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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  April 30, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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factoid there. i bet you all day at msnbc headquarters here. on a very serious note we begin with this breaking news potentially dramatic developments out of the mariupol steel plants for hundreds of civilians and soldiers, trapped for days now. russian media reporting that a group has been evacuated. we'll go right to wrap such us in lviv with the latest. rough this is extraordinary, we've been keeping a very close eye on the steel plant for weeks. do we know who is left the steel plant and wet circumstances? alex in just the last two minutes, russian state media saying 25 civilians, 19 adults, six children, all under the age of 14 have come out of that steel plant. that is basically what we know at this stage. this is a russian state news agency. it's getting one of its own correspondents as a source for
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that report. presumably, this is a correspondent on the ground in mariupol, embedded with russian forces. but we don't have that detail. there is no confirmation at this time from the ukrainian side that any civilians have come out of that plant. alex, as you say, there are a lot of questions here. we do not know, assuming for a moment it is accurate, that civilians have come out of that plant, we do not know, are they in russian custody? or are they going to be escorted beyond the russian lines into ukrainian held territory, outside of mariupol. that was certainly the hope of president zelenskyy at his office yesterday, when they put out the statement saying they were moving towards an evacuation. their hope was that officials from the united nations, from the international community of the red cross, we move into russian lines, and then would escort people out. we just do not know, at that point, if this is how it's gone
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down. or if these civilians are now in the custody of russian forces surrounding that's steel plant. there are, as you said, hundreds of women and children in the tunnels underneath what remains of that steel plant. one of europe's, largest, so even if 25 have come out, there are still hundreds more inside. we were speaking to the wife of a ukrainian soldier who was inside that planned, she told us her husband is doing his best to keep the spirits of those children up. as vladimir putin's bombs continue to rain down, she said many of those kids are orphans, they don't have parents. so this soldier, in between shifts, trying to defend that plant, has been doing his best to try to comfort them, in these almost unimaginable conditions. we've seen videos coming out of a very young child wearing a kind of make ship diaper made out of plastic bags, out of paper. so just a horrendous situation for those civilians, but this
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is potentially, potentially and i stress this is unconfirmed, a very significant moment, it for the first time in weeks, we're starting to see civilians coming under the wreckage there, and coming through russian lines. alex? >> that would be very significant, but again we don't know the circumstances under which they're doing so. are they like other ukrainians, in part of the east, that have been taken out of the homes and shipped into russia? we don't know this yet. my question to you is, do we have any idea how long the civilians have been there? as i mentioned, we've been reporting about the fighters, the ukrainian fighters holed up in their. it's been a good three weeks. it's remarkable that they've been able to stay off the russian military. do we also have an idea about the kind of supplies they have? food, water, basic necessities? you describe that type, or raf. >> so those supplies that they have a rapidly diminishing. this woman's husband, the
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fighter inside the plant, he told her, at this point through's exhaustion, the thing he wants most is a glass of clean water. they've been drinking filthy water in the tunnels underneath that plant, to try to survive. when ukrainian officials said that they have sent more ammunition to the fighters inside that plant, by helicopter. that's not something we've been able to independently confirmed. obviously it would be a very daring operation to fly by night, over the russian forces to drop off more supplies. it's been striking how long these ukrainian forces have been holding out. we've been saying weeks now. this is their last stand. and yet this let stand goes on, and on, and on. from vladimir putin's perspective, their presence has been just an enormous thorn in his side. he was hoping to have the situation in mariupol wrapped up by now. he wanted to free up those soldiers that he has besieging that plant, and send them to
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other parts of the line in the east of ukraine, to have them fighting in the donbas. instead, he's had to commit an enormous number of troops to standing outside that steel plant, trying to seal off those ukrainian fighters. you asked how long the civilians have been inside? some of them have been inside for weeks, and weeks, alex. the ukrainian held portion of mariupol got smaller, and smaller, and smaller until the only bit of territory left is that steel plant. the narrative in russian state media is that the civilians are human shields. they say they're being held by the ukrainian neo-nazis, who won't let them out. the reality is, these civilians are terrified of what will happen to them when they happen in russian hands. they're not wrong, given what we saw, in bucha. and alex, it gives you a sense of the desperation that the civilians would prefer to take their chances inside that steel plant, under bombardment.
