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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  February 22, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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them, it's a historic day for georgia, it's a historic day for america, alex. >> it is indeed. ben crump, thank you so much for everything. >> thank you. >> that is all in on this tuesday night, the rachel maddow show starts now. >> a few hours ago, someone tweeted that would put trump said in -- was genius, what is my thing. you tweeted earlier, you said, if trump is reelected in 2024, canada should better watch out. as a canadian, i thought about that earlier thinking, yeah, it's kind of like going and grabbing a place because they speak the same language and they seem to like you. they don't want to actually as their boss. >> yeah. i mean, i think we should all have chills over the fact that trump's called the invasion of a sovereign country genius. >> alex, have a great evening. see tomorrow. >> have a good. joe >> thanks for joining us at this hour.
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in ukraine, the defense -- pale baby blue building. despite the color, it's a beautiful building. look at all the columns in the windows. from the aerial view, it almost looks like a square version of the u.s. pentagon. today, at that building, the ukrainian ministry of defense, a funeral was held for a soldier that was killed in eastern ukraine. in the area that was controlled, that is controlled, by per russian separatist. members of the presidential honor guard in ukraine trip to flag over the soldiers coffin and they marched his body in the defense ministry. they let candles and set proves. he was brought to its resting place in the nation's capital. that soldier's name was anton sitter off. he was a 35-year-old captive, an intelligence officer and ukrainian army. he was the first soldier killed in weeks in eastern ukraine, in a conflict with pro russian
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separatists that has been raging since 2014. his death, though, his funeral service today took on a heightened sense of symbolism. it was the first funeral service for a fallen soldier held since russian president, vladimir putin, announced that he was recognizing the donbass in eastern ukraine as two independent states. signaling that he was about to launch a full scale invasion on ukraine. today, after the funeral service for the soldier, there was a demonstration in kyiv, protesting adam's decision to send troops into the country. they held signs saying, never surrender. don bus is ukraine. and we choose europe, not russia. there is a big protest in the city of mariupol today which is in the part of ukraine that putin says is no longer recognizing as being part of ukraine. there they flew the ukrainian flag through the streets, and the russian side with a big tax on it. there were protests outside of
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ukraine as well, this is in prague, czech republic. they were flying a giant ukrainian flag on the city square. look this is the russian embassy in paris. it's as, long live aid for ukraine. this man, marching with his fist in the air with the colors of the ukrainian flag around his neck. despite a unified call in the western world, despite an outcry for the people around the world, today, vladimir putin made a fresh set of demands. putin putin demanded that ukraine officially recognize crimea as part of russia that part that he initially seized in 2014. he also demanded that ukraine relinquished all of its advanced weaponry supplied by the united states and other western allies, that ukraine
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abandon any aspirations of joining nato. we point out that in 2019, ukraine put joining nato as a goal in its constitution. putin made these demands right after his parliament authorized him to order the use of military force outside of russia, last night the united states slapped sanctions on those two parts of eastern ukraine that putin has deemed as independent. today, president biden announced in using shuns against russia itself, on two major russian banks. on the russian sovereign debt. that means that russia will now be cut off from western financial systems. biden said that russian elites and their families will be sanctioned in the coming days. the white house promised that more sanctions would be forthcoming if putin continues with an invasion into ukraine. but the president made it quite clear this afternoon that he believes putin has already crossed that line. >> this is the beginning of a russian invasion of ukraine, as indicated --
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who in the lord's name does putin think is in the right to declare new, so-called, countries on a territory that belong to his neighbors? this is a flagrant violation of international law, and demands a firm response from international communities. >> president biden also announced today that he would be sending additional u.s. troops to eastern europe to bolster forces and the nato countries that surround russia. presidents already deployed 6000 troops to germany, poland, and romania. additional troops will deploy to the baltic states, let's, danya latvia, and lithuania. -- members of congress are weighing action to. the intelligence committee says it is considering legislation that would authorize united states to supply aid to provide to pro ukrainian fighters to counter russian forces. the u.s. senate also
