tv Morning Joe MSNBC April 25, 2022 3:00am-6:00am PDT
across the country, tons of districts, where progressive candidates are looking like they'll have a great chance, regardless of what happens to the majority. so, yeah, looks like the squad could be adding to its ranks. >> yeah, we're seeing it in both parties right now, growing distances between sort of more moderates and those on the extremes. fascinating to watch. alayna treene, thank you for your reporting this morning and for being with us today. thanks to all of you for getting up "way too early" with us on this monday morning. "morning joe" starts right now. literally every day as we speak, this is aid. if you were here in a few hours, this won't be here. it'll be on a plane, on its way to some other means, on its way to ukraine. >> we're going to push as hard as we can, as quickly as we can, to get them what they need. we want to see russia weakened to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things that it has done in invading ukraine.
>> the nation's top diplomat and top military leader make the highest level american visit to ukraine since the russian invasion began, meeting with president zelenskyy and bringing new promises of support. admiral james stavridis will join us this morning on this extraordinary wartime visit. and the latest developments from the battlefield. plus, a live report from france. incumbent president emmanuel macron defeats his far-right challenger. >> that was close. >> what'd he get, mika? >> 58.5% of the vote. i just -- >> nobody could have predicted that. everybody said this race was tight. two weeks ago, it was neck and neck. this was going to be close. >> who could have predicted that margin of victory? >> i think it is nonsense. i always hear that le pen is going to beat macron, then he
wins by 89 points. >> our offtrack "morning joe" betting site is putting the over/under, despite this propaganda from lamestream media that it is going to be a close race, our bookies, and you can count on our bookies, put it at macron, 58.5%. that's the over/under for betters. this is a sucker's bet, willie. it is not going to be as close as people say it is. again, "morning joe's" offtrack betting, let me, again, check that again. is this right? is this right, jay? >> jay? >> 58.5%. that is what the line is right now, macron winning easily once again over le pen. >> yeah. >> in the united states, people lie about supporting donald trump. they're ashamed to say that they support donald trump. but it seems to me that le pen is always painted as the
boogieman that's coming to get france, and it never materializes. i think that's one of the reasons the bookies in the back of our very illegal otv practice at "morning joe," that's why they put it at 58.5%. we're always hearing that le pen is -- we heard it leading up to the last presidential election, and she got absolutely crushed. there is no reason to believe this is going to be a 51% to 49% race. >> oh, my god, you nailed it. you literally nailed it. that was the first sound bite, april 12th. you predicted that number. that's not normal, joe. >> it's not normal. everybody was saying it was going to be close. of course, i talked to my bookies, and we -- >> who are your bookies, meatball? >> we spread them all across the left bank. tell them it's their responsibility to make contact with the very worst, the very worst of paris society, the
dregs. jonathan lemire, they're the ones that came back to us. they told me 2 1/2 weeks ago -- >> amazing. i love it. >> -- everybody told me it was tight. 58%. that's what we call 58%. of course, it proves once again the very worst, the dregs of paris society. once again, there is a reason why we hire them and keep them in our otv office in the back of "morning joe." to continue these extraordinarily illegal operations. think of all the money we made people if they listened with their ears when we started talking a couple weeks ago. >> yeah. a real redemptive moment for the bookies, who some are reeling from backing the colts in the super bowl against joe namath's jets. there have been missteps, but they nailed this, as you put it, by going to the darkest corners of the city of light.
58.5%, well done to them. on a slightly, slightly more serious note, yes, 40% for marine le pen. it is concerning that 40% of french population would back her. that said, the spread in this race, this would be considered an absolute blowout if we had a spread like this in a u.s. presidential election. so this is certainly still a substantial victory for macron and allies across the west and in washington breathe a sigh of relief. >> we are going to go live to paris in a moment. we have a lot of other news to cover this morning. i'm curious how you got that exact number, joe. i mean, weeks before, with all our experts having all sorts of concerns either way. >> everybody was saying this is going to be a very close race. i didn't see that happening. this had happened before several years ago. le pen, we heard about le pen was going to keep this much tighter. i thought macron was less popular. did not see this getting within ten points. end of the day, i thought it'd
be 58, 59, 60. i thought 60 was too high, so i went with 58. it's the over/under, so i put the half on it, thinking there would be winners and losers. unfortunately, my friends, it is a push which means, of course, the house keeps all the money. but we're going to talk about nit a second. this is an extraordinary victory, not just for macron, not just for france, but, obviously, an extraordinary victory for nato. you, of course, had le pen, who wanted to take the french out of nato. it is the second largest economy in europe. one of the most strategic. it's at the center of europe. the loss of france to putin, to trump, to anti-nato alliance would have been extraordinary. i do think that the line that really helped him the most was when she criticized him for also talking to putin. he said, when i talk to putin, i'm talking to a head of state. when you talk to putin, you're
talking to your banker. i really do think for the french electorate, that clarified things. at that point, that's when i was certain we weren't going to have this tight race that everybody else was predicting. i thought after the debate that it seemed pretty evident he was going to get over 55, 56, 57%. of course, he landed right there at 58.8%. >> 58.5%. >> let we just say, this is a landslide in america. let me just say, this is a landslide in france, as well. le pen, once again, crushed. one of these days, one of these days, western analysts aren't going to be, like, freaking out and setting their hairs on fire and talking about the end of the french republic. any time le pen runs, she underperformed. her father underperformed, and she underperforms. the french at the end of the day come home. >> we'll go back to paris live to get more on this incredible story.
first, two top u.s. officials make an extraordinary and secretive wartime visit to ukraine. secretary of state antony blinken and defense secretary lloyd austin met with president zelenskyy in kyiv yesterday. it was a first high-level visit by an american delegation since the start of the russian invasion. details of the trip were kept under wraps until it was well under way. the u.s. government declined to even confirm the meeting had happened until late last night when the u.s. delegation was safely out of ukraine. this morning, blinken and austin were back in poland, where they discussed the visit, including new promises of military and diplomatic support. >> we had an opportunity to demonstrate directly our strong support, our strong, ongoing support for the ukrainian government and for the ukrainian people. part of our commitment going forward involves a number of things that i was able to share with president zelenskyy
yesterday. including the return of american diplomats to ukraine starting next week. including president biden's intent to nominate a new ambassador to ukraine. >> our focus in the meeting was to talk about those things that would enable us to win the current fight and also build for tomorrow. in terms of their ability to win, the first step in winning is believing that you can win. >> the bottom line is this, we don't know how the rest of this war will unfold, but we do know that a sovereign, independent ukraine will be around a lot longer than vladimir putin is on the scene. our support for ukraine going forward will continue. it will continue until we see final success. >> all right. joe, couple of things. i know you want to get to all of this. i just find that the ambassador to ukraine, getting one in place, is a real symbol of kind
of where america stands in terms of their policy, but also their long-term belief in ukraine. >> you look at the arc of this. you look where we were six, eight weeks ago. you look at the fact that zelenskyy was hiding by government buildings at dark, doing tiktok videos, sending them out to the people of ukraine, whispering that they're still there in darkness. that they weren't going anywhere. they were going to continue to hide. they were holding press conferences in bunkers. he was trying to survive day by day. many believing he was going to be killed at any moment. now you're seeing the united states secretary of state and secretary of defense going over and saying, "we're here. america is here. we're not going anywhere. we're going to keep our support until vladimir putin and the russian military is put into a position and degraded to the degree they can no longer terrorize the people of ukraine." jonathan lemire, what a strong statement. you talked about the possibility
of this last week. let us know how it came about. >> yeah. we broke this story a couple weeks ago, that top u.s. officials were having secret meetings in washington to honor zelenskyy's request to have a high-level u.s. delegation go to kyiv. president biden really not considered an option, not now. immediately, they focused on, indeed, these two secretaries. secretary of state blinken. secretary of defense austin. trying to decide between the two. they said, let's send both. it is that much more powerful of a symbol to send both of them there. this trip was done in secrecy. the press pool did not accompany them on this trip. they traveled from poland by train. their cover blown by zelenskyy himself. on saturday, he announced, his team announced they were coming. there was a brief moment of pause. >> thank you, mr. president. >> a moment of consideration with officials in the white house, but the decision was made to forge forward. they're glad they did. both secretaries now returned to
poland. it is striking. two words we should circle from their public remarks, blinken and austin, one was winning. the idea that ukraine can win this war. it is not about losing it but it is about winning the war. the other word, weaken. the u.s. and its nato allies want to weaken the russian forces so much during this conflict that they would think twice about trying to do this again. they'd make it impossible for russia to be able to have the forces and environment in order to launch a similar invasion down the road again to ukraine or anywhere else. >> let's bring in former nato supreme allied commander, retired four-star navy admiral, james stavridis. chief international security and diplomacy analyst for nbc news and msnbc. also with us, executive editor news at new yorker.com. thank you to both of you.
>> it is striking how the stove has been slowly turned up, bit by bit, to a boil. at the beginning, of course, caution, extremely caution made. it seemed like everybody, from russian tv hosts to putin to your corner grocer in moscow, were threatening a nuclear holocaust if we didn't allow ukraine to just collapse quickly. the united states brushing those fears aside. now, again, let me underline what jonathan lemire said. this is about winning. this is about the ukrainians winning the war. secondly, and most importantly, this is about weakening and degrading russian military power to such a degree that they can never commit these war crimes again. i'm curious what your thought was about the developments this weekend. >> all good. you look at these two individuals. here are two pillars of american diplomacy on the one hand.
