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tv   MSNBC Reports  MSNBC  March 24, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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moment when i remember this flash of fear and anger in her eyes when she and i were discussing the rise of trump on the streets of georgetown one day. she knew the dangers. she lived the dangers. she devoted her life to freedom and democratic values. and she will be missed. as president clinton said in our show today, we should let her guide us. that does it for us this morning. kristen welker picks up the coverage right now. good morning. i am kristen welker live in brussels where the emergency nato summit is now under way. it's thursday, march 24th, and we're following several late-breaking developments unfolding right now in ukraine has a critical day on the world stage plays out here in europe. president biden meeting with
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nato allies this morning in brussels presenting a united front against russia's war in ukraine. president zelenskyy said russia unleashed phosphorous bombs this morning in ukraine killing people, including children. nbc news has not independently verified the claim, but we have reached out to the white house for comment. in just minutes, president biden will gather with g-7 leaders at headquarters and hold a bilateral meeting with the european president. a new round of sanctions expected in an attempt to pressure russia to end the war. the meetings focusing on humanitarian support for those affected by the violence in ukraine and a news conference later this afternoon. we'll hear from president biden directly. all of this as the people of ukraine endure russian
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bombardment. secretary of state antony blinken officially announcing russia has committed war crimes since invading ukraine. nato estimating 7,000 to 15,000 russian soldiers have been killed in the fight. and with those losses adding up, ukrainian forces are moving to take back territory russians have gained in recent days. it's just extraordinary. a u.s. defense official saying ukrainian forces have pushed back russian forces east of the capital of kyiv by at least 15 miles and have stymied russia's forces to the northwest of the city. joining us for more on all of this, gabe gutierrez is live in lviv, ukraine, and nbc's kelly o'donnell, here with me in brussels. gabe, i want to start with you on the ground in lviv. ukrainian forces are moving as i said to take back territory that russians have gained in recent days. what are you seeing and hearing on the ground?
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bring us up to date on the latest. >> reporter: kristen, good morning. we are in western ukraine. as you mentioned, ukrainian forces have been mounting a valiant effort, especially in the area around kyiv, where just in the last few days they have said they have tried to slowly win back some territory in that area. however, fierce battles continue in other parts of the country as well. mariupol has seen increasing fighting and increasing devastation there. today the ministry of foreign affairs says russians are forcibly deporting thousands from that city and the affairs spokesman saying this barbarity must end. i did speak with one family who had just gotten out of that besieged city. they shared with us dramatic new video of what they saw on the
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ground. this is a moth we are her young child. take a listen. [ child screaming ] >> reporter: hearing that ekts explosion, that mother with her young child, 7 years old saying don't cry, don't cry, run fast. kristen? >> another horrifying image and sound of so many. thank you for being there on the ground in lviv to bring us that. i want to turn to kelly o'donnell. we've been here in brussels reporting on the summit, which is now under way, kelly, and it started with this unite and powerful show of force of the western allies. what are you watching for and what's the real agenda here? >> i think there are a couple things. in terms of some of the
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atmospherics it's important to be together and stand together. there will be a photo released showing the leaders side by side. that is powerful in its symbolism. with specifics, additional sanctions and ways to find new tools to stop any russian workarounds, meaning how can the kremlin not get access to some of its reserve funds? how can the central bank not be doing business in certain ways in commodities like gold, looking for ways to shut off financing? that's part of it. we're also hear prg the united states today a plan to welcome immigrants from ukraine, refugees who would be willing to resettle in the united states. we know many would want to be in europe, would want to go home to ukraine if that is even feasible at some point. but for those who want to set until the united states, who may have family in the united states or know about ukrainian communities -- i'm from the cleveland area, big ukrainian communities there who would
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gladly welcome them. 100,000 is the number being talked about and clearing the bureaucratic hurdles that exist to make that easier. now, there will be some probably political issues with that at home because we know there have been issues with other refugee communities from around the world that also want to seek a place in the united states. bup this is a big statement from president biden who had said in recent days that he wanted to welcome ukrainians and now the mechanics of government are starting to line up with that sentiment. >> you are right to point out the fact that this is a short-term solution. what happens in the long term with so many ukrainians who might want to go home but not be able to. kelly o'donnell, thank you so much. gabe gutierrez, beforehand. i do want to bring in ned price, who is the state department spokesperson. thanks so much for joining us on a busy morning. appreciate it. >> good to see you, kristen. >> good to see you. look, i want to start with this breaking news that we got. president zelenskyy saying this morning that russia has used
