tv Yasmin Vossoughian Reports MSNBC February 20, 2022 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
hey, everybody, i'm yasmin vossoughian. we are covering a lot of ground this afternoon as president biden meets with his national security team today. new nbc news reporting on the intelligence that has made him so certain a russian invasion of ukraine is just a matter of time. breaking news from buckingham palace. the queen has, in fact, tested positive for covid. a live report on that in moments.
former president donald trump facing scrutiny over the fake elector scheme to overturn the election. how beachgoers reacted to the terrifying scene of a helicopter crashing just feet from a crowded beach, that's coming up as well. we want to begin with breaking new information on biden's assertion that putin has decided, to, in fact, invade ukraine. two sources telling nbc news that biden's comments coming following u.s. intelligence showing russian military had been given an order to go ahead with the invasion. the new development coming amid a rare sunday meeting between biden and his national security council on the escalating tensions along ukraine's border and amid a spike in violence around the country that has heightened fears that russia could launch at any moment. tony blinken saying the white house is not giving up on diplomatic efforts to change the russian president's mind. >> while the die may be cast,
until it settles, until the tanks are rolling and the planes are in the air, that we're going to try everything we possibly can to get president putin to reverse the decision we believe he's made and dissuade him. until the last minute, there's still an option for him to pull back. we're trying to prevent a war. as soon as you trigger the sanctions, any deterrent effect will be gone, they get absorbed by president putin and he moves on. >> i have josh letterman and colonel jack jacobs, msnbc military analyst. thank you for joining us on this. josh, let me start with you. tell us what else we know about the intelligence provided to the president and the timing of this intelligence. >> reporter: yeah, yasmin, there was a whole lot of question and interest in what gave president biden the confidence on friday to go in front of cameras at the white house and make that
eyebrow-raising declaration that he believes president putin has already decided to invade. now we are learning some of what led into president biden's confidence. two sources telling us that by the time president biden made those comments, you can see him right there as he was speaking from the west wing, that the u.s. had picked up intelligence showing that russian military troops had already been given an order to start rolling out their invasion plan and moving ahead with an invasion. and then the u.s. was able to see on the ground a russian military units taking the exact kind of steps that would follow such an order. so, seeing actual events playing out that corroborated the idea that a ball was now in motion towards a russian invasion. this information coming to us as president biden is holding this urgent meeting today in the situation room, pretty unusual, rare for the white house national security council to be
convened on a sunday. but president biden wanting to use this as an opportunity to get briefed by his top aides who have been in europe doing urgent diplomacy at the munich security conference. vice president kamala harris will be participating remotely from air force ii while she flies back from munich. here's what she had to say to reporters just before returning about what's at stake. >> we are talking about the real possibility of war in europe. as a leader, which we have been, bringing together the allies, working together, around our collective and unified position, that we would all, not just prefer, we desire, we believe, it is in the best interest of all that there is a diplomatic end to this moment. so where -- do we want this to end? that is where we want it to end. >> reporter: for those reading
the tea leaves in president biden's schedule, which is something we do a whole lot here in washington, biden had been scheduled to stay here in washington throughout the weekend, not going back to his wilmington home, as he often does. we just learned the white house has put out an update. president biden now planning in just a couple hours to head to his home in wilmington, where he's expected to remain tomorrow for presidents' day, yasmin. >> all right. let's dig further into this. colonel, that is the question of when we receive this intelligence, when the president actually said on friday he believed putin had already made up his mind, it's now sunday afternoon, 3:00 p.m. eastern standard time, no official invasion has been launched at this point. any clues as to why? >> are two things we look for. the first is we listen all the time to electronic transmissions going from one headquarters to
another, between the troops in the field and back in moscow, to telephone conversations. we listen to that all the time. from that we can conclude the orders and instructions that have been delivered to the field. the second, the military thing to look for is the movement of front-line movements into assembly areas. areas from which they will launch the attack. and it's those two things which have -- from which we've concluded they are going to attack. now, we don't know exactly what their plans are, but typically you'll see a limited objective attack in the very beginning with objectives not far from the border with orders to continue the attack with subjective assessments that those are successful. we don't know when that's going to be, but it's likely to be soon. and we don't know whether or not an attack will be continued to subsequent objectives. that will depend a lot on what happens with the russian
separatists inside ukraine and exactly how we are going to respond, yasmin. >> colonel, if this intelligence is true, what do you expect they're waiting for at this point, if the order was given two days ago? >> well, one -- one was they were waiting for the olympics to end. there may be some truth to that. there's a close relationship between china and russia than there was before. and idea was that putin didn't want to step all over xi. it's also a functions of whether or not the units are completely in position to conduct the attack, and it probably took this long for them to get into that position. remember, they started off with 150,000 troops, then we heard 100,000, 150,000 and lately intelligence there are 200,000. it took that long to get the combat and combat support units into place, yasmin.