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but under protection of ukrainian troops. then come out and submit themselves to the very uncertain fate. 100 percent, you make the point about russian state television and the reporting. i ask you that since this is the source, at least one of them, for this breaking news, for civilians leaving this plant. how much can russian state tv be trusted? >> not very, is the short answer. these are media organizations that take their instructions from the kremlin, when vladimir putin says this is not a war, this is a special technical military operation, anchors on russian state media dutifully go on tv and reuse those words. i'll tell you the, they have a level of access that we don't. we would love to be on the ground in mariupol right now. we can't be there. russian state media correspondents have that option. they report only with the russian military wants them to report. but, alex, we there is a
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universe in which vladimir putin wants those civilians and those troops to come out of the steel plant. even if it's something of a humiliation. even if it means that they go up to ukrainian held territory. that's because he wants the seems to be over. he wants to be able to say that mariupol is under complete control of russian forces. it's something he said on television before, not with credibility given that we see the fighting continues. he wants those soldiers to be freed up so he can send them against ukrainian troops on this very long 300 mile front in the donbas. so, it is conceivable that the russians would allow civilians to come out. president zelenskyy seem to think that something was moving yesterday morning local time here in ukraine. when's office issued a statement saying that they were hoping to get this evacuation underway. since then things have gotten very, very quiet, indeed. we know the united nations
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moves a team down to zaporizhzhia, to be close to mariupol if a window of opportunity arise for this evacuation to go ahead. we don't know if that un team made it into mariupol. it's one of the many things we don't know about this alleged evacuation. alex? >> right, leads you to wonder where the civilians are going. specifically, and into who's arms, for help. okay raf, thank you so much. for all of you were going to talk to this admiral in just a moment. first back here at home, the tributes are pouring in for willie joseph council, an american killed well fighting in ukraine. the 22 year-year-old is believed to be the first u.s. citizen killed in the conflict. let's go to my colleague nbc's kathy park who's got more on this. >> well alex william joseph council was a new york native, those who knew him described him as someone who felt compelled to serve.
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he worked as a volunteer firefighter, later would become a marine and -- he was also a husband and father to a seven month old son. and outpouring of grief for 22-year-old willie joseph council. the former u.s. marine who fought and died alongside ukrainian forces. >> it goes to my heart because i'm a foreigner marine. he wanted to serve for freedom, he paid the ultimate sacrifice. >> willie's mother confirming his death to cnn. said he was killed on monday well working with a private military contractor. a devastating blow to his hometown. where he once served as a volunteer firefighter. >> a lot of kids his age don't understand what they want to do in life, he figured out as a young age. >> the county writing, in part, we will never forget williams bravery and sacrifice. his wife brittany, telling fox
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news, saying he went there to help people. he always felt that was his mission in life. adding that he had a seven month old son. according to family, he was a correctional officer and aspired to -- in 2020 a military judge convicted him of violating a lawful general order and given a bad conduct discharge, the state department said he was closely monitoring the situation surrounding his death. >> we are right now in the process of -- i would take this opportunity to reiterate what we've said for weeks now. americans should not travel to ukraine. it is inherently dangerous. >> despite the warning, thousands of foreign fighters, including americans, have traveled to support ukraine. putting their lives on the line for a brutal battle nearing a
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third month. >> the details on the work that willie did are still unclear. also the circumstances leading up to his death. they don't know how he died and his body is not been found. when president biden was asked, he said it was very sad, he left a little baby behind. that is very sad >> thank you for that, let's bring in retired admiral former supreme -- of nato, also welcomes her, always good to have you here. i'm curious whether the circumstances under which will he cancel ended up on the front lines of this war. he went there working for a contractor supplying fighters. are these american countries companies doing that? >> let's go from the inside out on this one. i grew up in the marine corps. my father was a marine colonel.