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phosphorous bombs, killing people including children. i want to stress nbc news has not independently verified the claim. i also want to be clear about our understanding of phosphorous bombs. it apparently is not a chemical weapon but when used against civilians can be a war crime, is a violation of international law. is that accurate? and have you verified these claims? >> your understanding is accurate, kristen. we're taking a close look at these allegations. but here's what we already know. you heard from secretary blinken yesterday that it's our assessment that russia's forces have committed war crimes in ukraine and a war crime under international humanitarian law is the intentional targeting of civilians. we've seen any number of attacks by russia's forces in recent weeks that could well constitute a war crime. we have seen civilian buildings, residential buildings struck, school buildings struck, a theater that was clearly marked
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with "children" written out in the russian language. we're continuing to document, but just as importantly, we are sharing all of that information with our partners and contributing to a number of accountability mechanisms because it's our goal not only to shine a spotlight on what the russians are doing, the intentional targeting of the ukrainian people, but also to hold accountable those who are responsible for these murderous acts. >> ned, i do want to delve into the announcement yesterday that you're now accusing russia of committing war crimes, but let me follow up on this claim that russia used phosphorous bombs. if it is true, what will the u.s. and its nato allies do about it? is this an escalation? >> well, we have continued to see the russian federation escalate, and in some ways that's not surprising because this war has not gone according to vladimir putin's plan.
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>> to my question, though, is this an escalation? is this using phosphorous bombs an escalation by russia? >> again, we're going to take a close look at these allegations to determine what has transpired, but we have seen the russian federation consistently escalate. that's why he've escalated our response against russia. you'll hear the president in a few minutes talk about additional measures we're mounting on the kremlinin response to this. >> on that announcement yesterday, the u.s. accusing russian forces of committing war crimes, you notably vably did not name vladimir putin specifically. why not? and do you anticipate that putin will be held accountable? these investigation can take years. >> we anticipate that everyone responsible for committing these murderous war crimes will be held responsible, and that is our goal. we have two goals in mind. one, shining a spotlight, but the second is accountability. under international humanitarian
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law it's not only those who pull the trigger or drop the bomb but potentially it is those who are giving the orders. so, anyone who is in that chain of command who gives an order to intentionally target a civilian population could be held accountable. our goal is to ensure everyone who is accountable should held so. >> a senior administration official confirmed for nbc news earlier today that the white house has assembled so-called tiger teams. "the new york times" is the first to report this. these are groups of national security officials who are making contingency plans in case russia uses chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons as well as contingency plans for other weapons. the president said yesterday it's a real threat, the possibility putin could use a nuclear weapon. how concerned is the administration that this could be imminent? >> well, we are concerned enough to plan for all contingencies in part because, as i said before, this war is not going according
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to vladimir putin's plans. i think our nearest-term concern is the use, potential use of chemical or biological weapons and we're concerned on that front for three primary reasons. we know russia's track record. russia has used these banned agents against their own people before, has support it would assad regime in its use of chemical weapons against the syrian people. russia is engaging in what you might call projection, and that is to say that the russians have a tendency to accuse others of what they have in mind. we've certainly heard a lot of accusations, spurious accusations against ukraine, against the united states, lewd courthouse accusationsings, but it undergirlfriends our concern. finally, this war is not going as planned for vladimir putin. his back is up against the wall in some ways. he is continuing to escalate. our concern is he will escalate in with chemical or biological
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weapons. there will be a swift, strong response from the united states and the international community were that to happen. >> let me ask you about some news we're getting from japan, saying that north korea has launched what's believed to be a new kind of intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time since 2017. japan saying it's a major escalation. clearly this is going to add to the tensions in that region. what is the reaction from the administration? and are you concerned that other world leaders may be testing president biden in the mess of the withdrawal from afghanistan? >> well, kristen, this is an escalation. this is a long-range ballistic missile that we believe the north koreans tested overnight. secretary blinken has been in touch in the last couple hours with his japanese and south korean counterparts. this was a launch that our indo-pacific command tracked closely. they assessed it never posed a direct threat to the united states, but we know the dprk's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program is a threat to
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regional peace and security to our allies, japan and south korea, but also potentially to the united states. that's why we're taking this with the utmost seriousness. we will be continuing to engage with our allies. we'll be engaging with the u.n. we have mounted sanctions against those responsible for these programs. and we'll look for additional ways to deter potential aggression from the north koreans and to hold accountable those who are behind these programs. >> neld, before i let you go, we learned yesterday the very sad news that former secretary of state madeleine albright, the first female secretary of state, passed away yesterday. she's someone who had a huge impact on the state department, i a sum had a huge impact on you as well. how is she being remembered today at the state department? >> she's being recked as the towering figure that she was. i say that about someone who wasn't quite 5 feet tall but she was towering in this building, towering and will be towering in the pantheon of american foreign policy and diplomacy.
