tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 22, 2022 3:00am-6:00am PST
everyone in danger, and he may not stop at ukraine. so here is how we got to where we are this morning. yesterday russian president vladimir putin ordered troops into eastern ukraine, drawing condemnation from world leaders and the u.n. security council. the move came after putin signed a decree formally risk nicing two enclaves in ukraine's donbas region as independent, donetsk and luhansk are on the russian border and have been controlled by russian separatists since 2014. in a nationally televised speech putin described ukraine as an historic part of russia illegitimately taken from moscow. the russian leaders directed his defense minister to deploy troops in the two regions to carry out what he calls peace
keeping functions. it was seen by the u.s. and allies as a provocation and part of a pretext to invade ukraine. at an emergency meeting of the u.n. security council requested by ukraine late last night, the u.s. and its allies sought to isolate russia, calling the kremlin's actions a blunt, defiance of international law. >> russia's clear attack on ukraine's sovereigty and territorial integrity is inprovoked. in essence, putin wants the world to travel back in time, to a time before the united nations, to a time when empires ruled the world, but the rest of the world has moved forward. it is not 1919. it is 2022. the united nations was founded on the principle of decolonization, not recolonization. >> president biden also signed an executive order banning u.s. investment and trade in the two
breakaway regions. in a rare speech at 2:00 a.m. local time, ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy said his country sees putin's actions as a violation of ukraine's sovereigty and territorial integrity. secretary of state antony blinken will be meeting the ukrainian foreign minister later today. meanwhile, inside russia president putin held multiple, lengthy appearances on national television yesterday, making his case for russian involvement in ukraine. nbc news senior international correspondent keir simmonds has the latest from moscow. >> reporter: with russian troops surrounding ukraine, president putin speaking without notes for almost an hour on national television, uncompromising, holding court as advisers on his security council dismissed u.s. allegations that russia would attack ukraine as war
propaganda, urging him to recognize pro-russian breakaway regions donetsk and luhansk as independent testimony, which he did, the stage management extending to a fireworks display minutes later in donetsk. those breakaway regions are seen as a powder keg, located on the russian border over 3 million people live there. they speak russians and hundreds of thousands hold russian passports. russian state television airing an tsunami of propaganda, at times sounding like conflict had already begun. on the streets of moscow russian people we spoke to still hoping to avoid war. >> reporter: do you think there will be a war in ukraine. >> i love russia, i love ukraine. peace of peace. >> you want peace? >> yes. >> i think it is not in the interests of russia and it is not in the interest of usa. >> keir joins us live from moscow.
keir, the russian parliament met just right now. i want you to tell us about that vote as the staging really continues. these peacekeepers inside ukraine, and this all after vladimir putin's fiery speech offering a twisted history about the meaning of ukraine and russia and its relationship. >> reporter: yeah, that's absolutely right, mika. the russian parliament has been meeting just in the past few hours. they just voted on that resolution put forward by president putin to recognize those two breakaway separatist regions of ukraine, donetsk and luhansk, and they voted in favor. every single lawmaker voted in favor, and then there was a standing ovation, one lawmaker declaring in the parliament that president putin stopped a war. president putin's speech last night, his television tirade in many parts sounded like a war
speech. it was so long, mika, that the kremlin still hasn't completed transcribing the english version of the speech. but as you heard in my report there, even as the president was talking we were out on the streets speaking to russians here in moscow and every one of them, okay, it was a hand full, said they wanted peace. the question this morning, is peace possible? here is one of the reasons why. because it is not clear right now whether russia has recognized the region of donbas, the entire region, or just the area held by the separatists because some of the area is still held by ukrainian forces. in fact, president putin's press secretary was just asked about that on his daily call, and he wasn't able to tell russian journalists exactly where the line is drawn. now, this pact between the separatists and eastern ukraine
and the russians and the kremlin is a little like article 5 of nato. it is a military pact, not just an economic pact. you have to think about this. as we look forward, if the separatists attempt to take more of ukraine, what will russia do, particularly if they then end up in a fight with the ukrainian army? so the question everyone now asking once again, what is president putin's plans? does he plan to use those forces ranged around the ukrainian border or is this enough for him for now and can he control the separatists? is he able to control a kinetic situation? finally, mika, is one of his ambitions, which appeared to be from his speech yesterday, to bring down the government in kyiv? if that's what he is trying to achieve, how does he plan to achieve it? >> all very ominous. keir, i invite you to stand by
as i bring in the panel. let's bring in the president on the council on foreign relations, richard haass. columnist and associate editor for "washington post," david ignatius. david ignatius, you write in "the washington post", surprising cracks, if small ones, appear in kremlin's support for putin on ukraine. what are the cracks you are reporting on and what hope do they provide at this point? >> we need to be careful, mika, russia is still a place of one-man rule and there's no evidence that vladimir putin isn't still decisively in control of that country. but there are signs that the kind of questioning that we saw in keir's report from the streets of moscow, people saying, i want peace, i'm not
comfortable with the invasion, may be shared by levels of leadership. i pointed to my column this morning to a fascinating exchange that took place on russian television yesterday between putin and his intelligence chief who runs the sbr, and putin quizzed him. nirishkin initially saw the two breakaway provinces as a threat to achieve the minsk agreement, not as something worthy in itself. putin quizzed him. what do you mean? do you support it or not? it was a very sharp exchange. one rarely sees that kind of disagreement among senior russian officials. i can't remember seeing anything quite like it. so i'm told that there's other evidence of that, that the u.s. government has picked up among generals, among some members of the leadership. so don't assume that putin is in any danger of not ruling, but
note that there is some uneasiness with the course that he is taking. >> there's also disagreement over what russia's actions are so far, to the debate over what happened, how should we put it into words. former ambassador to russia michael mcfaul tweeted, when you describe russian soldiers invading ukraine right now as peacekeepers, when when you use quotation marks you are using language putin wants you to use. call it what it is, an invasion. republican congresswoman liz cheney tweeted, russia has invaded ukraine. the biden administration and our allies must impose full set of crippling sanctions right now. before we get to all of the options on the table in terms of sanctions, richard haass, i want to ask you, would you describe the biden strategy so far as passive deterrence with the
centerpiece of economic sanctions really as the focal point? and has that run its course at this point? is it inadequate to not respond to what mcfaul and cheney call an invasion? >> mika, here is the de limb au dilemma that faces the biden administration and the united states. what has happened in the last 24 hours is terrible. it is the dismemberment of ukraine. these are not peacekeepers in anything other than an orwellian sense. but, and it is an important but, things could get a lot worse. i think we should take putin seriously and literally. what he did yesterday in the prolonged harangue was deny the legitimacy of ukraine as an independent, sovereign country. that suggests what he has done is not the totality of what he plans to do. it suggests what he has done in the last 24 hours is simply the
first step. as keir pointed out, would have been can easily imagine scenarios where fighting breaks out between ethnic russians there or now the russian military who have gone into eastern ukraine and government forces and then things go on from there. at some point mr. putin might say he has to expand russia's military footprint through the entire country, that's the only way to protect things in the east. i wouldn't get totally caught up with the terminology. the real question is, and this gets into the blinken di plom assie, can you keep a bad situation from spiraling much worse? i'm not wildly optimistic. >> no. >> think we have to keep our powder dry, but we also then have to be prepared to use it if and when things get considerably worse than they already are. >> there's a lot to get to here in terms of the options across the board, not only in europe and nato, but on the part of the u.s. but let's talk about what this means to the united states and to western countries.
democratic congresswoman elissa slotkin, also on the armed services committee, is calling for a strong response from the u.s. and our allies, tweeting, we've been watching this in slow motion for months now. the administration declassified unprecedented amounts of intel to try to prevent putin from taking this course of action, but this man has a deeply distorted view of the world. now the ukrainian people and ultimately the world economy will suffer the consequences of his vanity and ruthlessness. the most immediate impact for average americans, the price of gas is about to spike which is a tough blow on top of a year of terribly high prices. the economic consequences for putin should therefore be steep and not just for him or the russian economy but for the oligarchs, their wives and mistresses and their assets that they shelter abroad. the response from our allies
must be just as strong. for the germans it means stopping nord stream 2 dead in its tracks. the chickens have come home to roost when it comes to germany's dependence on russian gas, and they must not let it compromise a european response to putin. those who protect putin shouldn't be shielded from the consequences of his actions. that includes any assets they have in the u.s. for the british it means ending the flow of illegal russian cash that has flooded london for decades. and make no mistake, china is watching every move the u.s. and our allies make right now. gauging our will to respond. there must be no uncertainty over our resolve. when one nation tries to impose their will on another, every would-be autocrat watches to see whether the international community still has the meddle to respond. americans will not be immune
from the economic consequences of putin's violence. we'll see the effects in the coming days and weeks. what happens overseas has real-world impact back home. we must be prepared. susan page, a two-fold question for you. number one, since americans will see and feel what is happening there, won't that help embolden president biden to have a strong response? and doesn't president biden and members of nato have little choice, especially given the history of the trump administration in terms of the message they sent to the world about autocracies, isn't it most important on every level to be resoundingly clear? >> well, of course it is important for us to be clear about what our response is going to be, but there's a calculation going on by the biden administration on whether it is possible to prevent a worse outcome by emphasizing there are going to be greater costs if
putin moves beyond the steps he has taken in the last 24 hours. you know, we had this debate in the united states among officials about whether this counts as an invasion. i wonder if maybe keir simmonds could address this. do ukrainians think this counts as an invasion and are they expecting the united states and nato allies to move with the severe penalties that we've been promising for weeks? >> reporter: i think you can be sure that the zelenskyy government believes it is an invasion. i think whatever words you use, the debate over what words to use will be watched by the kremlin, and they will see that as cracks in the alliance, in the western alliance. i think there's another thing to reflect on too and it is pretty stunning frankly, which is that if president putin had done this, had sent openly russian troops into this area of european ukraine just a year
ago, a few years ago, there would have been complete outrage. now we are looking at debates over what levels of sanctions there should be. now, i'm not suggesting which kind of sanctions there should be, what actions the take. the west has very, very few options. one example why that is no one did anything about germany's dependence on russian gas. here we are, whether orb not it is an invasion i think is semantics but it is the kind of semantics president putin cares about. >> of course, the big test for the biden administration, you know, they botched the withdrawal from afghanistan last year, this is an every bigger foreign policy test for the president. he is way out there in promising a response, mika. so we will be waiting to see if we hear that. >> yeah, that's a really great
point. i would like to go to admiral stavridis and talk about options because there's a lot of pretty wise minds in the foreign policy field who are concerned that our response isn't strong enough and right now that the sanctions that are moving forward really don't punish the people who are carrying out the wrongdoing right now. here is the bottom line, admiral stavridis. russia is inside ukraine. their troops are inside ukraine. i mean we can parse words, but isn't the fact that the troops being inside this separatist region making the possibility for that full-scale invasion that seems inevitable to be even more brutal? >> of course. you know, in addition to being supreme allied commander of nato i had a later job as dean of international relations, the fletcher school of law and
diplomacy. invasion is the imposition of armed troops across the border in another sovereign country for political purpose without the permission of the first sovereign country. so, yes, it is an invasion. number two, what should we do about it is the important point right now. i think these are tactical decisions and they are hard tactical decisions, and i respect the difficulty the administration finds itself in. and understanding richard haass's point, yeah, you don't want it to get worse, but i think at this point you need to kind of lower the hammer, a broader package of sanctions, pretty significant ones. you need to continue to rally the international community. every nation, every democratic nation ought to stand up and oppose this. this would be like the united states deciding the canadian provinces of british columbia and alberta, you know, have historical resonance for the
united states because american fur trappers operated up there because we speak the same language. therefore, we ought to be able to impose our will on those provinces. it is absurd. militarily it could get a lot worse, absolutely. but i think you continue to strengthen the ukrainian military. you prepare for further military action, and you prepare to create a resistance movement inside ukraine. i think that could have a deterrent effect on vladimir putin as well. so i think it is time to move out pretty strongly. the time to parse words and to try to find a path to diplomacy is slipping away from us. >> first, let me bring in the latest piece of news here out of the gate. a.p. reporting germany has taken
steps to halt the process of certifying the nord stream 2 gas pipeline from russia. chancellor olaf schultz told reporters in berlin his government was taking the action in response to moscow's actions in ukraine. the pipeline has long been criticized by the u.s. and some european countries that argue it increases europe's reliance on russian energy supplies, which makes this entire situation if russia moves forward, david, with a full-scale invasion painful for everybody. >> that's a significant step by the german's, mika. this is what the biden administration has been wanting them to commit to. the germans have chosen to make this limited initial move of troops into the donbas the trigger for essentially ending nord stream 2. so the question is why isn't the administration doing the same.
