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 chuck todd.
he will pleat with top military leaders at white house as the u.s. is expected to announce some additional military aid for ukraine. russia of course is ramping up its attacks in the east and south ands the white house faces new question about what its new mission and strategy is for a war that will get more violent in the coming days and weeks. an attacks on the donetsk region in the last 24 hours alone. they are pressuring those in mariupol to surrender as they come closer to that city, trying to lock ukraine out of any connection to water. and in a video shared with nbc news, the commander of ukrainian troops in mariupol described the dire situation they face.
[ speaking foreign language ] president zelenskyy called the situation in mariupol severe and asked for additional military aid from western allies. they hope to send buses to evacuate dozens that were leaving city. overall more than 5 million ukrainians have now fled the country according to the united nations. more than 10% of the population in total. as for the latest military aid from the united states, two administration officials tell nbc news president biden has not yet signed the new package. which they say will include art
illery and it is still not clear what the purpose is. is it helping ukraine win or ensuring that ukraine wins. there is a distinction. i'm joined by aaron love luv and ben rhodes and a nbc news portfolio contributor. let me start with erin in kyiv. so we're in the new face to the war. both the ukrainians and the russias are acknowledging that round two of what this war looks like now, we're sending in more aid and apparently including fighter jets. so, erin, what do we know about the aid specifically fighting jets? >> reporter: hey, chuck. well ukrainian officials at the moment saying that they have not received any fighter jets from the united states or any other
allies tweeting this morning what they have receive ready plane parts that they would like to receive more fighter jets and i've been speaking to ukrainian military officials here in kyiv and they say that what they need is heavy weaponry. this they've done the calculation and analyzed russia's performance so far. they've analyzed the condition of russian forces and they see weakness. they tell me that they believe they have enough man power and enough reservists to win the battle for donbas which will they say determine really the outcome of this war. what they need most and need it now is more heavy weaponry and they're waiting for more detail in terms of what to expect from the united states and all eyes on the city of mariupol. in the last hour we received an update from the donetsk governor saying they have managed to evacuate some buses with women, children and as well as elderly from that city. although fewer than had been
expected. they were hoping to evacuate some of the hundreds of civilians, ukrainian official say are holed up inside of a steel factory but theres are been reported of shelling around that factory today, disrupting that humanitarian corridor. today president zelenskyy reiterating his offer to exchange russian prisoners of war for the ukrainian forces facing a desperate situation, chuck. >> and erin, there is a deadline that the russians set for the remaining ukrainian military that have been holed up in that steel factory, sort of being the resistance here. when is that deadline expire and what should we expect, what do obviously there is fear that this could really escalate? >> reporter: well right now for today all eyes were on 2:00 p.m. which was about six hours ago
here in ukraine when these evacuations were expected to begin in earnest in terms of what happens to the ukrainian forces inside of that steel factory, well the commander today saying that he expected it to have days even hours to live. we were hearing from ukrainian officials previously that those forces were going to fight until the last drop of blood. but the ukrainian commander this morning saying that they, too, would like to leave that factory. but again to word from the russians in terms of when and if that could happen. and it is important to remember that when it comes to humanitarian corridors, when it comes to promises from the russians, it is met with deep skepticism which is why we're hearing from the ukrainian commander appealing to the rest, to the international community for help. >> right. erin, thank you. let me bring in courtney kube. let's talk about what is the definition of a fighter jet. have we given them more fighter
jets or the ability to put more fighter jets in the air, courtney, and does the u.s. see a difference that the ukrainians do not see? >> so it is the latter. the u.s. has helped coordinate addition parts for fighter jets. both fighter jets and bombers existing in the ukrainian arsenal to help them get more aircraft online. and according to a senior defense official, it is actually increased the ukrainian air force by 20 aircraft. that is a significant amount given the size of their total air force. there is a lot of confusion about this. the u.s. has been providing and is going to continue to provide some more helicopters. so rotary wing, not fixed wing. but the u.s. is not providing any fixed wing. instead they're providing some spare parts. that being said, there are other countries that are still considering, one in particular that is still considering sending some actual jets, some actual full fledged jets to ukraine but that hasn't happened