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she is remembered in this building as secretary albright, as ambassador albright. i knew her as a colleague, as professor albright but also as a mentor. that is what has struck me as i've thought about her legacy, someone, again, who was not quite 5 feet tall, her wingspan was impossibly long because she took so many of us under her wing, giving us opportunities we otherwise would not have had. i would not be where i am today, others would not be where they are today if not for madeleine albright. she will be dearly, deeply missed. our thoughts are with her family. >> ours as well. thanks for joining us on a critical and very busy day for all of you. appreciate it. >> thanks, kristen. coming up, as thousands of ukrainians continue to flee each day, we're going to talk to hungary's secretary of state about what this new surge means for his country. that's when we come right back only here on msnbc.
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more than 3.5 million refugees have fled ukraine since russia's invaegs began and the head of the refugee agency telling politico he's worried the initial show of support in europe could lead to backlash down the road. in the u.s., the biden administration saying it would
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speed up the settlement of vulnerable refugees with plans to welcome up to 100,000 refugees and people fleeing, and as millions escape to neighboring countries in eastern europe, it's unclear if all this could destabilize the region. let's bring in hungary's secretary of state for public diplomacy and relations. thank you so much for joining us, mr. secretary. let's start with these numb beers. the united nations saying that at least 300,000 ukrainian refugees crossed into hungary. does your country have the capacity to handle this influx? how are you doing it? >> as a matter of fact, that number is over 500 miles an hour by now because we combined the numbers that are coming directly from ukraine and through romania. so we've been in contact with over 500,000 people through the past month, and indeed, this is the biggest humanitarian and paid effort of hungary ever. the nazis, the second world war,
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we've never witnessed refugees in so great numbers and very unfortunate as we see the influx, the flee of refugees is going to continue from ukraine. there is no cap, no limit beneather in the numbers nor in the supplies for the refugees entering hungary. >> your prime minister has asked the european commission for more money to help hungary's refugee crisis and to help you deal with those huge numbers you're getting, more than 500,000 refugees. the commission says your country needs to do more to fight corruption, to promote press freedom and lgbtq rights. what is your reaction to that, and what is being done to help with those concerns? >> the hungarian government is having a decade-long quarrel
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with a commission political in nature. the working mechanism of the european union is simple if it's about finances. there's no place for any kind of criteria like blackmailing. so what we are calling for and asking for is the money that is due to us and that has been withheld from hungary for political reasons. i can tell you amidst an escalating war and the influx of 500,000 people to hungary as refugees, i believe the money has good place and has a function here in hungary. everybody's in dire need. as a matter of fact, the european union has to rethink how to utilize the so-called emergency mechanism that has been semied two years ago as well as the normal financial mechanism, the upcoming budget of the european union for the upcoming seven years. >> just to be very clear, are you addressing those criticisms?
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do you accept them? are they valid and do those issues need to be worked out in your country? >> no. we refuse these allegations because they have been all motivated politically coming from the european parliament and the leftist parties of europe. i believe amongst the war again and the biggest humanitarian and relief effort on behalf of hungary and europe, especially, the front-line countries, poland, slovakia, hungary, romania, there's no place for any kind of political conditionality if it's about immediate help. >> can i get your level of concern that russia may use chemical weapons today? we are learning they may have used a phosphorous bomb. that could be a potential escalation. what is your level of concern? >> look, for the past month, the
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war raging in with an immediate neighbor of hungary is certainly and clearly a national security threat. we would like to get rid of it as soon as possible. any escalation is not the interest of hungary. we've been among the first to call for peace and re-establishing those relationships with the neighboring countries and among the warring partners that would start escalating the conflict. >> all right. zoltan kovacs, thank you for joining us here. appreciate it. more news from brussels in just a moment. but first, i want to go to chris jansing, my colleague in new york, who's got some of the biggest stories happening back at home. good to see you. >> hi, there, kristen. great to see you. coming up, children's books, church schedules, the definition of woman. judge ketanji brown jackson was asked about all of those things during her supreme court confer e major leagues hearing, but why? and what we're watching for today with that hearing in its fourth day, coming up.
