tv Politics Nation MSNBC February 12, 2022 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
cross-country for the dance, even pays for her hair, makeup, new shoes and new dress for the 11-year-old to make the night extra special. anthony davis worthy of a high-five, and so much more. that wraps it up for me, everybody. i'll be back here tomorrow. "politics nation with reverend al sharpton" starts right now. >> good evening. welcome to "politics nation. tonight's lead -- the big game. right now the world's eyes are on the tensions along the russia/ukraine border. earlier today president biden spoke with russian president vladimir putin for an hour, in a last-ditch effort to prevent a possible war. of course here at home, senate republicans are busy dusting off
the jim crow joke book, in advance of the pending nomination battle over president biden's pick for the supreme court. and for the second week now, the manufactured controversy over biden's pledge for nominate a black woman for the vacancy. it's given the gop another dog whistle to run with, joining, of course, the latest myth that the administration is handing out free crack pipes specifically to black voters, just in time for black history month, i guess. apparently just in time for the freedom from social responsibility that conservatives have been clamors for, as even mo blues states are not in the process of easing covid restrictions and mask mandates with president biden cautious but giving them the
latitude to -- but reps, talking heads, all of them are ignoring that because they're having too much fun. cheering for economic mayhem and begging for an invasion from our other border, the election year war on progress escalates, and we cover it all tonight. let's begin. joining me now, senator tina smith, democrat of minnesota. senator, first of all, thank you for joining us tonight. we are here, and we are -- let me ask you. how have senate democrat it is preparing for an inevitably nasty nomination battle over the president's pick for outgoing supreme court justice stephen breyer's seat. republicans like ted crew, marco rubio have been tripping over themselves to cast the
president's pledge to nominate a black woman as racist. a big surprise there, but how nasty do you expect this fight to get in this midterm election year? >> well, thank you, reverend, for inviting me to be with us today. you want it. it is incredible to hear some of my republican colleges making a thing out of president biden, making it clear he intends to nominate a black woman to be on the supreme court. let's be clear. of all of the supreme court justices that have been nominated, only seven of them have been women. we've had no black women on the united states supreme court. it's long past time. i think senate democrats are getting ready to fill fill our still responsibilities and look carefully at the nominee that the president puts forth. i am sure she'll by qualified. i will be looking for an individual that i can trust to
uphold the rule of law and fights for workers' rights, reproductive rights. that had what we should expect from the supreme court. some are deinvolving into racist attacks on a woman yet to be named. as you know president biden spoke earlier today with president putin, as the white house reiterated its warnings for american to leave ukraine. according to a senior administration official, nothing much has changed after the cause ended. do you support the escalating use of american military force in the region to counter such an invasion, if it occurs? >> earlier today, secretary of state blinken set that a path to a negotiated agreement is still
there, but russia must de-escalate. i strongly agree with that. i strongly agree with the president's position that he will not bring in u.s. forces. i think that that is extremely important, but russia needs to understand there will be severe consequences, severe economic consequences if it decides to make this move. i also would say that -- i mean, the deep human consequence of this invasion would be catastrophic to the ukrainian people, as this autocratic country is tossing to the wind of fundamental values of self-determination and international sovereignty. so, to answer your question, i think it is good that, though u.s. troops have been brought into nato countries to be a deterrent to an invasion, i strongly support the president's view that u.s. troops will not be put in harm's way. >> senator, i'll be in
minneapolis thursday, regretfully to deliver the eulogy for mia locke, shot and kind be st. paul, minnesota, police earlier this month. we learned that the signing judge on duty at the time of the warrant was raised, was the same judge who presided over derek chauvin's murder trial, who i also did his eulogy, and you were in attendance. jacob frey issued a moratorium on no-knock raids, as some have called for them to be banned entirely. the biden administration is reported to be working on executive actions on policing in the aftermath of congress failing to pass the george floyd act. in addition to no-knock raids, what actioning would be most
hopeful for your state, considering the last two years of unrest there? >> well, the tragic death of amir locke, asleep in a blanket on a couch when he was killed. in just a matter of seconds, he was gone. i have to say the minneapolis police department, which i consider to be out of control, not only did this happen, not only did it happen after the mayor had said no-knock warrants had been banned, but they were not truthful about what actually had happened. in fact, call amir locke a suspect in their initial -- in their initial reports of what happened. it is essential we get reform in the minneapolis police department. i'm grateful the president will issue an executive order, as we understand, soon. i'm looking for that to be strong, around creating, i hope,
