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tv   MSNBC Reports  MSNBC  February 19, 2022 4:00am-5:00am PST

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i'm zerlina. find me monday through friday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on peacock, on "the choice" from msnbc. follow us on facebook, twitter, tiktok and youtube. more news is coming up right here on msnbc. breaking on msnbc, vice president kamala harris taking to the world stage just moments ago with a clear message for russian president vladimir putin, as the situation deteriorates on the ukrainian border. >> and today, we are even more confident in our vision. our strength must not be underestimated. >> her speech comes a day after president biden says he's convinced putin will invade ukraine, as the russian president personally oversees russian nuclear drills right
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now. >> the purpose of these nuclear drills were just kind another tick mark, another check box the decision's been made, the war is coming. >> now millions of ukrainians, including residents of the capitol kyev are caught in the cross-hairs. our reporters are stationed around the world and military and diplomacy experts will break down what this means for the world. in the u.s., new revelations about former president trump's handling of white house records. the national archives confirming some of those documents were classified. we're going to get into what the doj could do with this new information. plus, new developments for trump and his kids and their ties to multiple active investigations. more infighting in the republican party. kevin mccarthy once told members to stay out of primary fights. now he's jumping in endorsing liz cheney's challenger. and a new inside look how mitch mcconnell is trying to
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influence his party to shake off the control of donald trump. i'm lindsey reiser. we have a team of reporters and analysts following the latest from washington, d.c., to munich to ukraine. moments ago vice president kamala harris speaking at the munich security conference and making clear russia will face consequences, should they invade ukraine. >> let me be clear. i can say with absolute certainty if russia further invades ukraine, the united states together with our allies and partners will impose significant and unprecedented economic cost. >> president biden saying yesterday he is now convinced that russian president putin will, has chosen war over diplomacy. biden says u.s. intelligence
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indicates the russian also attack in the coming days but despite this, he's still imploring putin for diplomacy and return to the negotiating table. more war games are under way. russia conducting drills by strategic numbering clear missile forces. the russians amassed 150,000 troops surrounding ukraine and a source tells nbc news up to half of the forces are in attack position. and there are new concerns that putin might see an opportunity to invade with ukrainian president vlodymyr zelensky including vice president harris and the shelling between ukrainian forces and russian-backed rebels in the east intensified killing one ukrainian servicemember overnight. for more on all of the late-breaking developments we're joined by chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell live in munich and shannon pettypiece in washington, d.c.
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andrea, we know vice president harris spoke moments ago about the situation in ukraine, scheduled to meet with president zelensky today. what struck out to you most so far about her remarks? >> reporter: her remarks really indicated the resolve of the nato alliance, the trance atlantic alliance and the message president biden and secretary blinken have been delivering here in munich from secretary blinken and of course the president in two important comments from the white house just this week, two speeches from the white house about ukraine that the decision by the u.s. and its allies to be united and punish vladimir putin if he invades is ironclad, that the allies are together, there have been divisions in the past and putin had what he did not want, a much stronger nato at his doorstep by just being as
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aggressive as he has been and as she put it, if he takes any steps to further invade, because their conclusion is everything he has done so far with what they attribute to him in the last 24 hours as cyber attacks against ukraine, just in 48 hours ago. that is what the white house deputy something tear said in the briefing room. the troops reached nearly 190,000 on three sides of ukraine and effect a naval blockade at sea. that is the conclusion and sources familiar, a key source familiar with the president's thinking and with of course the feeling of the top intelligence officials is that that intelligence came together in the last few days and that is why the president deliberately went out and said what he said last night, that president putin
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made the decision, given the green light to invade but he could still be deterred to deviate from that course there could be a diplomatic path and hoping he does in the next few days not invade as they appear he will and that will permit secretary blinken and foreign minister lavrov to meet later this week on thursday and the most likely location is helsinki, finland. it could be geneva, switzerland. >> about what andrea was talking about in the unequivocal statement we heard from the president yesterday, what more do we know what went into that, the intelligence that the white house is working on and what the white house is doing to plan for any contingency? >> >> he was saying he didn't know whether putin had made up his mind or not. the u.s. had been saying they believe an invasion could happen
