tv American Voices With Alicia Menendez MSNBC February 19, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
katie phang picks up our news coverage now. >> thanks, reverend sharpton. hello, everyone. i'm kaie phang. i'm in for alicia mendes and we begin with american voices. here's how defense secretary lloyd austin put it today in lithuania. >> for months now russia has been building up its military forces in and aroundbelarus. they're uncoiling and are now poised to strike. >> new video from eastern ukraine shows ukrainian military officials under attack by pro-russian separatists. they were forced to take cover in a bomb shelter. "the wall street journal" reports those russian-backed rebels have issued a call to arms for all men in the russian breakaway regions of eastern ukraine, but there's still time
to find a diplomatic fix. at least that's the hope. secretary of state antony blinken plans to meet with russia's foreign minister next week, where and when to be determined. blinken says the meeting will only happen if they do not invade beforehand. if that should happen, vice president kamala harris standing next to ukraine's president in munich. >> 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 costs. >> we also have new video of
putin himself. it claims to show him today overseeing drills of nuclear-capable weapons in belarus. this week president biden said there's significant evidence that russia will attack the capital of kyiv with 3 million residents. russia has positioned 390,000 troops along the borders. that's why they feel like time may just be running out. >> translator: ukraine is longing for peace, europe is longing for peace. the world is saying it doesn't want any war while russia is claiming he doesn't want to intervene. someone it appears is lying. >> nbc's matt bradley is live on
the ground. >> after escalating tensions just in the last 24 hours, tensions have seemed to escalate impossibly even more right up to the brink of war. that's what we're looking at now. that isn't because president biden came out last night and said he had determined vladimir putin of russia had now decided to launch his invasion into ukraine. that was startling enough, but just today we've seen repeated incidents right here in the neighborhood. one was missile tests, ballistics and cruise missiles by russia and belarus, and putin got a front row seat watching all of it from his offices in moscow. those were threatening. it was not entirely clear that they would be used. they were moved up later in the year to this moment right when the tensions are at this peak. right where i'm standing in eastern ukraine, there's also been a major uptick in violence
and in really frightening incidents. we've seen some 100 different cross-border incidents today. two ukrainian soldiers were also killed today, the latest in 14,000 people who have been killed in the last eight years since russia last invaded the country in 2018. i'm not talking about crossing the border between russia and ukraine. i'm talking about issues occurring over this line of control between government-held territory in ukraine where i am now and territorial enclaves controlled by russian-claimed separatists in ukraine. we're seeing it start to increase in temperature. we saw in the last couple of days more incidents, and now the
ukrainian incidents. >> nbc's matt bradley. let's speak now with missy brian and andrea kendall-taylor. she's the director of the trance tlks program center for new american security and formerly served as deputy national intelligence officer for the national intelligence council. andrea, i want to start with you. what negotiations would work with putin at this point? is there really a sense diplomacy could curb an invasion at this time? >> i think it's getting increasingly clear that the window for diplomacy is rapidly closing, and i'm quite skeptical that there's a diplomatic path forward. we heard that secretary blinken is planning to meet with lavrov,
but i think the conditions on the ground are deteriorating rapidly and there's a real risk we could see a russian incursion before that. there are, of course, things putin can do. we have to underscore this is a war of choice, and if putin wants to de-escalate and pursue a diplomatic path, he can. there are things he could pocket and walk away with and still not look weak domestically, but that's getting harder and harder. >> missy, i want to play sound today from president zelensky in munich. let's take a listen. >> translator: 15 years ago he made a statement putting a challenge to global security. how did the world respond? appeasement. what do we have as a result? the annexation of the crimea and aggression against my country at the very least. >> missy, talk us through what
the world is looking at now and how other leaders should be dealing with russia and putin. >> this certainly isn't the first time we've heard a message of not necessarily recrimination but somewhat a complaint from the west that they have not had a seizure since 2014 throughout the years in the conflict in the donbas region east of ukraine. so one of the things he said today was that the countries outside of ukraine could have imposed sanctions before putin conducted this military buildup. biden said they did not want to do that, that they wanted the sanctions to be used as a deterrent. but certainly there's a lively discussion about when and how to apply economic measures and