yet, chuck. >> and are these countries that want to do it without the public knowing or without the russians knows is that the situation that no country wants to be seen as the lone one doing it so it is done under the guise of nato? >> so the one thing that i have learned here is there is a number of cases over the last eight weeks where we've been told that some country is going to provide some specific capability but they don't want to talk about it in and almost in every case they said they did. an example with the s-300s from slovakia. i think it is possible if this aircraft deal goes through and some other country, we may learn about it. but at this point u.s. officials don't want to talk about it. there is a lot of secrecy. there are some countries providing equipment, particularly some lethal equipment to the u.s. and to other countries so then the u.s. moves that equipment into closer for the ukrainians. so there is a lot of sensitivity
here. and when you're talking about things like fighter jets, right, this is something that there is concern that the russias would see this as potentially provocative so that is a long way of saying i don't know if he'll learn that another country is doing this but we'll continue to ask. >> on zelenskyy's wish list of weapons, heavier weapons are about askinged for and heaviest artillery. is there anything that the u.s. is balking about. >> some things the pentagon is not providing because it is not what ukrainian would need. one example is the abrams tank. there are other countries, one in particular, the check repub that provided some t-72 tanks. there is a argument that the abrams are more difficult to train on and take a lot longer for the ukrainian military to get ready to actually use them. so i don't get the sense that that is something that the u.s. is going to provide to the ukrainians any time soon. there is also some people here,
some defense officials say it is not the right capability. but we're hearing that the ukrainians need and will want and really need when this offensive really kicks off is for artillery and radar so they could detect where artillery is coming in. fire from the russians and strike back against it. and then the big thing is ammo. not just small arms ammo, but artillery rounds. the announcement was 40,000 artillery rounds and we connect that to be tens of thousands of additional rounds. a senior official told me late last week that the ukrainians are running through several thousand of these every single day. so this is a continuing need that they're going to need going forward. especially when in offensive really kicks off. >> i'm about to -- this question to you courtney, to key up the conversation i want to have with ben. so if you haven't been listening, listen in on this one. and that is, does the pentagon
concur with zelenskyy that ukraine could win this war and push russia out of the donbas. >> pushing them out of the donbas is different than winning the current situation. there is more momentum that ukraine can stop russia. so that they could stop them from taking over additional territory in the east. and i think that is why we're seeing -- i mean the push to get weapons in ukraine, i've seen additional fervor in the last few days that has been pretty remarkable. with getting the artillery in. if the u.s. and others could get por artillery in, it puts them in the fight with russia. remember ukraine is also in the defensive position. that is a stronger position to be in than the russians are. this is their territory. they have interior lines of communication and supply. they have a lot of advantage here over the russians. so being able to push russia out of the donbas in crimea that might be a bridge too far.
but there is more optimism about holding them off. >> that is what i want to get at with ben rhodes here is how do we fooe define victory and what is the strategic end game here. courtney kube, thank you. so ben, let me start right there. iech asked this of ron klain and jake sullivan in the last 10 days which is it official strategy of the united states that ukraine has to win this war. i know it is strategy that russia must lose this war. but when you say ukraine must win, then it becomes well define win. so i throw all of that so you don't have to be in the room any more on this, what should our policy be and what do you think it is right now? >> well, i think that our policy should be that ukraine can defend its own territory and that russia could not make any territorial gains inside of ukraine. there is a secondary question
which is, is there policy to evict russia from the parts of the don bass that it is de facto occupied since 2014 and that would require a substantial input of heavy weapons, long-range artillery, tanks and the kind of things that we've been reticent seen as offensive weapons not just against russian forces but potentially into russia. that is the line that they've tried to tread here. but i think the bottom line is, you want to help ukraine maintain the territory that they currently hold. you want to prevent putin from being able to essentially bite off another chunk of ukraine and then take that into some peace negotiation. but i think there is the question that you're raising, chuck, which is that if the ukrainians start to push back not just against advancing russian forces but in the donbas, how far are we willing to go to help them do that? >> i think it is pretty clear, ben, that it does feel as if our