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at any point but they weren't certain putin made a decision to go forward. so the president making a departure in this definitive statement. it was not part of the president's prepared remarks. it came in a question and answer session following with reporters and have a listen to how exactly the president articulated that yesterday. >> do you have any indication about whether president putin has made a decision on whether to invade? do you feel confident that he hasn't made that decision already? >> as of this moment, i'm convinced he's made the decision. we have reason to believe that. >> reporter: now other notable things i will say from the president's speech yesterday, one the point andrea made, will b him leaving the door open to diplomacy but the president put a time line or bracket around that, said secretary of state blinken and his counterpart sergey lavrov in russia are scheduled to meet the 24th. if russia invades before then,
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the president said that would be closing the door to diplomacy. there would be no more meetings, no more talk if russia should invade before that meeting on the 24th. notable as well, the president also said he believed an attack by russia could include an assault on ukraine's capital kyev, different than 2014 when russia tried to annex or take a part of territory, this could be an assault on a major world city which believe 2 million people in it. i think that was notable as well. the president will be meeting again today with his national security team. he may have calls scheduled. you mentioned the vice president is there in munich scheduled to meet with ukrainian president zelensky. this is a top priority of reiterating the broad message andrea mentioned about unity among the western allies and severe consequence economically coming for russia if they pursue
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what the white house now is indicating is only a matter of when, not if an invasion will happen. >> shannon pettypiece and andrea mitchell, thank you. matt bradley in live in ukraine. a lot of fast-moving developments this saturday morning. what more do we know about russian military troops as well as additional u.s. troops in the region? >> reporter: lindsey, i can tell you the situation here is extremely tense. we are hearing there are going to be, now beginning the military drills across the border in russia. these drills are unique, actually drills testing the nuclear capabilities. alongside the warning that president biden issued last night but was very threatening indeed saying that he believed that vladimir putin had decided to invade ukraine. remember up until this point, we keep hearing these warnings from the white house, from the pentagon saying that putin is getting ready for war, but it was only last night that we
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heard biden say that he believes that putin has made a decision and is preparing to go over the berm into ukraine, and to take over parts of the country. now, that's not the only warning sign that we're hearing. there's also a lot happening on the border between where i am, kyev, controls ukraine and the two separatist enclaves controlled by basically russian-backed fighters. we saw last night there was a car bomb, alleged car bomb detonated in the middle of one of these major cities in the separatist enclenclaves, that i going into biden's predictions that there could be sort of a false pretext for war, kind of a cassius belle, an increase in the exchange of fire across the borders of the separaist enclaves, dozens of instances by the day of shooting with ukrainian regular army and the separatist fighters, that's also
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threatening because the calculus we've heard from the white house, from the pentagon over the last several weeks is that russia might want to use this again as some sort of pretext. so putin will be able to say as he has said repeatedly even using the word genocide he needs to move his troops into eastern ukraine in order to protect the russian-speaking population there is and this as you mentioned we're starting to see more and more u.s. troops moving into the region. we haven't heard a shift from the white house on that critical question of whether american troops will fight against russian troops here in ukraine. so far, the white house has hued that line saying they will only be sending u.s. troops to nato allies neighboring ukraine. of course ukraine not a nato ally, that's one of the major points of contention here, whether or not it would join nato, so this is something that, while we're seeing more and more u.s. troops moving into the region, it's a very, very delicate situation. it seems extremely unlikely they
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would ever come into contact with any russian forces, even as this situation really quickly gears up for war. lindsey? >> matt bradley live in ukraine, thanks so much. for more on this unfolding crisis, we welcome colonel jack jacobs and joel ruben, former assistant secretary of state under president obama. joel, we were talking about the president's remarks and right after michael mcfaul called it "very scary and a grave moment." >> he said definitively that they know that putin has made this alluded to the fact we know because of intelligence, said that in an address to the world today. you put those three things together, this is a very grave moment. this is a significant different place than we were just literally before his statement. the other thing i want to
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underscore, he alluded to the fact that they believe that they have intelligence that shows that the attack will not be some small thing, it will not just be in donbas. he said they have reason to believe it will be on the capital of kyev. that to me was very scary. >> do you agree, colonel, with the ambassador's characterizations and also should an invasion occur, do you agree that the chances of it being a small event or dwindling? >> well, they certainly have the capability of overrunning the country in very short order. they've got something on the order of 15 divisions, most of them mechanized in tank divisions and all the support that's required to overrun quickly all of ukraine and get to kyev in pretty short order. it's going to have a deleterious
