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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  April 20, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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the commander of those forces released this video overnight. released this video overnight. the mayor of mariupol is trying to send 90 buses into the sit issy and pull up to 6,000 out. but frustrations with russian forces have stalled in recent days. the ukrainian refugee crisis has hit a grim new milestone with the human rights counsel saying more than 5 million citizens have fled to eastern european countries to escape the conflict. and at home, justice department officials are waiting for the cdc to decide whether to again extend its mask used a ises
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havery for public transportation or lift it. before deciding whether to appeal a decision to end masking on public transit. we begin with aaron mclachlan in kyiv. the situation in mariupol getting more desperate by the hour. what is president zelenskyy saying about it today? >> reporter: hey, andrea. well, according to ukrainian officials, there had been an agreement to set up a humanitarian corridor to evacuate 6,000 women, children and elderly from the besieged city of mariupol. there are some local media reports, however, that the meeting points for that humanitarian core dorthat has been agreed to throughout the city had been hit by artillery rounds and shells, effectively collapsing the corridor. we have yet to see any official indication from the ukrainians that is in fact what has
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happened. meanwhile, today, here in kyiv, ukrainian officials met with the president of the european counsel, charles michelle, the former belgian prime minister. he went to some of the areas that had been previously recognized where there are accusations and allegations of war crimes and atrocities, including the city of borodianka. he said like bucha and too many towns in ukraine, history will not forget the war crimes that have been committed here. president zelenskyy saying the two spoke about the possibility for further financial sanctions, as well as military lethal aid and really in the conversations that i've been having here with military officials in kyiv, including a senior military official with knowledge of the weapons procurement process. they say they have done the calculus on the latest offensive and analyzed russian forces and
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believe ukraine currently has the man power to win that fight. what they need, ukrainian officials say, is more weapons, specifically heavy weaponry. >> thanks so much for you and joining us now is leon panetta, former secretary of defense and former white house chief of staff to president clinton. mr. secretary, it's great to see you again. let me ask you a bigger question, to frame this. should the u.s. goal be to help ukraine defend itself to the point of stalemating the russians, which will be long dragged out and lead to more and more deaths some or to actually can it feet the russians, force them back across their own border? >> i think the most important mission right now is to do whatever is necessary to provide the weapons to the ukrainians so that they can stop the russian advance in donbas.
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if they can successfully stop that advance, that will be another defeat for the russians. and a real signal to putin that it's trying to leave. i think that's the primary mission right now. >> if that is the primary reason, that's the primary mission, is there enough time to get those heavy weapons, not only to ukraine but into the hands of the ukrainian forces in the east. so, that's 400 miles from the border and especially in the area around mariupol, including the heavy weaponry and some we have not -- it's not been approved yet. we don't see abrams tanks going. do they have what they need to push them back from the donbas? and can we get the weapons where they need be? >> the package of weapons i think the president is talking about is absolutely sengsal, which are howitzers, the
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antiaircraft systems, the antiship missiles, the ability to provide armored cars, personnel carriers and tanks. i think probably the most expeditious way to do this is to make sure that our allies in the warsaw pact are providing their weapons. they have those weapons and it's a lot closer for them to deliver those heavy weapons to the ukrainians and we can replace those weapons for our allies. that's probably the most expeditious way to get the weapons necessary to the ukrainians and have it happen sooner rather than later. >> why hasn't the ukrainian military yet been able to take out the russian artillery in the missiles that have been pulverizing smoe some of the towns? >> i think they're beginning to get the weapons. it takes training to be able to
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operate these kinds of sophisticated weapons. and we are training them. i think wore training them as quickly as we can. to be able to use the how tszers, use the artillery, the systems that can go after the russian artillery sites and missile sites that are launching this terrible destruction in the ukraine. i think the ukrainians are able to handle the training and be able to put that into effect. but we haven't got a lot of time here and it has to be expedited and we have to be able to provide as much training as soon as possible in order for them to have that capability. >> do you sense that urgency in what the u.s. is doing? $800 million last week reportedly another 800 million this week. it takes time to get there. the training, we're told, is
