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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  February 19, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PST

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lay your hand flat on the table, talk to a hand specialist. but what if i don't want surgery? well, then you should find a hand specialist certified to offer nonsurgical treatments. what's the next step? visit today to get started. thank you, everybody for watching "the cross connection," i'll be back next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. you don't want to go anywhere, my friend alex wilt has the latest. i have a pressing question for you. i understand today is a very very very important day, and we need to get to why that is right now. >> it's all about on the heels of your great conversation with tina knowles lawson how we continue to learn from our mothers no matter how old we are. i'm paying homage, thanks to you bringing this up, to my mom. it is her birthday today, she's beautiful. i admire her.
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she's a total inspiration. so as i was watching tina, i'm like, yeah, my mom needs a shout out because it's her birthday. thank you for setting that up. i appreciate it. >> can i piggy back, happy birthday to your mom from me. alex witt is a girl's girl, happy birthday to mom. >> enjoy. have a good one my friend. >> thanks, alex. >> here we are with a good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters in new york. welcome to alex witt reports. we report with breaking news, at 8:00 p.m. in crimea, moscow and belarus, and these new satellite images over parts of the territory, the latest deployment of russian ground attack aircraft, helicopters, as well as air defense units they're at airfields near ukraine's border,
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this in addition to as many as 190,000 combat forces along with naval units and field hospitals. they are already in place surrounding ukraine. the latest u.s. intelligence suggesting the russian military is moving ahead with plans for an incursion. >> for months now, russia has been building up its military forces in and around ukraine. including in belarus. they are uncoiling and are now poised to strike. >> and today, russian president vladimir putin skipped the munich security conference. instead he stayed home in moscow to oversee drills involving russian nuclear capable weapons in belarus. this video of missile testing was released today by the russian defense ministry. however, nbc news cannot confirm when nor where that video was taken. vice president kamala harris joined other world leaders, she
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has issued stark warnings of dire economic consequences with further russian incur into ukraine. >> people have a right to choose their own form of government, that nations have a right to choose their own alliances, that sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states must be respected. and that national borders should not be changed by force. >> meanwhile, in pro russian controlled sections of ukraine, evacuations are already underway for women, children and the elderly. russian separatist leaders there ordered a full military mobilization calling on able bodied men to sign up to fight.
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covering the latest on the ukraine crisis for us, we have nbc's andrea mitchell joining us from the munich security conference. matt bradley joins us from ukraine. josh lederman is at the white house, and also joining us, former deputy national secretary, rather security adviser, ben rhodes, i want to thank all of you for being here. with ukrainian president zelensky, having met with vice president harris from munich, what are we hearing from them? >> zelensky gave a very fiery speech, basically going in front of european leaders and saying what have you been doing for the last few years, why haven't you done more, why aren't you supporting us? he wants to get into nato. it's very clear, speaking to people here who have spoken with him privately, he still believes he should be in nato, even though nato has told him very clearly that there is no
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consensus because ukraine does not qualify on a number of grounds, their fight against corruption on their democratic processes, so they have to work for another six to ten years as the low estimate before they could be accepted by the 30 nato members by consensus. that's the deal. they have the strongest possible support from the u.s. and the allies, actually, but particularly certainly led by the united states, kamala harris, the vice president made that very clear today. support for the open door of nato, there's no modification, no negotiation about that. it is a nonstarter as far as the u.s. is concerned, and what's really striking here, harris said today, blinken said yesterday, the president made that point last night that the allies really have pulled together. it is ironic that vladimir putin, having wanted to keep rolling back nato's advance towards his borders and
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objecting to poland, lithuania, estonia, others who have gotten into nato, and certainly to any ukraine admission to nato, which he believes to be part of, recreate the soviet era of state, full, the irony is that he has strengthened the nato alliance on decline for many years, actually, since the cold war, the post cold war period, but now it has been strengthened, particularly by the biden administration, and that is one of the ironies here, but zelensky is now flying home, and he came here at some risk. he was warned against it by white house officials who thought that him leaving his country right now when the president of the united states has warned that war is imminent, that vladimir putin as the president said, has decided, has given the green light, if you will, for an invasion, an invasion of indeterminant size