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considering an emergency spending bill that would help financially shore up both nato and ukraine. today, the senate majority leader chuck schumer requested a briefing on ukraine for the entire senate. he concluded his remarks by saying that he hopes that diplomacy is still available. ukrainian foreign minister says a diplomatic solution to the crisis is still plan a, but diplomacy is looking less likely by the hour. today, the secretary of state canceled the meeting schedule later this week with russian foreign minister. he said he viewed russia's action of the past two days as a rejection of diplomacy. so he will not be rewarding that behavior with a meeting. it was also floated over the weekend that president biden and president putin can schedule a face to face summit to try to ease tensions. that too was called off today. white house press secretary says this would not be an appropriate time for such a meeting. all signals from the white house today are pointing to the fact that they believe putin has made up his mind to invade
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ukraine, and that in some way that invasion has become. according to officials in the russian union, was are already on the ground in eastern ukraine, the first of putin's so-called peacekeepers, putting a lot of quotes on either side of peacekeepers, that he ordered into the region yesterday. ukrainian president responded today by calling out reservists for military training. we are now past with would be considered a boiling point. either russia is going to have to decide to turn down the heat, or the whole thing is about to overflow. joining us now live from kyiv is the foreign affair general -- he has reported extensively on u.s. foreign affairs, he is the founder and host of the blacktip plummets podcast, he is also -- it seems we have been talking every day. i am glad you are still safe there, my friend. terrell, the ambition by most accounts have begun differently than most people expected it to. -- there are meetings being
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counseled, sanctions are beefing up. tell me how you see this unfolding. >> first off, thank you for having me on the show. in regards to the official recognition, quote unquote, unofficial recognition of independence of the regions, that was fairly predictable. putin had to go back to his people with something, and diplomacy was never an option to begin with. people were throwing that word around saying that diplomacy was the priority, but putin does not recognize the sovereignty of ukraine. he never has. in fact, russia since 1991 has never really psychologically embraced ukraine as a country of independence, and of people with their own individual agency in regards to another thing about the word invasion, the invasion started in 2014, and people here mainly have one
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main question which is, what is biden's red line? putin has made his red line very clear. for example, what does the invasion mean? does it mean that if you go beyond this region and take over the entirety of it, because a lot of people do not know that donbass is still in ukrainian control, -- does it mean an invasion mean that you are taking the city of mary opal, which i was not fairly recently. people here are confused, they feel that this is a very blurred mind that the west is using in regards to invasion. because as far as they are concerned, it has been ongoing for eight years. >> we have been talking about the big lie in america for a long time. but this is another sort of big lie, right? there is a narrative that is coming out of vladimir putin about the role of ukraine historically, and its relationship to russia, which
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doesn't iranians their agency. it does deny them history. russia would like the world to believe that it is just all part of russia. >> listen, i think that you will appreciate what i am about to say. i am still riding on this. this is no more than putin's critical ukraine theory. he has essentially made up lies about a country that he feels should have never left the country. criticism self, i think the second coming of catherine the great, because this country was taken over through catherine the great, in the 17 hundreds. so putin, and his language, he describes ukrainians the way that white racists describe people of color, you know? i think that because ukrainians
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don't -- can possibly see a white person not having any control whatsoever over their bodies, and over their individual agency. but that is exactly what is happening here. it is imperialism, but it goes deep within politics. the way that putin described ukrainians, one more thing, and his speech, would a lot of people are not paying attention to is what he said about crimea, essentially calling them terrorists. so in addition to the white racism i was saying, towards ukrainians, he has a very islamophobic mind set towards crimea. so he is basically trying to not only rewrite history, but make arguments about the history of ukrainians themselves do not fully exist, because he does not think that the country of ukraine ever existed. which is very consistent with the attitudes of post 1991 leadership in russia and they do must. so this is a long time coming
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the lack of respect, and the lack of agency that russian leadership has always felt, and has actually preceded russian president putin. >> terrell, every time i get to you i get a little bit smarter about a history that i do not know as much as i should. thank you for being, here thank you for talking to people and bringing us this story and analysis, every day for an affair journalist and host, terrell jermaine starr is in ukraine. joining us now is the democratic congresswoman, member of the house armed services and homeland security committee is, before becoming a member of congress, congresswoman slot conducted three tours in iraq as a militia expert for the cia. she is also help various intelligence positions including a senior post at the pentagon where she oversaw policies of russia, europe, and the middle east. it is a pleasure to have you here tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> i am sensing that there is some possibility despite the fact that bipartisanship is hard to come by in congress, there is some potential for