support grows as we see their abilities grow. and would you expect that to continue? if they actually can push them back out of the donbas, does thur policy change? well we can't evict them. >> i think it already has changed, chuck. because if you look at the kind of assistance we were providing a few weeks ago, it was to guard against the blitzkrieg. it was anti-tank weapons and surface to air weapons and now we're arming them for open land and tank warfare. we're providing them with howitzers and a lot of switchblade drones and tons of ammo and so we've already evolved the types of assistance we're providing. and we have to be mindful that we're less than a couple of months into the war. i think the sanctions have escalated beyond where most people have predicted an the types of weapons have escalated and the outrage over russian war
crimes has far exceeded i think the brutality that even some of the more pessimistic observers said in the the beginning. so the bigger lesson is we don't know when this war could end and how far things could escalate on the sanctions front or the weapons we're providing but what is clear is there is a lot at stake and the u.s. is in vested. >> take into that room a little bit. i think some uncomfortable conversations will have be had folks and i don't want to imply they're happening yet. but the longer this -- if this turns into a essentially a stalemate, which is also very possible, the longer it drags on everybody hurts and everybody feels pain. the economic consequences created some political instability in the west. look at the way inflation is eating up the president biden's political here already, he won't be alone here. and the chancellor of germany will see it and other western
leaders will see it. is there a point where this war is taking too much of a toll on the world economically and so we have to figure out how to find an end game? >> yeah. i think that there are risks for everybody involved here. the ukrainians take the biggest risk on the humanitarian standpoint. the russian economy is not going to be able to get the inputs it needs to continue to function. they're factories can't function without the pars that their cut off from. never mind the macro economic hit they're taking. inflationary pressure is significant in europe and the united states. the price tag of providing this type of assistance to ukraine, which is basically in the billions of dollars in the second month, that will continue to go up. and i think the question is if ukraine could fight them to a stalemate in the donbas and indicate that russia is not able to take big chunks of ukrainian territory to leverage a peace negotiation, at what point does a stalemate, a territorial status quo with mariupol having
fallen, and at what point does that lead into a serious peace negotiation that may involve people not getting what they want in any way, shape or form, russia not getting the goal of decapitated the ukrainian government but also ukraine having to accept that it may not be its territory. at what point does that become the focus of negotiation. >> yeah, i think we're a long way from that and again, the performance of the ukrainian military has a lot of people going why should they have to give up anything just yet. >> that is right. >> but as you point out, we don't know where this goes and we may need to wait and see. ben rhodes, thank you, sir. good to talk with you. up next, the latest domestic political problem for president biden as the justice department punts the airline mask mandate back over to the cdc. now border officials are ratcheting up their rolling back of pandemic era restrictions next month.
and later on this 4/20, we'll weed out the states that have given legalization and decrimmin analize pot. we'll have that next. n analize . we'll have that next "i wish i'd bought an even thinner tv, found a lighter light beer, or had an even smarter smartphone." do you think any of us will look back on our lives and regret the things we didn't buy? or the places we didn't go? ♪ i'd go the whole wide world ♪ ♪ i'd go the whole wide world ♪
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so you can put dieting behind you and go live your life. head to golo.com now to join the over 2 million people who have found the right way to lose weight and get healthier with golo. welcome back. mask on or mask off. that is the great debate facing the public and the administration. fight over the federal mask mandate for public transportation taking another turn. the department of justice released a statement saying it had not yet decided whether or not to appeal. a florida judge's ruling that ended mask requirements on federal public transportation like planes, trains an buses. doj said if cdc concluded that a mandatory remains necessary for the public health, the department of justice will appeal the district court's decision. isn't that exactly what they did do. anyway, to be clear, this comes after the white house punted the mask issue to the doj. and now it appears that the doj has punted it to the cdc.
