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tv   Ayman  MSNBC  March 20, 2022 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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they are incited into more nationalistic attitudes. that's not to say i'm opposed to sanctions on russia. it's just something we have to consider. >> no. and it's absolutely a valid point. certainly when you listen to people like lindsey graham calling for regime change, we are going into a whole different territory once you start going into that rhetoric. great show as always. >> thank you. good evening. i'm ayman mohyeldin. good evening, everyone. i'm ayman mohyeldin. it is 9:00 p.m. in new york. 3:00 a.m. in kviv where there are reports of new explosions on the ground. we will get a live update on that from ukraine. tonight, we are also following new developments on those peace talks between russia and ukraine. turkey's foreign minister saying the two sides have actually made progress and they're, quote, close to an agreement.
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nato secretary-general for his part said this about those talks to nbc earlier. >> so, first off, we have to remember that this is president putin's war, and he can end it now. that's what all nato allies call on russia to do. ukraine is an independent sovereign nation and i have full trust on president volodymyr zelenskyy and the government on making the right judgments on what kind of peace talks they should engage in, what kind of agreements they can agree to. >> and this comes as the russian military claims that it has launched more of those strikes that, you know, are using hyper sonic missiles. it is the second day in a row we have gotten those reports. in the south of the country in ukraine, the russian offensive there on mariupol continues. on saturday an art school sheltering 400 residents including women and children as well as the elderly, that was hit by russian shelling. this according to the city council there. that following the russian
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bombing of a theater in the same city that happened earlier this week. and officials say that hundreds could still be trapped under the rubble of that building that was struck by the russians. president volodymyr zelenskyy says the siege of mariupol will be remembered for centuries for what he is saying were war crimes committed by russian troops. we have a lot to cover this evening. i want to start tonight with nbc news correspondent cal perry on the ground. he is in lviv, where he has been throughout this entire car. cal, we were getting reports there of new explosions. what more can you tell us about these developments? >> reporter: yeah. the area sirens went off in kyiv in the capital as they did here at the same time. we don't know if those air defense systems were connected, if there is a pattern there. we didn't hear any explosions here. that doesn't mean there weren't strikes. it means we didn't hear them here. in kyiv massive explosions. eyewitnesss reporting a number of explosions in just the past two hours.
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the mayor saying it is possible a mall was hit. but hard to tell at night. these cities do fall under curfew, but it does seem like the russians are pushing forward with their bombardment of the capital. we hear anti-aircraft fire coming from the capital, as well. a sign that air strikes there are underway. as you said in the east of the country, mariupol does seem to be getting the worst of this russian onslaught, of a russian bombardment that seems to be targeting civilians. they announced that they were offering until 7:00 a.m. for the ukrainian government to surrender the city of mariupol. the deputy president here saying that's ridiculous. there will be no surrender. and, frankly, there is not a lot at this point to surrender. i'm not being flippant about that. 80% of the buildings in this city have been destroyed. they are still being shelled. you have people unable to go aboveground to carry out funerals for loved ones. it is the worst that humanity has to offer at this point. it is worst reminding our viewers, it is not just the violence now killing people. it is the conditions.
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it is the lack of food, the lack of water, the living conditions impossible especially underground. very quickly on the peace talks, we will have something tomorrow from the delegations. president volodymyr zelenskyy this weekend changed his tune saying now is the time to discuss peace. it is exactly the conversation that you just had. he's walking this impossible line of trying to organize, defend the country but at the same time, there are children. there are civilians dying every day here. so the pressure to at least stop the fighting even temporarily which would allow the red cross, doctors without borders, these ngos to get into these cities is vitally important, ayman. >> nbc's cal perry live in ukraine for us. cal, thank you for starting us off. i want to cross over to claudia in warsaw, poland. we have been covering the humanitarian situation which continues to worsen by the day. two million people estimated to have been displaced in poland. how is that country handling this influx of people?