by the way, that's the first time i've ever seen tony blinken not wearing a necktie. and -- [ laughter ] -- general lloyd austin who, as i say, can freeze you with a look. these are the right people in the right place. speaking of place, some may be wondering, you know, why are they doing a press conference in front of a bunch of cardboard boxes? the answer is because we're in a foot race, a logistical foot race, to get those weapons, the ammunition, forward, and no one is going to beat u.s. logistics. the russians have proven they have the worst. this is moving in a positive direction, and it is a big plus. the only other cabinet member you could have sent, and this would have been very interesting, actually, would be send a trio and add janet yellen, the secretary of the treasury. because a big chunk of what is
weakening -- to go back to jonathan lemire's great point and lloyd austin's quote -- what is weakening russia is the money and the sanctions. that's longer term. it is less glamorous. it is less visible. but i feel janet yellen and the treasury kind of hovering between those two pillars you see right there. so when i put it together, it's a good week. having said all that happiness, joe, we have to focus on the fact that russia has immense combat power in place. they've been degraded but not destroyed as a military. putin still has options. but it's been a pretty good weekend. >> yeah. i think you're right to keep in mind that there is so much suffering in ukraine and the atrocities continue. the stories coming out of some of these cities are hard to bear. at the same time, david, what do we know about putin's military in terms of how hollowed out, how disorganized it is, and are we seeing the united states
becoming more and more comfortable exploiting that? >> i think the united states is more and more comfortable. what's amazing, as you're seeing, is an autocratic regime where corruption hollowed out the government, and you see it also in the military. there are reports of junior russian officers not being able to make decisions for themselves. the generals have been killed because they had to come forward and direct the troops. the amazing thing is russian equipment. the tanks, all these things that russia was allegedly spending tens of billions to modernize its military. that money was clearly stolen. it is an amazing situation. the last point, i was struck by secretary blinken saying that a sovereign ukraine will be around a lot longer than vladimir putin is on the scene. it is a push, again, to regime change. he's getting a little out over his skis there. you know, the message from austin, i think, was clear, and the clearer, better one, which
is, weaken russia. putin made an enormous mistake. as the admiral said, u.s. logistics will make russia pay for that mistake. >> admiral, as you correctly noted, the secretaries were standing in front of a huge amount of weapons that are on their way to ukraine. nato, western allies doing the same. european leaders have also been in kyiv in recent days. tell us more about how vital it is that those weapons and what is needed as we prepare for what is likely, an onslaught in the donbas, a different part of the conflict. one russia enters with a weak plan. we look at mariupol, untold suffering by the ukrainians inside, but doesn't it also speak volumes, the russians haven't been able to take it and their troops are bogged down at the plant and can't be anywhere else? >> it is a very significant military action continuing. i, for one, would have blessed
that steel plant tragically would have fallen by now. these defenders are leaning forward. someone is getting resupply to them, which is hard to imagine how it is occurring. they must have enormous caches of ammunition, water. you need those things to fight. the longer it goes on, the weaker putin looks, and all of that is additive. in terms of the weapon systems, jonathan, i think the administration has done a very good job working directly with the ukrainians. i think the shopping list is pretty well full with two, i think, significant exceptions. one is more tactical aircraft. we had the moment of the mig-29s a week or so, few weeks ago now. i think there are still conversations about how we can put tactical jets in the hands of the ukrainians. ones they can fly. secondly, anti-ship cruise type
missiles. you saw the use of the neptune to take out a ship. don't forget, putin has not only the ability to push at land, he can go by sea and come around behind the ukrainian forces. he can choke off the economy. he's got options that we need to blunt with additional weapon systems. overall, you've got to give the administration a great deal of credit for meeting the demand signal here, and our logistitians. >> this weekend, i was rereading parts of david kennedy's "the rise and fall of the great powers" to try to figure out exactly what was going on. see if i could get any insight from, obviously, that classic book, i think, from the late 1980s. want you to listen to this. it is extraordinary. i quoted dr. brzezinski before,
but time has prologued again and again. let me read this. he is talking about how, for the west, it seems china, the ottoman empire, the muslim offshoot, japan, this was going -- these were going to be the nations that would nominate the next 500 years. the beginning of the 16th century, europe was destined to rise above the rest. however imposing and organized some of the oriental empires appeared by comparison with europe. they suffered the consequences of having a centralized authority, which insisted upon a uniformity of belief and practice, not only an official state religion, but also in commercial activities and weapons development. the lack of any such supreme authority in europe and the warlike rivalries among its various kingdoms and city states simulated a constant search for military improvements, which interacted fruitfully with the newer technological and commercial advances that were
also being thrown up in this competitive, entrepreneurial environment. few obstacles to change, european societies entered into a constantly upward spiral of economic growth and military effectiveness which, over time, was to carry them ahead of all the other regions in the globe. what paul kennedy is writing about in 1988, what dr. brzezinski wrote about throughout his entire life, it's playing out here. it's haunting. i mean, this is history rhein rheining. putin is losing the war and facing destruction while you have all these western states, all these european states that are free and open and competing, providing ukraine whatever they need to win. when, obviously, we thought they were going to lose after two, three days. >> yeah. can i use the word "democracy"? we have had for so long, a
significant and coherent and understandable concern about the decline of democracy. the idea that authoritarian states are going to dominate as we go forward. you know, they'll be back and forth. there will be good days and bad. boy, i would say what just happened in france is a pretty good day for democracy. i would also point out, joe, your point, and dr. b's and paul kennedy, a great friend and mentor of mine, the long throw of history, i think, is on the side of democracy. human nature is looking for open seas. it is looking for the ability to innovate. it is looking for free market economies. people hate a domineering boss. human nature will win out. it plays in geopolitics as
certainly as every day of our lives. >> david, the final thought on that and also on how paris was not just -- what happened in paris was not just a big victory for nato. yet another setback for vladimir putin. >> paris was a huge setback for putin. look, ukrainians are fighting because they voted for a democratically-elected president. they want to live under a democratically-elected president, not under vladimir putin. in a lesser known election yesterday, slovenia, ousted an authoritarian prime minister. it was another victory for democracy. it'll be up and down. it'll be a struggle. we have problems in our own democracy, but we have to fight for democracy. it is a struggle, and it is going well for democracy in ukraine. >> executive editor for news at new yorker.com, david, and
admiral stavridis, thank you. ahead, we'll go live to keir simmons in paris on the heels of macron's big election victory. and we'll go to commit watts for the latest on russian troop movements. plus, more expert military analysis from a pair of retired u.s. army generals on the heels of secretary blinken and austin's trip to kyiv. also ahead, house minority leader kevin mccarthy does challenge control in his leaked audio after he revealed how disgusted he was with donald trump in the wake of the attack. >> he said, hey, i lied. look at me, i'll lie again. >> he is trying to explain away the comments. what did trump's chief of staff mark meadows know about january 6th? according to new testimony, he was warned about the threat of violence ahead of time. we're digging into those details. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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it's ultra-fast. faster than a gig. supersonic wifi. only from xfinity. it can power hundreds of devices with three times the bandwidth. so your growing wifi needs will be met. supersonic wifi only from us... xfinity. it is 29 past the hour. as russian president vladimir putin suffers defeats on the battlefield in ukraine, he was also dealt a major blow to his ongoing quest to undermine the west and pull nato apart. >> it's not working well. >> a lot of things not working out. >> not working well. >> that came yesterday, as we've said, in the form of french president emmanuel macron winning a second term. with an estimated 58% of the vote. his opponent, the far right marine le pen said earlier this
year she considered russia an ally of france. macron was able to highlight her financial connections to russia in the final debate before yesterday's vote. joining us live from paris, nbc news senior international correspondent keir simmons with the very latest. keir? >> reporter: hey, mika. good morning. how can i put this? president macron was more modest last night about winning the french election than joe is this morning about calling the election right. at risk of never being invited on the show again, joe is half right. >> yes, yes. >> reporter: it is an incredible victory for president macron. it is a french vote for stability and continuity in the face of worries about inflation and the cost of living, in the face of turmoil of war in ukraine. president macron is the first french president to be
re-elected in 20 years. as joe is pointing out, by an extraordinarily wide margin. but it is a split screen. on the one hand, you're going to have western leaders and, of course, president biden breathing a sigh of relief that, this morning, they're not waking up to a french president who is a fan of president putin. on the other hand, the election did reveal, just as we've seen in the u.s., the divisions in france. the rise of the right is real. this is the biggest vote for a le pen candidate, either her or her father so far. the biggest vote for the far right since the second world war. you know, guys, we were underneath the eiffel tower at macron's victory rally last night talking to people as they left. even as they left, they were talking about not the victory but what macron needs to do. how much frustration there is in france.
how much he needs to try to unify the country and how, frankly, how difficult he is going to be able -- he is going to find that to be able to do. there are parliamentary elections later this year that will determine how much power he has. having said that, as a famous american politician said in the 19th century, to the victor go the spoils. president macron this morning is back in the palace. he is the leader of europe, and he is able now to dictate politically, globally, many of the -- much of the vision he has been laying out. president biden congratulating him and also saying, interestingly, in a tweet overnight, i look forward to continuing to work with him. what president mcron will be looking for is an equal partnership with the american president, to say, here are some of the things i want internationally. another interesting point, just to finish, guys, president
macron was con great bodily injury -- congratulated by president zelenskyy this morning. and president putin was congratulating him, trying to play peacemaker. what will he do now in the face of this terrible war in ukraine? >> keir, to be told that i am not as humble as macron, my god, for people that followed the election, they understand, that is quite a slight. you know, since you have a brutal assignment as we take your shot, let's take keir's full shot, i really shouldn't say anything since he has a brutal assignment and a horrific local. i'm not sure how he endures it day in and day out. it is a tough job. keir, one of the things that i always talked about and noticed of french politics from afar, very far, is the fact that,
usually, there is this panic among the establishment in france. there was this panic during the last election. macron won decisively. he won decisively this time, as well. not quite as decisively, but still. i'm wondering, it seems to be a reverse trump effect in france. in the united states, you always have to expect going into an election, donald trump is going to get more support than the pollsters suggest he is. a lot of people are embarrassed to admit to pollsters they're supporting trump. in france, it seems just the opposite. it always seems that it's le pen, and before that her father, who always got this big bump in the polls. those bumps never seem to materialize. can you help explain that to us? >> reporter: yeah. look, the french voter is a nuance and, frankly, complex voter. in the first round, french
people vote with their heart. in the second round, they vote with their head. french folks have millions of different political views, and that really comes across in the many candidates in the first round. the second round, they have to choose between two, and it is a begrudged vote, really. i think you have to look past the simple numbers. to give you an example, you know, the bernie sanders candidate got more than 7 million votes in the first round. all of those voters had to choose between the far right le pen but anti-establishment, the socialist voters, or the centrist establishment macron. we spoke to, again and again, voters who felt stuck, weren't sure. socialists, remember, who went all the way over to le pen. it is a sophisticated election, the french elections. important, i think, not to just take simple readings from it. although, of course, the simple
fact is macron has won. for those who believe in liberal democracy and stability right now, in europe in particular, that is a victory. this was not a change election. president macron framed it before the election, warned the french people, in his words, this could be another brexit or election of president trump in 2016. but i think looking forward, it is important not to just dismiss the far right vote here. in one sense, macron does look like an island of moderation in a sea of turmoil in france. if the far right vote continues to increase like it has been, there is the potential that either a le pen or somebody else with a different name gets elected as some point in the future. the future is unknown, of course. five years to another presidential election. who knows where the world will be at that point. >> yeah, really. nbc's keir simmons, thank you very much.
live from paris this morning. all right. to russian forces intensifying their attacks on the steel plant in mariupol, where thousands of ukrainian fighters and civilians are holed up. speaking to the "new york times" yesterday, the commander of the battalion, an ultranationalist part of the national guard defending the factory, said despite continuous russian assaults, the plant is still under their control. but he said his fighters and civilians are short on time and are willing to leave the city if they are guaranteed safe passage. he added, quote, there's nothing left to defend. he also said ukrainian fighters have been inside the sprawling plant since march 1st. noting their stock of ammunition is dwindling, and they are running dangerously low on food and water. the commander appealed to ukrainian leaders to save the lives of his fighters and
civilians, saying, quote, we can't get out ourselves, not without help. meanwhile, new video released by the battalion shows the deplorable conditions civilians inside the factory are facing. a toddler is seen wearing diapers made of cellophane, while some women tearfully pleaded, quote, please help us. we're so tired of these bombings. let's go to national security analyst for nbc news and msnbc clint watts, at the big board. perhaps start there, clint. >> yeah. mika, so mariupol, we've been talking over the last week about this situation at the steel plant. i think the real question is, remember, vladimir putin last week said mariupol has been taken. there was question about, okay, how long would they leave this area under siege? would they allow civilians to be evacuated? twice now, it's essentially fallen away. the next question, i think, is will there be a further assault on the steel plant? it seemed the russians didn't want to go after it initially.
