were mentioning ice, texas. we saw that deep freeze, of course, almost a year after we saw the deep freeze lead to
power outages and over 200 deaths in the area. so that is a source of concern. but you look at states like kentucky, oklahoma, tennessee, states you normally don't think about in terms of ice. they're facing up to a half inch of ice. those could be severe and damaging and dangerous for folks in that area. so this is a massive storm making its way east. we know fedex announced there will be nationwide shipping delays because it's impacting some of their major hubs. we know walmart, i checked the update on their map, they're closing nearly 100 stores. if you yao look at where the map of where the store closures are happening it almost mirror what is you're seeing with this radar. this storm is impacting so many people, again, more than 100 million americans being impacted by the same storm system. >> you make a great point. when you live someplace like new york city we're used it to, but place where is they're not and may not have the equipment or experience to deal with it becomings another story all together.
thank you so much, shaquille brewster. we are waiting for remarks from president biden on that isis strike in syria. also coming up, crime is up big time in cities across the country, including here in new york, which just saw a 38% jump in overall crime in january alone. later this morning president biden will head here to talk gun crime just weeks after two nypd officers died in the line of duty. what's being done to address the crime surge? next. address the crime surge? crime surge? next 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. what happens when we welcome change?
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later this hour, president biden will depart for new york city to promote his anti-gun violence and anti-crime agendas. he'll also meet with new mayor eric adams and the state's governor, kathy hochul. the trip comes after an off-duty police officer was shot tuesday night in queens adding to the rising number of police shootings in the city. in january alone, 25 police officers were shot nation wild,
5 of them in new york city, including 2 officers who did not survive. that's not the only rise in violence. the nypd's latest data shows the struggle many big cities are facing. new york city crime up 38% overall this year with shootings up 32%. transit crime up 70% and car thefts a staggering 93% higher. i want to bring in nbc's gabe gutierrez, who is covering this story for us, and brill gratton, former nypd police commissioner and police chief. he's also executive chairman of teneo risk and author of "the profession: a memoir of community, race, and the arpt of policing in america." gabe, start with this set of crime statistics. we see crime spiking all across america. it's a tricky political situation. what are we expecting to see today? >> certainly, chris. president biden expected in new york today as we know. a lot of the issues they'll be addressing, he previously
addressed in the white house, cracking down on so-called ghost guns, setting a side more money for crime prevention programs. he also sat down this week with new york city mayor eric adams. and he says that he's rolling out a new blueprint to combat gun violence, which includes using more facial recognition technology to identify suspects and also deploying more cops on the street. i asked him, though, what he felt about progressive calls for police reform and whether they were heading in the right direction. take a listen to what he had to say. does defunding the police work? >> no, it does not, and it's the wrong bumper sticker. public safety is not a bumper sticker. we need to do an analysis of our police agencies, look and see how many people are doing nonlaw enforcement jobs. i have too many police officers doing clerical duties. if you're inside, i need to know why. i need you to put on a
bulletproof vest and protect the people. >> more of my conversation coming up on "nbc nightly news." another controversial topic is this issue of bail reform and so many critics, including police unions, are saying that is part of the reason why so many criminals remain on the streets and they attribute some of this crime linked to that. >> a lot of questions i have for you, commissioner bratton, we heard about this analysis of agencies. can i go back to the core? these numbers that we just talked about are so disturbing. how did we get here? do you think these are covid related? why are we seeing this huge spike in crime all across america? >> the influence of covid is impacting the court systems where many courts were not functioning during covid. case in point, new york city, over 5,000 people arrested for gun crimes in 2021, fewer than 100 trials in 2021.