>> is there a possibility at all, and i bring this up also because of barry mccaffrey, someone i spoke to a few weeks ago, of something like this happening, that putin is essentially wanting their soldiers to believe they want to invade, he wants the united states to believe that moscow is going to invade, to raise the stakes here, but he actually still has no intention of doing so. >> that looks less and less likely with each passing day. if you look at what's been taking place, it's exactly what would happen in the scenario of an invasion. first of all, in addition to the positioning of all those additional troops near the border, and reports that supplies like blood and things that would support an invasion would have nothing to do with the military exercise are being deployed, you also saw several days ago the beginning of russia trying to gin up a pretext that refrains ethnic cleansing was taking place around ethnic russians, around the evacuation of children from those areas back into russia, around the
mobilization of military-aged men in separatists population in ukraine and the ramp he's building to convince his people that a war would be unpopular with the russian public is absolutely necessary. i think the other issue is the diplomacy doesn't seem to be leading anywhere in the sense that russia provided answers to the u.s. answers to their proposals and russia's positions have not changed at all. ukraine can't join nato. meanwhile, nato is beefing up its presence in europe and the ukrainian president said in europe he would join nato. there's not an off-ramp the road putin has paved to war here so i think we have to assume the worst here, unfortunately, in this circumstance. >> so, let me push back ilgts that, obviously, because we just played some sound from the vice president, flying back to the united states right now, saying we still are pushing towards a diplomatic end. we know the president still very much wants diplomacy.
there is still this possibility of secretary blinken meeting with lavrov if the invasion doesn't happen between now and then. is there still, in your estimation, been any opening here for diplomatic efforts to be successful here with putin? >> as of now, there's not really a substantive opening. lines of communication are open, that's good. you always want to hold open the door to a diplomatic off-ramp when you're in thisesque laer to cycle we're in. again, the two positions, the two sides, the u.s., ukraine, europe and russia, are so far apart on the core issues putin has made the center of this crisis, which is ukraine's capacity to determine its own future, ukraine's potential to eventually join nato, whether those separatist join the region. there's not exactly a proposal on the table here that would suggest where that diplomacy can
lead. so, it's important to always keep the prospect of avoiding a war front and center. right now, it's a lot easier to see the dominos falling in the direction of military conflict than it is to see what exactly the diplomatic play would be here that could avoid a war. >> not a great place to be on this sunday afternoon. josh lederman, thank you. ben rhodes, colonel jacobs, thank you as well. coming up at 4:00 p.m., we'll be talking more about this. california congressman john garamendi will be joining me. we'll talk about his take on this new nbc news reporting that suggests russian military leaders have been given the go ahead to, in fact, invade. let's switch gears and talk about breaking news out of buckingham palace. queen elizabeth has tested positive for covid. joining me now is molly hunter outside buckingham palace as well as historian and professor susanna lipscomb.