i want to ask admiral stavridis a little bit more about that. admiral, last night several of us were talking about a senior administration official, asking him why he was not prepared to call this movement of troops an invasion. the answer he gave was, russian troops have been in these separatist areas for eight years. they've been operating covertly for the most part, but it is not as if the presence of russian forces is new. it is eight years old. for that reason, he said, it is hard for us to say this is something entirely qualitatively different that we would call an invasion. obviously they're trying to calibrate their response, hoping to prevent the broader three-pronged invasion that would sweep to kyiv. what do you think of that argument that was made by the senior administration official last night to explain policy? >> yeah, i'm respectful of it, but i think it exists in a context and you answer your own
question, david, and you know it, by simply saying there's a three-prong, almost 200,000 person line-up around ukraine and naval units are moving in the black sea to the south. in that context i think it is hard to regard this as anything other than the opening movement of an invasion. now, is it possible that vladimir putin will sort of park and wait to see what happens? certainly that's possible, and i can understand that. i think we need to show him the money so to speak. >> yeah. >> on the economic side. by the way, the other point to be made here is the zelenskyy government. we ought to be thinking, what are their responses going to be. are they simply going to cowher back from this? they have 250,000 troops within contact zones of russia. i don't think they're looking to broaden this conflict, but at some point that part of the
calculus needs to come into play. final thought, we ought to look a couple of moves ahead on the chess board here. if vladimir putin does lower the hammer, where's the zelenskyy government going to go? are they going to get out of kyiv? i would highly advise them to do so. get to leviev in the west, i would advise them to do so. this could look like france in the 1940s where charles de gaulle was set up. how is it going to be economically funded? what is that piece of the resistance going to be? i think we need to sharpen putin's calculus by thinking through that as well. >> hitting the wires of the a.p., russia says it extends to territory now held by ukrainian forces. richard haass, that's ratcheting up the potential for minor
attacks to start happening or something that would cause russia to claim victim hood and move forward with a so-called full-scale invasion, if you don't see one already happening right now. my question to you is about sanctions. in light of the recent developments, you know, the sanctions we have right now, do we have reason to believe they're affecting putin? aren't there so-called super sanctions that would affect directly vladimir putin and his friends? >> mika, there's very little in the history of economic sanctions that suggests they can do the sort of dramatic things advocates here are suggesting. putin has taken steps to insulate himself with his current foreign currency reserves, the price of oil going up, the cost of the crisis also helps him. he has china in reserve that could help him. again, we can have a conversation about how draconian our responses ought to be, but
there's not alternatives, even the strongest sentiments about isolating somebody from a dollar-centered world, there are other alternatives. we shouldn't kid ours that sanctions are the magic bullet. we need to look at everything we are doing from strengthening nato to strengthening ukraine, and there's one thing i want to talk to keir about. when putin gave his speech he is clearly trying to persuade his people that it is a war of they they -- necessity. how can the word get out there that it will be an expensive war in terms of lives and rubles. to what extent is russian society where they can be reached and that could restrain putin at all? >> reporter: i'll just say this,
the caveat that we shouldn't underestimate the support president putin still has in russia. but, look, this is a fight. what president putin has made clear himself, this is a fight over the will of the people. so in a sense this isn't a battle between president putin and president zelenskyy. this is a battle between president putin and the people of ukraine who want to be european, those people that led the revolutions. that's what president putin is concerned about. one of the reasons he is concerned is because he doesn't want the russian people to see that overthrowing a leader, that having a revolution could lead to prosperity and freedom. that's how important it is. that's how acute it is in terms of the kind of ideology that it is a battle over. i would say one other thing. the russian analysts have said it again and again. the russians for a long time viewed this as a hybrid war. what that means is a war on all fronts, economic, cyber as well as kinetic, diplomatic, a hybrid
war. many in putin's inner circle think they're in a hybrid war with america right now and have been for sometime. why that's important for washington and the west is because that really, i think that perspective helps that two or three steps ahead idea. because i think you really do have to think about after the sanctions does president putin restrict the gas to europe? what economic effect does it have on europe? does president putin unleash a cyberattack? what did russian cyber do with the solarwinds hack, what have they managed to achieve in the west and what could president putin do on the cyber front. we know u.s. intelligence is thinking very much about that and defending against that, but that's the view i think just ideologically and also in terms of what kind of battle it is. it is a battle on all fronds. >> keir, thank you. admiral stavridis, final
thoughts from you? listening to keir it seems that putin has more cards to play. i'm wondering if every minute that goes by without a strong response is vladimir putin feeling more emboldened. what do you think will be coming next? >> i think that it will be cyber, and i have felt for a long time -- and we have already seen the leading evenly of this -- that putin may play a significant series of cyber cards initially against the ukrainians. watch their electric grid, watch their ability to command and control their military forces. it is possible it could lead to horizontal escalation where putin comes after u.s. assets, nato assets, nato command and control structures. the u.s. i think then would respond. so the chilling point here, mika, is that even without the kind of kinetic ordnance flying
back and forth we could find ourselves in a dramatically escalating period of cyber violence with the russian federation. we need to avoid all of that. i will conclude by saying i think this is the time to show putin there are real costs to him, and if we do not do that he will just continue to take more bites out of this apple. >> retired admiral james stavridis, thank you very much for your insight this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," we will be covering the latest developments overseas all morning long. we will be joined by deputy national security adviser john finer to discuss the administration's strategy moving forward. plus, president biden has started interviewing potential supreme court candidates. what we know about the process and when we expect him to make an announcement. also ahead, as we move into the third year of the coronavirus pandemic america's health care workers are reporting significant levels of
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welcome back. of course, we are following the situation in ukraine. we have david ignatius and richard haass standing by. also a little later on andrea mitchell will be joining us as well as richard engel live in ukraine. let's get to some of the other headlines making news this morning. several new studies say it could be months or even years before most people need an additional covid booster shot. studies suggest three doses of the vaccine, in some cases two,
could offer protection from serious illness. one study found that the antibodies produced from three vaccine shots should protect most people from new variants, even those that are significant different from the original virus. health experts say that some people over 65 or at risk of illness may benefit from a fourth vaccine dose, but federal health officials say they are not planning to recommend a fourth dose any time soon. meanwhile, a dramatic drop in hospitalizations and a decline in covid infections could lead the cdc to roll back national masking guidance this week. in states like california and new york there is pressure to remove masks in schools despite low vaccination rates among children. nbc news correspondent niguel almaguer has the details. >> reporter: it is not just the dramatic drop in hospitalizations but the sharp decline in infections, down 64%,
that could help pave the way for the cdc to roll back national masking guidance this week. while it is unclear if there will be any impact on airplanes and public transit like the subway, in states like new york and california there is pressure to unmask in the classroom despite low vaccination rates for children and the cdc's guidance to keep them. >> we will be announcing a specific date, that date with destiny. the masks will come off. >> reporter: with the cdc already under scrutiny, "the new york times" says the agency isn't publishing large portions of data it is collecting, like the effectiveness of boosters for younger americans and signs of the virus in wastewater. the agency telling the paper, some raw data could be misinterpreted. >> the cdc is obligated to provide us with excellent data. i think if they have preliminary data that are not yet internally
consistent or robust or validated they are under no obligation to provide the data, which would only be confusing. >> reporter: as the nation readies for normal, several studies show that covid vaccines or even two could offer protection from illness or death. >> whether or not to get a booster will be an option with the exception of certain settings or occupations. i think for most people it will be about their own sense of risk. >> reporter: an evolving pandemic as our future begins to resemble our past. >> as the latest covid-19 surge continues to slow, a new survey among american health care workers found 52% feeling burned out but nearly two-thirds feeling hopeful, motivated and optimistic. in the latest "usa today"/ipsos poll more than half of u.s. workers think the pandemic is somewhat under control and politics is making their jobs
harder. one point that gets near universal approval, 94% agrief health care workers have done an amazing job throughout the pandemic. susan page, you conducted this poll with your organization. tell us about -- i think it is very interesting, not only the fact they feel politics is making their job harder which seems obvious but it is important to hear it from the health care workers themselves, but also their support for vaccine mandates. >> that's right. health care workers, we polled more than 1,000 of them across the country, very much supportive of vaccinations. two-thirds of them have gotten all three shots themselves, almost all of them have gotten at least one shot. they find themselves pretty frustrated in treating unvaccinated patients. they say they get pushback from these patients. the patients who are unvaccinated are more likely to continue to be defiant about vaccinations than they are to express regret about the fact they failed to get them, mika.
