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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  February 6, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PST

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>> we're in the window where something that could had an is a military invasion. an escalation in ukraine could happen at any time. we believe the russians have put in place the capabilities to mount a significant military operation into ukraine and we have been working hard to prepare a response. >> meantime, back in washington, new reaction from senator joe manchin as democrats fight to resurrect parts of president biden's build back better act. he says it's not his top priority. >> the build back better has been presented, uh, over, what, the last seven, nine months. that bill no longer will exist, okay? should there be parts of it, do you want to talk about different things, i think the president said there might be different parts, this and that. my biggest concern and my biggest opposition, it did not go through the process. we've had a conversation. we really didn't get into that because right now our main concern is to get a budget.
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and new today, former vice president mike pence's chief of staff is speaking out after the vp called donald trump wrong. marc short on nbc's "meet the press" says pence was crystal clear from day one that he did not have the authority to overturn the election. >> he had gotten legal advice that said, you can't decide which electoral votes are yes or no but you could adjourn this session and delay things, had he gotten legal advice to do that, was the vice president considering it? >> no, chuck. i think unfortunately the president had many bad advisers who were basically snake oil salesmen, giving him really random and novel ideas as to what the vice president could do. but our office researched that and recognized -- >> are you chalking this up to bad advisers or was it the former president? >> i can't answer that question. i think he did get bad advice. the vice president counseled the
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president from the very beginning that "i don't think i have that authority." nbc correspondents are standing by to delve deeper into the day's headlines. nbc's josh lederman is with the president in wilmington. josh, the white house says a military escalation of ukraine could happen any time. how does the u.s. respond to that? >> reporter: alex, you hear the u.s. really parsing their language, talking about how this could happen at any time but avoiding some of the terms like "inevitable" or "impending" that we heard from the white house a few weeks ago that really freaked out the ukrainians who are trying to avoid a sense of panic in ukraine. so instead you have the u.s. trying to lay out in pretty remarkable, vivid detail exactly what this russian military buildup looks like. and the fact that russia, if it wanted to invade pretty much all of ukraine, is almost at the point where they would have the
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ability to do that. with a new intelligence assessment obtained by our colleague at the pentagon, courtney kube, saying russia has about 110,000 troops near their border with ukraine, another 30,000 troops in neighboring belarus. and predicting that in just the first few weeks of a large scale russian invasion, you could see up to 50,000 civilians dead from that military action. now, the u.s. is not saying that this is a fait accompli. they are still trying to leave out some small, narrow window of diplomacy here. and that was the message that jake sullivan, the president's national security adviser, trying to hammer home when he spoke on "meet the press" just a bit ago. take a listen. >> we are prepared to sit down with the russians alongside our allies in nato and other partners in europe to talk about issues of mutual concern in european security. but what we're not prepared to negotiate are the fundamental principles of security that
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include an open door to nato for countries who can meet the requirements. >> reporter: the reality, though, is, alex, that these diplomatic talks have really yielded very little of substance in the past few weeks, russia and the u.s. trading papers back and forth outlining their positions. security experts that i talk to say they don't believe russia is trying to get to a good faith agreement with the u.s. about these issues. they believe some of that diplomatic talk, while they're leaving that as a possibility, is really about creating a diversion about what russia is doing with this military buildup. and the fact remains that president biden still insists that he's not going to put u.s. troops on the ground in ukraine, even these 3,000 additional u.s. troops that are now heading to eastern europe, they're going to shore up nato members, not ukraine.