potentially security measures, too, in terms of we're seeing these nato security forces and new weaponry there. what are things that could prevent putin from moving ahead. >> you know, andrea, evelyn farcus who served the obama administration said we have to make good on our promise to punish russia or they and other countries are not going to take us seriously moving forward. how muss is the biden team discussing this as a factor while they're discussing possible sanctions against russia? >>. >> i think that's the key factor. one of the key things in zelensky's speech was the world appeasement. this is pattern we've seen with president putin going back to 2018, the attack on our election in 2016. his point is that the pushback
on president putin has not been high enough to put an end to this very destabilizing and aggressive behavior, and so that is, i think, top of mind for the biden administration. they're talking about implementing, you know, economic measures. we previously refrained from using, that the economic costs would be punishing. so they really are promising, and i expect them to implement if president putin goes in a very strong economic package. also it's not the economic measures they're talking about. they will equip ukrainians, they're talking about strengthening the eastern flank. so it will be, i think, a very robust response this time around because i think the lesson, i hope, has finally been learned. >> missy, the strategy that it seems, it's coming from the biden administration including what we heard from andrea includes sharing intelligence
information. how much of this do you think is a strategy that was built on lessons that were learned from the annexation of crimea back in 2014? >> you know, that's a great point, katie. i think it's important to put out the intelligence information before the fact. that i say this could happen. they don't have certainty but they feel like they have enough information to have a credible case, and they're trying to preempt any false flag, provocation, guise for an ex-station by putin and from what our reporting tells us, it's linked to frustration about 2014 and the failure of the obama administration in that time to sort of share what they knew and what they were seeing with the public, and they feel like that in some ways allowed putin to do what he did. so they're hoping to not make the same mistake twice, but the question is, you know, is
putin's calculation really affected by this? it's just too soon to say. you know, we're watching. tomorrow is february 20th. it's the day people have been talking about a lot, the end of the beijing olympics. and so there's been a lot of discussion that that could be a moment where putin makes his move. >> missy and andrea. as america and the world waits, we want to thank you for being here this evening. up next. the former president's very bad week through the lens of the law, whether it's being forced to testify about his family business or revelations he walked out of the white house with top-secret documents in hand, is the hammer about to drop on donald trump? plus, messaging matters, and it might be the only way for democrats to stay afloat this november with the 202 midterm elections upon us. and some craze owe video you've got to see showing a helicopter crashing into the ocean here in florida.
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legally speaking, it was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week for donald trump. citing trump's rhetoric for riling up those at the capitol, the judge threatened to throw out lawsuits. it was officially confirmed trump took classified records with him to mar wra lago and the judge ruled trump and his two eldest children must all testify under oath about the trump organization's business practice. they were given 21 days to comply with the attorney general's subpoena. they are appealing, of course, but as jessica levinson writes given that their argument has been soundingly rejected, again, because of its lack of legal grounding, that appeal is likely
to do more than delay things. they say they're cutting ties with trump and his companies. also contributing to trump's flailing news that president biden has rejected trump's claim of executive privilege, allowing the national ar kivs to give the january 6th committee the logs among other things. joining me to bring it all down, joyce vance and "washington post" congressional correspondent and co-anchor, jacqueline almady. does trump really have expose now that his motion to dismiss has been denied? >> he really does have exposure. he can appeal the immunity
question, but ultimately it's very likely he'll get sent back to face at least discovery, and in a civil lawsuit unlike a criminal one, discovery can be rigorous. we know trump doesn't want to be deposed by le teesh ya james in the new york proceedings this. is a similar prospect for him down here. it's particularly damaging to him because the judge dismissed some of the other defendants, congressmen and rudy giuliani saying what they did was they engaged in free speech. the difference for the former president is he encouraged people to fight and then he pointed them toward the capitol and sent them on their way to the capitol. the judge says that's no longer protected speech and something that can be the subject of this civil lawsuit. >> jacqueline, trump and his supporters vehemently attacked hilary clinton for handling classified information over private emails. yet he went ahead and took