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which could perhaps not be the small incursion or taking the eastern ukraine sections of the country, dominated by western forces, something he could do by some estimates in a matter of days. alex, you have seen the map. it's a daunting map. zelensky came here because he wanted to make the appeal in person, give us more support. give us more military support. one unanswered questions that i have been asking officials for the last couple of hours inside these meetings is will the u.s. support an insurgency, if ukraine does stand up as zelensky said today, we will fight for our country, will the u.s. support that? not with manpower, they're not part of nato. the u.s. has no treaty obligation to them. there is support we have given to other countries, notably in afghanistan and other places
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where we have supported insurgencies in syria. would we do that in ukraine, and there has been no clear answer, even off camera from u.s. officials about that. >> something that's interesting, andrea, the fact that president zelensky says he wants more support, a communal support from the united states and nato, the fact is that didn't he give up nuclear weapons that were held by ukraine? didn't he do that in an effort for that kind of support that he's asking for? i mean, what happened to that kind of exchange? >> well, there was an agreement, an agreement signed by russia and the other countries back in 1996 or '97. '96, i believe, ukraine gave up his nuclear weapons because the former soviet union kept most of its strategic forces, his nuclear forces on what is mow
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ukrainian territory. so once the soviet union broke up, the berlin wall came down. ukraine had custody of that weaponry. they agreed to give it up and in return were granted sovereignty that they could control their own destiny. he's speaking for his country in saying we gave up our weapons and you promised that we would be able to stand up for ourselves, and certainly they have a point. another point here is that it's a bad message to other countries like north korea, who are trying to get to give up their weapons that you can make a deal like this with the united states and other countries, and then the rest of the world reneges on the deal. okay. thank you for clarifying all of that, and it is something that most everyone should be watching, that tit for tat, if you will, andrea mitchell, thank you so much. we'll look forward to hearing from you again. safe travels there in munich. let's go to matt bradley in
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ukraine. certainly sensing a shift in tone there today, what are you seeing, and what are you sensing right now? >> seeing on the street, it's all the same, but i have to tell you that the tensions here are sky high. among other metrics, you know, not far from where i am now, across the belarusian board, we have president putin of russia, with missile tests. here's our report from today. the drums of war are now deafening, with russian soldiers drilling in belarus, and civilians flees from russian separatist territory. one separatist leader calling his people to arms. i appeal to all the men of the republic, able to hold weapons this their hands, stand up for their families, their children, wives, mothers, he said this morning. the u.s. warning russia's
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attacks could involve jets, tanks, ballistic missiles, and cyber attacks and might target kyiv. one soldier was killed by rebel shelling this morning, and separatists say a car bomb appeared to target a rebel leader in donesk. at the moment, there's an increase in the number of cease fire, the enemy is firing guns. we have had more than 80 strikes since yesterday morning. but ukrainian soldiers under strict orders not to return fire, to avoid escalating the conflict and playing into russia's hands. with tensions this high, the smallest spark could set it off. and again, alex, you know, not separatist enclaves, we are getting reports from ukrainians today, since i filed that report earlier today that they're now seeing russian mercenaries
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flooding into those separatist enclaves, the real issue is something like a false flag attack or pretext for war. that's what everybody is worthy about. this is what the white house has been warning and it's something that's looking increasingly likely with more action in the east. >> that's what was questioning around the car bomb you reported about. when you say everything looks normal, we have heard the reports, granted in a different area about women, children, the elderly being told to evacuate. you're not seeing any of that there in car kyiv? >> no, it's remarkable and this is how it's been the last couple of weeks. it's hard to explain. i think you would agree, alex, there was a foreign military to the north and south and east of america in enormous numbers with massive amounts of hardware that americans probably wouldn't be so calm and cool about it, but that's exactly what's been going on here. you've got to remember, alex, as i mentioned in the report,
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ukrainians feel they have been at war the past eightsn necessa different. many people do say in the past couple of hours, days, the temperature has definitely increased here. alex. >> definitely so. matt bradley, thank you for watching things from ukraine. let's go to ledderman at the white housement vice president kamala harris, at the security conference in munich. what are we hearing from her in a big picture as all of this unfolds? >> reporter: we heard from her when she spoke and met with president zelensky of ukraine. there had been a lot of skepticism whether he was going to show up at the conference, given my colleagues and i reported yesterday that u.s. officials were concerned about zelensky leaving the country at a time when putin could invade at any moment, but he did make that trip, deciding to go anyway. in part to meet with kamala harris who is having perhaps her biggest moment on the world stage.