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after senators wrapped up days of contentious questioning. day four is under way. the committee's chair, dick durbin, has set april 4th for the confirmation by the committee and fought back against tough and caustic questioning by some republicans. the counterpoint came from senator cory booker, who moved the judge to tears for a second time with a powerful and emotional tribute. >> it's hard for me not to look at you and not see my mom, not to see my cousins. you have earned this spot. you are worthy. you are a great american when that final vote happens. and you ascend onto the highest court in the land. i'm going to rejoice. >> let's go straight to our panel, ali vitali on capitol hill, u.s. former national bar
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association president c.k. hoffler and kimberly atkins stohr. c.k., watching the questioning in the past couple days was exhausting. so we can only imagine what it was like to be in the line of fire. and then cory booker both days kind of providing an outlet for all that emotion, maybe especially for judge jackson. and i want to get to the point of what's supposed to be a key part of this process, right, temperament, demeanor, never took the bait. your thoughts. >> no, i agree. i think judge ketanji brown jackson did a phenomenal job at defending her record, defending herself, and she was very firm in her convictions but yet not being dragged down into a sea of negativity and a sea of really endless pit of criticism. she maintained her cool. she did express frustration. she said what she regretted the most was there were a couple of opinions given the totality of
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her experience and background as a jurist and as a person that a couple of opinions would stand out and she'd be cross-examined for hours on them. she was saddened by that. other than that, expressing that frustration, i believe she performed magnificently. and senator cory booker enabled america and the world, indeed, to see the kind of person she is, to see her compassion, to see her character. he lis sited some emotion from her not because she felt criticized or the pressure of the proceedings, but because of his messaging, the significance of her nomination. and i think for that, she performed magnificently under pressure. and when she felt that senator booker elicited that emotion, she let it go and it was a beautiful moment. but she did fight hard in a very appropriate way, which we would expect from a judge of her caliber, and that's the judicial temperament, quite frankly, we need to see on the u.s. supreme court. >> we should say, kimberly, that jackson's sentences are consistent with about 70% of
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federal judges, but several e republicans were laser focus on how she sentenced in some child pornography cases. let me play a little clip. >> so let's focus on actual child pornography cases. >> child pornographers. >> pedophiles who produce child pornography. >> let's go back to the child pornography cases. >> you know, kimberly, a nominee's record, and she has an extensive one, is fair game, but attacks, bringing out children's books, asking how often she goes to church, even her definition of the word woman. how much of this in total do you think was about getting information, how much about scoring political points, how much about sexism and racism? >> i think it was mostly about the latter points that you raised, chris, in part because we know that this is the -- not only the third time that judge ketanji brown jackson has gone for senate confirmation, it's the second time in as many years
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she's appeared before this committee. they have had just about the entirety of her record them before, and even some members who had voted favorably for her out of that committee were among those who were on the attack this week. this is about midterm elections, appealing to cultural wars, appealing to a segment of the gop that is into conspiracy theories about democrats and child porn and trying to tag that at a time where this should be a historic moment where the supreme court could be getting its first black woman on the u.s. supreme court. this was about politics. it really wasn't about the judge at all. i agree she held her temperament well, but she and other black women who are expected to keep a straight face in attack like that could feel that frustration and share that with her. it was politics as usual.
