tv Way Too Early With Jonathan Lemire MSNBC March 17, 2022 2:00am-3:00am PDT
being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace. peace in your country doesn't depend any more on you and your people, it depends on those next to you, and those who are strong. strong doesn't mean big. strong is brave and ready to fight for the life of his citizens, and the citizens of
the world. >> ukrainian president zelenskyy in a moving address to congress. pleading for more help, more weapons, and more sanctions against russia. we'll get reaction from lawmakers and break down how president biden is answering that call. plus, biden calls vladimir putin a war criminal as ukraine accuses russia of bombing a theater where hundreds of civilians were seeking shelter. we're live on the ground as the russian invasion of ukraine enters week four. good morning. and welcome to "way too early." on this thursday, march 17th. i'm jonathan lemire. it was an emotional day on capitol hill yesterday, as ukrainian president zelenskyy addressed virtually both chambers of the united states commerce. with millions of americans watching live on television, zelenskyy invoked two of the horrific days in u.s. history,
the attack on pearl harbor and 9/11, to put in perspective what is going through his one tri right now. the ukrainian speech focused more on what the u.s. can be doing to assist his people. >> we are asking for a reply, for an answer, to this terror from the whole world. is this a lot to ask for, to create a no-fly zone over ukraine, to save people. is this too much? humanitarian, no-fly zones. something that ukraine said that russia would not be able to terrorize our free cities. if this is too much to ask, we offer an alternative. you know what kind of defense systems we need. with other similar situations. you know how much depends on the battlefield, on the ability to use aircraft. powerful, strong aviation, to protect our people, our freedom,
our land. new packages of sanctions are needed. constantly. every week. until the russian military machine stops. restrictions are needed for everyone on whom this unjust regime is based. we propose that the united states sanctions all politicians in the russian federation who remain in their offices and do not cut ties with those who are responsible for the aggression against ukraine. >> he delivered most of the address in ukrainian, at the end of the 16-minute speech, zelenskyy spoke in english, to convey a message directly to president biden. >> president biden, you are the leader of the nation. your great nation. i wish you to be the leader of
the world, being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace. >> in congress, there is strong bipartisan support for sending more aid to ukraine. and despite former president trump's soft stance towards vladimir putin some republicans are among those calling for the most aggressive response tactics. >> president zelenskyy didn't mince words about what ukraine needs. more lethal capabilities. and heavier sanctions against russia. >> we need to be more creative and quickly. in providing ukraine what they need to protect themselves. this does mean anti-aircraft weapons, it does mean planes, it does mean drones. >> we can help the ukrainians defend themselves, that's something we have got to do, we have a moral responsibility to do that and i think it's in our own best interest. >> zelenskyy needs more. if it shoots, we should ship it. more s-300s, more javelins, more
drones, more stingers, more everything. >> republican senator ben sasse, you just heard there at the end will be a guest coming up on "morning joe." following zelenskyy's address to congress, president biden promised more military support to ukraine with an additional $800 million in aid, the president was also straid straightforward about the -- was also straightforward about his outlook on the war. >> i want to be honest with you. this could be a long and difficult battle. the american people will be stead fast in our support in the people of ukraine in the face of putin's immoral, unethical attacks on civilian populations. we are united, and we will continue to have their backs as they fight for their freedom, their democracy, their very survival. and we give ukraine the arms to fight and defend themselves, through all of the difficult days ahead. >> here's a brief breakdown of what's in this new military aid
package. the u.s. is sending thousands of missiles that can be used against aircraft or tanks. also, at least 100 killer drones known as switchblades, they're essentially robotic smart bombs that can be programmed to hit targs from miles away and the president committed to cutting edge system, once again stopped short of a no-fly zone or providing fighter jets. two things that zelenskyy has repeatedly requested. russian forces continue to batter the besieged city of mariupol. ukrainian officials say a russian air strike hit the mariupol drama theater yesterday, where hundreds of people were sheltering to protect themselves from constant bomb can. the number of casualties weren't immediately clear but officials say many are believed to be buried in the rubble. nbc news has not been able to independently verify the attack. according to images from maxar the word children was spelled