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effect. there's no doubt russian capability can quickly overcome ukraine. now whether or not they will do it is a different story all together. putin's got to make the calculus, the following calculus. am i going to go ahead and take over all of ukraine, and therefore suffer the really crippling and draconian results of doing that, that we'll impose on russia and the russian economy. putin himself and cronies holdings and so on or slow-walk this, which is the most likely event, on the pretext of russian-speaking minorities in eastern ukraine being harassed by ukraine, the guerrilla war taking place there for a long period of time to have a limited objective attack into eastern ukraine and take over objectives
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there, some kilometers from the border, and then rest, and then see what the west is going to do. now, our problem is the following. we know that if they overwhelm, russia overwhelms ukraine very, very quickly, that our allies in western europe are going to be behind us in imposing these draconian economic moves on russia. but we know, and putin also knows that there's less enthusiasm, particularly in germany and italy, where they get a large proportion of their fossil fuels from russia. there's less enthusiasm for our imposing these kinds of restrictions on russia if there's a limited objective attack. that's the least attractive situation for the united states. it's going to be difficult for us to impose these kinds of restrictions on russia, taking them off the swift system and so on, if all of nato is not behind
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us, and there's plenty of indication that if it's the limited objective attack, they won't be behind us, lindsey. >> joel, given the colonel's assessment there, do you believe that diplomacy is still on the table? the vice president said today even at this late hour, they want to get russia back to the table in good faith here. putin wants assurances ukraine won't join nato. for nato countries, that's a red line. >> lindsey, diplomacy is on the table. it will continue to be on the table and it must be on the table, about you what we're seeing with vladimir putin's moves with this saber rattling of nuclear exercises, which is, in my view, an act of desperation, trying to find a way to break up western resolve. it's clear that vladimir putin doesn't seem to want to take these diplomatic off-ramps, so secretary blinken, when he meets next week with the foreign minister, president biden as well in the way he's been laying
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it out, they have provided opportunities for vladimir putin to step back. putin has to be watching what's happening in munich. he has to be seeing the kind of unified resolve on sanctions thats alluded to. this is high cost. what is his plan, take a capital city in the heart of europe, what then? there are off-ramps available. the united states is putting them out on the table and should and is and will continue to do that. putin does need to look at what's happening today and over the last couple of days, and understand that this really is not going to be an easy pass for him. >> colonel, we know what ukrainian vlodymyr zelensky will travel to munich today for the security conference. is that a good idea? >> i think it is. that's -- demonstrate he's in charge and thinking nothing but the best for his country and
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willing to take whatever risks that exist in order to ameliorate the situation, before with those who support him and so on. he knows the risks. everybody knows the risks. everybody in ukraine knows the risks of his leaving the consult with nato at this moment. i think it's the right thing to do. it puts the best face on his leadership and demonstrates to his country that's in charge. whether or not it's going to amount to anything at the end of the day is something else all together, lindsey. >> colonel jack jacobs and joel ruben, thank you for being with us. >> we'll have much more on the deteriorating situation with the ukrainian border with congresswoman houlihan, worked ads an air force officer at the end of the cold war and visited ukraine last month. trump under oath, a judge orders a former president and two of his kids to answer questions in new york's investigation into his family's business practices. we're going to talk to someone
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back to our top story. president biden warning of an imminent russian invasion of ukraine. the military is carrying out testing by strategic nuclear missile forces led by president putin himself. the kremlin just uploading these photos to the official government website moments ago. the drills follow a ramp-up in military maneuvers including an increase in shelling between russian-backed separatists and ukrainian forces in the east. congressman christie houlihan met with president zelensky last month and serves on the house and foreign affairs committee. thank you for joining us. before serving in the house, you worked as a project engineer in the u.s. air force, focused on
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ballistic missile defense. these drills are typically held in the fall. is this to show military might? how concerned should we be? >> thank you for having me. these drills were planned for the fall but they were moved into the wintertime and i think that's not by coincidence. it's by design. i think there is quite a lot of posturing going on here on the part of putin to let people know he has anywhere between 160,000 and 190,000 troops on the border and has all the opportunity and potential to be able to invade ukraine and that's worry some as secretary mcfaul said it's scary. it's technical but true. >> you coauthored an op-ed with congressman mark green titled "ukrainian democracy is under threat, why every american should care." what is at stake here and why should every american care? >> so the stability of the european union, the continent of europe is at stake.