a national registry of police officers who have been fired for cause, so they could be recruited to another police department. i hope we see strong provisions around excessive use of force. i also strongly support what i hope will be in the executive order about us limiting the use -- the way the federal government transfers military equipment to police department, which i think leads directly to the militarization of our -- it's just so sad that, thanks to the work of some law enforcement -- not all, and also reps that my friend cory booker was unable to make headway, but that doesn't mean we stop. we keep on pushing at the local level, state level and federal level. i think the president's pick tiff order will be an important
step in the right direction. >> senator, briefly, before we lose you, this week the senate passed what's been hailed has a landmark bill for survivors of workplace sexual assault and harassment. tell us why the ending of the forced arbitration is such a victory for survivors of sexual misconduct. >> well, this law will put power back in the hands of workers who have been forced, as a term of their employment, to sign away their rights to an out in the open, public airing of grievances around sexual assault and sexual harassment. before this law, you signed that away, and you were forced to go into a back room to do this forced arbitration, rather than exercising your free and full rights to a public trial by jury if that is what you thought was important in order to protect your own rights. this is a very important step in
the right direction. to brings in forward and to get it done. it was great that it was done with bipartisan support. that happened because of the hard work of a lot of advocates who fall against edge trenched interesting for a very, very long time. >> well, thank you, senator tina smith, and i know you agree -- i know that you're a big fan. so good luck to those olympians and medalists who are from minnesota. >> thank you. yes, we're cheering for the curling teams right now in the smith household. all right. let's turn to my political panel. joining me is juanita tolliver, democratic accomplice cat analyst and susan del prescio, both msnbc contributors. juanita, let's start with the
high-stakes call earlier today between president biden and russian president vladimir putin. officials warned that russians could force an invasion on ukraine in a matter of days. is the white house doing what it needs to be doing in preparing the american people for potential foreign policy crisis in your judgment? >> i think the white house is making every effort to not present as though they're giving into putin off the back, where we saw him grovel. on top of that, i think biden in the white house has support for what they're doing in terms of escalation around sanctioning with 63% of americans supporting that, as well as 57% of americans supporting the diplomatic efforts they're taking. where they lose a bit of support comes around with troop movements. i think that will continue to dip further below 48%, as they send in additional troops to
nato allied countries. i think what is telling here is the language that the president is using, talking about explicitly the reality that this could happen within the next few days, russia taking this action. it's obvious, with what we have seen happen in plain sight, right? russia has been ramping up troop levels around the border of ukraine for months now. i think what is contrasting to what we're hearing from the president, though, is what president zelensky of ukraine is saying, stop with the panic language. it doesn't help our economy. from president zelensky's perspective, this ramp-up has been going from 2014. so making sure -- i think we should all keep as eye on what comes from president zelensky, as ukraine braces for this impact from russia. >> susan, let's switch gears, at the u.s./canadian border.
today canadian police moved it on the ambassador bridge to -- trucks blocked the route, the blockade has shut down factories from ontario to alabama, and has gotten coverage from right-wing media personals in the united states. was driving they protests in canada, and are there elements of this movement that we can expect to see make their way into u.s. politics? >> what nirnlly started as a protest from canadian trucker has quickly turned into something that has been driven by extremism from american right-wing television hosts, if you will, and basically looking to get people to sign on, and go
up to the border, be involved, protest, just as a sign of being rebellious. will tucker carlson pay those people's mortgages, because they're not working at the auto factory? there's a lot of implications. i do not think it will move into the u.s. too much. there's talk about it potential disrupting the super bowl, our even the state of the union on march 1st. i don't see it getting quite that bad, but this has become a manufactured event. that should be of grave concern. i kind of wish what i would sigh what biden is doing so well on ukraine, standing up, telling the american public what is he doing, and he seems so on top of it. right now he doesn't seem as on top of this crisis as perhaps he
could be. >> susan. i want to stay with you and talk about political unrest in the u.s., specifically the fight within the republican party over january 6th. the rnc has called the storming of the capitol legitimate political discourse. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell broke from his own party this week, saying the attack was a, quote, violent insurrection. we have seen these disagreements inside the gop before, between forces loyal to the former president president trump, and republicans sticking to -- is there any reason to believe this time they country out differently? >> i don't think the minority leader spoke on principles there. i think he was absolutely right in what he said, but make no mistake about it. mitch mcconnell only thinking about one thing. that's winning.