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>> hey, ayman. yes, the government here in poland has granted ukrainian refugees, all of them, more than two million, as you mentioned, a special permission to stay here and live here in poland for the next 18 months at least. they are eligible to register for a social security number that will allow them to do everything from finding a job to accessing -- to access medical, to access health care or to send their children to school. but the question is do they -- do these ukrainian refugees want to start a new life here or elsewhere in europe or elsewhere in the world? today we went around the city center of warsaw and we spoke to a couple of them, and they both told us that they don't want to start a new life. all they want is they want to go home. the problem here is that when will they be allowed to do that, if, of course, they will be
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allowed to do that. and there are signs here, ayman, that the polish national -- the polish people are also getting concerned that the war will spill over into poland as well. we have learned that there is a massive spike in requests for passports or renewal passports because some authorities have told nbc news they're seeing cues of people lining up in front of passport offices at 4:00 in the morning because they say people here want to be ready to evacuate, to run away just in case everything goes wrong in this part of the world as well. ayman? >> a very scary thought indeed if it does in fact reach poland because the implications of course if the war does reach poland means nato would get involved in some capacity under article v. it is good to see you, my friend. thank you. as putin-backed forces move to encircle key cities in
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ukraine, kyiv does remain in the hands of the resistance, at least as of this evening. "the washington post" got a rare glimpse into life on the front lines as kyiv's outgunned defenders actually face-off against russian forces. i had a chance to speak to him earlier live from ukraine's capital. thank you so much for joining us. many of us, obviously are here watching this war unfold on tv. you are there on the ground. you got a chance to visit the front lines. share with us what you saw. >> good to be with you, ayman. right. so i recently did visit a couple of front lines around the capital. and what i see is basically it's a mess for russia. they have not been able to advance. they have not been able to achieve their initial
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objectives. what we're seeing is the russian advances are basically bogged down. they have been stopped by ukrainians who have really waged guerrilla style attacks, while the russians were expecting a conventional war, what they're getting is anything but that. the ukrainians are fighting street by street. they dug trenches and cities outside of -- outside of kyiv to stop the russian push forward. and, you know, the russians themselves are reeling from their own kind of miscalculations. what we're seeing is russian soldiers running out of food and water. some have gotten lost in these areas outside the capital, making it easier for the ukrainians to pick them off. in another front line on the northeast of the city, the russians actually sent an entire tank column on a main highway.
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and as they passed the houses, a cluster of houses, the ukrainians just ended up firing and knocking out a bunch of tanks. the tanks were close together, which made it easy to hit. what the russians didn't do as well is they didn't have any kind of ground troops there to -- to -- on the flanking of this column to basically look for any kind of ambushes. this has really surprised ukrainians who were expecting a much better prepared russian army. >> i'm wondering if you can talk about the success of the ukrainians here. our goal is to defend our positions, not to attack the russians. tell us about that strategy. tell us about whether or not you are able to see the direct support that is coming from the west in terms of ammunitions, hardware, weapons, getting to the front lines quickly in the places that they need them to fend off russian advances.
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>> right. you know, the ukrainians are having a smart strategy. what they're doing is this is a game of time for them. what they're trying to do is to slow down the russian advance, kind of create a stalemate in various areas, especially around the capitol, which is the key prize for moscow. and what they're doing is by slowing them down, they're allowing time for other pressures on moscow to work. that includes international sanctions, which are deepening, diplomatic processes, the moral outrage of seeing all of these bombardments by the russian forces killing civilians and, you know, the calling for potential war crimes investigations is growing day by day. all of this is putting pressure on moscow. and as they are stalled especially around the capitol, this gives the ukrainians more time to really -- to not only prevent them from getting to the capitol but also to launch counter offenses. what you are seeing in the past few days is that the ukrainians
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are taking a bit of whatever they can. what you're seeing in the past few days is that the ukrainians are taking a bit of -- whatever they can, they're hitting their -- they're launching an offensive against the russians in certain places, but they know they cannot match the might of the russian army in terms of numbers and equipment. so what they're continuing to do is to slow them down, continue to use these insurgency style tactics, guerrilla style tactics to really stop this advance and try to weaken the russian offensive. >> and really quickly before i let you go, how do you see this breaking in the next couple of days?