>> yeah. i mean this is so fascinating, this poll that you can find in "usa today", because this is the biggest argument for vaccine mandates. these are the people who have seen the science playing out before their eyes in gut wrenching reality and believe that the vaccines would prevent the death and destruction that they are still seeing today for people who are unvaccinated. so that's fascinating. again, this poll, "usa today"/ipsos poll, you can take a look and get a sense how health care workers are looking at the pandemic, which you would think are the closest eyes to it along with the cdc. coming up, a closer look at the ukrainian president. we'll read from a piece entitled "the median-turned-president is seriously in over his head. we will be right back. s head s head we will be right back. (typing)
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♪♪ 43 past the hour. a beautiful, somewhat ominous shot of new york city this morning as we are covering the breaking news overseas. here is where things stand right now. the european union meets to decide which sanctions to fire off now and which to save in case things get worse. france, italy, turkey, south korea, all slamming the kremlin's aggression as china calls for restraint. britain's prime minister is bracing for the economic fall-out while looking for new ways to prop up ukraine's military. the a.p. reports germany has taken steps to halt the process of certifying the nord stream 2 gas pipeline from russia. chancellor olaf schultz told reporters in berlin just in the
past hour that his government was taking the measure in response to moscow's actions in ukraine, these so-called peace keeping troops that run side ukraine right now. also hitting the wires from the a.p., russia says its recognition of independent of those areas in east ukraine extends to territory now held by ukrainian forces. richard haass and david ignatius, fiona hill had an op-ed last month in "the new york times" that really kind of sets the -- frames out the situation today. it reads in part this. mr. biden has promised that russia will pay a heavy price if any russian troops cross ukraine's borders. okay. they're in there now. if mr. putin invades ukraine with no punitive action from the west and the rest of the international community beyond financial sanctions, then he will have set a precedent for future action by other
countries. mr. putin has already factored additional u.s. financial sanctions into his calculations. but he assumes that some nato allies will be reluctant to follow suit on these ankss and other countries will look the other way. u.n. censure, widespread and vocal international opposition and action from countries outside europe to pull back on their relations with russia might give him pause. forging a united front with its european allies rallying broader support should be america's longer game. otherwise this sawing saw could indeed mark the beginning of the end of america's military presence in europe. so, richard haass, the conundrum might be, you tell me, ukraine is not a part of nato. so how far can president biden go here? >> well, he can go pretty far. he can go far in helping ukraine
militarily to significantly raise the difficulty and cost of any russian invasion or occupation. he can, as he has already begun to do, strengthen nato's capabilities selectively in places like poland, which are strategically quite significant. we have already had a conversation about economic sanctions. i think the german move here on the pipeline is in some ways unexpected and is a strong signal. i also think again we have to challenge putin with the -- continue to challenge him mika with the information and intelligence game here. we have to make the case it was a choice by him that's going to really hurt russia and the russian people. what we want to do is raise the costs in ukraine, we want to raise the cost politically. what he cares most about, even more than ukraine by the way, is his own continued rule. that's what i would constantly be thinking about, what could we
do to raise questions back behind him in russia whether it was really worth it. this is putin's war. this was not a groundswell of support demanding this. this is his war. >> david ignatius, and also same question for susan page, what can we expect to hear from president biden today, again, pointing out that he promised russia would pay a heavy price if it crossed into ukraine's borders. it has done that and then some. david first. >> so, mika, we have now a complicate situation that we just have to parse. russia has taken a limited military step of moving troops into territory that it already controlled, into these breakaway enclaves it is now clairing republicans. the u.s. has taken the limited move of sanctioning any individuals who deal with those two enclaves. officials promised last night biden will announce further
sanctions today. we will see what those are. in a sense the two are acting in a calibrated manner, carefully not wanting to force action. remember, this is a war that could kill 50,000 civilians and create 5 million refugees, is the estimate. so you need to be careful about taking the staff that actually torches off the war. i think we should listen for biden's comments today. is there still in his mind a diplomatic path? will secretary of state blinken meet with his russian counterpart sergey lavrov on thursday as has been discussed? what are u.s. expectations for that meeting? what can it accomplish given the situation? do they still see an exit ramp, as they like to put it, or are we headed for a full-scale, all-out war? is that where we are? we will have to listen for biden to give us his sense of where
the u.s. is right now. >> susan? >> mika, i think that we will hear from president biden today addressing the american people, also providing some words for our european allies. you know, putin has set this in motion with some repercussions he didn't want. he has strengthened the nato alliance and the announcement by germany is remarkable. a series of american presidents have opposed nord stream 2 and now putin is the one that managed to get the project ended. >> thank you both for being on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," what is happening in ukraine is scary and confusing. democratic senator and foreign relations committee member chris murphy has a great explainer for why it matters. we will play it for you ahead. we will be right back with much more "morning joe." right back
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55 past the hour as we cover the breaking news out of ukraine. here is a look at some other news making headlines this morning. president biden has begun interviewing finalists for the u.s. supreme court. nbc news sources confirm the president has met with several potential high court picks. one source said they had, quote, started, while another said they began in recent days. it is unclear how many interviews the president has done so far. we are just one week away from the end of february, the president's self-imposed deadline to announce his nominee. new research suggests that stand-your-ground laws may lead
to hundreds of additional homicides every year in the u.s. according to findings published this week in the medical review "jama network open" stand-your-ground laws have increased deaths. alabama, florida, georgia, louisiana and missouri introduced the laws early. researchers found no states saw drops in homicides after passing them. it is getting even more expensive to pay for the roof over your head as rent prices across the country continue to hit new highs. median rent rose nearly 20% from december 2020 to december 2021. in the 50 largest metro areas according to an analysis by realtor.com, median rent in
miami rose almost 50%. growing cities like san diego, austin, memphis and las vegas also had median spikes of at least 25%. economists worry higher rents will contribute to growing inflation. experts point to a shousing shortage, low vacancies and growing demand from young adults as drivers behind the surge. coming up, vladimir putin said russia was recognizing as independent ukrainian areas controlled by russian-backed separatists, but this morning moscow is inching closer to war, saying that recognition now extends to area also held by ukrainian forces. what has to happen for the biden administration to consider russia's actions an invasion? we will talk to the president's deputy national security adviser straight ahead on "morning joe." we are back in two minutes. ares
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♪♪ top of the hour, 7:00 on the east coast. a live look at the capitol in washington, d.c. this morning. welcome back to "morning joe." it is tuesday, february 22nd. let's dive right back into the major escalation in eastern europe by vladimir putin, declaring that russia is recognizing the independence of two separatist enclaves in ukraine.
the russian president also announced he is sending troops into those regions. nbc's news chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in ukraine with more. >> reporter: from his desk in moscow president vladimir putin further divided ukraine by carving off a piece for two of his allies. he recognized the independence of donetsk and luhansk. russia already has troops there. ukraine is not just a neighbor. it is an integral part of our history, culture and spiritual space. the leaders of the two breakaway enclaves later appeared, socially distanced at desks next to him. putin saying they had asked him to intervene and that russia could not sit back and watch what he called a genocide by the ukrainian government against the
regions. putin now ordering more russian troops to go into those areas as peacekeepers and delivering this warning to the ukrainian government. stop combat activity, he said. otherwise the responsibility for continuing the blood shed will lay on the shoulders of the ukrainian regime. the ukrainian government has not been carrying out a genocide, but wars can be launched by lies. russia claimed ukraine has begun directly attacking russian territory. it offered no proof except for what looked like a shack russia says was targeted by ukrainian forces. in the trenches, we have seen absolutely no evidence that ukrainian troops are in the midst of an offensive against russia or are preparing for one. instead, commanders say they have been under fire from russian-backed separatists and acknowledged that they do fire back at them. i can't help but -- i get the feeling just being here talking
to you, listening to the incoming rounds that these are historic moments, that we could be at a turning point. does it feel that way to you? yes, i agree, the commander said, this is a historic moment and maybe breaking point. >> let's bring in staff writer at "the atlantic" anne applebaum. elise jordan and pulitzer prize winner columnist and editor at "the washington post" eugene robinson. richard haass is with us as well. anne, i want to read from your new piece from "the atlantic" entitled there are no chamberlains in this story. you write in part this. americans around germans dominated this weekend's munich security conference, as is traditional, but plenty of other prime ministers and foreign ministers were there too. all present condemned a dictator
and demanded unanimously that the russian troops gathered on the borders of ukraine go home. the consensus created a good mood, an almost cheerful ambiance. instead of dividing us, the russians have brought us together, lots of people said. i heard versions of this several times, that nato should put up a plaque to putin, he's done so much for alliance unity. the memory of 1938 haunted the room, but it was rejected. at this munich conference there will be no appeasement. ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy was blunter, angrier, more bitter still. he flew into munich for a few hours, and the message he carried was not designed to cheer up the room. the architecture of world security is fragile and needs to be updated, he said. the rules, norms, laws and principles so highly praised by everyone else were not being upheld. the united nations charter guaranteeing every nation's right to sovereigty had already
been violated when russia invaded ukraine in 2014, he said, and yet nothing had happened. russia, a u.n. security council member, had already annexed the ukrainian territory of crimea and nothing happened. you make the conclusion that ultimately ukraine will have to act allow. tell us why, what choice, what options, what problem this creates for president biden. >> because this was from the beginning about the sovereigty and independence of ukraine, because putin has wanted to destroy for ukraine for many years, he has said so many times, he said so in an essay last summer, he said so in the strange, rambling speech he gave yesterday, the only real option we ever had was deterrence. economic deterrence with financial sanctions, military deterrence as well. we chose to promise economic
sanctions, and there was a lot of unity around this. the germans have today said they will not open the nord stream 2 pembroke pines line. this was a pipeline built from russia to germany that avoided ukraine, long been criticized. they will now not open it. it is a multi-million, billion dollar investment they're going to abandon. so there's real unity, but at the end of the day putin wasn't afraid of that. he already factored that in. he's not worried about sanctions. he thinks he can survive anyway. that means what we should have done, what we didn't do was find better ways to arm ukraine and better ways to convince putin he was going to pay a high price. >> richard haass, in its latest editorial entitled "cracks in western resolve on russia," the "wall street journal" editorial board writes in part, the white house seemed unsure in its response monday evening, including whether this was even an invasion and its initials
sanctions were limited to blocking american trade and investment in the so-called donetsk and luhansk people's republics. so russia invades ukraine and the u.s. decides to sanction part of ukraine rather than russia. that display of weakness won't deter mr. putin. if the ukraine slaughter unfolds, american and european elites should reflect on how they have again made themselves hostages to a dictator. does the "wall street journal", richard, have a point there and is this an invasion in your aspect? >> you will have the deputy national security advisor on the show and he can speak for the administration. i think it would be smart to introduce sanctions against russia as well as against these areas of ukraine now held by russia. i think, again, the german pipeline decision is much bigger, much sooner than virtually anybody expected.
i would probably add mr. putin to the unhappily surprised list there. i think for the administration, the bigger proshl i would care about anyone who thinks this is it. basically what has happened, mr. putin has done what he has done. you are already talking about russia wanting to expand its foothold not just east of the east, but they want to get the entirety of the provinces. that means there's a high likelihood of within days we will have direct conflict, armed clashes between russian and ukrainian forces. i would think that sets up a pretext or a moment up where then the russians are going to say, we now have to go after the command and control of all ukrainian forces. that basically creates a justification for making this war go national. i'm just curious from anne's point of view, does she see anyway we avoid this at this point or is it essentially baked into the cake?