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that really changes the game because what president putin is facing if he does invade is likely overwhelming sanctions but not u.s. troops fighting russians on the ground in ukraine. >> okay. let's hope it stays that way. thank you very much, josh lederman, for that. let's give you a closer look at what's happening on the ground along ukraine's borders. russian troops have surrounded the country. they are positioned in belarus, in russia, also in crimea, that's the shaded area to the south there. and these are the latest satellite images over belarus from maxar technologies. more than 30,000 russian troops are there, according to one u.s. assessment. today senator ben cardin warned that any invasion will come at a very high price for vladimir putin. >> there is a strong effort, bipartisan effort to give president biden the strongest possible hand to discourage and hopefully prevent putin from further incursions into ukraine. we hope to be able to show mr. putin that democrats and
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republicans in the senate and the house, and that the white house, are united, that if he does do further incursions into ukraine he'll pay a very, very heavy price, from the economic point of view and the isolation politically. >> nbc's erin mclaughlin joins me now from ukraine's capital, kyiv. erin, despite all the evidence we have of russian troops abounding around the borders, russia is accusing the u.s. of scaremongering. but for people in ukraine, this is quite ominous. >> reporter: oh, absolutely. and here in ukraine, folks are preparing for the worst. earlier today, i was at some military training for civilians, young and old, teenagers, men, women, coming out to learn how to use a weapon, learn how to administer lethal -- administer medical aid, also learning how to evacuate the wounded.
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it was startling to see ordinary civilians preparing in this way. gun sales across this country, permits for guns, have skyrocketed. they're preparing cold war nuclear bunkers across kyiv. we spoke to one man who is charged with preparing the bunchebunch bunkers in his area. >> translator: i can't believe this is happening. i have many friends in russia and i think many russian people are friendly towards ukrainian people. unfortunately some politicians are forcing our people to suffer. it's very insulting. >> reporter: according to one poll, half responded, saying they were willing to participate in some form of resistance. one way or another, in the event of a russian invasion. and i was speaking to the country's former defense minister, and he was saying that
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that is a factor in all of this. he says he does not believe, given the level of resistance, that putin would meet here in ukraine, he does not believe 150,000 russian troops would be enough to hold a large part of this country or to hold even kyiv. and he said that that is definitely a factor in all of this. he's also pointing to february 20th as a key date to look at. that is the day that the russian military exercises taking place in belarus are set to end. they will be looking very closely here in kyiv to see what the russian forces do next. >> okay. that is two weeks from today. so we'll keep an eye on that as well, with your help, erin mclaughlin, thank you very much. let's go now to capitol hill where a rift is growing within the gop. at the republican national committee's winter meeting, an overwhelming majority of members voted to censure representatives liz cheney and adam kinzinger largely for their work on the house january 6th committee. the measure says the lawmakers
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are, quote, participating in democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in, these are the keywords, legitimate political discourse. nbc news senior national political reporter sahil kapur is on the hill for us. those last three words are the ones many people are taking issue with. does that include some republicans? is anybody speaking up in reaction to this move? >> reporter: yes, they are, alex. so far the republican reaction to that resolution has been sharply divided, both on the censure of cheney and kinzinger as well as that language you just mentioned that they used to characterize the january 6th attack on the capitol. former president trump himself heaped praise on that censure resolution, calling cheney and kinzinger "horrible rinos," his
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name for republicans in name only. what's getting the most pushback, the strongest pushback from republicans, the rnc calling january 6th legitimate political discourse. that's coming from some unusual suspects. one of them is don young, a long-serving republican from the red state of alaska. he put up a statement, he said, we must not legitimize those actions which resulted in loss of life. we must learn from that horrible event so history does not repeat itself, unquote. his colleague, senator lisa murkowski of alaska, also spoke out against this. that's her statement, her tweet, on the screen. she said, january 6th was an effort to overturn a lawful election resulting in violence and destruction at the capitol. she also said, we must not legitimize those actions which resulted in loss of life. murkowski is taking a political risk by speaking out here because she is up for reelection this year in the ruby red state of alaska.