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what's next? >> for kyiv -- so what we're -- i mean, the biggest concern now is as the russian offensive has stalled, there is a couple of concerns. one, will they be able to open up their supply lines again? will they be able to bring in reenforcements? like we heard today rumors of 20,000 troops pulling in from belarus. will they be able to bring back more equipment? if they're able to do that, there is certainly concern that their push into the capital could restart again. even if that doesn't happen, the concern is that the russians are going to use tactics they have used in other parts of ukraine and frankly in other parts of the world. that is bomb the hell out of the capital. and that's the biggest fear that many citizens and residents here in the capital that, that they're going to face the same kind of intense, debilitating bombardments. especially in residential areas
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where tens of thousands of civilians could be facing a major blood bath. so that's a huge concern, that the russians could resort to tactics like that against the capital. now, of course, the ukrainians do have, perhaps nowhere else in the country, their air defenses defense systems over the capital are quite strong. and so far they have been able to stop russian ground rockets and other forms of munitions from really shattering the capital. the capital has not faced the same kind of bombardments we have seen in kharkiv and other cities. that's definitely -- but people are worried about that in the future. and if that were to happen, you know, the concern is that kyiv could be in the same situation of what we're seeing in
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mariupol, a place where hundreds of thousands of people are trapped without food, water, electricity. so there is a lot of things to be concerned about. but at the same time, what is really interesting now, what we're seeing especially in the past couple of days because things have been a little quiet over the past couple of days, you are actually seeing ordinary citizens kind of walk out and trying to do things, trying to regime their lives. in some neighborhoods, you see a cafe open. in other neighborhoods, you see a hair salon open. the other day i saw a few joggers with their dogs running past the hotel where i'm at. so people are resilient. they're resilient. you know, they're trying to deal with this new normal they're facing in the capital. but this is, of course, not to say that they're not concerned, that they're not worried, that they don't have their underground bunkers ready, ready to go into perhaps night, if not several nights there. so the fear is still there, but
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people are really trying to deal with their situation and trying to move on with their life as best that they possibly can. >> incredible. incredible reporting. incredible insight. thank you so much for joining us. stay safe, my friend. >> my pleasure, ayman. thank you. and stay with us. after this, you will hear my conversation with the political editor of "the kyiv independent." but first, richard is here with the headlines. >> good evening, ayman. yeah. some of the stories we're following for you right breaking news. the supreme court saying justin clarence thomas was sent to the hospital friday with flu-like symptoms. he was diagnosed with an infection not related to covid and is being treated with an intravenous antibiotic and expected to be released from the hospital in a day or two. one person killed, 28 wounded including several children at a shooting at a car show in dumas, arkansas saturday night. police confirmed a gunfight broke out.