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right now a small group of ukrainians in another country being trained on the switch blades. but are we moving fast enough? this may be a matter of weeks, right? >> i think we have to understand that this is not only a critical phase of the war, it could be a very decisive phase of the war. this will determine whether or not the russians are stopped. as they were stopped at the capitol, can we effectively stop them in donbas and be able to push them eventually out of ukraine? this is the moment. and so, whatever can be done to expedite the weapons systems to the ukrainians, expedite training, get them the heavy weapons that they need in order to be able to confront what is is largely going to be a tank warfare in that area of ukraine, we have got to move very, very
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fast to avoid a potential defeat. this is going to be a real test about whether or not the united states and our allies can truly be the arsenal of democracy. >> do you think if russia was really cornered that they would attack nato and nato proper, the expanded nato countries in the poland area? and would they even use nuclear weapons? would putin do that? >> andrea, we've been now helping to support ukraine in a war that's lasted over a month. and it is a war. it's a brutal war, a destructive war. and war carries risk. but you cannot allow an aggressor to be able to continue doing what putin is doing without countering those efforts. that's just the basic rule of warfare. you've got to be able to defend
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yourself against what the russians are doing. and yes, does it involve risk? of course it does. but does it mean, in the end, that we have a real chance, a real opportunity, not only to weaken putin but to weaken russia and ultimately to strengthen democracy in the world. this is a pivotal moment for the united states and for our allies. >> should we then give in and get them the jets they've been asking for since the very beginning? help them get the jets they need from other countries? and even if they were to lose a jet because of russian air power, air defenses, that's the price of war? >> i think that's always an option, that at the allies and the united states ought to consider. but right now the most important thing is to give them heavy weaponry they need confront the russians on the ground and that means developing antiaircraft,
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antitank weapons, the howitzers, artillery, armored personnel carriers and the tanks that are essential to be able to confront the russians. >> if russia wins in mariupol and they have such strategic advantage there as the surviving troops are trying to hold them off, if they move on, control the donbas, get the land bridge, do you think they would then move the kyiv and try to topple the government again? >> well, that's the danger here. the last thing you want to do is give the russians a sense that they're now empowered in ukraine to bow able to do whatever they want. that's why it's really important to make clear that we have to stop them in the donbas region. we have to be able to halt their advances. we have got to show that we are going to support the ukrainians
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a at this critical moment of the war; that requires doing everything necessary to send a clear signal to putin that he, one way or another, is not going to be able to take control of ukraine. he will lose in the ukraine. tllts the main message that has to be delivered to putin. >> do you think the administration has that end game? >> i think that joe biden knows that he has an awful lot riding right now on whether or not ukraine is successful in stopping the russians. almost our whole hope for the future in terms of foreign policy and the fatd of democracies in the world. is is riding with ukrainians. >> the stakes could not be higher. leon panetta, thank you as always. good to see you, mr. secretary. and mask confusion. keeping tabss on where do you go
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and what doio you do? wear it? not wear it? what is the white house going to do about it. confusion everywhere. this is "andrea mitchell reports." n everywhere this is "andrea mitchell reports. wealth is shutting down the office for mike's retirement party. worth is giving the employee who spent half his life with you, the party of a lifetime. ♪ ♪ wealth is watching your business grow. worth is watching your employees grow with it. ♪ ♪ maybe it's another refill at your favorite diner... or waiting for the 7:12 bus... or sunday afternoon in the produce aisle. these moments may not seem remarkable. but at pfizer, protecting the regular routine, and everyday drives us to reach for exceptional. working to impact hundreds of millions of lives...
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the justice department says it will appeal the decision lifting mask mandates on planes and other forms of transportation if the cdc deems it necessary. but there's confusion. different states and cities are mandating whether they'ller require masks or not. new york remains the largest holdout, still requiring facial coverings on planes, buses and taxis. >> we are going to continue to encourage new yorkers to wear masks on the subway and we believe that we have the authorization to do so. we continue to encourage new yorkers to wear masks if they're in an environment with unknown,
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the status of the persons or individuals they are around. >> joining us now are nbc washington skor spondent and moderator on pbs and also with us whoob covers the justice department and homeland. so, let's walk through what doj is doing regarding the mask mandate, which i guess seems to be waiting, seeing what the cdc does. >> first all of it's what they didn't do. they could have asked for an emergency stay. now they're not talking about that. they're talking about an appeal, which would take longer and get into a territory for they feel more comfortable to not appeal. they want to say if it's if the cdc deems it necessary. they want to be clear they're coming from a place where they're relying on the public health experts rather than their own administration's thinking. so, it's not them verses the courts on this.