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why is she speaking out? she talked a little bit about this here. i want to say some of which what she had to say. >> it can be uncomfortable when you say i'm not going to align myself neatly with what the party is saying just because the party is saying it. so when there is a conflict, when the party is taking an approach or saying things that i think are just absolutely wrong, i think it's my responsibility as an alaskan senator, speaking out for alaskans, to just speak the truth. >> reporter: now, some may call that position courageous politically but the fact is it's a minority view among republicans. the silent majority of republican lawmakers on capitol hill are often appalled by things that former president trump says but they prefer to stay quiet for fear of inciting his criticism and inciting the voters of his who they worry might turn against them in their next election if they openly
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speak out and criticize him and those in the party who are doing his bidding, alex. >> yep. okay. sahil kapur, thank you so much, from capitol hill. let's go from there to buckingham palace where the royal family is making headlines today. 95-year-old queen elizabeth ii has become the first ever british monarch to celebrate her platinum jubilee. that marks 70 years on the throne. she began her reign on this very day in 1952 at the age of 25. the queen marked the celebration with a box of cards and letters including one from president biden and she also made a surprising announcement about her daughter-in-law camilla. let's go to nbc's molly hunter who is standing by outside buckingham palace for us. molly, welcome to you. what can you tell us about this, what did she say? >> reporter: alex, that's right, she's using the moment, the day of her 70-year anniversary, the platinum jubilee, as you mentioned, absolutely extraordinary, to actually put the focus on the next king and queen. i want to show you a bit of an
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excerpt from a letter she put out last night. the queen herself writes, in the fullness of time, my son charles becomes king, i know you will give him and his wife camilla the same support that you have given me and it is my sincere wish that, when the time comes, camilla will be known as queen consort as she continues her loyal service. the first takeaway, a reminder to the british people that remember son charles will become king one day, and they should support him and they should also support his wife of 17 years, camilla, who will now be called queen when charles becomes king. of course only reigning monarchs can change titles. charles could have done this when he became king. but the fact that his mother has done it has been kind of a blessing, really making it even more powerful, taking the pressure off him as well. there is a statement from charles and camilla that we got as well, alex. take a look at this. we are deeply conscious of the honor represented by my mother's wish. as we have sought together to serve and support her majesty and the people of our
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communities, my darling wife has been my own steadfast support throughout. really a nod to his mother's wish to give him the kind of partnership that she enjoyed for so many years. alex, we have to say this comes at a complicated time for the royal family. take a quick listen to royal historian robert lacey. he puts it in a little bit of context. >> the british royal family is obviously a delicious, steaming broth of scandal and gossip and human interest. and they've made it worse by their behavior. but i think what i take away from it, the nugget i take out of the broth, is the queen, the fact that she's survived it all. this year focuses on her as a person. she'll be at the center of the balcony, whoever is or isn't there, up there, as a controversial relative. and let us for the moment celebrate this lady, all she's
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done for us in britain, all she's done to bring joy to the world, to represent britain to the world. >> reporter: absolutely a survivor, just an extraordinary 70 years. none of this is happening imminently, that's the other thing we took away from her statement, she released photos today, while she privately marks the 70 years, of her still working and still reigning. so she is not stepping back immediately. >> she's amazing, that's all you can say about her, she is still going, 95, going strong, bless that lady. thank you so much, molly hunter, from outside buckingham palace. up next for all of you, many challenges facing president biden. the one that may have the greatest impact on his popularity and the midterm fortunes of the democrats. midtm midtm fortunes of the democrats. with 465 fresh, clean, craveable pairings, find a you pick 2 for any mood. enjoy a $0 delivery fee for a limited time only.
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we believe there is a very distinct possibility that vladimir putin will order an attack on ukraine. it could happen as soon as
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tomorrow or it could take some weeks yet. he has put himself in a position with military deployments to be able to act aggressively against ukraine at any time now. >> on the heels of that right now, the u.s. and its allies have their eyes on russia as the tensions on the ukraine border are reaching a boiling point. as of today russia has put in place 70% of the combat power it would need for a full scale military invasion of ukraine. joining me now is peter baker, msnbc political analyst and chief white house correspondent for "the new york times." welcome, my friend. the ball certainly seems to be in putin's court. the world is literally waiting to see what he's going to do next. what kind of sense do you have from the white house about how the next few days are going to play out? >> well, i think that the white house feels that they have probably a little bit of time before any actual actions would take place, if for no other reason that putin is unlikely to want to upstage the beijing olympics and anger his friend xi
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jinping. we saw putin travel to beijing this week to stand next to xi jinping. i don't think he wants to do anything to sort of change that dynamic that he's got going. but that doesn't leave a lot of time. that's still going to be a number of days, about a week and a half way where we could see some sort of action. whether he's going to follow through on it, nobody really knows. the american intelligence agencies seem very, very certain that he is at least poised to do it, that it's a genuine option for him, that he's not just bluffing. but the ukrainians are telling us that the americans are overstating this, that we are overreacting to this and that we ought to stop inflaming the situation. so it's kind of an odd situation where we're somewhat at odds with the very country we're trying to help protect. in the end, of course, what putin wants, if he does invade, is still the question. he has increased the presence of nato in eastern europe near the russian borders by his actions. so what he's actually after at this point is still a mystery.