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one person was arrested on the scene for unrelated charges, but there is an ongoing search for both suspects. and raging wildfires destroyed 86 homes in carbon, texas on saturday. 50,000 acres of land have been burned west of dallas. one deputy has died in that blaze. more "ayman" with ayman mohyeldin right after this. ♪ limu emu and doug.♪ and it's easy to customize your insurance at so you only pay for what you need. isn't that right limu? limu? limu? sorry, one sec. doug blows several different whistles. doug blows several different whistles. [a vulture squawks.] there he is. only pay for what you need. ♪liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty♪
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russia's attempt to conquer ukraine could be headed to a stalemate according to western officials. as heavy casualties and equipment losses take a toll on the unprepared russian forces that have failed to meet any of their objectives, it raises a question i asked to a local journalist in kyiv who has been covering the war on the ground. watch. political editor of "the kyiv independent," thank you so much for joining us this evening. you are there on the ground in kyiv. describe for us what your life has been like, what you are seeing on a day-to-day basis there. >> well, obviously the past month has been rough for every ukrainian. most people have to fastly move between their apartment and a bomb shelter. as we know, in kyiv in the past four or five days, multiple
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rockets has hit apartment buildings. it's not frequent yet, but many of kyiv residents expect kyiv to turn into something like mariupol or kharkiv, which has been a living hell. >> how would you describe the spirit of the people of ukraine, specifically those in kyiv? as you said you are waiting to see what happens in kyiv as has happened in mariupol and elsewhere? >> i think surprisingly the spirit is very high. the morale of the troops in the army is skyrocketing. only today an institute published a poll saying the support rate of both president volodymyr zelenskyy, the army and ukraine joining the european union and nato is the highest as it has ever been.
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over 90% of ukrainians believe ukraine will win this war. i will say everybody understands that the next week, month will be rough, will be hard and unfortunately many people will be killed by russian rockets. but nobody is prepared to end the fight now. >> let me ask you about the status of peace talks. you talk about the end of the war. what is your understanding of what this -- these peace talks look like right now? do you have any insight into the demands from russia, the demands from the ukrainian government and whether or not there are any developments moving in the direction of ending this war? >> unfortunately, both sides are far apart. we know that the main demands of the russian side as mentioned by turkey, which is trying to mediate those talks, is the recognition of crimea as
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russian, the recognition of breakaway proxy states as independent and the decrease in ukraine's army and the forfeit of ukrainian hopes to join nato. obviously ukraine is not willing to concede. ukraine will never agree to lose crimea and donbas. and i think, unfortunately, right now, we can't say that those talks will result in anything. the ukrainian side hopes for maybe a temporary cease-fire and humanitarian corridors from cities like mariupol which are bombarded every single minute. but for this, i don't expect anything to happen. >> let me ask you about some reporting that "the kyiv independent" has put out.
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the "kyiv independent" reported today on an alleged plot by russia's elites to overthrow vladamir putin and to restore economic ties with the west. we should note we haven't verified this report independently. but can you tell us a little bit more about this development as you understand it and as your publication, "the kyiv independent" is reporting it? >> yes. this was reported by many russian opposition platforms and ukrainian as well. ukrainian intelligence believes that there is a strong dissatisfaction among russian elites with how the far is done -- with how the war is done and primarily with the sanctions. we know that russian oligarchs and top government officials basically lost everything they gained from russia and from the russian regime over the past 20 years.
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i personally don't think that a coup d'état is possible. i don't think that putin will be deposed. but this is something that ukrainian intelligence is reporting, and we're citing those sources in the intelligence as well. >> let me ask you finally. if, in fact, the war comes to an end on terms that ukraine accepts, the ukrainian government accepts, should all sanctions on russia be lifted if, in fact, vladimir putin stays in power or has the objective changed for ukraine with the removal of vladimir putin after this war? >> i think it was correctly pointed out by prime minister boris johnson that putin and his regime can't be tolerated at all, even after the war as well. the problem that ukrainian side has is that signing any treaty,
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any document with russia under vladimir putin doesn't mean that russia will obey, right? there is no trust in the current russian leadership. they bombed maternity hospitals, kindergartens, residential areas. unfortunately even if ukraine signs something or if some kind of cease-fire is agreed to, there is absolutely zero hope that while putin is in power there won't be another war. >> all right. political editor for "the kyiv independent" live from kyiv for us this evening, thank you so much for joining us. i greatly appreciate your time. >> thank you. we are staying on the ground in ukraine and looking at the efforts to get much needed food and supplies to those still inside the country. we have to be able to repair the enamel on a daily basis.