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the world order, how we think about the dominance of different world leaders and world order is at stake. democracy is at stake and we should be clear that not only is president putin doing what president putin does but president xi is also watching so i think that asia is also in peril as well if we're not careful with how the rest of this unfolds and i'm grateful that the biden administration is doing a really good job at this point, could possibly even be doing more to frankly share the intelligence with the american people of what we're seeing on the ground, because historically, we've seen this before. there is something called operation himler that happened in 1939, germany did something not dissimilar, pretending the pols were attacking them. 1939 was the beginning of world war. we need to be attentive to what putin is doing because of its consequences to the entire globe. >> you said the administration
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to be doing more to share information with the public. what more would you like to see? >> i think they've been doing a pretty good job of trying to let people in to the intelligence we're seeing. you have seen as an example we released reports there was a false flag, the russians planned on that. for example we've shown satellite imagery where troops are aligned and what's going on in the area. i think we need to be doing more of that. i think that one of the things that putin can win on the disinformation war. when we are able to share information with the american people and the european union and nato alliance is sharing information with their people as well then we can help explain why this should very much matter to everyone on the planet. >> that said, congresswoman, you met with ukrainian president zelensky, he's been critical of the biden administration and the information he's divulging,
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saying americans are creating this panic while he's trying to maintain calm in his country. given your meeting with him, do you think that his criticisms also have space? >> i think that he is speaking as -- >> all right, i think we lost the congresswoman. we are going to work on trying to get her signal back because i'd love to get the rest of her answer to that. still to come, we have more like this. >> we know that he literally tore up documents. they reported that they received documents that were torn up, had to paste them together. >> new details about what else the national archives revealed after confirming trump had classified materials at mar-a-lago. will the justice department investigate? that's next. investigate? investigate? that's next. yeah, you'll get used to it. this mom's depositing money with tools on-hand.
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investigation into whether former donald trump mishandled white house records after leaving office. the national archives confirmed in a letter to the house oversight committee it found classified material among the 15 boxes trump took with him to mar-a-lago. congresswoman maloney chair leading the investigation said the agency confirmed what they already suspected and talked about the next steps. >> right now, we are proceeding with our investigation. they are going to do the archives is going to do an inventory of what is contained in those 15 boxes. they confirmed he ripped up and even tried to flush it down the toilet, torn up pieces and also the social media records were not preserved of his, seem to have been destroyed or deliberately destroyed, so there's a lot of serious allegations here that violate the law. >> the national archives also confirmed that its staff has been in touch with the department of justice on the
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matter, and trump is reacting to all of this. so let's get to nbc's allie raffa on capitol hill. >> reporter: good morning, lindsey, a lot to unpack here. this developed yesterday. the law the congresswoman mentioned is the presidential records act. previous presidents have vie hated this act for minor things, there are bigger concerns here. democrats i've spoken to on capitol hill say it appears that the trump white house intentionally kept these records that legally were supposed to go to the national archives. the national archives in that letter yesterday says that they are still sifting through those 15 boxes recovered from trump's mar-a-lago home but adding there's still gaps in records, missing records that they're still looking for, and i'm going to quote the letter here, it says "there are certain social media records including some "nonofficial electronic messaging accounts." as you said, the former president reacted to this news last night saying in part, "the
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national archives didn't find anything. they were given upon request presidential records in an ordinary and routine process to ensure the presssation vasion of my legacy and in accordance with the presidential records act." another group fighting for the records is of course the january 6th select committee, so the longer it takes for the national archives to collect them, imagine how frustrating it is for this committee especially since they have undergone so many repeated delays already. >> you mentioned jan 6 dealt several legal blows, including yesterday a federal judge rejected trump's effort to toss january 6 lawsuits out. >> that's right. so these lawsuits were filed by several house democrats, as well as some capitol police officers, and the main legal argument for the former president and his legal team was that these lawsuits involved actions that he took while he was still in office, and that's why he was,