5,000 people walking the streets of new york who committed crime, many, violent crime, and basically the district attorneys and courts have not been effective in keeping up with the arrests the nypd is making. covid does have an impact, but the biggest impact is political. political leadership in this state, in particular california and elsewhere, has really disrupted the criminal justice system and reduced crime for 25 straight years in this country starting in 2019. disruptions to such an extent, we see the crime rates we just reported. those crime rates are not going down anytime soon. i'm sorry there's been such a nation of police, demoralization of police, a diminishing in police in terms of their numbers that they are not effective because they're not being supported by political leadership and the laws, the district attorneys, and the prosecution. it's a sad reality and won't change anytime soon. >> as you know, mayor adams mims a former nypd officer, released
his controversial blueprint to end gun violence. i know you support the mayor, you support the plan. critics, some at least say it falls short. others push back to controversial policies like nonuniform police units. so, explain what's in this plan that you think will work and why? >> well, the mayor is up against what you just talked about, the controversy. the governor, leadership, have indicated they don't support reforming bill reform. bill reform in many respects is what the problem is in new york city. the other day in brooklyn, two young men in a busy shopping mall engaged in a gun battle. one of the two had been released with no bail after being arrested with two guns several days before. the other was a juvenile, had the laws just recently changed in new york, because he was under 18, he goes to family court, not criminal court. there is an example of the failure of the political system here and bill reform efforts
that are handicapping the police. nothing is happening to people being arrested for crime. the only way to solve this problem is to start effectively, meaningfully, punish those committing these shootings. there's not political will to do that. i applaud eric adams because he is a to voice in the wilderness at the moment. some of his efforts will put a lot of cops into the 30 toughest precincts in new york, which are all minority precincts, black and brown. as they get aggressive we'll hear the old concern once again about the disproportionate impact on the minority community in new york city. so i applaud him because he's willing to take on this challenge. he's in an uphill struggle. again, i'm going to do anything i can to support him. boy, has he got a lot of resistance in this state so what he's trying to do for the progressive left. i'm happy to see the president
starting to weigh in. hopefully he'll come to center because by and large the national government has been to the left on these issues. >> let me take it on a policy tack for a second. people are on edge. we've watched two funerals of police officers here in new york city over just the last several days. i was going to catch the subway yesterday and a friend of mine literally grabbed me and pulled me back because she thought i was too close to the edge. we've had some situation with people being pushed off subway platforms. people are scared. what messaging needs to come from leaders? and what can the president say today that would you think help people feel safe and understand that policy is moving in the right direction? >> there's more palpable real fear in new york city about crime, the fear of crime, than any time from the 1990s.
the new york turnaround in crime began in the subways in 1990. it is back to where it was where people are fearful about going into the subway. with crime up 70% in the subways as we're pushing to get people back to work, you think they want to go to the subways where last year alone they had over two dozen pushing incidents with people being shoved in front of trains? no. what has to happen is our political leadership will have to find common ground, common sense, common ground where we effectively restore our criminal justice system to where it punishes those who are committing egregious offenses and we start listening to the public fear of crime. and here's the dilemma. because people are still voting into office the legislators who are basically screwing this up, who are messing it up dramatically. new york was the statest it ever was in 2018, the safest it will was. next year they passed the so-called criminal justice reforms and since that time
crime has gone through the roof and will continue because they have already told eric adams they're not willing to support the reform he is understands are so desperately needed. it will be interesting to watch the president and eric today and see what they come up with. i can guarantee the progressive left is going to attack it as soon as they come out with whatever they say they are planning to do. >> trying to strike that balance. commissioner bill bratton, gabe gutierrez, thanks so both of you. still ahead, the army immediately moving to discharge soldiers who refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine. and a rare interview with the founders of biontech where the pfizer vaccine was created in germany. don't go anywhere. t go anywhere. nurtec is the first and only option proven to treat and prevent migraines with one medication. onederful. one quick dissolve tablet can start fast and last. don't take if allergic to nurtec. the most common side effects were nausea, stomach pain, and indigestion.
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at the same time, defense secretary lloyd austin has informed seven republican governors their state's national guard members must be vaccinated against covid-19 amid an ongoing dispute between gop leaders and the pentagon over that mandate. pentagon press secretary john kirby responding right here on msnbc. >> we are rock solid and convinced that the secretary has the legal authority to mandate these vaccines, mandatory vaccines are not new in the military. we've been doing it since george washington at valley forge. this mandate is absolutely solid in terms of our authorities and we'll continue to pursue a mandatory vaccine regimen for the rest of the force. >> meantime, on capitol hill, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell is calling for an end to the covid-19 state of emergency. >> it's time we accept that covid is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives. it's time for state of emergency to wind down.