classified information from the white house anyway. is trump expected to receive the same level of scrutiny that clinton faced herself? >> yeah, katie, and i think we should note he didn't just mishandle classified information. he potentially destroyed classified information. we don't know some of the contents of what he has destroyed, but we previously reported his habit of shredding up papers, some of which have not been reconstricted, and as maggie haberman reported for "the new york times," they were flushed down the toilet. a whole other issue, just mishandling classified documents. whether or not he'll receive additional scrutiny is largely dependent on the doj. we know they're having conversation with nara after they notified them of these classified documents retrieved from mar-a-lago. 15 boxes of presidential records earlier in january, and if they
decide to pursue some sort of criminal charges. as you are both lawyers and know this better than me, there is a high legal bar to actually get criminal charges when it comes to mishandling classified documents. a prosecutor would have to prove the documents were intentionally mishandled or were grossly negligent in doing so, and that is a steep hurdle, but it is one that deserves legal scrutiny nonetheless. >> you know, joyce, i want to stay on that vein jacqueline and i were talking about. what kind of criminal charges could trump be facing for not only taking these classified documents with him to mar-a-lago, but as jacqueline just talked about, the potential disposal of documents or potential destruction of documents? >> jacqueline is right when she says there's a high bar for criminal prosecution, but before you even get there, there has to be investigation. there's no way to avoid in
engaging in a very robust investigation because in addition to the criminal size of the house, the fbi has a nation all security side of the house, and this has to be looked at and evaluated to determine whether there's an ongoing national security risk as a result of this lacking storage of classified documents. when you get to the criminal side of the calculus, there are a couple of different statutory possibilities for crimes. i think it's simply too early. don't know all the details around the facts, what the documents were, how they were handled, and if any of them were disclosed. and so it's difficult to assess whether there could be a felony prosecution. but it's worth noting in other cases involved high ranking government officials, former head cia director petraeus comes to mind or bill clinton's chief national security adviser, sandy berger. both were charged with mishandling classified information, and in both cases
they were permitted to plead to a misdemeanor charge. even if that's not a felony in the former president's future, that duh wasn't mean he won't face criminal sanctions. >> jackie, in the new york case with attorney general leticia james, are you expect leticia james to get any information of value out of trump or his children when they sit for their depositions? >> i think that is clearly the hope here. it's significant in and of itself for really the first time that they are being deposed, and we know that his children worked closely with the former president prior to his career in the white house. but i do think the business was in the family. this is, again, a significant step forward for this investigation that his children who were involved with many of the most high-level decisions
made with regard to the trump organization, that they're going to have to sit and answer questions before prosecutors. >> so, joyce, you know, the trump organization still remains in the crosshairs. how might mazar's disavowal of trump's ten years worth of financial statements impact that new york investigation? >> there's an awful lot of potential impact here ranging from the difficulty that the organization may have in getting new accountants and getting their taxes in on time and continuing to have the advice of an expert accountant available to them as they go through litigation. but it could also open up a lot of additional possibilities. and the one everybody has been speculating about, katie, is what is in the letter that tish james used in her courtroom pleading this week where she said there was a conflict that
couldn't be wreck sized. and does that mean they're lining up with the attorney general's office that they're lining up? there's some indication they could be doing that, that they could possibly find themselves at some risk and decide that cooperation is a better course of action. that could be very dangerous for the former president. nobody wants to have their accountants explosion all of the details. in this case, one of the most important things that tish james is undoubtedly looking at is where decision-making power was held inside the trump organization and who turned over the details that ma jars used in compiling the statement of accounts. this is the sort of information if you're the down ant doing this work, you know who you're dealing with, you know who you go back to when you have questions, and that sort of pedestrian information could be very important in this situation. >> so many investigations, so many questions.
joyce, thank you as always for your insight and being with us. jackie, please stay with us. up next, flip it and reverse it. the president and his party changing up their plan to win over voters in the midterms. plus, putin oversees large-scale drills with nuclear forces and russian-backed sep rah its are called to mobilize. the message sent to the kremlin coming up. e message sent to the e message sent to the coming up. and not only make new discoveries, but get there faster, with better outcomes. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change-- meeting them where they are, and getting them where they want to be. faster. vmware. welcome change. looking to get back in your type 2 diabetes zone? once-weekly ozempic® can help.