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>> it is so extraordinary, ukraine's response, in fact, because they are, to your point, the ones that have 130,000 troops surrounding them. it's as if they're putting those statements out so as not to inflame putin, which may indeed be diplomatically speaking what's behind all that. but you mentioned the olympics. and as a result of that meeting, china and russia, they're certainly forming a united front. they met in beijing in friday right around the opening ceremonies. where does this leave the biden administration and how concerned is the president about this budding partnership? >> reporter: well, look, this has been a perennial concern for americans and europeans going back decades, the idea that russia and china would forge a genuinely meaningful partnership. it was something talked about a lot when i was based in moscow 15, 17 years ago. but it's always been more of a fear than a reality, because in fact there are real structural reasons why russia and china don't end up becoming the partnership that we fear.
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for one thing, russia is nowhere near china when it comes to economic might, when it comes modernity, its ability to influence the economic patterns of the world. russia has a tiny economy by comparison. it doesn't want to be a junior partner with china. but there is a moment here where this could finally happen, when russia and china do become more of a partnership. that would be very troubling obviously to biden and very troubling to the europeans. china has a much more robust economic interest in europe these days than it used to, more of an ability to create trouble on the international front than it used to. it has a shared interest in the sense of a large power being able to intimidate or control a breakaway republic, in its case taiwan. >> you know what's interesting about this is the logic behind what putin will do if not invade. the fact is that the entire world is focusing on russia right now. we're not often doing that.
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we've been doing so for the last few weeks. vladimir putin is the center of conversation across many levels, diplomatically speaking, across many corners of europe and the west. might that actually be ultimately the goal here, if not to invade? almost like a power move, to assert himself? >> yeah, alex, i think you're exactly right, i think one of the things that putin has always wanted to do was make clear that russia as a great power, to reassert its, you know, influence and gravitas on the world stage. and right now he's got the world paying attention. that's what he wants. now, the problem of course is that if he doesn't really intend to invade, how does he back down and still maintain that position of strength that he sees himself asserting right now. that's the real question, is there something he can do that doesn't get himself in a full-fledged war but that justifies what he's done so far and basically continues this idea that russia is a power to
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be reckoned with. >> peter baker, drawing on your deep dive of information based on how years in moscow, 17 years ago you were there? >> we were there from the end of 2000 to the end of 2004. >> wow. thank you very much for your perspective on that. see you next weekend. thank you, peter. it's a bill of rights for patients. but is it all about protection, or politics? t all about protect or politics?
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us. has there been any pushback to the plan, stephanie? >> reporter: good afternoon, alex. the idea is to prevent the strict lockdowns we saw during the height of the pandemic in 2020 within hospitals and nursing homes. this bill is called the no patient left alone act. proponents say it will strengthen patient visitation rights in florida. it would require health care providers to essentially allow visitors during end of life situations, during times of emotional stress, perhaps, allowing family members come in to help the patient eat or drink when they need it and also any other situation approved by the agency for health care administration. now, the bill was sparked in response to the covid-19 pandemic, which we saw at the height of the pandemic. we saw those strict lockdowns in hospitals and nursing homes. and sadly, there were many people that were left to die alone because of these strict
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protocols. >> when covid first started, they locked all the hospitals down. and, you know, initially, like maybe you don't know what you're dealing with. but what happened was, this became -- dragged on for months and months and you had people in the hospital that didn't have access to their loved ones. you literally have to have them on like zoom or on facetime or something like that. that had huge negative consequences for so many families throughout our country. >> reporter: now, opponents, some opponents say that this bill is unnecessary because patient visitation rights have largely been restored now. they also fear unintended consequences for places like assisted living facilities which typically are not equipped to handle some of the, you know, strict protocols that they deal with, infectious diseases. proponents say hospitals and nursing homes would still be allowed to institute masks, they