out in russian on two sides of the theater before it was bombed. you can see it, there visible from the sky. the bombing went on anyway. russia is denying it carried out the attack. hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped in mariupol. without food, electricity, or water. two associated press journalist, the only international media in the veteran city report that water is sparse and residents melt snow to drink. their story from mariupol yesterday is a difficult but important read and i encourage you all to find it and do so. joining us live from lviv ukraine, nbc news correspondent molly hunter. molly, good to see you as always. give us the latest on the situation in mariupol, and in particular that theater. do we have any updates on the casualties inside, and whether there's still hope of finding people alive? >> reporter: jonathan, good morning. i'm so glad you mentioned that a. p. article and the a. p. photographers, those have been our only eyes and ears really as
people, normal civilians, their phones have not been charged for weeks and they haven't been able to get 3 g and because of the photographers in mariupol, that's how we know what is going on. we see this theater and the word children in russian, in white, clearly visible from the sky, marked on the outside of the theater. it was the heart of a vibrant section of the city. and used as refer fuge for -- refuge for civilians. 1200 people were sheltering there at the time, and there is no death toll yet and we have been asking local officials and the death toll in mariupol willing take days if not weeks if we ever get the numbers. and 30,000 people have been able to get out in the last couple of days according to president zelenskyy. yesterday alone 6,000. including 2,000 children. jonathan, it is really important
to say, these are not on the humanitarian corridors and humanitarian convoys that they have been agreed upon to set up, these are people fleeing in private vehicles fleeing that city for their lives. >> give us an update on the situation of the russian ground advance, it seems to have been stalled but the bombardment continues and we know when the day started today with fresh strikes on the capital of kyiv once again. >> that's exactly right. so the ukrainian military has said that their assessment is that russian ground troops have stalled in most of the major cities that we have seen them. that kind of lines up with what western european intelligence assessments are saying as well and because of that, we are seeing the indiscriminate firing into the center of civilian areas. into mariupol, which we have seen for the last several weeks, and in the capital of kyiv. apartment blocks, metro stations, metro stations. richard engel was outside an
apartment building, there was no military infrastructure, no strategic value. what is happening today, as the curfew in kyiv lifts jonathan, is those humanitarian corridors around the capital will be reopened. there are 12 suburbs around the capital, in dire situations, and no water, no heat, no electricity, and like the capital of kyiv, they have been under curfew, because they haven't been able to get into the capital so we are hoping to get information on those areas, in addition to the one being negotiated out of mariupol. jonathan? >> nbc's molly hunter and please stay safe there. still ahead, president biden steps up his condemnation of vladimir putin, using the strongest terms yet to describe the dictator. plus, new numbers on the huge fines people racked up when they wouldn't wear masks on planes. and free britd ny griner, that rally cry takes on new means after the arrest of an american basketball star in
russia. questions and concerns about the wnba's brittney griner. those stories and a check of the weather on this st. patrick's day. we'll be right back. r on this s day. we'll be right back. trelegy for copd. ♪ birds flyin' high ♪ ♪ you know how i feel ♪ (coughing) ♪ breeze driftin' on by ♪ ♪ you know how i feel ♪ copd may have gotten you here, but you decide what's next. start a new day with trelegy. ♪ ...feelin' good ♪
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after three weeks of war in ukraine wnba star brittney griner remains detained in russia. she was said to be arrested on drug charges at an airport outside moscow, in mid february when russian authorities allegedly found vape cartridges containing hash oil in the luggage she travelled with on a flight from new york. russia where she plays in the off-season has so far blocked consular access to her. and a month after her arrest, there is still little known about her circumstances as u.s. authorities have been mostly silent except to say they're working to bring her home. there is speculation the silence may be intentional. in an effort to avoid inflaming an already tense situation with russia. the calls for her release are ramping up.
including from former secretary of state hillary clinton who tweeted yesterday, free brittney. and two-time olympic champion and one of the greatest female basketball players of all time criticized the apparent lack of attention of the world class athlete. cori bush implied yesterday that race is a factor, tweeting quote, we cannot ignore the fact that if brittney griner wasn't a black woman, it would be blastered across the news, that she is being held as a political prisoner of russia. she is one of three americans believe to be currently jailed in russia. hundreds of civil penalties worth over $644,000 against individuals who did not comply with the federal mask requirements. according it a tsa report, more than 3800 incidents have been investigated, since it began enforcing the mask mandate in january of last year. of those, 922 resulted in fines
ranging from about $600 to more than $3100. the tsa has extended its mask mandate through at least april 18th. still ahead, british lawmakers are considering an ultimate for a top-ranked tennis player who wants to play wimbledon. and one of the baseball players finds a new team. a super team. in sports. a super team in sports. (vo) small businesses are joining the big switch.