in the meantime, nothing changes. passengers could still travel mask-free. there is only one of many issues causing a headache for this administration. our latest reporting indicates that the u.s. border agencies could soon face a budget shortfall of hundreds of million dollars if title 42 is lifted next month as planned. that means funding for i.c.e., cbp could run out just as the flow of migrant surges hits record levels. shannon pettypiece is at the white house right now. let me start with the decision. i just -- the amount of sort of agency word games here, the doj said that it is up to the cdc before they'll decide whether to appeal, whether they still think it is necessary. they just -- this decision was just made a week ago. and we're more on the rise. there is no scientific data that has taken place in the last week that would indicate there is less of a need for this.
so, this looks like a justice department that is trying to convince the cdc to stop pushing this because they're afraid of fighting it. >> reporter: and it is quite unique to have the justice accident deferring to the cdc. a public health entity, about what actions to take. of course, we're in unique times here. but as you know, the cdc initially said they wanted about two weeks to be able to get a handle around what some of the latest data shows. a lot of public health experts are saying it doesn't look like this latest variant is creating a surge in hospitalizations. certainly we're seeing cases go up. but there is ome a few places where hospitalizations are going up. by the type this could make it's way through the courts, that might have already expired. so it is a bit of a jumble of word move but it seems like what public health officials are worried about is what happened
down the road. the precedent that could be set here. and if the projections hold that, we will see cases continue to go down through the summer, what happens in the fall and winter when public health experts are concerned again we could see another winter wave. how do you then get something like masks to be put back on on airplanes. so there is a lot of just legal policy, political questions, the administration is struggling with around this and once again the cdc as we mentioned with title 42 is the center of all of these dynamics. >> let me interrupt you there because i want to frame, that the cdc feels like all of the hot potatoes are being thrown at them. and that the biden white house picks and chooses whether they want to be accountable on those decisions and when they don't want to be accountable. explain to me the title 42 conversation that is taking place. again, i thought it was a cdc decision. one way or the other. and now we're hearing the administration is looking for some other ways to keep it in
place. so they get involved in this but not on the mask mandate. it doesn't seem to compute. >> well the white house is still saying they were leaving title 42 up to cdc. that is a cdc decision. the cdc decided that that could be lifted. but that was the public health determination. and of course this was under public health rule. but there are policy and political implications that come along with this. for example, my colleague julia ainsley is reporting about this budget shortfall you mentioned. there is almost 200,000 migrants at the border and they're going to need buses and transportation and beds and all of that has to be paid for and we're about a month away from that happening and based on nbc reporting, it is unclear where that money is going to come from which could be hundreds of thousands of dollars, but this is a pattern throughout this administration. they are deferring to the cdc on public health issues. but so often those public health issues have much broader policy
implications than just on people's health. >> and shannon, has anybody explained to you how they could delay the decision if the cdc isn't involved? >> reporter: i mean it seems that -- i guess based on our reporting at the moment, it is not clear there are plans to delay this. something i'll plan on pressing on in the briefing later today. it is unclear what will happen there. i think, i suppose there is a number of various legal channels they could go to. one of course being potentially that they would need more time to put a system in place to handle this. but it seems like everything is really in flux at the moment and again we're just a few weeks away from the title 42 lifting. >> well, it is pretty obvious to everyone watching that the delay is coming. i guess they need to figure out the rationale to explain. shannon, thank you. still to come, the risks as election analysts continue to move more fid term races closer
welcome back. after a couple of very big, very public setbacks last year, the declaration of independence against covid and the decision not to delay the withdrawal from afghanistan, we've seen the white house ratchet down the appetite for risk. now on questions of mask mandates and sending fighter jets to ukraine, the president
has seemed leery about rocking the boat in washington with his decision making choosing the path of least resistance. but that is left him in an awkward spot. some members of the party demand executive action. just in the last 24 hours we've seen analysts from the cook and the virginia center for politics move more midterm seats in the republican's favor and which leaves a whole different set of risks to deal with. and joining me now, phil rucker. simone sanders, and host of a new program, simone, debuts may 7th on nbc and they put it in all caps. >> i requested the all caps. >> and i'm supposed to say it later. >> no exclamation point yet. >> not yet. but jonathan martin at "the new york times" suggesting it was something that was needed. >> i would say the all caps says
it all. >> i think it gets the point across. >> i think so. >> phil, i want to start with it feels like a white house that is afraid of making some tough decisions for fear what could be the worst case scenario and it is because of what happened. >> they have made calculations to go all in on this domestic spending agenda. you were there in the white house, simone. and spent months trying to win over those votes in the senate and only got part of the agenda through. build back better has not made it through and now the polling is so week for democrats right now. there is a real fear and anxiety with the party but especially within the white house to do whatever they can to shore up those vulnerable democrats and try to prevent any further losses to sort of stabilize the economy, and address the inflation issues, handle ukraine in a way that keeps the popularity numbers where they are without dipping further.