walk me through what we know so far about the queen's condition. >> reporter: that's right. we don't actually know all that much. buckingham palace was light on details about the queen's health when we got the statement earlier today. i want to show your viewers the full statement we got before noon today. it says that the queen has tested positive and she has mild cold-like symptoms, but expects to continue to do light duties at windsor. she'll be at her desk. she feels well enough to do that. also says she will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines. the palace isn't giving us much more. the palace has not shared where they believe she might have caught it. she's not the only royal, the only royal who has come down with covid. i'll back up to give you a little timeline. her son, prince charles, tested positive for covid on february 10th. his second bout with the virus, actually. four days later, camilla tested positive. we asked on both of those occasions, we asked the palace, did the queen see camilla or
charles? the palace said the queen had seen charles recently. but then on wednesday, two days africa mill la tested positive, we actually saw the queen. she was holding an audience with military leaders. we saw her standing up, looking healthy in person. she was not wearing a mask. she was talking to military leaders, looking healthy. the statement today says she tested positive today. as we will hear from our historian guest, the palace is not in the practice of giving us rolling health updates about the royal family, specifically the queen. the last serious brush with a health scare was last october when the queen spent the night in the hospital and then she was told to take a few weeks, a few months even to lay low, rest up on doctors' orders. we're certainly all following every morsel of information we get out of the palace. >> the queen is vaccinated and boosted, yes? when it comes to testing policies inside buckingham palace, do you know what they are if you're going to be in
contact with, in the same room visiting with the queen or any other royals? >> reporter: i want to be clear. they have not given us a ton of information about this. we have asked multiple times. we know she is vaccinated at least twice. we have asked about the booster and buckingham palace said we don't give all that information all the time. i think we assume she's been boosted but i cannot speculate or confirm she has. >> got it. thank you for that. susanna, your reaction? >> so, my reaction is that we have every reason to hope. we think she has been triple vaccinated, but as molly said, we don't quite know but we know she's been double be vaccinated at least. it's been reported she has mild cold-like symptoms. she's not known to have any underlying conditions. she's got this history of robust rude health and, of course, she's got the best available care. on the other hand, she's going to turn 96 in a couple months'
time. and even severe cases of covid start as a mild case. so, i think we need to keep a close eye in the next few days. there will be decisions that need to be taken in the next few days if she gets worse or if her doctors want to give her anti-viral, some of which have only recently been authorized for use in the uk. and some of those could make a big difference. but i think there's every reason to hope. and she's been -- already demonstrated she's still working. she congratulated the uk women's and men's teams for melgzs in curling at the beijing olympics soon after testing positive. that usual attitude we see from her, which is carrying on, seems to be present here, too. >> i'm just curious, and i know molly kind of mentioned this and talked about this, that we know the palace is very tight-lipped about what's going on inside those walls, for the most part. they're not very forthcoming. i'm curious about why we with
know about her vaccination status when it came to the first two shots but not the booster, why they wouldn't to disclose that? >> it is curious. i don't really know why that would be the case except insofar these matters tend to be kept quite private. maybe we will hear within the next few days confirmation one way or the other. as molly said, there's a sense in which the palace revealed what they think we need to know. sometimes that's off when we feel we need to know it, but they will let us know when we think it's appropriate. for whatever reason, they haven't felt it's right to disclose that at this time. >> on the palace's timeline. we all wish her well, that is for sure. thank you to nbc's molly hunter, suzannah lipscomb. florida, the next state
taking aim at abortion rights. i'll talk to a doctor on the front lines of that fight. first, we'll talk about the january 6th committee taking aim at the fake elector scam. while the new york attorney general takes aim at trump and his family. the latest on that coming up. the latest on that coming up (sighs wearily) here i'll take that! (excited yell) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health.