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would still be allowed to require visitors to do health screening and adhere to strict medical protocols and if those visitors do not adhere to those, those facilities would have the right to not allow them to visit their loved ones. so this is what is happening here, winding its way through the legislature. we understand it has one more committee before it makes its way to the senate floor, alex. >> keep us abreast of what happens on that front, thank you so much, stephanie stanton. let's get to the latest on an exclusive nbc news investigation on the push to ban books from school libraries in texas. more than 50 books are on that list. many covering topics of racial integration and sexual diversity. one parent in the city of katy, texas, tried unsuccessfully to ban a buying on are a fife former first lady michelle obama, saying it promotes reverse racism and pictures donald trump as a bully. the school district says it will not deny access to books based
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on subject matter. joining me to discuss this sensitive topic, one of the reporters leading this really good investigation. mike, thank you very much for joining me and congrats are due to you and your team for the stellar reporting you're putting forward to all of us here. but what is this pervasively vulgar standard set by the district and do the nine banned books meet that standard? >> reporter: thank you, alex. that's one of the questions i posed to the katy school district, how do you define "pervasively vulgar." they declined to answer that question or any other questions that we put in writing. i know from conversations with school staff that i've had, it's been described to them as vulgar throughout the book. these nine books that have been pulled and deemed inappropriate for any grade level, they're all young adult, mostly coming of
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age stories about teenagers. five of the nine feature lgbtq storylines. and by way of example, while i was researching this story i picked up a copy of "all boys aren't blue" by george johnson, a coming of age book by a black author. there are two pages of out of the 300 pages that describe in one instance the author's molestation as a child at the hands of a family member, the trauma he suffered and how he worked through that. later in the book there are descriptions of, you know, as an adult, losing his virginity and having sex. all these books that have been banned have passages that include explicit descriptions of sex. what authors say, and librarians who are pushing back, that's not
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pervasively vulgar. these descriptions of sex are included within the story and they have a purpose in terms of telling a story, and in some instances providing educational value. and so it's a little bit hard to parse how they're defining pervasive. >> that book that you have in your hand, how -- what's the target audience for the readers? >> reporter: teenagers. teenagers, young adults. the author, who i spoke with, wrote the book for the purpose of giving kids access to a story that he didn't have access to when he was growing up, black and queer and all that comes along with that. >> so you mentioned you reached out to officials, they don't reply to you, but you have been very engaged with the community in person, you've done so as well on social media. what are you hearing from parents on both sides of this? >> reporter: sure, the parents who have asked to have these books removed told me that this isn't about targeting lgbtq storylines, although the majority of the books do affect
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those cases. they say this is just about protecting their kids from sexual content, the kind of stuff they don't want them finding on the internet. >> and i'm sorry, i was intone interrupt you, they say it's not about lgbtq. are there other books that deal with some facet of sexual content that they're also targeting? that are not lgbtq. >> reporter: that's right, some of the books include descriptions of sex between straight characters as well. and so they point to that and say, this is not about lgbtq, we're not go target these kids. but in other instances there are books being targeted in school districts that don't include descriptions of sex, they just include descriptions of race, racism, children's picture books about trans kids have been targeted in many school districts. >> realistically, these kids have grown up with the international, they do everything digitally, they have little to no control over the
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content their teenagers get access to. do you have a sense of the motivation behind these efforts? >> reporter: i think these parents have gone to great lengths in most cases to restrict that access. and so they see this as part of that effort. but their argument to me is, you know, i spend all this time trying to filter and trap my kids' internet access to protect them from things i don't want them to see and here they are going to school and getting things i don't want them to see. >> extraordinary. very interesting, mike, come back and talk to us as this story line progresses. appreciate your time. next, the republican circular firing squad, and a republican who might be the biggest threat to donald trump's potential presidential run. to s to s potential presidential runrises. otezla. it's a choice you can make. otezla is not a cream.
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new today, the divide within the republican party growing even deeper. senator lisa murkowski slamming the rnc for calling the january 6th insurrection "legitimate political discourse." but she's not the only one speaking out. former vp mike pence is facing backlash from within the party after taking his most explicit shot yet at his former boss, saying donald trump's claim that he could have overturned the 2020 election is flat out wrong. joining me now, don callaway, democratic strategist and founder of the national voter protection action fund. susan del percio, republican strategist and msnbc political analyst.