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they want the backing of the public health authorities. >> and the other risk for the justice department and this administration is that they're creating a precedent -- this judge is creating a precedent that right now means you can't make a public health decision based on what people have thought was a reasonable intrp are reitation of the law. >> that's true. you have is a judge who's coming off -- it's a very young judge who's making this big ruling that's having an effect across a nation because she essentially decided her plaintiffs, two young women, they could not be the only people. it would have to apply to everyone. so, it became a nation wide ruling, catching a lot of people by surprise overnight. and we see a lot of the confusion because of that surprise. there had been a plan to roll back the mask mandates this week. they pushed that back and now with the court's intervening, it's probably a more confusing rollback than if it had been
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done in a more orderly way as originally planned. >> when appointed, 31-year-old judge appointed by donald trump, approved in the lame duck session. not give an favorable recommendation. given an unfavorable recommendation by the american bar association. had only been a law associate in a law firm from florida, i should point out. there's a lot of politics here. >> there's a lot of politics and this is the consequence of mitch mcconnell and former president trump's strategy as to all the judicial appointments. now to president biden this is a political and health challenge because the white house is now debating, one is a precedent they want to push back on and two, do they want to be the party democrats telling people to put masks back on? whether you're a democrat or republican feel relief when you say okay, i can take my mask off. but the problem is there's still
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this new variant or subvariant going on, people are still dying of covid. and there's a question about what is the cdc's role going to be here? it's going to be something we're going to have to watch. the white house called this ruling disappointing and says it's going to take a few days to figure out what their strategy is going to be. >> we now have allison barber from the staten island ferry where masks are still required. this is one of the confusing things. other cities, other states, train cyst isms say no. >> reporter: it's confusing and the rules are different in new york city if you're taking an amtrak verse as subway. we're on the staten island ferry right now and on the ferry masks are still required, whether you're on the deck or inside the ferry itself. when you look through here, you see a 50/50% of people wearing
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masks and not wearing masks. there's still markers on the seats for social distancinging covid requirements. we've been trying to takes a many different public transportation options a we can to get a a sense of what people think and what they are depending where you are. and we keep hearing they're a bit confused. you have to wear a face mask when you're on new york ferries, if you're on the bus, if you're on new york city subways but not if you're taking an amtrak train. you don't have to take one on new jersey transit. but in theory when you get to penn station, you have to wear a mask. la guardia, jfk and newark. all three are run under the jurisdiction of the port authority. at two of the airports, jfk and la guardia, you're required to wear face masks in the airport
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terminal, even if your airline doesn't require it on the plane but in newark, you don't have to wear it in the terminal. it's hard to figure out where you're supposed to wear a mask and when you have the option to mask or not as we've seen throughout the pandemic. if people don't know what the rules are, it's difficult to follow them. >> such a great location on the ferry. we also saw picture of one of my favorite locations in new york, the patrick moynihan train hall for amtrak. julia, you broke big news today about the budget implications of another public health decision by the administration, which was to lift, as of may 23rd, this week, title 32. >> that's right and next week lifting title 42 at the border. that's been the plan along. but now they're having discussions, some may say too late, about what that means for the budget shortfall. they're predicting they'll have
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budget shortfalls in the hundreds of millions based on the number of immigrants they're expexed to puts on transportation and house and give medical care if they are covid positive or have other medical needs crossing the border. they're predicting numbers doubling what we saw last month which is already the record high, the highest it's been since they started keeping records in 2000. they have to program and they can only do that with 10% and they may have to go to congress to ask this money. dhs says they're trying to move things around but right now there's no clear indication where they're going to get the money and if they don't get it, they could see an exhaustion of funds by july. >> this could be their political way out to say we couldn't lift the mandate -- >> if we had the funds. >> it's also a political challenge for president biden again because here you have
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democrats pressuring him to not lift title 42 and budget issues. it's a conundrum for the white house as they consider this policy. >> a merger of immigration and public health policy. couldn't be a worse perfect storm. potentially. may 23rd was the day to lift. thank you. and master of spin. vladimir putin looking for a strategic and symbolic prize in mariupol after so many defeats. firing up the propaganda machine as the assault intensifies. he as nobody told you? subway's refreshing with better ingredients, better footlongs, and better spokespeople. because you gotta you gotta refresh to be fresh
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there's little time. the time is now. gain that strategic advantage. we've got to give them what they need, including jets, abrams tanks, whatever they need and get it in their hands, not just in the deepo near the border. do you agree? >> yes, of course, i do. the battel for donbas will be the next major battle and hopefully the last in this war. talking to ukrainians, they're going to fight until the end. they say it constantly. and i think the united states has a moral interest in stopping putin informsivation and i think we have a security interest in doing so as well. let's put it very is simply. if putin wins in donbas and encouraged to go further to ukraine, that will be threatening to our nato allies.