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facing the country right now. but how hard of a sell is that going to be? a new gallup poll might hold the nuclears. just 17% of americans are satisfied with the way things are going right now. that's a 40-year low. on the flip side, satisfaction with the personal side, 85% are satisfied. chris is a white house correspondent. and jackie alemany is back again with me. alencia, i want to start with you. that disconnect and poll numbers is beyond fascinating. if you are the biden white house right now, how are you going to address those numbers? >> well, i think what the biden white house is going to do is actually do what biden douse
best and that sin evoke empathy and say he's able to understand what it is they're going through. one, americans are concerned with how polarized our politics have made us, and, therefore, we've also seen that people are concerned where democracy is going. the satisfaction tends to fall on party lines and goes back and forth, but there's something to be said with people are satisfied with their personal life, so something is happening, whether economically or what's happening -- getting more education, whatever it might be. there is something said about how the economic policies are making people personally satisfied with their lives some of how can the biden administration talk about these record achievements and policies and inflation that's hitting certain families really hard? there's a threat the white house is going to work through at his
plan. >> chris, what led to the shift toward empathy because everything else has pretty much fallen on deaf ears? >> we started to see a shift in the last few weeks. >> it looks like we might have had a little bit of trouble with chris. jackie, let me jump to you while we get chris back on. there is this narrative that democrats have been struggling with to get things done, but republicans are the ones who have been blocking the democrats from pushing things through. democrats had better get voters to understand who is standing in the way of progress. how is that going to happen? >> yeah, katie, i'm definitely going to answer that question, but your question to chris reminded me of a terrific piece that my colleagues wrote this week that i think maybe helps
explain why the biden administration is trying to pivot and reframe their approach, and it focuses on how low income workers have seen some of the fastest wage growth in the pandemic era and the most benefits from the legislation pushed through due to the pandemic, but those gains are being ee roted to the highest inflation in 40 years, and so that paycheck, those gains aren't going anywhere. so it's hard for the administration to speak to their legislative successes when they're not being felt on the ground. you look at mazz lowe's hierarchy. people can't see bigger picture issues when their day-to-day needs aren't being met, when they're having trouble putting food on table, paying their monthly mortgage or their rent and are living extremely stressful day to day. >> alencia, republicans are
doing a very good job courting votes by stoking fears over racial issues. it's argued, quote, it's long past time that democrats pushed back hard to combat the gop's lies and to ensure black history, which is american history is accurately taught in our schools. democrats should call these crt bans what they are, racist attempts to erase history of black achievement and black suffering at the hands of white people. alencia, why haven't democrats been calling out republicans for what looks like blatant racism? >> you know, i think the frustrating part that happens in the democratic party is there are so many people that we are constantly trying to communicate to. we are very diverse and a very large party, but we have to remember the base of our party, we cannot win without people of color, we cannot win without young people who essentially believe in these issues,
particularly black voters some of democrats need to realize and take some lessons from the election last year in the state i'm sitting in right now, virginia, you had terry mccall live not directly addressing crt this way, to have black voters realize they're taken care of, our needs will be sensored and the promises will be met because there's also this conversation around voting rights and we're talking about black voters as well. we have to be very clear on these attacks and bans are. and let's be honest. critical race theory is not taught in grade school. it's not even taught in college. taught in law school as an elective. democrats need to staunchly say exactly what it is, correct the record, and move forward, and talk about the base they can and will do, and they cothat if we simplify the methods and stay focused on the three areas. >> we're happy to say chris
katlago is back with us. . they've been quietly garnering support for the upcoming supreme court pick. what more can you share with us about what's going nonthat process in. >> so a lot of this is happening behind the scenes. web've seen joe biden who's talked a lot on his years about the judicial committee and kamala harris who's served on the senate before, reaching out to these republicans, trying to get a sense how many could come aboard here. there's been a lobbying effort obviously on the part of democrats for candidates, and you've seen that a little bit from some of the republicans. you've seen tim scott talk about it, you've seen lindsey graham raise the prospect of it being a bipartisan vote. i think that's caused some consternation in the white house in that it's kind of looked like republicans are holding up this