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it wasn't about knowing her record. it was about making a point. >> tell us what is happening today and is there a chance that ultimately judge jackson wins over any republican votes? >> reporter: yeah, chris, you look at the lines of questioning in the last two days, the conversations i've been having with senators as they walk in and out of the hearing room they've been in for more than 23 hours of questioning in the last two days. most of the republicans i've spoken to, even the ones who have sounded like there might be a chance, have told me they're leaning no. thom tillis, john cornyn, both said there was an openness but that they would put themselves in the no category. at the end to have day, it doesn't matter. the process as it goes forward from this point is on monday they will do their first meeting about this because of committee rules, then a week between that day and the following monday when they will actually vote ketanji brown jackson out of committee. should that be a tie, because
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right now you have 11 democrats and 11 republicans on this 22-person, judiciary committee, if that's a tie, the full senate can vote her out of committee and then get her to that full senate vote process where, again, the split works in democrats' favor. in theory all they need are all 50 democrats to get behind this nominee and kamala harris will break the tie. that doesn't mean that the white house and democrats don't want republican support, and there are some republicans who aren't on this committee who could still be yes's, and as i talked with chairman dick durbin yesterday and throughout the week, he continues repeating the phrase "hope springs eternal." we'll have to wait and see. >> there's been talk about how judge jackson replacing justice breyer won't reshape the court. but is there very real significance to someone having experience this court doesn't have? not just being a black woman,
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even the late conservative justice antonin scalia said that just the presence of thurgood marshall, the first black justice, could change the way his colleagues looked at some of the cases in private conference. >> absolutely. nies are nine people who will sit together day in and day out discussing these cases, discussing the impact that it will have not just on supreme court precedent but on the american people. so having someone who, as you said, has a deep experience being a defense attorney both in public and private practice, someone who is from florida, there's geographic differences, who has a different life story and life experience on that court will certainly come to bear and is important. look, this court is making decisions that will affect all of us. and it is important that it has a broad range of experiences going in behind those opinions. also, it will be really
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important for her now to be shifting. she's usually in the majority now on the court she sits on the d.c. circuit. she'll be in the minority. she's going to be a dissent writer, and we're going to see the experience of her long opinions she says she's tended to write being used in that way. she will have a big impact on the court. >> kimberly, ali, c.k., thank you. coming up, more than 64 tornados bombarding the south since monday, one of them hit new orleans directly leaving one person dead, a wide path of destruction. we'll go live to louisiana for the latest next. my name is douglas. i'm a writer/director and i'm still working. in the kind of work that i do, you are surrounded by people who are all younger than you. i had to get help somewhere along the line to stay competitive. i discovered prevagen. i started taking it and after a period of time, my memory improved.
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hard-hit st. bernard parish, which took a direct hit from that tornado. sam, wow, this is just the latest blow. this is a region still reeling from hurricane ida last august, hurricane katrina. tornados aren't that common there. what is the recovery mission look like on the ground right now? >> reporter: chris, good morning. good toob with you. the search-and-rescue efforts were tuesday night and wednesday morning. at this point it's about cleaning up debris and trying to help folks pick their lives back up together and restore power. you'll hear sound of power lines going back up over this rport. this is one of the homes destroyed, never livable again. more than 90-plus homes that sustained material damage. a tree in the middle of the house has also punctured a nearby trailer. this is representative of what it looks like for blocks and blocks. i spoke with one homeowner, taryn baker, who saved up for years after she lost her home
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during katrina to try to buy property again. finally she does that, and this tornado strikes. here's our conversation. >> it's just in shambles. look at it. i'll basically have to start all over. >> reporter: i see tears streaming down your face. >> yes. >> reporter: how devastating is it? >> it's very devastating when -- you know, all your hard work is just gone up in the air. it's definitely devastating. >> reporter: 11-mile stretch that was touched here, about two miles of homes, this of course is not just one of the strongest tornadoes they've seen in this region but maybe the strongest ever. we'll find out from the national weather service whether that ends up being the case. back the you. >> sam brock, thank you. back to kristen welker with the latest in brussels. kristen? >> chris, thank you so much for that. any minute, president biden will arrive at the g-7. i want to bring in keir simmons,
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live in brussels with us, and admiral james stavridis, former nato supreme allied commander. as we look at these images, president biden arriving for this meeting of g-7 leaders, talk to me -- you have spent several weeks in moscow reporting on this crisis. and obviously one of the big issues is the disinformation campaign in moscow right now. we have been reporting that ukraine has been showing incredible strength, particularly in kyiv. how aware are the russian people of the reality on the ground in ukraine and what's happening? >> there's war-time censorship much as you've seen in previous wars, i guess, but not something the west is used to in modern times. president biden is controlling the narrative because he wants to tell the russian people that the war, the military operation as he calls it, is going well. frankly, we know about the setbacks that he is suffering from. i think it's important to say