>> so, yes, i agree that's almost certainly putin's ultimate goal. as i said yesterday, he said he doesn't believe ukraine has a right to exist, that it was invented by lenin or by the bolsheviks, it was very incoherent. russia is a nuclear power. i understand we don't want to clash with russian, but making clear efforts to arm and enforce the ukrainians is really the only option now. >> at least, jordan, some on the right are criticizing or using this as an opportunity to point out that russia did not invade or threaten ukraine during the trump presidency but has in other presidencies before and after. what do you make of this assessment? >> well, richard and i were just talking about this off camera. i was asking him if he thought that the mad man theory had done
anything to deter putin, but you pointed out putin already had whatever he wanted from trump so he didn't necessarily feel threatened. what could though at this phase in the game allow putin to save any face? you know, back in the early days of the bush administration he had this moment of semi cooperation. then kind of after the orange revolution became very disenchanted with the western order, and then post-2011 he really started to ratchet it up and then annex crimea. what do you think at this stage in the game could possibly be an exit ramp or is there not one at this point? >> what is so interesting about what putin did yesterday is he in some ways took away a lot of his own space. he took away the possibility of backing down. how does he now justify not getting defact over control over most of ukraine, given what he said about the organic
relationship, rejecting ukraine's right to be an independent, sovereign entity. i think he made it more difficult. does he have to accomplish it with military force? no. i think he would prefer to accomplish it without the cost of a military invasion because of the cost economically and militarily. one of the things we need to do is look at the ways, how do we strengthen the ability of the government of ukraine to withstand all sorts of pressures. this is a long haul. we may only be in the second or so. >> retired army and lieutenant colonel of the former european backs up what you said. he tweeted this. putin's actions put the crisis
past the point of a diplomatic resolution. putin has eliminated the last realistic off-ramp for the crisis. he signed away the possibility of achieving his political aim of veto over ukraine's geopolitical orientation without a military offensive. only real bad diplomatic options remain. one of the major parties must now cap i.t. late to avoid military hostilities. the west would need to abstain from responding today's major attack to the international system and concede to russia a veto over european security. ukraine has no diplomatic path, with russia as the minsk format is dead. russia would need to recognize ukraine as a sovereign state. putin mocked the very idea, and return 100,000 troops to bases without achieving his main objects and while facing the risk of major sanctions. with the stroke of a pen, putin has locked in a collision
course. the question is whether this course locks in the new cold war or takes us toward a hot war. we will know that, eugene robinson, in the next days and weeks, whether he plans to drag this out or whether he plans a dramatic full-scale, brutal invasion. i don't know which is worse in terms of optics for president biden and the white house. what do you think? >> i think it is going to drag on for some time. there could be conflict, you know, armed clashes between the ukrainian forces and the russian forces fairly soon. i don't know when putin gets to the point of a bigger national invasion of ukraine, but i think his aim is to get rid of the
ukrainian government, the zelenskyy government. remember, his grievance really is -- you know, all of the historical stuff aside, is what the ukrainians had the temerity to do. the ukrainians had the temerity to get rid of their russian-backed government and choose a western-leaning government. that prompted putin in 2014 to seize crimea. that was his fit of pique then, or his lesson to the ukrainian people about what happens to people who do that sort of thing. this is his ultimate lesson. he doesn't want to abide this western-leaning government in ukraine. so i think it is absolutely right that the u.s. should be thinking now how to sustain the ukrainian government even in
exile if it comes to that. obviously you can't have u.s. and russian forces -- u.s. and russian soldiers in combat basically. you can't have that, and president biden said that's world war iii. but you can provide arms and assistance to ukraine in what i think is going to be a long and, unfortunately, tragic campaign to stay alive, to keep their country alive. i don't know how that's going to work out in the end. there are fewer -- we have fewer pressure points that will really cause putin to change course than i would like us to have. >> let's bring in nbc news white house correspondent carol lee. carol, you have new reporting this morning that u.s. officials
discussed the ukrainian president actually leaving the capital of ukraine if russia attacks. where does that stand right now? >> reporter: yeah, mika. we know that the administration has been very concerned about the vulnerability of the zelenskyy government, even saying that he should not really travel to munich over the weekend and leave ukraine at that time. it was before the escalation that we've seen in the last 24 hours with russia. what we've learned is that the u.s. and the zelenskyy government have been having conversations about plans for him to leave kyiv if that becomes necessary. one of those plans would be for him to relocate to lviv which is closer to poland. you will recall that's where the u.s. embassy located a lot of its operations and its staff to there. at the same time we are also learning that the zelenskyy government, despite his public rhetoric that the u.s. is
overblowing the threat here, has quietly been making its own preparations to move some of its operations outside of kyiv. they've moved things like i.t. infrastructure, some military command elements and shifted them outside of the capital. you have both the u.s. and the ukrainian government making these preparations in advance. i think one of the questions now, mika, is lviv actually going to be an option? how long will it be an option for the zelenskyy government if it needs to leave the capital to operate from? we have seen overnight saying they were moving some of their embassy staff over to poland, at least temporarily overnight out of security concerns. so there are intense and detailed conversations about what to do with the zelenskyy government. will it be enough to move him rest into ukraine or will they have to move him further out, outside of the country. >> everybody stand by. i want to talk to anne and
richard specifically about president zelenskyy and his government, how he's been running that and different aspects of him as a president and how he plays a role in this entire so-called potential invasion of his country. we will be right back with continuing coverage right here on "morning joe." coverage righe on "morning joe. ed instant matcy delivers quality candidates matching your job description. visit indeed.com/hire ♪ i see trees of green ♪ matching your job description. ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom for me and you ♪ (music) ♪ so i think to myself ♪
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comedian-turned-president is seriously in over his head. a former actor used to the sound of applause, mr. zelenskyy is notoriously thin-skinned when it comes to criticism and challenging questions. he is visibly irritated by traditional journalists. in november this fractious approach led to unseemly confrontations at a news conference. it is not just the media mr. zelenskyy struggles to work with. his first year in charge was chaotic. his hastily assembled team quickly fell apart and yesterday's allies turned into some of his harshest critics. there were constant reshuffles, new ministers were given very little time to prove themselves and were kicked out if they didn't. the churn eventually stopped, but at a cost. mr. zelenskyy, stung by the fall-out, came to largely rely on the loyal rather than the qualified. who does this sound like? a former movie producer and long-time friend was made chief of staff, joining other friends
and confidantes of mr. zelenskyy in wielding outsized power. the security service is overseen by a childhood friend, a former corporate lawyer and the president's party in parliament is run by a former i.t. businessman. the circle around the president has become an echo chamber. the show must go on, of course. the crisis continues. but the president's performance, strained, awkward, often inappropriate, is hardly helping. anne applebaum, i'm curious your thoughts about zelenskyy's role in all of this. >> so i was in kyiv in december and i met several people around zelenskyy, including his chief of staff and his foreign minister. i have to say while it is true that they are mostly people from outside of politics, they do represent something real about ukraine and something new. zelenskyy is himself, yes, an actor. we have had actors in american politics before so that's not so
unusual. he also represents -- he's from provincial south korean ukraine. he is jewish and he represents a kind of -- you know, a traditional ukrainian anti-elitist movement. many of the people around him struck me's being -- they were -- they don't feel like old soviet people. they've people who have had success in other fields. they very much represent a new generation of ukrainian people in politics. you know, that's not to say that everything zelenskyy does is perfect or that he has been a perfect president, but i do think that the speech he gave yesterday or last night really in the middle of the night was impressive and it focused on the present and the future as opposed to putin's focus on the very convoluted vision of the past. i think it is important that zelenskyy now try to unite the nation, something he hasn't been good at before. maybe he could do now. >> right.