now, it looks like they're picking up the pace, more artillery fire. also, would there possibly be a naval invasion coming from the sea in terms of finishing this off? bigger picture, some of the things you're starting to see is resistance. in the southern area here, the russians initially took kherson. they met resistance. you're seeing ukrainian counterattacks in many places. now, you're seeing resistance fighters, demonstrations popping up in the rear areas. bigger picture, though, is the movement to the east. here is where all the russian forces are descending at this point. from mariupol, you're seeing some indications of some small units. some uniting being moved north to donetsk. that'd essentially allow them to build out another flanking maneuver here to encircle the ukrainians. this is where most of the russian power is coming in. the ukrainian military, many of
these pockets just around kharkiv, trying to push in and get to izyum. similar to down in the south, you're starting to hear about a kharkiv resistance movement. essentially, ukrainians inside the rear area of the russians. remember, we talked about this for two months now. the russians could hardly advance in many of these locations. how would they hold this over time? it is much more difficult to be an occupying force. what we'll look for in the coming days, and we continue to see now, is several pushes and probes. the russians pushed out here. in and around severodonetsk, where the russians built up some defense. missions here. lots of artillery fire and missile strikes. the question is, the supplies we saw from secretary blinken, secretary austin, are they going to make it into this area so the ukrainian military can continue to build up a defense? this is really where the battle
is going to be in the coming two and three weeks. >> that's the question. clint watts, thank you very much. coming up, florida governor ron desantis makes his fight with disney official by sinning a new law. plus, donald trump and mike pence were both on the campaign trail over the weekend. but with very different policy agendas. we'll have new reporting on that ahead on "morning joe." wealth is breaking ground on your biggest project yet. worth is giving the people who build it a solid foundation. wealth is shutting down the office for mike's retirement party. worth is giving the employee who spent half his life with you, the party of a lifetime. ♪ ♪ wealth is watching your business grow. worth is watching your employees grow with it.
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they all said bad, but they all came back. >> well, i mean -- >> 45 past the hour. >> the wimps came back. >> there's a lot, and they all came back. >> people with no character came back. >> yes, they did. >> yes, you were surrounded by those people. congratulations, mr. former president. >> former president donald trump in ohio over the weekend rallying behind jd vance, who trump endorsed in that state's republican senate primary. despite the critical things vance had to say about donald trump in the past. that's the tactic trump is taking with kevin mccarthy. the republican house leader muddied the waters as he sought to defend himself against allegations of lying about his remarks regarding donald trump, where he lied. for their new book, "this will not pass," "new york times" reporters burns and martin reported and provided audio of mccarthy saying he'd urge trump
to resign after the january 6th capitol attack. mccarthy called the original report false. then said this after audio proved his denial was a lie. >> a lie, yeah. >> what they said we did, we never did. i mean, i never asked president trump to resign. we both talked about that. we've talked about -- >> -- about resigning? >> no, he met be clear. you missed -- i have never asked the president to resign. what the book said was not true. i never asked the president to resign. if you listen to the phone call, i got asked a question. i was asked a question in a time period about the 25th amendment. all i did was walk through, like anybody would, what are the different scenarios that would happen. all we did was put out the different options. >> it's not all he did. all he did, he said he was disgusted by it. like he said on the floor he was disgusted by it. like he told members during the time period he was disgusted by it and said he was going to have
the president step down. of course, that answer, once again, he lies. mischaracterizes the article. the article didn't say he told colleagues he asked trump to resign but that he was going to do that. the recording confirms that. here's more of that january 10th, 2021, conversation between mccarthy and republican leaders, as mccarthy wasn't just expressing options. he was expressing his contempt, his disgust. just how much he despised donald trump. >> let me be very clear to all of you, and i am very clear to the president. he bears responsibilities for his words and actions, no ifs, ands, or buts. i asked him personally today, does he told responsibility for what happened? does he feel bad about what happened? he told me he does have some responsibility for what happened, and he needs to
acknowledge that. >> i've had it with this guy. what he did is unacceptable. nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it. >> i've had it with this guy. >> it's true. >> what he did was unacceptable. >> nobody could. >> i've had it with this guy. what he did was -- again, kevin, he lies. he gets caught lying. then he lies again about hiss original lies. again, i take it back to 2017 when it came out that he, in 2016, had told house leaders that donald trump was on the take. he was getting money from vladimir putin. putin was paying trump and dana rohrabacher, in his opinion. he said, swear to god, i think it is happening. he lied about that. he was shown a transcript. he said the transcript was fake news. then they played him the tape. then he said, oh, never mind. despite those words, donald trump told the "wall street journal" friday his relationship with mccarthy was in tact because mccarthy quickly changed
his stance. trump called the quote a big compliment, that reasons who criticized him after january 6th would still back him. trump did deny he told mccarthy he accepted responsibility for what happened. a person close to trump tells nbc news mccarthy called to apologize to the former president. >> oh, my god. >> the person said trump isn't really mad. he's got other things on his mind. he accepts kevin for who he is. which really says it all. let's bring in founder of the conservative website, charlie sykes. we had a good talk on conservatism the other day. talks about where we went wrong. i think you and i probably think we continue to go wrong. maybe a little more than matthew does. anyway, it is an excellent book on reviewing conservatism. here, though, you know, part of what we discussed the other day
was lies. this has become a party that's adopted putin and russia's sort of fire hood of falsehoods, and is employing it every day. we saw jd vance last night going out, lying through his teeth, just complete lie. once again, trashing our fbi, lying about the fbi, saying that they had illegally wiretapped donald trump's offices. it just continues every day. you want trump support? you have to trash the military. you have to trash the fbi. you have to trash the cia. you have to trash every american institution, the people like you and i hold dear. >> well, you know, what's interesting about kevin mccarthy's groveling and lying about this particular incident is the nature of his lie. i mean, think about this. joe, what he's saying is, you know, no, i didn't really have a moment of decency, principle, and duty. i never did anything about it,
and i got over it very, very quickly. not only does he have to continue to lie about it, he has a pretend that one of those brief moments where he had some clarity about what was right and what was wrong needs to be memory hold. so, yes, the republicans have created an alternative reality. i remember you and i probably discussed this back in 2017 or maybe 2016. we had a sense that things had gotten bad and they were going to get worse. things have gotten much, much worse than i expected, and i was not an optimist back then. it's accelerated because donald trump keeps raising the ante. i think he likes this. he likes this as an instrument of humiliation. how far can i push people? what can i get you to say? what can i get you to apologize for? so it is not surprising that we wake up on monday morning and find that donald trump is completely happy to have the next speaker of the house of representatives, possibly, on
his knees, apologizing to him and acknowleding that he has no political future except by believing and repeating donald trump's lies. this is exactly the way donald trump wants republicans to behave right now. republicans are more than willing to go along with this. >> you know, there may be a cynical belief this is how politicians act, it's just not. it's not how they've acted in the past, charlie. i'll give an example from my personal experience. we tried to run newt gingrich out of town after the '98 elections. thought he was spending too much money and willing to sacrifice too much on tax cuts. 11 of us tried to run him out. others came to us and tried to help us out. it blew up. everybody is called to explain why everybody did what they did. very interesting. dick tried to cover himself and blame somebody else. >> right. >> tom delay, a guy who was
hated by the moderates, despised by the moderates, delay stood up before this conference when, man, the rage was there, and he said, "you know what, i'm so sorry. i thought it was in the best interest of the party. i thought newt was making too many mistakes. yes, i admit to you, it is exactly what i did. i apologize. i made a real mistake." you know, those moderates all came up in a line, while dick was trying to cover his backup. i remember fowler had no use for tom delay, she goes, "tom, don't worry about it. we know exactly what is going on. thank you for telling the truth. it means a lot to us." delay's position in the conference, by admitting he was part of this plot, actually went up. those who tried to cover their back side were never the same in the conference. it is amazing how politics has changed because of donald trump. >> yeah, what you're describing is the difference between a
functioning political party and a cult. a functioning political party will have a certain, you know -- will have guidelines, guardrails, and standards, and say, we're not going to cross this particular line. the need to make, you know -- to adapt. whereas, what you have now is a party where no one is prepared to stand up and do the right thing. i mean, they're all terrified to be liz cheney. by the way, speaking of liz cheney, i think the rather dramatic contrast last week, the same day we got the mccarthy tape, we had the kennedy school announce that liz cheney was the winner of their profile in courage. yet, so many republicans would rather kiss donald trump's ring than be remembered for their courage. i think that says something about the party, but it also says something about the incentives in our political culture right now. >> it's also talking about the conservatism of ron desantis.
actually, it is performative conservatism. you have desantis, of course, during the covid outbreak telling small businesses they couldn't run their businesses the way they wanted to. told local school boards they couldn't run their schools the way they wanted to. it was a top-down approach. it is something that we accuse liberals of. now he is going after disney, attacking disney. again, it is performative, but at the same time, it is going to end up costing florida taxpayers possibly $1 billion. just like governor abbott owning the libs is costing $4 billion in their economy. it is fascinating. it also seems stupid. i can tell you, disney was more packed this weekend than it's ever been. people in florida still love the magic kingdom. is opening the libs putting republicans who want to go national in a position where they're cutting off their nose
despite their faces? >> i think that's really possible. you know, i think you're right to do two things right there. you connect the dots between the performative jerkitude of governor abbott in texas and the governor of florida. it will cost the citizens of their state a lot of money. you know, the thing about ron desantis, ron desantis is not a conservative. otherwise, he wouldn't be destroying local control. it is not populist to go after disney. it is important for people to understand what he is doing here. there is no real public policy justification for the legislation attacking disney. it is strictly and totally a matter of retaliation, revenge against disney for engaging in political speech he disagrees with. this is the right's new enthusiasm for cancel culture and using the power of government to punish private businesses that engage in wrongthink or speech or take
positions on cultural issues with which they disagree. if that is the model, and i have to tell you, i'm watching as conservative media rallies around this. they are enthusiastic about this. if that is the model, it is a very dangerous moment, particularly if the right-wing thinks, you know, we get back in the white house, let's use the power of government to beat up on businesses and individuals we disagree with. by the way, what a reversal of what conservatives thought up until, say, five minutes ago. >> yeah. >> remember, are we old enough to remember when conservatives believes that, you know, we needed to protect the private sector, you know, free markets, corporations for people, citizens united. >> oh, yeah. >> all of that is gone. the attack on disney is so naked in showing exactly what they are prepared to do. >> very exposing. charlie sykes, thank you so
much. coming up, we're headed back to ukraine for a live report following president zelenskyy's meeting with america's top diplomat and military leader. we'll also get expert analysis on the latest developments in ukraine, from retired general twittey. later, the big lie takes center stage in the state of georgia, as a trump-backed candidate wastes no time pushing false claims about the 2020 presidential election. jonathan lemire and i talk about the collapse of a once great baseball team. back in 90 seconds. great baseball team. back in 90 seconds ( ♪♪ ) ♪ walking on ♪ ♪ walking on the moon ♪ ♪ some ♪ ♪ may say ♪ ♪ i'm wishing my days away ♪ ♪ no way ♪
♪♪ beautiful shot of washington, d.c. 7:00 a.m. let me tell you this morning as you look, freedom. western democracy in good hands, for now. from washington to paris to warsaw. >> there you go. >> a big election result last night coming out of paris. of course, jonathan lemire, we don't want to talk about it anymore, but "morning joe" bookies called it, 58.5%, when everybody else was calling it close. something else, though. they are moving forward and trying to furiously figure out whether the baltimore orioles or the boston red sox will finish in fourth place in the american
league east. a brutal weekend for our boston red sox. maybe they lose 100, 120 games. i'm not sure. what say you. >> that's where the bookies are looking now. triple digits in terms of losses for the red sox. >> at least. >> let's just talk about one game that encapsulates how tough things are at the moment. saturday night, the always good rays down the tampa, the red sox were no hit. say it again, no hit through nine innings. however, rays didn't score either so the game continued, 0-0. sox the top of the tenth get their first hit, even get two. they get a 2-0 lead. bottom of the inning, after an error by trevor story, a walk-off home run and lose 3-2. what was about to be an improbable victory becomes an excruciating defeat. they were lifeless yesterday. they are in fourth place, a couple games under .500.