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so according to the united nations, ukraine's food supply chain is falling apart under stress from russia's invasion, and if the conflict continues, 90% of the population could face poverty. unlivable conditions have already forced ten million ukrainians to flee their homes since the start of the conflict. joining me now is joe english, communications specialist for unicef. can you explain to us how the war in ukraine is affecting both people in the country and the global food supply as it relates to what you are seeing? >> exactly. you know, so i think we have all seen the immediate impacts of this war. you know, we now know that more than 50 children have been killed. more than 75 children injured. these are just the numbers that we have been able to verify. the true toll is likely far higher.
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we have seen more than 1.6 children flee as refugees. that's more than a child every single second for the last three weeks. but this is going to have an effect elsewhere as well. not only in countries hosting refugees, already having to provide care and support to millions of people, but also, as you say, you know, this could have an impact on food prices worldwide, on wheat supplies. that has very real concerns for us in terms of the situation in countries like lebanon, in yemen, in syria. you know, when there is already a desperate situation. we already have millions of people, you know, in a daily struggle in cases of supply. this is an incredibly worrying situation for us. as a humanitarian organization, we are doing everything we can to address the immediate needs
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of children and families in ukraine, but also making sure we're doing everything we can to plan for the future and mitigate the effects this may have around the world. >> do you believe or are you seeing enough from the government? i mean, are governments -- are government and governments around the world, are they actively doing anything about what you have just described? >> sadly, i mean, you know, with any humanitarian crisis, the -- there is such a need for international cooperation, international solidarity. with the situation in ukraine, as we say, more than three million refugees have now fled. now many of the children and families i have spoken to, i was in poland last week, they don't want to be away from home. they don't want to have been forced out of their country. you know, the only country for many of the children they have ever known. they want the safety and security that peace will bring to they can begin to rebuild their lives. we need to make sure we're
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providing them with some sort of life, so governments need to step up -- >> i feel like, joe, did we lose your connection? we might have lost that connection with joe english, a spokesperson, communications specialist, i should note for unicef describing for us conditions around ukraine and around the country as his organization tries to step up and alleviate the suffering of the children of ukraine. we'll see if he joins us. if not, we'll continue on and see if we can reestablish that connection. our thanks to joe english from unicef. >> stilz -- still ahead, how the war in ukraine is denting the america first idealology in the heart of the country. we'll tell you about that, next. y we'll tell you about that, next. ( ♪♪ ) ( ♪♪ )
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causing a rift within trump's gop base. remember his rallying cry america first. republicans in the midwest are starting to reject that idea and are actually calling for the biden administration to do more to help ukraine. let's bring in my panel to discuss this and more. we have joel moore. tara is the lincoln project senior adviser and former gop communications director. and joyce vance. tara, let me start with you and get your thoughts on trump supporters bucking first from the america first agenda and wanting more to be done for the people of ukraine. >> it's an interesting juxtaposition given everything that we heard for four years and donald trump, the positions that the republicans had taken, which were antithetical to republican orthodoxy when it came to foreign policy. when you have the images of the horrific invasion of putin's
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war on the innocents of ukraine, when you have that beamed into your living room every day, it is difficult for americans to look at that and say, why aren't we doing something? so the idea of america being -- leading the charge and being that shining city on a hill, it tells me that still resonates with people that they want america to lead that charge. i remember when i was on the hill republicans were really critical of barack obama and their foreign policy when he talked about leading from behind. people thought that somehow exhibited weakness. now joe biden is doing an excellent job of leading the democratic countries of the world. nato is unified against a common enemy, having resolve that we haven't seen in years. and it seems that some americans, trump supporters in particular, are -- they're caught in the middle. they don't know what to think here because joe biden is doing a good job, and this is the position america should take. i think it is a fascinating
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cognitive disnance that we've seen starting to show through. >> it is hard to imagine nato being as united as it is with joe biden as president. here we are watching republicans pretty much gaslight all of us and say joe biden is not doing a good job on that front. you recently wrote that republicans have become masters of the hypocritical art of politicizing national security in recent years, dating back to at least 9/11. elaborate on that for us a little bit. little it. >> first and foremost, i wonder how they feel knowing their maga stars are the heroes of putin's state tv propaganda right now, basically telling russians what they are doing is a holy invasion. this goes back decades. after 9/11, the bush administration basically used that terrorist attack that