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bipartisan action in the coming days as there has been, relating to russia and it's invasion of ukraine. >> i was just at the munich security conference this past weekend with a bipartisan delegation of senators and members of congress. you could feel the sort of feeling in the room, it was like look, we have a lot of differences between us but when it comes to deterring russia, pushing back on russia, we really were tag teaming in all of our meetings, and certainly the sanctions, packages, things we were discussing in legislation, it is a very bipartisan. which is a good and comforting thing right now. >> so there is a lot of things that we can agree to do in a bipartisan fashion, and then there is the issue of troops. there is now 6000 troops authorized so far in the neighborhood, obviously not ukraine, 43 members of the house sent a letter to president biden today urging him to receive authorization from congress before invoking u.s. armed forces in the conflict between russia and ukraine. some would argue that is the way it is supposed to go, the president shouldn't be able to sign off, you are not a
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signatory to this letter. tell me why. >> mostly because the president has been very clear. frankly, i think a little too clear that we were never going to send u.s. men and women to fight in russia, or fight in ukraine, excuse me. he has been saying that for a long time. so he has been very clear that he is not seeking permission from congress to go into armed conflict with the russians. you can debate whether showing our cars like that was the right thing to do, but he has been pretty consistent about that. in terms of sending additional troops to nato countries, reinforcing our nato allies, that is not something that you need approval from congress for. you do need approval if you are going to fight in a war, and i just don't think that that is where we are going. >> so it is not that you have an objection to what they are saying, you said it was not necessary. >> correct. i mean, congress basically since the iraq war has been -- in his duty to provide authorization. congress has just said, it is too political, it is too sensitive, we don't want to get involved. we have a real problem with that.
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>> i want to put up the map of nato, and ask you, given that we do have mutual defense treaties, that is a real treaty that is the kind of thing that is done between presidents and countries, we do have a mutual defense relationship with nato countries. russia seems to be awfully cautious about not encroaching on a nato country. so what is the role of all of those bright green countries, a member of which we are as nato in this conflict? >> well, look. there is a big difference between a country that is part of the nato treaty, and the country like ukraine that is not. the president has been very, very clear that we are going to reinforce our nato allies, and that is where our troops are going, our ships, our planes, are all centered on deterring putin from thinking for one minute that he can go into a nato country. so the rule is to reinforce. you, know i think that there is a good debate to be had about when we could be doing for ukraine. i think we could probably didn't be doing some stronger things for ukraine.
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but i think it is to send a very strong signal to putin that ukraine and nato allies are different, and if you touch the nato allies, you are going to get a response from the entire alliance. >> i guess the question is, what happens if he doesn't? what happens if he does when he did in 2008, and 2014, and then now, and maybe even takes kyiv, and ultimately installs a pro russian government, like ukraine has had before, a couple of times in the last 20 years, and doesn't go any further? what does not look like in the rearview mirror when the world stood there and allowed another country to overtake another country? >> yes. not good. not good, right? i think first and foremost, i think about china, i think about what they are learning from this, you know, exchange. our level of forcefulness, and responding when one country, russia, tries to take over another country, ukraine. but it is not just china, every would-be autocrat in the world is watching to see how the united states and our allies
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respond to this. i think that it is a very real concern. i think that the days of the cold war where we had such a clear military deterrent, are gone. people do not know our level of seriousness. i think that that does not bode well. it may seem far away for many americans, ukraine may seem very far away, but it has major implications for the next 10 to 15 years. >> maybe the most important place you have hardly thought about. thank you for joining us this evening democratic congresswoman, a member of the house armed services, and homeland security committees. still ahead, the bizarre world we find ourselves in where many republicans and their leader donald trump are openly rooting for vladimir putin to invade ukraine. but next, the u.s. and the eu have now opposed serious economic sanctions against russia. is it going to be enough to further deter putin? stick around. tin? sticark ound who are all younger than you.