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and david jolly, former congressman from florida and an msnbc political contributor. my sunday family is back, united again. welcome back, don, after a couple of weeks off. susan, ladies first here. what do you make of senator murkowski's rebuke? >> it's not surprising. senator murkowski has often been an independent voice who is willing to have bipartisan conversations. i think she's just also had enough. that interview that she had today with her colleague senator joe manchin really was an indication of saying, let's get together and do the people's work, it's time for that. and i think a lot of republicans and a lot of americans are ready to move on beyond 2020 and get to the people's business. >> to that point, don, vice president pence, is he just trying to move on past 2020? is this a political tactic for 2024? or do you think there's
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something more here? do you think it might have implications for the january 6th investigation? >> i think he probably can be doing both things on a parallel track. she's certainly trying to exonerate himself in the mind of the public if not in the mind of the special committee for any involvement he may or may not have had in january 6th. but i think he's also trying to maintain some reasonable space in the mind of the republican primary voter. i don't think he has the firepower. i believe my colleagues would agree, they're probably closer to republican inside politics than i, but i don't think he has the firepower to overcome donald trump. however, in an era where joe biden is 75 plus, still seeking the presidency, mike pence is not a super old man. so he could possibly be seen as a reasonable christian conservative for a post donald trump gop. if he doesn't win, the field is wide open for '28. i see mike pence not going darkly into the night, trying to keep himself relevant and in the
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public eye for a political future. >> pence's former chief of staff marc short said the white house was operating on bad advice on january 6th. let's listen to what he said on "meet the press." >> had he gotten legal advice that said, you can't decide which electoral votes are yes or no, but you can adjourn this session and delay things, had he gotten legal advice to do that, was the vice president considering it? >> no, chuck. >> okay. >> i think unfortunately the president had many bad advisers who were basically snake oil salesmen, giving him really random and novel ideas as to what the vice president could do. but our office researched that and recognized -- >> are you chalking this up to bad advisers or was the former president seeking the bad advice? >> i think -- i don't know the answer to that question. i think that, honestly, he did get a lot of bad advice. but i think it was not something the vice president from the very beginning, he counseled the president, i don't think i have that authority. >> what do you make of that, david? do you think that marc short is
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giving president trump sort of an off-ramp, a way to explain how everything evolved on january 6th, to basically say it wasn't me, it was the advice i was getting? >> yeah, look, marc short is trying to normalize what was unconstitutional behavior and frankly an authoritarian coup that failed. the voice of mike pence and marc short now are welcome because they are stating truth. but few people in this country had greater access to stopping what occurred between the election in november and the inauguration of joe biden than mike pence and marc short. so i think history will recall that they did very little when they had an opportunity. but their voices are welcome. but now, go under oath and testify openly in front of the american people on the january 6th committee. that includes you, vice president mike pence. >> that is tbd, we'll see what happens there. meantime, this week, as you guys know, it was all about the national archives giving the january 6th committee those documents. those documents had been ripped apart and had been taped back together, at least most of them.