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i want to quantico high school, i know the culture and ethos in the marine corps very well. i think the primary reason was what's wife said. he wanted to write to the sound of the guns. do the right thing, in his view. strike a blow for democracy. i salute him. in terms of the mechanism by which he got there, alex, pretty murky at this point. i've seen a number of veterans including a good friend of both of ours, senior chief malcolm nance, formally a con man tighter here. he's dropped his commentating and actually gone to ukraine. he's done that on his own. i think we're going to discover it this former marine is that he was part of a contracted effort, and perfectly legitimate for the creighton government to go to any number of camp tractors -- the iraqi government did that, the afghanis government did that. i'm sure the ukrainians make use of those resources. he probably was under contract,
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there. we don't know, we're gonna find out as time goes by. we have to simply put our arms around his family and say that he went because he wanted to do what he saw was the right thing. >> yes, and hopefully this family can get his remains back and offer a proper burial for him. let me ask you also were talking about the top of the hour, the civilians reportedly leaving that mariupol steel plant, again this is according to russian state tv. can we hear assessment, if true, when these circumstances might be? what do you see is being likely? >> if true, they're important words, as they've been discovered, we've seen nothing but a stack of lies built again, and again from the kremlin. this could be an effort on their part to spread disinformation. perhaps to weaken the morale of those inside, in some way, who knows? but, if true it's a good thing.
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i think anything that could create and evacuate the noncombat instant here is highly to be desired. i don't understand why it would be such a very small number. i don't understand why there are not -- there is more clarity about why they haven't been taken into the loving arms, i say that with extreme prejudice, of the russians. or if they're going to be allowed, this was the hope of president zelenskyy and his team, to proceed along ukrainian lines. of course that would be the right thing to do. because it's the right thing to do, i have my doubts if that's where the kremlin is going. alex, bottom line we were talking a moment ago, we are talking about heroism on the part of this marine, here are 2000 ukrainian marines. the equivalent of our u.s. marines, who are holdup here and fighting like hell. we've got to do everything we
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can to support them, their families, their children, obviously a to be evacuated, safely, to ukrainian lines. >> we hope that you're words come true. let's move answer to reports we've been getting, british american intelligence saying that russian advances are stalling again. how about you, what are you hearing from your sources about where the fighting stands at this hour? >> it's a mixed message at this point, alex. certainly there's been no acceleration. there's been no grand sweep of tanks launching in their hundreds and hundreds by the russians. this much more looks like a traditional campaign which you would begin by soften up the opponents lines with artillery fire. i'll tell you this, i for 1 am skeptical that we're going to see a sudden deus ex machina of brilliant new russian military
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two point oh that's going to emerge here. the same thing that played them in their ill run campaign in the north, which are bad leadership, worse logistics, terrible morale -- those things are gonna be just as true in the southern and eastern campaign. so i don't look for a sudden change of pace here. could it happen? i suppose but so far, the russians are not demonstrating a new style of campaign here. that would push them forward over those ukrainian lines. of course, on the other side, the foot right to supply these brave ukrainian defenders is being won by the west. so, i think it's going to be a tall order for the russians to suddenly overwhelm the ukrainians. i don't see that happening. >> to that last detail, sir, nbc news is reporting that u.s. weapons delivery has picked up over the last 24 hours. you have phoenix ghost drones,
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switchblades, minds, and munitions, artillery rounds, radar, making their way into a very close to ukraine. the pentagon confirms that the u.s. is actively, now, ukrainian forces. is this when someone ski has been asking for? >> absolutely is. we have punched our way down his shopping list, and providing him essentially everything he's asked for with a couple of exceptions. we have not given him fighter aircraft. those may be coming, in some form. we have not given him a significant number of offshore long-range anti ship missiles. both of those are on the table. it's another conversation. the rest of the shopping list is being delivered. in world war ii we talked about the united states as the arsenal of democracy. that's what you're seeing here. these shipments are going