now they go to toronto missing some of their players who are not vaccinated and, therefore, not able to enter the country. >> i'll never understand. >> red sox, again, clutching defeat from the jaws of victory. if you thought it possible, they did it. >> got it done. >> reminds me, it was always said, bottom of the ninth inning, weird things always happen in tampa. well, we were at the bottom of the tenth, and i was thinking as we went there, sure enough, weird things always happen in the last inning of the game. mika, we will persevere. we will move on. also, by the way, if you'd like to invite jonathan lemire to your wedding -- >> poor jonathan. >> -- don't do it during baseball season. in the middle of the wedding, as the vows were being given, there is a picture from behind of lemire looking up at a television set, watching the red
sox game. why am i not surprised? >> i'm going to push back on this slightly, only to say that it was during the reception, not the wedding itself. slightly more excusable. yes, i was caught. >> no. >> the red sox were on. celtics playoffs, game two. my attention was diverted. hey, that comes with the territory. you invite me to your wedding. my attention is going to be split. >> got it. >> as my grandma always said, mika, you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. let's get to the news. my lord. the highest level of the u.s. to ukraine. secretary of state blinken and secretary of defense austin lloyd meet with zelenskyy in kyiv. joining us now live from lviv, ukraine, nbc news foreign correspondent raf sanchez.
raf? >> reporter: mika, this was a visit planned in secret. it was carried out in secret. the secretary of state, secretary of defense getting on a train in poland, going to kyiv, a city that a couple weeks ago was surrounded by russian forces. they headed straight to the presidential palace where they met for three hours with president zelenskyy and his top aides. this was, as you said, the first face-to-face meeting between senior american officials and the ukrainian president since the russian invasion began. a highly symbolic meeting. secretary blinken said he was also there to inform president zelenskyy of a number of diplomatic developments. take a listen to what he had to say. >> we had an opportunity to demonstrate directly our strong support, our strong, ongoing support for the ukrainian government and for the ukrainian people. part of our commitment going forward involves a number of things that i was able to share with president zelenskyy
yesterday. including the return of american diplomats to ukraine starting next week. incluing president biden's attempt to nominate a new ambassador to ukraine. >> reporter: now, any minute now, president biden is expected to announce the nomination of bridget brink to be the new u.s. ambassador to ukraine. she is a career diplomat, currently the ambassador to slo slovakia. this will be the first time the u.s. had a full ambassador in kyiv since 2019. you'll remember, yovanovitch was forced out by donald trump and rudy giuliani. secretary blinken also saying u.s. diplomats will begin returning to ukraine. they'll take baby steps. first they're coming here to the relative safety of the western city of lviv. the plan is to once again reopen the american embassy in kyiv. from president zelenskyy's perspective, this is better late than never. the u.s. is quite behind some of the european powers on this front.
the british are reopening their embassy this week. secretary blinken said the bottom line here is the u.s. is in this for the long haul, to support ukraine. he said russia is failing and ukraine is succeeding on the battlefields. he said that a sovereign and independent ukraine will be around a lot longer than vladimir putin. mika? >> hey, raf, some warnings overnight from the ukrainian government that they believe the russians might begin attacks again in the northwestern part of the country, possibly kyiv. have you heard anything about that, any reason for ukrainians to be concerned? >> reporter: joe, the russians have demonstrated they are prepared to target every corner of this country. over the weekend, there was that horrendous missile strike in odesa. eight people killed, including a young woman named valerie and her 3-month-old baby daughter kiera. that is a baby who spent more
than half of her short life living through vladimir putin's war before her life was ended by one of putin's cruise missiles. some news in mariupol this morning. in the last few minutes, the russian defense ministry says they are implementing a unilateral cease-fire around what remains of the steel plant where ukrainian forces and civilians are holed up. they say, they say that they will stop shooting and will withdraw to a safe distance. if the ukrainians raise the white flag over the steel plant, the civilians can come out safely. guys, we have seen time and time and time again the russians make these promises and renege on them. it is not at all clear the ukrainians are going to take them on trust that it is safe to come out of the labyrinth of tunnels underneath the steel plant, to put themselves at the mercy of the russian forces surrounding them. the claim from the russians is they are implementing a unilateral cease-fire at this hour in mariupol. we'll see what happens.
>> nbc's raf sanchez, thank you very much. joining us now, retired u.s. army general steph twittey. he served multiple tours in iraq and afghanistan. prior to his retirement in 2020, was deputy of the european command. he is now an msnbc military analyst. also with us, history professor at tulane university, walter isaacson is with us. really good to have you both with us. general, what do you make of the potential for some humanitarian escape for the people inside the steel plant. is there any reason to have hope? >> well, i don't think so. we do know that the russians time and time again have said they're going to do something but they do something differently. this is another employ to bring terror on the ukrainian people. here's what i will tell you that we need to take a look at here.
mariupol, with the russians being there, they're continuing to bring terror on the ukrainian people. it amazes me they haven't put forces in the steel plant to try and route out the remaining ukrainian forces that are in there. it tells us they're not willing to do the hard work, getting in the tunnels, routing out the ukrainian forces to claim victory. if they're not willing to do that, then when you take a look at the entire war, for nine weeks now, we have not seen a strategic victory. this may, mariupol may not be a victory for the russians as this continues. >> let me ask you your response to the sec of def and secretary of state visiting zelenskyy and
talking about weapons. not just talking about helping them survive but providing them weapons they need to win, to beat the russians. also talking about degrading russian forces to the degree that they can never launch this sort of attack against the ukrainian people again. it seems, at least to my ears, to be a heck of a change from u.s. policy. we're now just out and out getting to the point where we're saying, we're in this for a ukrainian victory. we're in this to bleed the russians out too badly where they're too weak to ever do this again. what were your thoughts? >> two best words i've heard from the administration lately, winning and weakening the russians. in order to win, we have to continue to give the ukrainians, obviously, what they need to win this fight. it's not just we. all of europe, all of nato, our 30 countries, we have to get behind this fight and resource them with the stuff they need.
when it comes to weakening, it cannot be just the military being weakened by military power. it's got to be across all the instruments of power. their economy. when you take a look at the all that the europeans are buying each day. fuel of 1 billion barrels a day. we have to wean the europeans off the oil. when it comes to the diplomatic, we have to continue to isolate russia. winning, to me, is not just crippling the military. because with the money they are generating, they can always build that military back. there's got to be a long-term, across all instruments of power, if we're going to weaken them. >> hey, walter, it is jonathan. first, just to note, as raf was saying a moment ago, the president imminently was going to announce his pick to be ambassador of ukraine. the president did that.
bridget bink, it is official now. good show producing here. i want to get to something here. there's been a lot of talk about may 9th, victory day. you're a history professor. you know what it meant the end of world war ii for the then soviet union. officials i spoke to say they don't really see that putin would use that day to escalate violence. but they do wonder if he'd try to claim a hollow victory, perhaps a hollow progress report. they note, with amusement, it'd be hard to have a military parade in moscow when your tanks are blown up in ukraine. what might putin do to save some face? >> i do think you can always hope you can have a cease-fire, where putin could declare a victory that is not really a victory, but allows sort of a cease-fire line in which there is some control in eastern ukraine by the soef j soviets -,
the former soviet troops, the russians. by doing so, he would be able to say this is disputed territory. i think the ukrainians would have to say, as president zelenskyy has said he would, that we can negotiate. crimea and parts of eastern ukraine, perhaps, and draw a cease-fire line. let's have a cease-fire of this. this is -- if you're talking about the scenario you put out, the russians want to save face, have a permanency with occupied territory that could be settled the next five to ten years. >> walter, let's talk about what happened in france last night. >> sounds great, yeah. >> talk about how quickly history changes. here we had for four years donald trump trying to destroy nato. along with, obviously, vladimir putin, marine le pen talking about destroying nato.
you had this unholy alliance that went from washington to paris to warsaw to hungary, all the way to russia. now let's look what happened the last six weeks. i wrote it down quickly. germany coming out saying they're going to build their military in a way they haven't since 1945. germany, preeminent nato power, will have a larger military than russia. you have a sweden and finland. my god, finland, a dagger, really. the top of russia talking about getting into nato. that was unthinkable six, seven weeks ago. you have the swiss who, of course, were neutral during world war ii. neutral while hitler was storming across europe. the swiss becoming engaged against russia, as well. then, of course, last night, france, just an absolute, total
rejection of le pen and her pro-putin, anti-nato stance. 58.5% to 41.5%. people said last night, oh, in america, that'd be a landslide. you know what you call that in france? a landlandslide. it is a landslide and a complete, total rejection. the center has held on the six out of ten voters choosing the center to extremism. this is an extraordinarily strong report card for the same nato that donald trump and vladimir putin wanted to destroy a year and a half ago. >> amazing miscalculation by putin. he certainly has gotten the exact opposite of what his objectives were, which was undermining nato. indeed, you can hope that these are straws in the wind against what has been a 20, 25 year
trend, of a movement toward more authoritarian populist, perhaps socialist, you can even use those phrases against people in the united states who are doing certain things that they call conservative but are actually authoritarian, populist, socialist. you see it still in europe. obviously, you have orban in hungary. the real question is, can we in the west who believe in democracy and believe in the rule of law and individual liberty, can we recapture this moment? that requires, i think, understanding why there has been a backlash against the western democratic ideals. why there has been a populist backlash. a lot of people got left out of the prosperity. a lot of people got resentment for the elites. we don't want that to continue to be driving politics. we can hope that this is a turning point.
