tv Alex Witt Reports MSNBC April 24, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PDT
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from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone, to alex witt reports. we begin this hour with breaking news on the war in ukraine. although it is now 8 pm in kyiv, we are still waiting for word on whether a big meeting and ukraine has indeed taken place. president zelenskyy said he was meeting with u.s. secretary of state anthony blinken and defense secretary lloyd austin today. nbc news has not independently confirmed the visit. u.s. officials are not commenting on it, but they say they are committed to ukraine success in this war. >> i would point to the last two weeks, really the last ten days, where the united states has announced 1.6 billion dollars in additional security assistance that is having a significant effect on the ground. in terms of enabling ukraine to hold off and push back against russian forces. we have been announcing deliverables, which is a fancy word for things we are providing to the ukrainians to enable their fight, just about
every day. if not every, day every week. we will have more to say about that in the week ahead. >> this, as the 60th day of war falls on the widely observed religious todd day of orthodox easter, observed by orthodox christians across the entire region. ukraine, europe and moscow, even president putin was seen taking part in the celebrations today. however, bombardments continue unabated. with ukrainian officials just a short time ago reporting shelling in both kherson and mykolaiv. well military officials claim they struck 26 military facilities in the last few, hours destroying west -- where has a strong weapon sent to ukraine from western countries. nbc news has not been able to independently confirm either of these. also new this hour, a new plea for humanitarian corridors and variable. >> my president suggested many times to have a humanitarian corridor. to evacuate the civilians which are left on the steel plant and the wounded soldiers.
but the russian soldiers are in possession of ukraine, no reaction. today, again, turning to authorities to open humanitarian corridors for civilians. including civilians for leaving the city of mariupol, because more than 100,000 civilians are still left in the city. the city's almost wiped out, and people are living without elementary conditions. without food, without water supply. >> her first reports this, hour from kelly cobiella who is joining us from odessa and mike memoli in d.c., at the white house. welcome to you both. kelly, we're starting with you. odessa is one of the latest cities being struck by russian missile attacks. what are you seeing there in the aftermath? >> well, even as we speak, alex, we're still under an arid alert tonight in odessa. the sirens started just a few minutes ago, you can hear them faintly in the distance. they started sounding about an hour and a half ago, now. odessa was last hit by a russian cruise missile about three weeks ago. so, this is not something that
happens on a regular basis. in the city. yesterday afternoon, as people were preparing for the easter holiday, the arid siren sounded and to cruise missiles actually did make impact. one, apparently, at a military facility. the other at this 16 story residential building, an apartment building where people were having lunch, having tea, gathering with their families. among the dead was a three month old baby girl, her young mother and her grandmother. we return to that apartment building today, what we saw was prosecutors and police gathering evidence. they call this a war crime and an act of terror. we also spoke to people who lived in that apartment building about just what it was like when the missile strike, and how they're feeling about their safety now. take a listen. >> it was like in the movies.
she was with a child and we heard the noise and then heard the big explosion. and they were really scared. because of yesterday's events, she is afraid to -- she didn't want to leave odessa, ukraine, but now she will probably have to send her somewhere. >> the russian defense ministry says that they are targeting military sites, not civilians. and they claimed to have destroyed a large consignment of european and u.s. weaponry in the odessa area. we are not able to independently confirm that, but it's worth noting, alex, that this comes just a couple of days after that russian ministry of defense plan was made public. for this phase of the war. they say it's their goal of containing, controlling all of southern ukraine. that includes the huge port city of odessa.