one candidate as a possibility to avoid. that they're moving beyond the incredibly tough and ugly fights that have happened over the supreme court over the last few nominees, and i think they at least want to avoid very much so what happened when trump -- donald trump appointed amy coney barrett, and we heard a lot from the democratic side of the senators because that appointment happened so fast that they weren't reached out to, they weren't consulted. so it sort of -- the white house sees this as a way to restore some of the comedy we've seen in the senate. but at the very least it's a way to see the republicans are clued in on the process. they're obviously wary how many republicans might actually come up and vote for the eventual nominee. but it's basically good politics, and it's a way to clue them in without really raising
expectations publicly that they'll ultimately come in and support this nominee. >> jackie, alencia, and chris, thank you for being here tonight. richard lui walks us through this close call with people on south beach. and we just learned president biden is set to meet with the national security council tomorrow to discuss the latest in eastern europe. stay with us. st wayith us real cowboys get customized car insurance
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is everybody okay? >> i watched it 30, 40 times. it's only five hours old, 17 seconds, but investigators are happy they have it. it takes about eight seconds to crash into the ocean. it appears to just miss people in the waters. you're watching closely. here's what an eyewitness told telemundo a little while ago. >> i was selling a drink to a customer and the guy was like, oh, my god, and as soon as i turned around, the helicopter came around and went, and came down and smacked the water. >> the helicopter appears to be 200 or 300 feet above the water when it enters the frame. there were about 150 in the water. hundreds on the sand. he did not drop at 150 miles an
hour. that's how fast they can go. rotors very turning. it's possible he was in an emergency landing procedure where it was kind of tilted back a little, but watch where the lifeguard station might be, that little green thing. also see that potential vendor, restroom facility close by. because so many were close by, that might be why they got to them faster. the helicopter still in the water. houring later, the landing in shall show water was not only for the people on land but the people in the helicopter as well. for the faa now as we look at this, katie, the big question is what caused this. what we do know at the moment is that the three occupants that were inside, two are in the hospital with broken backs. the pilot, him or herself, they are also oklahoma right now. >> wow. i literally live just a few blocks away from there, so i'm
grateful that people responded quickly and everybody hopefully is going to recover and be okay. richard, thank you so much for giving us all this information. and when you get more, please let us know so we can update all of our viewers. >> you've got it. coming up next, republican without consent. you'll hear from the "miami herald" reporter who's uncovered florida voters being wrongly registered. we'll dig into what's going on down there. plus, at the height of tensions between ukraine and russia, a question we want to dig into, why are fewer and fewer republicans viewing putin as the foe that he is. g putin g putin as the foe that he is. wrap their arms around us, could we put little handles on our jackets? -denied. -can you imagine? i want a new nickname. can you guys start calling me snake? no, bryan. -denied. -how about we all get quotes to see if we can save with america's
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pregnancy. florida's gop-backed bill does not include any exceptions forrape or incest despite a powerful speech from democratic state rep active marie paul woodson. >> my best friend from high school was raped. we have to have a heart in this chamber. she was raped. she did not have anyone to talk to. if anything that we can do, we need to give women a choice to make a decision when they are raped by someone else or family members. >> meanwhile the "miami herald" reports some florida voters are are being switched. they were switched from the democratic party to the gop and
some voters have told the "herald" it was against their will. joining me now one of the "miami herald"reporters by that story, and also>> bianca, i'd like to t with you. you have spoken to those voters whose party affiliation was changed without their knowledge or consent. how do they think this came to pass? >> so i think a lot of the people that have come forward, and make clear their registration, phones were being changed, and the party regulations which without their consent. they were pretty outraged, and they think that these are canvases that they trusted, to kind of in some cases even fill out the registration forms for them and i think that in their minds, what they know is that these were people that said that they were with the republican party of florida.