>> i don't think there's any reason to be as negative as that newspaper article. >> so we want to pause right now and hear directly from the white house. standing by now is the deputy national security adviser, john finer. thank you for joining us. i will start out by asking you, what is the latest information that you can share with us about this situation? of course, there's been disagreement overnight over whether or not an actual invasion has occurred. has the calculus changed inside the white house? >> thanks, mika. you have seen two significant steps take place already in response to what we do believe is the beginning of the latest russian invasion of ukraine. yesterday we announced an executive order that amounts to essentially an economic embargo of the regions that russia recognized as independent. in the last hour or two the germans announced something president biden said would happen, was if russia takes these sorts of steps the nord
stream 2 gas pipeline would not go forward, and germany took the first ministerial step to stop the process. the united states will have significant announcements of its own later today, including sanctions we will impose in response to what russia did yesterday. >> so will we hear something more directed at putin today? you know, the criticism so far has been that sanctions right now are impacting regions in ukraine. they may be the separatist regions but they're not very direct toward vladimir putin. will we be hearing from the president significant action today? >> yes, i don't want to get ahead of the specifics of the announcement, but you will see significant sanction steps directed at russia in the coming hours. >> nbc's carol lee has the next question. carol. >> yeah, good morning, john. you said that this is the beginnings of a new russia invasion. so the sanctions that the president is going to announce
today, should we expect we will see the big state package of sanctions you all have been threatening, and since you are saying it is the beginning of a new russian invasion does it mean that secretary blinken's meeting with lavrov is off this week and the agreement in principle that the president would meet is putin is also off? >> on sanctions i think you will see significant steps that will impose consequences on russia for the actions it took yesterday. if russia takes further actions we will have further significant and severe consequences we can gross via sanctions on russia in addition to other elements of our response including security assistance to the ukrainians to help them defend themselves and the force posture, troop movements you have seen the united states take in coming days. as for the diplomatic side of this we have said and continue to believe it would be a far better outcome for the situation than a full-on russian invasion of ukrainian. russia has taken a significant step in the last 24 hours away
from diplomacy, essentially shredding the one agreement that exists in regards to the security agreement with ukraine in the minsk agreement with what it decided yesterday. whether secretary blinken goes ahead with the meeting with sergey lavrov is something we have been discussing overnight, and i will leave it to the state department to determine whether that goes forward. but regardless, russia has taken significant steps away from diplomacy. we are not the ones that will be closing the door but all signs are not encouraging about the path they're choosing. >> at this point essentially even though you are saying it is the latest invasion of russia into ukraine, you are still holding out hope for a diplomatic resolution? >> we have every expectation russia is moving down a path to war. we still believe there's a better path and we hope that's the one they choose, but we are extremely prepared along with partners and allies should they
choose the path they seem to be on. >> richard haass, good morning, john. are you guys thinking of ignoring the security council where obviously russia has veto, trying to isolate and potentially sanction russia in the general assembly, and if you are thinking about that do you think china will support you? because their position is beginning to evolve a bit on this? >> thanks, richard. obviously we are well aware of the dynamics in the security council and the rules in the system under which it operates, that russia will not allow resolutions on this issue to go forward. we still choose to pursue action in the security council because it is the foremost international venue for ensuring peace and stability in the word and forcing russia to answer questions as secretary blinken did when he was there the other day. putting russia on the defensive in that format we see value in. we are reviewing options
including in the general assembly, which has a discussion scheduled on ukraine this very week, and we probably will have more to say about that in the coming hours and days. >> john, elise jordan here. aside from the sanctions and what richard just proposed with the u.n. security council, what are the existing measures short of war that are left for the administration to per suit given russia and putin's aggressiveness? >> so, thanks, elise, for that question. our response from the beginning has had a range of elements including more than $650 million in security assistance we have provided to the ukrainians over the last year so they can defend their testimony. it has also included significant movements of u.s. forces from eastern europe. if russia continues forward, you will see additional force posture, additional troop
presence in the eastern flank of nato countries. you likely will see nato take steps to authorize the movement of other nato forces, and this is all the opposite of what president putin claims that he wants. he claims to want less nato, less troop presence close to his borders. what he is getting as a response is exactly the opposite of that. we've made a point it will not play out the way they hope it will but they continue to be on this path. >> john, this is gene robinson. does the administration have plans to assist in ensuring the safety and continuation of the zelenskyy government, which seems to me to be under serious threat from this array of russian forces that could invade at any time and threaten kyiv. are there plans to make sure that the government can continue? >> so we're in close consultation daily at all levels with the ukrainian government.
president biden spoke just yet with president zelenskyy. i suspect they will continue to remain in touch in the coming days. frankly, the biggest step that we could have taken and have taken to help shore up the back government is $650 million in security assistance we provided the ukrainians so they can better defend themselves as well as our efforts to both try to deter russia through sanctions and to deescalate the situation through diplomacy. we are providing support for the ukrainians in a range of way, including economic support which they call for in recent days. we announced a billion dollar sovereign loan guarantee we would provide to help shore up the ukrainian economy and we will continue to pursue these lines of effort. >> deputy national security adviser john finer, thank you very much. anne applebaum, i want to sort of address some of the comments that the deputy national security advisor just made and including and special that he believes there is a better path
and possibly diplomatic path. what am i missing here? how can this be undone at this point, in listening to putin's words yesterday, knowing his history, i don't think his ego could withstand diplomacy at this point. what do you think? >> i find it hard to think there's a diplomatic path given putin said yesterday that there isn't one. you know, whether there's a military path or not is something that will have to be determined in the next few days. i think it is also important to remember going back to something that we talked about earlier, that putin has made various efforts to undo western military support for ukraine including during the trump administration. the argument over trump's first impeachment was about trump refusing to give military aid to ukraine because he imagined he could get some dirt on joe biden
from the ukrainians. >> right. >> so why didn't putin do this during the trump administration? because he thought trump was weakening ukraine, especially on his grounds. the problem with ukraine being unfortified goes back several years and much of the fault lies in the trump administration. >> all right. "the atlantic's" anne applebaum. thank you for okay. and nbc's carol lee, as you continue your coverage, what are you looking at today? >> reporter: well, the sanctions, mika, just how aggressive they actually are, the ones that the president is going to announce today and also the fact now the administration is saying this is the beginning of a new ukraine and how they're going to square that language. if they don't drop these very significant sanctions they've been promising when they're saying we're essentially in a phase one of a russian invasion, that's going to raise a lot of questions from the president's
critics here. you heard john finer say they don't want to shut the door on that. the critics would say russia has already done that. they will have to answer questions on that. >> nbc's carol lee. always good to see you. >> you too. >> thank you for your reporting. coming up, nbc's chief foreign affairs andrea mitchell. "morning joe" is coming right back. "morning joe" is coming right back ♪ “all i do is win” by dj khaled ♪ ♪ everybody's hands go up! ♪ karaoke singer: and they stay there. and they say yeah. and they stay there, up, down, up, down. never lose confidence in how you run your business. intuit is bringing quickbooks and mailchimp together to help you set up and grow. dj khaled: man, i love this scent. we hit the bike trails every weekend to shinges doesn't care.ow.
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coach juwan howard has been suspended five games and fined $40,000 for hitting a wisconsin assistant coach in the face after sunday's game. the big ten conference announced yesterday. wisconsin coach greg gard was fined $10,000 for violating the conference's sportsmanship policy while three players, two from michigan and one from wisconsin were each suspended one game. all three appeared to throw punches in the ensuing chaos. in a statement released by the university of michigan yesterday, howard apologized for the first time after taking time to reflect on all that happened i realize how unacceptable both my actions and words were and how they affected so many. i am truly sorry. the michigan head coach is expected to be back for the big ten tournament. howard was upset after wisconsin called a time-out with 15 seconds left in a game that wasn't close. the altercation began in the
postgame handshake line when gard grabbed howard by the arm in what was an attempt to explain the time out. howard said he felt the need to defend himself after gard initiated contact. medina spirit was stripped of the victory in last year's kentucky derby and mandaloon was declared the winner. the kentucky racing horse commission disqualified the now deceased racehorse for testing positive after the race. medina spirit is the second horse in the 147-year history of the race to be disqualified for a banned substance, the first since 1968. mandaloon's owners will receive the nearly $2 million winner's percents purse. talks between baseball team owners and the players association resumed yesterday in hopes of striking a deal that
will preserve opening day. the two sides met in jupiter, florida, with union head tony clark attending negotiations for the first time since the work stoppage began back in december. while the league made a pair of moves increasing offer for a pair of bonus pool for prearbitration players and in proposal for lottery for the amateur draft, sources tell espn the two sides remain far apart on a new collective bargaining agreement. major league baseball told the union next monday is the last possible day to reach an agreement to allow openers on march 31st. talks are set to continue later this afternoon and will be just the second time the sides have bargained on consecutive days during the work stoppage. richard haass, will there be an opening day? >> there will be an opening day, it is just not clear it will be on march 31st. i would also say, mika, look, a
little bit of progress yesterday, a little bit of movement. still got a long ways to go. shockingly enough, it is about money. it is also interesting we have a doping scandal in horse racing that the russians don't seem to play a central role in. i don't know if it is progress but it is worth pointing out. you have three stories, one about basketball, one about horse racing, one about baseball, and somehow golf did not get into it. i think alex and company should review their editing skills. >> oh, look at you. >> i just wonder what is going on here at "morning joe". >> he is desperate to be the golf correspondent, alex. give it to him. important news this morning, by the way, concerning equal pay in the sports world. dozens of women of the u.s. women's national team have reached a $24 million settlement with their employer, the u.s. soccer federation, over claims that they had been systematically underpaid for years compared with the men's team. the settlement according to "the
washington post" ends a landmark case over gender discrimination, one that could resonate throughout the sports world and beyond. according to the terms of the settlement, u.s. soccer will pay men and women at an equal rate in the future in all friendlies and tournaments, including the world cup. elise, this is a big moment. >> i mean, mika, can you believe that it took the year 2022 for equal pay for women soccer players? i just salute those soccer players for, as you would say, knowing their value and going for it. >> yeah. >> i'm glad that they are being properly compensated for their great work and for their starring roles representing america. >> yeah. i can believe it took this long which is why i appreciate them not giving up on knowing their value. up next, if you are having a hard time understanding what is going on in ukraine or why it is important, our next video is for
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49 past the hour. we have been covering the breaking news of russia's into ukraine. member of the senate foreign relations committee, senator chris murphy, tweeted it's, quote, tempting to view putin as some world dominating mastermind, but that's not what's happening. he has this very helpful explanation of the increasingly complicated russia/ukraine crisis. >> are you having a hard time following what's going on in ukraine inthen this video is for you. if you watch the news these days, it can feel like vladimir putin is holding all the cards. holding ukraine and the west hostage, but that couldn't be further from the truth. putin is actually operating from a position of severe weakness with a potentially disastrous invasion as his last resort. let me tell you why.