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zelensky saying in that meeting with the vice president that this is our land. we fully understand the gravity of the situation here. the vice president making clear if russia does invade, the costs for russia will be unprecedented. a warning to russia from vice president kamala harris. the vice president saying if russia invades ukraine, the u.s. will impose severe sanctions. >> make no mistake, the imposition of these sweeping and coordinated measures will inflict great damage on those who must be held accountable. >> that message coming a day after president biden said russian leader vladimir putin has decided to invade ukraine. >> as of this moment, i'm convinced he's made the decision. >> a dramatic revelation from the president who for weeks insisted putin hadn't made up his mind. biden citing significant intelligence saying the u.s. believes russian forces will target ukraine's capital, kyiv,
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a city of nearly 3 million in the coming days. >> russia can still choose diplomacy. it is not too late to deescalate and return to the negotiating table. >> reporter: there are no signs russia is backing away, defense officials say russia has moved half of its forces into attack position. u.s. intelligence suggests russia has up to 190,000 forces near and in ukraine. for weeks, biden has predicted russia could use addition information, false flag operations and cyber attacks to goad ukraine into war. the white house says that's exactly what's happening. >> we believe the russia government is responsible for wide scale cyber attacks on ukraine this week. >> reporter: russia is accusing ukraine genocide against russian speakers, allegations mr. biden called phony and fabricated. and when it comes to that assertion from the president that putin has made a decision. we heard from the defense
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secretary lloyd austin who says he agrees with president biden. from what the u.s. sees on the ground, russia is unspiraling the forces it has amassed and is poised to attack. the ukrainian foreign minister was asked whether he agrees when he met earlier today with secretary of state antony blinken, he dodged the question, but said we are prepared for anything that could happen. alex. >> josh lederman, thank you for that from the white house. we'll keep a close eye on things with your hem. help. the white house and nato are sending a message to president putin, any military incursions will hit him in the wallet. >> let me be clear, i can say with absolute certainty if the russia further invades ukraine, the united states together with our allies and partners will impose significant and unprecedented economic cost.
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>> and joining me now is ben rhodes, former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications under president obama, and now an msnbc political contributor. we're awfully glad to have you here, ben. how do you think putin is receiving this message today? i mean, can this unified front in munich deter any further incursions? >> it doesn't seem like it, alex, it feels like, as president biden said, vladimir putin has made up his mind. if you take a look at what's taken place in the last couple of days, you see the unfolding of putin pretext for war. you have seen claims from the russian controlled areas inside of ukraine, luhansk and donesk, targeted for ethnic cleansing, you are seeing them move the refugees across the border into russia. you see russian television broadcasting this around the clock.