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all 27 eu member nations unanimously imposed sweeping risk retractions against russia, 40 is president biden's words, carving out a big chunk of ukraine. the details of the sanctions differ between the three groups, but the broad strokes are the same. all of them sanctioned russian banks, elite russian individuals, and cut off russia from russia -- the u.s. for example is fully sanctioning to have russia's biggest banks, -- both of which were crucial to financing russia's defense -- the military bank alone handled 70% of russia's defense contracts, and it is a smaller of the two banks. the u.s. is also sanctioning a handful of russian elite individuals, cutting off u.s. financing of u.s. sovereign debt. in addition to the sanctions that are being imposed by the you, the uk, and the -- when might be the biggest economic blow against russia today by halting rushes nord
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stream 2 pipeline. you can see, the one in the red is nord stream one, the one in blue is nord stream 2. nord stream 2 is not on yet, it has been built, we are unsure whether germany which is in the midst of a domestic energy crisis would reject the potential flow of double the amount of natural gas from russia. but today, germany did just that. the west presented a united front. all groups involved were also very clear this is just the first round of sanctions, and that significantly worse punishments already if russia continues to advance. but what exactly with those harsher sanctions be? would they target putin personally? how quickly could they get russia to the negotiating table, given that sanctions typically have more of a long term impact? and what type of economic impact could all of this have on us here in the united states? joining me is someone who knows a great deal about sanctions. a senior policy adviser in the
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treasury sanctions division in the obama administration. she was a treasury spokesperson back on the united states insult sanctions on russia in 2014 for its annexation of crimea. she is also the host of all my world on youtube. thank you again for being with us, you and i have talked i think every single day for the last few days. let me ask you about the seriousness of these sanctions. why i say this is because i think that back when you are involved with iran, four years iran had been doubling with everybody, and not really getting down to business, and then the u.s. treasury imposed certain types of sanctions that were so effective that it got them to the table, and it ended up resulting ultimately in the iran nuclear deal. what is that magic bullet for russia? >> i am glad you mentioned iran, because i was thinking about it during your introduction. people always say sanctions don't work until they do, right? iran is a perfect example of that. those sanctions, the ones that really crippled iran's economy that brought them to the negotiating table where sanctions related to its oil sector. the ones that prevented other
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countries from purchasing the oil, and from iran from benefiting from those. that is also for russia, the oil and gas sectors are major hits. you mentioned it in your introduction. the sanctions related to nord stream 2 pipeline, which germany did, and we needed germany to do that, to lead on that, that robs russia of billions, billions with a.b., billions of dollars. that money will go to fuel its violence machine, and to prop up putin's regime. those are going to be strong. the sanctions that you saw from the biden administration, the bottom line is that all of the sanctions are very tough, they will inflict financial pain in russia, but they may not be enough to walk him back from what he has just done. >> so what is that? how does one find the may not be enough? what is the thing, any rand you talk about the oil sanctions, there was the removal of iran from the swift system so people just couldn't do any trade with anyone. you can sell carpets, you couldn't sell anything, to anyone who required a different
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currency, or international bank. what is the equivalent for russia that would really hurt? i assume it is oil and gas stuff, because it is the biggest thing they sell. >> oil and gas would be huge. but it also gives them, that also gives leverage for them. because russia is so integrated into the international financial system, they do make it a target that is easy to hit with sanctions. but at the same time, they could retaliate and there would be backlash on u.s., and european business, and also global markets. so, if they rob the europeans of the gas that they export to europe, which currently europe imports 40% of its gas and oil from russia, then that would cause a price skyrocketing all over the place. because europe would have to find a new source, would have to fix its refinery production abilities, and -- >> it would affect our prices here, because oil and gas go up globally. >> yes. it would absolutely affect us here. that said, that doesn't mean that there are not a number of other options at the white house and the treasury