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double overtime that sends the fighting irish on to the men's ncaa tournament round of 64. wright state also advanced last night with the first march madness win, 92-83 victory over bryant. get your brackets ready. meanwhile two teams advancing on the start of the inaugural women's final four games, dayton and howard, both moving on after wins. turning now to major league baseball and another flurry of free agent moves yesterday, the biggest deal, star first baseman freddy freeman who left the atlanta braves and now reportedly set to join the los angeles dodgers on a six-year contract worth $162 million. meanwhile, another member of the braves, former member of the graves, peterson heads to san francisco on a one her-year $6 million deal with the giants. the braves are hanging on to another key member of the
championship ring, bringing back outfielder eddie rosario. the rockies have reportedly reached an agreement with former mvp kris bryant on a massive $182 million search year contract. he is not expected to compete this year, but the philadelphia phillies added another big bat to their lineup, reportedly signing slugger kyle schwarber to a four year deal. and ace pitcher zac greinke reportedly with a contract with the royals. your boston red sox remain quiet. in other baseball news, mlb is ending regular covid testing for the upcoming season. the league just finalized covid protocols this week. only players showing symptoms will be tested this year under the new guidelines. masks are not required. unless there is a state or local law in place. teams will also be able to keep a quote taxi squad of five
players to replace anyone who catches the virus. the league says it will reschedule games or even move them to a new site if there is a substantial outbreak. we are seeing cases trend up across the country. meanwhile, medvedev the russian tennis player number one in the rankings could be banned from wimbledon unless he denounces russian president vladimir putin. that was the situation outlined during a meeting at the british parliament earlier this week. when the country's sports minister confirmed discussions were taking place to prevent supporters of putin from entering the world's oldest tennis tournament amid russia's invasion of ukraine. according to the telegraph, the english sports minister says quote, we need potential assurance that they're not supporters of vladimir putin and we are considering what requirements we may need to try to get some assurances along those lines. the move would affect medvedev and any other russian or belarusian tennis players who are currently barred from
playing under their national flags. to the weather and meteorologist bill karins. kind of a rainy start to st. patrick's day on the east coast. >> yes, unfortunately, the parade in new york will be damp. it doesn't mean it will be pouring and ruined but it will be damp. speaking of a wild st. patrick's day morning, right now four inches of snow on the ground in denver, and schools are closed, and winter storm warning, and it's going to continue to snow for a while here in the front range. and denver had a very snowy end to the winter season and this will again eventually head out into the middle of the country. we already have in kansas, some winter storm watch and a winter weather advisory and the snow eventually tonight, into tomorrow, will head to a narrow strip through des moines to madison, a lot of areas aren't completely done with winter yet. unfortunately on st. patrick's day, we will have some severe storms to deal with, especially in this evening and the overnight hours and we're concerned with areas from dallas, oklahoma city and shreveport and a good chunk of louisiana and mississippi and isolated cases of large hail and
damaging winds and tornados and then tomorrow, that severe weather risk continues in new orleans, to montgomery, mobile, and a little spot there for memphis, and a pretty significant storm with a little bit of snow and severe weather over the next two days. as far as st. patrick's day forecast goes, new york, 55, and some rain, occasionally, and in boston, the parade starts at 1:00, it has been improving. a lot of the rain should stay south of boston. we are hoping that will take place. and we do have a couple of our favorites, st. patrick's day cities out there, to talk about, and like cloverleaf texas today, a chance of thunderstorms late in the day. and how about rainbow city, arizona, and emerald isle north carolina, a beautiful spot there on the coast. i've been there. patricksburg, indiana. and luck, wisconsin, today, at 44. and your parade forecast, savannah, if you've never been to savannah on st. patrick's day, it is an event. i think the population like triples on this day. it's a fun time. 74 to 78 degrees. nearly perfect. the forecast in new york,
jonathan, gray and rainy. 48 to 52 degrees. not the best. but at least they're having the parade for the first time in two years. and everyone will have a good time. >> i doubt that we're able to deter the revel ry there. thank you for the amusing and slightly damp st. patrick's day forecast. still ahead millions of ukrainian refugees are echoing president zelenskyy's plea for more help. a live report from the polish border next on "way too early." we'll be right back. nicorette knows, quitting smoking is freaking hard. you get advice like: just stop. go for a run. go for 10 runs! run a marathon. instead, start small. with nicorette. which can lead to something big. start stopping with nicorette. inner voice (furniture maker): i'm constantly nodding... ...because i know everything about furniture ...but with the business side... ...i'm feeling a little lost. quickbooks can help. an easy way to get paid, pay your staff, and know where your business stands. new business? no problem. success starts with intuit quickbooks.