>> simone, you were there in the summer of '21. why isn't the president out there explaining, here is the deal with masks. we know it is necessary and some of you don't like it. we've given you the tools to protect yourself from the virus and he said that a few times and on masks, i'm still going to wear one on public transportation. if you decide not to wear one, you don't pick on people. whatever it is. but they don't want to get in front of this and i can't help but wonder is it because of the snakeness when they declared too quick. >> when the us what was asked yesterday about his trip to new hampshire, they will have on masks. we understand the ruling but they'll have masks on around the president and the president is wearing his mask and the vice president wearing the mask. and much has been made from the biden/harris administration with leading with the science and listening to the scientists and
there is -- from the cdc about not looking like white house is telling them what to do. they came from a visceral experience from that during the trumgs trump administration. >> is it overcorrecting? >> i don't know it is overcorrecting. we're going through this together. you can't fault the white house. they got news of the judicial ruling along with everyone else. and what they did was roll with the punches and think very well. the doj has come out and said look we're going to appeal it if the cdc said they should. and the cdc said we extended it. >> i don't know what more they wanted. >> they want to hear from the cdc again. it might feel new for folks but this is a white house deferring to the cdc, deferring to the scientists because these what they do. not trying to politicize the issue but also being practical. >> jim, i guess the most generous way to say it is their overcorrecting for the trump era. and biden as a candidate promised this. >> right. >> and then when you see the hands off, i do think it is left
a lot of people feeling -- >> i think it is confusion, what is going on over there right now. i think that they were elected to be a moderate and they moved incredibly to the left way too early. before they had any kind of mandate. and i think that they wound up going a little bit too far and think it is had a h a bad effect, you mentioned afghanistan, i think that is a perfect example. i think they're gun shy on making a move. now simone you mentioned yesterday they were notified like everybody else. why didn't they know that was coming? i don't understand how. they knew the court case was down there. they knew a decision was going to be made. >> and it was probably in unfriendly territory. >> exactly. >> it shouldn't have been a surprise and yet it did seem like they were caught a bit flat footed. >> they were caught flat footed but their struggling in realtime with how to respond to this. do they challenge this case, do they try to prevent a precedent from being established that the cdc can't be overruled or do
they kind of roll with the punches as you put it, simone and feel like the american people are moving on and celebrating on the airlines about taking the mask off and the last thing biden wants to do is get out in front of that and become the mask police. >> and it is not only the cdc but the doj. biden has been very clear, independent doj and again those are just the facts. whether it works a question. but these are facts. >> i want to move from one politician who has been risk averse to one who only likes risk and that is ron desantis. i look at what he's doing in florida. he calls a special session to jam through a congressional map. and let's make this about picking on disney. and i look, he seems to bring on more risk. he seems to enjoy the risk. look, i don't foe how long, i think he's moved too many chips into the table. but is -- what do you think? >> well it is easy to do in florida, right.