some of them were wearing badges that said our p f, which stands for the republican party of florida. which is coming without practice of getting updated for voter i.d. cards. giving them new i.d. cards with a new address, updating their precinct number, nothing about a party affiliation change, so many of them just feel like they've been taken for granted, in this case. >> but why do you think, bianca, to stay with you for a second, why do you think it was this particular cluster of voters that were targeted, versus maybe some other group of voters? >> well, i think the profile is pretty clear. these are elderly voters, many of them have, you know, some sort of disability some. of them how are hearing impaired, and it is in public housing building complex in the neighborhood like little have hanna, where residents are frequently targeted by politicians, by canvassers, because, you know, they know that these people vote. and they know that they can get
them out to vote. but you know, at the same time, because these voters are so targeted all the time, they trust the people that come and see them. they trust the politicians that come and see them. they trust the canvassers. so it is very easy. i mean, you go into this particular bingeing that you've seen the photos, you go into this building, and it's very easy to access, you know, each floor. you can knock on doors, and people will open up for you. very trusting. and i think that is why these buildings are being targeted, because they're easy to access, and people are very trusting of people that are opening the door for them, so that's kind of what we've been hearing from them. >> so, bianca, republican operatives are already under investigation for running ghost canada into free floor senate races. i know there's been investigations in charges. how is the florida responding to these allegations about voter changing? >> so, they've denied the allegations from these presidents. they said they have no involvement, and they are running the registration programs under, you know,
florida law. we have asked, we do have a name of a canvas sir, luckily, a resident who took a picture of her badge, which did say arpaio f. and we asked the gop in florida if they know this canvas are. they have denied, or not confirmed that this is a canvassers that works for them. with her saying is that they want to add another layer of protection to avoid confusion, is what they've told us, by pointing out another piece of paper, giving it to voters where they can consent they're actually going to be changing their party affiliation. but obviously, you know, as we have recorded, and as we have heard, the problem is not really that people are not signing piece of paper. the problem is that they are signing a piece of paper, and they don't know that their party affiliation is being changed in that registration form. so, you know, that's kind of how the gop has responded to this. >> fernand, i mean, how is this
scheme that we're hearing about, going to affect turnout, in your opinion, for the upcoming primaries? >> oh, it has a massive impact, katie. and as bianca's incredible reporting makes it clear, why are they doing this? well, there is a bunch of political reasons why, by having these voters switch their registration without their consent, it makes it look like florida is becoming a more republican state. it depresses not only the democratic party's ability to target registered democrats, it also might send the wrong signal, the rigged single to the national democratic party that florida is increasingly becoming harder to play in, because republican registration is moving in the direction. well lo and behold, what are you learning, katie? that this is now an actual deliberate manipulation of the voter rolls. and if you look at just what's happening in the last 72 hours, what is clear is that the republicans in the consolidates states are doing three things.
they're taking away voters right to consent on their own voter registration, how they designate themselves. they've taken away now a woman's right to choose on the process of doing so, by trying to ban abortion after 15 weeks. and also, they're taking away parents rights to determine whether they can put their kids in public schools, wearing a mask, to prevent the contraction of covid. the republicans are now trying to subtract $200 million from the public school budget of those counties that defied governor desantis. if you want to see what republican control in america looks like, take a peek at what's happening here in our home state of florida. >> yeah, fernand, you know, and additional banning any discussion of gay people, you just talked about how florida lawmakers are trying to, you know, but even more in sanctions that are going on for now. we definitely have to have you come back with bianca, to talk about in terms of what's going. on our thank both of you for being here tonight. >> anytime, thank you, katie. >> at the top of the hour,
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off installation. and take advantage of our special offer >> hi everyone. of no payments for 18 months. i am katie phang in for alicia menendez. this hour, they say no one is above the law. so is donald trump's about to learn that lesson the hard way? from his family business to walking out of the white house with top secret documents, is the former president about to share the status as teflon don? plus, ukraine on edge. we just learned the president will meet with the national security council tomorrow, with hope to dwindle that diplomacy will keep eastern europe from war. and from standing up to the soviets to placating to jim, what is going on with republicans? so long to the days of ronald reagan. also tonight, could california's shift to an endemic, provide