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conversely, if he loses in donbas or fights to a stalemate, that will be a comforting to our allies and therefore, i think we have a major strategic interest to help the ukrainians win the battle of donbas. >> this is really a battle for the future of democracy and for the foreign policy of the united states and the west. so, you're nodding in agreement to that. but we're not giving them what they really need. we're giving them 800 million last week, another 800 million this week. it's not that quickly and takes a while to get in their hands and to get the training done. so, what has to happen for the u.s. to actually give them the jets, the tanks, the artillery that they really need? >> first, one big contextual thing. i think it's really proper we
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get this straight now. yes, this is the battle for the freedom of the world in ukraine. putin invaded. but right now ukraine has won this battle. has won this war, let me choose my words very precisely. they've won this war. i think we need remember what we were talking about two months ago. one, putin was going to an exall of ukraine because ukrainians arant anything but russians with an accent. that didn't happen. two, he was going to denazify, regime change. chase zelenskyy to poland. that didn't happen. three, seize all the major cities of ukraine. now we're down to four and the way the russians speak about it, they're talking about defense of donbas. that is not what we were talking about two months ago. i think we should understand that the war will be won by ukraine. i don't so sooa scenario where they lose the war but i am
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worried about the battle of donbas and i do think that we should do more weapons, better weapons and get them as fast as possible. now, when i talk to my american colleagues in the government, they say mike, we're doing all we can as fast as we can and when i talk to ukrainians, they say we need more weapons, better weapons as a fast as possible. just the sense of time and urgency feels different in kyiv than washington. >> that's for sure. and let me push back a bit. if ukraine does not win the battle of donbas, arguably russia can continue with its man power advantage, even if they don't fix command and control. they have terrain, and home turf advantage if you will once they hypothatically win donbas. and they could revisit let's go back to kyiv and odesa.
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they could topple the government. there is a scenario where, despite all of their early defeats, where russia could legitimately declare victory if ukraine is no longer an independent country. >> i agree. that's a very good amendment, andrea. i don't see it. i don't hear it in the way the russians were speakering now. they wouldn't talk about the defense of donbas. if you listen closely, all of their language, they add this phrase in a way they did not two months ago. to your point, that doesn't mean they could not change the objective if they win in donbas. and you're absolutely right. if they cut off that entire southern border all the way to odesa, that has giant negative financial implications for ukraine. it already has, to be clear. that's why the stakes are as high as they are. and defining victory, by the way, is a difficult thing too.
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is it push the russians out of donbas and crimea or is it to fight to a stand still to a stalemate in donbas? those are two different kinds of outcomes. both i think would be wins for ukraine. >> although, again, just to play delve's advocate. if they fight fooa stand still, wore are then in a long, drawn out guerilla war throughout ukraine where more and more villages, towns, cities would be pulverized and unless and until we really defeat their artillery and take out some of the artillery and try to stop their missile advantage. >> again, we agree completely. when i talked to the biden administration, i said that's great what you did last week. now do more. they sent 18 howitzers. i said send 80.
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i don't think there should be a limit to what we should do and i disagree with those, including reporting that says we have to fear escalation. i think that's a misguided way to frame the issue. i do not believe that at this moment, when putin is barely keeping pace with the ukrainians in a small part of this country, that that's the moment he's going to go out and strike the most powerful alliance in the world and the most powerful military. so, i think that's a false threat they're doing deliberately to get us to slow down and stop sending military equipment. what i don't know and i think we need be realestic about this. i think it would be a major lift to push the russians completely out of ukraine. i'm just not sure that you kpranians have the force and capability to do that. and i'm almost certain the nato
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alliance will provide that. i think winning the battle of donbas should be the focus of attention right now. >> mike mcfall, thanks so much for all your wisdom richard engel reporting from inside ukraine. shining a light on the resilient spear of ukraine's people. watch "on assignment with richard engel in ukraine, freedom or death." and streaming on peacock. friday on msnbc. and desantis verses walt disney. happening now over the states don't say gay law. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. y y galaw. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc.