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faster and faster. once you get the u.s. and our nato allies moving in one direction, that can be the challenge at times. i say that as a former supreme allied commander of nato, once you get that massive machine of war going, it can provide these logistics. it will do so. it will make the difference on the battlefield. >> but admiral, a question to you quickly, sir, the fact that all this military hardware, the training, the lake is coming from the united states. does that indicate the u.s. has a one track approach right now? how does this affect the prospect of diplomacy? >> i would say, we are on three tracks and moving pretty coherently on all three. the first, the one we just discussed, military, particularly getting weapons into the hands of ukrainians. track to, alex, is in fact diplomacy. here, i mean keeping the west united. keeping the democracy standing together. putting pressure, diplomatically on russia,
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across the international organizations. the third track, we don't talk about enough. it's the economics, it's the sanctions, those are gonna slowly by vladimir putin, because as general sherman said in the civil war. war is hell, but alex, it's also expensive. those sanctions are gonna bite him. i think we're on all three tracks, pretty coherently. >> okay, always a pleasure to speak with you, admiral, thank you sir. so it feels like a long time coming, one of america's prestigious universities takes a step towards righting a wrong. what will justice look like? well more schools, and even the country, step up? and offering you more sustainably sourced products
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the minds of millions of americans have persons news this is where president biden made assurances that could potentially cancel student debt relief. look at progressives as well as majority leader schumer who have been calling on president biden to council upwards of $50,000. we know that this number is going to be some are closer to the 10,000 dollar range. this is a campaign promise. president biden made. this is something that it's have been talking to us about. right now, white house staff is working with congressional aides to come up with a formula of what's number makes the most sense in terms of canceling student debt and providing relief from one in eight
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americans. there were two a similar formula for covid checks in terms of what makes this relieve targeted. i want to take a listen to what a house progressive set on and msnbc last night. >> we know that republicans, independents, and democrats support the policy. this is the right thing to do. the research shows that it is going to be a major boom for the economy in terms of the gdp. it is the right thing to do on the policy. yes, on the politics to. we see young people in particular having an abysmal impression of the white house. i think we have to make sure that we are taking every opportunity to show the american people that we are looking out for everybody, young and old. >> alex, we are months away from the midterm. obviously, this has a political impact. the number two senator political diplomat says that this is going to have favorable impact for the president. for those up for the midterm
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elections, especially the frontline democrats who are concerned about losing the house and the senate as the president poll numbers start to become low. >> i think the operative word is some. it will all depend on how much relief that people will feel from a student loan debt cancellation. we will see. julie tsirkin, thank you so much. let's go now to one of the most prestigious universities and a new racial racial reckoning, harvard. they released 180-page report identifying these ties to slavery and how they are reaping benefits from. it the nation's oldest interest to shove higher education help to perpetrate the heiress racial oppression and exploitation. titus, dziuba, indigenous girl, these are the few of the names of more than 70 people they report lists of being enslaved by harvard faculty and staff before it was banned in massachusetts in 1783. >> i believe, because of our
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past, we brought a bear a moral responsibility to act. this is our responsibility to try to shape a better future. to responded to practices which we helped to perpetuate. >> harvard is backing up the words by setting aside 100 million endowment fund to begin repairing the educational, social, and economic gaps that are a result of the institutions are stork ties to slavery and racism. joining me now is cornell brooks, professor of practice of a public leadership and social justice at harvard university. welcome my friend. it is good to see you. tell me what mind through your mind when you had the president of harvard making this declaration like we are going to try to do what we can to make this right? >> i have to say, i was pained
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by the report not by the tax but the faces a represents. i was heartened by the words and his back out. the reason being is that this report represents a reckoning in texas. it is academically rigorous. it is honest. there is more bluntness. that is to say that harvard was engaged and supported the monetization. the modification. oddly the ruling of bodies and indigenous bodies. this is also for bodies of enslaved people. the words were heartening from a vantage point that they recognize a start. harvard's reckoning with its passed by making commitment in the past to present to assure the justice of fairness, candor with respect to the future.