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finally gotten the word to go home. streets are mostly quiet as police officers remain out in force after yesterday's massive crackdown that included nearly 200 arrests and 50 vehicles towed as well. the city's police chief has announced they are investigating those that financially supported the rally-goers as well, warning those involved could face criminal charges. new today, a key member of the january 6th house select committee says donald trump is making it harder to get answers from him as the investigation gets closer to the 45th president. >> the closer you get to trump and his entourage, the more sandbagging we enquounter. for the vast majority of people involved, we've gotten quoopgs. >> this includes probe into fake elector plot, like kelli ward,
chair of the arizona republican party. ward smoke to trump repeatedly and even worked to transmit documents claiming an alternate elector college from arizona. with me now to discuss is nbc's alli raffa and danny. allie, how are they approaching the next part? >> reporter: some are slated to come in and testify before the committee this week, but as we've seen with so many other witnesses subpoenaed to come in and testify, there are delays. sometimes up to weeks. but it's something the committee certainly hopes doesn't happen because it's already suffered so many unnecessary delays. especially because these false electors could offer some really important insight into the key parts of this whole scheme the committee may or may not already have. now we know these republicans come from seven key swing states
that president biden won, but these false electors falsely claimed that former president trump won these states, claiming the state's electoral votes, even going so far as to send official documents to federal officials. listen to gwen moore, one of these key squing states we're talking about, had to say about how widespread this whole effort was. >> 26 of the delegations are headed by republicans and 24 by democrats. and there's only one vote per delegation. and that was how donald trump was supposed to regain the presidency. so, this wasn't just a matter of, you know, ten faithfulist electors as we called them in wisconsin law, but it was part of a larger conspiracy. >> reporter: the committee is expanding this probe. last week this committee
subpoenaed more individuals, more republicans from these key swing states. as you mentioned, some are currently running for statewide office. getting info from these false electors is key to their investigation. >> the former president facing a couple different investigations here. obviously, we're looking at the january 6th investigation and what that committee is trying to clean, of course, from the people surrounding the former president. we're also talking about what's happening in new york with the new york attorney general, letitia james. we learned the january 6th committee would use aggressive, quote, unquote -- i should say, aggressive prosecution tactics to break through trump's stonewalling. could investigators in new york do the same here? >> yes, but they wouldn't characterize them as aggressive prosecution tactics. they're already prosecutors so they would just be tactics and
they have already. in the sense that letitia james, the chief trump argument over having to sit for a deposition is letitia james was working hand in hand with the manhattan's da's office, and james while conducting a civil litigation, as is the attorney general's duty to investigate corporations and make sure they're run properly, but trump's argument and his children's as well, was if she's working hand in hand with the manhattan prosecutor she's using depositions as an opportunity to get somebody into a question and answer situation and bypass the fifth amendment. in other words, help the criminal investigation by a civil case. so, it was an interesting argument, but the new york state supreme court judge shot it down. >> so, i think a lot of us are wondering whether or not the former president is going to plead the fifth in this deposition. i think there's a risk, as we're learning in a civil case, which is a criminal case, and pleading
the fifth. talk us through that quickly, danny. >> typically if there's a civil and a criminal case or an investigation against one individual, the civil attorneys are more than happy to wait, and they will wait until the outcome of the criminal case because, after all, they can cherry-pick the evidence that comes out. they also know if that person sits for a deposition, they'll almost surely take the fifth amendment because they have to out of an abundance of caution. this is different. for letitia james it is a win if trump and his children take the fifth amendment and you can draw an inference in a civil case anyway, so she has double wins if they take the fifth amendment. trump's son, eric trump, has already taken the fifth amendment on the orders of hundreds of times when he did sit for a deposition. so, if i were advising anyone on the trump side, i would say error on the side of caution, take the fifth amendment, deal with whatever political fallout, and save your skin if there's
any criminal expexposure. >> i'm happy you bring up eric trump, danny. we'll be talking about him in the next hour. we'll share with you an interview he did when asked, dead or alive, when he wanted to interview and what he would talk to them about. you don't want to miss that in my 4:00 p.m. hour. allie, thank you. danny, i wish your daughter could have made an appearance but we appreciate you showing up. coming up, january 6th committee member congresswoman zoe lofgren joins me from inside the committee room. also the battle against abortion. a florida measure almost certainly to be signed into law, which halves the time women have to choose. samantha deans joins me live to discuss the real-life impact on women in her state. e real-life e real-life women in her state i'm covered for everything. which reminds me, thank you for driving me to the drugstore. earn big time with chase freedom unlimited with no annual fee.