>> joining us now, nbc's molly hunter in london and a doctor at the hospital for center security. molly, you just got back from a rare interview with the two founders of biontech in germany of course where the pfizer/biontech vaccine was created. what's the headline? >> reporter: hey, chris. that's right. look, first, pretty incredible to meet them. it was an opportunity to say thank you. but we had a couple big questions going in. we asked them of course about the pending fda approval for those two doses for kids. they said they were excited about the two doses and definitely need a third dose coming down the pipeline for that more complete coverage just like the adult dosage. we also asked them, chris, about variant-specific vaccines. we asked them how quickly they could actually turn a new vaccine around after the detection of the new variant. take a listen. >> i think we understand how this virus operates.
we will see in the future escape variants and be really able to adapt our vaccine. what is important is that vaccinated people are protected against severe disease. >> how quickly do you think you'll be able to turn it around? >> it really depends on the regulatory authority to be defined. technically, we are able to do this within three months, and whatever authorities want to see on top in terms of clinical data, for example, needs that extra time. and so it's not under our control exactly how -- >> and three months is the time so it could be much shorter. >> chris, magic time is what
they said. these are two people who have been very good at doing things in record time over the last two years, of course. i asked him if even for omicron, if three months would be too late for much of the world, and he said even though many countries have had their omicron peak, 50% to 60% of the world will be omicron negative by the possible authorization of this variant vaccine in april. he also said people who got omicron infections early would also benefit from this. basically, the speed that these two scientists are working is unbelievably good news for all of us as we look forward to getting back to the office and back to some sort of normalcy. >> i think a lot of us continue to be in awe of how quickly we were able to respond with vaccines and, you know, we're seeing it here. but i also do think that the question gets raised about the time line. omicron just moved so quickly, certainly through the united states. yes, there are lots of parts of the world where maybe it hasn't hit yet or those parts of the world where they've started
vaccinating. i don't know. is this something in the long run we'll be able to keep up with? >> i think we have to think about what the optimal vaccine policy is going to be. is this going to be something where we update strain changes the way we do with flu or something where we're satisfied with protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death? i think that's sort of going to dictate what we do. but when you're trying to guess what strains are going to be coming up, just like with flu, it's a guessing game and you'll always be in a reactive stance, not proactive. that's why i think the better solution might be universal coronavirus vaccines, one that targets parts of the virus that don't mu tatd, not just for sars 2, but there are companies working on this and they are moving into clinical trials. hopefully a universal coronavirus will be the way we tackle this problem and don't have to get into this game of guessing. >> the numbers are still quite staggering here in the u.s. the average daily death toll is
more than 2,600, higher than last fall's peak. deaths overall up 36% from two weeks ago. and to put it in some context looking at european country, other wealthy countcountries, i higher than it is there. yet there are people continuing to say, and we heard this yesterday from mitch mcconnell, it's time just to move on. i know we've talked about this before, but do we have to get past this? have we given up trying to get past it? what's your view on where we are and how we should be looking at this right now? >> it's a very difficult situation because what we're seeing with the high death tolls is they're all self-inflicted, primarily people who have not been vaccinated, who've chosen to put themselves at risk and compromise hospitals' capacity. that's different from someone fully vaccinated or boosted where covid-19 is a much more manageable infection, one that's not going to land them in the hospital or cause them to call