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under pressure from the governor, the state senate approved a measure targeting disney world over the company's opposition to the don't say gay law. move moog strip disney of the so-called special governing status that's been in place since the 1960s and saved taxes for the entertainment giant. the bill now moving to the pll fll house. joining us is msnbc political analyst and columnist for the "boston globe." so, ron desant ises very popular in florida. reportedly ambitious for twint 2024 and going after mickey mouse. not a good look? >> it may not be. this is basically the latest in the culture wars governor desantis has been waging as a way to get out ahead and be the figure head within the republican party that is deeply
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steeped in trumpism and perhaps trying to blunt a 2024 presidential primary with donald trump, which he seems to maybe getting in whether trump gets in or not. the big problem going against disney is two fold. one, people, including republican ares, really like disney world, their kids want to go there and waging a war that seeks to punish disney may be more politically fraught than he has anticipated. and secondly, he has a big first amendment problem. this seems to be a retaliation, the move the strip disney of its ability to self govern itself, which may be controversial. but doing it because disney has stood up and voiced opposition to the don't say gay bill is directly against the first amendment. you can't punish a company for speech or political speech, even campaign contribution. we learned that with citizens
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united. this is going to result in a big legal challenge but that too, desantis may see a as political victory if he can wage the war and keep it public. >> and this is not the only thing desantis seems to be doing to try to out trump trump. theinal fll senate eliminating black majority districts, giving republicans a bigger edge in congressional seats and signed that 15-kweek abortion ban into law and florida hasbound more than 50 books over critical race theory. so, listen to state senator os good earlier today slamming the senator's congressional map. >> black people are in this state. they makeup a large portion of sector of the state. and they're not going away. and right now the people that i represent are hurting. they feel disrespected. and when we bring out maps in
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this way that clearly, clearly targets people of color, we're taking a step back. >> so, let's talk about how this map clearly targets people of color. >> it does. it seeks to split up districts. split black people up in a way that dilutes their voting power. it seems both this and the abortion law, the supreme court is giving governor desantis is a big assist. because the supreme court recently ruled political gerrymandering is something that can't be challenged and desantis is saying not only is this based on a political map, you can do it based on party but he's seeking to take out racism frump gerrymandering. that's hard to prove he's doing it on the basis of race and bring these challenges. and it will be hard to do before the elections. so, this is another way that
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we've seen happening across the country with redistricting being done with the cover of the supreme court decision that makes it much easier for them to dilute the vote they think will go against them. >> kimberley, thank youz very much. and funding putin's war. russia now on track to beat its own projected energy sales this month despite those heavy u.s. sanctions. can they hurt putin's pocket while china and the rest of the world keep buying oil and gas? ? when you're looking for a solution tailored toward your needs t-mobile's experts will work to help realize your vision. inner voice (furniture maker): i'm rubbing the arms of my chair... ...admiring the craft and detail i've put into it. that way i try to convince myself that i'm in control of the business side of my business.