alex? >> gotta tell, you kelly, i've seen you dotted around that country listening to story after story of heartbreak and fear. and it is our utterly heartbreaking, for us to have to hear. thank you for that, nonetheless. let's go now to nbc's mike memoli is at the white house. mike, we have presidents alaska, who announced yesterday that he's going to be meeting today with the u.s. secretary of state and the defense secretary. but u.s. officials are not confirming this at this point. we talked about that, the reasons for that, in the last hour. have you heard any update since? >> no, alex, it's still radio silence from the white house, from the state department, from the pentagon. unwilling to confirm, at this, point whether secretary blinken and secretary austin already traveling to ukraine. that's not unusual, given the security sensitivities of sending these kinds of high-level officials into what is actually a war zone. typically, i've done this with vice president biden for instance, in 2016, traveling to baghdad with him. the reality of that trip was not reportable, even by those reporters traveling with him, until we are on the ground.
and even with a stronger security concern in ukraine, we might not hear about this until they've left the, country after the visit. so, that is the state of play as to what we know and what we don't know at this point. as we've been preparing for the possibility of a high level u.s. official traveling to ukraine, there have been questions about, obviously, whether the president would be that official. the white house had ruled that out in recent days. then, the conversation was about secretary austin or secretary blinken. so, if in fact, it is both of these officials, i think it's interesting and that it speaks to the different needs that ukraine still has. not just from the united states, but from our allies. one of the questions has been about when the u.s. might, for, instance reopen its embassy in kyiv. sense of democratic personnel. back then we have the announcement this week about more security assistance that the u.s. is providing to the ukrainians. but the fact is there will be more needs in the very near future. so, sending both speaks to both of those needs. and we heard more about what might be on the table in your conversation with ben, cardin a
former senior member of the relations committee. let's hear what he was suggesting might be on the table. >> i think it shows that the united states is in for what we need to do immediately, but we're also in for the long term. it's important that diplomats returned to ukraine. we also want to make clear that we will provide anything they need, from the point of view of military weapons. and certain that congress will be willing to support additional funds going into the military. >> now, as for president, biden of course he's spending the weekend in delaware. i just returned from the west coast. he was out in seattle as well as portland, talking about his domestic agenda. it was interesting, as well, to hear some frank assessment from president biden as he was participating in some fund-raisers behind closed doors. he spoke aware where his energies have been recently. and the, as he put, it more than 100 to meetings he's had with his foreign correspondents, our closest allies. his number one priority has been making sure that we are continuing to be on the same
page, because of the real threat that is still at risk there for the ukrainian government, as russia is now moving into a new phase of its aggression. as you've been talking about all morning. >> we have indeed. thank you so much for that, appreciate that. joining me now is texas representative colin allred, leader of veteran affairs and transportation committees. i'm curious about your thoughts on the reports of secretary blinken in austin visiting kyiv today. give me a sense of the message that these two high-profile cabinet member sends, and do you want to see that followed up by a visit by president biden? security allowances, if it could be so cared. >> in january, a couple weeks before the invasion began, i went to kyiv and we had a lot of these same meetings. i do think that it's important to be there. , so i'm really glad to see our defense secretary and our foreign secretary going. i think that's a really
important thing. but they have been, in europe, they've been having these meetings. so, this won't be entirely new for them. but it's a show of confidence from the united states that ukrainians have control of kyiv, they control the area around, there that they can safely do this. i do think at some point president biden would like to go. of, course it's going to be contingent on safety. he's the leader of the free world, is not like he can to show up anywhere. it's a little bit different than any of these other leaders going. >> no, 100 percent. we have to know, other world leaders. i, mean uk prime minister boris johnson already visited kyiv. any thoughts on the timing of this trip for the senior u.s. officials? and you perhaps wish the u.s. was the first to visit kyiv? as you appropriately stated, the leader of the free world, the united states, and the support of ukraine is leading all that of western countries. so, should we have been there first? >> i don't think it's a matter of being first or not. we are by far the largest supporters of ukraine.