>> general twitty, with everything going on in the world, but especially the big news over the weekend of the two top diplomats and defense representatives here in the united states headed to ukraine for the secret meeting, an ambassador headed back to ukraine, are these markers down that point to a comfort, perhaps, in the future, that perhaps heavier weapons, stronger defenses, and maybe even offensive weapons would be sent to ukraine? >> i think so. it's very good to hear the diplomats are going back. of course, there is a lot of work for those diplomats to do. number one, we need to get negotiations going here. this war will not be won, whether it be ukraine or russia, militarily. we have to get negotiations going here. that's what the diplomats can do. the reconstruction effort. there is going to be a huge
reconstruction effort that's going to have to happen for ukraine. russia has pummelled it. the other one is the humanitarian effort that needs to take place here. you know, you have 5.7 million displaced ukrainian. you have another 7 million refugees. great to hear the diplomats. on the weapons piece, i will tell ya, i'm liking what i'm seeing here with the weapons going in, but there needs to be a long-term strategy. not just a u.s. strategy but a west strategy to how to sustain this. we cannot continue to, every other week, put another $800 million in there for u.s. weapons. what is the long-term strategy that is going to allow the ukrainians to win? >> all right. retired u.s. army general steph stephen twitter, thank you for coming on this morning.
walter isaacson, thank you so much. we'll note that walter's best-selling book "the codebreaker" is now available in a young reader's edition. >> it is good. i had trouble following the regular one. this is going to be perfect. >> perfect for you, joe. there we go. thank you, walter. >> thank you all so much. ahead on "morning joe," new reporting reveals donald trump's former chief of staff, mark meadows, was hold beforehand the events of january 6th could turn violent. the question is, what did he do with that information? plus, georgia voters will head to the polls this november and cast their pick for governor. instead of focusing on 2022, the two republican candidates seem to be stuck on 2020. are you kidding me? you're watching "morning joe." >> good way to lose a race. >> we'll be right back. finding the perfect designer isn't easy. but, at upwork, we found her. she's in austin between a dog named klaus and her favorite shade of green.
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beautiful shot of a very cloudy, foggy washington, d.c. this morning at 24 past the hour. the alleged fraud of the previous election dominated last night's republican gubernatorial primary debate in georgia. former senator david perdue made his intentions clear right from his opening statement. >> first off, folks, let me be very clear tonight. the election in 2020 was rigged and stolen. all the madness we see from the biden administration, 2 million illegals, rising gas prices, unbelievable inflation, the brink of war, all that started right here in georgia when our governor cave and had allowed radical democrats to steal our election. because of that, he has divided our party and cannot win. what you're going to see tonight, unfortunately, is an embattled governor. a career politician, 20-year career politician, who is going
to parrot his political handlers to distract you from the fact he sold us out and cost us the majority of the united states senate. i'm proud to have president trump's endorsement. >> wow. how does he do that? the issue took up nearly half of the entire debate between perdue and brian kemp. kemp fell out of favor with president trump after he insisted the victory for president biden in the state was fair. attempted to brand perdue has damaged goods for his loss in the last election to democratic senator jon ossoff, which ultimately gave democrats control of the u.s. senate. georgia's republican primary election will take place on may 24th. there were lies being tossed out in ohio over the weekend, as well, big ones. all over the place. donald trump appeared with his
pick in the state's republican senate primary, jd vance. here is jd vance with one of those lies. >> ladies and gentlemen, the thing that trump revealed more than any policy achievement is that we are living in an incredibly corrupt country. who would have believed that the federal bureau of investigation, our fbi, would have got an illegal wiretap on a u.s. president? who would have believed? >> well, actually, nobody would have believed that because it's not true, jd vance. joining us now, "new york times" reporter michael schmidt and congressional investigations reporter for the "washington post" jackie alemany. msnbc contributor. good to have you both. michael schmidt, can you explain why nobody would perhaps believe jd vance's comments? >> yeah. i had never actually heard that
specific thing, that about trump being wiretapped when he was president. we don't have any evidence of that happening. this was something that started in the aftermath of the 2016 campaign, where trump came out and said that obama had wiretapped trump tower and the fbi had been behind it. that there had been this elaborate, you know, illegal scheme, this scheme by the obama administration to target him. that never proved out to be true, even after inspector generals looked at it. putting all that aside, you know, a lot of these types of criticisms about the corruption of the government that trump has exposed or whatever, i thought find sort of rich. trump had every opportunity. he was in charge of the executive branch. to do what he wanted. some ways he did, but other ways, he continued to sow doubt about that branch that he was leading without really taking charge and doing more than that.
so it's sort of an example of that continuing to perpetuate itself. >> former white house chief of staff mark meadows was allegedly warned that the january 6th event could become violent. that revelation is according to testimony from former white house official cassidy hutchinson. to the january 6th select committee. 250-page court filing, late friday, included transcripts from her testimony. quote, i know there were concerns brought forward to mr. meadows. adding if she was unsure if he perceived them to be as genuine concerns. she told the committee she was not sure what, if anything, meadows did with that warning. it was not clear from hutchinson's testimony what intel meadows actually received. nbc news reached out to meadows' attorney for comment. jackie, you're following all this. mark meadows has a lot of
questions coming at him in terms of what he knew about january 6th and when he knew it. now, this report that he might have even understood a concept it would have been violent. i guess the question would be what he did with that information. >> yeah, mika, this 248 brief that came out on friday night, almost at midnight after a pretty crazy week of news cycles, really provided a broader picture of what the committee, the legal argument that the committee is trying to make as we move toward these public hearings. that's that various people in the white house, potentially, were involved with some sort of criminal conspiracy to defraud and obstruct congress. there are various examples. the most significant one provided in the briefing was that cassidy hutchinson, a close aide to mark meadows, said that meadows was directly notified of potential violence on january
6th. there have been previous reports that showed people in the white house were made aware of this intelligence, that there was going to be violence on the 6th. this was the first time we've heard someone close to meadows say that he was directly notified. again, the question you just asked, what did he do with that information? that's what the january 6th committee wants to know. there are also other examples in this filing of meadows being told specific things about the day's events. for example, that there was no constitutional basis for the plan to overturn the results of the elections. that there would be mass resignations if the plan to seize voting machines was implemented. you see the committee documenting various steps along the way where meadows was expliz explicitly told that what the former president was engaged in and what he was helping him do, helping him try to execute some of these efforts was
unconstitutional, and he should stop. the question is what did meadows do with the question. >> michael, if you had any updates in terms of the timeline of the january 6th committee, basically operating under, and whether we'll see the public hearings that have been rumored about some time, let us know. also, if you wanted to address the first clip at the top of this, perdue flat out saying at the start of the debate the other night against brian kemp, the republican governor, the race in georgia, that the 2020 election was stolen. we hear it from donald trump all the time, but it seems surprising to have it so front and center from what had been considered a somewhat mainstream republican until this. >> well, i think, you know, if you look at the developments of the past week and what we have learned from the audio that came out about mccarthy, or the filing that came out about meadows, is that these members of congress, whether it was mccarthy who was talking to trump or it was meadows who was
talking to jim jordan and scott perry and other members, is that the members of congress have important information that is central to the question of whether congress' acts were obstructed. maybe they were obstructed by members of congress. if the committee continues on the trajectory they're on, they will never speak to those individuals. they will not subpoena them to testify. they will not be interviewed. it will leave a gaping hole in their report. these are clearly identified as central players in what went on. kevin mccarthy talking to other members, talking to the president of the united states, obviously with a clear-eyed view through some of that audio of what was going on. meadows, you know, looks like, in on the plans with these other members, like jim jordan.
the committee has shown an unwillingness to force them to answer questions. the committee can have all the public hearings it wants, but without those individuals, without a fuller picture of what went on around them, it will not be a full authoritative account of what happened in the lead-up to and during january 6th. >> michael schmidt, what would be the reason not to subpoena them? >> well, i think there are two or two and a half or three reasons for that. one of them is that legal experts would say the members would have a decent argument in court because of the speech and debate protections they have as members of congress. this is an area that hasn't been tested, and democrats don't want to do that. and there is a feeling from democratic leadership in the house, if they were to cross this line, then when the republicans win back control of congress, if they were to do that, they would then turn that
power on the democrats themselves. they don't want to set that precedent. they're afraid of doing that because of what could happen to them down the line. >> michael schmidt, thank you very much. coming up, could the 2016 republican ticket turn into a 2024 primary fight? we've got a preview this weekend of what that might look like. vaughn hilliard joins us next with his new reporting. we'll be right back. trelegy for copd. [coughing] ♪ birds flyin' high, you know how i feel. ♪ ♪ breeze driftin' on by... ♪ if you've been playing down your copd,... ♪ it's a new dawn, it's a new day,... ♪ ...it's time to make a stand. start a new day with trelegy. ♪...and i'm feelin' good. ♪ no once-daily copd medicine... has the power to treat copd in as many ways as trelegy. with three medicines in one inhaler,
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midwest at the same time. nbc news correspondent vaughn hilliard has a look at the two men circling each other on the trail. >> mika, it is now 15 months since their fallout, and now we find both donald trump and mike pence on separate campaign trails. we joined alongside the former president in ohio this weekend and sent a camera to track down mike pence across the state of iowa. >> reporter: a former president and his vice president out of office but not off the trail. >> hello, ohio. >> it's beautiful driving through iowa. >> reporter: the two men, once inseparable -- >> mike, will you be my running mate? >> donald trump is still standing stronger than ever before. >> reporter: both trump and pence now flirting with their own 2024 presidential runs. >> in 2024, most importantly, we are going to take back that very, very, very, very beautiful white house. >> we will win back this country
in 2024. >> reporter: a rivalry like this not since vice president garner took on fdr, his white house partner in 1940. trump and pence taking divering paths since the january 6th insurrection, when pence, to trump's chagrin, certified the election results. >> president trump is wrong. i had no right to overturn the election. >> reporter: pence this weekend engaging in once considered traditional campaign stops. a breakfast gathering of party activists. down the road in the evening -- >> it is wonderful to see you all back at the lincoln highway dinner. >> reporter: this as trump galvanizes thousands at rallies like this in ohio. his seventh already in 2022. >> he is the best. he is the boss. it's donald trump all the way. >> what about pence? >> no. no, no. >> reporter: trump and his fans unyielding, trying to use his influence by endorsing candidates in contentious
primaries. >> this man is going to win. >> reporter: as pence quietly focuses on smaller party-unifying efforts. >> we gather together with a sense of optimism and purpose. >> reporter: a tenor distinctly different than his former running mate. >> right now, our country is going to hell. >> reporter: trump continuing to litigate the past. >> our biggest threat remains the sick, sinister, and evil people from within our own country. >> reporter: the one-time duo now on separate but potentially colliding campaign trails. >> donald trump engages in so many of these contentious primaries, putting his political capital on the line. vice president pence doesn't wade into the inter-party fights. instead, is in iowa joining chuck grassley, endorsing hinson for congress in her re-election bid, trying to stay back as donald trump potentially puts his own self on the line and makes himself vulnerable in some of these races. >> you saw there, vaughan, we
saw the size of the crowd behind you in ohio with the former president. his fans still fervent. talk to us a little about what we also saw in georgia. we were talking a little this morning. david perdue basically saying the central platform of my campaign is the 2020 election was rigged. that, of course, not true. he is losing the polls to governor kemp who says otherwise. doesn't this also show how tight trump's grip is on so much of the republican party? >> shows how tight his grip is. at the same time, though, i was talking with somebody close to the former vice president. says, look, this is becoming a referendum on trump at the same time. and the big lie here. if david perdue, who staked his claim on the 2020 election conspiracy, is not able to win on may 24th, if the likes of, you know, we see jd vance, who has taken the big lie mantra, is not able to win his primary on may 3rd. if herbster in nebraska.