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he and his legal team were arguing that's immune to such legal repercussions, but this federal judge yesterday in this 112-page ruling is saying the former president is not immune. he says that trump knew exactly what he did on january 6th, everything he said, saying in this ruling that the former president's speech was "akin to telling an excited mob that corn dealers starved the poor in front of the corn dealer's home." lindsey, there's a lot to unpack and develop in this case but for the most part, this federal judge said there is enough discovery in this case to move forward towards the next phase. >> all right, allie raffa, thank you so much. for more on this, i'm joined by cynthia oxie, former msnbc analyst and barbara res, author of "tower of lies, what my 18 years of working with donald trump reveals about him." so cynthia, we'll start with you
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here. david laufman, oversaw the investigation into secretary clinton's use of private email said this. "it is not conducting a criminal investigation into trump's stash of classified documents at mar-a-lago." is this serious enough for the doj to act, cynthia? >> sure it is and the national archives has been in touch with them. i find it hard to believe they aren't doing it. the presidential records act as you noted doesn't have really an enforcement mechanism because when they wrote the law, they didn't really guess that presidents would be ripping up pages and flushing them down the toilet but there are other statutes that are in play here and they are felonies, depending on the value of the documents. so my guess is that there is no escape for the justice department, as much as they don't want to be involved in the politics of the day. this looks like an investigation that's going to go forward, and remember, they have 15 boxes of
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documents, but that doesn't mean there's not more documents. they already said they don't have a social media accounts. there are probably other documents they don't have and have been hidden and it will become important about why these documents are hidden. is trump just having something he can sell later or library or are they hidden because they don't want the congressional investigators to find out about what was going on january 6th. there are a lot of unknowns here, and we're going to have to wait and let it play out. >> barbara, we've been talking about the legal setbacks trump and his family have been facing this week. we mentioned the national archives and the federal judge rejecting efforts to dismiss the january 6 lawsuits. another judge says his children have to testify and new york attorney general has a civil probe into practices and trump's accounting firm declared his financial statements are unreliable. give us a sense of what's
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happening in trump world in the face of all this? >> it's interesting. i was think being that myself. how is he reacting? i think he's probably furious that the accounting firm dropped him, probably can't conceive of that. as far as the people are concerned, they don't have any influence on trump. it's not like when i was there, where he listened to his people. they must be panicking. the world is falling apart. the sky is falling, and i think they're panicking more than he is, because he has that false illusion of himself in that he can do no wrong. but i do think he has to be concerned about it, especially the loss after loss after loss in the courts, and i have to say that it must be killing him that letitia james is her name, the woman, the prosecutor in georgia are both females. that must be killing him. >> before bra, there were a lot of questions whether in james' probe trump will plead the fifth when it comes to the civil investigation to his practices.
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let's play what he once said about people who do that. >> you see the mob takes the fifth. if you're innocent, why are you taking the fifth amendment? >> so barbara, what do you think he'll do? >> you know, the fifth amendment is kind of tricky. i don't know about civil cases how all of that works, and in a crimical case, of course he's going to take the fifth amendment because anything he says that is truthful will, in fact, incriminate him. as far as this attitude about only the mob takes the fifth, i mean, you know, it's his projection. it's what he always does. i would never do something when actually that is what he's doing. >> cynthia, the legal question we kind of set you up there, first of all, would this be a risky strategy to plead the fifth? how could it come back to potentially bite him and how significant would it be for a former president to plead the ifivity? >> in the scope of history t seems shocking a president would