during this crisis, we are providing them with over 3.4 billion dollars so far. the budget comes out to $56 million a day, in terms of security assistance that we've given them. so, the reason they've won the first stage of this war was because of the support of the united states. we've been meeting in poland and around their balkan allies, around that area. i think it is important, now, to show that the ukrainians have pushed the russians out of kyiv, they push them out of the surrounding areas. we know that there were assassins, kill, squads in kyiv looking for president zelenskyy not that long ago. it really is a situation where it's still dangerous, we don't know where all of those groups may be. so that is part of the consideration. >> yeah, 100 percent. it's like he says that secretary blinken in austin, in this meeting scheduled today, according to him, will discuss the types of weapons that ukraine needs. i'm going to throw around some numbers here too because, as you know, the u.s. has just
sent an additional $800 million in weapons to the country. that brings down the total value of military support to more than three billion dollars. i believe it's three point 25. as president biden prepares asked congress for even more money, can the u.s. afford to keep giving this level of support long term? >> well, the last package that the president has approved is actually really interesting, alex. because it has a lot of weapons and there that we're going to have to train the ukrainians on. particularly our howitzers. but we're looking at now is we're acknowledging that this will be a longer term conflict. so, we're not just so sending tools that they can use right, now we're sending tools that we can train them on and they can train their own military on going forward. so, i think that's a sign of the shift, basically, in terms of knowing that they will be in this fight for a while. and we will be with them every step of the way. it's clear that the russians are not going to stop until they have something, can claim
some kind of victory. and we don't want to allow it to happen. i think their ultimate loss, in terms of russia, is already assured. but we have to make sure that as many ukrainians as possible are protected in the meantime. i think that congress and the president, certainly, we'll -- >> in terms of the attendant, though, sir, slavery has been sending the alarm that putin has more in mind that just ukraine. how realistic is that, given the perceived we can say it of russia's military? including having to pull back from kyiv. >> i think there is a bug for this invasion and an after. in a way, this has been a strategic failure for russia. emerging from this, their ambitions are going to have to be much smaller. but it certainly true that, before they went into this conflict, vladimir putin was openly talking about trying to reconstitute, basically, the soviet union. including mentioning some
states that are not part of nato. and he said that they shouldn't exist independently. his ambitions, certainly, where broader. i don't think that his military or ability is that broad. certainly not without full mobilization. they've been trying to do this as a spot of special operations, as a been calling it, but that also means they're not mobilizing their entire economy, their entire populous around this war. that's what they would say, and i don't think that's politically possible for vladimir putin right now. >> last question. i'm going to switch foreign focus here for you, to the french presidential election which is underway. voting, another 45 minutes or so until polls close. of course, the candidates are emmanuel macron, current president, and marianne le pen. what concerns you the most of a potential marine le pen victory, in terms of the effect on the war in ukraine? >> well, she has been pretty clear, i think, that she is extremely critical of nato. would not want to see france
day a part of nato. she has been openly supported by vladimir putin, her party has received funding from the russians. so, we know that, where she to become the leader of france, that would put our alliance and put the transatlantic relationship in real danger. but i don't think it's going to happen. but i just part of a larger struggle that we're seeing across the world, in terms of authoritarianism, nationalism, rising and doing better in elections. she is here in this runoff as a serious candidate, when in a lot of ways a few years ago she would've been seen as a fringe candidate. it is concerning. >> absolutely. texas congressman colin allred, good to see you sir. thank you so much for joining me. a bit later this hour, some new questions about florida's rapid fire smackdown of disney. but here's one of them, is it even legal? i'm still working. in the kind of work that i do, you are surrounded by people who are all younger than you.