first, let's do some quick background. ukraine used to be a soviet republic. for most of its post soviet independence, its leaders operated in close association with russia, but then in 2013, something happened. ukrainian people realized a political and economic dependence on russia was a road to nowhere. so they rose up and they demanded closer ties with the european union. putin and his cronies in ukraine, they panicked and they gunned down the protesters. now, that backfired. big time. putin's allies were run out of the country and the nation elected arden pro europe and pro u.s. leadership. in response, putin invaded crimea and he invaded eastern ukraine, but frankly, that just hardened ukrainian people's anti-russia sentiments. still, putin's desire to control ukraine, it didn't go away. so now, he's moved 150,000
troops to ukraine's border. and he's threatened a full-on invasion. putin hoped that this threatened invasion, all of these troops on ukraine's border, would upend ukraine's government, collapse it, or maybe create tensions and fissures in nato, or result in the west folding and agreeing to his demands, but none of that happened. in fact, the opposite happened. the zelenskyy government didn't fall. the united states and the west rallied to support ukraine's government. nato and europe came together, rallied to support ukraine's sovereignty. and putin's list of demands went nowhere. the west did not give in. now, faced with this reality, putin has only two ways out. back down or proceed with an expensive, costly, and potentially disastrous invasion of the largest country in
europe. it's hard to fathom what the biggest land war in europe since 1945 will look like, but it will likely be long and deadly. ukrainian people are not going to submit. they're going to fight back. and the sanctions from the united states and the rest of the world, they're going to be devastating. nothing like the relatively mild sanctions russia has endured so far. the combination of the cost of the war and the cost of the sanctions, they're going to threaten putin's hold on power. and all for what? to force ukraine back into russia's orbit against ukraine's wishes. a nation that used to rely on russia willingly. all of this just to achieve pre-2013 status quo but with thousands dead and a russian economy in ruins. when you think of it that way, how is putin holding all the cards? >> senator chris murphy. gene robinson, the senator definitely poses an interesting
question in terms of how putin is holding all the cards here. and also what do you expect to hear from the white house today? >> well, i expect to hear -- i'll tell you what i hope to hear. i hope to hear them use the word invasion. i think this was an invasion by my book. i hope we hear some very tough sanctions aimed at russia. not aimed at the separatist part of ukraine. and i hope we hear some realism, because you know, realistically, putin, you know, he doesn't hold all the cards, but he has all the troops. he has the troops and tanks and ships. they're surrounding ukraine. and the next move really is his. and he seems to have decided to make what could be a catastrophic move for him in the long term. but in the short term, it looks catastrophic for the people of
ukraine. >> eugene robinson, thank you as always for coming on. we'll be reading your new column for "the washington post" entitled, with biden standing firm, putin must wonder where's trump when i need him. and coming up, another look at vladimir putin's attempts to reshape a global order that has been in place for decades. presidential historian craig shirley joins us with his new book on the last worldwide conflict, and where things stand today. "morning joe" is coming right back. "morning joe" is coming right back ♪ ♪ ♪a little bit of chicken fried♪
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regions but they're not very direct toward vladimir putin. will we be hearing from the president significant action today? >> yes. i don't want to get ahead of the specifics of the announcement, but you will see significant sanction steps directed at russia in the coming hours. >> it is 8:00 on the east coast, top of the hour. welcome back to "morning joe." that was deputy national security adviser john finer on our show moments ago making news that new sanctions targeting russia are just hours away. he signaled potential action at the u.n., also with details expected in the coming hours. british prime minister boris johnson just announced sanctions on five russian banks. earlier this morning, we learned germany has taken steps to halt the process of certifying the nord stream 2 gas pipeline from russia. it's all pegged to russia's flagrant new escalation in ukraine where troops are now
crossing the border into areas of a european nation effectively claimed by russia. putin says he is recognizing the territory as independent republics, but it's clear those districts will be loyal to him. although the land belongs to the sovereign country of ukraine. president of the council on foreign relations richard hosis still with us. former aide to the george w. bush white house and state department, elise jordan, still with us as well. let's bring in former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, bill taylor, and nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of the andrea mitchell reports, andrea mitchell. good to have you both. ambassador taylor, where are we in all of this at this moment right now? is there any possibility that sanctions are going to cause putin to reverse course and withdraw from ukraine? i'm finding it hard to see a path that is -- or a better path
to quote the deputy national security adviser just moments ago. >> mika, there is a better path. certainly, president putin can choose that path any time he wants. he's given no indication he's ready to. your question about sanctions is a good one. and i'm hoping as well that there will be very strong sanctions that the president will announce here today. one idea that hadn't been discussed very much is the sanction, the russian central bank. this would be a big step, but it would have very dramatic effect on the russian economy, so i'm hoping that these kind of steps together with the military steps that we have already started, that is arming the ukrainians more, moving our troops to eastern europe now, so those steps can all indicate to president putin that this is a losing prospect for him to start this war. >> just one quick follow-up, will the requirement be that he
pull back out of those separatist areas or is there a chance putin could try to hold on there and halt his operations, trying to sort of get the best of both worlds, stay in ukraine but halt temporarily in exchange for the sanctions being pulled back, and would that be -- would the u.s. actually deal with that? would they accept that as appropriate? >> mika, as you said in your intro, he has now invaded a sovereign european country. he can withdraw from that sovereign european country. he can withdraw from donbas. he can pull his troops back out, and we can continue the effort to try to resolve that conflict that he's created, but yes, he can withdraw that, and we can go back to that issue. >> so at an emergency meeting, andrea mitchell, of the u.n. security council last night, requested by ukraine, the u.s. and its allies sought to isolate
russia, calling the kremlin's actions a blunt defiance of international law. >> russia's clear attack on ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity is unprovoked. in essence, putin wants the world to travel back in time to a time before the united nations, to a time when empires ruled the world, but the rest of the world has moved forward. it is not 1919. it is 2022. the united nations was founded on principle of decolonization, naupt recolonization. >> what happened at the meeting and any impact on vladimir putin and his plans? >> that remains to be seen. our ambassador to the u.n. could not have been clearer. it's not 1919. but putin seems to feel it's 2014. as he took crimea and did not get really strong pushback.
that is the shadow that is clearly clouding the responses right now. because this administration, biden administration, had been very clear in recent days and weeks that they did not want this to be a repeat of crimea and they were going to take strong action. now we have to wait to see that because there was a senior official who talked to us last week, you heard david ignatius return to it earlier, is this an invasion inthey crossed into territorial ukraine, as you pointed out. as former ambassador mike mccaul said, as bill taylor has said, as admiral stavridis said, what is the definition of invasion. admiral stavridis knows it well when he was the dean at fletcher school at tufts, when you cross uninvited into someone's territory, a sovereign territory. that's what happened.
they seem to be reluctant to use the "i" word perhaps to make it possible for secretary blinken to go tomorrow, go to geneva, sit down with lavrov, but it's hard to imagine what's to negotiate because vladimir putin made it so clear in his speech yesterday. that was the most radical speech he's ever given going back to the 2007 speech. he declared ukraine was falsely invented by lenin, going all the way back there. he was decrying what happened with the fall of the soviet empire and trying to re-create something that is antihistorical. it doesn't exist. authorities like anne applebaum has made that very clear. for him to get away with this, you know, is just intolerable. i hesitate to think what's going to happen, i know there will be sanctions today. they have said that, but what is going to happen if he does proceed, if blinken does proceed with the trip, faces off with
lav lauv and it's still a nonnegotiable demand to make ukraine part of the russian sphere of influence. >> ambassador taylor, it's richard haass. let's say the russians advance and you have some type of a government in exile, whether it's in the western part of the country or outside of the country. say something about the cohesion of the ukrainian government and leadership and society. will there be splits? will there be those who say we should make peace with russia if only to preserve the society, to save lives? what is your sense of the collective mentality of ukraine at the moment? >> richard, a great question. i was in kyiv, sat down with the president and many of his advisers and many other people, people in the streets, friends of mine from when i was there before. the answer to your question is, ukraine is unified like never before. if the russians continue, even if the russians continue to take their current actions, the ukrainian people and even the
opposition, the political opposition, which has been, you know, in real politics in ukraine, they will consolidate, are consolidating around president zelenskyy. president zelenskyy, inexperienced politician, has grown into this role. he has been -- he has stood down, richard, you have seen this, he has stood down and stood up to and stared down president putin. president putin must be astounded, must be surprised, must be really disappointed that all of this -- all of these troops, this military equipment on ukraine's borders has not had the effect he wanted. he wanted to intimidate president zelenskyy, probably to intimidate president biden. it hasn't worked. president zelenskyy has stood up and he is reallying the ukrainian people, and they will be there with him. >> all right, let's go to ukraine where we find news chief foreign correspondent richard engle. that very close to the region we're talking about, the separatist region.
richard, tell us what you know from what's happening on the ground right now. >> so i'll tell you what i'm seeing here in the city. and you sort of see life as normal, because very little in practical terms has changed since last night. vladimir putin recognized the separatist enclaves. he's moved more weapons into the area, according to the ukrainian military. about 120 pieces of heavy equipment, but for most ukrainians, life today is like it was yesterday because those separatist areas, home to about 2 million largely russian speakers, many of them have russian passports, those areas were already controlled by russia. they were already russian troops. but what people here are concerned about is that this is just the start of a new phase. that russia is basically trying to goad the ukrainian military into a fight. that it took this territory, territory that it already
controlled and that it may have designs on other territory and that this could be just phase one of a multi-phase conflict. but for now, i would say even some people could be breathing something of a sigh of relief. there was talk that potentially last night in the darkness hours there was going to be a massive cyberattack, that the cell phones were suddenly going to be turned off and russian tanks were going to be rolling down the streets, that didn't happen, but there's still a great unknown. >> okay, richard engle, thank you very much. final question for andrea mitchell and ambassador taylor. andrea first, i want to rephrase a question i asked earlier. will a holding pattern be acceptable to the u.s., where they stay in the separatist peace keepers, so called peace keepers stay in the separatist area, or must putin fully retreat for this to really draw down? and what does that look like?
what possibilities could be carried out to actually cause him to retreat and still save face? andrea. >> i don't see how he retreats from what he has taken. he would seem poised to take a lot more. certainly, all of the analysis going into this when i was in munich talking to officials is they thought he was going to take the whole thing and go to kyiv. with everything that he's got built up with him canceling the expiration of the exercises in belarus, he's still to the north, poised to get to kyiv in two hours if he wants to. i don't see him backing down. i see him stretching it out potentially with useless talks, perhaps, or embarrassing talks for the u.s. side, with lavrov, if the secretary does go. because he has so far gained time and expanded his buildup with the diplomatic talks and he's sticking to his core beliefs, to the point of zelenskyy, i was in munich when he gave that speech and accused the west of appeasement, and in
munich, of course, that has incredibly disturbing historic echoes. and it was a fiery, defiant zelenskyy, and he certainly, as ambassador taylor has said, seems to have grown in stature and in confidence from this past, despite all this. >> and ambassador taylor, do you see a retreat as possible actually? and what strategic options could be used to cause that to happen? >> mika, it's harder and harder to see how he backs down. he can. it is not impossible. when faced with the sanctions that are coming, when faced with the real destruction that will happen to his own army, he may win. he may be able to prevail, but it will be very painful. it will be very costly. there will be many russian soldiers who die. when he faces that kind of a consequence, he may look for a way to back down. >> i can only hope.