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that there are always setbacks in war, and one of the crucial things when you're listening to president putin is to understand that he sees this as a long-term effort, so tactical disadvantages -- and we don't know on the battlefield how bad these tactical issues are, tactical disadvantages are one thing, for president putin this is a strategic operation he sees as running across many, many years. that's crucial as we watch president biden, because i think what the americans are wanting to hear from the europeans is that the europeans will stay united. that's not guaranteed. there are tensions. but that will be needed for west because if this truly is a battle with president putin himself, then it is a long-term challenge. >> i think that's such a critical point that you raise about staying unified. the challenges that we have seen around that, behind the scenes with some european leaders not being unified, particularly when it comes to cutting off russian
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oil and gas. admiral stavridis, we were just watching president biden walk in with japan's prime minister. we obviously have been reporting throughout the hour this news that president zelenskyy is now accusing russia of using phosphorous weapons, not chemical weapons, but something that is outlawed under international law to use against civilians. phosphorous weapons could be seen as war crimes. what do you make of that? what should the u.s. do if those claims are, in fact, true? >> that will be a central topic of discussion at the nato summit. first, i simply want to register how good it feels to see the leaders of these democracies, these g-7 nations gathering together and to see that nato flag planted alongside the flags of those nations. it's a good moment for the west and a good moment for democracy. in terms of chemical weapon use, i think if we get into the kind
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of nerve agent types of things that vladimir putin has used both individually against individuals that he feels are going against his regime, notably alexander navalny, as keir knows well, or he has used nerve agents or countenanced their uses in syria. that is a line across which i think nato will begin to have a serious conversation about putting up a no-fly zone. putting up a nato no-fly zone. about increasing the sanctions, closing off oil and gas i could see coming out of that. so there's room for additional sanctions and additional military action. i will say on the phosphorous,c. it creates a fire that is almost impossible to put out. it is outlawed, as you say. it's probably a click back in
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terms of reaction compared to, say, nerve agents, but i think both of them are going to be seriously discussed and they need to be because of the violation, continuing violation of norms of the international law here. another word for that -- war crimes. >> let me follow up with you on the point that keir raised, this idea of how critical it will be to keep these nato leaders unified. you talk about the fact that they may change their position as it relates to a no-fly zone if vladimir putin does use chemical weapons, something that president biden said was a real threat as he was leaving washington yesterday. but do you accept them to be on the same page? because president biden has said that a no-fly zone is a nonstarter. he said that it could lead to world war iii. do you anticipate that europe and the u.s. will be able to be on the same page about what to do in the case of the chemical weapons attack? >> well, winston churchill said the only worse than fighting a war with allies, meaning how
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complicated it is, is fighting a war without allies. so the net-net here is, yes, there will be disagreements, there will be active conversations. people will have different views about it. think of it kind of like a bicycle nato with 30 people on the bicycle. they're kind of pedaling at different speeds, but i think at a minimum what would be revisited in that scenario would be providing fighter aircraft to the ukrainians so they could fly the mig-29s being one example of what could be provided to them. all that would be negotiated. if the question is, is the west going to stay together on this, i think the answer is yes based on everything i've seen thus far. >> we were just watching the family photo, president biden talking to candidates, prime minister justin trudeau. i want to bring corey shockey, former director for defense strategy and requirements at the national security council, want
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to bring you into this conversation. will you weigh in on this moment, the enormity of it, the significance of it, and these claims by president zelenskyy that vladimir putin may have dropped phosphorous bombs on his people? >> it would be a major escalation if russia did that, and at the nato summit, the heads of state were quite clear that this kind of escalation by russia would change the nature of our support for ukraine and might even result in nato joining the war on ukraine's side. i think it's hugely consequential. >> keir, let me get your sense because you heard president biden as he was saying that it's a real threat that vladimir putin could use chemical weapons. and one of the threads that you have been reporting on is the fact that putin is so isolated and that's part of what makes these leaders so concerned as they meet here in brussels, that
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vladimir putin is not surrounded by a lot of people, and some of these leaders have questioned his mental fitness and stability. talk about that and how that's factored into this crisis. >> i definitely think he has a >> i definitely think he has a smaller inner circle around him than in the past. when i say the past, i mean the past 20 years. that group has slowly changed. we saw someone very much in his inner circle 20 years ago who brought him to moscow to the kremlin leave russia and say that he no longer wants a part of the russian government. he resigned from his position. it's clear that has changed. that being said, president putin's views have been expressed by president putin himself over many years. he's never hesitated to say what he thinks. i think one of the things we need to guard against is what i call western wishful thinking.