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you see russia positioning its military assets around ukraine, not just to encircle it but literally as the secretary of defense said, uncoiling them, moving them to the border, putting forward supplies like blood like you would only need not in a military exercise but an actual war. nothing putin is doing suggests that he is amending his plans at all, and that threat of sanctions has been on the table for weeks and hasn't deterred him. >> when the field hospitals were set up and the delivery of blood supplies, that was when i got chills down my spine thinking he means business here. i'm curious what your sense of what president zelensky is thinking after his appearance in munich is he rattled by the u.s. sharing intelligence information. economically speaking he doesn't want to run on the banks. he doesn't want people massively fleeing ukraine. if the united states and its allies are putting out information that is essentially giving the russian putin play
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book, wouldn't that help him in the eyes of the world? >> i think, you know, president zelensky has kind of changed his tune on this in recent days. for a time, he didn't want to panic his population. for the last several days we have been in a different circumstance, the window that feels like something between the ramp up to war and the actual war and the reality, though, what i was struck by is number one him leaving ukraine despite the threat that russia might invade while he's gone and shut down the airspace and prevent him from getting in and that could be destabilizing because russia may want to install a pro-russian government in his place. also if you look at his speech today it was largely focused on ukraine's continued determination to join nato, and this to me suggests that i don't really see what the potential window is for diplomacy in the sense that russia's core demand is ukraine can never join nato, and nato has to pull back from
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the eastern european countries it expanded to in the 90s and 2000s. you have the ukrainian president saying he wants to speed up nato membership and you have the united states and other nato countries moving more forces into those eastern european countries. in order for there to be a diplomatic off ramp, somebody would have to climb down massively from their current position, and nothing about what the russians are doing or what president biden is doing or president zelensky is doing suggests that. instead, it feels like, you know, we are continuing to move on this ramp up into what could be a very significant war. >> and so let's just reiterate for our viewers, were ukraine to join nato, putin doesn't want that. then he's not just facing ukraine. he's facing the full force of an international group there that could be led by the united states in many instances. that's what we does not want. whether it's militarily, whether there's economic strength, whether it's democratic
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strength. all of these democracies coming together. so the fact that we're looking at the united states has me six, ten years further down the road, does that make this from putin's perspective, this is the optimum time to do what he's going to do. if he tries to do it later, post any sort of nato alliance, he'd lose. >> yeah, alex, there's something interesting that has happened. the ukrainian public did not used to support nato in a significant number. since 2014, when russia annexed crimea, and moved into the regions of eastern ukraine, support for nato membership has gone up significantly. putin has lost the battle for public opinion in a democracy. what does putin want? he does not want ukraine to be a member of nato. he does not want a long border with russia and nato countries and u.s. forces potentially in that country. number two, he does not want a democracy along his borders, and you have seen him back up the
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autocratic belarus lukashenko is with him today, and he sees democracy as an existential threat to his system, essentially a corrupt autocracy, and he doesn't want a democratic success story in ukraine that could spill over into russia and he wants to undo the humiliation that he felt with the collapse of the soviet union and the loss of russian domination of ukraine and keep in mind, ukraine was the biggest and to russia most important of the former soviet republics it lost when the soviet union fell apart, and deep cultural and linguistic so putin doesn't accept that ukraine was an independent country. this is about a lot of things that are strategic, that are personal, that are historical, and that's why he appears to be willing to accept enormous economic cost and significant political risk in this effort to try to bend ukraine to his will and if he can't do that, potentially to try to invade and take control of ukrainian
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politics. >> you mentioned ukrainian people leaning more towards wanting to be part of nato. do we have a sense of how the russians feel about this potential incursion into ukraine, whether it's about reunification or fear that what comes next is tremendous economic hardship? >> it's a great question, and look, the reality is that the annexation of crimea was not costly for russia in terms of fighting. it wasn't a significant military resistance. there weren't a lot of body bags coming into russia. this would be a different situation, and i think the russian public knows, a full-scale mechanized invasion of ukraine, far beyond anything we saw in 2014 would lead to thousands, if not tens of thousands russian casualties. significant hardship on top of the sanctions they suffered in 2014, this would likely not be nearly as popular as the easier operation that russia launched into crimea, a peninsula that