former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, bill taylor, thank you very much for being on this morning. and as tensions escalate with russia, the biggest fear is that we're headed toward another world war. with that in mind, joining us now is presidential historian craig shirley. in his new book, he details what was quite possibly the most consequential month in american history. its title, april 1945, the hinge of history. and craig, i would love for you to talk about today as it pertained to some of the echoes of history that we have seeing play out before our eyes. >> sure, mika. you know, probably the most obvious is hitler's claim on czechoslovakia, claiming certain territory there was german in nature. he took portions of
czechoslovakia. the other issue is political will. what stymied fdr for so many years was there was no political will in the united states for getting into another european war. we had a bad taste in our mouth after world war i, all we got was death and debt, so there was no will whatsoever. do we have political will in this country today to take a more international stand toward ukraine, putin, and europe? >> craig, elise jordan here. in april 1945, the u.s. leadership itself was divided on how the soviet union should be approached. can you talk a little bit about the debate at that point of history about were they ally or foe? >> well, that was an ongoing question, wasn't it? and it divided the united states for many years until the end of
the war, and then it became pretty much all on one side. they were an enemy, but they were a convenient ally at the time. there was always suspicion between the big three, referring to winston churchill, stalin, and fdr, and churchill and fdr never really trusted stalin, but he was a valuable ally in mounting a campaign from the east toward germany and the eventual victory over germany. but you know, the funny thing -- not the funny thing, but everything happened, it seems like, every day was a red letter day in april of 1945. fdr dies and this is a world shaking event. he's essentially the president of the world. he's not only -- our government is supplying the united states and great britain and the soviet union in the fight against germany. so he is -- this is an earth shaking event. hitler commits suicide.
mussolini is taken down by the mob as is his mistress. auschwitz is discovered, the fight for okinawa, the final staging ilbd for the planned invasion of japan is raging in the pacific. every day, there's something big or small going on in the united states. mostly big, though. >> andrea mitchell. >> to what extent, craig, and it's good to see you. congratulations on your new book. >> thank you. >> to what extent was the race to get to berlin and divide up berlin really setting the terms for the cold war? and for what we were going to anticipate with russia going forward? >> yeah, excellent question. there was a furious campaign to get to berlin, not only to get territory, but also to get technology. there was a great, you know, they both had burgeoning rocket
programs, both the soviet union and the united states, and we both wanted to get germany's -- unfortunately, we got most of it as opposed to the soviets, but there was a campaign by both sides. both for the land, for the technology, and for the hearts and minds of the remaining people. >> craig, it's richard haass. seems to me, i'm curious your reaction, this is actually tougher than april 1945. it's not clear who the arthur van den bergh is, who is going to rally support for bipartisan policy. some would say china is the real adversary, not russia. you have a country that's fundamentally divided, plus exhausted after covid. to what extent does this in some ways make you sober when you look at what we're facing now compared to then? >> yeah, richard. i guess this hasn't played out yet, so it's difficult to make a final analysis, but april 1945
was, you know, i think, was a pivotal month. it changed the united states permanently from being an isolationist country to a permanently internationalist country, which explains why we're so interested today in ukraine and the affairs of europe. if this was happening in 1936, we would not -- we didn't have an army, we had the sixth largest army in the united states. we were behind great britain, the soviet union, other nations. we wouldn't meddle in the affairs of europe in 1936. that's one big difference. the other is just the world was very, very different then. hitler was much more scary. he was murdering millions of people. mussolini, they had organized support to wage their campaigns against europe and eventually world war ii. >> all right, craig shirley, thank you so much. the new book is "april 1945, the
hinge of history." and we appreciate your being on this morning. thank you. andrea mitchell, thank you very much for coming on. what are you looking forward to today in terms of what we're going to hear from the administration and what you expect to cover at noon eastern on andrea mitchell reports? >> thank you, and we'll have bill taylor and ambassador mcfaul. we're going to be talking about ukraine. we have nathan chen. i'm thrilled about that. still fascinated by the olympics and his incredible performance. but also are we going to geneva tomorrow? got my ticket. want to figure out whether we're going and whether we're going to have that meeting, whether blinken will be meeting with lavrov, and the level of the sanctions. that's hot we really need to see. >> a lot of questions, tune in to andrea's show, noon eastern on msnbc. up next, if you got a covid booster shot, chances are you won't need another one for quite some time. we're digging into what new
studies are saying about that. keep it right here on "morning joe." that. keep it right here on "morning joe. ♪ baby got back by sir mix-a-lot ♪ unlimited cashback match... only from discover. ♪ ♪ ♪a little bit of chicken fried♪ ♪cold beer on a friday night♪ ♪a pair of jeans that fit just right♪ ♪and the radio up well i've seen the sunrise...♪ get 5 boneless wings for $1 with any handcrafted burger. only at applebee's
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when it comes to cybersecurity, the biggest threats don't always strike the biggest targets. so help safeguard your small business with comcast business securityedge™. it's advanced security that continuously scans for threats and helps protect every connected device. on the largest, fastest, reliable network with speeds up to 10 gigs to the most small businesses. so you can be ready for what's next. get started with internet and voice for just $64.99 a month. and ask how to add securityedge™. or, ask how to get up to a $650 prepaid card. let's get to some of the other headlines making new. several new studies say it could be months or years before most people need an additional covid booster shot. studies suggest three doses of the vaccine and some cases two could offer protection from serious illness. one study found that the antibodies produced from three vaccine shots should protect
most people from new variants, even those that are significantly different from the original virus. health experts say that some people over 65 or at risk of illness may benefit from a fourth vaccine dose, but federal health officials say they are not planning to recommend a fourth dose anytime soon. meanwhile, a dramatic drop in hospitalizations. and a decline in covid infections could lead the cdc to roll back national masking guidance this week. in states like california and new york, there is pressure to remove masks in schools despite low vaccination rates among children. nbc news correspondent miguel almaguer has the details. >> it's not just the dramatic drop in hospitalizations, but the sharp decline in infections down 64% that could help pave the way for the cdc to roll back national masking guidance this
week. while it's unclear if there will be any impact on airplanes and public transit, like the subway. in states like new york and california, there is pressure to unmask in the classroom. despite low vaccination rates for children and the cdc's guidance to keep them. >> we will be announcing a specific date, that date with destiny. the masks will come off. >> with the cdc already under scrutiny, "the new york times" says the agency isn't publishing large portions of data it's collecting, like the effectiveness of boosters for younger americans and signs of the virus in waste water. the agency telling the paper some raw data could be misinterpreted. >> the cdc is obligated to provide us with absolute data. i think if they have preliminary data that are not yet internally consistent or robust or validated they are under no obligation to provide that data. >> as our nation remains eager for a new normal, several new
studies show three doses of a covid vaccine or even two could offer longer protection from serious illness and death. >> whether to get a booster or not is going to become more of an option with the exception of very specific settings or occupations. i think for most people, it will really be about their own sense of risk. >> an evolving pandemic, as our future begins to resemble our past. >> and as the latest covid-19 surge continues to slow, a new survey among american health care workers found 52% feeling burned out, but nearly two-thirds feeling hopeful, motivated, and optimistic. in the latest usa today/ipsos poll, more than half of health care workers think the pandemic is somewhat under control and that politics is making their jobs harder. one point that gets near universal approval, 94% agree health care workers have done a, quote, amazing job throughout the pandemic.
susan page, you conducted this poll with your organization. tell us about -- i think it's very interesting not only the fact that they feel politics is making their job harder, which seems obvious, but it's important to hear it from the health care workers themselves, but also their support for vaccine mandates. >> that's right. health care workers we polled more than 1,000 of them across the country, very much supportive of vaccinations. two-thirds of them have gotten all three shots themselves. almost all of them have gotten at least one shot, and they find themselves pretty frustrated in treating unvaccinated patients. they say they get pushback from these patients. the patients who are unvaccinated more likely totine to be defiant about vaccinations than they are to express regret about the fact they failed to get them, mika. >> yeah, i mean, this is so fascinating, this poll, that you can find in usa today, because
this is the biggest argument for vaccine mandates. these are the people who have seen the science playing out before their eyes in gut-wrenching reality. and believe that the vaccines would prevent the death and destruction that they are still seeing today for people who are unvaccinated. so that's fascinafascinating. again, this poll, usa today/ipsos poll. you can take a look at a sense of how health care workers are really looking at this pandemic, which you would think are the closest eyes to it. along with the cdc. >> coming up, more on the conflict in ukraine and a warning that vladimir putin has the u.s. right where he wants it. we'll discuss that and much more next on "morning joe." next on or"mning joe." ♪a pair of jeans that fit just right♪ ♪and the radio up well i've seen the sunrise...♪ get 5 boneless wings for $1 with any handcrafted burger.
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month in "the new york times" that really kind of sets the -- frames out the situation today, and it reads in part this, mr. biden has promised that russia will pay a heavy price if any russian troops cross ukraine's borders. okay. they're in there now. if mr. putin invades ukraine with no punitive action from the west and the rest of the international community beyond financial sanctions, then he will have set a precedent for future action by other countries. mr. putin has already factored additional u.s. financial sanctions into his calculations, but he assumes some nato allies will be reluctant to follow suit on these sanctions and other countries will look the other way. u.n. censure, widespread and vocal international opposition and action by countries outside europe to pull back on their relations with russia might give him pause. forging a united front with its
european allies rallying broader support should be america's longer game. otherwise, this saga could indeed mark the beginning of the end of america's military presence in europe. so richard haass, the conundrum might be, you tell me, ukraine is not a part of nato. so how far can president biden go here? >> well, he can go pretty far. he can go far in helping ukraine militarily to significantly raise the difficulty and cost of any russian invasion or occupation. he can, as he's already begun to do, strengthen nato's capabilities. selectively in places like poland, which are strategically quite significant. we have already had a conversation about sanctions and the german move on the pipeline is in some ways unexpected and is a strong signal. i also think, again, we have to
challenge putin with the -- continue to challenge him with the information and intelligence game here. we have to make the case this was a choice by him that's going to really hurt russia. and the russian people. and what we want to do in some ways is raise the cost in ukraine, you want to raise the cost economically, want to raise the cost politically. what he cares most about, even more than ukraine, by the way, is his own continued rule. and if that's what i would constantly be thinking about, what can we do to raise questions back behind him, in russia, about whether this was really worth it. this is putin's war. there was not a groundswell of support demanding this. this is his war. >> coming up, the price at the pump. it's costing a lot more these days to fill up the tank. now congress is looking at ways to deal with it. that's next on "morning joe." i. that's next on "morning joe.