dr. oz, mooney, if they can't win primaries, suddenly, there is a little bit of a crack here in the republican primary. again, that's where we get to this referendum on trump and the big lie. >> good point. >> jackie alemany, looking at that, so many questions. i want to get back to what may be the overarching question. is there a sense of urgency after what we just saw for the january 6th committee to come out with a report? could there be consequences for high-level administration officials about the attack on the capitol, or will there never be? just only consequences for the thousands of followers of trump who did what they did at the capitol in the name of trump. >> there's definitely an electoral imperative here, mika, for the january 6th committee to get their work done. so when voters do go to the ballot box in november, they can make a fully educated decision, knowing whether or not their
candidate or the incumbent was a pro-insurrectionist or involved in the results of overturning the election. i sat in on a number of focus groups with different blocks of voting groups who, you know, don't -- january 6th is not at the top of their mind by any means. when they are asked about it, they do feel this inherent contradiction between people who are continuing to run for office. you know, a democratic system, but also supported anti-democratic efforts and don't favor those candidates who did support the insurrection in some ways. but i have to say, you know, for all the criticisms of mike pence, that footage that vaughn just showed is really striking, especially after the mccarthy tapes. pence is really an outlier right now in the party, as being one of the only leaders who isn't necessarily trying to govern or
lead by a popularity contest but is, in fact, showing some values-based leadership. you know, he is a good example of whether or not that can actually make a difference and tip the scales here for any of these people he's out on the campaign trail for. for himself, potentially, going into 2024. >> really interesting. jackie alemany and vaughn hilliard, thank you both for your reporting. we have a lot to get to on the war in ukraine. two top u.s. officials meet president zelenskyy, as russian forces step up their attacks in ukraine's eastern and southern regions. plus, retired four-star generalccaffery joins us the top of the hour. we dive into french president macron's massive win over his far right challenger. >> massive. >> as you predicted on april 12th. i'm not sure how you got the
number exactly right. that's annoying. that's annoying. >> i'm a humble man. it wasn't me. it was the "morning joe" bookies who saw something that, let's face it, no other pundit across the world saw. they thought it'd be tight. very interesting. we'll be talking about that and a whole lot more. plus, rog bennett is coming up with some really remote, kind of bizarre cultural references to try to get you, the teeming masses of america, to be more interested in european football. we'll be right back. april 27th . save on all the upgrades you need to refresh your space your way. that's why we carry a large selection of kitchen faucets. so that your little update can make a big difference. wayfair has all the easy upgrades. from cabinet hardware to peel and stick tile. and with the lowest prices of the year on everything from bathtubs to vanities. even your big projects are no big deal.
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the price he originally offered to the social media company that he called his best and final offer, people familiar with the matters say. these are sources familiar with the matter inside twitter saying that elon musk, in fact, just may be running the joint. we'll find out more from andrew ross sorkin who i'm sure is busily chasing this story. we'll have him with us in about an hour. right now, let's talk about something a bit more serious. that is, of course, epl football. let's bring in nbc sports soccer analyst and co-host of "men in blazers," roger bennett. you know, roger, a warmful time when winston churchill passed. i know your family sad, i'm sure. you had them -- the union jack at half-staff for a week or two. tell me what exactly are you and
your compatriots going to be doing in the -- on the everton side of merseyside after yesterday's brutal, brutal loss p. let's look at it and then we can discuss. the premier league in its final stretch. what british people poetically reforeas squeaky bum time. the merseyside derby. mighty liverpool football club against everton. third from bottom. in danger of being relegated. this means being demoted in the minor leagues. equivalent of playing chess with death in the seventh seal. for those about to die, we salute you. the game came alive. peter frampton in the second half. andy robertson, his scottish head, thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening. 85th minute.
this guy doubled the lead. he's a bench warmer who only against everton is a death bringer. this is his sixth goal in nine derbies. build the statue now. living proof. 2-1 liverpool. what does not kill me does not make me stronger, but weaker than they kitten. within one point of manchester city as this title race goes down to the wire. look at this. what a remarkable human being this gentleman is. what leader of humanity. i wish he was honestly -- if he was president of europe, we'd be in a lot better shape, jurgen klopp. >> tell me about everton. the real problems this year in danger of relegation, but do you expect them to come in and sweep everton off their feet? >> i'm hoping one is watching "morning joe" right now. call me. if everton have not been relegated since 1951.
the seconds did tick away on this game, i wondered if this was the last merseyside derby i'd see in my lifetime. let's look at smrth games before i fall apart on national television. arsenal in a knife fight for the top four, facing the buccaneers. or manchester united. goes word to your moms, i came to drop bombs. manchester united, worse than marjorie taylor greene on the witness stand. and on the lovely moment of the weekend, chelsea left it late against a doggedly scrappy west ham united. let's look at this, america. this is a gentleman who you're about to see. 90th minute of the game. cristiano kalisik from herbshy, pennsylvania. with his chocolate leg. after the frustration of a spell on the bench, this is a man vindicated. a kid who challenges fdr's belief that the fate of america cannot depend on any one man.
he is the lebron james of soccer. >> so tell me, roger, what are you seeing for down this stretch between liverpool and city? obviously liverpool only one point behind. any predictions? >> this is just two incredible, almost peerless football in teams going head-to-head. both of them have to be perfect. both of them also in champions league semifinals. we have never seen the like of it before. manchester city, powered by the goalers of abu dhabi. liverpool football club. i cheer for the team who are their arch rivals, but even i have to marvel at the job the boston red sox have done, taking a leadership style and looking for competitive advantage. the fact they are still in this is a real testament partially due to american ingenuity p. it's remarkable when you look at
what happened with klopp. they put the right person in charge. what a difference that's made. just like every monday morning, roger bennett, when you come to us, with or without lady di sweaters, you make such a big difference. thank you for being with us, even on the darkest of days. >> pray for me. >> pain and agony, he still comes through because, rog was reborn in america. coming up, it's among the russian top targets in ukraine. the port city of odesa. we'll have a live report from that battleground ahead. also, of course, breaking news. reuters reporting that elon musk just may end up getting the deal that he wanted. he offered a final and best deal a week ago. twitter pushed away, but now it looks like they are moving back. the tesla owner's way. we'll talk about that and more when we return. rn
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wow. a small sign of normalcy in kyiv yesterday when ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy was forced to briefly stop a news conference he was holding because of a train passing by. it comes as we witness the highest level american delegation to visit ukraine since the start of the russian invasion. the heads of the state department and pentagon meet face-to-face with ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy in
kyiv. general barry mccaffrey joins us in just a moment. also, the u.s. ambassador to ukraine will be -- or we're putting one in place. plus, the latest from france as emanuel macron defeated marine le pen. it wasn't really close but is there still cause for concern? and kevin mccarthy goes out of his way to make sure that he and donald trump are still on good terms after that leaked audio exposed what he really thinks about the former president. welcome back to "morning joe." it is monday, april 25th. it is three minutes past the top of the hour. 8:00 on the east coast. jonathan lemire is still with us. we start with that high-level u.s. visit to ukraine. nbc news correspondent erin mclaughlin has the details. >> reporter: for the first time since the beginning of the 60-day war, top u.s. officials
visited the ukrainian capital. president zelenskyy greeting the u.s. secretaries of state and defense in a visit shrouded in secrecy. >> what a pleasure it is to see you in person. >> reporter: promising an additional $700 million in foreign military aid. secretary austin says the goal is to make sure russia suffers significant military losses. >> we want to see russia weakened to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things that it has done in invading ukraine. >> reporter: blinken announcing the nomination of a new u.s. ambassador, bridgent brink, and a return of u.s. diplomats to ukraine. president zelenskyy thanking the united states for the support. in a press conference before the visit held at one of the capital's subway stations, doubling as a presidential bomb shelter, i asked president zelenskyy about his message to the u.s. secretaries. >> why is it important for high-ranking u.s. officials to visit the ukrainian capital, and what do you plan to tell them?
we are expecting specific things and specific weapons, he says. this while on orthodox easter weekend, fighting raged on across the donbas region. inside the besieged port city of mariupol, despite calls for a truce and hundreds of civilians trapped, ukrainian officials say the russians stormed and bombarded the old steel plant. the last ukrainian stronghold. and this morning, fires are burning at two oil-related sites in the russian city of briansk, close to the border. in the capital at the good bakery, the smell of fresh-baked bread and compassion bringing smiles to people's faces. carefully packing the loaves into boxes to bring easter cheer to the capital's war-torn suburbs. >> our bread is hope. >> reporter: ukraine on this orthodox easter with death and destruction everywhere, there is also hope and the indominable spirit of the ukrainian people.
>> beautiful. nbc's erin mclaughlin reporting for us from ukraine. thank you. with us now, retired four-star general barry mccaffrey, an nbc news military analyst. also staff writer for "the atlantic," anne applebaum. i'm curious your thought about sec of defense austin and secretary of state blinken going to ukraine and talking to zelenskyy and no longer talking about zelenskyy and the ukrainians surviving but talking about victory. that they're in it to win it, and they're in it to degrade russia's military forces so much that they can never attack ukraine again. quite a change, isn't it? >> yeah, very encouraging. look, the biden national security team is very powerful, experienced people. the secretary of the treasury, the cia director, sec def, sec state, very confident. they know what they're doing. having the two of them on the ground with president zelenskyy was really a statement of
support. i think even more so is the announcement of the return of diplomats to kyiv. we simply got to get back there on the ground. have a military liaison cell. have diplomats and stay engaged. so good news. along with, thank god, the re-election of macron in france. had france fallen out of nato over time, it would have been a major blow to the 30-nation pact for defense against russia. >> yeah. anne, your piece was fascinating, as always. and you looked at vladimir putin just incapable of understanding what was going on in ukraine. i talked about david kennedy's -- went back and read some of david kennedy's "rise and fall of the great empire" this past weekend. so once again, try to make sense of what was going on right now. and there's a portion where he talks about all of the great powers of the east from ming
dynasty, ottoman empire, japan, all of these great empires could never imagine how this collection of states in europe that were not top down but bottom up could somehow grow over the next 400, 500 years into the most powerful force in the world. and we see that again with vladimir putin. as you say, can't imagine this desire for freedom in ukraine. instead, all he can do is suggest that there's somehow spies or neo-nazis, they're plants. for this ex-kgb agent, it's just beyond his comprehension. and his failure of imagination, has it not been his failing here? >> yes, no, i agree completely. he sees the world very much the way he was trained to see the world. namely that the only thing that matters is autocratic power.