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i think many folks in the west have watched what he was saying and tried to discount it, well, he says this kind of stuff nationalistic, going back to history, religious. let's put it aside. it's clear now, very clear that that doesn't work. i think one of the questions that the west hasn't really answered, and there has been unity as the admiral says, clearly red lines being draut, that kind of stuff. i think one of the questions for the west is what is the west's strategy? is it to defeat president putin or get some cease-fire, some peace in ukraine. there's a difference, an important difference, and it makes a difference to what we face in the years ahead. >> kori schake, is it clear what the strategy is and can anything be accomplished at this summit to try to deter putin at this point? >> i think, yes, i think the strategy is clear which is to
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prevent russia's success in the aggression in ukraine. we're being very cage gentlemen as to whether that's possible with vladimir putin in power. we're not going to effect a regime change. we hope the russians will. there's lots nato allies can do. they have reinforced eastern europe, they're rushing arms to ukraine. they're cratering the russian economy and looking for ways to supply energy to europe so it can be cut off from russia. i think those are all consequential. >> thank you to all of you for helping us delve deeper into this consequential day, keir simmons, admiral stavridis, kori schake, good to see all of you. my interview with the president of estonia about the impact felt across the entire region right now. that's next.
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about his concerns over chemical weapons, nat foe's role in the war and also what should happen next in ukraine. >> i want to start off with this emergency nato summit that is going to take place tomorrow. what specifically do you want and do you need to see come out of this summit to address the security concerns of estonia? >> i guess the main thing is what we expect is a strong commitment from nato to support ukraine, to stop this war at this point. it's very, very important to stop it right now. this we expect from this summit. >> let me ask you about some of our own reporting. we have reported that president biden may, in fact, announce a permanent increased u.s. nato troop levels in your region, potentially in your country.
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what do you make of that? is that something that you want to see? is that something that would be a significant step? >> this is actually what we are expecting i.'s a strong signal from u.s. and from nato. the presence of nato forces not only in estonia but the whole eastern flank. i hope this will come out of this meeting in the coming days. >> are you expecting to see any movement as it relates to a no-fly zone. president biden has said that's a non-starter or the polish migs that ukraine has been asking for. i assume president zelenskyy will again ask for that again tomorrow when he addresses you all virtually? >> there is actually a strong agreement between nato countries. it might happen when we cross some red lines.
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hopefully it will not happen. >> mr. president, you spoke earlier about red lines. i want to ask you about some comments we heard from president biden earlier today. he said the possibility that putin could use chemical weapons is a, quote, real threat. he has not yet said it would be a red line. do you think if putin uses chemical weapons, that is a red line in this conflict? >> i hope he's not going to do that, but we should be ready for these kind of brutal movements. yeah, it might be a red line and then we have to decide what to do. >> what should happen if he uses chemical weapons? should there be a more robust military response from the west, what some are concerned would lead to a world war iii? >> that could happen over world war iii, of course. we need probably more military assistance and support to
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ukraine which is what -- let's wait, because we don't have this attack yet. but it is definitely a red line and nato countries should think what then to do next. >> i want to just end by asking you about the millions of refugees who have fled ukraine. some have come to your country. what more assistance needs to be announced at the summit tomorrow? what more do you need and does the region need to help support these refugees? >> estonian people and astonia in general has quite a lot, not only in our country but other countries, financial aid as well as -- what we expect from u.s. is also humanitarian aid and maybe start discussing that you can take some of these refugees also to u.s. >> okay, president karis, we
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really appreciate you joining us on what is a pivotal week for your country and for this region. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> such an important message there on refugees. that wraps up a very busy hour here in brussels. we want to say a special thanks to our friend and colleague chris jansing from her great reporting in new york. jose diaz-balart picks up our coverage right now. good morning. i'm jose diaz-balart. we begin with breaking news on the war in ukraine. the u.s. plans to sanction roughly 300 russian elites and block gold from russia's central bank. also happening right now in brussels, president biden has just arrived for a critical g7 meeting as we enter the second month of the largest european conflict since world war ii. this as nbc news has learned that western l


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