he couldn't get away with that in new york or maryland for goodness sakes. i think he's doing everything he can and trying to grab the trump mantle as hard as he can and get abbott and some of the other guys out of the way. >> look at what he's made abbott do. he's resorted to ridiculous stunts like trying to bus people from the border. all to keep up with the -- >> out here, actually. >> it is amazing. how much does the white house keep an eye on desantis? >> a lot. florida is a major state. he's not a fringe state. he's a governor of one of the largest states in the country which is a political swing state. it could be up for grabs. >> i think it is. it is still treated that way. >> so of course they're keeping an eye on desantis. he might be the republican nominee in 2024 if trump were to not run. >> so i just want to sit back and put your political -- when you watch, this is a guy who is unafraid to put his hand on the hot stove. >> and one could argue that much has been -- i was critical of
governor desantis, and still am, during the height of covid, but if you really look at the numbers, florida actually came out all right. he has a story to tell. >> and the economy is strong. >> and the economy is strong. but the think the facts are that you have to look under, what he's doing with the masks makes no sense and even fox news analysts were like you have to show some explanation for this. >> show the books. >> so i think it is not all rosie, not too much praise on ron desantis. >> i think he's taking on risk. >> i don't think that mask -- those maps pass the smell test. it is written into the constitution they can't be partisan. this is ridiculous. >> and i know batching corporations is popular left and right. >> my money is on the disney lobbyists. my money is on the disney lobbyists. do you think the state legislatures in florida will bid to the will of the governor.
>> he would love a rocky mountain disney. but the state senate just passed this bill to strip disney of its special action. as a floridian, it was weird that they have the ability to have their own police force. as a kid you knew disney could do this. i want to switch on midterm politicsch one ad that caught my eye is one rafael war knock is picking up on this messaging frame. let's play a piece of it. >> i'm raphael warnock, i'm a dad. a senator, a paster. but a magician -- i'm not. so in just a year in the senate, did i think i could fix washington? of course not. but every day i focused on what i could do for our state. >> of all of the letting the base down gently spots i've seen, this is as good as i've seen. can it work, simone. >> he's telling the truth. he's not a magician. there are no imaginic wands in
washington, d.c. and in life. i did what i could and also let me tell you what we actually got done for georgia and how it made a difference. this is how governor -- senator warknock ran for his first case, speaking to the issues that people care about and being frank and telling them the truth and i think it will work out well for him. he's doing something herschel walker cannot. >> voters like to be lied to. they don't like to be told the truth. >> there is a certain amount of truth. and plus he's running against a guy that held a gun to his wife's head. i think warknock is well positioned in this climate. >> if he doesn't survive, i don't think anybody is. >> we have to look down the road to abby spamberger and luria and that will give us an indication of what will happen on election night. >> to bring this back to the top of this, phil, is this -- there is an anti-base out there that
isn't happy and what can the white house do to keep them excited? warknock is trying to let look, like, this is a long term project. we're taking off one bite -- how do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. that is what we're trying to do here. but what does the white house think. >> they have to control the broader environment and it goes straight to the economy and inflation and whatever they could do to get the numbers under control over the next few months so people are not quite as antsy as they are today. but beyond that, it is up to these individual democrats to find ways like war knock is trying to do with this ad in georgia to differentiate themselves and have a personal connection. >> he didn't take a shot at biden. >> no. >> and you could differentiate yourselves without having a take a shot at biden. i do think the cheap way out for some democrats is to take a shot at biden. >> and it is not the smart way. while the president's poll numbers may not be high right now. he is someone that the democratic and moderate
independent voters like him and so i would caution people with taking the cheap way out from the cheap sheets and attacking a president that people genuinely do like as person. >> and they may be disappointed professionally. >> exactly. >> but bee careful walking that line. >> agree with that completely. it is interesting. you've seen almost a whole gamut of how they are distancing themselves from biden. we have mark kelly and -- >> title 42 mostly. >> exactly, exactly. and there are more democrats jumping on that bandwagon i'm afraid. so he has to turn around sometime and i hope it is not baked in already for him. >> and it is fascinating. i do think raphael warnock is doing something great. this is a great panel. phil and simone and jim. we're going to keep rolling along here on 4/20. we're getting into the weeds where it is legal and where it is not and we're going to help you get to know your cbds.