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department could pursue to further tighten the financial noose around russia. you have for example more russian financial institutions. we have not seen any export controls placed on the export and sale of u.s. technology to russia that supports its oil and gas sector. its efforts to diversify its economy. it's efforts to develop technology, in its mobile sector, and so on. that would hit them hard. of course you have russian oil guards, you have europe, for years, has allowed those russian oligarchs to park their assets there, engage in real estate, and set up their business there. there's a lot of opportunity there. what you did today was impressive, given that eu require the consensus of all members, and that includes hungary. and hungary is close to russia, right? that is a strong message. but, you still have major moves like, cutting off swift relationship. you have things like sanctioning president putin himself. things like that are never off the table, right? so you can ramp it up, and the
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one thing that i would end here with is that secretary janet yellen said in the press release something that was very key. she said that this was the beginning of dismantling the kremlin's financial network. meaning, there you have a lot left in the hopper, and they want at least president putin to stop in his tracks, and then there are more, so hopefully walk backwards with a strategy, another strategy, a broader strategy in place as well. >> all right, look, every day these new things come out, people like us do not know exactly what to make of them, but that is why we call you when we say, is this serious? we will be doing that over the course of the next few days with you. thank you my friend. a former senior policy adviser at the treasury sanctions the vision. we appreciate your time. still ahead, details from the federal hate crimes trial against a three man who killed him out aubry, and the jury verdict that civil rights leaders are calling quote, president setting. up next, republican sending a different kind of precedent, actively rooting against the
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trump to be the gop candidate. the republicans suddenly unexpectedly changed its long-standing policy platform on the issue of russia and ukraine. the two countries have been fighting each other in a suffering conflict for the past ten years ever since russia annexed crimea in 2014 and russia continues to support separatist. and 2016, the republican party officially renounced support for arming ukraine in that fight against russia. one delegate said that it was trump himself who directed this change, such a weird specific thing. but it was just the beginning. we soon learned that trump
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campaign officials were entertaining at least two different proposals to hand over ukrainian territory to russia. the mueller investigation found that the trump campaign chair who, before taking the trump job with trump for free, worked for ukraine deposed -- multiple discussions with russian intelligence officers about a so-called ukraine peace plan. trump's campaign chair himself admitted that the plan was a back door means for russia to control eastern ukraine. another so called peace plan was delivered to the desk of president trump's national security adviser during his first month in office, hand delivered by trump's personal lawyer. imagine that. into proposed handwriting -- lifting sanctions on russia predating ukraine. so if you give putin everything he wants, while, out he should have peace. ever since he took office in
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2017, his administration has tried to -- congress found out about it and blocked it. trump then threatened to veto the bill sanctioning russia for meddling in the 2016 election. he only grudgingly signed because congress passed it by big bipartisan veto proof margins. then he eagerly set up a summit in helsinki with vladimir putin where he stood next to the russian leader and sided with him over american intelligence agencies on the issue of that very russian election meddling. trump spent his whole term in office disparaging nato, yelling at our allies, advocating for putin to be invited back to world meetings from which he had been barred specifically because he had invaded ukraine. oh wait, and he was actually impeached for a scheme in which he suspended american aid to ukraine, ousted the american ambassador there, and generally
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isolated and threatened the ukrainian government. so today, when donald trump put out a statement saying today, quote, i know vladimir putin very well, and he would never have done this during the trump administration, what he is doing now, no way! first of all, let's just take a moment to stop -- spit laughing your beverage through your nose. second of all, why would putin have invaded ukraine back then anyway when he had so many irons in the fire in the trump administration, so many potential ways to get ukraine to capitulate without actively invading, ways that the american president, donald trump, was helping him with? this apparent new line for trump and his allies that putin was too intimidated by strong, viral, donald trump to invade ukraine while he was president, numerous congressional count -- he is invading now because joe biden is weak. not like donald trump who stands up to putin. in fact, here is donald trump just this afternoon on
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right-wing radio, demonstrating his toughness with putin. >> i went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and i said, this is genius. putin declares a big portion of the ukraine, of ukraine, putin declares it as independent. oh, that's wonderful. so putin is now saying it's independent, a large section of ukraine. i said, how smart is that? and he's gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. that's the strongest peace force we could use that on our southern border. that's the strongest piece force i've ever seen. there were more army tanks than i've ever seen. they're gonna keep piece, all right. you have to say, that's pretty savvy. >> that's pretty savvy. that is genius. how smart is that? he's just pulled over by his toughness? does the former president of the united states, not only say that putin's invasion of ukraine is one of, genius, and