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russians believed should be part of the country. ukraine, most would accept as an independent country. putin is taking a domestic political risk at home. that's why he has to gin up that we have to do this in defense of russians. he needs some narrative to sell his people about why to take that risk. i think the whole thing is complicated, too, though, by the fact that look, the united states has a commitment to go to war to defend any nato member who's attacked and that would include poland, lithuania, latvia and estonia. one of the reasons it's hard to envision ukraine coming into nato in the near future is we have to be honest about whether or not americans would send american troops to go to war against russia for ukraine, and so ukraine is stuck in this kind of gray space where russia cares about it a lot, we care about it a lot, but the question is who's going to fight and it looks like it's going to be a ukraine fighting against a much stronger
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russian army albeit with this economic support, weapons coming from nato, but not nato troops. >> and if that part of the nato charter is the fact you put an attack on one, you put an attack on all. ben rhodes, great chatting with you. i wish i had more time, but i don't. thank you so much. meantime, leniency sparking outrage. fallout from the minnesota police officer who shot and killed daunte wright. he minnesoa police officer who shot and killed daunte wright
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some new outrage to the sentence of former police officer kim potter who was convicted in the manslaughter death of 20-year-old daunte wright. the judge handing down a two-year sentence, far less than the seven years prosecutors pushed for. nbc's ron allen reports. >> the justice system murdered him all over again. >> reporter: daunte wright's mother reacting to the two-year sentence a judge handed down to former officer potter, for killing the 20-year-old during a
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traffic stop last april when potter says she mistook her gun for her taser. she was convicted of manslaughter after eight days of testimony, during which wright's family says she didn't show enough remorse. >> as if killing wasn't enough to dehumanize him, she never once said his name. and for that i'll never be able to forgive you. >> the 26 year police veteran faced wright's family. >> earlier when you said that i didn't look at you during the trial, i don't believe i had a right to. i didn't even have a right to be in the same room with you. i am so sorry that i hurt you so badly. >> potter's attorneys called the fatal encounter an accident or mistake, arguing she should not go to prison because wright was resisting a lawful arrest. >> mr. and mrs. wright, i cannot begin to understand the grief of losing a child.
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>> judge regina chu. >> officer potter make a mistake that ended tragically. she never intended to hurt anyone. >> wright's family saying the judge's concern was misplaced. >> this lady got a slap on the wrist, and we still every night sitting around crying, waiting on my son to come home. >> that was nbc's ron allen reporting and our next hour, i'll be speaking to civil rights attorney charles coleman about the fallout, and ask him about police breaking up a fight at a new jersey mall by handcuffing a black teen being pinned to the floor while the light skinned teen he was fighting not restrained. many people are asking why police did not treat them the
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downy will soften your clothes without dyes or perfumes. the towel washed with downy is softer, and gentler on your skin. try downy free & gentle. we are back with our breaking news as tensions between ukraine and russia are in a critical phase this weekend after president biden said he is now convinced vladimir putin has decided he will invade ukraine. today vice president kamala harris met with ukraine's president at that munich security conference. the vice president delivering a message earlier today promising to stand united with our allies around the world if russia invades ukraine, including significant and unprecedented economic sanctions. >> make no mistake, the imposition of these sweeping and coordinated measures will inflict great damage on those who must be held accountable.
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and we will not stop with economic measures. we will further reinforce our nato allies on the eastern flank. putin oversaw massive military drills of russia's nuclear forces today. here are some new video released by russia's defense ministry which is allegedly from today's drills. it comes as an estimated 190,000 troops are currently surrounding ukraine with nearly half of them reportedly in attack position. joining me now is virginia congressman jerry, i'm awful grad to have you who are here the u.s. and allies are perceiving the situation as increasingly dire. is there real confidence this can be resolved peacefully?