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welcome back to "way too early." it's just before 5:30 a.m. on the east coast. 2:30 out west. i'm jonathan lemire. the humanitarian crisis is deepening in ukraine. since the start of the war, a ukrainian child has become a refugee almost every single second. approximately 1.5 million children have fled the country so far. nbc news national correspondent gabe guiterrez has the latest from lviv in eastern ukraine. >> the weight of the war is etched in these faces. this woman escaped with her grandchildren from eastern ukraine. it's he difficult, please help us, she says. >> this is a makeshift shelter above the train station, where medical help, with deep trauma. a psychologist is volunteering here and a refugee himself and fled his home in kyiv.
>> this room holds children up to five years old and their parents might spend several hours to several days here. standing here, what strikes you, because of the echo in this room, only one child cries. and everyone hears it. >> and from babies to teenagers, war is criminal. at a nearby hospital, 15-year-old lara is battling leukemia while her country fights for its survival. >> it's horrible she says, instead of fighting this disease, we have to leave loved ones behind. sometimes physical scars are not what hurts most. >> it's hard to see her suffer, her grandmother says. like so many here, they're asking the world to do more. >> that was from gabe guiterrez from lviv in western ukraine and near the poland border is jay gray. thank you for being here. and you're standing in i believe what is a warehouse now, how has
it been transformed to accommodate just this constant influx of refugees from ukraine? >> well, look, it's amazing to see the way the refugees continue to come in. this was an empty warehouse, with no electricity, no water, and less than a month ago, i want to show you what they've done here, and it is now a world class kitchen, and distribution center. this is the central kitchen. they respond to tragedies all over the world and boy have they responded here. chefs from around the world. volunteers from around the world. they have the ability here to prepare as many as 200,000 meals every day. and they are feeding those that are making the trip across the border. and they're doing so by preparing hot meals, hot cocoa, coffee, and things like that, to try and keep those people
nourished as they continue their journey. the process continues around the clock and you can see what a massive area this is, so they cook everything over here, and then they load everything up right here, and that includes fruit and vegetables as well. and really, it's just a process that continues, and it's amazing to see how they've all come together, and a lot of these people didn't know each other before this event and now linked together forever by doing this for those who need the help so much. one more example of what the world is doing to try and help those who are rushing from their homes in the violence. >> extraordinary scale there. i mean the amount of food being prepared in bulk. tell us a little bit about some of the stories you're hearing from the refugees you're encountering at that center. >> well, it's interesting, because there are a lot of people now who are struggling to get to the border, you know,
initially, earlier, when we first got on the ground, people were talking about making the trip, and concerned about what was going to happen. now, they're having to fight through areas that have been torn apart by this war, so a lot of them walk out of their cities because they are bombed out. the roadways to get here are very difficult. some of the towns and cities are now occupied by russian forces and there are checkpoints there. and for days, you sit before you're allowed to move. and so it is a constant struggle to get across the border. and for those that do it, obviously, they're thrilled, most of them, to get their children to safety, but they wonder what's going to happen in their homeland, and it's a question that they don't expect an answer to, jonathan, but it's one that so many people have right now. >> nbc's jay gray, thank you for bringing these stories to us. we really appreciate it. authorities around the world
ramp up pressure against russian oligarchs, a growing number of super yachts are being seized. this one called late lady m. a nice ship. was seized in italy. a 215 foot super yacht owned by russia's rich et businessman. he also owns another, this one, $500 million yacht, complete with two helio-pads and a water fall. always wandered why you need a second helio-pad, anchored in the seychelles safe from sanctions for now. and this is one of the largest in the world at a mere 469 feet owned by a russian fertilizer magnate and has eight decks and an under water observation area and the world's tallest masts, also seized in italy. french officials seized this one, a beauty, it is called amore vera at a shipyard undergoing repairs. authorities the crew was getting ready for an emergency departure