he knows this is a back tact for the republicans going into 2022. he also knows the only reason he's not a majority leader is because donald trump destroyed it for him in georgia. he doesn't want to see that happen again. so, i would like to say, you know, he's with the liz cheneys or adam kinzingers, but he's not. he's there for himself and to win back the majority. >> juanita, turning to the classified documents donald trump reportedly took to mar-a-lago, according to "the washington post," officials recovered 15 boxes of records, and they suspected trump had possibly violated laws concerning the handling of government documents. what type of trouble does this present for the former president? how tough will it be for trump
to prove he didn't know he couldn't take they classified documents to his home? >> i fully expect trump to lie thus his teeth, lieu he has for everything else. how many other people could take boxes clearly marked classify to their house and not have the fbi knocking on their doors within hours. he has flaunted this. they're clear, based on his previous behavior, that his intention, after being told by white house counsel that he could not do this, and he still did it, that he has potentially committed federal crimes. what i think needs to happen next is we see action from merrick garland, where he's not dragging his feet, but fully looking into it and potential bringing charges. with these federal crimes, we know that could preclude, if
trump is charged with them and found guilty, that could precludes him from holding federal office again. it should emphasize the need for an enforcement measure protect materials. trump has acted like he's been above the law this entire time. that cannot continue. >> juanita, now to voting rights, according to the brennan center for justice, as of january 14th, 96 bills have been introduced and would make it harder to vote in 12 states. that number doesn't include the vote restrictish builts passed in 2021, do you expect the doj to weigh in? >> the doj has been doing its best as to play whack-a-mole on these suppression billings, but that's difficult, especially
without the backing of any type of federal legislation. as this increase, this surge is you want 39% from 2021 continues, federal action is needed. the calls for voting rights legislation should get lower and lower, because we know that republican-controlled statehouses are going to continue to pass these voter suppression bills, all on the back of past lies. we're already seeing some of the damage done, where mail-in ballots are being rejected in some counties at 40% rates. we know those counties and those rejections are going to negatively hard rural voters, disabled voters, older voters, and the impact will be felt. i hope this congress is able to take up some type of federal legislation, some provisions to start to dismantle the voter
suppression tactics. >> juanita tolliver and susan del precio, thank you. as president biden weighs his future pick for the supreme court, we're looking back at the trailablazing black women who showed up and showed how important diversity on the bench is. would-be black business owners say they're being shut out of the growing marijuana industry. why the issue seems to persist. that's later on "politics nation." first richard has today's top news stories. >> rev, good saturday to you. president joe biden warned russian president vladimir putin, he said there would be swift and severe consequences if there was a full-scale invasion of ukraine. biden and putin spoke by phone call for over an hour.
on friday a security adviser said a threat of incursion is immediate never and urged americans to leave ukraine. russia has massed over 1,000 troops on the ukrainian border. demonstrators are still there, as you can see. they've been calling for the repeal of mask mandates and other pandemic restrictions. this morning canadian police began to clear protesters. a convoy of trucker are stage ago blockage of the international crossing. more after this break. international crossing ♪ this magic moment ♪ but heinz knows there's plenty of magic in all that chaos. ♪ so different and so new ♪ more after this break. liz, you nerd, cough if you're in here! shh! i took mucinex dm for my phlegmy cough.