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>> you know, i think there's a -- i think there's a certain pessimistic inevitability what we're witnessing on the borders of ukraine. i don't think there's a lot of optimism that this is going to be worked out diplomatically, most members are convinced russia is going through the motions but is not serious at all about a diplomatic solution. >> is there any evidence that the transparency, sir, around the russia troop movements and all the potential false flag operations, has that had any effect on putin or is putin playing only to a russian audience via whatever narrative that he creates and are the russian people behind putin on this? >> well, with respect to the last, i think putin's propaganda machine and control of the media, social and otherwise
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within russia has persuaded the russian people that theirs is a noble cause and that putin's version of history with respect to the ukraine is correct. i do believe, however, that putin is comfortable being on an island all by himself. he's about to make russia a pariah state. his only ally is a dictator from belarus, lukashenko. that's a pretty lonely place to be, and i think he wants to achieve a particular goal with respect to ukraine and is willing to take his chances on what the consequences might be. that's a pretty reckless position. it may be calculated, but i think it is very reckless, and is going to yield real ramifications for russia going forward for many years. >> do you have any sense of how far, to what extent russia might go to get what it wants and
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beyond the sanctions what else could be the punishment for putin if he invades? >> well right now, candidly, it looks like a massive invasion from at least three sides, you know, north, east and south of ukraine through belarus, through crimea, and from russia proper. and it looks like they could have a straight shot at the capital of ukraine, kyiv itself, i hope not. kyiv is a capital city of 2.8 million people. the horror and slaughter that could ensue at such a military action is hard to even imagine. and it's certainly something that ought to be avoided at all costs. again, i think we're dealing with a dictator, and a thug. vladimir putin, whose view of the world is very constrained by
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a russo centric view of how things ought to work and how they have worked in the past. >> let me ask you, president biden has been pretty transparent about his thoughts. the fact is you were a staffer to then senator biden when he was on the foreign relations committee. you were a staffer, an aide for i believe about a decade, which means you know the inner workings of how he approaches foreign policy, something he definitely prioritizes. can you give us a sense of how he's approaching this beyond what he himself has told us? >> well, first of all, president biden is a very committed transatlantic advocate, so he believes passionately and deeply in the importance and significance of the transatlantic alliance, especially nato. and i think you've seen that, since he became president, he's done everything he possibly can to shore up those relationships,
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and to strengthen nato itself, both its resolve and its military capabilities. the fact that he sent troops to poland, the fact that he is shoring up the baltic nations, i think is indicative of his resolve to demonstrate to putin that you will not jeopardize nato members. i also believe that his strategy of calling out putin in advance is taking away tools putin traditionally uses. it's hard to engage in disinformation when we're calling out what we're up to. it's hard for putin to use a false event as a pretext, when we've determined what the false events to be. the surprise element is done and the pretext of a rationale is gone. i think it's a brilliant move by president biden's
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administration, and it means that there will be absolute sunshine on whatever it is russia does and there will be very little doubt about what it did and what its motives were, and what its options could have been. >> congressman, one more quick question with the new developments on the national archives, which has been confirmed in a letter to the house oversight committee. it found classified material among the 15 boxes of documents that trump took with him to mar-a-lago. what are the implications and what does it mean for the committee's investigation? >> it's very disturbing to know that president trump was so careless that he would risk compromising classified matters. we don't know what those matters are but it could very well involve national intelligence but the broader picture is that he thumbed his nose at the presidential records act which is quite specific in terms of protecting presidential
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documents and requiring that they be transferred to the national archives for permanent store keeping, and filing them. so, you know, it's another example of trump thumbing his nose, not only at enormous but at laws. and i believe he's put himself in some real legal jeopardy, both in terms of the classified material and the broader issue of not protecting material required to be protected and transferred to the archives by law. >> gerry connolly, thank you for taking the time and i appreciate you staying around for us. >> thank you. the right wing media reported it as proof that hillary clinton's campaign spied on former president trump, but now the special counsel who set off the feeding frenzy say they got it wrong. can we expect a mea culpa? t a m,
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the court filing from the special counsel investigating the origins of the russia probe is making way across conservative media. saying it proves hillary clinton's campaign was spying on trump, calling it bigger than watergate but what's actually in the court filing doesn't come close to supporting those allegations. durham accuses a tech executive of using legally obtained access to white house computers to look for quote derogatory information on trump. it does not allege crime and does not say anyone was illegally spied upon. joining me adrian el rod, democratic strategist, alens ya johnson, political strategist, and biden campaign consultant, and kurt bardella, the welcome all, kurt, you first here, because i also want to point out that durham made another court filing suggesting the media outlets were over interpreting his original court filing. there's a bouncy ball to follow