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take the fifth, right? but it doesn't seem that shocking to me that trump would do it. i predict that he will. here's the difference, here's the difference in the civil and the criminal. in the criminal case if you take the fifth, the prosecutor can never bring up you were asked the question, can't comment on the fact you refused to answer or talk about it in any way or reversible error and the example is for instance, this, if the crime is did trump steal a cookie from the cookie jar, in a criminal case, he takes the fifth, i didn't take that cookie, you can't say anything. in a civil case, the judge can say to the jury and the lawyers can introduce trump was asked whether or not he took the fifth -- took the cookie and he said i take the fifth amendment, you draw whatever inference you want from that. it's a little more complicated but that's basically it. so it hurts you in the civil case. i think he's sort of teflon on this. people know he's such, he's so full of bragadacio, nobody will
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care what he says. i don't think it will make that much of a difference. my guess is he takes the fifth. >> cynthia oxne ye and barbara res, thank you so much. in a few minutes we expect to see vice president kamala harris and president zelensky at the munich conference as tensions rise with russia. fact versus fiction, russia's disinformation campaign in ukraine and how the west is fighting back. fighting back. men put their skin through a lot. day-in, day-out
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back to the breaking news we've been following. president biden believes russian president putin has made the decision to invade ukraine in the coming days. it's not just a ground conflict,' a disinformation war. richard engel has a look at propaganda on the tensions between the two countries. >> reporter: while russian ships conducted drills in the black sea, in eastern ukraine, russia may be building a case for war through a crisis that doesn't exist. russian-backed separatists there on sympathetic social media channels put out an orphanage being evacuated, air raid sirens tested and this supposed car bomb, no casualties, ukraine said it was staged. one of the separatist leaders called for people to flee to
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russia, women, children and the elderly first, because he claimed the ukrainian army is about to launch an all-out war. >> defies basic logic to believe the ukrainians would choose this moment with well over 150,000 troops on its borders to escalate a year-long conflict. >> reporter: instead, ukraine accuses the separatists, who are armed and led by the kremlin of firing on ukrainian territory in an attempt to bait the ukrainian army into a response. the separatists control an enclave about the size of new jersey in eastern ukraine on the russian border. the people here nearly 2 million use the russian ruble, speak russian, and hundreds of thousands have russian passports. ukrainian officials accuse russia of using these separatists to create a fabricated pretext for an invasion. ukrainian intelligence officials tonight warn that russia is planning more provocations, and is even planted bombs and
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separatist areas in order to blame ukraine for casualties. >> richard, thank you. coming up, kevin mccarthy warned his gop colleagues not to interfere with any primary fights involving incumbents and then did just that. why the house minority leader is inserting himself into wyoming's midterm race and stoking more republican infighting. our political panel will weigh in next. our political panel will weigh our political panel will weigh in fortunately, they were covered by progressive, so it was a happy ending... for almost everyone. looking to get back in your type 2 diabetes zone? once-weeklempic® can help. ♪ oh, oh, oh, ozempic®! ♪ ♪ oh, oh, oh ♪ ozempic® is proven to lower a1c. most people who took ozempic® reached an a1c under 7 and maintained it. and you may lose weight. adults lost on average up to 12 pounds. in adults also with known heart disease,
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republican party is putting a big spotlight on some key races ahead of the midterms. congresswoman liz cheney has been one of the few republicans who has openly criticized former president trump and his role in the january 6th insurrection. and this week two of her colleagues, minority leader, kevin mccarthy, and elise stephanic endorsed her challenger in the primary in august.
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this is after mccarthy told members not to get involved in primary fights. the endorsements drew praise from donald trump. crystal night is a democratic strategist and lauren selt is a former aid to mitt romney. i want to ask you how the split between the two republicans who are vocal against trump and how the rest of the party -- factor into the bigger picture here, is this something that democrats can seize on? >> it's something they can absolutely discuss. it's not a big fraction split from the larger part of the gop and those adverse to what's happening. we know that adam kinzinger is not running again, but liz cheney is. the gop doesn't want anyone in their factions willing to speak out against the hypocrisy they are embarking upon.