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savvy, but that him despite his military might, and suggesting that the american -- the united states should emulate it on our own border. yes, putin must be so relieved that he is no longer president. joining us now is ben rhodes, a deputy national security adviser in the obama administration. thank you for joining us. it's remarkable that these lies just flow as quickly as they do. i want to get your reaction to those comments, not just from donald trump calling putin's invasion of ukraine genius and savvy, but that there are lots of republicans that are getting behind this idea today. >> yeah, first of all, we have to recognize that these comments both play in a loop on russian state media, russian propaganda. that's already been the case with tucker carlson segments, with mike pompeo lavishing praise on putin, and that's certainly gonna be the case of trump. that's going to be an important part of vladimir putin trying to convince us public that what he is doing is not a massive overreach, that is bad for
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russia, but it's actually something that enjoy support from around the world. that positions him as a strong leader and a strong man. which is how he wants to be seen. so this is something that is a propaganda gift to putin. it's also just kind of absurd. but if we're honest about this, there are elements of the republican party that truly a meyer vladimir putin. he represents the kind of leadership, the shameless capacity and bold to power that he embodies is something that trump is sought to emulate. let's be honest to, the sort of f no nationalists authoritarian tendencies that vladimir putin is at the vanguard at, is something that we have seen elements of the republican party adapt in the united states. so there's a kind of mutuality here that has been part of the pun here, the elephant in the room for the republican party, since at least 2016. >> let's talk a little bit about where this is going. donald trump and some of his
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allies talking about how tough trump was with putin, that trump would not -- put and would not have dared do something like this it if trump was around. talk to me about this, because, mathematically, they are right, there was no invasion by putin between then and now. but there has been a war, most of which was when trump was president. >> it's an absurd claim. and the reality, as part of what putin was doing was let trump do his work for him. in dismantling the post cold war and even cold war security architecture of nato, of the transatlantic alliance between the united states and europe. trump was a wrecking ball in that space, and that's exactly what putin wants. i want to take head on this idea that you could even argue that trump and his weakness, at least, was preventing the sort of escalation that we have seen from putin. i think the reality is, why putin was waiting for, and probably what he would've gotten in the second trump term,
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is further u.s. distancing, not just from ukraine, but from europe and nato itself. and if you listen to that speech from vladimir putin yesterday, and if you look closely at his worldview, one way or another, he was going to subjugate ukraine. one way or another, he was going to try to eliminate ukraine as a southern country. that was exactly what he told us yesterday, that's what he believes. if that was going to be made easier for him, because the united states was going to hang ukraine on a limb, then he was going to wait and see if it happen. and, by the, way if the united states distances itself further from nato, and you, call donald trump had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, just to restate the basic principle that the united states had to come to the defense of our nato allies, with the second trump term, what putin could've waited for was a circumstance where the united states commitment to nato, even its membership to nato, was a question. and once he'd subjugated ukraine, his capacity to threaten or influence the
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politics of other eastern european countries would've been enhanced. so i think, not only is it falls to say that donald trump was somehow strong in sending up to putin, that's crazy, that's absurd. anyone who had to eyes during the trump era knows that that's not true. but even to say that this kind of chummy relationship that he had with putin was somehow going to avert but we have seen, i don't think that's true either. i think one way or another, vladimir putin was gonna do what he was gonna do, and trump was just gonna make it easier for him if he had four more years. >> thanks for your analysis, as always. ben rhodes, he's the deputy national security adviser under obama. we appreciate your time tonight. still, ahead there are two stories of persistence paying off. one that rachel has been following for years, and up next, details on how the family of ahmaud arbery fought to make sure that the three white men who murdered their son would also say face justice for federal hate crimes. stay with us. justice fo justice fo federal hate! run a marathon. instead, start small.