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today "the washington post" has new reporting about how this was apparently a common occurrence in the trump white house, writing, quote, trump tore up briefings and schedules, articles and letters, memos, both sensitive and mundane. he ripped paper into quarters with two big clean strokes or occasionally more vigorously into smaller scraps. he left the detritus in his trash can and on the floor on air force one among many other places, all in violation of the presidential records act, despite being urged by at least two chiefs of staff and the white house counsel to follow the law on preserving documents. so, susan, trump's lack of decorum here not surprising, but what's your reaction to actually breaking the law by behaving this way? >> this is -- president trump always thought he was above the law. and he continues to think he's above the law. he just thought it doesn't matter, what are you going to do
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to me, who is going to arrest me if i rip up these pieces of paper? what i don't think he recall realized is that people in the white house did feel a loyalty to the american people and did their job and didn't just get rid of everything but preserved them and in some cases taped it back together. and it doesn't doesn't surprise me. and donald trump thought he could get away with that as well as many other more severe things. >> you know, don't know, we can recall the treatment that hillary clinton got for using a personal email system as secretary of state and then compare that to the president of the united states literally ripping up official white house documents. >> yeah, it was never really about the president or his handlers really having respect for the law. they knew that that would hurt hillary clinton electorally and ultimately it moved the needle, it made a difference. when you think about president trump, you have to remember he came from a private sector
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enterprise that bore his name, that did not have a board of directors, that was not accountable to publicly traded markets or anything like that. this is how he has handled his entire life. that is in stark contrast to a mike pence, who despite his politics being the exact opposite of mine, he came from the public sector prior to being governor and he understands there are institutions that govern how to govern properly, as we call it in the business, good government. and i think regardless of your politics, people of any political stripe who seek office in the feature need to consider having fealty to the concept of good government. >> there is a new "usa today" poll that shows desantis beats trump with a significantly larger lead. what do you make of that? we should note in a primary
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matchup, trump beats desantis, but then again, this is florida, so, you know. >> alex, i think it's time we start to flip the script a little bit and say the only person that can prevent ron desantis from securing the gop nomination is donald trump. and perhaps even seeing ron desantis in the white house, the only person that might stop him along the way is donald trump. ron desantis has fashioned himself in the image of donald trump. he is willing to overturn all history of gop orthodoxy, fashion it in his image. and i think we are building towards a gop nomination that looks much like coordination as we did in 2000 when george w. bush cleared the field early and secured the nomination. that is currently ron desantis' spot within the race in '24 unless donald trump decides to stop him. >> oh, boy. buckle up. okay. don, david, susan, good to see you guys, thank you. the irs wants you to take a selfie to access your
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tax season is under way, but you're soon going to have to take a selfie to view all of your tax records. this summer, the irs plans to start using facial recognition software to access the agency's website. in the coming months, taxpayers will have to record a video of their face with their computer or smartphone, and then send it to a private contractor to confirm their identity. joining me now is jeremy scott, senior council of the electronic privacy and information center. that's a research group that's based in washington, d.c. jeremy, this is interesting. so let's talk about it because officials say all hands are on deck to get through the backlog of processing the 2021 tax returns, but that this new technology will allow the irs to move more quickly through the documents, but are there any potential concerns around this new software? >> well, first, thanks for having me on.
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i mean, there's a lot of concerns about technology, and we shouldn't sacrifice our privacy and civil liberties just to get to these backlogs quicker. you know, there are potentially alternatives to be used here, and in this case with the use of facial recognition by the irs, there's just a lack of real kind of analysis of whether the irs should be using this type of technology given the privacy and civil liberty concerns and the concerns about disproportionate impact and racial bias. >> so that makes sense of this question because the private contacter that's hired to manage this data, they said they have a privacy policy that says it can use people sensitive or personally identifiable information to, quote, cooperate with law enforcement activities. so if the government is trying to stop fraud, does this help that? >> well, i mean, it could in
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some ways, but it also creates other danger, and there are other ways to stop fraud other than facial recognition, and the other thing is we require you to hand of additional personal information to a third party to stop fraud, and the reason fraud, you know, in part, exists so much is because a lot of our personal information is out there. it's held by different con ten gennesys and now the irs wants more personal information to another entity, and if we keep moving more that way, it will become a target creating fraud issues in its own right. >> so to your point, it is being used more and more. you have similar software being used in airports, at schools, operate offices, in fact, to try to retrieve any personal information there. so are the safety measures in place for americans to use this software with the threats to people's privacy? >> we really lack the safety measures in place, and part of it is because there's no
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overarching federal regulation of the use of biometric data and facial recognition, and that needs to be the first step before we even think about using facial recognition or even any other circumstances. >> jeramie scott, thank you for outlining the issue and i'm sure we'll have you back. it is a front page headline today that says it. minneapolis, many asking why. last week's deadly police raid, and a young black man shot dead. . with 1 to 2 day delivery from your local cvs. or same day if you need it sooner. but aren't you glad you can also just sw to pick it up, and get your questions answered? because peace of mind is something you just can't get in a cardboard box. that's how healthier happens together with cvs.
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