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which is newly out in paperback. i can't think of anyone who knows more about global energy than you. i read he's still making $250 billion a year from the aerj, which is more than has been frozen in the central bank. >> that's our estimate is $250 billion. just coming from the sales to europe. and i think when the sanctions were originally developed two months ago, the thousand was exclude oil and gas because your depending on russian oil and gas but after the atrocities after the last two or three weeks an the pressure to sanctioning and cutting back on the energy is becoming stronger and stronger and that is what the europeans are struggling with now. >> and you have germany balking on his belated commitment to provide weapons. so there is real resistance. germany is the key here, isn't it? >> germany is. because they are particularly dependent on russian gas and they're concerned about
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unemployment and factories shutting down. everybody is on principal and this they have to say good-bye to russian energy and the question is timing. and i think what will happen is they're start with crude oil, because that is most flexible fuel that you could -- if you work at it, you could find alternatives to. natural gas is the toughest to deal with because the pipelines are very inflexible. >> and do you see germany deciding on perhaps retaining its remaining nuclear power plants because merkel made the decision, some say a big mistake, to downplay nuclear energy and rely more heavily, she thought that the north stream pipeline would be there. >> right. well i think that would be a really good idea to have three plants that are supposed to shut down at the end of the year, but the momentum is so strong and there is anti-nuclear sentiment is strong and in germany. and in order to keep them going, you would have to get fuel and a
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whole host of the other things so i think unfortunately germany has shot itself in the foot by shutting down its nuclear power while other countries france and britain are increasing their nuclear power. >> janet yellen and others walked out of the world bank meetings or the g-20 meeting today rather because ofrussia's presence. we don't have the power to kick them out of the g-20, because they would probably veto that. but without the u.s., where is the g-20. >> the saudi crown prince had a phone call with vladimir putin to talk about her commitment to working together on energy. you have india and china. so i don't think that we could do it. but at the end of the day, what is the most important country in the g-20, it is the united states. and but this is a form of
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protest but it can do the g-7 out of that but the g-20 is harder to do and it points to the harder issue that not only china but india has taken a different stand on ukraine than the u.s. and europe. >> and the imf report warning that largely because of russia's invasion of ukraine, global economic prospects have been set back, inflation is now a clear and present danger, it is not short for many countries. how do you counteract that and the growing supply food in egypt and west africa because of the lack of wheat from ukraine and russia. >> yeah, well what we're going to see is the repercussions of the war will roll out over the course of the year. we see it in the energy markets today in terms of prices and really shortages even, shortages of coal because the europeans have banned coal. but i think you pointed to
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something that is important which is the impact on food. russia and ukraine are 30% of wheat exports and this is terrible for inflation and it is terrible for a lot of countries particularly in the middle east that depend upon that wheat. so we talk about an energy crisis, i think over the course of the year we're also going to be talking about a foot crisis. >> daniel urban, thank you so much, it is great to see you again. >> good to see you into and today co-anchor hoda kotb sat down with an interview with prince harry at the fifth invictus game under way in the netherlands. and he spoke about his surprising visit with the grandmother the queen and the platinum jubilee celebration this summer. >> you obviously made a lot of news recently. you came home to the uk and saw your grandmother, how was that. >> it was great. it is great to see her in some element of privacy was nice and then a chance to go back to the
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u.k. for a couple of years, apart from those two times. once for my grandfather's funeral and unveiling a statue of my mom. >> how did it feel, being back? being with her? >> being with here. it was great. it is nice to see her. she's grateful and got a great sense of humor with me and i'm making sure that she's protected. >> your grandmother is going to be 96. what is the best thing about her seeing the humor in so many different things. we have a special relationship. we talk about things she can't talk about with anybody else. so that is always a nice piece. but i think she's -- i think you get bored of birthdays. >> you think she's bored of the 69th. she won't be bored of the jubilee, will she. >> i don't think so. she's had a few jubilees now. everyone is slightly different. but i'm sure she's looking forward to it. >> do you think you'll come? >> i don't know. there is a lot of security issues and everything else.
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this is what i'm trying to do. trying to make it possible that i could get my kids to meet her. >> a reunion with the children, that would be nice. and in march did mark two years since harry stepped back as a senior royal. tomorrow the queen does turn 96. and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports" and follow the show online and on twitter, chuck todd with "mtp daily" starts right after this. t after this et, you get a smile on your plate. only from ihop. join the rewards program and earn double pancoins with any omelette purchase. what are you recommending for muscle pain? based on clinical data, i recommend salonpas. agreed... my patients like these patches because they work for up to 12 hours, even on moderate pain. salonpas. it's good medicine ♪ ♪
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if it is wednesday, president biden is expected to approve another round of military aid for ukraine. as he meets with his top pentagon officials today. russia's attacks are intensifying in the east. meanwhile, the white house punts on whether it will challenge a judge's ruling that over turned the masks on public transportation. it leaves communities basically in no-man's-land as the cdc wonders what power it has left. and has the cautious nature that helped biden win the white house created a problem for him running the white house. we'll dig in what that could mean for u.s. policy and midterm politics. ♪♪ welcome back to "meet the press" i'm