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welcome back. one of the key questions surrounding the conflict in ukraine centers on the economy. will russia, one of the world's biggest suppliers of oil, keep it flowing to the west? nbc's tom costello reports. >> if you pump gas or pay a heating bill, you're already on the economic frontlines of the showdown in ukraine. home heating oil up 56% in a year. gasoline now averaging $3.51 nationally, up from $2.63 a year ago. >> already expensive and now it's like outrageous. >> i would spend maybe about $100 or so per week, but now i'm going up to about $200 per week. >> a strong economy and inflation sent prices soaring last year, it's the showdown in ukraine helping to drive prices higher now. russia is a member of opec. and the world's third largest
exporter of oil and gas. and in the oil markets, prices are set globally, not locally. the potential that war, international sanctions, and countersanctions could reduce global supply is a big reason why americans are paying even more on main street. with 50 pizza stores and more than 1,000 employees in new england, sal says skyrocketing food coss and fuel prices are taking a big bite out of his margins. >> every product we use has gone up substantially. not only is it the cost of food, tom, and the cost of delivery of that food, but it's also the increase and expense of us running our own vehicles. >> those rising food and fuel prices have already forced him to raise prices an unprecedented four times over the past year. now, oil and gas analysts say the ukraine showdown could soon push those fuel prices to record breaking levels. >> we're talking about $4 a gallon nationally. california could hit $5,
probably even beyond that. california could reach $5.50 and even could near the $6 a gallon mark. >> that was nbc's tom costello reporting. >> coming up, someone who covered a lot of global conflicts in his long career. acclaimed news man sam donaldson joins the conversation next on "morning joe." e conversation nen "morning joe." ♪ ♪ feel stuck with student loan debt? move to sofi and feel what it's like to get your money right. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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47 past the hour. the official gop twitter account celebrated preds' day yesterday with a tweet. honoring some past presidents, but pointedly not president biden. the tweet included a photo grid of past republican presidents, including lincoln, nixon, and donald trump, that read, quote, happy presidents' day to such great presidents.
in the center of the collage is a photo of a masked president biden with the words, not you in red. stay classy, gop. >> now to a new documentary about the pioneering life of former president jimmy carter's mother. it's entitled "ms. lillian." he's a clip. >> after jimmy had got my nomination for president, all three television networks had their mobile units outside the train depot here. that was campaign headquarters. >> she was a favorite of the news media. >> every morning on my way in to headquarters, i would stop by each trailer and have a cup of coffee. >> let's say she knocked on my door first, knock on the door, come in. i just thought i would stop by and say hello. would you like some coffee? yes, i would. i would like a cup. would you like a little pick up
in your coffee indon't mind if i de. we would take a bourbon down and pour a splash in the coffee and sit and talk. >> i go to the abc trailer. have a cup of coffee, a little pick-me-up. >> she would say good-bye and go over to the cbs trailer. we would see her knock on the door. 15 minutes or so, she would come out and go to the nbc trailer, knock on the door. i think when she left the last trailer, she probably was in good shape, a little pick-up every place. >> by the time i got to headquarters, i was one happy gal. >> everyone needs a pick up in the morning. we appreciated that. >> fantastic. joining us now, the veteran reporter and news anchor that you saw in the clip, sam donaldson. he's featured in the documentary. having interviewed lillian carter numerous times during his long television career. i love her. i mean, you just can't stop watching her. she is such a character. tell us about miss lillian.
>> well, mika, i loved her. i liked her son jimmy, without going into that administration. it was the mother that really captured our hearts in the press corps. i tell you, she was a liberal. she voted for john kennedy. she taught her children one thing kennedy. she taught her kids one thing about black people, they were just as good as white people and deserve respect and dignity. so when her son ran, the time for discrimination had ended and the klan march around the capitol. she was blunt. she was plain spoken. she said what she thought. she had four children. ruth was a faith healer, christian faith healer. billy drank a lot of beer, and gloria rode a motorcycle. she was a member of the motorcycle club. she told everyone gloria was the
smartest of her children. the fourth was the president of the united states, but so what, mom? what of me, chopped liver? >> you know, she trained as a nurse, worked during a hospital during the day. and, again, to point to -- the point you just made about race, she cared for african american families in their homes. i mean, she was ahead of her time. >> at 68 years of age, she joined the peace corps and went to india for a year. she cared about people and wanted her children to care about people. jimmy carter said human rights are on the table with every country we talk to. miss lillian said that's exactly right, son. one more story i'd like to tell you about her openness, that the press secretary told, and i wasn't there, that was a woman reporter came in and liked the
woman very much. she was a good reporter. but finally gave her an interview with miss lillian. and she sat down and said miss lillian, your son, the governor, 1976, is going around the country saying i'll never lie to you. did he ever tell a lie in his life? well, miss lillian said, according to jodie powell, the press secretary, i don't think he did, maybe a little white lie. ah, said the woman. what's the white lie, miss lillian? she said remember when you came in, i said how nice you looked an how glad i was to see you? i mean, lordy, lordy. >> oh, bless your heart is what she was saying. elise jordan, you have the next question. >> sam -- >> hi, elise. >> hello. i love you are showcasing such a strong southern woman who obviously had great influence on her son.
i find the story fascinating because it's one thing for president carter to have held evolved views on race and human rights given the decades he lived in, but she was born in the turn of the century, deep south, georgia. what can you tell us about her upbringing and background influenced her voice? >> very little. i was on another assignment in 1898 when she was born, but looking at her biography, a small town in georgia, what caused her to be a person who understood human rights and civil rights of everybody in this country? i'm not confident to tell you. all i know is that she did and i know she infused her children with the same view. and jimmy carter would say the same thing if he was here today. god bless him. he's 98, doing well. but she was the force of the life. her husband and jimmy's father was a man of the south.
i'm not saying he's a racist, not at all. i'm simply saying he was a southerner and he didn't have the same view as his wife did about all of this. but clearly, she ran the family, at least from the standpoint of the children. >> sam, richard haass. good morning. long time no talk. >> a long time. >> here we are, talking about russia invading a country. that happened in 1979 with afghanistan. we're talking about inflation being really high. we're talking about a president who doesn't seem to be bonding with the american people. you covered the carter presidency. you're watching the biden presidency. are you struck by the similarities or the differences more? what's your take on it? >> more the differences. i think both men are decent men. both men -- you don't come to presidency, as you know, richard, saying i'm going destroy it. well, you don't do it consciously at least. i may know of one exception.
but the point is biden is a man of the senate. he fought conciliation. let's do it this way. if you come to a knife fight in the alley, you better bring a bigger knife. in the case of other presidents, they've learned this, nixon knew how to do it, and george herbert walker bush also knew about washington. and you have to know something about washington. i think one of jimmy carter's problems was he thought he could do it because he was president and meant well. that's not the way it works. richard, i want to ask you, what's happening in the donbas, in the so-called noninvasion, which, in fact, obviously is an invasion? and how do we react? >> mika, do i have the right to answer that? >> you go right ahead. what are we looking ahead to today, especially coming from the white house?
>> it's just very hard, sam, to think it stabilizes there given what mr. putin has said publicly and his vision for ukraine's reintegration. it's hard for me to see whether there's diplomacy or not, how this is the end of it. it seems to men it marches forward and things deteriorating. the white house is going to introduce new economic sanctions. but i just don't think they're going to be strong enough to fundamentally off mr. putin's calculus. this could be a long siege and we better start thinking about how we sustain it over time. >> well -- >> richard, thank you. sam donaldson, we'll be watching this play out. we'll also be watching "miss lillian." you can find it available to buy or rent now on apple tv, google play, and amazon prime. and sam donaldson, thank you so much for sharing this with us. >> thanks, mika, daughter of the
great big. i liked him. >> oh, thank you. i loved him. and really i miss him right now more than ever. that's for sure. sam donaldson, great to see you. thank you so much. as we close, you know, we haven't discussed the role china potentially plays in all of this with russia and ukraine. a member of "the new york times" editorial board writes a piece entitled "this is the russia-china friendship that we feared. the two countries began edging closer together in 2014. russia weathered the fallout with some support from china, which beeched up trade and its purchase of russian oil and gas. this month, the friendship appeared to break new ground. the same marked the first time that china has supported russia's demand for an end to nato expansion. by signing on to the text, russia also supported china's
claim to taiwan, and both sides said they were seriously concerned about the u.s. decision to forge a military alliance with britain and australia and to cooperate in the field of nuclear powered submarines. president putin and president xi might not be natural allies, but they have an awful lot in common. both see the united states as a chaotic hedgeman. both were profoundly shaken by the collapse of the soviet union, which they viewed as a cautionary tale of what not to do. both have clamped down hard on dissent and dissent with or circumvented presidential term limits paving the way for the potential to rule for life. and both longing to restore their country's role as great powers are striving to recover territory that they see as having been lost to the west.
ukraine in russia's case and taiwan in the case of china. richard haass, this relationship has a lot to do with what is happening today. explain to us the potential ramifications. >> just one piece of history, mika. it was 50 years ago this week, this week that richard nixon and henry kissinger stepped foot in beijing, then called pea king, and had their meetings with mao tse-tung and joe enlie. what terp able to do was build a closer relationship with china and put pressure on the soviet union. now we have the problem that the two of them are moving closer against us. that raises all sorts of consequences for defense effort. we may have to think about two sets of contingencies, one obviously in europe, one potentially this asia. we have strategically found ourselves on the short end of the triangle. in some ways, the way to think about the challenge facing the united states and the biden administration is how do we alter that, how do we build a closer relationship more likely with china an russia so we do not find ourselves facing both
simultaneously. >> mika, i'm just waiting until biden speaks and makes his announcement about what his next steps will be because everyone in the world is listening and waiting for what is going to be important declaration. >> yep. waiting for the next big strategic move on the part of the u.s. we'll be watching. stay tuned to msnbc all day for the very latest on the situation in ukraine and the united states' response. that does it for us this morning. chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. i'm chris jansing live at msnbc headquarters in new york city. it is tuesday, february 22nd, and we start with the new and much more dangerous chapter in the conflict between russia and ukraine. this morning, unmarked tanks and other military vehicles are rolling through the streets of east