that everything else is fake or false. that anything that looks like a spontaneous street demonstration is being coordinated by somebody secretly somewhere. he sees conspiracy theories all around him. and the idea that ukraine, which genuinely is a grassroots up society, zelenskyy is a brilliant leader, but really what's happened in ukraine is that ordinary people have joined the army. ordinary people have joined the territorial defense forces. people are resisting in all kinds of ways without being asked to or without being coordinated by some secret billionaire somewhere off in the distance. and he finds that very difficult to understand. and there's a lot of evidence now that he doesn't really understand the kinds of losses that his troops have endured when they invaded ukraine from the north. and that he doesn't really understand what he's up against in the east. that doesn't mean that over the long term, you know, russia, which is a much larger state and has a much larger arsenal, can't
do a huge amount of damage. that's why it's so encouraging to see high-ranking u.s. officials inside the country talking about victory because they will need -- ukrainians will need just the technical support in order to win. but it's really their war. they're conducting it. they're organizing it. they're deciding how to use those weapons. >> anne, for your latest piece for "the atlantic" which is out today and you talk about your trip there. you're just back. "ukraine and the words that lead to mass murder." in it you write in part, in putin's language, and in the language that most russian television commentators, the ukrainians have no agency. they can't make choices for themselves. they can't elect a government for themselves. they aren't even human. they are "nazis" and so, like the kulaks before them, they can be eliminated with no remorse. they succeeded. from the first days of the war
it was evident that the russian military had planned in advance for many civilians, perhaps millions, to be killed, wounded or displaced from their homes in ukraine. in full view of the world, the russian state successfully hid this tragedy from its own people. as in the past, the use of jargon helped. this was not an invasion. it was a special military operation. this was not a mass murder of ukrainians. it was protection for the inhabitants of the eastern ukrainian territories. this was not genocide. it was defense against genocide perpetrated by the kyiv regime. >> and, anne, for a leader like putin who looks up to josef stalin, well, killing civilians in ukraine, that's nothing. that's just -- for him, it's a return to norm.
wrote a book on the 3 million to 4 million ukrainians that stalin starved to death. >> it's impossible to watch this war and not feel creepy, eerie echoes of the past. whether it's the language about the ukrainians. putin talks today about ukrainians in a way that's similar to the way the stalin regime spoke about so-called kulaks, meaning rich peasants. the way in which they used jargon, as i describe in the article, to hide from not even from ordinary russians but from the perpetrators themselves, what they are doing. to convince people what they are doing has some legitimacy. all of these are very old tactics that we've seen before. the same kinds of old tactics that we're seeing when the russians take over towns and cities in ukraine. they murder the mayors. they use random violence on the population. they bring in -- they're now actually bringing in soviet flags and statues of lenin. this is very much what the red
army did in -- first in 1939 and then in 1945 when it invaded eastern poland. so these are exactly the kind of tactics we've seen before in the distant past. >> general mccaffrey, it's jonathan lemire. want to get your take on something that happened overnight. a large explosion and fire at an oil depot in russia's city of briyansk. a fuel depot, vital for russian forces coming into ukraine. this comes on the heels of another one. train lines that run from russia to ukraine damaged a few days ago as well. there's been talk of the ukrainians trying to stage some counteroffensive. what do you think is happening here? are they reaching across the border and targeting some russian facilities? acts of sabotage back home? or is this just a lot of bad luck suddenly hitting the russian forces at a time when they can't afford it? >> we don't know. we should assume that the
ukrainians are and will continue to conduct very covert operations into the near russian regions that a lot of -- not just oil transportation, rail networks, but also their s-400 antiaircraft system back there. so they're not off limits. but the bigger news, it seems to me, is the russians continue to run a strategic air campaign. they've got five times the air power of the ukrainians against a ukrainian rail network and against ukrainian oil facilities. we also should not lose sight of the fact that the big battle is coming. and that battle isn't to seize more terrain in the donbas and odesa. it's to destroy the ukrainian army. so we're still nato and the global allies are still under pressure trying to give the ukrainian military a force of maneuver and a capability for deep fires to successfully
resist the russians. the whole outcome, it seems to me, is still in some peril. >> so general, with that in mind, obviously, zelenskyy last week said that biden had a good talk with biden. biden agreed to supply him weapons systems he needed. from your understanding of what they have on the ground, what do they still need? what's the next step for the united states as we move forward at that phase? >> of course, part of the problem, part of the challenge with secretary austin and the defense department is the degree to which ukrainians can absorb new weapons systems. right now, thankfully, we've got five battalions of 155 modern artillery going in along with a lot of ammunition. these are precision weapons. they can get out as far as 40 miles and hit within 30 feet of their target. they're vital to countering russian artillery. but that's not enough.
we won't be able to get apache attack helicopters in there. we can't get some of our most sophisticated air defense missile systems in there. they don't have the time to train or absorb them. so what i'm hopeful is that the ukrainians are able to get modern tanks, not old t-72s from other eastern european nato allies but a more modern tank system and possibly deep fires. can go out there 200 or more miles. the manpower on the two sides is roughly equivalent. the russians have more reserves and more momentum. but again, the real battle is, can the russias encircle ukrainian forces in the east and destroy them? my guess is they can't. they're too disorganized. their generals have failed in their operational plans. at the tactical level, the morale of the russians is pretty
low. but the whole question is in the offing. >> so anne, i'm curious. first of all, your reaction to last night's election victory by macron. his solid victory. you, of course, wrote an extraordinarily important book about the battle for liberal democracy from washington to warsaw to moscow. and, obviously, that line goes right through the middle of france and the fears that le pen was going to be able to gain victory. she obviously did not. i'm curious, how important is that to western democracy, first, and then secondly, just tell us what you saw when you went -- when you went east, when you went to central europe and saw what you saw. >> so, yes, absolutely, the re-election of macron is very important. both for the continuation of democracy in france but also for
france's continued participation in this war and its continued membership of the western alliance. marine le pen said she'd withdraw from nato. she's been very anti-american. she is also talked in the past about withdrawing from the european union. i think it's really important to note that she, in order to do as well as she did, she had to modify a lot of those statements. and so she sought to reinvent herself to make herself seem nicer. she stopped attacking the eu. she even, at the very end of her campaign attacked putin. that wasn't so credible because her election funding has come directly from russian banks in the past. and so she is accurately characterized as a puppet of putin or a spokesman for putin. but she had to try and readjust to the french mainstream and that's a sign the french mainstream still, you know, is still attached to western institutions and values. as for my trip, yes, i -- we did
fly to poland, and we did travel to kyiv with my editor jeff goldberg and interviewed zelenskyy. he had two messages. one of which you've heard repeatedly which is that they need more weapons. there's a continued gap in perceptions between kyiv and washington and what has been done and what can be done. i'm feeling just in the last few days that this is shifting a little bit as really, really very important that secretary austin said that ukraine can win. that wasn't the view in washington three weeks ago. it seems to be now. but also that zelenskyy has worked so hard to change the image of his country to make sure that people understand what kind of a country ukraine is. and i think he's been remarkably successful at that. that he's not fighting for some ethnic nationalist idea of, you know, ukrainian superiority but that he's fighting on behalf of a set of values and a way of constructing the state that
benefits everybody. and i think it's precisely because he uses that kind of language that he's been successful in attracting support from the united states, but also from leaders like macron who have also in the last few days said they'll step up their aid to him. >> all right. anne applebaum, thank you so much. we'll be reading your powerful new piece for "the atlantic." and retired four-star general barry mccaffrey, thank you as well. russian forces stepped up attacks in southern ukraine bombing the port city of odesa over the weekend. at least eight people were killed, including a 3-month-old baby. when russian missiles hit an apartment block on saturday, the infant's mother and grandmother were also killed in the attack. president zelenskyy condemned the strike saying, quote, the war started when this baby was 1 month old. can you imagine what is happening? joining us live from odesa, nbc news correspondent kelly
cobiella. what is the situation on the ground there? >> well, people are understandably much more nervous than they were a couple of days ago. this is the first strike on this city in three weeks, and the last russian strike here wasn't on a civilian target. it was on an oil refinery. so this is the first time that civilians have been affected in this way by this war in this city. and we have a better idea now of what happened. the missile came in from that direction. it hit the front of this apartment building and it went straight through. it made a gaping hole in this apartment building, of course, leading to the eight deaths, sadly, including the deaths of three generations of one family. that baby girl, her mother and her grandmother. now like in so many cases, prosecutors here regionally are opening an investigation into this. they are looking at it as a war crime, as premeditated murder. the russian defense ministry
says they were targeting military facilities, but the ukrainians say there are no military sites in this neighborhood. this is a residential neighborhood. you can clearly see that it is a suburb of odesa. and now people we spoke to over the weekend are understandably very concerned now. they had felt relatively safe here, but just in the past 48 hours, that we've been here, we've been hearing air raid alerts every morning, every evening, and people are nervous. people who said they felt safe staying here are now considering leaving. people who were going about their jobs in this massive shipping city are now considering joining the war effort and are actively making plans to go to the front here in the south. and mika, adding to the anxiety here that information from the russian defense ministry just a couple of days ago that russia has all of southern ukraine in its sights, it wants to occupy all of the south, including
odesa. mika? >> nbc's kelly cobiella, thank you so much for that live report. we have two big guests on tomorrow's show with key insight into the war in ukraine. ukraine foreign minister dmytro kubela, plus the mayor of warsaw, rafal trzaskowski. >> i think that guy one day will be the president of poland. going to lead poland. and it will be great to have the ukrainian foreign minister who has been in the middle of discussions with lavrov. >> also to clint watts at the top of our fourth hour of "morning joe." america's debate over mask wearing shows no signs of letting up. they are no longer needed on planes or trains but they're making a comeback in some classrooms. plus, kevin mccarthy gets caught in a lie and doubles down and lies more. >> and more. >> and more. and how the top republican in
the house is trying to spin a leaked audio of him blaming donald trump for the capitol attack. also ahead, florida's governor signs a new law to take special privileges away from disney. we'll explain why it's a big deal for people who live near the park. >> it's going to be like a billion-dollar tax inincrease. >> it's going to hurt them. his constituents. >> he ended up owning consumers in texas. cost them $4 billion. he's got -- they just can't keep hurting their own constituents while trying to own the libs. we'll explain why when we return. entresto is the number one heart failure brand prescribed by cardiologists and has helped over one million people. it was proven superior at helping people stay alive and out of the hospital. don't take entresto if pregnant; it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby.