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with nicorette. which can lead to something big. stay with us start stopping with nicorette. (thank you, have a nice day.) ♪ (trumpet solo) ♪ (bell dings) (pages slipping) ♪ ♪ ♪ (trumpet solo) ♪ ♪ ♪ (typing) (bell dings) ♪ ♪ (cheering ♪ ♪ (typing) ♪ ♪ ♪(trumpet solo) ♪
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-capsule! -capsule! -capsule! capsule saves me money on prescriptions. capsule took care of my insurance. capsule delivered my meds to my doorstep. capsule is super safe and secure. get your prescriptions hand delivered for free at capsule.com >> this morning, the three men who were convicted in the state
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court murder of last fall for killing 25-year-old ahmaud arbery in 2020, while he was running down to public georgia streak, were found guilty again. this time, for federal hate crimes. it took the jury just two hours to determine that all three men were guilty of hate crimes and attempted kidnapping. the federal case hinged on prosecutors ability to show that racism motivated the three men to erroneous the identify arbery as a criminal, to chase him down the street with guns, and finally, to murder him. during the trial, prosecutors were able to present a litany of text messages and facebook posts from all three men showing prejudice against black people along with support for a racialized violence and vigilantism. the evidence included messages calling black people the and word, monkeys, and subhuman. savages. critically, messages impose advocating violence against black people and associating black people with criminality. today's guilty verdicts could mean the men will face life in
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prison for these federal crimes in addition to the life sentences they already received for their state murder convictions three months ago. many civil rights leaders applauded the guilty verdicts today, calling, it, quote president setting. but this almost never happen. we know the state murder case against these three men almost didn't happen. the man walked away from the crime scene free, february, 2020. the district attorney on the case ordered police officers not to make arrests, and then failed to file any charges. the men remain free and on charging until may of 2020, more than two months after the murder when the video of the shooting taken by one of the man pursuing arbery was leaked. that video sparked enough public outrage that the georgia bureau of investigation took over the case from the local cops. that intervention, the leak of the video, is what led to the murder convictions in the fall. and today, ahmaud arbery's family explained they had to intervene in order to make sure this federal hate crimes trial
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would have been. because last month, the justice department reached a plea deal with two of the three men charged with hate crimes that would've allowed them to serve their sentences in federal prison, which they thought would be easier than state prison. arbery's mother spoke against the plea deal in court, on january 31st, calling it, disrespectful. she said, quote, ahmaud didn't get the option of a plea. the judge then rejected the deal and allow the trial to continue. ahmaud arbery's mother explained the result of her intervention this way today. >> what we got today, we would have gotten today if it wasn't for the fight that the family put up on january 31st. what the doj did today, they were made to do today. it wasn't because it was what they wanted to do. they were made to do their jobs today. >> they were made to do it today. this is the important part. joining us now is paul butler,
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georgetown law school professor, former pro federal prosecutor, nbc legal analyst. mr. butler, it's good to see tonight. ahmaud arbery's mother makes an interesting case. that this -- the department of justice, the federal government, doesn't puffed and pursue these cases. it's one of the first time that this has successfully been prosecuted according to ben crump in the state of georgia ever. why is that? >> so, ali, this prosecution was symbolic in part because the three defendants had already been sentenced to life in prison in the state murder case. the federal convictions are insurance in the unlikely event that the state convictions are overturned. more importantly, the jury represents an official -- official recognition. that mr. arbery was killed because he was black. race didn't come up in the state trial because the prosecutors didn't have to prove racial animus.