the doctor. i think we have to think about how we transition to treating covid-19 like other respiratory viruses. the key thing, though, is we still have these hospitals that are worried about capacity and we still have too high of a death toll for this to be truly thought of as an endemic disease. i think we'll get there as we get more tools like paxlovid from pfizer, more monoclonal antibodies, more rapid tests. we are transitioning. maybe after this omicron surge we will be at that point. the key thing is to not forget there are hospitals that are still struggling with patients, that are unvaccinated, and there's the biggest challenge that we have to putting this completely behind us. but i do think we have to think about a sustainable approach where we're not in a continual state of emergency. >> doctor and molly hunter, thanks to both of you. up next, the national archives saying the january 6th committee will get documents from former vice president pence within the next month. what we know about these documents so far. plus a new report that says former president trump
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that's how healthier happens together with cvs. to the latest on the january 6th committee, new numbers show the scope. members have heard from more than 475 witnesses. that includes the founder of the oath keepers, stewart rhodes, who testified for six hours yesterday, and former doj official jeffrey clark, who finally spoke to the committee wednesday after putting it off for months. in addition, the committee has collected more than 60,000 pages of records, including hundreds that donald trump tried to keep hidden, and they'll get more soon. the national archives has informed trump they will hand over records from former vice president mike pence next month, records trump also tried to hide. i want to bring in ali vitali on
capitol hill, nicolus l aushgs congressional reporter at politico. great to have both of you here. ali, stewart rhodes and what he told the committee and what he didn't. >> reporter: temping for about six hours yesterday virtually. we already know that the doj is prosecuting him for seditious conspiracy. instead of talking about the oath keepers in the time around november and december of 2020 as well as on january 6th, instead his attorney told us he spoke about the oath keepers' history and the way it typically worked but not those moments that could poe bls incriminate him. >> let's talk about jeffrey clark, why he's important. >> chris, he's one of the doj officials in touch with president trump at the time after the 2020 election and also one of the doj officials who wanted to pursue urn founded claims of election fraud after
the 2020 race was called. he's someone who the committee previously voted to hold in contempt because he wasn't cooperating with their subpoena. he came back to the table, he is cooperating. now based on the roughly two hours of testimony he gave yesterday, we'll see whether or not the committee decides to refer that contempt referral to the full house floor or if he complied sufficiently that they feel they got what they need from him. >> nicholas, a big question in front of the committee, whether to invite mike pence himself to testify. what do we know about where they are on that? >> the committee indicated they're still trying to make that happen. they would like to hear from him at some point, but a formal invitation has not been made. the interesting thing is even if they're not able to secure pence's testimony, they've been able to talk to other folks about his orbit, his counsel, chief of staff, national security adviser. we've seen them take this
approach before with other figures in their investigation. this could yield fruit for them. >> we're also learning the committee has been pushing into really fascinating new areas. you specifically have been reporting on this, the alternate slates of electors that were going to be sent to the electoral college. we have video of one of those the groups of people falsely claiming so. what can you tell us about all of this. >> the committee, as you know, subpoenaed several of these folks last week and they're trying to move forward with the investigation. we learned yesterday that the committee actually subpoenaed the phone records of kelly ward and michael, two of the people who signed those documents because they were trying to file a lawsuit to block it. that's how this all came out. it goes to show that we have this whole public investigation into what's going on here, the committee's public subpoenas,
the request for information and the like. we have a lot going on under the surface where they're quietly subpoenaing phone records. whether or not they'll cooperate remains to be seen. the wisconsin republicans said they would maybe cooperate there but insisted what they were doing was on the advice of counsel. that begs the question who is this counsel. >> meantime, last question for you, al li, the committee invited ivanka trump. >> key word, invited. this was not a subpoena. it was a request of the former president's daughter and top white house adviser to come and speak with the committee. they suggested in their lengthy letter it should be today, maybe tomorrow, maybe even next week. they put a few dates out there. as far as we know, she will not be appearing today. at the same time though that could change if we see her walk into the building.