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my wife and i have three children. ruthann and i like to hike. we eat healthy. we exercise. i noticed i wasn't as sharp as i used to be. my wife introduced me to prevagen and so i said "yeah, i'll try it out." i noticed that i felt sharper, i felt like i was able to respond to things quicker. and i thought, yeah, it works for me. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. time now for business. and for that, let's bring in cnbc's julianna tatelbaum who joins us live from london. happy st. patrick's day. u.s. stocks rallied in a volatile session after the federal reserve raised interest rates and suggested it expects to hike it six more times this year. how does this impact global markets? >> good morning. yesterday was certainly a
rollercoaster session. in terms of how it impacts global markets from here, well, right now, we're looking at a muted start, but this comes after u.s. stock markets ended up significantly higher. yesterday, in the immediate aftermath of the decision from the federal reserve, to hike rates for the first time since 2018, we saw the s&p 500 fall into negative territory. but the real change came during the press conference yesterday, this is shaping investors' view of the future. when fed chair jerome powell said that the probability of a recession was not particularly elevated, and that the economy is very strong and can handle higher interest rates. so ultimately, the tech-heavy nasdaq ended up nearly 4%, the s&p 500 ended up nearly 2%, and the big winners of the day were those mega cap tech stocks, helped in part by some positive news out of china earlier in the day, and then of course, that fed decision and press conference helping them higher as well. >> sure would be encouraging if a recession were avoided. ride sharing company lyft, this comes after uber did something
similar, lyft added a 55 cent surcharge to each ride beginning next week to help drivers with what is much higher gas prices. have they indicated how much this price hike is going to last? >> so the company has indicated that it's going to last at least 60 days. and it's interesting to see them jumping on the surcharge bandwagon, as you mentioned, uber announced last week that they would be providing their drivers with extra money in the form of this surcharge, between 45 and 55 cents. and now, lyft surcharge as you said is 55 cents flat. so at the same time, that this is going to help drivers deal with higher gas costs, it could also help lift more drivers, lure drivers from uber. as we have seen for years, there is a rivalry between lyft and uber and the constant battle for labor. like uber, the lyft surcharge will apply to all areas in the u.s. except for new york city. >> so there is a popular political satire tv series that
returned to netflix in the united states. its star? zelenskyy. before of course he became president of ukraine and now a symbol of democracy around the world. tell us a little bit why netflix thought this would be the right moment to bring back the show. >> well, as you and i have talked many times before, we're not always the big fans of netflix's content but this one certainly has my attention, and many others. and in terms of why now, i mean zelenskyy, the president of ukraine has become somewhat of a global hero in the last few months and a lot more interest in his back story and before he became president of the country in real life, he played the president in a tv show and netflix has decided to make the show available to u.s. viewers, to give you a little bit of a teaser, the show is about a high schoolteacher, who unexpectedly becomes president, after a video of him complaining about
corruption goes viral. so i am definitely going to put it on my list and john, i don't know you. >> we have avoided "red notice" with the rock but this one seems pretty topical and worth checking out. a remarkable transformation how life im ated art for president zelenskyy and he is now a symbol of democracy around the world. julianna tatelbaum, we appreciate it as always, live from london. still ahead, former president trump, remember his self proclaimed quote perfect phone call with president zelenskyy? yeah, that's the one that got him sbeechld the first time. msnbc says that call and the first impeachment are now pivotal to understanding the current war in ukraine. she joins me next to talk about that on "way too early." trelegy for copd. [coughing] ♪ birds flyin' high, you know how i feel. ♪ ♪ breeze driftin' on by... ♪ if you've been playing down your copd,...