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she has been a big proponent of the big lie, making sure americans know everything that happened, she's serving on the january 6th committee, because she's committed to the truth, the party is not committed to her. it's really that simple. they're committed to continuing to foster misinformation about the 2020 elections. they want to make sure folks on their team are loyal to donald trump and liz cheney has proven over and over again, that she's not willing to play ball, moving this ball forward about the lies the gop party has been taking and now we see them attacking her, they already removed her from her powerful position in the chambers. so this is just the next step to continue to silence her and make sure she is not reelected in the fall. >> lauren, what does this toll tel you about mccarthy's loyalty to trump? >> it tells me that his loyalty to trump right now is quite strong. i will say i think others in the
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party are starting to break away from that. you've seen recently senate majority leader mcconnell trying to recruit candidates for -- to win election in places where trump candidates may be doing well. but one thing i think that's important to look at here is the donor class. if you look at alabama, for example, we have katy brit running against mow brooks and her fourth quarter fund-raising almost quadrupled that of mo brooks who has president trump's endorsement. it looks to me honestly like the donor class really has started to move on, including the small dollar donors that supported trump throughout his presidency. so that's definitely something to watch. the other thing to watch, especially in wyoming is that ms. cheney does not have just one challenger, she has five. so her chances of surviving that primary and keeping her job
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remain significantly higher if that stays that way now. so while i understand the former president and his allies are working on a bill in the wyoming legislature to ensure no cross voting in the primary i wonder if that's something they'll work out, talking to those other challengers trying to get them out of the race. because if they stay in, her chances of winning the primary are much higher. >> based on what they're saying with the efforts of mcconnells and others trying to get more republicans in the mix, does it make it more difficult for democrats in the midterms if they are up against more moderates? >> i don't think so. i think what democrats have to do is to remind their voters and remind republican voters what this party has been made of, and what this party has done over the last couple of years. so we can talk about the january 6th insurrection. we can talk about the supreme court nominee that they pushed
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right through before the election and they may attempt, we don't know yet, to stall with this administration. we can also point to how this party has not been on board with the president's legislative agenda. they helped block build back better, voting rights, policing reform. there are a number of legislative things that would help the american public at large that's not partisan, that they have toed party lines to make sure this is a failed administration. so if i'm a strategist advising the democratic party, advising a candidate running for office, i will remind them of the accomplishments they made in their district but remind them what the gop party has done at large that has not only been detrimental to americans but detrimental to legislation that would ease the economic pain many americans have been facing during the pandemic. >> lauren, last question to you and switching gears here as the
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focus is on the chaos of the ukrainian border. how can congress get on the same page in terms of being aggressive against russia, the senate just went on state work recess without approving a sanctions package? >> yeah. and that was very unfortunate, because the time to act on this extremely important national security issue is now. essentially what it looks like is that russia will be invading ukraine within the next couple of days and that's terrifying, to be honest. because that has potential -- that has legs to develop into a larger conflict around the globe. so while i understand the senate schedule, i think that needs to be a top priority when they come back from recess. however, there's a lot of other legislative items on the docket, including build back better, we still haven't seen that pass. so it's going to be a bit of a fight to get that done with so many other priorities, especially recovering from the covid-19 pandemic, at play.
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>> crystal, last thoughts to you. >> i think again what lauren said, i tend to agree with much of what she said. we have to remember moving into the midterm elections the democratic party has to stick to messaging, reminding voters what this president has done, where this president wants to go, and really based upon what's going to happen in ukraine that the president is going to act in the best interest of americans, and that's the ultimate thing that we have to understand about this conflict and how we hopefully won't have to intervene, but if we do, we also understand what is in the national interest of our country. >> crystal knight and lauren zelt thank you both for joining us this morning, appreciate your time. thank you for watching msnbc reports. velshi starts right now. msnbc reports. velshi starts right now.
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today on velshi, the eyes of the world are on ukraine as president biden says he now believes that the russian president, vladimir putin, has made the decision to invade ukraine. nbc is reporting nearly 40% of russian forces pushing in on the ukrainian border are now in attack position. we'll go live to ukraine in just a moment for the very latest. plus a century worth of sea level rise in 30 years. i'll talk to the head of the oceanic and atmospheric administration about the agency's alarming new data laying out what's in store for us. we won't leave out the fact that climate crisis is a crisis of racial inequality in this country. he lost his fight to hide from questions about his finances, he suffered a stinging rebuke from a federal judge who refused to let him off the hook for lawsuits blaming him for inciting the deadly capitol riots and that's only the beginning of his troubles this
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week. and the fight against book bans, is personal for a man who grew up in post world war ii germany. why he's throwing down half a million dollars of his own money to fight book bans. "velshi" starts now. good morning, it is saturday, february the 19th, i'm ali velshi. this morning we are continuing to keep al very, very close eye on the situation along the border between ukraine and russia. u.s. officials have been warning about the possibility of a russian invasion of ukraine for weeks now. but president biden has tempered those warnings with a cautious note while an invasion remained a distinct possibility, the russian president, vladimir putin, had not thrown his full weight behind the idea yet. that's changed. for the first time yesterday afternoon during a public address from the white house, president biden said he believes that putin has made the decision to invade.


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