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here, but essentially he did not want to be blamed for that. you know, it is a little bit exhausting but when the right is pushing so hard on a narrative that even durham himself cannot buy into, it deserves a counter balance. so kurt, your thoughts? >> well, it's very clear when you look at the timing, donald trump is in trouble. he's in legal jeopardy, court filings are going against him left and right all week long. his kids are going to have to testify under oath. he's going to have to testify under oath. that's game over because he's a walking perjury to himself, and here comes this great conspiracy theory from the same chorus that brought hillary's e-mails, pulling nonsense stuff, language that doesn't actually exist, and it's clear misdirection, an effort to take any attention away from what's going on with donald trump and put it on somebody else. and it says a lot, by the way, that after hillary clinton called it out, and pretty much laid out how it's defaming her,
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and could be a legal issue for those propaganda outlets that carry john durham's water here that all of a sudden yesterday there was hardly any mention of it on fox, it went away when they realized, oh, crap, we may be breaking the law by defaming hillary clinton. >> john durham is saying i don't have the water for them to carry. he's flat out saying that. you made the point about hillary clinton and how she responded, here you go, viewers, take a listen to this. >> funny, the more trouble trump gets into, the wilder the charges and conspiracy theories about me seem to get. so now his accountants have fired him, and investigations draw closer to him, and right on cue, the noise machine gets turned up, doesn't it. >> adrian, how do you read what she said, is she spot on? >> absolutely, alex. there's not a whole lot more to say because she is exactly
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right. look, fox news says it became a network in 1996 and has been going after hillary clinton, why, because it makes them a lot of money. they've got to have somebody to beat up on. they've got to have somebody to use disinformation on, misinformation on to thwart from their own party's problems, the party that that network has been supporting the gop since they became a network. this is part of what hillary clinton called the right wing, or the vast conspiracy machine by the right wing. this has been going on for a long time. hillary clinton makes fox news a lot of money. they get more eyeballs on their shows, they get more advertising dollars as a result. and it's not just fox. it's the whole right wing, you know, machine that's been going on for a long time. she's exactly right. you know, what john durham was doing, whether or not it's intentional or not. we do not know. certainly he knew as special counsel the moment he put her name in a report that the right wing media was going to go crazy
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and that's exactly what happened, and, you know, i think he's exactly right, diverting from trump's problems every time he starts to get investigated and he starts to get back on the news on the wrong things, sometimes her name magically appears, it's no coincidence, i don't think, certainly not lost on any of us who have had to deal with this. for a long time, those of us working for hillary clinton, those of us working in the democratic party, this is something we're very used to. doesn't make it right but we're certainly used to fox news doing this. >> classic broken record mentality. listen guys, i'm going to have to keep this brief. this last question to you. the investigation takes place now in merrick garland's justice department. is there going to come a point when he says enough's enough. it has been three years, durham has been investigating the situation, the investigators, longer than the actual russia probe itself. does garland have to see this through? >> you know, i think there's an opportunity here to correct the
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record and to make things clear that there is no evidence of hillary clinton spying on donald trump's presidency. there's no evidence that this is a baseless claim. i think what people want to see from either doj or just in general is for us to finally move away from this issue because, again, it's a distraction from so many other cases that the department of justice needs to be paying attention to, and hillary clinton did not win, unfortunately, in 2016. donald trump did. and he, of course, is under investigation for a lot of other things that are very serious, and he needs to be focused on those, instead of planning experience theories right now. >> sorry for the brevity of this conversation, but all the stuff on ukraine has put us behind. thank you so much, good to see all three of you. all of you may have sat in disbelief watching the olympic skating competition unfold. it reminded me of the abc wide world of sports open line, the human drama of athletic
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competition. this went beyond drama and felt more like trauma, and we were thousands of miles away. imagine being there. u.s. gold medalist figure skater, brian boitano is going to join me next and we're counting on him for some answers. join me next and we're counting on him for some counting on him for some answers. one gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health. oh n that is wrinkly. one gram of sugar, like, not even just a little wrinkly, that's a whole lot of wrinkly. i've got wrinkles on top of wrinkles! at least my shoes look good! help prevent wrinkles in the dryer with bounce wrinkleguard, the megasheet with three times the wrinkle fighting ingredients. imagine getting $150,000 dollars...