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>> the report goes beyond just the prospect of sleeve, ownership, and the work that they did on behalf of teachers and faculty and administration. tell me how it expands into how harvard benefited from mostly free. . >> harbor acted as a financier, a lender in terms of supporting slavery. harvard derived profit from those who engaged in the slave trade and supported the slave trade. to be clear, when we think about the fact that during a 50-year period, a half century, five individuals, five slave owning men, gabe or promised donations to harvard which represents a third of the funds that were promised or given to harvard in a half century.
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what's that represents, alex, is literally the financial foundation of harvard resting upon the enslaved bodies of indigenous and black people. it is clear that there is a direct tie, financial tie, between harvard and slavery and the indirect support. the financial reach of this extends not x across harvard yards but into plantations in the caribbean and across the south and into the lives of these enslaved people. >> let me ask you about harvard, which certainly is not the only institution across this country that has benefited from a slavery. let me go to what jessie haaland writes. it is from an opinion piece this week. he writes, unlike with many other contrite statements made regarding the long term effects of slavery, harvard is committed to putting some of its considerable wealth behind its words, a pledge few entities have made.
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which others institutions, car now, need to step up and do more to address their ties to slavery? i'm sure there is a long list. you are welcome to start. >> let's put it this way, there are 80 colleges and universities that had engaged in this relationship with slavery. every college or university that has anything with a relationship of the unseal event of human beings, and engage in repertory justice, that is to say repair, recognizing, an attempt to make whole. every college and every university on that list and any and all colleges and universities need to do the same. it is not just colleges and universities but it is also companies that have derived profits from the enslavement of human beings. there is a norm in american
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society, that when we engage in harm, we attempt to make amends. one of the best ways to make amends is to be candid about the past, recognize your responsibility in the presence, and make a commitment to engage and repair for the future. the responsibility is in the present. >> harvard is doing this and, based on its reputation, it is a wonderful source of higher education and learning, it can be an example to other. maybe they can learn from harvard. it is a start. it is a conversation we will have yet again. >> it is a. start >> it is good to see you my friend. look coming up next, it twisted tears from a small town. it is a terrible flashback that haunts residents of 31 years later. next, donald trump's endorsements come as he is running himself in 2024. there is one word that maybe his kryptonite and crush his candidacy. kryptonite ande driftin' on by... ♪ candidacy.