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white house official, the top aide to trump's tv chief of staff mark meadows. justified that in official warned meadows there could be violence that day. meadows saying, all right, let's talk about it. that is a transfer from the committee. ali rocca, who is at the white house for. how damaging is this report from mark meadows? >> well alex, meadows is already facing potential criminal charges for claiming executive privilege in stopping in cooperating with the committee. but that came after he provided the committee with some of the most important and helpful evidence that they have had so far. this filing that day, because he stopped cooperating with the committee, they filed those 250 page court filing late friday night. almost 250 pages. explaining why they wanted to speak to him. after they did already prove to
the people how important this information could be. and this filing says that they turned over 2000 text messages, but still held over 1000. it talked about this testimony from a former white house aide named cassidy -- who goes into all the different details that she knew about what meadows knew prior to january six. she says that meadows was warned before january 6th events on that date could turn violent despite the former presidents plan for the speech that day. she also says that she overheard the white house counsel's office saying the so-called fake electors was not legally sound. she explains just how involved gop lawmakers were in trying to overturn the results of the election. she also talks about the strategy meetings that gop lawmakers attended at the white house or called into before those election results were certified. it is important to note here that some of these gop
lawmakers have actually not been subpoenaed by the committee. they have been asked to voluntarily come and testify, and have refused to do so. none of them have actually been subpoenaed like meadows himself. they reach it not only meadows, but the offices of these gop lawmakers, and have not heard back. yet this is all coming as the house leader and kevin mccarthy faced major damage control. after this audio recording surfaced, where he says that he planned on urging the former president after the events on january 6th. he did not go forward with doing so, and he is now denying ever having said. that there is been a range of writings from republicans and both the house on the senate sunday show. listen to one of their soundbites here. >> frankly, when i first heard this, i thought that anybody had been disclosed to president trump as president --
had. i thought we was going to do was either resign or quit. he had two days to the end of this term. there was no way that was going to happen. i was frankly surprised that kevin levy suggested it might be a realistic suggestion to make for president trump. >> it is an interesting perspective from senator roy lands. we are expecting to heal a lot more perspectives and opinions about these tapes of kevin mccarthy, when lawmakers return here to capitol hill tomorrow, after a two week recess. >> thank you very much ali -- on capitol hill. meanwhile, gop mccarthy are scrambling to take the fallout from the tape where he says that he believes trump should resign after january six. joining me now is alabama washington post investigations reporter an msnbc contributor, good to see you. let's get into this. former president trump made no
mention at all of mccarthy in his rally in ohio. even though mccarthy's comments are certainly dominating the headlines right now. on, friday in fact, trump said he has got a good relationship with mccarthy. i suggested he is going to continue supporting his leadership. but you, both most house republicans, are still waiting for a clear, more defined a statement from trump on whether they should still back mccarthy. how safe do you think mccarthy is right now, staying in trump's good graces? >> yes alex, if there is anything we've learned over the past six years since trump rose to power, it is that he is a fairly mercurial political player who does change his mind on a whim, or depending on how long people in news headlines play on. for how negative they might be. also unclear whether there are potential damaging tapes which might be released in the coming weeks, or might sort of change the tides of where the former presidents stands right now.
as we reported first day friday morning, the former president and kevin mccarthy spoke on thursday night, and trump was not bothered by these audiotapes. and instead viewed them as a sign of his continued dominance over the republican party. and how differential some of the top leaders in congress are, still, to trump and trumpism. in order to maintain their own power over their members. i think that some of these members, people like marjorie taylor greene, caucus members, they are the ones who are still trying to raid the teammates over whether or not there needs to be some sort of reaction to mccarthy's comments, these alter tapes that were leaked. and so we will still all be following former president trump's comments pretty closely in the coming weeks. >> how much are you getting a sense that republican lawmakers are looking at the difference between what was said and the