chairman benny thompson said yesterday they're still hoping to speak with her. she's one of the key people who was speaking with trump on january 6th, allegedly trying to get him to do more to call off what was happening here at the capitol. the committee, of course, very interested in hearing who she was talking to, what she was saying and more insight into what was going on in the white house on january 6th itself. back to our breaking news. president biden set to speak any moment now about the successful u.s. counterterrorism mission in syria taking place early this morning, leaving the leader of isis dead. with me msnbc security analyst jeremy bash and retired four-star army general barry mccaffrey. jeremy, how do you view the specifics of this strike and what are the potential implications moving forward? >> chris, i think this is a major victory for the united states, for the biden administration, taking out the leadership of isis which was hold up there in that
northwestern part of syria. this is significant because it showed the united states was willing not just to conduct air strikes against isis, but also take a huge risk and put special operations forces on the ground. going after this senior isis leader. it paid off big time because the isis leader blew himself up, took himself off the battlefield. this is a major win against isis. i think it showcases that the united states is not afraid to use the military power of the united states. this comes against the backdrop of a week in which we're deploying forces to europe, and this also sends an important message to vladimir putin, chris. >> i keep seeing this general as a very risky raid in the pre dawn hours, any situation like this is risky, but tell us a little bit, give us some inside baseball about just how complex pulling off an operation like this successfully is for the u.s. military.
>> obviously syria is a hot mess and has been. 600,000 killed primarily by assad's forces and the russians. the u.s. had vital national security risk in the area. isis has made a resurgence, both in syria and iraq. as jeremy correctly points out, we just nailed their senior leadership again to try to keep them off base. these are very complex dangerous operations. the special forces that went in were probably from jsoc. the 160th aviation regimen, special ops helicopter unit which is the one that flew the missions. astonishing the amount of good intelligence and these highly trained special operations forces can do for us. but it is incredibly tricky. it's hard to even get a score
card on who is up there, al qaeda, a break-off element of al qaeda, isis forces, our kurdish allies. there was a huge battle over a prison with a couple thousand isis fighters in there. hundreds were killed when isis tried to spring them. it's an ongoing problem. thank god it was carried out successfully. >> jeremy, i think the general just laid out very well the complexities of the situation. look, there's an obvious message from the u.s. government, as you continue to replace your leadership, we will find you, we will hunt you down and we will get you. without trying to sound overly simplistic, how deep is the bench? will this be another situation where, yes, we got the leader of isis but very soon someone else will move in with the same operational understanding capabilities to direct these isis fighters? >> i think general mccaffrey put it right. we're trying to decapitate the
leadership, impose costs on them, make it hard for them to regenerate, communicate and plan operationally any attacks against u.s. forces in the region and deter them and prevent them from conducting operations, external operations against the u.s. homeland. these counterterrorism strikes are a key pillar in our overall counterterrorism strategy. in an ungoverned space, the place where these isis leaders are hiding out, it's not like we can rely on a host area to arrest people or bring them to justice. we have to take matters in our own hands, fusing intelligence with our kinetic activity, whether it's air strikes or personnel on the ground. again, this is a risky decision by the president, one that paid off today. >> carol lee, in our last minute or so, are you getting any indications from your sources at the white house what we're expecting to hear from the president? >> reporter: i think you'll get an indication based on the
statement he released. the president said this is an operation that he directed in northwest syria. he thanked u.s. forces for this being successful and officials said that this is something that had been very complex, in the works for a while and took a lot of care guf en that there was a number of civilians in that structure. they're also saying that the target had blown himself up on the third floor while u.s. forces were there, and that caused a number of casualties. so we're likely to hear some of that from the president who is expected to speak at any moment. >> let's see how much detail we get. carol lee, jeremy bash, general barry mccaffrey, thank you. i'm chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. don't go anywhere, white house communications director kate bedingfield will be on with
craig melvin this morning. jose diaz-balart will pick up the breaking news coverage right now. >> good morning, i'm jose diaz ballard on a very busy thursday. we're minutes away from listening to the president of the united states on this attack against the leader of isis in syria overnight. it is, as you can see there, the white house. it is a very important attack on a leader of isis that had really taken the reigns of isis since october of 2019 whel al baghdadi was taken out by the united states also in syria. as i say, president biden will be speaking to the nation about this raid that took out the leader of isis. it took place in northwest syria near the border with turkey. there were no u.s. casualties.