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the importance of the representation in the judicial system. in 1939, jane bouman was appointed as family court judge in new york, making her the first black woman in the united states to sit on the bench. during her 40-year career, she dedicated herself to fighting discrimination with this the court system, and advocating for children, especially children of color. she conservatives called themselves pro-life, but focused almost exclusively on what happens in the womb. judge bolden was improving the lives of children who were already born, including those who all too often fall through the cracks. this concerted effort to
challenge the status quo had everything to do with the fact that a black woman was making the decisions. it's the lived experiences, jane bowlen had with children and adults in her community that allowed her to become a compassionate leader during domestic disputes, cases. the next supreme court justice will carry on the legacy of jane bowlen, and a beacon of hope. president biden said this week he is focusing in on about four people to the nomination and predicted his pick would get bepartisan support. some have already suggested that this is a gross misuse of affirmative action. nothing could be further from the truth. the short list the white house
has put forward contains extremely qualified candidates who will also bring perspective to the court. this isn't a case of identity politics, but a matter of representation that's long overdue. let's rice up in support of this pick. this is make our country a bit more just. we'll be right back. country a t (music) more just. we'll be right back. ♪ oh what a wonderful world ♪
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and taxation of consumer marijuana, but efforts to boost minority ownership of cannabis businesses have failed to even the playing field. of course, mill yor of black prisoners stilling face multiyear prison sentences for selling pot before it was big legal business. joining news is john harmon, president and ceo, founder of the african-american chamber of commerce. while i don't smoke pot, i know firsthand that inequity in both in and how black americans have been incarcerated, compared to their white peers. now that cannabis is a billion dollar legal big, you have
entrepreneurs being excluded from this boom, this is my understanding. is my understanding -- i learned that in washington state, for example, legislators are trying to grow the 1% of commercial cannabis produced about by black-owned businesses, compared to 85% by white producers, according to the state liquor and cannabis board. over in florida, none of the state's 22 medical licenses have gotten to black-owned business, according "the orlando sentinel." in north carolina slated to seal legal pot at the end of the month, usaying none of the initial licenses to sell have gone to black operators? because we have a note that a spokesperson for the state cannabis regulatory commission says the state hasn't awarded any recreational licenses since
it's began taking applications. what is your response to that? >> so, first of all, i just want to thank you, reverent, for allows me to come on the show, and thank you for working with us in new jersey, because without your helped, we would not have gotten many of them to participate, but they're right. there's not been recreational licenses issued today. however, there's been 56 medical licenses issued to date. there's also a pathway to fath-track those who have received medical licenses once the awards for recreation is done, that they may have some preference there. the point being, unfortunately our stay, who i work very closely with this administration, has not really been transparent if past is
prologue, one black owner of a dispensary in the past. so if the state of new jersey has said policy in place years ago with a disparity study, where we've seen over $3 billion in 2021, we probably would not be having this discussion. we probably would be celebrating the challenge is that those who participate in this space are well capitalized. they have the political connections. they also have the experience what i meal by expense experience they have produce -- i would say they were unlicensed
question, you know had the states conducted themselves one way, the federal government saying they can't, that's a disconnect we have to somehow square. how can you service your customers in the state of -- i think time may have come. >> briefly before we lose you, mr. harmon, last week senator chuck schumer announced he expect to, in april, unveil his bill to federally legalize pot. what if anything might national legalization do to alleviate the problem that black entrepreneurs are facing in breaking into cannabis? briefly. i think dr. king said, just do what you put on paper. i think our ability to
articulate one thing, execute it in another matter is another -- and i think in this is falling short. so intentions without outcomes leaves us in a bad situation. we encouraged him to move forward with it. >> jaw harmon, thank you for coming on tonight. just ahead, mixed messages. the cdc still reformed masks, some governors are doing away with the mandates. the white house could be switching things up, too. we'll be right back. e white houe e white houe switchinl working. in the kind of work that i do, you are surrounded by people
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welcome back. there are signs of a turning point this week in the government response to the covid-19 pandemic. democratic states such as new york, oregon, california, new jersey, connecticut and massachusetts announced plans to lift their indoor mask mandates. nevada also announced on thursday that their indoor mask mandate has been lifted effective immediately. covid-19 cases and
hospitalizations are dropping nationwide, but deaths are still at their highest peak in a year as the omicron variant spreads among the unvaccinated and the elderly. the cdc saying this week they are standing firm in support of masks for the time being. turning now to discuss this is dr. rallye, a lot of states are dropping mask mandates. as a doctor, do you still recommend wearing masks? and why or why not? >> good to see with been again, al. yes, i do. as a physician, i do recommend you continue to wear masks in spice of where you live, where the mandate may have been lifted, particularly if you live
in a household with somebody that is a chronic condition, immunocompromised, so, no, i do think they should continue to use masks, but again these governors were in a tough position, because they're trying to get the economies opened back up, but i think the better part of valor is to continue to wear masks, particularly in high-risk situation, and/or if you're high risk. the states lifting restrictions have also announced plans to lift mask mandates for schools, even now or in the near future. a new axios already ipsos poll shows that two thirds of americans do not believe it's possible for the u.s. to eradicate covid in the next year. however, the same study found that the american public is decided on how to handle the pandemic in the near term. studies have shown that black
and brown, hispanic americans are overrepresented in essential jobs and that black communities have reported disproportionately worse impacts of the pandemic. meanwhile, disabled and immune compromised people feel a new lift on mask mandates will put them at increased risk. are people calling for a new reality, where we all simply live with the virus, not seeing the whole picture? >> well, no, i do think we have to embrace the new norm at, rev. covid is not going amp. it will dissipate in various parts of the country at different time tables. this is the new normal. there will be time periods where parts of the country, where you won't have to wear a mask, or we may have to revert back to certain time periods to wear a mask. for example, the spanish flu, there are still remnants of to
that flu circulated, over 70 years ago, obviously. we have to understand this is a new normal. we can get back to a more reasonable remembrance of the way things were pre-covid, but covid is not going away. we may need yearly vaccinations, just as we need vaccinations periodically for other things. like i said, there may be regional outbreaks with governors, mayors, deciding makers will have to reimpose mask mandates, but generally it's likely not to be as broad-based as what we've been living with in the last two years. >> there is growing exhaustion with the pandemic, there is a nationwide push to start treating covid as part of daily life. a rest monmouth university poll found that 70% of americans agreed with the statement that, quote, it's time we accept covid is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives.