skin? fact versus finn? because the fact is that kevin mccarthy said that he believed donald trump should resign, and that he intended to tell him that. all of his comments now are not addressing that fact. instead of saying, i never told him that he should resign, that may be true. so, it is not something? it's not just englishman being made between republican lawmakers, so that they say that yes, there is fact, but then there is fiction. and ultimately, there are lies within when >> we were making calls on friday, as many gop lawmakers as we could, the first concern was who leaked this tape. that was, really, the primary question we were getting on the phone. wondering whether or not the person who did ultimately leak it had higher political ambitions, had some sort of motivation to asking house minority leader mccarthy from
leadership come november, if republicans do take back the house and win back the majority. but the second comment was also about his credibility issues. it certainly has been long known in the party that mccarthy says one thing in private and then to another person will say something else publicly, having a completely different message. in order to kind of paint influence over what he calls the big tent party. but i do think that these credibility issues could linger, and could creep up on him. especially as now reporters on high alert for future takes. whether or not mccarthy has said anything damaging about the former president, and recently behind closed doors to donors. and what exactly his private posture on the former president continues to be, even as he is now saying on his about page, as a pro trump branch trying to really continue to bring in the
members who are more loyal to trump than they are to the republican party in the house. >> i am told that we have some sounds of kevin mccarthy speaking listening to a gop gathering in anaheim, california. we're gonna play that. i am also told the content would be something he would've probably derived from president trump. because i believe he is going to blame the media for the mess that he finds himself in. take a listen. >> as we go out to earn this majority, they are going to attack you. they are going to attack me. they're going to attack president trump. they are just not going to use the democrats. they are going to use the media as well. >> thoughts on that? this is something we have heard fake news, that wonderful phrase that was coined, alternate facts, those kinds of things all came about in the trump administration. are these going to be par for the course going forward for republican leadership?
>> we have seen blaming the media, a move by the former president. and many members of congress, republicans and democrats, but more specifically republicans who have really weaponized the media reports. mccarthy doesn't even get right the substance of the reporting from -- and alex burns. when he was talking to the media immediately in the aftermath of this,, he just kept claiming that reporting was wrong. he never told former president trump to resign. that was not was actually. reported that was not the issue in question. it was his hypocrisy and the two facing us about what he has been saying. why do you think he is going to eventually have to answer for his credibility, and it will potentially be a legal problem that creeps up on him as the january six committee tries to expose how republicans were really feeling in that moment, trying to dismiss the credibility of the committee
going forward, and especially as the hearings came up in june. >> okay. always a conversation. thank you so much. fort grim evidence, the worst fears of ukrainians, appear to be coming horrifyingly true. next, the russian atrocities and the case for genocide. for genocide. and this is the sound of better breathing. fasenra is a different kind of asthma medication. it's not a steroid or inhaler. fasenra is an add-on treatment for asthma driven by eosinophils. it's one maintenance dose every 8 weeks. it helps prevent asthma attacks, improve breathing, and lower use of oral steroids. nearly 7 out of 10 adults with asthma may have elevated eosinophils. fasenra is designed to target and remove them. fasenra is not a rescue medication or for other eosinophilic conditions. fasenra may cause allergic reactions. get help right away if you have swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue, or trouble breathing.
we're following. polls close now in less than an air in france, as incumbent emmanuel macron tries to become the first french president in 20 years to secure a second term. his opponent is the far-right marine le pen. but next, hour we're going to have live reports from you for paris as the live results come in. in japan, at least ten people are dead in a six teen others so missing after a turbo vanished off the post coast. authorities are searching a frigid waters for the remaining passengers, they include two children. and the first ever all private inner astronaut mission to the international space station will be returning home.
the team is expected to undock today after a two weeks day, they will touch down on the coast of florida monday morning. the death toll in ukraine is reaching a grim milestone. at least 1964 people killed, creeping up to 2000 now injured since the start of the invasion. according to the latest un data, president biden has called this a genocide. let's go to nbc's richard louis, back to the big board for us. is there evidence yet, richard, to support the president's position on this? >> they're very careful about this, alex. when they use those words, the word genocide, we've got that horrible new evidence over the weekend, we've been digging into it over the last 24 hours. about this accusation of genocide. i want to dig straight into the satellite photos that we got from the government contractor. march 22, first, of a cemetery that's outside of mariupol. that's the area in the south. now, this cemetery here, i want you to zoom in just in this corner here. that's march 22nd.