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in moscow. embassy staff saying it has learned of possible threats of attacks against shopping centers, railway and metro stations and other public gathering places in major urban areas. the embassy says the threat includes moscow and st. petersburg as well, as well as areas of heightened tensions along the border with ukraine. emergency crews will spend this week trying to figure out what caused two helicopters to crash into the ocean on opposite coasts. in new york a police officer was killed and critically injured off newport beach on saturday. this is following, of course, that dramatic crash we slowed you on our air yesterday in miami beach. three were injured with is that stunning moment leaving beachgoers just stunned. >> as soon as i turned around, the helicopter came down, and then smacked and hit the water. i'm just glad nobody got hit by the helicopter or nothing. >> is that a helicopter in the water sinking?
>> we saw a bunch of cops and we saw them driving down from here all the way down to where they are now. >> it was crazy. i heard a propeller. i heard it -- like it cut short. >> quite a thing watching that plummet into the ocean. . tomorrow a florida senate committee is expected to consider a 15-week abortion ban already passed by gop lawmakers in the house. the bill, which includes no exceptions for rape and incest, could be passed by both chambers as early as next week and then signed into law by gop governor desantis, who has indicated his support. nbc's stephanie stanton ispeter. there was a prediction this was going to happen across the south, particularly what we saw happen in texas and now florida. talk to us about this bill and how people there are reacting. >> reporter: good afternoon to you, yasmin. as you mentioned, there have been many analysts who have
predicted many red states would also begin to craft their own anti-abortion bills. this bill, in particular, is called hb-5 and it did pass the house here in the state of florida last week. as you said t is heading to the gop-led senate, where it is expected to pass before being signed into law by governor desantis. breaking it down, this bill would ban abortion any time after 15 weeks, unless there is a serious risk to the mother or in the case of a fatal fetal abnormality. it would also criminalize medical professionals who perform abortions. there are zero exceptions in the case of rape or incest. now, here at this beautiful park in st. petersburg, florida, we were out here today talking to some people who are enjoying the weather. we asked them how they felt about this. as you might imagine, some of them were uncomfortable with the subject matter, but take a listen to what they had to say. >> it's a tricky situation. if you find out at that time
period, you don't have much of the time frame to decide if it's something you want to do, if you want to have an abortion or not. >> got to let people do what they want to do, especially here in florida where we're kind of just -- you know, i feel like the best representation of america really, so we kind of let everyone do what they want. that goes with laws like that. >> this florida bill actually mirrors a law recently passed in mississippi that essentially bans abortions after 15 weeks. the supreme court is expected to review the constitutionality of that law later this year in its session. the big fear here, yasmin, this is according to abortions rights supporters, is that this will ultimately lead to the court to overturn potentially roe versus wade, which is that landmark 1973 ruling that guarantees a woman's right to choose. so, a lot at stake here. florida just one of many states, as you said, that is considering this type of legislation.