end of quote. meanwhile, support up for masks and social distancing guideline dropped to 52% from 63% in september p how do you think president biden should respond? >> well, again, i want to applaud the president's team. i think they responded very effectively. i get their achilles' heel has been the fact they haven't been able to ramp up testing, as you and i have discussed in previous conversations. they are trying to balance the clear fatigue that the nation has with covid. they're trying to keep schools, you know, in education moving, because we know what a deleterious effect the major lockout we have in 2021, and the effect on school-age children in particular. it's a delicate balancing act of trying to balance public health, with the economy, with social
life, with educational life. again, it's subject to change and variation, depending upon the circumstances, rev. i understand the fatigue, but, you know, we have to take the long view on this. >> i'm out of time. before i let you go, we all would love to reach a point where the pandemic is no longer a major daily concern. what is the best way to achieve the goal? is vaccination still the most important thing we can do? >> absolutely, rev. it's vaccination, vaccination, vaccination. i teal people the vaccines keep you out of the hospital, keep you out of the icu, keep you off a ventilator, and more importantly, keep you out of the funeral home. my final thoughts, up next. my ♪♪
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but i didn't wait. they told their doctors. and found out they had... atrial fibrillation. a condition which makes it about five times more likely to have a stroke. if you have one or more of these symptoms irregular heartbeat, heart racing, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your doctor. this is no time to wait. tomorrow is the super bowl
and as many around the world will watch the game, i will continue to watch what is going on in the league. as you might recall last saturday on this show we had a young man named brian flores who is former coach of the miami dolphins who filed a lawsuit he and his attorney go on to explain the lack of diversity and outright racism in the nfl. and i said at that time that we as civil rights leaders needed to meet with the nfl commissioner, well monday, roger goodell the nfl commissioner met with mark of the urban league and, of the naacp and -- i who wrote the letter. he met with us virtually over an hour as we laid out to him how it is possible and acceptable to
him as the commissioner and to the league that out of 32 teams not one black owner in the history of the league up until now and how there was only one black at that time, later in the week they hired another. what i mostly said to him though was, you must remember that all of these teams are held up by public funding, taxpayers from all communities are paying for stadiums or investing in stadiums and the things that are used by these teams to make billions of dollars for their owners while our young men and women can't be owners of these teams? and are disproportionately not given jobs as coaches. so we're not asking for some quota. we're asking you that dips into
the public taxpayers' pocket, to be fair to those taxpayers, or we need to have those city councils and state legislatures say we need to stop public funds until you can establish diversity among the owners and coaches in your industry. we'll be right back. we'll be right back. ♪♪ fill your medicare prescriptions with walgreens and save. hearing is important to living life to the fullest. that's why inside every miracle-ear store, you'll find a better life. it all starts with the most innovative technology.
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that does it for me. thanks for watching, see you back here tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern right before the super bowl for earth no live hour bowl, for another live hour of "politics nation" we'll talk to white house infrastructure mitch landers here on msnbc. alicia melendez picks up the news coverage right now. >> thank you so much referendum u . >> breaking news right now at the u.s. canada border where police are clearing out protectors from the ambassador bridge after a judge ruled the blockade must end. truck series drivers have been blocking the major trade route between be ontario and michigan all week protesting covid vaccine mandates. right now the traffic is still not flowing on the bridge, it's disrupted the flow of goods and