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unified the country as a tool to win the 2002 midterms. it lied us into war in iraq and attacked barack obama for getting into that war that started after those lies. it spent five years apologizing for donald trump, for basically coddling putin the entire time of his presidency. think about this. vladimir putin basically had donald trump's ear throughout five years and got no push back from the republicans in congress. democrats impeached donald trump for trying to steal the 2020 election by blocking volodymyr zelenskyy for having defensive weapons and republicans acquitted him, gave him a pass a couple of years ago. this goes back decades. it is not new, but it is extraordinarily dangerous. if you want to support american national security, you cannot support donald trump or the republican party. you have to vote for the democrats and for joe biden. that's the only way to show us the way forward. >> joyce, joe brought up an interesting point about the
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impeachment because in your new piece as well that is out, you point out that americans simply can't afford to forget the role that volodymyr zelenskyy played in trump's first impeachment. why is that so important to understanding what is actually going on with ukraine today? because we are playing catchup in trying to get the ukrainians weapons they need that president trump exploited to his political advantage back a couple of years ago. >> that first impeachment almost feels like ancient history at this point. >> yeah. >> but it is important to remember some of the details and most notoriously that the former president was willing to withhold much needed military aid from ukraine in order to serve his personal political goals. the same sort of approach he took with nato, always willing to sacrifice nato, even talked about dramatically weakening nato, weakening the alliance at the same time that he had this sort of fascination, almost a
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bromance with vladimir putin. it is important to remember as we look to the future that if we have a return of president trump or if we have a return of that wing of the party to power, we might not see this sort of strong nato alliance led by an american president who is willing to be a unifier and really ask the nato allies to take some significant risks here on behalf of ukraine. we may not be formally in the fight but certainly nato is more strongly aligned that it has been in many years. it is important to understand that this was not a pre-determined resolution of the ukrainian situation where nato was concerned and that we need to consider, as we look to the future, whether a return of president trump or someone from his wing of the party would dedicate this sort of support to ukraine and to our allies in eastern europe and in nato.
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>> and, tara, the other irony here in the hypocrisy of the ukrainians the internally. they act pretty tough when they want to call out authoritarianism overseas and about defending democracy and freedom. but they are not doing it here at home. they're not standing up to defend american democracy from the threat within their own party and their own leader. >> oh, absolutely. i wrote about that in my recent nbc think piece as well. republicans can't have it both ways. they can't sit here and cheerlead the resolve of the ukrainians standing up for resiliency and self-determination and turn around and still support trump. republicans have a trump and putin problem. you have these people out here like marjorie taylor greene who are being useful idiots of the kremlin. then you have the biggest microphone of all in fox news
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and tucker carlson who is being used as propaganda, a propaganda puppet for russia. that should tell you something. but you don't see republicans boycotting fox. you don't see them saying this is irresponsible what you are doing here, taking putin's side. you don't see that. the record is very clear. what we saw for years and years of donald trump being putin's puppet. so it's -- i don't know what else to say other than that democrats need to take advantage of this and flip the script on them politically because republicans have dominated the national security space for so long. but they have advocated that moral high ground by supporting donald trump for all those years and still continuing to embrace it even after he called putin a genius and savvy and continues to play footsy with putin while putin is killing innocent children. democrats need to use this to their advantage and turn it around on republicans and make people see either you are on the
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side of democracy or you're not. there is no middle ground here. >> joel, tara brought up madison cawthorn. i have a clip of him i want to play followed by lindsey graham. watch this. ham. watch this. >> like 90% of the country is with the ukrainians and opposed to putin. when you see a member of congress say things like this, the one thing i want you to know they're outliers in the largest sense possible on our side. >> so break it down for us. i mean, wartime is usually when you would think that the country rallies together, certainly when we are heavily invested in what the outcome of ukraine is. this is not a war that we're just watching from a distance. we are arming one of the sides. how does this division affect the united states' response to the war in ukraine?