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the west and pull nato apart. >> it's not working really well. >> a lot of things not working out. that came yesterday as we've said in the form of french president emanuel macron winning a second term with an estimated 58% of the vote. his opponent, the far right marine le pen said earlier this year she considered russia an ally of france and macron was able to highlight her financial connections to russia in the final debate before yesterday's vote. joining us live from paris, nbc news senior international correspondent keir simmons with the very latest. keir? >> good morning. how can i put this? president macron was more modest last night about winning the french election than joe is this morning about calling the election right. risk of not -- never being invited on the show again, joe
is half right. it is -- it is an incredible victory for president macron. it's a french vote for stability and continuity in the face of worries about inflation and the cost of living, in the face of turmoil, of war in ukraine. president macron is the first french president to be re-elected in 20 years, and as joe is pointing out by an extraordinarily wide margin. but it is a split screen. on the one hand, you're going to have western leaders and, of course, president biden breathing a sigh of relief that this morning they're not waking up to a french president who is a fan of president putin. on the other hand, the election did reveal just as we've seen in the u.s., deep divisions in france. the rise of the right is real. this is the biggest vote for a le pen candidate, either hear or
her father so far. the biggest vote for the far right since the second world war. and you know, guys, we were underneath the eiffel tower at macron's victory rally last night talking to people as they left. even as they left, they were talking about not the victory but what macron needs to do. how much frustration there is in france. how much he needs to try to unify the country and how, frankly, how difficult he is going to be -- going to find that to be able to do. there are parliamentary elections later this year that will determine how much power he has. having said that, as a famous american politician said in the 19th century, to the victor go the spoils. president macron this morning is back, and he is the leader of europe and he is able now to dictate politically, globally many of the visions -- much of
the vision that he has been laying out. president biden, congratulating with him and also saying, interestingly in a tweet overnight, i look forward to continuing to work with him. and what president macron were looking for is an equal partnership with the american president, with the ability to say, here's some of the things i want internationally. another interesting point, just to finish, guys, president macron was congratulated by president zelenskyy almost immediately and this morning the kremlin is saying president putin has telegramed his congratulations. he was trying to play peacemaker before the election. what will he choose to do now in the face of this terrible war in ukraine? >> nbc's keir simmons, thank you for your reporting. coming up, you don't have to wear a mask on planes, but plenty of travelers are keeping them on. it was the first weekend since the mandate was lifted with a lot of families heading home after spring break. an update on that and the risk posed on college campuses right
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supersonic wifi only from us... xfinity. welcome back. throughout the pandemic, college campuses have been hot spots for the spread of covid. right now, lots of students are heading back to school after spring break. as nbc's jesse kirsch reports, that means masks are making a comeback. >> reporter: the mask debate showing no signs of legislate up. >> everyone is in a hurry to get their masks off but we're older and in no hurry. >> reporter: a federal judge struck down the cdc's mandatory mask order on planes. airports, including l.a.x. still require them, leaving passengers perplexed. >> i don't even have one on me. didn't think i needed to. >> reporter: at least 31 states seeing an uptick in covid cases
prompting some colleges to bring masks back. >> i kind of just laughed because it was like two weeks ago they just got rid of it. >> reporter: including uconn, syracuse and columbia university. >> i think it's appropriate because if the numbers get too high, they don't want to compromise the graduation. >> we're still in the pandemic. i'm keeping mine on. >> reporter: the mask inconsistency combined with the spread of covid subvariant now raising more questions about what's ahead. >> what do you say to someone who says, well, it looks like the spread of the common cold now? t. might feel like it's the spread of the common cold, we still have people who are getting severe illness from it. we still have too many people unvaccinated or ineligible for a vaccine such as under 5. >> that was jesse kirsch reporting. coming up, what do you do when you get caught in a lie? for kevin mccarthy, you just lie some more? how the republican leader is trying to explain away his past criticism of donald trump caught
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you know what? he's a guy that said some bad [ bleep ] about me. he did. he did. but you know what? every one of the others did also. in fact, if i went by that standard, i don't think i would have ever endorsed anybody in the country. they all said bad, but they all came back. >> the whimps came back. >> they all came back. >> the suck-ups came back. >> they all came back. >> the people with no character came back. yes, you were surrounded by those people. congratulations, mr. former president. >> former president donald trump in ohio over the weekend rallying behind j.d. vance who trump endorsed in that state's republican senate primary. despite the critical things vance had to say about trump in
the past. and that is the tactic that trump is taking with kevin mccarthy. the republican house leader muddied the waters as he sought to defend himself against allegations of lying about his remarks regarding donald trump where he lied. for their new book "this will not pass," "new york times" reporters alex burns and jonathan martin reported and provided audio of mccarthy saying he would urge trump to resign after the january 6th capitol attack. mccarthy called the original report false, but then said this after audio proved his denial was a lie. >> a lie, yeah. >> what they said we did, we never did. i never asked president trump to resign. we both talked about that. we've talked about -- >> you spoke with him about resigning? >> no, let me be very clear. i have never asked the president to resign. so what the book said was not true. i never asked the president to
resign. on the phone call, i got asked a question. the time period about the 25th amendment. all i did was walk through like anybody would what are the different scenarios that would happen. and all we did was put out the different options. >> no, that's not all you did. you said he was disgusted by it like he said on the floor he was disgusted by it like he told members he was disgusted by it and said he was going to have the president step down. he didn't ask the president to step down so that answer, once again, he lies. mischaracterizes the article. the article didn't say he told colleague he's asked trump to resign but that he was going to do that. the recording confirms that. here's more of that january 10th, 2021 conversation with mccarthy and the republican leaders as mccarthy wasn't just expressing options. he was expressing his contempt. his disgust, just how much he despised donald trump.
>> let me be very clear to all of you, and i have been very clear to the president. he bears responsibilities for his words and actions. no ifs, ands or buts. i asked him personally today, does he told responsibility for what happened? does he feel bad about what happened? he told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. and he needed to acknowledge that. >> i've had it with this guy. what he did is unacceptable. nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it. >> i've had it with this guy. what he did was unacceptable. >> nobody should p. i've had it with this guy. what he did -- again, kevin just, he lies. he gets caught lying. and then he lies again about his original lies. again, i take you back to 2017 when he came out that he in 2016 had told house leaders that donald trump was on the take. that he was getting money from
vladimir putin. that putin was paying trump and dana rohrbacher, in his opinion, and he said, swear to god, i think it's happening. he lied about that. he was shown a transcript. he said the transcript was fake news. then they played him the tape. then he said, oh, never mind. well, despite those words, donald trump told "the wall street journal" friday his relationship with mccarthy was intact because mccarthy quickly changed his stance. trump called the quote a big compliment that republicans criticized him after january 6th would still back him. mccarthy said he spoke to the president after the audio was made public. a person close to trump said mccarthy called to apologize to the former president. >> oh, my god. >> the person said trump isn't really mad. he's got other things on his mind. he accepts kevin for who he is. which really says it all.
let's bring in right now, founder of the conservative website the bulwark, charlie sykes. a great book on conservatism. talks about where we went wrong. i think you and i probably think we continue to go wrong. maybe a little more than matthew does, but it's an excellent book on reviewing conservatism. here, though, part of what we discussed the other day was just lies that this has become a party that's adopted putin and russia's sort of firehood of falsehoods. and is employing it every day. we saw j.d. vance last night going out, lying through his teeth, just complete lie. once again, trashing our fbi, lying about the fbi, saying that they have illegally wiretapped donald trump's offices. it just continues every day. you want trump's support? you've got to trash the military. you've got to trash the fbi. you've got to trash the cia.
you've got to trash every american institution that people like you and i hold dear. >> you know, what's interesting about kevin mccarthy's groveling and lying about this particular incident is the nature of his lie. think about this, joe. what he is saying is, you know, no, i didn't really have a moment of decency and principle and duty. i never did anything about it. and i got over it very, very quickly. so not only does he have to continue to lie about it he has to pretend that one of those brief moments where he had some clarity about what was right and what was wrong needs to be memory hold. so, yes, the republicans have created an alternate reality. i remember you and i probably discussed this back in 2017 or maybe 2016, and we had a sense that things had gotten bad and they were going to get worse. things have gotten much, much worse than i expected, and i was not an optimist back then.
it's accelerated because donald trump keeps raising the ante. and i think he likes this. he likes this as an instrument of humiliation. how far can i push people? what can i get you to so it is not surprising that we wake up on monday morning and find that donald trump is completely happy to have the next speaker of the house of representatives possibly on his knees apologizing to him and acknowledging that he has no political future expect by believing and repeating donald trump's lies. this is exactly the way that donald trump wants republicans to behave right now. and republicans are more than willing to go along with this. >> charlie sykes, thank you so much for coming on this morning. and coming up, capitol hill isn't the only place where political opportunism is running rampant. just look at what is happening in florida with governor ron
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there are people who are misguided trying to drive, you know, disney stepping in saying, you know, in every episode now they're going to have, you know, mickey and pluto going at it, like really? >> thank you for that image, senator. >> but it is just like, come on, guys. these are kids and you know, you could always shift to sin max if you want that. >> republican senator ted cruz recently making that slippery slope argument for what disney could do next after the company spoke out against florida's news
parental right and education law. on florida florida's republican governor ron desantis signed a bill that will strip disney of its special self governing status in the area around the orlando theme parks. all because of disney's stance against that law. joining us now, staff writer at the atlantic david fromm. first of all, i don't understand why the governor wants to hurt his constituents and cause their taxes to go up, but could we explain this law which is a set up to get democrats freaking out over something that isn't something -- i mean you're not going to have kids talking about sexuality at that age any way. >> why did the governor want this fight and my answer is he didn't want this fight. he got dragged into round one
which is this law, which is probably not the way you want to identify yourself if you're running for president in 2024. or re-election in 2022 and then into this giant fight with disney. reason this story is so interesting is it shows the difference between ron desantis and donald trump is that donald trump acted like the boss in his relationship with fox news and the conservative entertainment complex. but what desantis has just proven, i'm going to let fox news and crist roofo and four chan drive my agenda. i work for them. but it is a test of power that shows desantis's weakness, not a strength against disney. >> random question, do you ever think fox news could end up in florida? just sort of hearing weird things leading toward that. but ultimately back to desantis. is he a conservative? does he belief in free speech?
>> i think he is certainly a conservative. if you understand that conservatism is what conservatives do and the mood is more one of a desire for cultural revenge. we're seeing in this country is a split between economic and cultural power on the one hand and political power on the other. that 70% of the economy of the country is in the biden counties but the map of the country favors the political power of states like the more conservative parts of the country. and so if you just let the economy go and the culture go, it going in the way that the majority of the legislature doesn't like but the majority of the legislature is the majority of the florida state legislature. >> and so ultimately what is happening with this law for the people who live around disney? will it be financially painful? >> i actually don't believe
that. i think that desantis is going to wait this one out and find a way to bury this law. there will be a procedural defect. that is why disney is being so calm. florida legislature is not the way people look the other way in tens of millions of dollars in lobbying fees. this thing doesn't go into effect until 2023 and my prediction there will be some defect with the law and some compromise and the whole thing will get buried once desantis decided whether he has the republican nomination and the governor of florida behind him. >> how fascinating is that that you've had donald trump and trump republicans engaging in let's build a wall, we're going to build the wall and then republicans are in charge of washington in '17 and '18 and you have lindsey graham and john
cornyn and every other republican going build a wall, what a -- a stupid idea. that will never work. so you have the politics here in florida, that could end up hurting florida taxpayers and then the politics in texas where greg abbott does something that actually ends up costing the texas economy $4 billion. i'm just wondering whether this has gotten out of control even for these performative politicians who are constantly trying to own the libs to such a degree that it is starting to blow up this their own faces politically. >> but the question is what the alternative. compared to what. take a look at rick scott's ten point plan for republican policy. and here are words missing, health care nowhere appear in this plan. remember the repeal and replace obamacare. ths