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let's go to the fire storm over the russian figure skating team, kamila valiyeva, the 15-year-old russian figure skating star at the center of the international doping scandal. she has returned home after that devastating loss. during her final performance, she fell twice, dropping from first place to fourth. the intense pressure on young athletes now at the center of this controversy, her teenage teammate who won gold said she felt empty, the russian silver medalist erupted in fury saying she never wanted to skate again. when valiyeva offered criticism rather than consolation, she
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asked why did you stop fighting. emotional reaction to the scene from viewers and former olympic champions, here's part of a report from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> katerina witt overwhelmed by emotion, saying valiyeva should have been protected, adding she is a child. joining me now is brian boitano, world champion figure skater, of course olympic gold medalist, and brian, we're honored to have you here. i know that you have said figure skating can be a brutal sport. this is one of the most difficult scenes you've ever seen, i've ever seen as a massive fan of figure skating. the head of the ioc called the scene chilling. why was the brutality of the sport so stark on thursday evening? >> you know, i talked to cat -- katerina after she did the interview. we have seen so many heartbreaking moments in sports. this by far was the most difficult to watch and brutal. i mean, the bottom line is that
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she should have never been put in the situation in the first place when she had a positive -- the positive drug test. she should have been taken out of the competition. she wasn't protected by her team that were around her, and the ioc allowed her to compete because they said she was 15 years old, it may cause irreparable damage and she didn't have time to mount a defense. what we witnessed is irreparable damage to the emotional health of a girl, and the trickle effect of the girl, the girl who won the olympic medal, standing alone backstage with nobody around her to congratulate her. it was intense, heartbreaking. >> heartbreaking to say the least. we have some analysts, that includes current skaters and coaches, they are calling now, brian, to raise the minimum age for competition from 15 to 18. the point has been made many times, this girl is 15. she is that child. where do you stand on that? >> i totally agree with it.
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maybe before this competition i might not have agreed but now i'm 100% in agreement. we have to raise the competition age to 18 years old. it opens a whole other can of worms, and in regards to making sure that the artistic mark is more important, but we can deal with that. what we have to do is protect our athletes that are vulnerable, and, you know, not leave these young girls alone to take care of themselves and be responsible for the fallout of what -- the situations that they have been put into. >> responsible and fallout, those words there, the adults around her, shouldn't they be held accountable in some way for this? >> absolutely. the adults should be held accountable, and they always should have. and those adults are the same people that should have never put her into this situation in the first place. i mean, you saw what happened on the ice with her.
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she is one of the brightest stars of figure skating, creating new levels of her generation of technical expertise, and she had only made maybe one mistake in maybe two years of competing, and you could see the effect that this pressure that she had from her whole nation put on her shoulders, those small little shoulders of hers, and she just crumbled under the pressure. a 15-year-old girl is never meant to be put into a pressure situation like that was. it was the hardest situation i have ever seen in competitive sports. >> which must have been harlt -- heartbreaking for you to watch along with the rest of us that couldn't believe what we were watching. what went through your mind, and when you think back to the gold medal you won, standing on the podium, the pride, the hard work, the everything that went into that, i mean, how do you compare what she lost with what you gained? >> you know, we are groomed as skaters to deal with more
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pressure adds we get older and older and older, and you know, you represent your country and that's another layer of pressure, you get ready to go to the olympics but as soon as you step on olympic ice, you are blown away by the amount of pressure that you did not expect, representing your country, representing your team, remitting yourself, and at 24 years old when i won the olympic gold medal, i was barely able to deal with the pressure at that point, and i had so many years more of grooming than a 15-year-old girl. to think of myself as a 15-year-old dealing with that, and dealing with all of the other negative energy coming in, i, you know, i just feel so badly for her. >> yeah. well, brian boitano, it's such an honor to talk to you. i still remember absolutely jumping up and down in the wake of your big win then. well done then and now, and thank you for talking with us. thanks, brian. >> thank you for having me. i appreciate it. it all sounds so ominous, russia reportedly is close to
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50% of its military at the ukrainian border in attack position. president biden convinced putin will attack. there are new details to report on this. and back in the states a mall fight sparking controversy and protest. in the next hour, you'll hear from the teen tackled by police as the teen he fought sat and watched. the teen he fought sat watched. with downy infusions, let the scent set the mood. ♪
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