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welcome back. today is 4/0 and it is the holiday for celebrating marijuana legalization even though it is still illegal. the fight over legalization kicked into high gear this month when the house passed a bill to decriminalize cannabis. but more can celebrate 4/20 legally, sort of. today at the local level if they choose. let's walk through the numbers. 18 states plus the district of columbia have fully legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use. and colorado was the first to do it and the numbers have increased ever since with more states expected to pass legislation this year. 20 more states have legalized solely medical marijuana. so that means weed in some form is available to consumers in most of the country. because right now just 12 states still prohibit the drug
completely. as you could see here, some of the bigger states to do that. the biggest one being texas. you see here still some south -- essentially wherever the old blue laws that you still found, if you find blue law you'll find more prohibition on this. you could still have cbd oils and lotions, but overall none of this was true 30 years ago. the attitude of country has changed for what it is worth. polls like this from cbs show two-thirds of americans fully support legalization of marijuana including about half of republicans. and when pugh polled adults last year more than 90% of americans said weed should be legal for medical or recreational use but the senate isn't expected to pass the house bill this year. we'll get into why next with legal marijuana supporter congresswoman eleanor holmes norton. you're watching "meet the press" daily. daily. you are surrounded by people
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life... doesn't stop for diabetes. be ready for every moment, with glucerna. it's the number one doctor recommended brand that is scientifically designed to help manage your blood sugar. live every moment. glucerna. welcome back. we're going to clear some of the smoke around a city with some of the haziest marijuana laws in the country, and it's the city i am in, washington, d.c. always good to see you. let me start with a simple question. i thoughtful democratic control of the house and senate and white house would mean at least one thing for the city of washington, and i didn't think statehood was a definite but i did think the gray market, the
bizarre nature of selling marijuana in the city where you get it free with your t-shirt or cookies or whatever little -- you know, i thought that was going to get cleared up. what's going on here? why is the democratic-controlled federal government not allowing the district of columbia to operate the way all these other states that legalized marijuana? >> well, the democratic controlled house and senate was on its way with a bill, and the bill to legalize marijuana was approved in the house and senate appropriation bill, and the villain in the piece is the president. the president opposed legalization of marijuana and that showed up when he -- the final omnibus budget came through and somehow it had disappeared. >> right. >> and been blocked, blocked by the democratic president even
though supported by democratic house and senate. >> i heard president biden is not where much of where the rest of the democratic party is on marijuana legalization. he's just not there yet. you have talked to him about it? >> yeah, i have, and i think it's a case of old school, and he's living on what drugs simply was and puts marijuana in the same category, and in several ways the president is not always up-to-date on the latest thinking, and this is one of those issues. >> is there a -- do you see it up on capitol hill? is he alone here? i feel like you do see that it's folks of a certain age -- look, i know you are of an older generation and you have kept up
with what is going on, and do you think much of this has to do with the legacy of including marijuana with cocaine and heroin as an anti-drug message? >> absolutely do. those who -- remember, it still -- it's still legalized formally. >> is there another avenue to go to try and rectify this, or is it just -- it first has to start with essentially repealing the idea that marijuana is a schedule c drug? >> of course, that's the way to start and maybe that's the way we have to go that we have the house and senate approving this bill.
we are way past time where marijuana ought to be kept along with the most dangerous drugs. >> it's my understanding you were trying to lobby for the use of medical marijuana, particularly for older residents in public housing that need it for pain, and you wrote a letter to hud and the government said no. is there any way around this? >> i have not found it. when i can't get medical marijuana in public housing for people who need it, you see we are thwarted still until marijuana is legalized. >> eric adams, the mayor of new york considered growing it on the rooftops of public housing buildings in new york city as a potential work around. >> that's -- i had not heard that.
if he succeeds, we might try at in the nation's capital. >> well, we will hold you to it. i mean, if the law says you can grow it, you know, maybe we could find out you can grow it on the rooftop of a public housing complex owned by the federal government. i know you're working hard on this issue and we appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective with us. >> always a pleasure, chuck. thank you all for being with us this hour. be sure and check out the latest we talk a lot of ohio senate and mar-a-lago politics. we will be back tomorrow, and msnbc coverage continues with katy tur after the break. tur ak
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good to be with you. i am katy tur. it's day 56 of russia's war in ukraine, and here is what we know right now. russian forces have converged on the crucial port city of mariupol. capturing it open a land bridge between crimea on the black sea and the eastern donbas region. mariupol's defenders have held out and after weeks of air assaults and intense urban fighting the land stand appears to be at this steel plant right here, and an