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country fight russia, former u.s. president donald trump issued a statement focused more on himself rather than the war overseas claiming credit for rebuilding a quote floundering nato. well, there's more that leads to how trump is mixed up in what is happening in ukraine. our friend joyce vance has a new opinion piece, saying america can't afford to forget zelenskyy's role in trump's first impeachment. and brights in part this, many americans have seemingly forgotten the role that zelenskyy played in the events of trump's first impeachment and how those events foreshadowed today. if we forget this history, we're doomed to repeat its mistakes. the first impeachment is pivotal to understanding the current war in ukraine and how narrowly we escaped an american precedence that could have readily aligned itself with rush why over our nato allies. we could still have a return of that president, with trump hinting once again over the weekend that he will be a candidate in 2024. the same trump, with a desperate
desire to retake the white house, and a willingness to sacrifice national interests to get there. americans' memories have seemingly gotten shorter and shorter. but if we are to avoid future disaster, we cannot forget the event, the facts, of july of 2019. and former u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama, and msnbc legal analyst joyce vance joins us right now. joyce, great to see you, we just read obviously a little bit from your piece there, and you make the case that americans can't forget trump's first impeachment and we need to connect it to the war we're seeing currently unfold in ukraine. tell us a lilt bit more about why that -- a little bit more why about why that investigation is so important right now. >> you know, i wrote the piece, jonathan, because our memories really are short. which isn't a discredit to us. it's just that we've been bombarded by so much news over the last five or six years, and
the facts of the first impeachment have sort of dimmed in memory. but americans knew zelenskyy before the current war in ukraine because he is the person that the former president had this phone call with and that phone call was this. zelenskyy thought he was getting weapons that he needed for ukraine's defense against russia. trump was on an entirely different wave length though. the former president was doctor -- was interested in getting ukraine for the focus of the bogus investigation into candidate joe biden, simply that trump used it as a campaign strategy in the 2020 re-election. and so the lesson of that history that we need to make sure does not get lost is we need an american foreign policy that is derived by america's best interest, not by whatever the whimsy of the president at the moment is. trump was obviously a singular figure that his willingness to corrupt american foreign policy to benefit himself politically is something that we need to all be aware of.
>> and he threatened to withhold the very weapons that ukraine is using right now, he obviously tried to undermine nato repeatedly, while president putin, his relationship we know, and president zelenskyy and his body language and how uncomfortable he was with this. and it is interesting to watch. do you suspect trump could still see fallout from that investigation? we think so much of the second impeachment over january 6th but this one is still very pertinent to that. >> it's difficult to assess that. we don't see any signs of at least a criminal investigation going into these steps. we're still not outside the statute of limitations. so i suppose that is possible. but this is part of the reason that we don't necessarily remember the facts of the first impeachment with the clarity that i think we need to understand the currents
indication in ukraine. of course, the second impeachment, and the insurrection, overshadowed that in the minds of many americans, and that's where we primarily see d.o.j. doing its work, whether it's ultimately going to reach trump, the white house, the inner inner circle, that remains unknown. >> thank you for joining us today. i encourage everyone to read your piece on msnbc. up next, president biden labors vladimir putin a war criminal. coming up on "morning joe," live reporting on the ground in ukraine, 22 days into the russian ininvestigation. plus, did president zelenskyy's move the congress. as i mentioned earlier, senator ben sasse is also a guest. "morning joe" is just a few minutes away. nutes away ant to have confidence in the nutritional drink you choose. try boost glucose control®. it's clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels and contains high quality protein
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criminal. >> those comments were almost immediately met with push back from moscow. in a statement to russian state media, the kremlin spokesman said, quote, we consider it unforgivable, such rhetoric from the head of state whose bombs killed hundreds of people around the world. joining us, eli stokel, an msnbc political analyst. thank you for being here this morning. that moment yesterday at the white house, what's significance does it carry that biden used the phrase war criminal to describe vladimir putin? >> well, it was seen in the kremlin so i suppose it could be significant in terms of how they feel about where the u.s. is going, they could use it to try to rally support in russia. i don't think there's that much significance beyond rhetorical at the moment. as jen psaki noted yesterday, there's a process for prosecuting someone for putting out a case against somebody, making a case somebody is a war