then i'll bring you to a photo from the contractor that shows undisturbed, and now this is a week after. you can see this area right here. it's about 130 feet in length, which is about half of a football field. large enough, we are hearing, to fit 9000 bodies. but alex, the important thing that we want to add to this conversation, typically that size would only hold 50 graves. what we're hearing is that could be up to 9000 people, one on top of the other. now, this is just one mass burial site. ukraine has reported others, across the country. this is a drill in, by the way, of this very area i was talking about. we know about three others that are similar to this. close to kyiv. blue sofa, borio donda and bucha, you remember that story.
this, week the region has been noticing this. these are the areas i was talking, about in the, north around kyiv. the reaction to leaders in the area, because i remember the history here live via. coming from the republic of latvia. they're saying, in a statement, they are claiming evidence of mass brutal crimes by russian troops. we can now even go to the house republican conference chair, elise stefanik, she came out and said the word genocide. again, they're very careful about what they say when it comes to that word. and then president biden, as you were just telling us, calling russian actions genocide. he went further to say it's become clearer and clearer that putin is trying to wipe out the idea of being ukrainian. in addition, this. from the washington post, and they're reporting. in addition all of this, borodyanka, but for his role, motion in makariv, all of this is just evidence that journalists are finding.
the sad revelations becoming more clear, all of this, after troops, russian troops, left kyiv. then they were able to see everything. ukraine where he is now what's the southeast could hold here. because it's dominated by russian troops, so they can't see, necessarily, what is there. alex? >> yeah. if we look at this, the definition of genocide, right? 1948, un convention formally defines it has actions with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. it would need to be proven an international court, right? that this effort was underway. >> that's right. you alluded to a very important part of our history, this is it. go back to 1940, eight as you are saying, when they are putting together the un convention on this very topic. when i look at this, we don't necessarily know what's going on behind front lines. but this is how important when
we look at the definition of genocide. alex, i want to take us to something that is historical, potentially a little graphic here as well. when we look at the un convention. this is something that grandmas and grandpas have told their children and grandchildren about when they think of the idea of genocide, they talk about the great famine. what they call the holiday miller, in ukrainian, food extermination. we went to pull these out because they remember. this as many as 5 million people died. joseph stall, and one of the key figures in this. he ordered the seizure of food from ukrainians, he cut off access to, food he forbade ukrainians from leaving to find food. and alex, today, when they see what's happening around them, ukrainians and other nations, they recognize the genocide. there is certainly a profound fear, a profound sadness for ukrainians, alex. as i ask the question of genocide again today.
>> i tell you, so many lessons to be learned from history. it's terrible, but some of those lessons have to be repeated. thank you so much richard, appreciate that. notable for all of you, coming up on yasmin vossoughian reports of four eastern. yasmin is going to speak with a ukrainian fighter pilot who only goes by his call sign moon finish. i'm going to get a firsthand report of what he's encountered trying to protect his homeland from russian forces. in the meantime, she beat donald trump in court and now he has the answer for. it omarosa joins me to explain everything, next. solution tailored toward your needs t-mobile's experts will work to help realize your vision. when you join ihop's new rewards program, the international bank of pancakes, and start stacking pancoins toward free food, you get a smile on your plate. download the app and join the rewards program today.
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trump's presidential candidate to pay one point $3 million in legal fees to omarosa newman. somebody sued her for violating their nondisclosure agreement when she released a book about her experience in the white house. she joins me now, she's a white house -- and author of unhinged, an insiders account of the trump white house. good to see you my friend. i am sure you appreciated this, because in the end, that arbitrator sided with, you calling the nda question invalid under new york law. give me a sense of your reaction to this decision, and the kind of relief that you must have felt.