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but mr. arbery's family said that it was important that the evil of racism be named and legally recognized. and that's what the jury did today. finding that the three defendants violated mr. arbery's right to be in a public street and they did so based on anti black prejudice. >> you bring up an interesting point, because people, say why go through this process? cases do get overturned. but the state trial, that convicted these three men, and give them life in prison, is based on an entirely different set of facts and arguments than the federal crime was based on. so if one were to be overturned, it wouldn't necessitate the overturning of the other? >> these are independent trials, and the government had to prove different things in this case. the prosecution represented a mountain of evidence that the three men had said racist things on social media, and in personal conversations. and the defense was, yes, we said racist stuff in the past, but not about ahmaud arbery.
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defendants claim that they killed mr. arbery in self-defense, not because he was black. but ali, in the, and the jury found a close enough connection between the defendants racism and their pursuit and killing of mr. arbery. >> given how many times you and i have had this conversation over the years, paul, what difference does and make? what is a change that it is now on the record, that there was accountability had for the racism of it? because we have described things like this and other things we have seen in the last few years as lynching, old-fashioned lynching. there was no rights afforded to the person who was murdered. what does this do other than satisfy people that it feels right? >> this conviction certainly does not make up for the hundreds of cases in which black people have been lynched and their killers never brought to justice, but it does signal that the united states, and itself, there are different
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places, mississippi in the 50s in the till was -- never convicted. the fact that a majority white rural georgia jury convicted three white men of killing an african american means that prosecutors may be more willing to bring these cases in the future, because they know juries are more likely to convict than they were even five years ago. there was one black man on the jury, and ali, in one side of progress, the jurors made him the four person. >> and he delivered the verdict, he's said to have been in tears as he did. so thank you for joining us, paul butler, georgetown law school professor, former prosecutor, an msnbc legal analyst. we always appreciate your time. coming up next, a story that rachel was one of the first to cover that today had a very positive outcome. stay with us. at today had a ver at today had a ver positive
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mission control, we are go for launch. um, she's eating the rocket. ♪♪ lunchables! built to be eaten. [noise] equal pay!
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equal pay! equal pay! >> that was of course the world cup crowd chanting, equal pay after they square their fourth world title in france. if you're a fan of this show, you will know that we've been covering their long fight for equal pay for six years now, and this reach the tipping point for winston 2019, when 28 players filed a gender discussion at equal pay a lawsuit against the u.s. soccer federation leading up to the world cup. they argued, quote, despite the fact that these female and male players are called upon to perform this in job responsibilities, the female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts. this is true even though their performance has been superior to that of the male players, with a female players, and contests to male players, becoming world champions.
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and quote. it was that lawsuit, that battle for equality, hanging over the sidelines, as the woman soccer team took home their fourth world cup championship title. two days after that world captivating when, the team leader, megan rapinoe, joined rachel. >> the conversation is not about equal pay and more. it's everybody -- it's like, if you are not done with equal pay at this point, or equality, or whatever it is, it's so far out of reality and the conversation that we can't even go there. i think it's time to move to the next phase. >> today, they finally moved to the next phase. they won their hard fought six your battle. the players reached a 24 million dollar settlement with the u.s. soccer federation to settle the equal pay lawsuit. the new york times reports, quote, perhaps more notable as u.s. soccer's pledge to equalize pay between the men's and women's national teams in all competitions, including the
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world cup. that gap was once seen as an bridgeable divide preventing any sort of equal pay settlement. if it is closed by the federation in negotiations with both teams, the change could funnel millions of dollars to a new generation of women's national team players. now the settlement falls short of the $66 million that the athletes were initially seeking in back pay, the settlement is still a victory for the woman's national soccer team and for the fans of the team nationwide. so how is that for ending the show on a positive note? >> that does it for us tonight, we will see you again, now it's time for me to spread this joy and glee to my friend lawrence o'donnell who has the last word this evening. i know it won't take long for us to get gloomy about serious things, though. >> well we do have some serious things to cover, including -- it's going to join us. she has written something today that i have never seen before. she is a prosecution

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