criminal and that's a long way down the road as long as vladimir putin is president of russia. as she said, the president is watching the images from ukraine like everybody else on television. hard not to agree with that assessment, given the humanitarian crisis, the bombs dropping on hospitals, shelters, places where children are hiding. >> of course, seeing the media coverage and moved by it but he has gone further than anyone else in the white house labelling him a war criminal. this comes on the heel of hearing from president zelenskyy in congress, and then we heard from the president later outlining the u.s.'s commitment to ukraine. tell us what they're doing and the pressure the president feels from ukraine and capitol hill to do even more? >> it is remarkable. as you point out in the last segment where zelenskyy was three years ago getting bullied by a u.s. president and now with the stay tir and global political power to pressure not just the president of the united states but leaders across europe. that was the point of the speech
yesterday. you were in the room as i was yesterday, you know, the president, the staff, this $800 million in additional defense aid, talking about javelins, stingers, drones going to ukraine, it is more than they've sent before, especially with the drones, but it was passed bipartisan. congress passed it a week ago and it was very deliberate obviously by the white house to come out and have the president sign that into law and begin to ship the weapons right after zelenskyy spoke because they're clearly aware of the potential that he could create even more political pressure on them to do things. they've not been totally impervious to political pressure in terms of putting the oil ban on russia after congress was obviously working on it. so this is a president that tried to walk in lock step with the allies. domestically there's a swell of support for ukraine in the united states, the white house is aware of it, and wanting to make it clear to everybody that
they support the ukrainian cause in tangible terms, weapons, defense material. they're trying to thread the need so they don't do anything that winds up getting the u.s. into the conflict militarily. >> and the symbolism is in play here too and that's why the president is heading to brussels next week. the irish prime minister is here in washington for st. patrick's day. joe biden has said it is perhaps his favorite day of the year, but the schedule has been thrown into upheaval, potentially so. last night word came out that the prime minister tested positive for covid. he was at an event in d.c. to celebrate st. patrick's day, the president was there too. the two men had interaction although the white house said it didn't consider it close contact. tell what it means not just in terms of the st. patrick's celebration but in terms of the
virus. >> we'll see how things are a little different in the white house, could be maybe in masks. >> could be virtual maybe. >> could be virtual across the street at the tea house maybe. they've tried to convey to the country that we're moving past the virus again, the third wave, things are ebbing, cases going down. you saw the president's state of the union, coming in without a mask. i think seeing the vice president -- you know, the second gentleman test positive, more members of congress testing positive, now this story in the news kind of undercuts that idea and gives americans pause when you want to believe we are moving past this as a country, here comes the fourth wave potentially. that's significant. >> right. and covid stepping into the white house twice in a matter of days here. >> obviously significant for a president who is planning on an overseas trip in a few more days. >> let me read you something and
get your reaction. the biden administration will allow afg refugees to stay at least 18 months under protected status. this is relief given to people who would face extreme hardship if returned to home left-hand side devastated by disasters. we also in august -- and it may apply to some ukrainians as well. so certainly a lot of attention to the refugees. how do you see it playing out? >> you know, i don't know politically it is as problematic for the president. he's been very careful about the number of refugees they're allowing from central america and across the southern border. i think this maybe is a little less of a potential issue for the president politically. i think given afghanistan, they've taken flack for putting afghans in that situation because of the way the drawdown of forces occurred and the way the taliban came over and took over the country, having to put
in place the massive airlift. i think a lot of people have been calling it for a long time, saying it is overdue to allow more afghanistan refugees, to allow that status to be here longer. i think given the crisis in europe, i think we will see it play out in that situation. >> those images heartbreaking. thank you for being here. thanks to all of you for getting up "way too early" with us on this thursday morning. "morning joe" starts right now. it is not enough to be the leader of the nation. it takes to be the leader of the world. being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace. peace in your country doesn't depend any more only on you and your people. it depends on those next to you, on those who are strong.