>> nbc's stephanie stanton, thank you. we want to bring in dr. deans from planned parenthood. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> let me read for folks what you told "the washington post." a 15-week ban in florida will be devastating for low income families who cannot afford to fly to other states for care. for planned parenthood, if we do this in florida, north carolina will be right behind us. then patients will have to go to maryland, virginia, chicago, it will continue like that, getting further and further away, getting less and less accessible. how worried are you about what you're seeing happen in florida and across the south really? >> i am incredibly worried about what i'm seeing happening in my state and across the south. this is absolute infringement on
our constitutional protections, especially here in florida, where we have a constitutional protection for the right to privacy. and it very clearly has been held through many different court cases in florida that abortion is a constitutional right in our state. and roe v. wade as of today still stands, and we as a country should be protecting people's constitutional rights to privacy and the ability to choose what people do with their own bodies. >> when they passed that law in texas, of course, based on this vigilante way of enforcing that law, you have a lot of women leaving texas, going to louisiana. i was reporting there from louisiana at an abortion clinic where women were showing up, scared for their own safety if they're being identified as being from texas and being there for a certain reason. these were marginalized women from homes and communities where
they don't necessarily have a lot of support. you talk about how to combat this, wanting to scale up services at clinics so you can see patients faster, but how much of a difference is that actually going to be able to make? >> you know, it will make a marginal difference in that if we can reduce the amount of time people are waiting for their procedures, we hopefully can avoid situations where people could have been seen for care, abortion care here in florida. that being said, there will always be situations where patients don't know they're pregnant until 15 weeks, that they are diagnosed with either personal health problems or feel abnormalities after 15 weeks. the most common time to be diagnosed with difficulties or complications in pregnancy is in the second trimester. we generally do not diagnose fetal anomalies until the second trimester, after 15 weeks. there will always be patients
that need abortion care in that gestational age range. those patients will be forced to make an incredibly difficult decision, keep the pregnancy or go out of state. like you already highlighted, women in florida -- excuse me, women in texas are already experiencing these challenging situations where they're forced out of their state, out of their homes, out of their communities and go to other states where they have no support, where it's increasingly expensive, and that is exactly the reality that will occur in florida when this legislation passes. >> we are going to watch this, obviously, over the next few days in your state, dr. deans. i hope you state in contact with us because we'd love to have you back on as a voice. dr. samantha deans, for now, thank you so much. >> thank you. legitimate political discourse. republicans doubling down on whitewashing the scenes from
january 6th. in the spotlight this sunday, the danger to democracy that comes with radical rewriting of history. we'll be right back. riting of history. history. we'll be right back. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. up at 2:00am again? tonight, try pure zzzs all night.
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just don't know too many people around the country, including my friends at the rnc and the chair of the republican national committee, who have any different view than it was a tragic day. i think they made a very clear statement after the fact that said, when we're talking when what's happening in washington today, with the january 6th committee, i believe them. they're good people. i believe that's what they meant. >> former vice president mike pence this week defending the rnc's censure of liz cheney and adam kinzinger, calling it political discourse was
misconstrued. we're putting the republican party's latest adoption of that phrase, political legitimate discourse, in the spotlight this week, and they're continuing dangerous attempts to rewrite the history of what happened that day, more than one year on. >> actually, like, really alarming. like, really grim for the country that this is where we are, that a year on one of the parties is in its entirety, and some of its leadership, totally committed to just pretending this didn't happen in some way that was dangerous and celebrating and lifting up donald trump. and it doesn't matter how many lies he tells about this. it doesn't matter how much
obfuskating. like they're all part of it and they're just pretending. >> staff writer at "new york times" is joining us. talk about legitimate political discourse, the terminology used by the rnc in censuring cheney and kinzinger, i kind of went off on it, being on the steps of the capitol, knowing it was not political discourse, it was the exact opposite. talk to me about the state of our country right now, considering this is happening. you have an entire party, basically, aside from some stragglers, trying to spin this as legitimate political discourse hoping the united states public has a short memory. >> right. i think we had this moment right after january 6th in which it was clear there was a threat to our democracy and is a lot of republicans and democrats denounced that. we in the press felt we had the responsibility to call it what it was, a threat to our democracy in a nonpartisan way.
what has happened since then, unfortunately, is this partisan divide in, as you say, trying to rewrite this history, so i think what we saw with the statement from the rnc was, you know, a kind of more mainstream adoption of the position of kind of whitewashing january 6th. so, then the hard thing for us in the press to figure out whether, you know, we need to also -- figure out how exactly we make sure we're doing our job to help protect the democracy. >> we talk a lot about the radicalization of americans, especially those that showed up on january 6th, stormed the capitol, broke through windows, threatened, you know, congress members. but there's also, it seems, the radicalization of parents in this country now. you talk about that a little bit in your podcast, or your guest does. i want to play a bit of that for folks and then we'll talk on the other side.