>> hi alex. thank you for having me on. i would like to say there is a lot of relief for this. you know with donald trump things are not over until they are truly over. so i am very grateful to my legal team, and of course the arbitrator. however, they have already indicated that they are trying to find a way not to ban the order. >> but isn't a surprise, considering how to pay at one point $3 million. that said, you were rewarded this kind of money. how much has this whole ordeal cost you? there's 1.3 million cover everything? i'm not talking about your emotional duress in this, oh no you went through a lot. this was stressful. >> oh yeah. it has certainly taken a toll. at the time that the sitting president decided to take this action, he tweeted out to his millions of followers that he was going to sue me. i don't know if you recall that. he said i am assuming omarosa, i am breaking her.
the bots and the trolls immediately started to attack. so it was not just the legal action. it was a personal toll. the towns intensive meetings with my legal team. it has truly been a long journey. i am so grateful that this is, hopefully, finally, coming to an end alex. >> it. is but to your point earlier, seeing the money is another thing than being awarded it. getting the moral victory, which we've gotten here. and the legal victory. but seeing that money, that on it, what is the likely that you will see all of it, part of it, what do you think? >> i think it is first and foremost a victory for the first amendment. donald trump was saying to sign this thing. you have to ask the question, alex, while he spent so much money silencing the book from coming out. but if you really want me to
make a gas on whether or not donald trump will in fact do the right thing, history is not really on the side that he will. in fact. there are a long list of people who are truly waiting for donald trump to pay them. so we are in that list, but we are willing to take all of the actions that we need to, including garnishment, you name. it donald trump will have to pay at some point for what he has done. >> okay. while we are talking about donald trump, he clearly has no plans to step away from his plot line. as you know, he recently get explosive in there with piers morgan. that has been making headlines. let's take a look at the preview for, that and then i want to get your thoughts on the other side. there it is. >> okay. pierce i am ready. >> a former president is in denial. >> on this. man more honest and. you >> really? >> yeah. >> only four would think. >> that you think a? >> before i do. >> [inaudible]
>> excuse me. >> the most explosive interview of the year. [inaudible] let's finish up the interview. >> morgan versus trump. >> i've just got to get your reaction to this. >> i was on the celebrity apprentice was both piers morgan and donald trump, and i to tell, you this was not a fight. this was nervous really dance between the two of them, in order to garner attention for the new show. and he just could not believe that they will probably be having lived in about a month, celebrating the success or failure of pierce's show. but watching it and then looking at the statements that donald issued, it is very clear to me that this was coordinated. and it is nothing more than political theater. >> so it is not really, real it is reality tv, i guess to that extent. may i say something about thanking you for taking the time to be on the show right? now because i think you probably would rather be studying for your ally exams that you have right now.
so, thank you for doing that. talk about this. you are in law school, that is amazing. good for you. >> thank you. i love university. and, yes i have a weak full of law exams. just as a note, i did it contracts last semester while i was in the middle of this legal fight with donald trump. so the university law center has been good to me. >> that is good. i respect the people have to go through adversity and challenge to get where they are. you have had no shortage of that. and yet what you've done is turn this around and given all of your practical experience, adding to your books parts, you are going to be one hell of an attorney. so thank you so. much will probably come to your illegally by some point. good for you. good luck. meantime, desantis versus disney, will it is an empire strikes back? next, how it can't go to court and win. you try crazy things...