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that we're following right now. dozens of buildings are damaged after a tornado where it through the wichita, kansas area last night. wichita mayor says that 100 homes and businesses were hit. this includes city hall. so far, no reports of deaths or serious injuries. a new cdc report says that covid is not related to a spike in hepatitis among children. nine kids in alabama and more than a dozen children in other states have been diagnosed with the illness which affects the liver. at least one child has died. doctors are looking at whether a prior infection could be related. today makes the expiration of a special grand jury seated six years ago in the criminal investigation against donald trump. it stems from the manhattan investigation -- and legal experts believe the grand jury is not likely to be renewed. we makes an indictment for trump less likely. for a look now at his role in the upcoming primaries and an
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approach of where he runs for president in 2024. let's bring the staff writer for the lincoln. the first article is called just called trump a loser. way to go mark to make a splash with that headline in the article! congrats on the new role with the atlantic! it is a great publication. we are going to get to his own potential run in just a moment, but first, let's talk about his influence on these upcoming midterms. the former president is endorsed by 40 candidates and 40 republican primaries. in may, this is according to one count by the new york times. we have ohio's senate primary on tuesday. here is one of the latest campaign ads from trump's candidate j.d. vance. here it is. >> donald trump has enforced endorsed j.d. vance. j.d. vance is the conservative outsider. trump fought back, so will i. trump endorsed the first
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conservative. i am j.d. vance, i approve this message. >> a whole lot of trump in their. let's take a listen to the ad of club for growth. it is a conservative anti tax group. they just put this out in support of vance's opponent josh mandel. >> j.d. vance, in his own words, i am a never trump guy. i never liked him. as someone who does not like trump, i might have to hold my nose and vote for hillary clinton. i did not vote for trump because i cannot stomach trump. i think that he is noxious. >> so trump clearly at the center of these gop campaigns. how important are these primaries to give us an indication about trump's hold over the gop? >> i mean, the hold is reflected in the ads. he is everywhere, obviously. both candidates are falling over themselves to appear more trump or insufficiently trump than the other guy. it is pathetic. it is also how the republican
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party has chosen to define itself right now. it is being expressed by these primary battles. it remains to be seen. what is interesting is that the club for growth ads, which are being done on behalf of josh mandel, are not so much criticizing donald trump, they are criticizing j.d. vance for being falsely supportive of donald trump. they are trying to move him away from trump. they are not actually openly criticizing trump, they are openly criticizing the commitment that the other guy has to him. this is bizarre. i think that these primaries will be in a score keeping my can isn't to see how important it is to have donald trump's blessing in a partisan trump republican party in a place like ohio. >> let's take it a step further. what if trump runs for president again. i'm looking at your article again. you write the title, just call trump a loser.
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the strategist told you that the best way for a republican to depose trump in 2024 will be to call trump a loser as early as brutally as possible and keep pointing out the absurdity of treating a one term, twice impeached, 75-year-old the former president like a kingmaker and air apparent. do not worry about hurting the special voice of feelings described the strategy and why you think you could work. >> it is reminding republicans, and specifically republicans, that there might be this cold around him, this mystique around him, but in fact, despite his entire brand being built on helping america win and be tired of winning after i am done with my term, it reminds them that he lost a reelection. it is difficult to do he lost the senate of republicans, the house for republicans, the white house for republican,
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sees the first republican in three years to lose all three chambers in a single term you did not get your wall if you are a republican and wanted it. you did not get obamacare over the net loss of jobs there is a whole rap sheet that is considered impolite to talk about in the republican party. ultimately, it is the best hope that a democrat, joe biden or kamala harris, would have to win in 2024. they have to put donald trump up event again. he's a very divisive an unpopular nominee, outside of the republican party. >> to that point, let's take a look at a couple of his potential 2024 contenders you write that desantis and pence are positioning themselves as more competent and disciplined versions of trump without the baggage. mark, if they end up running, will they take your advice? do you think they will call trump a loser? it feels unlikely.
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>> it feels unlikely. i think ron desantis is someone who is interesting to watch here. he is ignoring donald trump. -- without donald trump he could not lead it all and with his fanboy act and end up as governor of florida. he is not munchel's name recently. he is gaining popularity and popularity inside the popular -- there have been real fights that have gotten alternative of trump adjacent slice of the republican base pent up. he has quietly sold himself as someone who has just as much trump credibility as anyone else. he does not have a losing record. i imagine, at some point, if the to go head to head, desantis will bring up the loss record really on. this is a difference for his
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thing. >> i have to be reminded of that. one stronghold that they did at the end of last year's conference when he beat trump and trump was not pleased. desantis came up on top. trump expected to win. this is to your point. one quick question. how would trump respond to all of the digging up and highlighting his loser qualities. the facts, you stated earlier, calling it fake news, singing crass comments. we don't want him singing, thanks. this would be typical trump. >> absolutely, he will! it will drive him nuts! he will be on shy about saying it is fake news. the fact is, there is a lot of this. they are facts. it does not take that much to say mister president, with all due respect, if you want the last election you would sit at the white house right now. you lost 60 court cases. his arguments do not stand up, obviously. he says it over and over again. it is coming upon a republican
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rival, if they do come forward and you decide to put up a real fight. they need to point out the real facts. you have to let him lie himself out of it. most republicans in their heart of hearts know that he lost the election. this is why he is not a president. they still need to pound this home. you will probably see more of that. >> even if he still claims that he won the election, if you were to lose twice in a row, that moniker of a loser would apply to him. you have to wonder if he could stand that. thank you so much for joining us. come see me again. coming up next, the new and controversial abortion plan in oklahoma. plan in oklahoma ♪ ♪ we believe there's an innovator in all of us. ♪ ♪ that's why we build technology that makes it possible
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(brad) baby names! for a boy, brad. for a girl, brad. apartments-dot-com. the place to find a place. oklahoma is the latest state to pass a bill banning abortion after six weeks. it is modeled after a controversial texas law. it comes ahead of a critical supreme court decision.