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>> well, ayman, first and foremost lindsey graham was donald trump's greatest defender throughout the impeachment process. what we're pointing out right there is what we should be arguing for, but in words, fine. but not in deeds. and the way to get past this is to remember that the united states, we do stand for democracy and we stand for alliances. we stand for global leadership. there is a record for that. there is a track record and votes. even in the most recent votes of ukraine just a week or so ago, 37 republicans voted against that aid to ukraine, that military and humanitarian aid but then went on to attack joe biden somehow for not being tough enough. okay? so there has to be accountability. the ballot box is prime. but also accountability in the public airways. madison is giving aid and comfort to the enemy right there, full stop. he is on russian kremlin state tv every night as a voice from the united states telling the
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russian people that what they're doing is somehow acceptable, and it's not. so accountability is key. we have to call a spade a spade. >> all right, joyce. my apologies to you. we have run out of time. i look forward to continuing the conversation in future days. thank you so much for joining us this evening. still ahead, the dangers of reporting from the front lines of an active war zone. stay with us. as a struggling actor, i need all the breaks that i can get. at liberty butchemel... cut. liberty mu... line? cut. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. cut. liberty m... am i allowed to riff? what if i come out of the water? liberty biberty... cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance
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the death toll for journalists covering russia's war in ukraine went up again this week.
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brent renaud, alexandra koshanova and others were all killed while documenting the hor -- horrors of putin's invasion. another, benjamin hall, was injured. there's an old adage that says truth is the casualty of war, and the last few weeks have shown that also includes the truth tellers. brent renaud, friends called him fearless. he spent months at a time covering the hardships in places like iraq, afghanistan, haiti and libya. he was working on a new project chronicling the ukrainian crisis when russian soldiers opened fire on his vehicle hitting him in the neck. pierre zakrzewski was one of the hardworking people you would encounter on assignment, no
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matter how long the hours, you arduous the terrain, the weather, or how challenging the story. and 24-year-old alexandra was a ukrainian journalist who volunteered to serve as a consultant for the fox team on the ground in tv. this young woman was only 24 years old. her life had been upended by this war, and how did she respond? by throwing on a flak jacket and making sure that she was there to help benjamin and pierre see and understand her country and countrymen as only a ukrainian could do. the bravery of these journalists speaks for itself. but it's necessary to reiterate how important their work was, as well. in these days, it's easy to rag on journalism. journalists are quite literally called the enemy of the people. and yet considering what life would be like without journalists, particularly those who report from conflict zones.
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look, it's easy to sit in a studio and pontificate about what we as a country should do. it's mup harder to go to the war zone and show the world what is actually happening and even challenge your own network's understanding of the war like the way benjamin did. as a veteran war reporter, sebastian younger wrote, without the work of these brave young people there could be no such thing as democracy in the world. elections would be stolen. war crimes would be denied. injustices hidden. in a world without journalists, leaders like vladimir putin could claim whatever self-serving reality they wanted and remain utterly unaccountable for their crimes. the journalists killed in ukraine recognized the value of their work. that's why they went there. we owe it to them to recognize the value of their work, too.
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thank you for making time for us on this sunday evening. catch "ayman" every friday on peacock at 7:00 eastern. back here on msnbc saturdays at 8:00, sundays at 9:00. follow us on twitter and tiktok. until we meet again, i'm ayman mohyeldin. good night. to help prevent bleeding gums, try saying hello gumwash with parodontax active gum health. it kills 99% of plaque bacteria and forms an antibacterial shield. try parodontax active gum health mouthwash.
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