>> i do think that what i'm seeing a lot of is what starts out with not wanting your children masked has really kind of spiralled into all of these other issues, that real communities, and i think mostly of white suburban moms, are being radicalized by these three things -- masks, school clothing and critical race theory. i mean, to see it in real time is kind of mind-blowing. i know many -- i know or know of many women who were very supportive of biden, big biden -- big democrats, big progressives, just a year and a half ago. and are now -- have done a 180. a lot is rooted in not wanting their children masked in schools. >> obviously, i'm projecting, but it would be possible to look at the upset over masks and think, why weren't you 1/100th
of upset when generations of kids were not learning anything. >> you know, i think one of the most fascinating things i've spoken about with my own friends privately is the fact is we saw this radicalization happening on a federal level, watching what happened during the trump administration and culminating on january 6th. then the whole idea of radicalization of parents that are board members of new york -- of, you know, their education programs at their schools, it's happening on a local level as well. >> one of the things we try to do on political gabfest is really tease differences and think through -- kind of think out loud about these questions. i would argue there is something related but also different going on. i think there's a lot of underlying deep frustration among parents about covid. it's just been really hard on
parents. and then there are these issues about how to teach race in american schools, and i would argue has been kind of used as a wedge issue. it's hard for me to say exactly how that relates to january 6th, at least in my head. i would like to keep those things separate. >> emily, thank you. we appreciate it. make sure you tune into political gabfest wherever you get your podcast. new episodes dropping every thursday. you can catch up on the very first episode with a new monthly series from slate. coming up, we have much more ahead. we'll be right back. e have mucme ahead. totaled his truck. timber... fortunately, they were covered by progressive, so it was a happy ending... for almost everyone. ♪ ♪ so it was a happy ending... ♪ ♪
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♪ahhh!♪ wooo! vaporize sore throat pain with welcome back, everybody. the unexpected death of a known associate of jeffrey epstein is raising concerns for ghislaine maxwell. maxwell's brother telling the new york post they, quote, fear for her safety at the brooklyn prison where she's currently being detained. former modeling agent was found dead in his paris jail cell from an apparent suicide by hanging, according to paris prosecutor's office. nbc's blayne alexander has more on this. >> reporter: he was a close confidante of jeffrey epstein and a former french modeling agent facing charges of his own. jean-luc brunell was found dead in his prison cell, died by
suicide. it comes less than three years ago when epstein was found dead in a manhattan prison under similar circumstances. brunel was awaiting trial after several former models accused him of rape and sexual harassment when they were minors. >> what he's accused of in connection with jeffrey epstein was using his position as a modeling scout to lure women to be abused by epstein and by himself. >> reporter: in his statement, his lawyers maintain their client's innocent writing in part, his decision was not driven by guilt but a deep sense of injustice. it's the latest twist in the sprawling saga of jeffrey epstein, days after prince andrew, an epstein associate, settled a lawsuit admitting no wrongdoing. ghislaine maxwell was convicted of luring young girls for epstein. she's requested a new trial. maxwell's brother calls the latest death in the epstein
orbit incomprehensible. >> do you fear for your sister's safety? >> yes, i certainly do. i'm not a conspiracy theory person, but if you were a conspiracy theory person, things happen in threes, and no doubt, ghislaine is going to be taken out for whatever fantasy reason people seem to think about. >> reporter: but for brunel's accusers -- >> with his death as well as epstein's death, many victims say they feel they've been denied that closure and accountability. >> reporter: blayne alexander, nbc news. >> thank you to blayne alexander for that. we just got this photo into msnbc of president biden's national security meeting. the latest from the white house is straight ahead. plus, what is putin thinking? insight from a woman who knows the impact of a russian invasion firsthand. has maga moved north? the effort from the far right to promote the canadian vaccine.
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they're frantically working on last-ditch options on the table to stop vladimir putin from invading ukraine. >> while the die may be cast, until it actually settles, until the tanks are rolling and the planes are in the air, that we're going to try everything we possibly can to get president putin to reverse the decision we believe he's made and dissuade him. part of that is the prospect of massive sanctions. >> in a moment i'll talk to congressman garamendi who is in brussels to attend a nato summit. also this hour, the january 6th committee moving ahead with even more subpoenas and a focus on the fake elector scheme. so, when will public hearings begin? i'll be talking with committee member zoe lofgren as
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