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stephanie gosk has the latest. >> as early as six weeks, this is when a heartbeat can be detected. after that, the state of oklahoma says that abortions are banned except in medical emergencies or pregnancies resulting from rate rape or incest. the new law allows private citizens to sue doctors or anyone else who facilitates procedures. >> we are very excited. it means a lot of the state of oklahoma. >> earlier this month, a bill was passed outlining outlying abortion altogether with few exceptions. >> the law that they signed last month is saying to the supreme court overturned roe v. wade. >> it is more complicating than saying overturn oh roe v. wade. -- we want to say the genocide of unborn babies eliminated in america. >> this new ban is immediate as soon as it signed. the heartbeat act is identical to a tax bill passed last fall
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forcing women across to oklahoma to seek abortions where there is only four clinics. >> we had a tremendous increase of volume in patients. andrea runs when the clinics. she has to start turning away when it. >> this not only impacts oklahoma women but it packs those around the surrounding states as well. >> sometimes they might not have to pass one state border it might be two or three? >> correct, yes. >> in addition to texas and oklahoma, there are ten states that have passed heartbeat bans where the laws are blocked or failed to hold up in court. the landscape could change dramatically with an upcoming supreme court decision which would decide if mississippi abortion ban after 15 weeks is constitutional. the most direct challenge to roe v. wade in 30 years. stephanie gosk, nbc news. >> democrats might face some hurdles heading to november.
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there are messes on the gop side of the aisle that are ugly and cleanup could not be easy for those. you may already know who and what i am talking about. we will explain this after the break. am talking about. we will explain this after the break. my great grandmother started a legacy of education in my family. she ran for state office. had no problems breaking the norms. she had a dream and decided to pursue it. find the strong women in your family with ancestry. covid-19 moves fast, and now you can too by asking your healthcare provider if an oral treatment is right for you.