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after florida governor ron desantis signed that bill stripping disney world of its special tax status. desantis dismantle disney's 55-year-old self governing status, affective june 2023. this move is seen as punishment, after disney paused political contributions over florida's new education bill. here's democratic candidate for florida government mickey freed speaking with me on the show yesterday. >> within 48 hours, this bill ended up on the floor and passed by the republican legislature. not giving any opportunity for the people of our state to come and testify, no hearings on behalf of this, no financial analysis of how this is going to impact the services being provided to these communities in these counties. how it's going to impact the workers of disney. and how it's going to impact the individuals living in these counties. so, no, there is no notice. and unfortunately it is too late. >> joining me right now, msnbc
legal analyst of a high esteem, denise of all us. i'll tell you guys why he is laughing, if you could've seen me come into the studio and tell me do not get my job a way to omarosa. how could i do? that >> how dare you. she's in law school at the president, don't offer my job to omarosa. >> i'm not doing that. let's get into this, nikki fried saying right there that it's too late. obviously, this went through, the bill passed. but does disney have the prospect of countering all of this with a lawsuit? are there grounds for disney to do that? >> so, it's interesting. corporations have free speech rights. it days way before citizens united, it goes back to the 1930s. so, the theory would be that desantis and the legislature are retaliating against disney for expressing their political views. and political speech is the most sacred speech in our constitution, more so than other kinds of speech. now, that's an interesting theory. but on the other hand, i read
the bill, the one revoking the special status. and the bill itself doesn't actually have anything at all to do with speech. so, i would expect that desantis as a defendant for the florida legislature would argue no, this is just a bill that revokes a special status, it doesn't have anything to do with punishing speech. i even thought about is it a bill of attained or? because it doesn't declared guilt without a trial. and it doesn't even declare any guilt, it just says you're losing the special status. so, i would expect that would be the argument on the other side that this with is constitutional. >> on that, side sure. but could disney then, i guess, would it be a counter suit of or something of that nature? or a completely new suit that they could go down and say, by doing this for us, we have reason to believe you are violating our first amendment rights. that was something with citizens united, right? in 20, ten as a result of that ruling, that's what allowed for the first amendment rights for corporations as well. could they go down that road and find a sympathetic judge,
jury and the like? >> they've a lot of procedural options. but most likely they will file in federal court or state court, arguing that this law should be in joint. a declaratory judgment should be issued saying this law is no good. whatever they can do procedurally, to strike it down. they may, in turn, argue that, look, the statute itself is facially neutral, doesn't have anything to do a speech. it's really an interesting legal question. it could go either way. >> okay. earlier this week, the lieutenant governor of florida was asked in an interview with newsmax, and i want to reference what was specifically said. he was asked what it would take for the state to reverse course. let's listen to what he said in this interview, here it is, everybody. >> is there an opportunity for disney to change their mind and say we will disregard this whole woke agenda and we will go back to what we originally dealt with, the state of florida? with the governor then say fine, you keep your status but we'll talk and we'll keep an eye on you?
how does this play out for disney? a lot of people like disney and they don't want to not like disney anymore. >> sure. they have, based on their own admission, a very not-so-secret agenda to indoctrinate our youth with topics that are very inappropriate. sexualizing children at a young age is never okay. and so disney, of course, like anyone, has the opportunity to petition the legislature next year and to make the argument as to why they need this particular privilege. this district that they have been allowed to create, self governing. >> so, here's the question. critics have said that what this does is it shows that this whole action by desantis was, in effect, a level of retaliation. right? however, it is there now an offer on the table to say, here's how you can back out of it? >> a couple things. you could argue, if you're desantis, that this really wasn't my act of retaliation. even if, as i expect, there are plenty of emails and sounds that we could pull where it seems pretty clear that he's
retaliating. he might argue, no, that was the florida senate in the florida house, i just signed a bill at the end of the day. so, therefore, it's not really me retaliating, even though i don't know that that necessarily passes the test. for the past few weeks, we've been hearing nothing but a back and forth between desantis. i guess i should just say aback, not a fourth, because disney has been relatively silent. disney, in this game, doesn't have a lot to play with because they're not a carnival that blew into town last week. they've got -- they can't load epcot center, that big globe, onto a truck and move it. they're stuck there on the several thousand acres. so, this is going to be a tricky issue. now that the bill has been passed, i don't know that it's going to be so easy to on ring that bell legislatively. if they do, boy, then isn't it even more obvious that it was in retaliation. >> okay. very good points as always denise of all, us who has a very secure job here with me. >> oh, thank you. >> relax.
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