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we can all do our part to keep plastic out of the ocean. new today is growing concern for democrats and the news of the u.s. economy that shrank over the first quarter of the year. a major economic blow for the president and his party already struggling with rising inflation ahead of the midterms. joining me now is michael singleton, contributed to the globe and kurt barr, telethon visor to the dnc and dccc. good to see you both. kurt, you first. you are part of the dccc. you are directly involved with getting voters out to the polls in november. what do you make of this? how much of a concern is the economy as a whole for the democrats? >> alex, i don't think it is
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any surprise that overall, obviously, inflation is a concern and top priority for democrats. it should be for all lawmakers of both parties. anytime that the american people are struggling and dealing with a rise in prices and higher gas prices, and day-to-day life is more challenging. this is a concern. i will tell you about this data. i am of the mindset that we could very well be seeing the tipping point here. this is the worst that it is going to be. interestingly enough, we are spending, consumer spending went out. even though inflation is less than last month, spending is going up. consumers are still spending. i think that there is a possibility here where inflation starts to ease quicker over the course of the year than people may have expected. if this happens at the right time, this could be a room for democrats heading into the fall. >> it has to be in the second quarter. this should make it into people psyche as we approach the november midterms. congressional democrats are
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looking to punish oil and gas companies that are unfit fairly raising prices at the pump. the hope this will dampen the republican narrative on inflation. how effective is that? >> i do not think voters will mind. voters don't mind political leaders go i after rich corporations price gouging, in a sense. we know from a lead in documents and memos that this is what they are doing. i think democrats should be smart to target them. i do not think they will get pushback from voters, including swing voters, those that they will need. i want to touch a bit on inflation. economic forecasts indicate that there is a one and three odds of there being a recession within 12 to 18 months. we know that this is likely going to have to increase hikes. the hike rate, looking at history, will lead to a recession. this is not what president biden wants, and what democrats
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want. in many ways, president biden is going to have to work with the fair chair to figure out what kind of monetary policies they can put in place that will slow inflation to not lead to a recession quickly, not before they get to mid terms. if there is something economically crazy that happens in three months, i do not see how democrats can make a strong case of the american people for why they should remain in power. >> definitely running out of time. let's hope the second quarter is a more positive spin for all of us. democrats are also, kurds, looking at the last ditch effort to cobble a more smaller version of the economic package, this includes clean energy initiatives, prescription drug reform, higher taxes for corporations, as we addressed earlier overall, but it also comes down to one guy. this is senator joe manchin and
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if he gets on board. they say quote, there is real fear inside the building that manchin's stonewalling will run out the clock on biden's legislative agenda. the post says that lawmakers a seat july 4th as a deadline for action. do you think it is possible for democrats to get a mansion approved a deal before them? >> sometimes, alex, democrats make it harder than it needs to be. all that needs to happen here is congressional leadership and the white house should go to him and tell us what you are going to vote for and this is what we are going to pass today. democrats have to think about that they have this majority. they need to make a case of the people that they deserve a second term of majority control. they need to start passing things and get things done. that's not to be large historic sized bills just passed things that as things are struggling, as inflation is happening, they are on the job. they are trying to do well. we saw back in the 80s when the
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economy is bad, when there is trouble, a president can get reelected if the american people believe that they are working on their behalf. they are willing to look past short term struggle if they believe in long term there will be a solution and things will get better. this is what democrats in washington need to focus on. >> what about you, shoe michael, relative to republicans who are feeling confident in the midterms. they have ugly issues of their own to deal with. there is the controversy surrounding madison cawthorn there also are new text between marjorie greene and mark meadows ahead of january six, where she suggested martial law an imposing that. how much can they use this to their benefit? >> you know, alex, it is a really good question. i have thought about this a lot. i guess they can. they probably should. i just don't know if you were to list of things that voters
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are primarily concerned about. if this would be in the top five. this will be in the top five. i think what is actually accurate is a matter of strategy, if i was advisory democrats, i was a student loan debt. biden, get out 50,000 dealers. you have to get your voters out there. you have to figure out some kind of way to get police reform. you have to make sure that if you have increase enthusiasm with black votes. it is down 20% for biden approval. this is not a good. from my perspective, if i am looking at this is strategically, i am thinking about winning. i am thinking about every piece of legislative policy, any executive order that can be assigned or easily pass to jump up enthusiasm. democrats don't, there is no way they are winning the house. there are likely going to lose the senate as well. yeah focus on kitchen table issues. things that are affecting peoples lives. your thoughts last word to you,
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kurt on this. >> i think ultimately, winning begets winning. one small victory creates the next path for victory. you can string together a number of them. it's no different from sports, really, alex. a team starts struggling, they just need that one little victory to turn around. once that happens they can turn it around. if i were republicans, i was thinking, are they peaking too early in the cycle? it's a long way to november. >> six months, that's for sure. good to see you both. happy saturday to you. breaking news in mariupol ukraine. where we're now learning, in just a few minutes. minutes minutes new poligrip power hold and seal.
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